Thursday, May 12, 2011

Digital Signage

I've recently helped a school get digital signage set up in their hallways, library, and cafeteria. We went with a system that was much less expensive that other commercial systems, but still very flexible and functional. If you want to set up your own similar system, let me know or follow these steps.
  1. Displays: 40" - 50" LCD TVs (60 Hz is fine); shop around at local electronics stores and you should be able to get 42" displays for about $500.
  2. Mounting: best left to the professionals; you may be able to find wall mount brackets for a good price locally, but this one or one of these at monoprice.com should be sufficient.
  3. Power: the professionals will need to install power outlets in the ceiling for your TVs
  4. Connections: you will need to run a long VGA cable (or HDMI/DVI cable) running from each TV back to the computer that is driving it. You may also want a long audio cable for videos with sound.
  5. Internet connection: each computer will require a connection to the Internet. You may need to run some Cat 5E cable and terminate it with some plugs or jacks.
  6. Computers: the signage player software can run on a basic desktop computer that you have lying around or from Computers for Schools. You'll need one per TV.
  7. Software: mediasignage.com is free for what we need to do with it. Setting this up probably requires a separate post.
  8. Content: probably the most important thing, but since it will be individual to your location I'll leave it to you (and/or us) to deal with this.
There are of course other ways to set this up, but this is what is working at Salisbury Composite.

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