Blog: Jeff Hastings 
Jeff Hastings (Bio)
Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Our vibrant industry is evolving its technology base faster than ever. 4K was first talked about at CES, and already screens are appearing everywhere from high end to low end. Integrators are now using more and more full-HD streaming media servers to lower the cost of video distribution. Content developers are incorporating their HTML5 Web assets into digital signage content, leveraging an investment already made in content creation.

The social media generation expects to interact with signage rather than just view it, and the technologies that support this interaction, like touch control and swipe, continue to be deployed more and more. Customers' expectations are calibrated by the devices in their pockets. Signage networks are increasingly enabling customers to engage through Twitter, Facebook or other platforms. Local store managers also expect to be able to control their signs from their smartphone with an app — as well as via a Web browser.

The Internet is driving digital signage technology in other ways too, making it essential for signage to update in real-time in response to fluctuations in the market, weather or news events. Displays installed at 40-plus Western Union International Bank currency exchanges, for example, are updated continuously with the latest exchange rates by intelligently pulling data from their business system.

Some of these changes started in 2013, and many have now transitioned from being a nice-to-have, to an essential feature during the year. As you consider your investment in digital signage in 2014, make sure that the products and equipment you are selecting not only fully support the changes that have already taken place, but also have a good roadmap for supporting new technologies as they evolve. Future-proofing is a key issue for digital signage network owners.

All of the trends will develop and extend in 2014, and new paradigms will emerge. Don't get stranded with products that are static. Be sure you are buying into a flexible platform that will evolve in lockstep with emerging technologies.

Posted by: Admin AT 01:18 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Friday, 01 November 2013

Each year, growth in our category is driven by innovation – advancements in key areas that cause our customers to invest in digital signage to help propel their businesses forward. I believe that 4K will be the catalyst that drives this growth in 2014.

Unfortunately there’s significant trepidation about 4K, so we face the challenge of demystifying the possibilities – explaining the opportunities surrounding an investment in a digital signage deployment that will fully harness the power of 4K in 2014 and beyond.

In much the same way the broadcast industry struggled with HD until 1080p content became commonplace, the digital signage industry will face a similar challenge as 4K begins to hit its stride. For this reason, it is critical that we help our customers future-proof their digital signage investment.

As an example, we had the pleasure of working with Seiki Digital at the IFA tradeshow in Berlin this fall. We partnered to deliver beautiful 1080p up-converted content to their 4K screens and the Seiki displays looked stunning. It was a simple yet powerful demonstration of the same 1080p content delivered to a Full HD display and a new 4K / UHD display side-by-side. The superior picture quality delivered by BrightSign to the 4K UHD screen was quite evident.

In the coming year, signage installations should include screens that are capable of displaying 4K content. The improvement in picture quality is nothing short of outstanding. And even though 4K content may initially be scarce, the screens paired with a media player capable of the highest quality video up-scaling can do a fantastic job of displaying existing Full HD content at 4K resolution.

There will be a lot of excitement around 4K in the coming year. This presents us with an opportunity to prove our worth to our customers – to counsel them on the possibilities for upgrading to 4K signage, and to deliver solutions that will scale seamlessly as they make the migration forward.

Posted by: Admin AT 06:29 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
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