Software–what's in a Spec?
Software from a wide variety of suppliers is used to create content that runs on digital signage systems, for formatting video, for playlist control, and for compliance (reporting what ran when on the DS system). There are many competing software products available. And software being software, challenges face the systems integrator and the end-user: Software doesn’t really have the kind of “specs” that allow A/B comparison when deciding which product to go with.... so how do we deal with this lack of "specs"?
How do you deal with it, with your customers? (and how do you keep from going crazy when you're trying to get an idea, from the software providers themselves, what exactly their software does, and what it doesn't do?)
Trial demo seems to be a likely solution.
Any company who is really in the space should provide clients with a free evaluation to kick the tires. BroadSign, which is my frame of reference, allows for three test accounts and a couple of hours of training at no charge to qualified prospects.
InfoSignz - offering free digital signage platform
This is the precise reason why some software providers have moved from enterprise model to Software-as-a-Servce model.
One such company is - InfoSignz, which offers digital signage software to its clients for Free. Free version which can be accessed on www.infosignz.com has enough features, functionality and bandwidth to make a small digital signage network run for almost zero investment in technology.
I suggest, you should look at this digital signage platform
Glad to find this site
I am a project manager for an institution currently looking to deploy a digital signage system. There are by far too many software systems out there that one person cannot easily wade through them, and be assured a strong level of confidence that they made the right decision. We are currentl looking at Scala software as so far they seem to be able to some things better than others. We are looking for a completely scalable solution, in which we are able to write or incorporate our own scripts. We have to ensure a set of standards, compliant with HIPPA/FERPA and the system must be very network friendly. The ability to nest playlists, add expiry dates and times on content uploaded, non proprietary in nature are all important. Moreover, the system must be able to run the following file formats .sca, .scb, .btn, bmp, gif, jpg, wmf, pcx, png, tif, wav, mp3, mid, avi, mov, wmv, asf asx are also important. They must have experience in working with the healthcare industry as well as higher education, across multiple locations in distinctly different geographic locations. If the system is controllable from one PC, able to run layer graphics, incorporate interactivity (touch screens) scale across resolutions, using multiple transmission methods then we will look heavily into them as well. So far I see a lot of Chaff, amongst few true systems of scalable digital signage.
Are there industry standards based on these features?
Last edited by GregJ; 03-21-2008 at 02:42 PM.
Reason: spelling check
There's a lot of variation out there when it comes to software. The programs that are the most flexible tend to be very expensive. When I set up a system for a client a year ago we ended up going with a DVD player and HDTV as the solution that best fit their needs and budget. I edit their slide shows using video editing software and it's distributed on DVDs. This of course won't work on something that needs to be constantly updated, but for in-store advertising it works for them and they've been very happy with the quality & reliability.