08 October 2014

Digital Signage Project (or How I learned to embrace the AppleTV) - Part 1

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I was recently asked by a local business to come up with a digital signage solution that would be easy to use, not require a server/IT staff, and most importantly...inexpensive with no monthly subscription/service fees.

Now, I have been out of the digital signage game for a little over a year now and thought this would be a fun project just to keep my mind sharp.

If you have ever looked into digital signage for a small business, you'll know that the requirements of this project are difficult to meet. Everyone wants to get you started and then keep you paying monthly for service contracts and hosting. My biggest pet peeve with service contracts is that you pay thousands of dollars for these things (I'm looking at you Cisco!) only to have them ship you a new $150 linux based player when an old one dies. And they only support your server through the .x updates, never into the newer version.

-- Cisco rant over.

What about the companies charging for storage/bandwidth? That's fair right?

Yes, but it's not really needed for small businesses. Businesses using large amounts of bandwidth need to pay for that, but Tom's Coffee Shop in Po'dunk, TX can' afford to shell out $150 - $200/mo just to show people the daily special.

This is where the AppleTV comes in. It's cheap. Easy to use, and has a little built-in feature that makes it the perfect candidate for our solution. But we will get to that in part 2.

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