Published on: 3 Sep 18  |  Reading : 3 minutes

Preparing for digital signage

Starting out in digital signage? Or do you wish to renew your fleet? The choice of the architecture of your system is one of the first questions you should ask yourself. To respond to this problematic in the best possible way, multiple themes have to be considered, talked about in detail in the previous articles. This last one sums them up and closes this series. Because whatever your activity, there is always an adapted solution.

This article concludes a series that treat the question of which architecture to choose for your digital signage system, If you’re not entirely clear on the notion of digital signage, or aren’t familiar with the different existing structures, start with this article: Digital signage: how to prepare yourself well.

Digital signage system

Digital signage is a communication tool which makes it possible to air multimedia content to an audience, generally through broadcasting screens. A digital signage system generally consists of players, connected to screens and controlling the broadcast servers, that host the content that’s to be broadcasted as well as the configuration, management software, an lastly of network equipment that insures the communication between the elements.

fonctionnement-general- cenareo

Architecture of the system

Choosing your digital signage system can be complex, specifically for the laymen, who find themselves swimming in the sheer number of proposed solutions. However the majority of systems can be grouped in to three architectural models:

  • Hosted (on premise): The entire system and most notably the server are located in the firm, no communication to the outside.
  • Hybrid : The entire system and the server are located in the firm, but communication with the outside is possible.
  • Cloud: the server is not hosted by the firm, and communications between players and the server go through the internet.
If each of these models allows the communication between screens, and thus the broadcast of messages, they differ substantially on multiple points. These points are discussed in detail in the previous articles, but are summed up in the following chart.

Characteristics Hosted solution Hybrid solution Cloud solution Cenareo solution
Player A player is generally necessary for each screen.
(leased, sold or made available by the service provider)
A Plug&Play player is necessary for each screen. It’s made available for free by Cenareo.
  • server required on-site
  • the client owns the server
  • the client maintains the server
  • server is situated on the internet
  • service provider owns the server
  • service provider maintains it
  • required server on the internet
  • Cenareo owns the server
  • performance and maintenance guaranteed 24h/24
  • Installation of equipment billed
  • Long initial configuration
  • Plug&Play Player
  • No configuration
  • at the responsibility of the client’s technical team.
  • fixing from afar impossible
  • at the responsibility of the service provider
  • reparations from afar possible
  • reparations taken care of from a distance
  • In extreme cases, a replacement player is delivered by parcel.
  • often complex software
  • training is often necessary
  • web interface often more comprehensible
  • training often optional
  • intuitive operating system
  • numerous self-training tools
  • based on local network
  • intact internet bandwidth
  • partially based on a local network
  • internet bandwidth usage
  • over-billing possible
  • based on internet
  • internet bandwidth usage
  • over-billing possible
  • based on internet
  • reduced bandwidth usage
  • content and exchanges compressed and optimised
Security The notion of security depends on a number of settings that are hard to isolate. As a general rule, an equivalent level of security is harder to enforce on a hybrid or Cloud system than on a hosted system. Cenareo creates the means to guarantee maximum security.
Content storage
  • storage on the client servers
  • storage on the service providers’ servers
  • temporary storage on the Cenareo servers
  • accessible from the firm’s location(s)
  • generally with a software that needs installation
  • accessible on the internet
  • generally through a web platform
  • accessible from anywhere
  • computer, tablet, smartphone
Pricing and cost sources
  • Purchase of equipment
  • Purchase of software licences
  • Site installation
  • Maintenance (in case of troubles)
  • Update (yearly)
  • Training (initial)
  • Periodical renewal of equipment
  • Potential salary of technical teams
  • Cost of server hosting
  • Subscription to management software (updates, maintenance included)
  • Purchase or lease of players
  • Optional training
  • Potential extra network equipment
  • Subscription to management software including player, maintenance, updates and support

As a general rule, a hosted architecture is more directed towards large firms and structures, that have the resources to deal with hosting and maintaining the servers. An SaaS model is more evident in smaller or more dispersed structures that might wish to delegate the management of their screen fleet to focus on their main business. However, no model can be good for all situations. It is necessary to know your needs, and goals and to balance out all these questions in order to choose the best model, solution and service provider for your needs.


Cenareo offers a powerful on-screen communication solution, that’s extremely easy to use.

Its Cloud solution offers a Plug&Play player that doesn’t need configuration: once plugged, it starts broadcasting. The management of content is done through a web platform based on codes employed by the majority of websites and known by all: trainings are thus rarely necessary.

In a matter of seconds, it’s possible to send any content from your computer (images, videos, documents), to create content through a specially designed creation tool adjusted for digital signage or add third party services like the weather, public transport schedules, sports news, agendasPowerful reporting and administration tools allow for collaborative and precise management, that’s easy to use, just like complete and real time broadcast analyses.

Cenareo has convinced and equipped clients like E.Leclerc, AXA, EDF, Boulanger, and is present in France, Switzerland, Denmark and Lebanon. Its’ solution and team have won numerous prizes.


You have a digital signage project, ask for a free demo.

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