Frequently Asked Questions — Digital Signage

Q: What is Digital Signage?

A: Digital Signage is a means of communicating information to viewers through an electronic format rather thanthrough printed material. Information can include transportation arrival and departure times, restaurant menus andproduct and service advertisements. Digital Signage offers the benefit of communicating more than one message usingthe same display, and offers the ability to quickly and easily make and implement changes in content.

Q: What equipment is required to build a Digital Signage system?

A: Equipment varies based on the environment in which it will be used as well as the specific user's requirements and expectations. However, common equipment includes a media player to provide content to the system, a distribution device such as a splitter unit and connectivity infrastructure, whether it is wireless or wired.

Q: Is there a maximum recommended distance that a Digital Signage display can be placed?

A: The maximum distance a display can be placed varies by the connectivity method, signal type used and desired resolution. Using a device which carries video and audio signals over a UTP cable can exceed the limitations of conventional cabling offering distance of 200ft with digital signals and 1,000ft with analog.

Q: Is there a limit to the number of displays that can be used on a Digital Signage system?

A: There is no defined limitation as to the number of displays that can be used in a digital signage system. Some digital signage systems can be as few as one display and as many as one hundred.

Q: Can a Digital Signage system have more than one source for content?

A: Yes, a digital signage system does not have to be confined to just one message. In some applications a series of content players is used to provide a multitude of unique content to different displays in different locations. An example of this might be a grocery store in which displays may be placed in the deli as well as the cereal aisle, with each display running its own advertisements and special promotions.

Q: What are the benefits of using a computer or media player instead of a DVD player in a Digital Signage system?

A: One of the benefits of digital signage is the ability to change content quickly and easily. With a DVD player the content needs to be created on a computer and then written to a disk. If the content needs to be changed, then the disk's content is no longer desired and a new disk must be written. The process of writing new content to a disk impedes the ability to deliver fast and up to date information to viewers. Computers offer the ability to deliver new content promptly without the need to write materials.

Q: What applications can benefit from Digital Signage?

A: Digital signage can be used for a multitude of applications ranging from informational boards in airports to menu boards at fast food restaurants. Any application that requires printed signage can benefit from digital signage. Retail stores use digital signage to promote key products with eye catching video content. In the medical field digital signage can be used as a powerful and entertaining method for delivering information to patients in a waiting room.

Q: What is required to set up one large image comprised of multiple monitors? What is this technique called?

A: The technique used to create large images with multiple monitors is called a "Video Wall". A video wall can be created using a computer with multiple graphics cards and software or the use of a single video processor unit.

Q: What is digital signage over IP and its benefits?

A: Digital Signage over IP uses networking infrastructure to distribute and maintain the system. Administrators of the system benefit by having the power of remote access for content player maintenance. With an IP-based solution, administrators can link media players to specific displays without physically switching the connection, providing flexibility and ease of use.

Q: Can digital signage be connected using wireless technology?

A: Yes, digital signage can be wireless for the benefit of convenience. However, it can impose a limit in terms of maximum distance. Depending on the technology used, the signal range may be limited to 150ft. The building's structure may also place limits on wireless distance and efficiency. Structures made of brick or concrete may experience limited connectivity when passing signals through its walls with wireless signals. For long distances and structural issues, a wired connection using Cat5/6 cabling is recommended.

Q: How can control functions on displays be used in digital signage such as turning them on and off?

A: Functions on a display can be controlled using RS-232 communication through a 9-pin connection found on most commercial displays. A controller unit can be connected allowing a user to turn power on and off on the displays from a single remote location.

Q: How can a live cable or satellite TV broadcast be added to my digital signage solution?

A: The use of a TV tuner on the content player can be used to receive satellite and cable TV broadcasts. Software designed for Digital Signage systems can be programmed to obtain audio and video content of a specific input on the tuner in order to broadcast at a specific time and channel.

This white paper is for informational purposes only and is subject to change without notice. C2G makes no guarantees, either expressed or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness or reliability of the information found in this document.