Advertising (including DOOH) experts, IT specialists, digital content creators, AV integrators, and general entrepreneurs all have one thing in common: they see opportunity in digital out-of-home for revenue potential. There is only one problem: none of them autonomously have a monopoly on ALL that is needed to make digital sigange successful.
The fact is that digital sign technology itself is quite complicated. Think about all the components of a proper installation: display screen, server, player(s), software, mounts, cabling, connectivity. Then think of all the service time required to create excellent content for your display. It can often be a logistics nightmare. Many wishing to jump right into digital signage may not realize all the components involved in installing a display screen, the management required to keep it up, and the cost and time involved in creating and regularly managing new and engaging content for a network of displays. It’s much easier to speak of than to do.
Now, that we’ve determined that digital signage is complicated, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. What components of a major install are the most difficult? How can we work to simplify these complicated aspects? And finally, what tools are available to help us simplify?
What is most complex about digital signage?
It would be trite to say “everything is complicated.” This is somewhat true, however. But, there are certainly aspects which require more ongoing time, management, and maintenance for smooth workflow and transitions.
After a while, software is software. Every time I head to industry shows, I have to sit back and think to myself, “just what sets each of these software packages apart from one another?” In most cases, there are not too many differences, apart from the following:
- Tested, tried, and true. There is a difference in having software on thousands of screens in multi-national networks rather than implementing a digital signage software solution on a mere few screens in about 50 locations.
- Usability. This goes back to the original premise of this blog post: Simplifying the complicated.
- Cost. Once similar feature sets have been established and it’s known that each solution is has had enough “incubated” and “real-life” experiential testing, the next thing to compare apples to apples on is price. While you should never shop based on price, once everything else is said and done, price may be the only differentiator.
Much like software, hardware is generally compared using standard references like integrated components, maintenance and warranty lengths, and size. Apart from features, hardware decisions too can be based greatly on cost. If hardware and software are both becoming more standardized, then what else could potentially complicate?