5 tips when choosing a media player
As we continue our advice on digital signage, we look into an integral part of a signage system that like mounts comes second to the display itself. The content player you choose is probably the most important element, as this limits what content you show and how you show it. We’ve put together five key points to consider when deciding on a digital signage media player.
1) Type of content: One of the main reasons digital signage is starting to be favoured over print is due to moving images being used. Knowing the processing power is essential as a low choice could result in poor image quality, resolution issues and cause video issues such as freezing, skipping or certain content not being playable.
2) Internet connection: An internet connection is required if you are planning to use a web-based content management system and want to update the content easily. It’s also necessary if you are planning multiple screens across your company via a server (see below). There are plenty of additional extras the internet can link to your content that can be ideal for marketing, including sharing via social media, stream RSS feeds and personalize content to mobile phones. All the latest models of media players can handle internet connections but it can differ in security and reliability, so do your homework.
3) Touch interactivity: Touch and motion-sensing gender-based interactivity can be used on your digital signage but certain media players will not support it. Single touch can be applied using a standard media player but as you can imagine, as the touches multiply, so does the amount of processing power required. Many businesses use Kinect for sensing and spoken command interactivity but this too has limitations. Kinect can only be used with a Windows-based player, as Kinect itself is Microsoft, meaning Apple TV or Android players are incapable.
4) Number of displays: If you have a large site that needs covering, it may be worth looking into a site server to control multiple displays. A site server allows you to stream the same content from one location to all the displays, saving on bandwidth and reducing power requirements, enabling you to use less-expensive embedded chip players.
5) Additional Hardware: There is a lot of additional hardware you can add to make your impact even stronger but this will narrow down your choice of media player. Devices such as cameras, proximity sensors, lift triggers and speakers all need to connect to the media player and not all players have a large amount of driver support.
If you need any help in choosing between media players, we have worked with an array of manufacturers and will be happy to help you compare. We can offer on-site demonstrations and training days once you have your system installed. Please feel free to contact us for more information.