When predictable is good

Predictable can be both good and bad when it comes to digital signage.

It’s bad when the content on the screen, as well as the layout and programming approach, looks much like everything else out there. To have impact, a network needs the stopping power of strong creative and an overall look that is anything but predictable.

But when it comes to operating a digital signage network, predictable warms the hearts of IT, deployment and operations people.

Ask anyone who has started and ran digital signage networks from the early stages, and they will be happy to relate all the mistakes made – among them a big decision to use consumer grade PCs. The problem, they’ll say, was that these PCs were anything but predictable. Continue reading

The Perils of Corner-Cutting

The digital signage industry has a perpetual problem with corner-cutting.

For retailers and private companies, putting in a digital display network is rarely seen as mission critical, so there is a steady push to control costs by choosing cheaper hardware and software.

For start-up companies launching advertising networks, they’re looking to stretch their limited capital budgets as far as they’ll seem to go.

The problem with cutting corners, of course, is that short-term start-up savings often result in longer-term operating pain, and higher overall costs.

It happens when network planners who don’t know any better, or dismiss warnings as just being cynical sales ploys, put up televisions instead of commercial display panels that have actually been engineered for hard duty and the more challenging environmental conditions of retail and public places.

The corner-cutting really happens with computing choices – particularly because the personal computing hardware business is so competitive and covered exhaustively in technology blogs and other publications. Everyone knows how little PCs now cost. Continue reading