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DOOH - What is digital signage?
DOOH (Digital Out Of Home) refers to a type of digital signage that is displayed in public spaces, social places, and retail environments. Digital signage can be utilized to digitally relay messages, advertisements, and information in both public and private settings. Digital signage displays may be in the form of LCD or plasma screens, LED boards, projection screens, interactive surfaces, or organic LED screens. They are controlled by basic personal computers via proprietary software programs, thus preventing large capital expenditures for the controller apparatus.
The content displayed on digital signage screens may include texts, images, animations, and videos that can effectively deliver targeted messages at distinct times and locations. The benefits of digital signage displays that are significantly lacking in static signs include the ability to rapidly exchange content, the possibility of displaying animations, the capacity to adapt content to context, and the allowance for active interaction with viewers, all which make digital signage a worthwhile investment.
Possible uses for digital signage include, but are not limited to:
- The display of public information such as news, weather, and location specific information
- The display of internal information such as corporate messages
- Broadcasting via technologies such as IPTV that enable real-time distribution of broadcast sources (TV) on a narrowcast network (digital signage).
- Brand building and promotion
- Enhancement of customer experience by display of information
- Enhancement of the environment through dynamic wayfinding
Delivery of digital signage content depends on various hardware. The constituents of a typical digital signage installation include one or more display screens, one or more media players, and a content management server that is connected to the media player over a network, though sometimes two or more of these components are present in a single device. It is possible for one media player to support multiple screens and for
one content management server to support multiple media players. Stand-alone digital signage avoids the need for network connection by combining all three functions in one device.
Content is played to the digital signage network via one or more medial players. Various software and hardware options exist to allow for different ways to playback and schedule content. These include simple, non-networked portable media players that can output basic JPG slide shows or loops of MPEG-2 video to complex networks. Such networks consist of multiple players and servers that offer control over enterprise-wide or campus-wide displays at many venues from a single location. The former are ideal for small groups of displays that can be updated with USB flash drive, SD card or CD-ROM. Another possibility is the use of digital advertising network (D.A.N.) players that connect directly to the monitor and to the internet which provides the end-user with the ability to manage multiple D.A.N players from any location. Advertisements can be created or modified and changes can then be uploaded to the D.A.N via the internet.
Audio-video wiring between the display and the media player and between the media player and the content server is needed whenever these three components are located apart. The connection from the media player to the display is usually a VGA, DVI, HDMI or Component video connection. At times the signal is distributed over Cat 5 cables via transmitter and receiver baluns, which allows for greater distances between display and player and simplified wiring. The connection from media player to content server is generally a wired Ethernet connection, but a wireless Wifi networking can also be used.
The management server is usually required to manage a network. It can be located any place as long as is connected to the digital signage network. The server manages and organizes new content while the actual content itself is stored and played on the player servers.
Depending on the location of the client, digital signage networks can either be closed (without Internet access) or open (with Internet access) to the web, which will determines how the content on the screens is updated. For closed networks, updates need to be done locally through USB sticks, DVD drives or other 'onsite' updates. For open networks, updates can be done remotely and can stream data from other Internet sources.
Interaction with Other technologies
Digital signage can interact with other technologies, such as mobile phones, which increase interactivity of the audience via SMS messaging and Bluetooth. SMS messages can be used to post messages on the displays, while Bluetooth allows users to interact directly with what they see on screen. In addition to mobile interactivity, networks are also using technologythat incorporates social and location-based media interactivity, which allows end users to send Twitter, Flickr, and text messages to the displays. Certain digital signage signs that can display 3D images utilize a technology called autostereoscopy, allowing for the viewing of 3D images without using special glasses.