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Digital Signage Content

Apr 1, 2008
Digital merchandising is a promising technology that can deliver a targeted message to a specific set of customers. The choice of design elements can be overwhelming. This article discusses digital signage content with an emphasis on format.

Remember that Content is King

Even with all of the bells and whistles that digital signage offers, without the right message, the technology will accomplish very little. Before deciding on a format, be sure you know what your message is and how often you want to deliver it.

Digital Signage Content - Available Formats

The technical terms used when planning the visuals for digital signage can be confusing. Here is a short description of some of the most common terms.

* JPEG - JPEG is a widely used image format that tends to be preferred over other formats for large-scale image distribution.

* MPEG - MPEG is the most common compression format for digital video. There are several MPEG standards available today. MPEG-1 allows for smaller files but does not offer the same image quality that MPEG-2 does. MPEG-2 is the current video standard for digital TV and DVDs.

* MPEG-4 - This standard was originally designed for low-bandwidth video distribution. It offers better compression of video than MPEG-2, but it is still considered by most digital content creators to be an evolving technology. For now MPEG-2 seems to offer more interoperability with the various types of digital signage hardware.

* Flash - Flash is an animation format that can incorporate other types of data, including JPEG, audio and video. Digital content creators are beginning to use Flash because it can create more visually compelling content than many other tools currently used for digital signs.

Digital Signage Content Considerations

Content for digital signs can be static or include animation or video. When planning the format of your content, be sure to keep these points in mind:

* Cost - Video and animation can cost a lot of time and money. Some estimates for Flash animation segments range from a couple of days to a week, at a minimum cost of $2,500. The cost for each second of new video shot on location is estimated to be at least $1,000. Static text and images are relatively inexpensive, going from $250 to $1,000 per screen, by some estimates.

* Templates - Templates of static content or animation can help reduce costs because they allow many elements to be re-used. In the case of video, images are often specific to a particular item or message. This means it is harder to re-use video, making an already expensive option more costly.

* Volume - The choice of format depends heavily on the volume of spots you need. If you require several hundred spots, video may not be the best option.

* Combine for Greater Effect. A few seconds of Flash can be combined with some still shots to make a compelling but less expensive display.

Digital signage content does not have to cost a lot to work. If you plan carefully and make sure you have the right message, your digital signage content will accomplish its goals.
About the Author
For more information on digital merchandising products and narrowcasting services contact http://www.ek3.com
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