How to Convert Your TV into a Digital Signage Player

by Emily on January 11, 2021

in Articles

In this era of intelligent gadgets and gizmos, it was only a matter of time that our idiot boxes enter the race to become ‘Smart’. For long time, television has been used for domestic entertainment. However, businesses have now realized its potential as digital signage to display consumer-targeted content. 

It is important to note here that even though a television looks much like a digital signage screen, they are not the same. Firstly, television is not suitable for long running hours whereas, commercial digital signage displays are designed to allow 24/7 activity. Also, commercial signage screens have nearly five times higher brightness than a regular TV which allows them to be visible even under broad daylight.

That being said, the use of TV as digital signage can be suitable for:

  1. Businesses conducting a preliminary litmus test before purchasing commercial digital signage displays.
  2. Small budget start-ups like local restaurants, retail stores, community centers, gyms, etc.
  3. Organizations that do not require 24/7 usage like schools, churches, etc.

So, How to Convert Your TV into a Digital Signage Player?

Any television with an HDMI input can serve as a digital signage screen. Nowadays, there are two types of TVs in the market the regular LED TVs and Smart TVs, both having HDMI ports. 

So, what’s the difference?

Aside from having traditional TV functionalities (like playing content from cable or set-top box), a Smart TV is additionally equipped with an integrated OS (typically Android). That means you can connect your Smart TV with an internet source like WiFi and directly use your TV (instead of your computer) to browse the internet, stream videos, music, etc. 

Digital signage requires three major tools:

  • Digital screen (The Face): The LED display that plays the content. 
  • Digital signage player (The Brain): A media player i.e. a small computer-like device that runs on an operating system or OS (like Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, etc.) to play media files like audio, video, etc.
  • Content Management System or CMS (The command center of the brain): A software application powered by a media player that allows users to manage their contents. 

 

Turning Your Smart TV into a Digital Signage:

For a Smart TV, the digital signage player remains embedded within the TV itself and therefore, no separate external hardware is essential. Smart TV users need to purchase only the CMS component of digital signage, which is nothing but a software application or app (like Adobe Photoshop, Netflix, etc.).

Turning Your Regular TV into a Digital Signage:

A normal LED TV doesn’t come with an in-built media player. Therefore, the TV needs to be connected with an external digital signage player (media player) using an HDMI cable. Such users, therefore, need to purchase the CMS as well as the digital signage player. 

Choosing a Digital Signage Player

Digital signage players come at different sizes and prices (starting from 50-100 USD). Modern digital signage solution providers are hardware neutral. So, one can choose from a wide variety of digital signage players. Some of the popular options are: 

Android digital signage player: These are small boxes operating on Android OS. You can simply buy these boxes, connect them with your normal LED TV using an HDMI cable. Then download and install your preferred digital signage software application from the Google Play Store. Finally, using your registered account, you can access your CMS to manage and display your content.

Android TV: These are smart TVs with an integrated Android media player. Therefore, no separate android digital signage player is needed. Simply power the TV and install the digital signage software (or CMS) of your choice.

Raspberry pi digital signage player: Raspberry pi digital signage player is also available as a box media player. It is cost effective and easily available.

Other examples of digital signage players include Amazon Fire TV stick, Chromebit, and Intel Stick.

Finally, Some Tips to Choose the Right Digital Signage Software Or CMS

Before purchasing your CMS, check whether the software—

  1. Is cloud-based (Cloud-based CMS allows you to access your contents from anywhere; no need to be physically present near the digital signage player)
  2. Has in-built image repository and editing tools
  3. Can schedule contents
  4. Supports screen layouts (multiple zones within screen)
  5. Has a variety of signage apps, which allow to publish Social feeds, Weather, digital menu board, RSS feed, News feed etc  
  6. Has mobile CMS app so that content of the screen can be managed via user’s mobile phone.

Once you have figured out the right digital signage player and CMS software, turning your TV into a digital signage will be as simple as biting on a cake!

Comments & Leave a Comment

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

HPO January 12, 2021 at 13:00

After a long time found a website which gives so detailed information about every topic.
Very helpful.
Looking forward to learning more from your website.
Thank you for sharing.

Reply

 

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