In essence, all you need is a screen and some mac digital signage software. Setting up can be tricky, but it has become a lot easier in recent years now that digital signs have become so popular. If you are looking to set up your digital signs without breaking the bank, then here are a few ideas that you can try for yourself without really spending too much on professional help.
A TV or a Digital Sign
In reality, all you need is a screen that can display your content. Even using an old laptop is enough if it has a screen. The hard work is not done by the screen. Modern digital signs are not like TV computers, they are just screens (often more durable than TVs, but less technologically advanced than TVs).
Modern TVs and even digital signs are relatively cheap these days thanks to Chinese exports. Remember that you do not need a top of the line TV or digital screen. Your aim is to get one that is fit for purpose. For example, you don’t need a super durable screen that is capable of withstanding frost if your sign will be located in a heated waiting room.
The Streaming Hardware
Honestly, there are a lot of options here, more than this article can cover, but take something like the Apple TV device. You set up the Kitcast software on your computer, you make your digital sign content (maybe a video), and you install the Kitcast software on your Apple TV device. The content is then streamed (or using a wire) onto the screen. It is pretty simple, and it is mostly plug-and-play, which means that installation is very simple and most of it is done for you.
Here is the tricky part. In essence, you could create content that says “Toilets” and then has an arrow pointing to the toilets. That is all you need, and you can have that running on your digital sign all day if you wish. The issue is that most people don’t want their digital sign to act just as a sign. Most people want some sort of video footage on the sign. This is where it may get expensive.
You could run something like an advert on your digital sign, similar to the adverts you see on YouTube, but cheap looking adverts are probably not ideal as they may hurt your brand. A simple design or even a PowerPoint presentation may be all you need instead, but it is all a case of what you intend to use your digital sign for.
Nevertheless, the content you run may be expensive or may be cheap, the point is that it is up to you. There is nobody forcing you to put super expensive and sleek videos on your digital sign as you might realize in the end that the payoff your were expecting from all that spending, really isn’t there .
Power Saving and Optimization
If you are planning on having the same information on your digital sign every day, then you probably don’t need a streaming device. You could do something as simple as loading the video onto a TV and having it loop over. Still, getting a good digital sign that you can turn on and turn off without having to set up the content again is pretty handy.
Also, you will have to tinker with your content a little as you go. For example, if you decide to display several poster adverts on your digital sign, then you will need to ensure each poster gets long enough on the screen before the next poster appears to replace it.
There is also a fair amount of optimizing to do within the realms of your digital sign experience. For example, if you have wires, then where do they go, if you are streaming then are you using the company Internet or is there another way? Would a USB or Ethernet connection work better? If you have more than one digital sign, do you have a player for each sign, or do you link your signs so that they all play the same content from the same players? These are not big thoughts, they are not game breaker, but they are considerations for people who are setting up digital signs.
We are past the days of it being tricky to set up digital signs, but that doesn’t mean you won’t run into smaller problems, especially when it comes to turning off the power at night and then making sure the system is very easy to set up again in the morning.
By choosing to follow some of the ideas presented above, you can effectively create digital signage that is not only cost effective but also gets the job done.