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Digital signage standards released

Digital Signage Standard termsDigital signage: A network of digital displays that are centrally managed and addressable for targeted information, entertainment, merchandising and advertising. Synonyms: dynamic signage, digital signs, electronic signage, digital media advertising, digital signage network, in-store TV network, captive audience network, narrowcasting network, out-of-home media network, digital media network, advertising network. Content distribution server: A computer, server, or device that stores the contents that are distributed to the player in the store. Synonyms: broadcast server, network manager, content management server. Channel: Script that has been published in such a way that when its contents change, the updated material is forwarded to machines running the viewer that have subscribed to the channel. Synonym: zone. A/V distribution system: The distribution of multimedia content from the player to the display device. Display device: CRT, flat panel LCD, plasma, projector or other devices that are at the end-point of a digital signage system. Player: Distributes A/V content to a display. Multichannel player: Outputs multiple streams of unique content to multiple display devices. Synonyms: site server, in-Store server. Content: Media, clips, text, video and audio that is delivered to display devices by a digital signage system. Playlog: Record of information created from the digital signage system reflecting the content played, the system performance and other data. Synonyms: billing log, performance log, audit Log. Playlist: Composed of a list of clips and their play order by time or other heuristics.

A long-awaited first industry standard for digital signage has been released by the Digital Signage Standards Committee at the Point-Of-Purchase Advertising International (POPAI), the not-for-profit industry association for marketing at retail.

The committee’s non-technical standard terminology document defines 10 key industry terms – and their synonyms, when appropriate.

The standards document also provides a Digital Signage Reference System – a diagram depicting a typical configuration and content flow of a multi-site digital signage network.

The signage process, as represented, begins in a network operations center, where content is authored and scheduled for a distribution server. Content can be distributed to the local point-of-presence via satellite, Internet, or virtual private network (VPN). Playout can occur via a single or multichannel player and drive one or multiple displays.

Members of the digital signage standards committee include Matt Nelson of Avocent, Jeff Porter of Scala, William Wu of DS-IQ, and Dustin Speer of Vestcom, along with Joe Finizio, POPAI’s vice president of member services.

The standards soon will be posted on many signage providers’ Web sites. The POPAI group is also seeking industry feedback on these initial standards.

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