From shopfronts to in-store displays to advertising billboards to screens in offices, digital signages have changed the face of mass communication. They allow everything from mere text to images to video streaming to be broadcast to hundreds of thousands of people. From public transport systems to private aircraft to sports stadiums, no space is devoid of digital signages due to their tremendous cost advantages, flexibility, reach, ease of use, and design functionalities.
Let’s start by briefly explaining the component of a digital signage system.
A digital signage solution comprises of multiple components that can be broadly grouped into hardware and software. The hardware consists of digital screens/displays, media players, software, network and connectivity components, etc.
The digital signage player is the hardware that feeds the content to the display screens. Other than storing, scheduling, and feeding, it may also be responsible for other complicated procedures. All these tasks are handled by digital signage software. That is the reason why one should focus on software compatibility along with the specifications of the hardware when choosing a digital signage player.
For conventional digital signage applications, Windows-based signage players used to be the first choice. A network manager can customize the configuration based on the complexity of both the content and the number of display units. This makes them ideal for both simple and extremely complicated campaigns. Since they are based on popular OS and most of the time they come with powerful hardware, they also seem familiar to most users.
But these players are also expensive, and most of you should have already seen those posts about windows digital signage players failing in public places. So expensive does not always mean better.
Android Signage Players
Android devices come in a variety of options. There are literally hundreds to choose from, unlike other hardware players. Android systems offer significant cost savings (up to 90% in some cases). Since it’s opensource, there is enough competition that makes the devices affordable when compared to others. The competition also ensures that the devices are energy efficient and inexpensive to maintain.
Contrary to popular perception, android signage players are exceptionally powerful. Android digital signage players can easily playback 4K videos and smooth animation. They are as good if not better than other devices out there. Just make sure you get a device that made to run 24/7 and not a 30$ one from eBay. A good digital signage player usually ranges anywhere between 100~200 USD, and you can get a better deal if you order large quantities.
Many pioneer signage screens' manufacturer realized how powerful Android is when it comes to value vs cost, that’s why you see more and more big brands are jumping in, brands like Philips, Sony and Sharp, are shipping their digital signage screens with Android Built-in SoC (System on a Chip).
This will give an additional advantage as you don’t require an external player which means less device to manage on your network.
Digital Signage software plays a crucial role when it comes to performance on Android devices; as Android devices come with decent GPUs, if the software does not utilize those resources, you will end up with poor performance.
Most of the digital signage solutions have a web-based player (html5) for convenience of running it on multiple OS, which is great in many ways; however, web-based apps will not perform as native-Android apps as they can not utilize all the available resources.
At Easysignage, we have used our long years of experience in developing Android-based digital signage players to deliver a highly optimized native-Android app player that will run smoothly on Android devices. You can quickly notice the difference when you compare EasySignage native-Android player to our competitors with web-based apps.
Windows-based players are powerful; however, they are costly compared to Android-based players, and yes Windows-based players, like any other signage player, can and will fail at some point.
In the other hand, Android-based players are getting more and more powerful, and they have already proved that they could not only do the job but exceed the expectation. So why pay 600~1000$ for what you can get at 100~200$
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