What to consider when buying a digital signage controller

The laptop of a prospective customer who is ready for a digital signage demo.

A digital signage controller, also known as a digital signage player, is a physical device that renders digital signage content to a screen. Most digital signage solutions require a digital signage controller, and some solutions are compatible with multiple controller types. In the article below, we cover key considerations when purchasing a digital signage controller.

Consider digital signage controller connectivity

Digital signage controllers must communicate with your digital signage content management system and your screen. Most digital signage controllers communicate with content management systems over the internet, and this internet connection often comes via Ethernet cable or Wi-Fi connection. In some cases with remote digital signage, this internet connection comes via SIM cards and data plans. Users will need to consider the internet-connection capabilities of the controller and the internet setup at their place of business.

For communicating with the screen itself, most digital signage controllers connect via HDMI cable. When purchasing a digital signage controller, be sure to consider the needed cables and cable-management accessories.

Get a reliable digital signage controller

By their nature, digital signs are placed in high-traffic areas and are meant to be seen. This characteristic means that content is highly visible, and it also means that digital signage outages are highly visible, too. Having a non-functioning screen or screen that displays an error message is not a good look for a company to its customers.

Be sure to consider reliability when selecting a digital signage controller. Reliability features with Screenly digital signage controllers include automatic software updates, heat sinks, and content caching. Content caching is important as even the most reliable internet connections will intermittently go out. With content caching, digital signage content is stored locally on the digital signage controller and can continue to play even when the device loses connection to the internet.

Additionally, if a digital signage controller goes offline, Screenly users receive email notifications about the outage. Similarly, they can see a map of all their digital signage controller and if any are malfunctioning on the main dashboard map.

Security is key with digital signage controllers

Digital signage controllers are often left in public areas, next to the digital sign. This reality means that non-employee individuals can easily access and tamper with the device. Accordingly, to avoid devastating digital signage hacks, security is highly important when selecting a digital signage controller.

To enhance device security, Screenly deploys software updates automatically. This work ensures that each device is protected from fixed vulnerabilities without the user needing to take action and update each device manually. Additionally, Screenly uses mTLS with TPM for even greater hardware security.

Learn more about Screenly digital signage controllers

Screenly offers two digital signage controllers, the Screenly Player and the Screenly Player Max. The Screenly Player is built on open-source Raspberry Pi 4 hardware, and it is a great low-cost option for smaller digital signage deployments. The Screenly Player Max is a more powerful digital signage player, and we recommend it for large-scale commercial deployments. You can compare our two digital signage controllers at the link here.

Getting started with Screenly

In addition to learning more about our digital signage controllers, you can also learn more about our digital signage content management system. You can get started now with our free 14-day trial. No credit card required.

Need support? Our team is always ready to help. Feel free to reach out to Screenly Support with any questions.

manage cookies