Blog: Jeff Hastings 
Jeff Hastings (Bio)
Wednesday, 03 December 2014

As 2014 draws to a close, we reflect on a year that produced a great deal of innovation. Most notably we saw 4K make significant inroads the second half of the year. At BrightSign we’ve seen first-hand the demand for 4K products – since we began shipping our new 4K players in late Q3, we’ve been selling through inventory on a continual basis. And beyond this innovation at the high end of the market, we’re also seeing a big spike in demand for entry-level products. This is driven by a growing trend for mass rollouts of simple point-of-purchase displays in big-box retail, as well as a growing number of tech-savvy small businesses building and managing their own digital signage. In short: the digital signage market is experiencing strong growth both at the high and low ends of the spectrum. This translates into what I expect will be a very successful start to 2015.

An interesting revelation is that stronger-than-expected sales of high-end 4K products is due to more than just the desire to play back 4K content. Some customers are future-proofing their investments because they intend to transition to 4K content and displays in the near future, and even more customers are making the high-end purchase decision because the processing power and performance of the 4K players surpass that of a PC-based system at less than half the cost.

As for our new entry-level players, I believe they will fill a very important niche that’s currently filled by a sea of inexpensive, Android-based devices whose price-points are far more enticing than their actual performance. These consumer devices are complicated to set up and their ongoing maintenance costs frustrate end-users who gravitated initially to the low purchase price. Our new LS players will save these integrators and end-users a world of hurt because they will now be able to use an affordable media player that’s purpose-built for digital signage.

The market shifts I described above came as no surprise. Not only did we anticipate these developments, but companies like BrightSign helped to catalyze these market shifts. As we turn our attention to 2015, we approach the new year readier than ever to meet customer demand at every price point. Not coincidentally, this week we will take the wraps off our revamped product portfolio. We now offer the most diverse line of digital signage media players in our company’s history.

Since day 1, BrightSign has been guided by the simple principle of producing reliable, affordable media players that make is easy for businesses, brands and organizations to embrace digital signage. Our new product portfolio is a testament to that commitment – no matter how modest or elaborate the installation, we have a digital signage solution to meet the need. The coming year will present near-limitless opportunities for our industry, and I can’t wait to see what transpires.

Posted by: Admin AT 10:12 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Wednesday, 26 February 2014

True 4K is spectacular–as good as a top quality printed poster. One of the bigger myths out there right now is that 4K is too expensive. That may have been true in the past, but the price point for 4K is dropping very fast!

Most digital signage content is already shot in 4K and signage providers, retailers and integrators can present it in its pristine native quality without great expense – by picking the right installation components.

While most top commercial grade 4K screens can be very expensive, there are monitors available for under $1000. The 50” consumer grade Seiki 4K screens we used in the BrightSign booth at ISE sell for under $950. I think you will see this trend, 4K screen prices dropping to a reasonable premium over full HD screens, start to happen in the commercial market soon.

Equally, you can spend thousands on a solution for decode and output to the display, or you can use a less than $900 purpose-built, solid-state player that perfectly supports the requirements of the new 4K ecosystem, handling H.265 encoded content at 60 fps for output via a HDMI 2.0 interface.

Since 4K is becoming affordable at a very rapid rate, I believe that this transition will be one of the fastest that the digital signage industry has ever seen. There is a good chance that commercial adoption of 4K will happen ahead of consumer adoption. The reason is that we have much greater control of the whole ecosystem from content creation and distribution to presentation. While most movies and other broadcast content are already shot in 4K, the distribution challenges are much greater for the broadcast industry. There is good momentum for 4K’s arrival in the consumer space as evidenced by announcements from Netflix that they will be starting 4K delivery trials with H.265 encoded content in the first half of this year and by Amazon which also promises 4K content delivery in the near future.
When our player ships this summer, signage industry professionals will be able to buy a player with leading-edge technology along with a screen that presents a true 4K experience for under $2,000. That’s a promise.

Posted by: Admin AT 03:41 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
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