Digital Signage Hardware Requirements
Digital signage is often thought of as being a technically complicated technology; requiring skills in networking, IT and marketing, but using screens for out of home marketing need not be complicated or require a team of specialists.
Installing a digital signage system requires just three pieces of hardware, but choosing the right type is where the decisions have to be taken.
There are a myriad of different types of screen available for use as digital displays. Commonly, commercial grade screens are utilised as they last longer and are able to function for prolonged top permanent time periods which could lead consumer grade screens to over heat or fail.
As for the type of device: LCD or plasma, there is really little difference in the two technologies these days. For outdoor digital signage it’s a good idea to get as bright a TV screen as possible to help cope with sunlight. It is also a good idea to go for the largest screen affordable, within the restraints of your location as digital outdoor signage needs to be more noticeable.
While often digital displays are hooked up together in large networks enabling operators and advertisers to upload content centrally and distribute it around the entire network. For smaller projects, networking is not necessarily the easiest solution and it can often be simpler to install a media player next to the screen. Media players are really just small PCs comprising your content and the software required to run it. Often content is simply uploaded using a USB stick although wireless solutions are available.
Once the screen and media player have been sourced the final piece of hardware required is the enclosure. A digital signage enclosure should be able to house both the screen and media player. For indoor use, the enclosure should have a modicum of protection with the media player secured to prevent any unauthorised uploading of content.
For outdoor digital signage, the enclosure has to do a lot more than just prevent unauthorized access. Not only does it need to be strong enough to prevent damage from vandalism, but also it has to protect the screen (and media player) from the weather. And weatherization is not just about waterproofing either. The temperature of outdoor locations can vary dramatically with summer heat requiring cooling inside the enclosure to prevent overheating, while the winter may require heaters to prevent freezing.