A Digital Signage Media Player is a small device that when connected to a screen can display specified content. Normally used in public spaces they were part of the beginnings of Digital Signage as we know it today, but are they becoming obsolete? To answer this we need to understand exactly what a Digital Signage Media Player actually is, how it works, what its limitations are and what competition it has.
The most basic Media Player you can get on the market is referred to as a ‘standalone’ Media Player. With this kind of setup you would source a Digital Signage Media Player, Digital Signage Software and a commercial grade screen and connect it all together for a Digital Signage solution. There are some drawbacks to doing this though. Having to source 3 different components from different suppliers can make this process complicated to setup and even more frustrating to fix if something were to go wrong. There are also practicality issues when it comes to installing a solution that contains a Digital Signage Media Player. For example, say you were installing a screen on a stand for a window display. You would have to place the Media Player close enough so that it connects with the screen. The appearance of the Media Player box and wires could ruin a display and make it look untidy. When choosing a Standalone Digital Media Player you should also consider what might happen in the future with your project in regards to networking requirements. With some Media Players if you wanted to upgrade after a while you would have to repurchase all of the components at an extra cost. There are lots of advantages one can take from upgrading to a network solution. It unlocks the ability to update your Media Player from a remote location via a cloud network. Many different network solutions will also help improve your content with extras such as multiple media zones, logo integration and the ability to display live webpages.
Digital Signage Media Players have been around since the birth of Digital Signage. As in any AV field, technology advances and so does the equipment. Modern Digital Signage Displays can now offer an all-in-one solution. Suppliers can now offer a screen that contains a built in Media Player with their own Digital Signage software. This solution makes installing and maintaining great looking displays easier than ever before. Getting all the components in one package from the same supplier also has its advantages if something were to go wrong with the screen. At that point you only have one port of call to go to when requiring technical support. When making the choice to go with an all-in-one screen you are also making a choice to future proof your investment. There is also going to be cost difference between the two solutions. According to Tom at Allsee Technologies Ltd “The price will always be cheaper when purchasing an all-in-one solution from one supplier. Like the Media Player these kinds of screens can also be upgradable to a network solution.”
I don’t believe that the Digital Signage Media Players will ever become a thing of the past. It is true that the Digital Signage industry is making a large shift towards all-in-one solutions when developing new projects. However you have to consider that there are many Digital Signage Media Players projects still active today from before an all-in-one option was available. It is important to keep Digital Signage Media Players available for when these players require upgrading to a network solution. Digital Signage Media Players are here to stay.