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VEXO Digital Signage

Top 7 Questions To Ask Before Buying A Digital Signage

The global digital signage market size is expected to hit USD 27.8 billion by 2026 (Markets And Markets, 2021). More and more businesses are choosing to communicate with their customers and employees by using digital signages.

While digital signage is not a complicated product, shopping for it can be a stressful process if you do not understand how digital signage can suit your needs. When you meet with your signage supplier, there are some questions that you should always ask.

In this article, we will discuss the top 7 questions to ask before buying a digital signage.

  1. What are the available screen sizes?
  2. What is the screen resolution?
  3. Does it come with a content management system?
  4. What are the content formats that it can display?
  5. How to publish content?
  6. What are the other available features?
  7. Do you offer training and after-sales support?

1. What are the available screen sizes?

Screen size is an important consideration when you are buying a digital signage. It is the physical measurement of the screen’s diagonal. There is never a perfect size. Each business has its own requirements. The best screen size is the one that fits the business’s requirements most.

Not every business needs a giant screen. Some businesses only need smaller screens at their payment counters to display promotional messages, while other businesses might need larger screens to expand their audience reach.

Another reason why screen size is important is that it can affect the installation if the size is too large. Before speaking to your signage supplier, you should always measure or at least estimate the available installation area size. Try to have a firm grasp of what is the maximum screen size that is allowed. Then, inquire about the available size options and the installation price of each size.

As the screen size gets larger, the weight and the product dimension will increase too. Larger and heavier digital signage might need additional steel support or brackets.

Digital Signage Product

2. What is the screen resolution?

Images on all digital screens are made of millions of tiny dots. These dots are called “pixels”. Screen resolution measures the amount of horizontal and vertical pixels on a screen. Some of the most common screen resolutions of digital signage are HD 720p (1280 x 720), Full HD (1920 x 1080), and 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160).

Technically, a larger screen resolution delivers images with finer and sharper details because it has more pixels. However, a 4K Ultra HD digital signage is not necessarily the best option for some situations.

First, if your images and videos displayed are not having the same resolution as the screen resolution of your digital signage, the image quality on the screen will deteriorate. Not every business has adequate resources to prepare content in 4K resolution. If it is the case, never invest in a 4K digital signage since you are not going to fully utilize its performance.

Second, if your audience is not going to view the content while standing or sitting very close to the screen, you might not need a digital signage with high resolution. A higher resolution has a shorter viewing distance. While having a short viewing distance is great for almost all applications, the cost can get incredibly high.

Display Resolution

3. Does it come with a content management system?

Content management system (CMS) is an application or software that is designed to help digital signage owners or users in uploading and managing their digital content. There are a few methods that a signage owner can use to display content on the screen – via a USB thumb drive, HDMI connection, or cloud content management system.

Both USB and HDMI connections are the most common features of a digital signage. They are also normally referred to as the “Plug-and-Play” method. Just plug the thumb drive or connect your laptop to the digital signage with an HDMI cable. The signage will then display the content automatically.

On the other hand, content management system provides a more advanced and flexible approach in managing the content. The user does not need to be present at the physical location to update content. He or she can use the CMS application and update content by using a laptop or a smartphone remotely.

Digital Signage Software CDMS Interface

4. What are the content formats that it can display?

You do not want to buy a digital signage that cannot display your content properly. Make sure to check the file supported formats as it can also help you to evaluate whether you can prepare content in those formats in the future.  

Most importantly, if a digital signage cannot even support common images and video formats such as JPEG, PNG, and MP4, do not bother at all.

5. How to publish content?

Whether it is using USB, HDMI, or content management system, different digital signage models or brands have different publishing procedures. Make sure to ask the supplier about all possible ways to publish content.

Whenever you publish content, there are also some settings or attributes that you also need to know. Some common attributes include image duration, playback mode (to loop or not), publish date, and publish time.

Digital Signage Remote Management

6. What are the other available features?

Depending on the model, a digital signage can be equipped with features such as automatic brightness adjustment, volume control, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection, and screensaver.   

Buying a digital signage is not much different than buying a smartphone. You will need to do some research and try to understand the available features of the product. Understanding the product features can help you to plan and utilize the digital signage to its full potential in the future.

7. Do you offer training and after-sales support?

While most digital signage products come with manuals or user guides, we need to admit that nobody is going to read the guides. Hence, training availability can be a huge consideration factor when it comes to purchasing digital signage.

It is always a great bonus if the supplier can provide training or basic tutorials in handling and managing the digital signage. This can also help the business to save time and costs as it does not need to explore and play with the signage on its own.

On the other hand, after-sales support is very important in improving customer satisfaction. Digital signage is a commercial product. When there is an issue with the hardware or software, not everyone has the ability to troubleshoot and fix it.

Conclusion

Buying a digital signage is not a stressful journey if you can ask the right questions. Determine your requirements beforehand, and feel free to talk to your digital signage supplier about any concerns.

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