In simple terms a digital signage system can be defined as a network of digital displays (LCD, LED, plasma, projection, etc.) that are centrally managed, addressable and programmable that allow delivery of a variety of targeted communications. Messages in a digital signage system are easily changed or updated and as frequent as necessary. Content can be dynamic and it can be adapted to specific context and audience.
Although the term "digital signage" is the most widely spread, other connotations like "digital out of home (dooh)", "narrowcasting", "screen media", "captive audience networks" or "digital media networks" are also valid and used by some companies and organizations.
In the context of digital signage, content is the generic name given to the layouts, designs and assets developed to be displayed on the digital displays, and include text, images, animations, videos, real time feeds, interactive screen elements and audio.
To deliver content, a digital signage system requires specialized software and various hardware components. The typical hardware that conforms a digital signage system includes: LED screens; media players, which in their most common format, these are small form factor computers that host the media assets and transmit content to the display; a network connected via Ethernet, WiFi and/or cellular; and, in some systems a content management server.
In general, software for digital signage is presented in two modalities: web based (which requires a web server) or as a stand alone application. Web based system could be hosted on the the user's server or on the vendor’s server, topology known as SAAS (software as a service). There is usually a monthly fee associated for providing the application, hosting and content distribution on a SAAS model. In some stand alone applications, there's also the need for content management software which runs off a server. Each of the media players require special software to display and synchronize content through the displays.
Some digital signage software is designed to work only on proprietary devices, while other will run on any third party hardware that meets the solution specifications.
The applications for digital signage are as diverse as the communications needs of each company, institution or organization. These include:
VisualCrafts has long working and educating experience in the field of digital signage. Our work has been acknowledged and awarded, but more important, referred and recommended not only by our clients, but by other companies in our industry as well.
VisualCrafts' owner, Jorge Palafox, has won international awards, been invited to speak at digital signage forums and interviewed by various industry publications.
Our support team includes professionals with vast experience in programming, copywriting, multimedia and AV integration.
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Each and every job we take is viewed through the lens of creativity and aesthetics. From deciding on the best way to place a TV on the wall that harmonizes with its surroundings, to creating a sophisticated design piece with pleasing look and feel, VisualCrafts' approach looks always beyond the basic needs of the client's request to provide final result that will not only fulfill its purpose, but will further enhance the experience. In our daily work, creativity, design and technology are the crucial elements that mold our services and products.
Our services include:
Content Creation. We are experts in working with our clients to create the right content for their digital signage needs. We have proven success in producing appealing looking still, motion graphics and short video clips that will make your target audience react..
Whether your are in the Calgary area or somewhere else in the World, let us help you design successful communications that will influence your audience's behaviour.
Content Management. Put it in our hands, we can run the whole show for you, we are professionals at it.
Implementation. We have the precise system that suits your needs, with professional installation and support services.
Consulting / Education. We provide the proper insights on how to deploy and/or run a successful digital signage system.
If you have thought about installing a digital signage system but have not yet made the decision to move forward, consider the following questions, the answers may reveal the clear benefit of taking the final step to contact us.
Digital signage allows the possibility to design different messages for different audiences and depending on specific viewership demographics. These messages can be planned beforehand or even in real time. Sending the proper message at the right time results in increased viewership satisfaction. A good tailored message must have the ability to hold the reader's attention making him/her aware and knowledgeable, and, in turn, provoke an action.
Our society has grown weary of traditional methods of delivering information and/or advertising. The population is nowadays busy, mobile, multitasking, and difficult to attract. Digital signage is a proven method of reaching today's audiences effectively and efficiently.
With all of the displays out there, do people just tune out digital signage like it is done with other media?
The success of a digital signage system depends on its most critical element, content. Good content will keep the viewers engaged. Well designed dynamic content that addresses the viewers questions, inform, entertain and speaks to them will positively influence behaviour.
How often can content be updated?
How often do YOU and YOUR AUDIENCE require updates to maintain engagement and get your message digested?… The greatest thing about digital signage is that content can be updated as often as needed without incurring in expensive production costs. Remember, maintaining quality, context, and a good design are key elements.
How to determine content duration and repetition?
That will depend on the type and dynamics of your audience. Viewing audience patterns must be understood to take advantage on these when delivering messages.
What is the difference between a commercial grade
monitor vs a consumer TV?
Can sound be played on a digital signage system?
Yes, however, in our experience, enabling sound for digital signage should be carefully studied and planned. The vast majority of digital signage installations do not use sound. Audio can add to the noise from the environment or become annoying to people working or being exposed for a long time to a loop with audio. To be effective, sound has to be at a volume level in accordance with the distance from where the viewer is located, and in most cases the viewers are at different distances, like the case of a waiting room in which the seats closest to the screen may perceive the sound appropriately, but people in seats further away from the screen may not hear it at all. Having said that, sound can be an interested feature on the right application.
Can a single player feed several displays?
It is possible for one media player to feed content for several displays, however, all the the displays will show the same content. For different screens to show different content you require a player per display.
Is digital signage affordable?
VisualCrafts can provide you with alternatives on software and hardware to suit your budget and requirements. But no matter which digital signage system you end up implementing, the real value is measured in your communications improvement and how efficiently you reach your audience.