Before we venture into the intricate setup of digital signage and its benefits, it’s better to set a historical starting point to see the bigger picture. The modern version of signage is currently digital, but before the digital displays, retailers only had access to analog screens. If you’re unfamiliar with analog media, it’s the type of media that was stored on VHS tapes and cassettes. The first digital signage to come into the public space was through DVDs. The current hyper pace of videos and pictures on the internet pushed digital signage into new heights. Businesses are now able to take advantage of it because they know that visual media is the best way to engage their customers.
To help you wrap your head around the setup of digital signage for your business, we’ve created a brief and simple guide for you.
Settling on the Right Technology
Unlike the TV screens in your home, digital signage requires a certain caliber of screens that can withstand exceptionally long durations of airtime. The most recommended type and commonly used is the LCD commercial-grade screen. The screen is designed to incorporate plates that can dissipate heat, coupled with cooling systems that can ensure that overheating is never a problem. Interestingly, commercial-grade LCD screens are known for their low power consumption, making them perfect for long-term usage.
One of the most important factors you need to check before you buy any screen for digital signage is the port type it accepts. HDMI and VGA ports are absolutely necessary to be able to display pictures of the highest quality. Preferably, try to find screens that can display content vertically or horizontally to ensure that you have more options when utilizing the screen. You might as well look for long-term warranties because commercial grade screens are designed to have future-proof warranties.
A vital element in any digital signage is the software. This is a program that works on synching the content you need to display with the existing hardware. Back in the old days, installing this kind of software on digital signage was a complex job that required professionals to properly do it. Fortunately, the modern programs available on platforms like the cloud allows the software to be almost compatible with any type of a digital signage system. As mentioned by the engineers at Yodeck.com, pairing the versatility and power of Raspberry Pi hardware and cloud-based software can allow you to display any content in a few minutes without downtime. Systems that incorporate Raspberry Pi are known to be quite secure from malicious attacks as well. It’s important to understand that there are some systems that may still require technical knowledge for complete control, so this will depend on the responsible marketing entity handling the digital signage.
You may also want to take into consideration scalability when you’re choosing suitable software. If you don’t want to restrict yourself to one screen and expand into dozens of others, you may want to go with enterprise-based software. It’s always better if the system you’re using allows you to seamlessly add or remove screens from your platform.
Determining Screen Size
The size of digital signage is highly dependent on its placement environment. If you’re expecting people passing by from a long distance to see a 32-inch screen, you’ll only be wasting your money. The recommended viewing distances for 6, 7.5, 9, and 10 feet are 42”, 55”, 65”, and 70” respectively. It’s always better to err on the bigger side when you’re unsure of a certain placement. You may also want to take the framing of the content into consideration because big banners and sidebars will force your content into a smaller box, which makes it wise to invest in a bigger screen if you’re planning to use them. If the content you’re displaying on the screen is mainly text, it’s better to go for higher sizes to ensure that the text is readable by the majority of your audience.
A lot of business owners can sometimes get stuck in the process of the physical setup and purchasing of software that they forget to properly curate the content they want to show. After all, content is going to be your main strength. It’s important to focus on the compatibility of your content, whether it is obtained through presentations or websites. Depending on the type of software you’ve used, you can find compatible apps that allow you to modify and curate the content you have into a format that’s more appropriate for digital signage. This is also directly related to the objectives of your business and your marketing targets.
In an age where media and content are the kings of marketing, it’s imperative to keep your digital signage at tip-top shape. It may take you some time to research the screen size, software, and content you want to display, but the more you invest into making it right, the more necks turn wherever you place it.