Let's begin with defining what digital signage is before we go ahead and determine what a video extender is and why it is essential for the entire signage setup. Digital signage is a subset of the signage industry that focuses on the use of banners to communicate information, usually in the form of advertisements and menu boards to try and educate or influence the audience to make a purchase of a product or get their message across.
This type of signage relies on the use of HD TV screens such as LCD, LED and Projection to enable the display of content such as templates, images, videos, streaming video and all sorts of information in various formats across the digital display boards. The text can be static or interactive, and the same applies to all the other forms of media on the screen. The solution can be hosted locally on your media player, or it can be rendered as a service in the cloud.
Components: Hardware and Software The hardware and software for the digital signage need to be well taken care of, to have an active display campaign that has longevity. The software refers to the computer program that will display your content on the digital boards, manage the content and assign to the proper hardware.
The hardware refers to all the digital displays and the media players that are used to run the advertisements of your campaign. The whole field of digital signage hardware is still made up of smaller components which must be taken care of as per the manufacturer's recommendations. This is critical to the proper functioning of the entire unit. Some of the most crucial of these components include the media player and the accompanying video extenders; without this element, the system as a whole would not function properly.
Uses: Video ExtenderSo what exactly is a video extender and what is its benefit? Well, a video extender is an individual device which has been designed to extend video display for long distances from the video source while still maintaining the pixel quality of the final image. Technically, it can also be defined as extending video display without a loss in signal, as would be the case if the extender cables were not employed.
There are three major types of video cables which are ideally suited for the extension of the videos, as used in digital signage solutions; all of these solutions have their pros and cons. We are going to explore these options here in a bid to understand not only what they do but also how to use them for your specific purposes. Since no two digital display solutions are alike, it is important to make sure that you have an understanding on all of them so that you can make an educated decision on which solution will be appropriate for a given setting.
- HDMI - This is a digital video cable extender that uses and transmits information in a digital format. The word HDMI is the acronym for High-Definition Multimedia Interface. This extender offers the same output as the DVI both regarding quality and resolution. The primary distinction between these two is that the HDMI carries both audio and video signals whereas DVI only carries video.
Though the connectors are different, they both use the same encoding technology for video, and this allows for a DVI source to connect with an HDMI to DVI cable without having to add a signal converter. This means that you can use these two intelligently to extend the range of your video across a multitude of displays.
Technically, the HDMI is defined as an audio/video interface for transmitting uncompressed video data and uncompressed or compressed digital audio from an HDMI-compliant source device such as a display controller to a compatible computer monitor, video projector, HDTV or digital audio device.
- DVI - DVI standards for Digital Visual Interface and it are a video display interface which was developed by the Digital Display Working Group. It is used to link a video source such as a video display controller to a display device such as a computer monitor. It is an industry standard for the transmission of digital video content.
The connector is pluggable, and it can handle a large range of video streams. It is important to understand that the DVI format is the technical standard whereas the HDMI is the consumer format. Thus, the DVI is robust and can be plugged into making the DVI connector weld together with the device that it is interacting with.
- VGA - The Video Graphics Array refers to the display hardware that was introduced by IBM in 1987. It is an analog computer display standard that supports all types of analog graphic modes and alphanumeric text modes.
This is an old rule that was made standard on all kinds of PCs manufactured from 1987 onwards. As such, it was designed to take care of resolutions which run from the 320 x 200 in 256 colors to 640 x 480 16 Colors monochrome.
The bottom-line is that this technology offers a higher chance of signal degradation when compared to the other two techniques which have been described above. The likelihood of deterioration of a signal at distances of just 20 feet makes its use quite limited.
Choose Wisely Ultimately, you may want to choose a solution that will take care of your needs as they arise, always bearing in mind that video extenders like HDMI are not only quite modern but that it also has a relatively higher capacity for transmitting signals un-degraded across longer distances. It is consequently ideal for longer outdoor connections in which you want to retain the fidelity of the signal to remain as much as possible as the original. Therefore, it is imperative to do the proper research before choosing a solution that you believe will work best for your circumstances. Understanding what your requirements are and then deciding on your hardware will give you longevity with digital signage use.