Quick Knowledge: What is a Digital Signage Player?

From a technical point of view, a digital signage player is a media player software that runs on any computer hardware. Media players usually play video and audio files.
However, there are some significant differences to the known media players, such as the VLC player, QuickTime player or mplayer.

Lemur playing a trupet as synonym to a digital signage player
Digital Signage Player – Image source Digital Photo and Design DigiPD.com on Pixabay

In the world of digital signage, the focus is on the independent playback of playlists. This is comparable to an automatically running presentation.

Digital signage players are normaly network-compatible. The especially high-quality ones even have a variety of functions for remote maintenance.
In addition, they also display images, websites and so-called web widgets.
The player can address one or more screens simultaneously and split them into different zones.
Playing audio in the background of an image should not be a problem for this software, too.

Playlists for digital signage players contain special control commands. The software then executes these control commands.
This could be e.g:

  • how often or when they play a video
  • zone separation
  • from where the software downloads the media content
  • when a reboot takes place
  • whether the software plays the contents sequentially or randomly
  • save playback logs

And a lot more!

Digital signage playlists can be created via software, manually or web-based with a content management system.

Unfortunately, most providers have their own control commands. Therefore the devices of different manufacturers are unfortunately not compatible with each other.

However, for some years now there have been efforts to change this. With the open, license-free multimedia language SMIL there is now even an officially approved standard.
Playlists or presentations created with SMIL can be played on any compatible player!
For customers and also for manufacturers, SMIL offers a further series of advantages. This article explains this in more detail.

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