Can I add digital signage to my headend?

Public spaces all over the country are reopening. That’s helped building owners and operators all over the country feel better about spending money. After all, when your customers finally return, you want to give them something new to look at. Just giving them the experience they remember from 2019 isn’t going to do it.

For the last decade, business owners have embraced digital signage. Whether it’s an electronic menu in a fast-food restaurant or a series of signs giving drink specials, or even a large animated map, it’s been digital signage to the rescue.

Digital signage is…

Digital signage is a blanket term for any sort of computer-generated image that takes the place of traditional signage. For example, a doctor’s office might have a slideshow telling about different office services. A bar might advertise food, drink, or events. A corporate office building might provide an online directory.

Digital signage can be simple, like a video feed or powerpoint deck. It can also be very complex, with touch screens that give you feedback on what you’re doing.

If you’re using digital signage now as a small-to-medium business, you might be using an old laptop with Powerpoint or a simple slideshow app. You might be using a streaming box with a media player app on it. There are also dedicated digital signage players of all shapes and sizes, with prices from under $100 to well over $10,000. It just depends what you want the player to do.

Most digital signage systems have an HDMI port to output to a television. The trick is, you don’t have to use a TV. You can use that HDMI port to distribute your digital signage all over the place.

Headend users, I’m talking to you

A lot of businesses use headends to distribute live TV throughout a building. Fitness centers put live TV right in front of people exercising. Corporate offices distribute news and information. Hotels, bars, and restaurants, feed tons of TVs at the same time.

You can leverage that same technology to distribute your digital signage. This means your stadium food venues can all show the same specials, your casino TVs can all show the same upcoming events, and so on. No matter what you do with your headend system, you can add your digital signage system easily.

The key is something like the ZeeVee Pro810 that you see at the top of this article. It’s a simple standalone system that connects via HDMI to your digital signage device. Then, you run a coax cable into your headend’s combiner and before you know it, you’re sending that digital signage information to every TV on the property!

The key, of course, is picking an unused channel. This isn’t usually a big deal since you have about 160 channel slots. Just choose one your other content isn’t using.

Signal Connect can make it happen

If you don’t have a dedicated facility person to get all this installed and configured… DON’T WORRY! The experts at Signal Connect can help. We can arrange for professional installation and configuration of your digital signage modulator. We’ll work hard to make sure you’re satisfied. Call us at 888-233-7563 and we’ll get the process started. If it’s after East Coast business hours, fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you, usually within 24 hours.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.