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A guide to digital signage

Repeat Signage at Howard Park School

"Repeat Signage was immediately a joy to use, enabling my staff and me to simply create stunning 'blue sky thinking' and tech savvy presentations that really do make an impact”. Headteacher, Howard Park School

What is digital signage

Digital signage is about using small and large computer screens to display still and moving posters (presentations) which have different information scheduled at varying times and can be updated from a computer or remotely over the Internet.

A classic example would be a screen in a school reception area. This can be used to display information on school events such as sports day, drama productions, after school clubs, parent evenings, etc. on part of the screen, and possibly examples of student artwork on another part of the screen. Lunchtime menus can be viewed, and messages can be scrolled on the screen for parents collecting children after school.

 

Repeat Signage school digital signage software

Repeat Signage displays school info at Merryhill Schools

Digital signage replaces paper notice boards

There are hundreds of notice boards in offices, community centres, cinemas, doctors’ surgeries, hospitals, schools, and other places, on a whole host of topics, covering Health & Safety, menus, opening times, events, special offers and other information.

There is a growing trend to move away from paper notices to digital media and display screens can be seen almost anywhere in public areas.

Repeat Signage software for clinics

Repeat Signage displays clinical information featuring spreadsheets and RSS feeds

(Pictures within the digital signage presentation are courtesy of NEC Displays UK)

Why use digital signage

Digital signage is used to:

Provide information: travel information, menus, weather, national news, college courses, sales graphs, product brochures, etc...
Entertain: play a video or playlist of pictures
Advertise: products and services

For example, a hospital waiting area can display the date and time, a playlist of pictures, a video and RSS news feed messages (like the ticker tape messages you see on TV for the sports results or breaking news), and a spreadsheet displaying surgery information.

Repeat Signage for hospital A & E.

Repeat Signage is used in hospitals to display waiting times, spreadsheet of clinic information, images of hospital services, local weather, date and time and even a video to entertain children. In the accident and emergency areas or clinics, current waiting times can be displayed and easily changed by the receptionist to keep patients and visitors updated.

Repeat Signage for restaurants

Repeat Signage sample presentation for a restaurant featuring static images and spreadsheet of menu items. Staff can change pricing on a spreadsheet which automatically updates the digital signage display screen

What is digital media

Digital media, also called dynamic content, includes still and moving pictures, text, text over pictures, videos, news feeds, web pages, weather data, real-time clocks and date, webcams, streaming video, spreadsheet of restaurant menus, etc. This content is created on a computer and connected to one or more display screens.

 

Where is digital signage used

Almost anywhere indoors where you wish to give information, entertain or advertise your products or service.

Outdoor displays are also on the increase, in town centres to give tourists a flavour for what's available; drive through fast food restaurants to display menu choices; hotel and bar patios or theme parks, all of which can display digital signage.

Repeat Signage for care homes and hospital dementia wards

In care homes and hospital dementia wards, you can display menus as pictures, making it easier to choose meals.

Digital signage presentations, played on small or large screens, can be scheduled to display information at various times of the day or week. For example, in a business reception area, products and services can be advertised, and when important visitors arrive they can be greeted by a 'Welcome Mr Smith' message scrolling along the bottom of the display screen.

Within the retail sector, digital signage can be projected onto large screens in a food court where hundreds of people sit, eat and relax during their shopping trip, giving you an audience to promote your lunch time offers to and advertise the centre's shops.

Presentation sample

Repeat Signage for restaurant menus

Repeat Signage presentation showing use of desserts menu spreadsheet, icons and playlist of images designed to tempt taste buds. List of content you can use in Repeat Signage software

Creating your content

You create your content on your computer (or media player, which is normally a mini computer, an ultra-mini computer (USB stick), or a Slot-in PC which slots into the back of a large display screen.

Your content could be:

A simple playlist of pictures

A corporate or entertainment video

A Microsoft PowerPoint presentation

Professional digital signage software

 

 


Advantages of using digital signage software

With digital signage software you can include dynamic content in your presentations.

Repeat Signage for London's Velo Restaurant

Repeat Signage Media Wall software at London’s Velo Restaurant, in daily use for over 5 years

You can incorporate pictures or a playlist of pictures, videos and, depending on the signage software you use, also insert PowerPoint presentations. It saves on costs of paper and printing of traditional flyers and posters and messages and information can be updated almost immediately. Depending on your chosen digital signage software, you can connect from one computer and display your presentations onto a video wall, either portrait or landscape (landscape is ideal for digital menu boards in fast food restaurants, whilst portrait is ideal for life-size images such as in museums and for fashion shows).

Some software packages also allow interactive presentations to be displayed on touch screen monitors. These are ideal for way finding in shopping malls and airports, or for turning the pages of brochures or catalogues in shops or estate agents.

Repeat Signage for UK Estate Agents

Repeat Signage software licences are one-time payment for each PC playing content onto one display screen (4 screens from 1 PC for the Media Wall edition.)

Disadvantages of digital signage

Time - to create your own digital signage presentations. However, whenever new software is used, there is always a learning curve. Many digital signage software providers will ensure they offer a user-friendly interface, and some offer free templates and training videos. An alternative is to employ the services of a graphic design company to create digital presentations for you (which could be off-set against previous printing costs).

Cost - Software licences may have a one-time payment. However, the majority of digital signage software packages incur monthly subscriptions which has to be budgeted for and can prove very expensive when you use the software for many years.

Subscriptions or free remote updating of content

Repeat Signage for London's Velo Restaurant

Repeat Signage is ideal for individual shops who want a simple digital signage solution

 

Most digital signage software packages on the market are offered as Software as a Service (SaaS), which normally means you create your presentations on a third-party website and update your content to your display screens over the Internet, on subscription.

Repeat Signage software (Standard edition, Corporate edition, Media Wall edition), offers a choice of updating content from a local network drive, from a website or remote updating over the Internet.  A Repeat Signage software licence is for each Windows PC playing presentations onto a display screen (4 screens from 1 PC for the Media Wall edition). The Standalone edition is ideal for non-networked military use, individual shops and exhibition stands where updating of content is done manually.  Repeat Signage comparisons.

Remote updating and playing of content over the Internet at RepeatServer.com is free-of-charge, thereby making it easier to budget for licences with no on-going costs, unless you decide to upgrade to a newer edition. Includes a free RSS creator, images and icons for use in Repeat Signage presentations.

 

Remote updating of digital signage content

Repeat Signage for coffee shops

Sample presentation using Repeat Signage digital signage software for Windows




Remote updating allows businesses with several branches across the country or world, to update content in one central location. The revised presentation is uploaded to the Internet.

The display screens, which could be in the same building or across world, that are connected to a computer and the Internet will check for any changes and automatically update new content onto the display screens. This is also ideal for communicating information to emergency locations across the globe.

Resources

Repeat Signage brochure (PDF) showcasing ideas for using digital signage

Trial download of Repeat Signage software (without leaving your details)

Free RSS feed creator - set up a free account and easily create your own RSS news feeds to include in digital signage software or for your website as part of your social media marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) RSS Feed Expert