Ask the Board – October 21, 2019 | MIKE WHITE

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“Is the digital signage industry leaning more toward player-less displays than the traditional approach of media player and display? Are there any concerns about performance when going with a SoC display?”


Digital signage, by any definition, is a mature industry, but that does not mean that things don’t change. Today, and as we move forward, we will continue to see improvements and innovation in every area. We will see higher resolution on monitors as we have seen the movement from 720 to 1080 to 4K and 8K in the not-so-distant future. The same progression has happened on the player side. Digital signage got its start on Windows-based machines, and similar to the display industry, it has seen many improvements in the speed of player processors and footprint of those players. Now, the industry provides a wide selection of not only operating systems, but also player size and format. One of the most significant is the SoC (System on a Chip).

SoC is having a tremendous positive impact on the digital signage Industry. SoCs (like Raspberry Pi) are inexpensive and get more powerful every year. They are now capable of playing more than one HD video simultaneously and supporting RSS feeds in addition to doing all the traditional digital signage content. Manufacturers can build these into their displays and add very little additional cost. More and more Content Management Systems are embracing these solutions as a cost-effective way to support their CMS solution. Most SoCs run some form of Linux and provide cost-effective alternatives to Windows-based players. Different than traditional slot-based solutions in that most (not all) are built into the internal electronics of the flat panel v. a slot. Slot-based PCs offer great solutions, but one must always be concerned with the reality that heat (electronics’ worst enemy) is always a challenge. 

Look for SoCs to play a larger role in digital signage as they get more powerful.  Another reason is that there “IS NO EXCUSE” for anything less than a powerful dependable digital signage deployment that works the “First Time.”

About Author

Senior Solutions Specialist
Unified Technology Systems

MEMBER OF THE DSE ADVISORY BOARD
Pro AV Council

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