Key Elements and Functionality of a Digital Signage System

If you are looking for a digital signage system, you'll come across many options. Here are some guiding elements to help you decide what best suits your needs.
Key Elements and Functionality of a Digital Signage System

In today's highly connected world, all forms of communication occur online. These days, it's impossible to imagine a world without digital billboards. Lately, it's impossible to browse the web, go window shopping, or even stroll down the street without coming across at least one flashing, eye-catching digital sign. Despite digital signage's widespread use, the term itself remains poorly understood.

What is digital signage?

Digital signage encompasses the signs you see on a digital screen. Paper advertisements are becoming less common as digital signage takes over public spaces. There has been a rise in paperless processes in commercial and industrial settings. Most of the time, the purpose of digital signage is to get a message through. It might be the staff at an office, kids in a classroom, or the customers in a shop. Depending on your goals and needs, you can hire professional digital signage integrators  to deploy the screens’ network that will work best for you. 

What is a digital signage system?

In its most basic form, a digital signage system comprises a content management system and digital displays that broadcast material to an audience across a network.

digital signage system

Here are three places you may have seen a digital display before.

  • Quick service restaurants (QSRs) like Taco Bell and Wendy's use digital menu boards in-house. Drive-through windows at QSRs also have digital signage.
  • Tablets and digital signage are often used in retail settings to provide customers with more streamlined self-service options.
  • Large-format LED screens, interactive digital signs for navigation, ordering kiosks, and event signage are just some digital signage solutions in entertainment venues like stadiums and theme parks.

Each real-world setting affects the digital signage system in terms of technical specifications and, more significantly, overarching objectives.

Can users communicate with the system in some way? Will the company increase ad income by showcasing promotional material? These inquiries highlight the significance of content dissemination, scheduling (various messages at various times of the day), and management.

The essential elements of an integrated system

Knowing the hardware, software, and services needed to operate a system is crucial before developing a concept for digital display systems or even searching for a digital signage provider.


The hardware is made up of the physical elements in a system, including:

Digital displays

These are the screens that show content to an audience. The screen is often a flat panel display, such as a television, LCD, or LED. Kiosks, mounted displays, and freestanding displays are all viable options. For a more in-depth experience, some vendors provide interactive signage modalities like touchscreens and projectors.

Interactive and passive tablets

Among the settings where commercial-grade tablets display digital signage information to audiences and customers daily include retail, fast-service restaurants, banks, transportation and supermarkets. These tablets differ from your average consumer electronics device since they're built to withstand constant usage and come in various big format sizes.

Tablets designed for corporate use may facilitate several consumer interactions. They combine features, including mobile sensors, connectivity and payment processing. While some tablets show material without the user's participation, others with touchscreens provide the buyer with various engaging, interactive experiences.

Media player

signage players

The media player is the equipment that showcases the digital data on the screen. It's a mini computer run by the digital signage software that provides the playback process.


Sensors will be used in more complex applications to gauge the audience's reaction and adjust the presentation accordingly. Customers' demographics, pathways, dwell times, and detection rates may all be gleaned via sensors. Sensor data may better understand customers' actions, and your digital signage can reply in real time with customized, relevant information thanks to these insights. For instance, similar to a dynamic website, the content will alter as users approach the display, revealing more specifics as they get closer.

The Content Management System (CMS)

The hardware digital signage systems consist of screens and media players. The content management system (CMS) is the main piece of software that acts as the brains of the operation. You might expect a digital signage CMS to include the following functionalities and more:

  • Content uploading and management
  • Time-based scheduling of content
  • Instantly edit previously uploaded materials
  • Organize displays for simple updating and uploading
  • Verify the functionality of connected screens

Various content management system (CMS) solutions are available, from open-source, free software to commercial, SaaS-based offerings. The chosen CMS has to work well with the rest of the system. The right digital signage content management system (CMS) will have the right user-friendliness and robust features; an AV integrator can help you find it.

Selecting a CMS based on its user-friendliness is important. User-generated material for digital signage is often created by people with little to no experience in graphic design. However, the duty of content administration may be enjoyable with an easy-to-use content management system.



Having the correct hardware is crucial, but it's also important to remember that content drives digital signage. The content of your digital signage system is, perhaps, its most vital organ.

There is no better way to show visually compelling content than on digital signage. Still, plenty of content options don't necessitate an artist's help, such as using ready-to-use templates or third-party digital signage apps. There are several things to keep in mind as you work to create engaging content for your digital marketing display. It's all about who you're trying to reach and how your firm is positioned in the market. A cloud digital signage system makes it even easier to manage content.

Device Management System

There is more to administering a smart digital signage system than content uploading, management, and dissemination. The ability to remotely manage the network is crucial for effectively installing several digital displays in various places. The best device management solutions collect data from devices, report and act on it.

Device management system plays a crucial role in digital signage by performing the following functions:

  • Verifying the other parts are in good shape by checking their temperature, network connectivity and free space on the disk.
  • Taking screen captures of a media player in action to check for any problems.
  • Improving the system through updates.
  • Using data from a network to do tasks like turning on and off screens and restarting.
  • Setting up email notifications from the network or API access to external management dashboards.


Digital signage has swiftly become one of the most ubiquitous and influential forms of corporate communication. These gadgets can interact with consumers and clients in real time by broadcasting multimedia information. Setting up a digital signage system requires familiarity with the parts of digital signage architecture and their functions. What’s more, Look DS provides a simple and reliable software option where you can centralize all your activities.