Ask the Board – May 8, 2017 | MIKE WHITE


In your opinion, what does the future look like in terms of powering digital signage via Ethernet?”

Reading this question from my engineering point of view, I would suggest that the future is bright and filled with explosive growth, especially for the retail digital signage experience.  Let me support my comments by reflecting that I am looking at this question from the Power over Ethernet (PoE) point of view. While there are certainly limitations over how much power can be supplied over Ethernet, there are many small digital signage players (on the Android side) and many small displays that are available for point-of-sale that can be PoE (Power over Ethernet). While several innovative point-of-sale appliances have already made their way to the retail market, especially in the grocery aisles of the world, there is excellent support for more to be developed based on new powerful and energy-efficient displays like OLEDs. PoE provides great cost savings by reducing the infrastructure required to implement a comprehensive digital signage experience at the point of decision or sale. While large displays have a long way to go before they can be PoE, there is growth potential for PoE POS players and displays.

Reading this from my AV/IT integrator point of view, I am absolutely sure that Ethernet will power the growth of the digital signage industry. The days of sneaker net and passing around CDs and thumb drives are in our past, or at least they should be. We no longer see the restrictive bandwidth of the older 10/100 networks. Fiber is becoming more prevalent to bring speed to our networks, but now one is suggesting copper is dead. While digital signage content is certainly growing in size, most organizations have now or will be in the future implementing 1GB backbone or better networks facilitating our demanding future bandwidth needs.  Ethernet is so well proven and stable, there is no other real alternative … at least for right now.   


About Author

Senior Solutions Specialist
Unified Technology Systems, A Solutionz, Inc. Company

Pro AV Council

1 Comment

  1. Thanks for your clear rely to this important digital signage design design question, which I look forward to hearing more about as you present to integrators (contract and internal) during InfoComm. Power to the panel is the real issue and it is exciting that flat panel providers such as LG with its OLEDs is addressing energy consumption.. The question is.. how fast can the industry get there?

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