Digital signage is a great way to display advertisements, digital menus, or any other information in a visually appealing and interactive way. The rise of digital signage has been accompanied by a significant decrease in costs, making it possible for small and medium-sized businesses to adopt this technology. One of the ways to reduce costs is to use cheap digital signage players, essentially TV set-top boxes or sticks that can run digital signage software. In this article, we'll look at some of the most well-known models of cheap digital signage players, their pros and cons, and compare them with a more professional solution.
Widely used cheap digital signage players
Amazon Fire TV Stick
One of the most popular models of cheap digital signage players is the Amazon Fire TV Stick. This device costs around $40 and can easily connect to any TV or monitor with an HDMI port. The Fire TV Stick runs on the Fire OS (customized Android) operating system.
Google's newest home entertainment device is one of the greatest streaming devices available because of its intuitive design, wide support for streaming services, and the availability of Google Assistant. Chromecast with Google TV is available for purchase at about $60.
A high level of technical expertise is required to fully use Raspberry Pi and it's functionalities. But you can circumvent the many obstacles presented by this media player. If that's the case, your digital signage campaign may be driven by a high-powered gadget with plenty of storage and fancy features. It costs around $35 and can run a wide range of software, including several digital signage platforms.
Xiaomi Mi Stick 4K
The Xiaomi Mi Stick 4K is a compact and lightweight Android TV-based device that allows users to stream broadcast content from popular streaming services such as Netflix and Prime Video. It features a quad-core Cortex-A53 processor, 2GB of RAM, and 8GB of internal storage. The device also supports 4K video playback and has built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB support. You can get it for $70.
How these players compare with the professional but still affordable digital signage player
You will need to modify these STBs so that they can play digital signage. The Look app player is what you should use to do this. It is also where you'll start to see some distinctions. An Amazon.com ID or account is required to use the Fire Stick. As with the first, a Google account will be required to do the same with the second and third gadgets. Next, locate the Look app in the Amazon Appstore or the Google Play Store and install it on the devices. Following this, you should run the program, go through the permissions, and get a six-digit initialization code.
All of the devices have no trouble playing videos (even in 4K) in full-screen mode, so it's good to examine the typical situation in which you have a screen split into different parts, with both 4K video and streaming material playing at the same time. At this point, all the gadgets start having issues. As the demand on their systems becomes too great, the video may freeze up, and the tickers, for example, may begin to jerk.
Let's contrast these gadgets with a high-quality digital signage player sold at a comparable price for clarity. We’re talk about the Look HD-2214, one of the most popular models recently, which sells for $99. To sum up the specs quickly: it has a 4-core CPU with the same 2 GB of RAM, but already with 16 GB of internal memory on board, 4K support is available, and there are many ports including USB inputs and, most significantly, an Ethernet connection. Now comes the time to get everything set up. Since this player is plug-and-play, setting up the system is a breeze. You get a 6-digit code as soon as you hook it into your TV and onto the Internet. In the course of a similar test, the HD-2214 showed excellent results, without any complaints about the playback of the video and the ticker.
As with any purchase, price is a major consideration. Likewise, consumer TV sticks are less expensive than commercial digital signage devices. In addition, they function admirably in the most basic playback conditions and, thus, may be incorporated into a given endeavor without a hitch. They may also be purchased practically anywhere globally. In contrast, reevaluate the cost differential between amateur and professional choices. Is the potential for considerable savings not worth the hassle, reduced features and potential damage to your reputation? To add insult to injury, is there any guarantee that doing so won't cost more down the road? Your choice, in any case, is final.
Pros & Cons Cheap Digital Signage Players
Digital signage has become an essential marketing tool for businesses of all sizes. It allows companies to display information, promotions, and other content to their customers in a modern and eye-catching way. Digital signage players are the backbone of any digital signage network, and choosing the right player is crucial to the success of your digital signage campaign.
- Affordability: The main advantage of cheap digital signage players is their affordability. They are a cost-effective solution for small businesses that cannot afford to invest in expensive hardware.
- Easy to use: Many cheap digital signage players are user-friendly and easy to set up, so businesses can get their signage up and running quickly.
- Portability: Cheap digital signage players are often compact and portable, making them easy to move around and install in different locations.
- Limited functionality: Cheap digital signage players often have limited features and capabilities compared to more expensive models. Businesses may not be able to display certain types of content or use advanced features such as touchscreens or interactivity.
- Lower quality: In many cases, cheap digital signage players have lower-quality hardware and software components, which can result in issues such as slow performance or lower-resolution displays.
- Limited support: Cheaper players may not have the same level of customer support as their more expensive counterparts, which can be a challenge for businesses that encounter issues or need help setting up their signage network.
Cheap digital signage players can be viable for small businesses or those on a tight budget. However, it is important to consider the limitations and potential issues of using lower-priced hardware. For companies that require advanced features or higher-quality displays, investing in a more expensive player may be the better option. Ultimately, the right choice will depend on each business's specific needs and goals.