“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?”
When it comes to simplicity in digital signage, the SoC approach is at the top of the list. With a SoC solution, there is no need for a media player either mounted behind the display or taking up space in an AV rack. The advantages of having a SoC display are many, including the ability to reboot the display remotely, adjust the display settings remotely, and of course, there are fewer single points of failure. By eliminating the media player from the equation, managing the solution becomes appreciably easier.
Costs associated with the installation and hardware for digital signage are also reduced when opting for a SoC approach. There is no need to add labor cost for mounting a media player and the material needed like straps and cables. The less time and material it takes to set the solution up, the less it impacts the budget.
With that being said, there are some things to consider when going the SoC route. What are you trying to achieve with your digital signage? As powerful as SoC chipsets are, they do not have the same level of processing power as current media players. If you are pushing high-end 4K content or creating interactive experiences that are very processor-demanding, the SoC approach is not recommended. You will need to include media players in your solution to handle that type of experience.
It all boils down to what type of experience you are looking to deliver. You can use a combination of both for your signage deployment. For everyday traditional signage, you can use SoC displays. For an experience that demands more processing power, use media players.