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The Loop is History

May 23, 2011 9:33 AM, Vern Freedlander Vice President, Production X2O Media

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In many digital signage applications, content has traditionally been organized into a loop that repeats itself until it is replaced by a new loop. For operators who can’t update content regularly due to operational limitations, it’s an easy way to continually keep content on the screen. At the same time, it is extremely repetitive, predictable, and laborious. If a loop is used in a location like a retail area, it has the potential to drive the staff crazy since they have to endure that same content each and every day.

But the loop is not the only way to look at content playback. Instead, integrators and operators should consider a software solution that provides a random mix of content while keeping ad positions intact. These systems organize content into bins and pull the content as required. Alternatively, content could be driven by RSS feeds that automatically make updated content available.

In addition playback can be refreshed and controlled through the use of business rules. For example, certain content items can be tagged and predetermined rules put into place to only playback specific items during specific time periods, or items may only repeat a specific number of times before being taken out of the mix. Business rules can be quickly changed when needed to help fine tune the content flow or to appeal to various demographic components of the audience. Another advantage for operators, especially those on a budget, is that randomization and playback rules help create the impression that they have more content than they actually do.

Vern Freedlander is vice president of production services for Montréal-based X2O Media, a full-service provider of technology, network management and content services for professional digital signage applications. With more than 20 years of broadcast television experience as a producer, director and executive, Freedlander oversees all of X2O Media’s content initiatives. He can be reached at

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