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Digital signage getting high marks in higher education
Author:  Source:   Update:2011-05-20  Counting:1250

Budget-conscious colleges, universities and other higher education institutions are finding that dynamic digital signage not only helps them improve their campus-wide communications and emergency messaging, it's cost-effective and eco-friendly.

The need for improved communications is being driven by the consumer electronics industry which has created a generation that is bombarded with engaging messages all day, every day. As a result, students tend to ignore messages that don't meet their high standards for media and its messages.

A new study, "Communication Effectiveness in Higher Education," reveals the significant role of digital signage in communicating on campus. According to the report, 97 percent of students responded that they prefer to receive information via digital channels, rather than from a non-digital source. In addition, students indicated that digital channels are effective for communicating school-related messages

With the technological advancements that have been made, the cost for deploying, managing and updating digital signage is no longer prohibitive. Higher education institutions can now deliver eye-catching messages at a lower TOC while reducing their carbon footprint.

Priced significantly lower than PC-based solutions, solid-state players cost less to operate, since they only require about 3-5 watts, compared to 70-90 watts for an average PC. In addition to providing a substantial savings in energy costs, the players completely eliminate PC issues such as high maintenance costs, system crashes and exposure to crippling viruses. And with no moving parts to fail, the PC-less players deliver increased reliability.

To reduce installation costs, there are complete, ready-to-use, solid-state signage solutions available that include the hardware, software and networking capabilities. This all-in-one approach eliminates hardware/software issues and makes digital signage truly easy to deploy.

Colleges and universities that are looking to add a digital signage solution or replace their vulnerable PC- based system should be aware that many digital sign players do not include software. When the software is included, users don't have to worry about the added cost of site licenses or compatibility issues. Potential buyers should also compare software features and ease of use. Today, there are applications that feature intuitive templates and tools to make creating, updating, managing and monitoring digital signage displays so easy even non-technical users don't need an IT person to assist them.

Taking simplicity and convenience a step further, there are new non-PC digital signage players available that include built-in Wi-Fi for increased mobility and versatility. A key advantage with these players is they can be connected to a wireless network without having to install a PC, cabling or an adaptor — the clutter is eliminated. Users also have the freedom to easily change the location of their digital sign. In addition, with built-in Wi-Fi and networking software, users can access their controllers to change displays and schedule timely, highly-customized content at multiple locations from anywhere there's Internet connectivity.

By combining a turnkey solid-state player with an LCD monitor that has earned ENERGY STAR 5.0 certification, you can further reduce your carbon footprint and increase your power savings. Although plasma screens were widely used in the late '90s, they've already been replaced with the second generation of flat-screen technology — the LCD display, which delivers a better image for a fraction of the energy cost.

With affordable digital signage solutions colleges and universities of all sizes can enhance student, staff, faculty and visitor campus experiences in a wide range of applications ranging from registration deadlines, class cancellations and campus news to cafeteria digital menu boards.

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