Digital Signage = Signal Distribution

Digital signage is a form of electronic display that shows information, advertising, and other messages. It is designed to deliver information to an audience while they are at a particular location. It is important when talking about digital signage, to think about what is the audience doing; where are they, how much time they will spend there, what the composition of the audience is, and how to attract their attention. Digital signage is also known as “narrow–casting” screen media or “place–based” media, which is media that is delivered and related to a specific place and time where the audience is partaking in a particular activity. It is also known as digital merchandising. Digital merchandising is something you will see at almost every well–done department store.

The bottom line is digital signage is about delivering information to an audience at a place and time where they are moving through and not necessarily looking for it. When looking at digital signage, if we expand that to say that digital signage is not necessarily about advertising a product or service, but digital signage is communicating information, then digital signage can also be utilized for way–finding, signage that would help you to locate certain areas, for instance; an airport, a hospital or a business campus. Digital signage may also be the opportunity to provide weather updates to employees within an organization. Digital signage is not limited to an outside audience. Digital signage can be used for an inside audience as well. It enables an organization to communicate with their employees in real–time and provides a place where those employees can easily access information that they may need at that time. Digital signage starts at a source, a player; it can be a computer, an on–board player which slides into a flat panel device, or it can be a dedicated digital signage server — a computer not running Windows®/MAC®; the only thing it does is play back this content. This can be a less expensive and more effective way to deliver a message. The information from that player is a basic audio/video (analog or digital), and 90% of the time it is in the form of a VGA video signal with stereo audio.

The second component of digital signage is signal distribution. This may be one of the most important parts of the digital signage system. The distribution system is what carries the signal from the source to the display, or displays, where it will be viewed. For short distances, the signal distribution system may consist of native cabling and native signal splitters or distribution amplifiers. Long distance signal distribution may be accomplished using one of two different methods. Long distance signal distribution in digital signage may be accomplished through a network configuration or through MATV (Master Antennae Television Installations).

When using a network for signal distribution, a traditional IT network may be set up where each digital sign would be an information receiving node on the network. Distributing data full bandwidth video with this type of setup would cause a tremendous strain on most companies' networks. In that instance it would be more efficient to set up a parallel network to the IT network that is solely dedicated to supporting the digital signage system. This type of network affords a tremendous amount of control over the connected displays. This type of setup also preserves bandwidth by segmenting the various network needs.

Digital Signage Application using Over Cat5 Distribution Solutions


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