Digital Merchandising Media Player Decision Part II from K&D

Digital Signage

One of the most daunting tasks when beginning to think about digital signage is choosing the correct media player. In a technical landscape that is ever changing, many companies claim to have the best solution. The true answer is, there is no one right answer. The proper solution should reflect the needs of the individual. The most important question to ask is “What do I want my digital signage solution to do?” Kiosk and Display knows that one player won’t cut it, and that is why we offer a range of players.

A traditional media player, such as Kiosk and Display’s iPoster Player, is a heavy duty and powerful player that can perform many different tasks. The iPoster Player does many things well, and can play any type of media, including dynamic feeds and advanced graphics. We recommend the iPoster player to those who want to take full advantage of their digital signage. The iPoster Player can play two separate channels at full HD resolution, and can run advanced animations such as Flash. The downside of the traditional player is the size. Usually these players must be housed in a server rack, and cables or extenders must be used to reach the proper screens.

A trend that has been becoming more popular is the embedded media player. Kiosk and Display primarily uses the Smart Signage Platform by Samsung when dealing with embedded platforms. These players are built into the screens, and they can function quite well as a simple signage solution. The embedded player can play simple videos and JPGS, and if hooked up to a Kiosk and Display Server, they can use all of the powerful scheduling functionality that all of our systems rely on. The downside to embedded players is that they cannot play dynamic content such as weather or hyper local feeds, and they can not play advanced animations such as Flash. A license to use these players must be purchased for every screen as well.

When trying to decide on which type of player to use, it is best to look at what is trying to be achieved. A traditional media player will flourish in an installation that has many screens. One player can run two channels across countless screens, with only one player license. A traditional player will also outperform he embedded player, and display content that is more dynamic. Embedded players work well in situations with few screens and little space. By just hanging a screen on the wall, a digital signage installation is completed. Graphical content won’t be as varied or interesting, but it is a great solution for a simple installation. With the advent of mobile technologies, computers and set boxes are constantly shrinking. Kiosk and Display is currently examining unique solutions to combine the portability of embedded solutions and the advanced feature set of traditional players. There will always be a place for traditional and embedded solutions.

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