Archive for May, 2011

Consumer TVs vs. Industrial Displays

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Ever wonder why all the TVs in the airport showing the flight schedule are burnt out, or look like they have another image on top of them? Here’s my latest blog post for DigitalSignageToday that explains why…

Avnet recently heldĀ our first webinar on Digital Signage Today, and the event was very successful. I was pleased by both the number and variety of questions asked by participants. However, one issue that continued to pop-up, even after the presentation, was the importance of industrial displays versus consumer televisions in the digital signage space.

As the title of this article states, industrial displays simply make sense and will also save you dollars in the long-run. You’re probably thinking, “Okay, nice use of an already overly-used catchphrase, but tell me why!”

Allow me to explain.

Consumer televisions are often used in digital signage applications because their cost is less than that of industrial-grade displays or monitors. However, the initial cost advantage quickly becomes a liability that drives up total cost of ownership (TCO).

Consumer televisions are designed to be “on” for only a few hours per day, showing video content that is changing constantly. Most digital signage applications show content that is recurring (like an advertisement) or is fairly static (think digital menu-board in a quick-serve restaurant or flight information display at an airport). Not only is the content more static than on a television; it is on for many more hours per day than a television.

When most consumer grade televisions are used in digital signage applications, their warranties become voided, leaving the buyer on their own for replacement or repair. In addition, consumer televisions burn out much more quickly because, unlike industrial displays, they are designed to be on for just a few hours a day.

Content that is displayed constantly can also result in the image being “burnt-in” to the display. I think we’ve all see plenty of examples of digital signage displays where it appears as though the image is ghosted into the television and continues to appear even when the content behind the glass changes.

Read the rest of my blog post at DigitalSignageToday…

Now Blogging for Digital Signage Today

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

I recently submitted an article to Digital Signage Today and was told not only that my article would be published, but was invited to be a regular contributor to the site as a blogger! I will be writing a couple of times a month about the digital signage industry. Check out my first article below:

Commentary: Digital signage market heating up, don’t get burned

It’s no surprise to anyone who has been in a mall, airport or quick-service restaurant recently that the digital signage market is on fire.

Digital signage has been gaining steam as we, as consumers, continue to require more information, and as retailers and advertisers look for new ways to target us more directly with their messaging in our everyday lives.

The market for digital information displays (DIDs) is fueled further by federal regulations that call for quick-service restaurants to now display information on fat and calorie counts for menu items. It’s also being spurred on by the decline in the cost of DIDs, making them more attractive versus continual printing of signage; new dynamic HD and streaming video content; and the emergence of new technologies such as gesture interaction and touchscreens that allow for an interactive experience.

In addition, technologies such as anonymous video analytics and mobile payment processing now allow for a more measurable return-on-investment (ROI).

As acceptance rates and enthusiasm for digital signs continue to rise, it is more important than ever for companies to have carefully considered deliberations before jumping head-first into a digital signage solution. Trying to minimize up-front investments can lead to a hefty price tag in the future and drive up total cost of ownership (TCO) in the long run.

Content strategy should be the driver of hardware and software decisions, so it is important that companies examine closely not just which content they wish to display today, but also what they may be looking to do in the future. For example, you may be running still images and Flash or Silverlight content today. However, how will your platform, media player and operating system be able to handle those high-def videos your company wants to roll out in the future?

Samara Nash of PopStar Networks makes it a point to first examine the overall content strategy before recommending hardware or platforms to her customers.

“It is important to look at your goals and strategy for your digital signage rollout first. Is your goal to influence decision-making at the point of sale, attention-grabbing advertising, or simply to display important information? Content is the medium in which you deliver your message to reach your end goal, and can evolve and change format over time as messaging is fine-tuned and new technologies emerge.”

Sacrificing on these components now could lead to expensive field upgrades or replacement of your hardware or operating system in the future.

Click here to view the article on Digital Signage Today!