This is part three of a four part series on digital signage deployments. For part two, click here.
A step above the moderate solution is one with TV capability. This solution is for producing the same content on all screens and encompasses multiple-screens/multiple-zones/multiple-room displays with live TV capabilities.
Moderate with TV capability ($5500 to $8000) — $$$
This system is very similar to the moderate system, except that this level gives users the ability to integrate live TV into the digital signage content. This is done via a TV tuner or capture card that is part of the media player. It picks up TV signals via satellite or digital cable, much like a receiver on consumer TVs.
This becomes particularly useful if you don’t readily have the ability to update content. In lieu of this content, your displays can show programming from acceptable sources—network news channels or your local community’s public access channel, for example—in a split-screen configuration on your signage. It’s also nice for situations when you need up-to-the-minute information, like updates from the Weather Channel or bulletins from the Emergency Alert System (EAS).
Typically, when reaching the moderate and TV-tuner level, you use a higher level of digital signage software. Higher-end software not only enables you to create multiple content zones on the screen, but also easily schedule content for each zone (so you can schedule content for the day, week, or month by zone) and better control elements on the TV feed, as well as content override features for interrupting routine content streaming with emergency alerts programmed from a remote location.
Best areas for use: Same as areas listed on previous post; but because of TV input, can be useful in school cafeterias or any room for extracurricular events, faculty break rooms, and school TV studios and media production departments.
Content-delivery method: Network infrastructure, satellite feeds, cable television.
Pros: Provides live TV feeds to complement on-screen content; can provide instant messaging and emergency notification; usually includes more content-management capabilities and functionality.
Cons: Maintenance of a satellite or TV feed and IP connection; more advanced software training required; potential bandwidth and network maintenance issues; additional ongoing maintenance and software licensing costs.
NOTE: Estimated prices for solutions include a 42-inch LCD screen, media player, and digital signage software. Prices can vary depending on a number of factors.