Ask the Board – September 16, 2019 | JERRY HARRIS


“SoC vs Media Players: With more and more manufacturers offering System on a Chip (SoC) solutions, what’s the tipping point end users need to consider when planning their solutions?”

As with most decisions surrounding your digital signage solution, cost is the major influence. Minimizing the equipment expense can make a world of difference. Such is the case with the embedding of SoC in the displays. Finding the right display with SoC architecture can eliminate the cost of a media player. 

Digital signage displays with SoC architecture are a much more viable solution now than it was in the past. Early adoption created some challenges with stability and connectivity to your CMS. Having an all-in-one display has its benefits. However, if there is a problem with the embedded SoC chip, you would have to remove the screen causing some downtime if spare chips are not immediately available. Selecting a reliable display manufacturer can guard against frequent display failures.

At the moment, the foundation of the SoC standards is Linux, with a few outliers including LG’s webOS, Samsung’s Tizen OS, and Android, (which is the most widely used by manufacturers). Depending upon your DS requirements, one of these platforms should suffice for a basic signage solution. Understand though that this limits you to the capabilities that have been programmed into the SoC. The pros and cons (based on your needs) have to be carefully considered before making this decision.  But when factoring in the cost savings, SoC is an enticing solution.

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Senior Director, Creative Services
Georgia Aquarium

End User Council

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