A digital signage system comprises three primary aspects, one of them being the digital signage media player. The other two are the digital display and the digital signage software. Digital media players are physical devices that connect to a digital display and a computer network. This connection enables them to play content on the screen.
In other words, the player receives media files from the digital signage software server, processes them, and sends them to the display. While most digital signage media players are black and a bit clunky, they play a crucial role in digital signage. Unfortunately, high-quality digital display and content take all the credit, yet the player does all the heavy lifting.
This article looks at the types of digital signage players on the market. It’ll guide you in choosing the best device type for playing your content.
A Look at the Most Common Types of Digital Signage Players
Before delving into the types of digital signage players, it is essential to note two crucial qualities. These are digital signage hardware specifications and software compatibility. Markedly, these are the two factors that spell the most significant differences in signage players.
- Hardware specifications: Like other computers, high-quality digital signage players with better hardware options tend to come at a higher price. In particular, you’ll need more expensive players to run complex advertising campaigns. Furthermore, the better the specifications, the easier it’ll be to incorporate dynamically changing or interactive content.
- Software compatibility: Another crucial factor is whether the digital signage player you choose can run the right software to meet your business needs. For one thing, excellent software compatibility will help you save time by ensuring your digital signage network runs well. Besides, it’ll help you maximize the value of your inventory. As such, check to see that your digital signage player hardware doesn’t restrict your options for a content management system.
Given these factors, here are the top types of digital signage players you can consider for your business.
Windows- or Linux-Based PC Digital Players
PC-based digital signage players come reduced in size to make it possible for you to mount or hide them. Besides, using a PC-based media player provides excellent processing power, maximizing your content’s breadth.
They allow you to play any type of content you want, including 4K interactive content with external data feeds. Additionally, you can create highly complex digital signage content using content creation software. While at it, PC digital players are as powerful as you wish them to be. This means that nothing can stop you from putting together a customized solution with the specs you need to activate and manage your network.
The best applications for PC include:
- 4K and 8K signage content delivery
- Digital signage networks with 25 or more screens, for example, in public spaces, shopping malls, stadiums, and corporate buildings.
- Ad-based and extensive networks
System on Chip (SoC) Digital Signage Players
A system on chip is an inbuilt type of media player in a digital signage display. The solution, also known as IoT digital signage, hosts digital signage software that transmits media files to the digital sign. Undoubtedly, these options are more cost-effective and more time-saving than buying a player separately.
An equally important point is that SoC players eliminate the need for installations and connections to separate components. This is because they don’t have cables, an external media player, or video distribution equipment.
In a like manner, these players have fewer hardware devices to support and fewer failure points. For the most part, all these are essential factors that help save money, downtime, and labor. As technology continues to advance, there’s a high probability that SoC will eventually replace external types of digital signage players.
- Minimal extendible requirements
- Any network size
- Simple signage setups
Android-Based Digital Signage Media Player
Android media players have their platform on Google’s Android operating system. As such, an evaluation of their features will mostly mirror an operating system. This is to say they provide many more capabilities that closely resemble that of a PC but at a more affordable cost.
The benefits of using an Android media player include its compactness. As a result, you can easily keep them alongside your digital signage display. Furthermore, they have a high-value performance and give you value for your money. Since they’re specifically built for digital signage, they don’t come with moving parts. Hence, they’re more durable than PCs.
- Simple digital signage content demands
- Small, simple digital signage networks
- Budget digital signage projects, for example, in retail stores
Amazon Fire TV Stick
Fire TV Sticks are remarkably powerful and plug directly into a display’s USB ports or HDMI input despite their small size. Depending on their specifications, they can stream 4K media or 1080p, run apps, browse the web, and more.
The devices are comparatively inexpensive by the standards of digital signage. Moreover, the Fire TV app store is also home to digital signage applications. As a result, it’s pretty easy for you to set up a display and connect it to your most compatible solution of choice.
Their best application cases include:
- Low-budget networks
- Small networks
- Simple digital signage setups
When choosing from the many types of digital media players, you want one with a good brain. Unfortunately, choosing the best device is not always an easy task. Given that the final one you settle with can make or break your marketing campaigns, you need to be sure of your selection.
At Mvix, we provide various digital signage solutions, including digital media players and digital signage software. Please take a look at our options to help in your search.