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Digital Signage FAQs

Q1. What is the difference between digital signage and MPEG players or DVDs?

A. An MPEG player or TV can be plugged into a DVD player, but what you will see is the same content repeating over and over. With digital signage, the content is renewed and can stay fresh.
First, digital signage will help in saving production cost versus creating MPEGs or DVDs.
With MPEGs and DVDs, new content will need to be created every time a change is made, creating additional work and cost. With digital signage, only an individual element will need to be changed, not the entire piece of content. For example, if there is content showing reduced prices for bananas at a supermarket, only the price will need to be changed, not the pictures or other text coming with it, or if your digital signage system was plugged into the POS system, it would automatically pull up to date data.
Next, distribution costs can be reduced.
DVDs are a physical media so they will need to be shipped every time there is an update. The costs add up: cost for the DVD, cost for burning copies, printing labels, and shipping.
With digital signage, there isn't a need to ship DVDs to each venue, which eliminates the costs to ship.
On the other hand, MPEG files use large amounts of bandwidth and can run up the cost, as well as save availability on the network. When it comes to bandwidth, digital signage sends only the pieces which had been updated, saving bandwidth and the cost for your network.
Finally, digital signage provides the Right Time at the Right Place.
Right Time at the Right Place is one of the key words of digital signage maximizing the value of the information. MPEG players or DVDs will not be able to realize this as it could with digital signage with scheduling and advanced play back features. Distributing DVDs will have a risk that those will not be played, staff members can forget to change them, or could simply forget to power on.

Q2. How do you measure the success of installing digital signage?

A. ROI (Return on Investment) is an important element when making the decision to install digital signage. Hard ROI is measured, for example, when retailers, theaters and other venues recognize increased sales. There are other ROI factors such as a simple reduction in costs, such as printing, shipping and labor.
Defining what you want to accomplish (GOAL) and how you would measure that (DEFINITION) will be the key to make your installation a success.
It is good to start with a pilot program, comparing digital signage used location with non-installed ones.

Q3. What is the most important step when designing a digital signage system?

A. CONTENT is what it is all about. A digital signage system will vary from one to another depending on the content displayed. When the owner of the system and its provider did not take time to ask enough questions to correctly define a suitable system, most of the time they will not bring the expected outcome.

Q4. How does digital signage work?

A. Basically, there are four simple steps. First, it is necessary to CREATE content. The second step it to SCHEDULE the content so that it is played back at the suitable time and place. Next, it needs to be DISTRIBUTED to the server/client. When that is done, the final step is to PLAY BACK.

Q5. What will I need to start digital signage?

A. First you will need a DISPLAY, CLIENT COMPUTER (or we sometimes call them players or controllers), and SOFTWARE. When you have more than one client, you will want a NETWORK, whether that is a LAN or WAN, depends on the environment you would want to use, and software along with a server to distribute the content data. Finally the most important will be your image of what kind of CONTENT you would want to play with your digital signage.

Q6. What digital signage component does NEC provide?

A. NEC not only provides products such as DISPLAYS, CLIENT COMPUTERS, SERVERS, SOFTWARE, and NETWORK equipments, but also a TOTAL SOLUTION starting from asking you questions, considering installation plans and to customization to operation support to meet specific needs.

Q7. Do I have to create the content?

A. Even though creating content is as SIMPLE as creating a presentation document, it could be a headache for those who are not designers or do not have skills to design. NEC has a solution which does not require creation or, if you wish to create your own content, NEC can provide training to get you ready to have your digital signage system running.

Q8. What kind of display is used for digital signage?

A. LCDs (Liquid Crystal Display), PDPs(Plasma Display Panel), and projectors are the major displays used for digital signage. There are some other unique ones to make the most out of your digital signage. This will depend on the venue you install the displays.

Q9. What about touch screens?

A. Touch Screens are always good for places like malls, museums, amusement parks, or even stations. This is one of the optional uses digital signage could provide, searching features in the use such as way finders.

Q10. Will I be able to add number of displays/clients after installing?

A. Yes, number of displays/clients varies from time to time. Starting with a pilot program and expanding the system with a migration plan is not an issue.

Q11. Can I use sounds for the content?

A. Yes. You might have an image of a digital signage system playing movies without sounds, but sound is one element you could use to effectively catch the audience. Back Ground Music, narration could be simply added to your content using the software.

Q12. Will I be able to play High Definition content?

A. Yes, NEC has suitable solutions to play High Definition content.

Q13. Will I be able to play High Definition content?

A. Broadband network is preferred to make the most out of a digital signage system for increased flexibility and speed. This must be discussed in the terms of operation (how often, when, number of clients, etc), and content (size, bandwidth occupancy, etc.) when designing the system.

Q14. Can I distribute content wirelessly?

A. Yes, NEC's UNIVERGE Network Solution would be a choice to help you with WLAN network solutions. Our advanced technology and long experience in the networking business assures substantial quality.

Q15. Where can I get more detailed information?

A. Just let us know through the contact form, and we will be happy to send you additional information. If you are interested in a specific product, please visit our product site linked from the product page which could help.