Digital Signage For Any TV Screen – How To Deploy Digital Signage On A Budget

The most expensive aspect of a digital signage project is the screens themselves.

What if you could use your existing TV screen or pick up a consumer priced monitor from a retailer?

The great news is you can. TrouDigital specialise in digital signage for any TV screen. Transform ordinary displays into dynamic signage screens.

Commercial Digital Signage Monitors vs. Consumer TV Screens

Before we start to discuss how you can use ordinary TV screens for digital signage, we need to address when commercial monitors are and aren’t required. The most important aspect to consider when making the decision is the environment of the installation.

Outdoor screens will need to be of a commercial grade or be placed within specialist outdoor enclosures to protect them from the weather. Similarly, screens deployed in windows with high exposure to sunlight need special consideration. A “high bright” display is the industry name for screens with a brightness rating of 1,500-2,000 nits. For some context, a regular TV screen you might have in your front room will have a rating of around 300 nits.

Another consideration is wear-and-tear. If the screen is going to be somewhere with a great deal of footfall, commercial screens are vandal-proof, offering protection against accidents as much as intentional damage. They are also designed to be on for 16-24 hours a day which means you never have to worry about screen-burn or overheating, something cheaper TV screens might be prone to, although many today cope just as well.

tv screen on a wall for digital signageIn certain scenarios, only a commercial grade screen will do. But when you don’t have the budget or the above requirements, transforming standard TV screens can be a great option. It’s not just a cost-cutting exercise either. Commercial digital signage monitors have inbuilt PCs that can become outdated quite quickly as the technology develops. By using cheaper TV screens and external media players (to be explained), it’s easier and far more affordable to update and swap out each aspect of the solution’s hardware.

Digital Signage For Any TV – When Is It Appropriate?

In the past, the problem with digital signage was businesses of all sizes had to purchase the same kit. A small high street retailer would need to buy the same commercial screens that international brands would buy. For most small businesses, this just wasn’t feasible. The later ability to use regular TV screens using external “media players” suddenly opened up the technology to everyone. Especially thanks to recent innovations and falling costs.

Digital signage is a great asset to businesses such as dental practices, salons, opticians, post offices, estate agents, newsagents, restaurants, barbers, travel agents, petrol garages, pharmacies, and many, many more. Not to mention organisations such as schools and charities. For most intents and purposes, the use of a TV screen and media player is perfectly adequate, in fact, more than sufficient for media such as scrolling text, images and short videos.

How Does The Solution Work?

To achieve digital signage on any TV screen, all you will need is a software license, one of our media players and an internet connection.

The Hardware

While digital signage players are available on a range of platforms, our preference at TrouDigital is Android Micro PCs for their compact power, reliability and affordability. These devices resemble a small black box that sits neatly behind your TV screen, with cabling out of sight. All our players come with an antenna to ensure a strong signal, a power cable and crucially an HDMI cable that will be your input into the TV.

android media playerThe Software

To transform a TV into a dynamic display, you will need content. Either a way to deploy premade content like digital posters and videos, or a content creation software. Our own platform is a two-in-one solution that covers both avenues. You upload or create content and add it to a playlist which organises the sequence it will play in and any schedule you wish to apply. The final step is to assign your playlist to a screen folder online which will be identifiable by a unique screen key.

Once your content is ready within your account in the cloud, how do you get it onto a TV screen? This is where the media player comes in. Each player will have our digital signage application preinstalled. You will need to connect the player to the internet (either adding it to your Wifi network or using an ethernet cable) so it’s able to download the content. Don’t worry, instructions are provided in the box!

The signage app works in conjuncture with the online platform so you will use the same login credentials for both, making life easier. Once you have logged in on the media player app, you will be able to select your screen folder from a drop-down menu or copy and paste the unique screen key. By doing so, you associate the two. Any content applied to the folder will be automatically downloaded onto the screen.

In a few simple steps, you will have transformed your TV screen into a dynamic digital display.

If you are interested in exploring this cost-effective route to digital signage, either using an existing TV screen or one you can purchase off of a shelf (we recommend trying Richer Sounds), please get in touch today. We offer web demonstrations of our software as well as a 14-day free trial that lets you connect up a trial player to your screen. You can email info@troudigital.com to book yours today. 

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