Who needs digital signage?

Everyone, that’s who.

OK, so that may be a bit broad. However, if you have a business, or if you work in a business, if you are at a school or other government facility, if you serve the public in any way, you need digital signage. So it’s easy to say, pretty much everyone.

What is digital signage?

You see digital signage every day. It’s the sign on the highway that tells you what the delay ahead is. The electronic menu board at your favorite lunch spot is also digital signage. It’s the way you might know that you’re next in line at the market or the doctor’s office. It’s on the screens at the bars you visit after a long day. Digital signage is how we get information across today.

And let’s be honest, it’s a lot better than this:

You know these, right? The individual plastic letters that are always  about to fall off and the sloppy, all-caps presentation? No one was terribly sad to see these old boys go.

How does digital signage work?

Digital signage uses ordinary TVs. Sometimes you might see them mounted sideways, but really they’re just ordinary TVs. It almost doesn’t matter what you buy there unless you’re looking for a really premium look. The key is the digital signage player. This is a tiny little computer that plays presentations onto that TV. The presentations are basically powerpoints, not too different from what you use in your office.

Connect a digital signage player to a TV in your office, and you’re in business.

Are there different kinds of digital signage players?

Yes absolutely. The simplest digital signage players show nothing but pictures in a rotating slideshow. This might be perfect for your vet or dentist or some other waiting room. It’s also great for restaurants with menus that don’t change. This form of digital signage is very inexpensive to put up and you can use something as simple as this DataTronix player. Put a bunch of photos on a memory card, put the memory card in the slot and off you go. There’s not much more to that.

If you need a little more functionality, check out the line of Brightsign players available from Solid Signal. Brightsign players work in HD and 4K and let you make really complex presentations with streaming video, different areas of the screen that do different things, and you can even incorporate touch screens for things like interactive maps. Best of all, you can make changes to them from any PC with the right software since all the presentation information is stored in the cloud. You can even make changes right from your phone!

Who creates all the images and text for my new digital signage player?

That’s the best part. Anyone who knows how to use a paint program can make pictures for digital signage players. If you’re not comfortable doing it, chances are there’s a millennial on your staff who is. It doesn’t take a huge amount of programming knowledge, just some willingness to do a bit of trial and error. Before you know it, you’ll have your own system, and you can finally get rid of that message board with the creaky plastic letters.

Shop now for Digital Signage products at Solid Signal!

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.