How to set up a digital church sign

Screenly enables religious communities to deploy engaging digital church signs.

Screenly enables religious communities to deploy engaging digital church signs.

In recent years, more and more churches have adopted technology in order to better engage with their community members. This trend includes the use of wireless microphones and sound systems, social media outreach, and electronic payments for church donations. Another important technology that many churches have put to use is digital signage. Digital church signs enable church leaders to display attention-grabbing image and video content to churchgoers. This church sign content can inform people of upcoming events and recent happenings within the religious community. When used properly, digital church signs result in increased attendance and engagement in religious services.

The average cost of digital church signs

Depending on the components you use, church signs can be well within your church’s IT budget. To launch a digital church sign, you need three key items to get started: a digital signage player, digital signage software, and, of course, a digital display.

A digital signage player is a small physical device that you plug into your screen. This device processes and renders your selected images and videos onto your digital sign. When choosing a digital signage player for your church, you want to make sure that it is inexpensive both in terms of initial upfront cost and ongoing electricity costs. The Screenly Player is one of the most cost-effective media players on the market. You can purchase a Screenly Player and all required connection cords in the Screenly Box 0 for around US $115 (exact pricing depends on the particular distributor). Additionally, the Screenly Player only draws 3 watts of electricity when in use, so you won’t be hit with a massive electricity bill.

Next, you need digital signage software for your church. This software allows you to manage the content of your digital signs easily from a laptop. This feature is useful as church management can change content in just a few clicks rather than having to visit the sign and update content manually. Church digital signage software pricing depends on the number of screen licenses you need. You can get access to Screenly digital signage software for up to two screens for just US $19.95 per month.

The next component that figures into the average cost of digital church signs is the digital display itself. It is important to note that you do not need to purchase a brand new 4K resolution TV. You can use a TV screen or monitor you already own, or you can buy a discounted used display. Just make sure the screen can accept HDMI input and can display 1080p HD content. These specifications allow your screen to be compatible with most digital signage players. Depending on the size of your digital display, you can purchase a used digital display for around US $150.

So, the average cost of digital church signs is under US $300. This price point is affordable for most churches, and you will definitely see a return on your digital sign in terms of increased attendance and engagement from church members.

The advantages of church digital signage software

As mentioned above, church digital signage software allows church staff to change the content of their church sign from a laptop. At first glance, this feature may not seem all that useful, however, it saves a tremendous amount of time for staff members. Without church digital signage software, your church staff will need to update the content of the sign manually. This process involves downloading content to a USB drive and uploading the content on each sign using a USB keyboard. This tedious process can take up to an hour for a sign each time new content needs to be displayed. With church digital signage software, church staff can update content in minutes with just a few clicks. This ability saves a ton of time with one screen and even more time if your church has multiple digital church signs. Also, if your team administers screens in multiple churches throughout your parish, you can change the content of these multi-location screens all at once via a screen “Group” within Screenly.

Another one of the advantages of church digital signage software is that you can turn off your digital church signs remotely at a predetermined time. For example, you can schedule your church signs to turn off at 8 PM and turn on at 8 AM. This automation allows your staff to automate this repeated task, and your church can save money by not having the digital displays on throughout the night.

Church digital signage software also allows you to schedule content to play at specific times during the say. This feature is useful as you can time content with particular events. For example, if a youth group is scheduled to meet on the church grounds, you can display content that caters to this demographic. Additionally, you can schedule information regarding mass dedications to display at times surrounding that particular mass.

Some church sign ideas

Once you have the hardware and software set up for your church’s digital sign, you need to populate this sign with great content. Don’t over think this step, just display what is useful and interesting for your congregation! Great church sign content can include announcements for upcoming mass services as well as special services such as reconciliation hours. You can also display welcome notices for new clergy members and new members of your church community. Think of using your digital church sign for promoting events as well. You can use your church’s digital sign to increase attendance at community food drives and Sunday socials. You can even display heart-warming content such as themed drawings from the kids at Sunday school! Hopefully these church sign ideas have given you some inspiration, but only you know what content will work best with your community. With church digital signage software you can quickly test out and experiment with new content ideas in minutes.

I want to launch a digital church sign. What do I do next?

To get launch digital signage at your church, you need to get sorted with the required hardware and software for your church sign. For your digital signage player, check out the Screenly Box 0 which contains a Screenly Player and all necessary connection cords to get you started. Next, sign up for Screenly digital signage management software, and upload your church sign content to your account. After that, plug in your Screenly Player to your digital display, and you will then have your very first digital church sign!