What are Digital Medial Players and Why Do I Need One?
Media Players are required when you want unique content displayed and playing on individuals displays. Each LCD, Projector, Screen needs to receive their content from a source and that 'source' is most often routed through a Media Player via the Video Port or a RJ45 Network Port through a local or wide area network. Media Players decode the content that has been created, displaying it on the screen the way it was originally viewed by the creator. It may be based on a Windows Platform, Java, Flash, Apple or a combination of any and all of these. All graphics and videos need to be interpreted and decoded - that is the job of the Media Player.
There are a wide variety of 'Media Players' in todays market place - some are very apparent and easily identified, while others may be hidden and less visible. Even though you may not see it, in most cases with Digital Signage there is a Media Player.
In some cases the system that is used to create the content may also be the Media Player an example would be the ACT Eagle Z65: which has the processing power to create Digital Medial and stream video over the network. These systems offer the ease of a single solution for small locations where the content is being created on site.
Another example would be the line of Solid State Digital Signage players from BrightSign which include FREE Digital Content Management software, however the content creation must take place elsewhere.
Another option from ACT Digital Displays is the all new ACT Firefly. An ultra small form factor computer system that measure 4 Inches by 4 Inches and is available in a Single Display model or Dual Display Model.
The newest innovation across the industry is the self contained large format LCD with integrated slide-in media player 'board'. We qualify this as a board player since you are unable to use this for any other function other than playing content on the associated LCD monitor. These are available from a variety of manufacturers including LG Electronics which has branded their version as the LG EZSign Player. Here is the NC2000 Internal Player:
In summary, there are as many different ways of getting the content to your screen as there are screens. Your hardware set-up is strictly based upon your needs and the type of content you are displaying.