Digital signage is one of AV’s most popular solutions because it reliably commands attention – the most valuable marketing resource there is. As reliable and impactful as the technology is, though, organizations do run into some common digital signage issues from time to time. Thankfully, most issues can be resolved quickly.
Here, we’ll go over some of the most common digital signage problems that companies face, and how to address them.
Content Creation is Too Difficult or Time Consuming
The engine behind digital signage is content, and one of the first challenges is ensuring you have enough content. Many businesses are overwhelmed by this at first, but good content doesn’t always mean high effort.
Digital signage software comes with hundreds of templates, and each one provides a head start for your content team (or person). Ideally, your content people will be trained on the software before content is needed. That way, they’ll hit the ground running.
Also, there is a world of content resources out there that can fill the gaps. This includes integrating your social media feeds with the signs. That way, you’re still getting organization-relevant content without dedicating too much work to the process.
Content is Cycling Too Frequently and Becoming Uninteresting
Digital signage is designed to cycle through one screen after another, providing a constant stream of information to the audience. With only seconds dedicated to each layout, any design would quickly become stale if it’s repeated too often.
First, make sure your content is programmed for the right times. By scheduling your content in advance, you can easily determine if you have content to work with and adjust as needed.
Also, take dwell time into account. That’s the amount of time your viewers will be in front of the screen. For customers and high traffic areas, sticking to a 30-second limit for each message is recommended. In offices, restaurants and waiting rooms, though, you’ve got a captive audience. In this case, your messaging can remain in place for up to 20 minutes or more at a time. However, sticking to a few minutes for each screen, though, will keep viewers engaged.
Content is Being Displayed in Areas Where it’s Irrelevant to Viewers
If your digital signage network includes hundreds of displays, they likely expand into customer-facing areas and across departments. If this is the case for your company, careful location management is necessary.
For example, celebrating employee birthdays wouldn’t be recommended in lobbies and other locations where customers are present. Another example – you don’t want departments pushing project-centric information out to other departments, where it’s unneeded.
Digital signage networks can be controlled down to the individual display. You can group parts of your network and tag every layout to a specific group, so each display only outputs useful content to each location.
Content That Should Have Expired is Still Being Displayed
If unplanned or inactive messages are being displayed on your screens, it’s likely a media player issue. In the vast majority of cases, the solution is straightforward – check if your media players are connected to the network. If your media players are offline, they’ll continue operating but will not receive updates.
Content Will Not Upload to the Displays
Media players only accept certain image and video formats, and every brand is different. However, most accept the following formats:
If your content isn’t in any of the above formats, uploading may be the problem. It could also be a connection problem with your media players.
People Aren’t Paying Attention to the Signage
If your audience is tuning out your signage network, it could be any of the above content issues. Consider whether your content is engaging enough and if there is enough of it.
If you’re convinced that content isn’t the problem, the issue may be your displays’ positioning. It’s a common mistake for signage to be placed outside a person’s comfortable field of vision (30 degrees above eye level to 75 degrees below eye level). Displays outside of this range can cause eye strain. The horizontal angle of viewing is also relevant. The most comfortable viewing angles are within 45 degrees of the display on either side.
Also, account for viewing distance. In larger areas, larger displays will be needed for long-distance viewing. At distances of 30 feet, for example, a 65-inch screen is the minimum recommendation. At 40 feet, an 86-inch screen is recommended.
Messaging that cycles too quickly or slowly will also fade into the background and making slight adjustments here can help.
The Images Aren’t Displaying Properly
If your content is uploading but doesn’t look quite right, it could be due to a few reasons. They include:
- Wrong image size ratio – Digital signage is designed to output at a 16:9 ratio or a 9:16 ratio for vertically mounted screens. If your layouts are outside of this ratio, parts of the image may be cut off or uneven resizing may occur.
- Wrong image resolution – For 16:9 displays, the optimal image resolution is 1920 x 1080. For ultra-high-resolution displays, 3840 x 2160 is optimal. If your images are smaller than this, the image will look fuzzy and pixelated.
- Low quality image file – If your aspect ratio and resolution are both optimal, but the image is still poor, the source file itself may be of low quality. Higher quality images are larger and require more network resources, but a good middle ground is picking files between 2-3 MB in size.
Display Performance is Poor or Starting to Fail
Software problems are much more common than hardware problems, but hardware does eventually fail. If your digital signage has been in continuous operation for years, repair or replacement may be required.
Common signs of hardware failure include:
- The screen doesn’t display anything when powered on, even if the backlight is operating.
- The screen does switch on and display content, but powers itself off after several seconds.
- There are display faults that remain in place even after on-screen images change. This is usually a blank or discolored area.
A Certified AV Integrator Can Solve Many Digital Signage Issues
Whether your digital signage issues are caused by software, hardware or users, a certified AV integrator can troubleshoot and resolve them. In fact, many organizations retain their integrator in a support role so they can be brought in when digital signage issues do arise.
With their high visibility, digital signage issues are immediately noticeable when they occur. With the above fixes and partnering with a certified integrator, those issues can be quickly handled.