So, your boss has asked you to plan for a Digital Signage network. You know there is going to be a significant investment, but you are wondering are there any ways that you can save your company money by planning ahead. Well, the answer is yes! If you take the time to identify the key elements of your Digital Signage network: Business reasons, Content needs, Hardware, Software, Connectivity, Design, and Operations, then you may be able to utilize one of these money-saving tips!
1. Think of Digital Signage in Construction Planning
You can recognize a real cost-savings if you are still in the construction phase of your building. You know you are planning to do Digital Signage, so you identify the key locations before you are finished putting in conduits and boxes. That way you can have electrical, and cable paths to each display location before your walls go up. Also, any location where you plan to have large displays (70″ or larger, depending on the weight of the display) you should go ahead and put in blocking to reinforce your wall for those heavy displays. These common-sense steps can save you thousands when it comes time to install your screens. A good integrator can help you identify key locations for your displays and power/networking needs as well as backing!
2. Avoid The Windows Tax
Sometimes there is no way around it; there are valid reasons to use Windows-based players. However, today’s Linux-based systems (this includes Android systems) have come a long way in features and power. They are more secure and less costly than Windows-based PCs. Some reasons for using Windows players might be that you are using a touchscreen with specialized drivers or the player needs to use some Windows-based drivers or libraries not available on Linux players. However, in most applications, you can use a Linux-based player these days. Using an alternative player can save some serious $$ when you are not paying the ‘Windows tax!’
3. Run Your Digital Signage Server on a VM
Most enterprise-level Digital Signage packages require a server running their server software. When you have chosen a premise-based Digital Signage package (which means you are hosting the server yourself), you have a couple of choices. You can put the server software on a hardware-based server, or you can save some money by making that a virtual server (VM) in your virtual server farm. Using a VM will keep you from spending several thousand on new server hardware.
For displays that are close together and can run the same content, you have an opportunity to save money. You can easily run multiple displays from one player. Splitting the signal normally makes the most sense when the display locations are within about 230ft. Then you can easily use cat5/6 HDBaseT extenders to extend your signal from a single player to multiple displays. Again, this is only a good fit for displays that should be playing the same thing at the same time.
I hope you have found these simple steps for saving money when planning for a Digital Signage deployment helpful! An integrator can help you with all of these steps and more to help you get the most bang for your buck out of your Digital Signage network. We look forward to hearing from you!