What is digital signage?

It’s more than just a TV. You’ve probably noticed that more and more companies are getting rid of menu boards and posters and putting in giant monitors instead. The trend started about a decade ago in places like Las Vegas and Atlantic City and it has grown by leaps and bounds. Digital Signage is one of the real growth markets right now, especially for mid-size bars and restaurants.

Obviously, you need a TV

Yes, it starts with a TV, but the best digital signage systems use professional-quality TVs that are less likely to have any problems performing 24/7 for a number of years. The real key, however, is the digital signage controller. Essentially a small computer, this device is responsible for putting up the messages you see and coordinating how long you see them.

Digital signage systems can be purely static images, essentially making them special-purpose powerpoint presentations. In fact some people use PowerPoint or Prezi for digital signage … it works but there are some real downsides. With PowerPoint you risk crashes that come with every PC… there are few worse things for your marketing image than to see that blue-screen of death or a message that PowerPoint has stopped working… on all the monitors in your building. (It’s even worse when it’s a giant outdoor screen.)

Do it right

Dedicated digital signage controllers aren’t that expensive. Some even run Android, so there’s no real reason to try to do things halfway. However, having the TV and the controller are just two-thirds of the story, and everyone knows that two-thirds… 67%… is a barely passing grade.

HD, 4K, or 8K?

The latest digital signage systems will take advantage of 4K or even 8K monitors. It’s smart to do at least 4K. This will allow you to have sharper text and give you the ability to put more text on a screen. Just remember that you probably want the biggest screen you can afford. You don’t want that text getting so small you can’t read it.

What about these cloud systems?

You might have done some research and found that there are cloud-based systems that require no hardware at all other than an old computer with a web browser, or a very cheap device like a thumb drive.

Setup on these systems is easy, but before you get started, think about what you’re going to be using the system for. Cloud systems can be very limited in what they can do. That’s fine if you think you’ll never exceed that very basic need. However, if you do, you’ll have to start from scratch. You really can’t migrate from one company’s system to another easily.

Get the help you need

You need professionals who can help you get that signage system installed right and then help your staff produce the right presentations. Signal Connect, the professional arm of Solid Signal, has the people you need. Our team can help you build a digital signage system for yourself including passing live video in a window while still keeping your message going. Our Signal Connect team are professionals when it comes to helping small businesses, bars and restaurants get the most out their investments, and they know digital signage is just one part of the puzzle when it comes to making your business succeed!

Give your Signal Connect professional a call at 866-726-4182 now to talk about digital signage! If it’s after East Coast business hours, fill out the form below and one of our professionals will get back to you in about a day.

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.