We come across a fair number of customers who already have some kind of electronic LCD’s or Televisions installed in their business. Maybe they use them for information, maybe they use them for entertainment. Either way, at some point, they realized or decided that enhancing the screen into Digital Signage made better business sense than how they are currently being used.
Banks, Retailers, Hospitals, Schools and Plants are prime locations where TV’s can easily be converted.
This article is designed to advise such customers who have already invested in some type of LCD or TV screen in the past, that the option to simply retrofit might be a huge savings winner and really help accelerate your company ROI around Digital Signage.
But first, let’s set the context on why this makes sense.
Most Enterprise and reliable Digital Signage involves three (3) components:
3) Set-Up, Support and Updates
Step 3 is more of a formality and is often blended into the License cost of the software or some professional services fee. But looking at Step 1, we explore the Software; most often represented “as a service”. You purchase or acquire a license to the software which might include some kind of Support, Updates, Hosting and Program Access. In Digital Signage, this is a per unit cost (unit referring to a Media Player / small Pc). Costs can range from .50 cents a day per player up to $4.00.
Next up is Step 2, the Hardware. Once you find a software that you like, feel comfortable with and matches your business goals, it becomes time to look at the capital part of the project. Hardware for Digital Signage usually involves an LCD/LED Screen, a small PC (Media Player in the industry) and some kind of mounting structure (like wall or ceiling). The whole purpose of this article was to demonstrate an excellent way to cut costs in hardware while upgrading or implementing very functional software. Here’s how:
Most Digital Signage companies (at least the top 50 in the world) all have a certain media player they standardize on. It’s been tried and tested. Think of it like car manufacturers. Jaguar doesn’t use Toyota engines and Ford doesn’t use Volkswagen. But they all might have a V6, so the engines are similar. It’s the same for Media Players in the Digital Signage industry. It’s recommended to just stick with what your provider suggests (as long as it’s under $500 USD.. but that’s another Blog!).
That leaves your screen and your mount. In many cases, a customer might have installed a screen in the last 4-5 years. In many cases, the screens have not been overused. They might look a little dated, but otherwise turn on and off perfectly. And that brings us to the heart of the matter. When your company is looking to move forward with Digital Signage, do your best to try and save any existing screens you might have. Don’t be fooled. As long as the TV has an HDMI input and is 1080P, it should handle any media player that you throw on the back or slide in. The screen itself is usually the highest single item cost, and if the company ego can squeeze a couple more years out of existing screens, you create a real ROI case for yourself.
If you’re not sure about your screen, you have two options: either get a chair and look behind (or take a pic of the model # and google it, or ask a service provider or vendor to make a recommendation.
Obviously any vendor would like to increase the sale with additional hardware and thousands in tv costs. But most software vendors focus on the software, and will (or should) be doing their best to make what you have work. And then, you have the option of replacing screens either as they die, or in small batch sections (either based on geography or department).
In the case of L Squared, we often ship the media players out, have our install team retrofit them to existing screens, connect to the network and are off and running in no time.
If you are not sure how to proceed, or if what advise you should be getting, please reach out to an L Squared rep and one of our Project Managers will always spare a few minutes to discuss anything on your mind.
Stay tuned for our next blog on: How long should I plan before making a decision!
Sales@lsquared.com or Bnacu@lsquared,com