Avoiding Digital Signage Pitfalls
For many AV integrators, digital signage is still new to their repertoire. But over the past several years, Multi-Media Solutions in Knoxville, Tenn., has come to specialize in digital signage installs.
For many AV integrators, digital signage is still new to their repertoire. But over the past several years, Multi-Media Solutions in Knoxville, Tenn., has come to specialize in digital signage installs. CEO Mike White, CTS, has seen the company go through growing pains–technology that over-promises, software that's only vapor–and learned valuable lessons that he encourages AV integrators to heed. He calls them "25 Gotchas." We sample several here. For more from White, see the digital signage guide he wrote for Pro AV at www.proavmagazine.com/DStips.
Electricity: You must make sure your electrical source is clean, up to spec for the load, and not on a switched circuit. The contract should spell out that there will be a change order based on any delay caused by electricity drops.
First-time configurations: New digital signage solutions come out all the time. Don't underestimate what it could take to integrate new products. Build some contingency into the budget.
Last-minute content changes: Beware the impact of new and revised content on your digital signage system. It will be untested, untried, and of course urgent, but make sure the client is clear the network you build will go live with tested content that you've had at least a week before launch.
Firewalls and fixed IP addresses: Digital signage is all about getting information from one location to another. Don't forget about network firewalls a client might have in place, and don't expect getting a fixed IP address to be simple or timely.
Distance installations: They're networks, sometimes with screens far away from you. Find local AV contractors you can call on in an emergency.
Operator competency: Have this discussion up front. Find out who will be trained on the system and whether they can handle it–without help.