Digital Signage: Why Use a Set-Top Box?

A set-top box appliance offers many advantages over using a PC for digital signage

Most digital signage software solutions require the use of a PC. Sometimes, this can be an existing PC that a customer may already have. More often, a customer is required to purchase a new and costly PC which is necessary to run a company's digital signage software. Cilutions set-top box media players offer the perfect alternative to costly PC-based digital signage solutions. Cilutions offers two media players for you to choose from. Both come equiped with software to remotely deliver media files to the box, display them in a digital signage or video-on-demand application, and manage from a remote location.

Set-top boxes offer the following advantages over PC's:

An "out-of-the-box" solution (plug and play)
One size fits all - There's no need to worry about all the OS versions and separate licensing
Reliability - there are no moving parts on flash-based STBs; the shelf life of a set-top box far exceeds that of a standard PC
Security - set-top boxes are much less "hack-able" than a PC-based product
Easier to maintain - there's no need to worry about operating system patches, etc.
Price - a set-top box is always less expensive than a comparable PC
Easier to manage - each Cilutions Media Player comes with SNMP Management software

Cilutions Media Players vs. The Competition
The following table lists the features of Cilutions DMB Media Players alongside those of the leading competition:

Product Cilutions Media Players The Competition
Networked Appliance
Media Formats
Videos
Standard Definition
High Definition
MPEG-2
MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
Images
High Definition
BPM
JPEG
PNG
GIF
TIFF
Audio
MP3
HDMI 1.3a
Display Resolutions
1080p
1080i
720p
480i
Native Connectors
HDMI 1.2a
Composite
Component
VGA
S-Video
Ethernet 10/100
USB
Status LEDs

Feature Cilutions Media Players The Competition
Interactivity
Support for remote control, front panel and touch screen interaction
Looping Playlist Support
Multiple images or videos in a list
Zones
Multiple content windows displayed on a single screen
Video and Image Playlists
Permits combining videos and images in a playlist for rendering in the same screen zone
Usage Tracking Statistics
Logs recording player performance
Playback Scheduling and Day-Parting
Control screen layouts and playlist by time of day
Menu Boards
Multiple text tables (e.g., price list spreadsheets) on a screen where each spreadsheet can be separately updated
Video-On-Demand
Interactive catalog of videos which can be selected for local playback (supports both touchscreen and remote control operational modes)
Way-Finding
Interactive catalog of maps (i.e., images for display) selectable by remote control or touch screen interaction
Weather Records
The ability to show multiple days, temperatures and informative images to render weather conditions
RSS Ticker Feed
Scrolling news feeds from an external source
Transparent Image Over Video
An image can be used to overlay some or all of a video zone thereby providing unique "branding" for an organization
Transparent Text Over Video
RSS or text crawler over video with a configured background transparency level
Live Video Option
The ability to include live video as an alternative or in addition to video files stored locally
Multicast Streamer
The ability to multicast stream a video file to downstream devices on the network
Paging Overlay
The ability to receive an "announcement" screen zone useful for paging applications.
Real-Time API
The ability to receive a screen update in real-time offering a programmatic command/response API to supplant or augment the file-based model for screen operations
Screen Creation
Application for Graphically Building Screens
Let's a network administrator or user build screens and publish to individual players or groups of players
Permits Screen Preview During Creation
The ability to preview screens on the same platform where they are built
Content Update
Non-Networked Screen Update
The ability to update content manually via the USB port
Secure Network Pull
Periodically pulls files from an external server
Multicast File Reception
Highly efficient distribution model on networks supporting IP Multicast
File Push
Embedded FTP server offering remote file updates on demand
Management
SNMP Agent
With published MIB for use by an external SNMP Manager
Web User Interface
Configure appliance and retrieve playback logs using a common web browser
Remote Login
Useful for engineering support and remote analysis
Remote Upgrade
Remotely upgrade media player software

Questions? Click here to submit a question about the DMB Media Player.



Digital Signage Products

Use Cilutions' Digital Media Bridge products to build the complete digital signage solution

Cilutions offers four software products that are integral to a successful digital signage network. These products together comprise our Digital Media Bridge (DMB) product suite. A network operator can choose any or all of our products to build a successful digital signage network.


DMB Screen Builder

Digital Signage, Menu Board and Video-On-Demand screen authoring application.
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  DMB Media Player

   Digital Signage, Menu Board and Video-On-Demand player application.
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  Multicast Distribution

   File distribution sender and receiver applications for multicast enabled networks.
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  Management Applications

   Network operations center applications and remote SNMP and Telnet management agents.
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What do you get with Cilutions Digital Signage?


Video-On-Demand

Cilutions digital signage software can be used to build and send Video-On-Demand menus to each screen in your network. The videos that are available for playback can reside on the local set-top box's hard-drive or played via a live video stream.
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Menu Board

Enhance the current menus for your restaurant with a digital menu board. Digital menus are more than just an eye-catching addition to your restaurant; they are a cost-effective digital solution that produces a better customer experience, decreased costs, and a boost in revenue.
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Emergency Message

Recently, emergency messaging has grown into a popular feature for large properties. Widely used in universities, the industry has seen emergency messaging also gain popularity in hospitals, corporate office buildings, and hotels, will resume normal playback.
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Reader Board

Cilutions digital signage offering gives organizations a compelling digital alternative to traditional, static signage. Organizations seeking new and innovative ways to reach their audiences find that a digital readerboard offers flexibility and savings they never could have achieved through traditional, printed displays.
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