Frequently Asked Questions 

The basics

Digital signage FAQs

Self-service kiosk FAQs

Membership FAQs


What is digital signage?

Digital signage is the use of electronic displays or screens (such as LCD, LED, plasma or projection) to deliver entertainment, information and/or advertisement in public or private spaces, outside of home.



What is self-service?

Self-service is simply the act of serving yourself. Organizations are using self-service technology to allow customers to help themselves. Examples include scanning your own groceries, printing a boarding pass, printing photos and renting a DVD from an automated vending machine. Self-service extends to websites and call centers, but for the purposes of this organization, is limited to technology used outside the home to interact with an organization.

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What's a kiosk?

An electronic kiosk houses a computer terminal that employs kiosk software with a simple graphical user interface (GUI) to allow users to obtain information or conduct a transaction while preventing users from accessing system functions. Kiosks may store data locally, or retrieve it from a network. Kiosks commonly include a touchscreen, but some use keyboards.

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What is mobile?

A mobile device (also known as a handheld device, handheld computer or simply handheld) is a pocket-sized computing device, typically having a display screen with touch input and/or a miniature keyboard. In the case of the personal digital assistant (PDA) the input and output are often combined into a touch-screen interface. Smartphones and PDAs are popular among those who require the assistance and convenience of certain aspects of a conventional computer, in environments where carrying one would not be practical. (Source: Wikipedia)

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What is digital screenmedia?

Digital screenmedia is an umbrella term that encompasses multiple types of customer engagement technologies, such as digital signage, kiosks, mobile and social media.

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What are some common components to most digital signage projects?

A typical signage project includes:

  • Screen
    LCD is most common; plasma is good for high quality video with fast moving action.
  • Player device
    Often a small form factor PC or appliance that runs content and displays to the screen.
  • Mounting bracket
    Most often includes wall, pole, ceiling, or movable cart.
  • Management software
    To manage media, playlists, schedules and manage each screen/player.
  • Networking
    Standard IP networking is most common, and management over the internet, cellular or even Satellite is available.
  • Content
    Perhaps the most important element! A strategic messaging campaign with media such as video, flash, HTML, Jpeg/Gif graphics, live TV, RSS and more are common.

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How do I figure out if digital signage is a good solution for my company?

Consider your customer first. Do they often have questions about your company, product or service? Are they as informed as they could be to make educated purchasing decisions? Can you or your employees deliver a consistent strategic message to every one of them? Digital signage in your company can help to deliver consistent strategic messages to your audience to empower or influence their actions.

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How often do I need to change content?

The frequency of content change will depend on your strategy, your business and your budget. A small retailer may need to change content once a month as new products, promotions and other messaging changes. Whereas, an internal corporate communication system may change daily or several times a day. Some digital signage is a combination of static art and dynamic text pulled from databases, social media or RSS feeds. But whatever the scope of your strategy, plan to refresh the content on a regular basis enough to where your customers are not becoming bored with the messaging, rendering it ineffective. Give them what they want or what they need and go beyond that to surprise and delight them. You may be able to create some simple content in house, but it's often best to work with a professional designer or digital content provider to create media that will put your product, company or services in the best light possible.

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Should I conduct a pilot before I commit to a full deployment?

A pilot project before a full deployment is essential for most projects of any size. Doing a single sign or single store before installing hundreds of screens to multiple stores will help you work through any unforeseen problems of various aspects of your project. From software, to hardware compatibility and even installation, you will learn and document many potential pit falls that will make your full deployment be much more successful.

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What are the top 10 considerations when creating effective digital signage content?
  1. Establish the type of network.
  2. Strategically plan with all stakeholders.
  3. Establish the objectives of the network.
  4. Conduct audience research.
  5. Analyze other potential media assets.
  6. Understand the relationship among national, regional and local messages.
  7. Map the visual, audio and text messages onto the screen.
  8. Create a network ID (brand).
  9. Create the content.
  10. Program the content according to refresh and dwell time.

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What network and content performance metrics should we be considering?

There are seven areas to consider:
  • Content
  • Relevancy
  • Interaction
  • Scheduling
  • Placement (display)
  • Refresh
  • Attraction

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Why should I buy a commercial grade screen when a local retailer has the same size for less money?
  • Commercial screens used in digital signage are intended to run for many more hours than a consumer grade screen. They are often rated at 50,000 - 60,000 hours versus 20,000 hours of a consumer grade screen, so you will get much more life out of your initial investment.
  • Consumer grade screens are under warranty by the manufacturer for an average of one year and commercial screens average a 3 year warranty. Using a consumer grade screen in a business setting will often void the consumer warranty.
  • Heat is the most common killer of LCD and Plasma screens and commercial grade screens have better heat dissipation with fans and other methods to prolong it's life, even when run 16 - 24 hours a day.
  • Commercial screens often have the types of connectivity required for your project such as RS232 connections, BNC, and video looping.
  • Security: Commercial displays have unique features to protect the unit, including IR lock out. Controls on the front of the display can be locked while additional buttons for other functions are usually hidden to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Power Savings: Many screens can be programmed to turn on and off at the same time your location opens to the public, saving energy costs by turning off overnight.
  • Purchasing the hardware from your professional integrator ensures you get the proper model, features and support you will need.

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What businesses are using kiosks?

Retail, hospitality (hotels and restaurants), transportation (i.e. - metro and rail, parking), travel (airlines, cruise ships, car rental), banking and financial services, health care, gaming, government, education, etc. – virtually every segment of the public and private sectors.

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Why are businesses using kiosks?

Many reasons, but to name a few: improve the customer experience, speed, order/information accuracy and timeliness, and labor savings.

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What are the most popular applications?

Digital photography, product information, airline/hotel check-in, self-checkout, DVD rentals, quick-serve restaurant ordering, bill payment and human resources (both for job applicants and for employee access).

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What is the return on investment (ROI) for a business installing a kiosk?

It varies based on the application and intent. Some recoup their costs in a few months; others take longer than a year. Informational kiosks that enhance the customer experience may not be intended to generate revenue or save money.

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What is the benefit of using a kiosk for a consumer?

Many reasons, but to name a few: convenience, giving the consumer a sense of control and increased speed and order accuracy. A growing number of consumers prefer to interact with a machine over a person.

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Is membership, company based or individual based?

The majority of the membership is company based, but we do offer individual membership as well.

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What types of companies are members?

Our members are deployers and end-users of kiosks in retail, financial services, hospitality and travel, entertainment, human resources, health care, and government (virtually any market segment). We also have manufacturers, resellers and distributors of kiosks and kiosk components as well as those involved in installation, maintenance, publishing, trade shows, consulting and other industry related services.
What are the benefits of membership?

Please see

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How much does membership cost?

Membership pricing varies by member category and for vendors, by company size. Please see

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What discounts are available to members?

We’re continually developing new relationships to provide discounts to members, but here is a list of what’s currently available:
  • 20% off research reports published by SSKA and NetWorld Alliance
  • 30% off research reports published by Summit Research
  • 20% off research reports published by VDC Research
  • 10% off advertising with NetWorld Alliance (,, etc.)
  • 10% off sponsorship of KioskCom’s Self Service Expo

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What is my discount code for reports?

The discount code is included in your welcome letter after joining the Association. You may also contact us to obtain your code.

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How do I submit press releases?

DSA Members may submit press releases to

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Our members are among the most prominent and respected suppliers of digital signage, kiosk, self-service and mobile technology solutions.

Request project help from DSA members

Alex Richardson, Selling Machine Partners
"The Digital Screenmedia Association is home to the best minds in the industry. I encourage you to join other industry leaders in this rapidly growing marketplace."

Alex Richardson
Cross Channel Innovation Mgr.
Polo Ralph Lauren

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Digital Screenmedia Association | 13100 Eastpoint Park Blvd. Louisville, KY 40223 | Phone: 502-489-3915 | Fax: 502-241-2795



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