Many business owners read the trends and see the effectiveness of digital signage and want to harness the technology’s potential for themselves. If that sounds like you, you’re in good company. This increasingly popular technology can be a smart move for many, because it’s true — digital signage works.
Before you can truly begin to embark down the path of digital signage deployment, however, you must carefully navigate the process of selecting the right displays to meet your goals.
There is a huge variety of important questions to ask to ensure that the displays you select will provide the customer experience you’re hoping to achieve. During this discovery period, many specific questions will likely come to light once you get into the nitty gritty of the process.
What resolution do I need? Do I need anti-glare glass or ambient light sensors? How important is it to prevent image distortion?
It’s important not to get caught up in these details at the beginning. First, consider the three major questions below. The answers to these questions will help give you a foundation to answer the others from, making decisions far more simple as you move toward deployment. These answers will also help you create more accurate budgets for your project form get go.
1. What kind of content are you planning to display?
The first step toward selecting the quality, size, and number of your displays is understanding the requirements of your intended content.
Will your digital signage display mostly video content, or will it’s primary purpose be to display helpful information like directions or sale prices? Will it be necessary to have five displays that constantly transition to new sales information, or will it remain static with simple directions?
The type of content you plan to display will help determine the importance of things like resolution, color accuracy, lifespan necessities, the size of the unit, how many units you need, and more. Keep in mind how important resolution can be to accurate displays of branded materials. Then again, if your goal is to display simple weather information or directions, resolution may not be your biggest consideration.
Regardless of what type of content you plan to use, it’s important to remember that consumer-quality TVs will likely not be a viable solution for your digital signage needs. Look for commercial-grade solutions, as these will offer the lifespans, warranties, and ease of repairs needed for heavy commercial use.
2. Where will the digital signage be located?
In much the same way as the type of content displayed, the location of the signage will have dramatic effects on which displays will work for your goals.
If the signage is meant to be engaged with directly, such as an interactive touch display, things like image distortion will become major factors. For displays that are quite far away, resolution and size become important considerations.
Another question to keep in mind will be whether the display will appear inside or outside your location. This will lead to considerations about housing, weather protection, and access to the unit, as well as important environmental factors like changing light conditions.
Making decisions about location early in the process will help answer many of the questions immediately. After all, if you know that the display will be located in an area of direct light, anti-glare glass and brightness control will be obvious choices. Be sure to consider the location of the signage before getting too deep into the process to avoid backtracking and revisiting budgets.
3. How will content be managed?
The last major consideration is how you will manage and display your content. According to Glen Young, senior product marketing manager at Philips Signage Solutions, the traditional method for displaying content was through PC-like media players attached to each display panel. However, cloud-based models are beginning to take over in order to reduce costs.
Deciding how you plan to manage your content will have significant effects on the types of displays you choose, from displays that have incorporated media players to those that require transmitters for remote management.
Making these decisions early, in much the same way as the type of content and the location of the displays, can have significant effects on both your initial budget and your strategy moving forward.
After you’ve thought about some of these basic questions, it’s always beneficial to reach out to a digital signage expert for guidance throughout the buying process. It’s also important to consider things like warranties and repair options. Partnering with a company that offers advanced unit exchange, where the repair business sends you a new display the next day when yours goes down, could also be an excellent call.