They do still exist, the digital advertising display systems based on USB sticks.
Is your company also one of those unfortunate that somehow has to get the sticks for the stores into the stores every week, just so that a store employee also thinks of replacing the sticks and sending the old one back to HQ?
You won’t believe how many medium-sized companies still work like this. And generate high costs and error rates in the process.
And it’s so much easier to do that with cloud-driven digital displays
Display control – from USB stick to cloud
The practice described above employs many employees and can only be disappointing: Sticks get lost on the way there or back, employees simply don’t show up for a replacement or the store doesn’t even turn on the screen because of all the stress.
The next step was to set up separate networks within the company in order to transfer data centrally. This involves using the company’s own line network to transfer data from a dedicated server at the head office to the screens at the locations.
Of course, this approach was only available to large companies that invested a lot of money in their IT.
Digital signage via the company’s own “cloud”
This method has also seen its best days.
In many cases, the bandwidth of internal company networks was not sufficient to transmit more than a few lines of text (images are very data intensive). Furthermore, these internal networks are often outdated and also very expensive to run and should be reserved for business critical data such as accounting data.
Often the screen data is switched off completely so that important company data can flow unhindered between the locations. In this respect, digital signage via the company’s own network has proven to be useless.
However, we have not yet considered the fact that the data volumes to be transmitted for digital signage are growing exponentially – more and more images, better and better quality lead to ever larger data volumes that come across old networks.
No, the route via the company’s own network has survived and has not proven itself.
Instore TV via the real cloud – the Internet
Not to mention the fact that these networks are not only more expensive to set up, they also age very quickly (1 Gigabit to 10 Gigabit to 100 Gigabit networks).
This is where the cloud – servers on the public Internet – is the perfect remedy. With the help of servers, we can simply store all advertising content on a central server and distribute the content from there to the branches or to the display locations – using push or pull methods.
Advantages of the client-server structure with digital signage
At the same time, changes can be implemented from any location for any screen within seconds.
If the price for beverage advertising at location X is no longer right, the cloud-based content management system can be adapted very quickly and with little effort for each location/screen. If a new USB stick were to be shipped, this would take days and cause great irritation.
What is the Cloud?
The term “cloud” in itself only describes the possibilities of the Internet to connect different computers with each other. So this website on which you are reading my lines also comes from the “cloud”: via the Internet you have accessed this site from our website, which is located on one of our servers. Our server sees the “request” of your computer, which is connected to our server via the Internet, and delivers the data for this website to the browser on your PC.
Our digital signage system “TheBox©” makes use of this cloud technology and allows any authorized user – worldwide – to upload or modify content for any screen connected to the TheBox network.
The data is stored on a central server, where it can be edited or re-stored – or deleted – and then retrieved and displayed by the displays concerned.
Less effort for more displays
In this way, with two hands, entire companies with many branches and installations can be provided with perfect digital signage easily and cost-effectively.
So the cloud display model looks like this:
The image above shows the cloud in the middle, which centrally feeds tablets, PCs and cell phones as players of the advertising, while the data from the PC and local hard drives is uploaded to the cloud – i.e. to our server.
From the cloud to the screen
So if the data is ideally located centrally on a server, how do you get the advertising to appear on the screen?
That depends on which technology is used. In order to meet all requirements in the future, we have decided to use the technology behind websites for our digital signage system.
Technically, our customers see a web page on our screens, which is transmitted from our servers to the screens.
By the way, the web technology also has the advantage that the contents of the displays can be used in many ways: This is how we show them on our customers’ websites. We call this 360° marketing – content can be played or used on as many media as possible (for example, by converting it into video we can also play the content on Facebook).
Our system gets by with very little and cheap hardware.
To set up a system for you we need
- A normal TV-set, which costs different depending on the size of the screen. For larger areas we currently recommend a 65 inch TV, which costs less than 600-800 EUR/USD. The TV must also be fixed in the right position, for example with a ceiling hanger.
- Per screen we provide you with our media box by leasing.
- This is connected to the TV with a cable (HDMI)
- Cabling: the location of the screen must be supplied with power and LAN cable. The LAN cable is connected to the Internet via a router/modem
- Our media control system (what runs on which screen?)
- The content per screen (screen groups) on a server
- Rights management – who can do what?
The content consists of images and texts, which are arranged via the management system
Advantages of cloud-based digital signageLet us summarize the advantages once again:
A cloud-based system can be easily controlled by one person from anywhere in the world for any display on the corporate network. All time and scattering losses of the USB stick distribution are eliminated as well as implementation losses in the individual locations of your company.
All data on the screens are as up-to-date as they are maintained at the head office.
Events and changes can be reacted to almost immediately for all locations.
- claud based digital signage: Image by Wynn Pointaux from Pixabay