In recent years, digital signage has steadily become a staple of businesses, campuses, and other public spaces. At this point in the evolution of this technology, digital displays are so ubiquitous that they are the norm instead of a novelty. Employees, customers, and visitors have certain expectations when it comes to where and how this technology is used.
That means that businesses are looking for new and affordable ways to use digital displays to provide engaging, multimedia displays. As a result, more providers have begun offering all-in-one embedded displays that can be used in conjunction with a variety of apps. While these types of players are becoming increasingly visible in the marketplace, they don’t offer the same benefits as a dedicated digital signage media player, which is why businesses are better off going with a stand-alone device that is specifically designed to support digital content and displays.
It is easy to see why customers might be drawn to third-party embedded devices that offer uses outside of digital displays. Products like LG webOS can be used for a variety of purposes with digital signage representing just one of many options. These players can also integrate apps, which greatly expands functionality and opens up the player to additional uses. Finally, it doesn’t hurt that these players come with an affordable price tag that helps make the technology accessible to individuals and small businesses. However, while more flexible options may seem like the right choice, they come with some serious trade-offs.
Here are a few reasons why you may want to use a dedicated digital signage media player over an embedded system:
When it comes to security, dedicated digital signage media players offer a level of performance that simply can’t be met by more flexible solutions. Like many internet of things (IoT) devices, they were mainly designed for ease-of-use, with little regard to security. These types of players are vulnerable to attack and can potentially be easily accessed by hackers.
On the other hand, dedicated digital signage media players are meant for commercial and government use, which means they offer top security protections that are designed to guard the sensitive data of customers and vital business information. These protections are especially useful in situations where displays and players are being used specifically for security purposes. Control rooms are often equipped with banks of displays that help to monitor buildings. These setups often rely on closed circuited, internal networks to help ensure privacy avoid creating vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers.
By design, third-party devices often operate over an open network. While this might be acceptable in certain situations, it is less than ideal when trying to provide the maximum level of protection. While cloud technology is regarded as safe, it can inadvertently open the door to hackers who are looking to obtain sensitive data and wreak havoc. The best way to sure up security and is by opting for a digital signage media player that operates on a closed network. Relying on a more flexible device whose intended purpose was for residential use comes with clear risks.
Choosing a proprietary player also provides a level of reliability that can’t be matched by third party vendors. For restaurants, retail locations and other businesses that rely heavily on digital displays to provide up-to-date content and engage customers, reliable performance is key. Problems with the player can disrupt service, result in poor customer experience and a loss of revenue.
Each digital signage media player is designed specifically to continuously play and display content. Providers are already well aware of the constant demands that can be put on the equipment and have created systems that can meet these needs. This means consistent and reliable performance.
Embedded players weren’t designed with this function as a priority. Theoretically, embedded players will only be used for a few hours a day. They don’t have the same durability as a digital signage media player that will be in use throughout the entire day and possibly on a 24/7 cycle. As a result, all-in-one players don’t offer the same level of reliable performance and may have to be replaced more often.
Another advantage of a dedicated media player is that you can store and save information is there is a problem and the system goes offline. Problems are bound to arise, but with the right player, you can quickly recover and get back to displaying high-quality content. There is no need to worry about having to completely redo the content and start all over from scratch.
When you have problems or questions, it is important to be able to get answers quickly. With proprietary players, users can take advantage of a dedicated support team that is well-versed in the product and committed to providing excellent customer service. Access to an experienced team that can answer questions and troubleshoot problems will expedite the entire process and avoid any unnecessary downtime.
Purchasing a player from a third party provider means that the device is designed to provide a wide range of functions, which provides more opportunities for something to go wrong. It can also mean that the provider sells other brands and types of products, which means that support people may be less knowledgeable than an expert that knows everything about the equipment you need help troubleshooting.
Introducing new technology can require a certain amount of onboarding. Employees will have to become familiar with the hardware and software so that they can begin to create targeted and branded content. With a digital signage media player, this process is made easier because the player is completely dedicated to digital displays. Flexible players will have a variety of other programs and applications that users will have to wade through to master the digital signage features. This can make things more complicated and involve a larger learning curve as employees learn their way around. With a digital signage media player, businesses can effectively hit the ground running and enjoy turnkey solutions.
Many have been quick to dismiss the importance of a digital signage media player, especially in the face of competition from more flexible options, but dedicated players still play a vital role in the market. Until embedded players can offer the same level of security, reliability, support, and ease of use, they will continue to be the second best option. For those who are serious about taking full advantage of their digital display efforts, a dedicated player is the clear choice and best way to share content.