Why You Should STOP Using USB For Digital Signage
As the popularity of Digital Signage continues to grow, more and more businesses are looking for affordable DIY solutions
The Digital Age > The DIY Age
The DIY approach has always saved both time and money, but does that still hold true? With more convenience-based services than ever (Uber, Deliveroo, Task Rabbit, online banking…) the cost of getting someone else to do the hard work has never been cheaper or easier. Thankfully, the same is now true for Digital Signage!
With great CMS options like Pixelart offering cheap and reliable Digital Signage solutions, and as hardware prices are dropping (woohoo! 🎉), Digital Signage is finally becoming affordable to small businesses. Thanks to fantastic products like the Amazon Fire TV Stick, Intel Stick and Asus Chromebit, small businesses no longer have to rely on DIY solutions like outdated USB connections to get on board with Digital Signage. Not only are these solutions reliable, but also seriously affordable, with an average cost of £30-£100—not much more than a decent USB stick!
What is USB Powered Digital Signage?
Bluntly speaking, USB Digital Signage is the industry equivalent of a DIY botch job. You basically upload content (eg. images and videos) from a computer to a USB, then ‘plug and play’ it to your screen/s. This sounds simple, but it has some fundamental issues:
- USBs aren’t designed for this, causing hardware failures due to everything from overheating to compatibility issues 😤
- You can’t play rich content on a USB, such as Facebook, Instagram or live updates
- It’s not scalable as you can’t monitor your network and see when the USB breaks
- It takes up too much time to manually upload everything and physically return it to your screen each time you want to update your content!
- Content is often outdated as you don’t have the time to keep doing the point above
As you can see, this solution isn’t optimal, and instead ends up being a hassle, especially when you have several screens to worry about!
Why USB Digital Signage Fails
As mentioned above, there are fundamental issues with using a USB for your Digital Signage, but beyond this there are many more reasons why it’s a seriously outdated approach. USB Digital Signage was once the only option for small businesses, so we respect that this method was a great and cheap solution at the time. But there really is no reason to still use it today, with cheap solutions readily available. Time is valuable to any business, so even with just one screen network, it’s essential to ensure that you’re showing relevant, regular, top quality content to your audience. To achieve this, you’ll need reliable hardware, and most importantly, a great CMS.
USB Horror Story 😱
Over the years we’ve seen some awful examples of USB abuse. A tale that keeps us up at night involves an anonymous cafe owner who used USB for his Digital Signage menu boards, and found it so inconvenient (incompatible layouts, non-functioning screens…) that he resorted to sticking a poster over one of the broken signages!
The Best Replacements For USB
There are some wonderful products on the market at the moment, which are constantly improving. Here are some of our favourites:
Intel Compute Stick | £114.99
No bigger than a pack of gum, the Intel Compute Stick that turns any HDMI display into a fully functional computer: same operating system, same high quality graphics, with the same wireless connectivity.
Why Do You Need The Pixelart CMS?
With Pixelart CMS (other CMS exist, but we like to think ours is the best, of course 😉) you can manage a screen network of any size, from anywhere. This means you can be sitting at home or up at the HQ miles from your screens and update them in minutes. You can even do awesome things like check they’re running, and create screen groups to publish content to multiple screens all at once, all in one click!
Ready for a change? Start your free beta trial with us today!