“The digital signage market has never been as vibrant as it is today,” states Jeff Hastings, BrightSign CEO. “Our industry is experiencing explosive growth, catalysed by some very interesting and compelling trends. One major trend: gone are the days when digital signage was tethered to the PC. Solid-state media players have evolved to a point where purpose-built hardware enables integrators, installers and customers to harness the powers of digital signage in ways that simply weren’t possible several years ago. And beyond the hardware itself, the excitement behind 4K is driving a new set of opportunities.

Thinking “Outside The PC Box”

“Users now have a choice – a choice between a PC-based solution that requires periodic software updates and personal attention on a regular basis and a solid-state device whose sole purpose is to power digital signage with such laser focus that user intervention is almost never required. No blue screens of death, no hard-reboots, really no worries at all.

“PC-based digital signage still has a place in complex one-off applications where an integrator needs to build a custom solution for a very specialised installation. In these cases, the PC inconveniences may be tolerable, however many of these customers are beginning to understand the advanced capabilities of today’s high-end media players and they’re migrating away from the PC.

“Gone are the days when digital signage was tethered to the PC”

“Think of it in these terms: most of us restart our PCs at least once a day – if we don’t do this, performance suffers and if we don’t reboot regularly enough, our computer crashes. We don’t leave our PCs on for weeks (or months or years) on end because they aren’t designed to operate that way. PCs are designed for regular, ongoing interaction. That’s what makes them ideal for a workplace environment. But what makes them ideal for the workplace is precisely what make PCs ill equipped to power digital signage.

“Digital Signage media players are an entirely different story. They are made to run reliably 24/7 for months or even years, and they’ll automatically reboot/restart a presentation if there’s any hiccup at all. There’s never a blue screen of death because these media players self-correct in the unlikely event that they encounter a problem. Today’s purpose-build digital signage media players are commercial-grade appliances with no fans, none of the downtime that’s common with PCs, yet they have all the processing power necessary to drive any type of content, from HTML5 to 4K video. These players handle virtually any sort of content with ease, with reliability that far surpasses that of a PC.

4K Players Aren’t Just for 4K

“Digital Signage media players are made to run reliably 24/7 for months or even years”

“Amidst all the hype surrounding 4K, there’s a lot of misinformation floating around. One such piece of misinformation is the idea that 4K players are ‘only’ required for installations running 4K content. Nothing could be further from the truth. True, 4K players are great for 4K, but they’re also unbeatable when it comes to processing HTML5 and 1080p content. For example, BrightSign’s new 4K media players provide unsurpassed performance with hardware-accelerated graphics and an HTML engine that’s even faster than a PC. The player and its companion software are designed to display an abundant range of content and process that content efficiently. A hardware-accelerated HTML engine enables the most sophisticated HTML5 presentations and advanced interactivity and an extremely powerful video engine can scale and decode one 4K and one Full HD video simultaneously, enabling signage presentations to showcase Chroma key video overlays on top of 4K content, video-in-video and more. So even if an installation doesn’t require 4K content, a 4K player will still bring increased performance to any non-4K installation.

Digital Signage Meeting The Demand On Every Level

“The digital signage market is better poised than ever to boldly extend into new markets, and to further saturate the markets we’re already serving”

“The digital signage market is better poised than ever to boldly extend into new markets, and to further saturate the markets we’re already serving. At the high-end demand is now met by the unsurpassed power of purpose-built media players capable of doing everything a PC can do – plus 4K. In addition, new low-cost devices are meeting the demand for price-sensitive installations, including mass rollouts of POP kiosks in big-box retail stores. Integrators and end-users are no longer shackled to unreliable consumer devices that were never meant to withstand the rigors of a 24/7 retail environment. Purpose-built, commercial-grade media players are now available at virtually every price-point, and can handle today’s most sophisticated digital signage deployments – making it easier than ever to abandon PC-based digital signage. Whether this is the final nail in the PC’s coffin remains to be seen, but it’s clearer now more than ever that purpose-build digital signage is the way of the future.”

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