Firstly, let’s define what a hardware player is. A hardware player in terms of digital signage is a “box” usually a PC or an Android device that has an App from a perspective vendor installed. That App, will allow the playback of the digital signage layout that the user has created.
Can I use Any Hardware?
In theory yes, in practice, no! The quality of the playback in terms of video and image sliders will vary greatly if you use inferior hardware. Have a read of the below and measure your own devices against these comments and specs.
What Hardware do you recommend?
It is always difficult to recommend an exact spec and the question “is this machine good enough” always crops up. Here are some basics that might help.
Avoid Atom, Celeron and bottom of the range processors
Aim for i3 or equivalent or above
Onboard graphics are ok.
If your PC has “HDMI out” they you are probably ok on the graphics front as it will support at least 720p
8gb RAM – 500gb HD
Where do we start? Android comes in all shapes and sizes from the cheap to the very cheap. With Android, if you are not running on the Rockchip 3399 processor chip, then your video playback will not be good. At time of writing, this is the best Android processor on the market and can be found in models like the H96 Pro and H96 Max which is the base for the TouchIT Android player for Contribute Signage. These also run Android 7.1
What Additional Settings should I consider for Android Devices?
With Android there are not a great deal of settings that you should be looking for. Firstly, and most importantly, your device should power up on the detection of power. In short, if there is a power cut, when the power comes on it should start up. You should not have to go round and manually press a button to turn your devices on.
You will also need to use an additional App to auto-run your signage App at Startup. This is of course a must too.
What Additional Settings should I consider for PC devices?
LAN / Ethernet rather than WIFI
Wired internet is alway preferred for Digital Signage, less variables to contend with
Boot on Power on – BIOS
A must. Loose power, you need the unit to reboot itself
Disable Windows Auto Update
WAU is a mess! Disable it for sure to make sure your playback is uninterrupted
Remove user login at boot
If you reboot due to power failure, you don’t want to have to enter your password on every device.
Set all to power down NEVER
Disable Screen Saver
Doh! Pretty obvious
Plain Background on Desktop
This looks nice when you reboot
Putting the App into the Startup Folder
You need the App to auto-start when you reboot the device
Should I use MAC?
In our opinion, MACs are a little expensive to be useful Digital Signage Players. They are more than powerful enough, if not too powerful for what is required. As such, most vendors do not create a MAC playback App. In this case, playback devices are better suited to PC and Android devices.
Contribute Signage is the Answer!
You have read the above points and you will be pleased to know that Contribute Signage from TouchIT Technologies is able to do all of the above and a heck of a lot more. We also offer a no obligation trial for 15 days of the software. You don’t need to enter any credit card details to access the trial. So why not give it a go. Head over to www.contributesignage.com and sign up.