“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?”
There’s really no simple answer to this question that encompasses all the possible scenarios. There are several factors that could enter into the equation, including: What format of content will be displayed? How is that content going to be delivered to the device? What type of installation is being envisioned (single display or video wall)? If there are several displays in operation, what will be used for the others (in order to consider consistency)? And probably most importantly, what kind of flexibility is needed for the future? One can certainly argue that SoC can be just as powerful as a media player, but there may be more connectivity options with the media player. Cost should be lower with the SoC, but then it should be considered that it is yet another component on the display itself that could fail. If any of the components fail on an all-in-one device, then the entire device becomes inoperable. With a separate media player, component change-out might be easier, and it allows for mix-and-match best-of-breed components for the overall system. There is no one right answer, but all of these are questions that should be considered when planning the solution.