Companies in the early stages of planning digital signage networks often get focused on the hardware and software, and are often reminded and scolded that they also need to think about strategy and content. What often gets completely ignored is connectivity.
Internet access seems ubiquitous, and that there is no end of options, but the choices made around how networks are updated and managed need to factor in several considerations, or there can be problems with reliability, ease of management and budget.
Let’s look at the main options: satellite, mobile and terrestrial. Each has strengths and weaknesses.
The release of a new batch of tablet devices by online sales giant Amazon has raised, once again, excited discussions about using low-cost consumer devices as digital signage appliances.
The idea comes up almost entirely because of cost and form factor. First it was the Apple iPad. Then it was the Samsung tablet. Then the other Android operating system tablets that started popping up. Now it’s the $199 USD Amazon Kindle Fire.
Within an hour of the announcement, the first questions started popping up in social media, asking whether the Fire could do the digital signage job on the shelf-edges and countertops of the retail and public spaces world.
In the most basic terms, sure they can. A handful of digital signage software companies have stripped down versions of their technology that can get a scheduled set of stills and videos running on devices as elemental as WiFi-enabled digital photo frames.
But there are some big caveats that need to be considered before a retailer or network operator goes down the path of using devices, built with specific uses in mind, for something very different.