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How SoC changed the standards for digital menu boards

Learn more about this recent technology for digital signages.

The basic components of digital signage consist of the display screen, a media player, content management software, and the screen content itself. Recent advancements in technology have introduced another component to digital signage, the System-on-Chip (SoC). Previously bulky media players were connected to the digital displays to run the content typically controlled by a cloud-based CMS. The new SoC technology integrates all the key components of a computer into a single compact board that is integrated within digital displays, allowing them to display content without the use of external media players. 

Whilst media players and SoC are used to display multimedia and HTML content, SoC embedded displays simplify the operation of digital signage networks by removing the cost and complexity of installing external media players. SoC is an all-in-one solution for digital signage.

Samsung pioneered the SoC technology a little less than a decade ago with the Samsung Smart Signage Platform. While system integrators require a dedicated player to smoothly run large networks with complex content, SoC displays are ideal for a lot of small networks with simple content. Due to this, many QSRs have opted to use SoC embedded displays for their digital menu boards and promotional displays. 

Should your business use smart displays with SoC?

When considering a digital signage system for your QSR business, one of the most important decisions to make is whether you should use media players or smart displays with SoC. There are a number of things to consider.

Cost

Digital signage is more than just a screen, it needs content to display on the display. Digital signage requires a content management system (CMS) to schedule and organise content, and a media player to run the content. The overall cost of these components can add up and can often be pricey. You have to consider the price of an annual CMS license fee, on top of installation costs. 

Opting for SoC can reduce the overall cost of your digital signage system. Whilst media players do vary in price, media players can still cost several hundred dollars up to thousands, on top of the initial cost of the screen itself. 

Although a smart digital display may be slightly more expensive than a regular screen without SoC, it is still more cost effective than buying a screen and a media player separately.

Simplicity

SoC simplifies the complex process of digital signage networks. When you have an SoC embedded screen, you don’t need to spend hours configuring a media player. Some argue that it is easier to switch out a media player when it breaks, than to replace a broken SoC. By purchasing a quality display, such as Samsung’s SoC, you can rely on the screens' on-site warranty. Additionally, these devices have a low 0.3% failure rate. SoC further reduces infrastructure with their WiFi integrated screens, lessening the failure points and maintenance costs with fewer devices to support and manage. 

Content

Ultimately, the decision on whether to choose a media player or SoC depends on the type of content you need to display. Do you have complex content that requires a live data feed, or multiple videos at once? These types of content that require some processing power may be better off with a media player. BrightSign media players, for example, is a reliable system that can display high-quality graphics and more complex HTML content in 4k resolution. It can also display live feeds instantly without the need for anyone to constantly update the content, a powerful tool when displaying live data content. However, at Amped Digital we have found most businesses in the food service industry tend to display static images in a playlist or short animated videos for menu boards and display screens, which SoC can handle with ease. 

A good example of this is the popular donut chain, Krispy Kreme. Amped Digital provided SoC embedded screens to Krispy Kreme stores with a cloud-based CMS to fully manage and control content in-house without the aid of third-party service providers. 

What are the benefits of SoC?

To summarise there are several benefits that SoC offers to add value to your restaurant or cafe business.

  1. All-in-one solution

SoC simplifies your digital signage system by lessening the infrastructure involved in the system. No additional devices are required to display your menu or promotional items on your digital menu board or promotional display. 

  1. Cost-effective 

Although smart signage displays are more expensive than regular displays, they are still more cost effective compared to traditional digital signage. These traditional displays require an external media player, which ends up adding thousands of dollars in equipment costs to your system. SoC does not require installation and reduces your maintenance costs. 

  1. Energy and time efficient

With fewer devices, you will have less hardware consuming power. Furthermore, less time is required to install your displays as there is no media player to install, mount and configure. 

  1. Reliability 

Samsung Smart Signage comes with powerful remote control tools that allow you to remotely adjust the settings, monitor the display’s health performance and more. SoC removes the extra failure points of media players and cables, making it a more reliable system. 

  1. Capabilities

SoC displays have improved in performance and capabilities in recent years. Some more expensive SoC can display minor updates on the menu board such as cross-out or remove menu items that are sold out or replace an existing menu item. SoC solutions can provide 4K UHD resolution, quad core processor, and more. 

Media players are reliable systems that can display complex content on digital signage. However, in some cases, System-on-Chip provides more benefits than the typical external media player, which is why SoC digital signage solutions are increasing in popularity. Although SoC is small in size, this technology can run content on large displays and lessen the costs and failure points that come with media players. Making SoC an ideal solution for digital menu boards.

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