Digital signage is a communication tool that enables us to broadcast messages, in the form of multimedia content to an audience, that might be big or small, heterogeneous or not, with the goal of creating a relationship with that audience, or to transmit it some form of information.
Thus, thanks to a digital signage solution, a broadcaster can send content from their computer to the system of digital signage, which then treats this content, and broadcasts it on the displays.
The installation and implementation of such a tool can be complex, specifically for beginners, or non-technical personnel. A digital signage system is generally made up of multiple elements, which can be located near to each other, or far, which you have to connect to each other. As a general rule, a system of digital signage consists of one or more screens), of one or more signage players, of a un server that stores the content and configuration of the user and, last but not least the software (or platform) used for management which allows you to steer your screens and content. These elements have to be linked in order to ensure the functioning of the system.
Whether you’re researching a replacement solution or want to start out in digital signage, one of the first questions, is which model to install.
The different system architectures
There are multiple digital signage system architectures, which essentially differ through the structure of the network in place for the communication between the different parts (also called network architecture). Numerous different architectures exist, however, it is possible to group them in to two main groups, that make for two different digital signage systems.
The "hosted" model (also called on premise)
With this architecture, the digital signage system is entirely installed on the internal network of the client company. The equipment is connected through the local network of the company and are isolated from the outside world, and, most notably, from the internet. The management of the screens and contents is done through a software installed on the computers of the company (or sometimes through intranet).
The "Software as a Service" model (also known as SaaS, or Cloud)
With this architecture, the digital signage system is partially installed in the client firm. The signage players are installed the client company. The servers however are hosted at the service provider. The equipment is connected through the internet. The management of the screens and content is done through a management platform, accessible through the internet.
The "hybrid" model
A third model, called “hybrid” offers an alternative between these two models. Its architecture is based on the hosted model for the exception of the fact that certain elements of the equipment have access to the internet and each other through it.
So what do you choose? A SaaS, an on premise or a hybrid solution?The answer to this question really depends on each case and each need. One model would have a hard time satisfying each demand, because the different uses can be very specific. The following series of articles will attempt to show the differences in order to guide you in your choice, that may be complex, and often has consequences.
Before taking a more detailed look at what characterises these solutions, and before choosing the one that will correspond more to your needs, it is necessary to understand what digital signage is, by reading our article Understanding digital signage available on our blog.
Here are some leads to help you choose your architecture in full knowledge of the pro’s and con’s, and to start your digital signage project well.
- Preparing yourself #1: Equipment
- Preparing yourself #2: Time and effort to get started
- Preparing yourself #3: Tech support and maintenance
- Preparing yourself #4: Training and time to get started
- Preparing yourself #5: Connectivity and Bandwidth
- Preparing yourself #6: Security
- Preparing yourself #7: Usage and scalability
- Preparing yourself #8: Prices and rates
- Summary: Preparing yourself for digital signage
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