- All In One Systems: a media player is connected to a screen, and content is updated via USB or flash drive or other method. The software is local, in other words, not web-based, and the playlist formatting and management software is loaded onto the media player. This type of system is appropriate where content does not need to be changed often; where internet or wired connectivity poses a challenge; or where budgets are limited.
- Wireless or Wired Content Delivery Network: This type of system employs a “controlling” computer where a more advanced IT professional can arrange place-paced content schedules, and then deploy across the internet or within a local network to update players and screens. Advanced systems allow content to be pushed to screens automatically, report back on screen problems, and allow for unlimited variations of content: by geography, time of day, store zone. The cost of these systems can be higher, but the ease of use is often better than option 3.
- Cloud-based Content Systems: Here, a content management system is cloud-based, meaning web-based, on a remote server. The cost can fall between options 1 and 3, with greater scheduling options and deployment ease than option #1. Here, however, you must rely upon the software, server and configuration of the management tools to set up your files, crop, time and place them. In most cases, the time to upload quality HD files and then view them on the cloud-based application makes this a cumbersome model. On the plus side, you can give access to multiple users – if you trust them – to create content for particular events or regions.
LobbyPOP has preferred products for all three types of content management scenarios. We can advise you and end-users in the best application for current and future needs. Next post will talk about this consultative process!