Any digital signage implementation needs a media player to serve the content to the displays. However, there are many variations of media players in the market – standalone media players, SoC media players, and desktop media players. While desktop media players are mainly Windows based, they are not used in the mainstream implementations any more. We will look at standalone media players and SoC media players in this article.
SoC media players are becoming popular and they have about 10% of the market share today and they are slowly threatening the standalone media player segment. The two largest providers of SoC media players are Samsung and LG and they are slowly eating into the traditional standalone media player market in the generic signage segment. There are a number of media player manufacturers like ONELAN, AOPEN, IAdea, Ibase, BrightSign and countless others who make reliable media players, but are being replaced by SoC players at least in the generic markets.
Let us look at the comparison of SoC media players Vs. standalone media players:
▪An SoC display saves you about $700 compared to the traditional digital signage network
▪While Android and Raspberry Pi versions offer cheaper alternatives in the standalone media player segment, the high performance ones still cost a lot of money. Many cheaper versions use refurbished components and you have to be lucky to get something that works without issues
▪Power consumption in an SoC media player is extremely low compared to the standalone media player
▪While SoC media players are more than capable of playing mutizone content, when it comes to multiple video playback, interactivty and 4K content, the standalone media players win the battle hands down
▪SoC media players are pretty simple to mount and use it. All you have to do is mount it on a wall, connect to the Internet, configure and you are good to go. There is no need for additional sockets or connecting cables
▪When you talk about flexibility, the standalone media players score heavily because of the flexibility of using a range of graphics cards, processors and drivers that allows you to have interactivity, touch based applications with advertisements, 4K content on a video wall, audience measurements etc. very easily
Overall, when it comes to generic digital signage market, it would be easier to go with SoC media players. When it comes to high performance, complex and custom digital signage needs, it is better to go with standalone media players. However, there is a huge surge in terms of SoC digital signs and they are growing at a healthy 250 percentage year on year.