How to Choose a Media Player

If the choice of which touch screen to purchase weren’t challenging enough, the choice is further complicated by thoughts of what to use to power the content that will be shown on the screen. Does the screen have an Open Pluggable Specification (OPS) slot? If it doesn’t, is the slot an OPS-compliant one? What other options exist if the touch display has an OPS-compliant slot but you don’t want to use an OPS player? The answer is many.

Media players range from embedded chips to Apple TV and from Android-based to standard, performance, and multi-output players. Some of those options rarely work for digital signage needs; embedded chips, for instance, struggle when tasked with showing high-quality animation or video. Apple TV is a consumer product and runs the risk of not being able to withstand commercial demands. Standard and performance players will work with high-quality animation and video, but only a performance player will suffice when content is to be displayed on video walls or ultra-large screens – both of which typically boast screen resolutions of 4K.

Those points illustrate the underlying concern; choosing a media player has everything to do with your end goal. What do you want the screen or screens to display and how do you want people to interact with that content? Such questions means considering things like a media player’s processing power and its networking capabilities. A wayfinding signage solution for a college campus calls for a different touch screen and media player than a touch screen solution for a classroom. If a single installation point is used for research and testing but is intended to grow into a full-scale network of screens and players, the test model has to begin with the right connectivity options and processing power for that planned growth.

Our PDF about considerations for choosing a media player is available for download, but if you have questions or need help deciding which player to buy for your digital signage needs, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (512) 846-2424.