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Designing Hardware for Success in the Digital Signage Market

In truth, designing hardware for use in the digital signage market has never been easier. Other market sectors have been innovating at lightning speed, from the high-res low-cost TV screens that most people already own, to modern streaming devices, high-speed Internet and PCs with amazing processing power. Our modern times have it all, which is why designing hardware for digital signs has become so easy.

Better Streaming Vs Less Hard Drive Space

This has always been the major battle for digital sign designers. Getting devices with better streaming has always been dependent upon wireless, Internet and mobile Internet technology. Hard drive space has always been a size, cost and stability issue.

Oddly enough, modern hardware designers don't have to fight this battle. Modern bandwidths are massive thanks to fiber internet. Modern mobile Internet is super-fast and modern Wi-Fi systems can be calibrated to work with tens of digital signs if needed.

On a similar note, hard drives have become ridiculously small. The amounts of data that used to require a few pounds of hardware can now be saved on a micro SD card. In short, it has never been easier to design digital sign hardware.

Streaming Devices are More Streamlined and Integrated

There was a time, not so long ago, when you needed dedicated pieces of hardware to run your digital signs. This was especially true if you wanted to run several signs. These days, there are plug-and-play solutions where you can download your digital signage for Apple TV software apps right onto them and start playing content immediately. Gone are the days of difficult installation. Gone are the days of wiring things up between each system.

You use a device like an Apple TV box, you install your Kitcast streaming/content software, and you play your content. In terms of hardware, it doesn't even need to be custom designed for digital signs anymore. This has opened up the door for a wide variety of hardware solutions to your digital sign needs.

The Lower Costs

If you don't count the occasional price spike due to wars, fuel shortages, or global pandemics, on the whole, the cost of hardware has come down significantly. Thanks to China keeping its currency as low as possible, the cost of manufacture for things like streaming devices, digital screens, and PC hardware is incredibly low. It is pretty easy to design a fairly robust and advanced digital sign without having to charge a massive price.

Creating Futureproof Technology

Perhaps this is the only area where designers are struggling. Modern digital signs seem pretty future proof as they are. There are no innovations on the horizon that suggest a massive shift in the way that digital signs operate. Some may say that digital signs are already future proof. If this is true, then digital sign designers and hardware manufacturers need to find a way to improve the lifespan of digital signs.

Low-Power Technology

If there is one final battleground for the digital sign to conquer, it is energy efficiency. Make no mistake, modern digital sign hardware is far more energy efficient than it was in the past. However, there are still several areas where power may be saved. For example, if you are streaming information from your computer database to your digital sign, then your digital sign always needs to be active, as does your computer, your Wi-Fi, and your streaming device. Again, the signs themselves are not big power hogs, but it does take a fair amount of power to get one working and there is always room to make them more efficient. At the very least, a company could find a way to set up the rig with fewer components or fewer active components that are using energy.

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