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Four Common Mistakes in Digital Signage and the Ways to Avoid It

Jul. 09, 2019

The best way to ensure long-term success in Digital Signage deployment is to plan carefully ahead of time. Here are four common novice bugs, and how network operators who are using digital signage for the first time should avoid them:

Digital Signage

Digital Signage

Misunderstanding 1: Prioritize technology, not goal.

Here are a few of the wrong conversations about deploying digital signage in many organizations: "We need to place a large screen in the XX position, and we maybe need one or two video walls. We need to figure out the screen pricing and need some special software."

Instead, which screens to use and the software needed to manage them should be the result of planning, not the first step.

Successfully planning a digital signage network first needs to determine the goals of the network. This basically answers why you should consider the major issues with the screen and confirm the reasons for the screen and software usage and the positive impact that will be generated.

Example goals include:

①Retail: change sales and promotion information in a timely and easy way at the place and moment when consumers make purchasing decisions.

②Catering: counters and Digital Menu Board change over time, making it easy to manage specific locations.

③Office: real-time display of all key performance indicators (KPI) from sales to manufacturing capabilities, weekly email and presentation changes, always maintaining current, at-a-glance visuals.

Digital Menu Board

Digital Menu Board

Knowing the goals gives you direct insight into what the screen will do, where it needs to appear, what content will be presented, and the type of technology that is really needed—from media playback to bandwidth.

If these goals are not clear, it is easy for end users to find that they are wasting money and time, and the final technology is not suitable for the task.

Misunderstanding 2: The screen is just enough to be beautiful.

The beautiful 4K display and the stunning LED video wall don't capture the attention of the audience just because they exist. Only when people find that the content on the screen is fresh and eye-catching, they will keep watching the screen, even for days, weeks, and months.

Many of the mistakes made by early digital signage networks were under-investment and insufficient content, with the result that images were left on the screen for too long, or simply re-using content from other media (such as online or broadcast). Well-planned networks have operational budgets for ideas and technologies that keep content up to date without increasing costs.

Successful network operators use tools such as video analytics to understand when people are watching, using pattern detection and artificial intelligence. These technologies identify when people view the screen, calculate screens and record their activities, provide rich insights into the characteristics and behavior of the audience, and provide tailored automated content tailored to their specific interests.

Common web technologies such as HTML5 enable operators to develop dynamic content templates that change when externally extracted data changes, greatly reducing the burden of creating new content files. In practice, this means that whenever a cost or public transportation notification changes in the data table, it will be updated in real time on the screen paired with that data.

Misunderstanding 3: Any sign can cope with the sun.

At many exhibition sites or vendor demonstration centers, a good looking sign may not be effective in the actual use. The reason is that in many halls or semi-outdoor situations, the sun can cause trouble to the screen.

Two things happen when a large screen display is placed in a window, or in a sunny atrium in an office building or retail floor. First, sufficient sunlight will exceed the brightness of a traditional display, which in turn will remove its color. In many cases, it is difficult or impossible for the viewer to see the content on the screen. Secondly, the screen that is bathed in the sun turns into an oven, especially on a hot afternoon, which is undoubtedly fatal for sensitive electronic devices.

Fortunately, some display manufacturers have designed dedicated displays for such applications to make them resistant to sunlight. With a high-brightness display, the vivid colors of graphics and video can be maintained even under the most intense glare conditions. Some of these monitors also automatically adjust settings based on lighting conditions, such as reducing brightness on cloudy days and running like a traditional screen at night. These screens also feature targeted cooling and ventilation to cope with the heat of the sun.

Misunderstanding 4: There are too many components and they are not fixed.

Traditional digital signage installations include many components: PC-based media players, power supplies, display signal cables, control cables, network cables, and of course the display itself. Each is a potential point of failure that can cause system failure in the event of a break or looseness. The PC may contain a rotating hard drive or fan that can cause malfunctions due to dust and debris in the air, as well as collision or manufacturing defects.

When the equipment fails in the field, it will cause service interruption. The digital menu board in the fast food restaurant will mean that customers cannot see their ordering options, which in turn affects sales. In the event of a major conference event, failures can mean significant losses that cannot be recovered.

A relatively new digital signage technology, the Solid State Smart Signage Display, greatly reduces the number of components and greatly reduces potential points of failure. A system-on-chip display embeds a media player in the display, eliminating the need and cost of an external media player, requiring only one power cord.

Digital Signage Solution providers have found that SoC displays can significantly reduce field failures and all operating costs associated with on-site repair and replacement work.

The success of digital signage can be measured in a variety of ways, but some of the best metrics are simple: the screen is on, people can see them, and the content gives them a reason to keep watching.


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