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Why run a Digital Signage Network on Linux OS?

From the most powerful supercomputers to self-driving cars, Smart Phones and TV’s, Linux is the number one choice of Operating System that drives our digital world, so why not use it for your Digital Signage?

Robustness

With its Open Source nature, Linux gives One Digital Media the ability to finely tune all aspects of their Digital Signage media players. We are able to remove all but the most important components, leaving a small secure footprint that is able to run on low cost, low powered hardware, yet still, deliver high-performance Full HD video playback.

With all but the most important parts of the software stack removed, the attack vector on the One Digital Media players is greatly reduced. There is no need to run anti-virus software, and updates are automatically handled in the background, resulting in a display that is never interrupted with pop-up notifications or requests to reboot the display to perform an update.

With Linux, One Digital Media is also able to ensure that should there be a loss of power or any other such interruption which causes the player to restart, the display software will automatically start back up and begin playback in seconds with no interaction from the user.

Remote Management

The built inbuilt-in set of remote management tools, in combination with One Digital Media, developed software and, Linux provides us with all the power we need to remotely diagnose and resolve issues, all without ever interrupting the display. Our dedicated support teams are able to remotely* send commands to the device to reboot, restart the player, or they can directly connect to it and see exactly what is happening on the device.

While remotely connected, we are able to get a detailed analysis of what is happening on the player, what has happened in the past – such as power interruptions – and determine any potential network issues or display issues that may be occurring.

* As long as network connectivity is available

Why run a Digital Signage Network on One Digital Media’s SWARM software?

Ease of use

The One Digital Media SWARM software has been designed with simplicity in mind, for use by all parties, whether they are One Digital Media employees, clients or resellers.

Using a cloud-based infrastructure, One Digital Media is able to offer clients quick and easy access to their Digital Signage network without the need to install anything on their own networks or computers. Clients can simply log into the One Digital Media Content Management System from any web browser on any computer and upload and schedule media to their Digital Signage players.

The CMS interface has been designed to be as straightforward as possible for new users to get up and running on.

Bandwidth Friendly

As more and more devices and solutions take to the internet, bandwidth becomes more of a concern. If it is not for the cost of the bandwidth, then it is for the amount of bandwidth used by devices.

One Digital Media’s SWARM software takes this into account from the get-go. Using a custom binary communication protocol, we try to keep the amount of data we send across a network to a minimum. The SWARM software uses a built-in edge caching mechanism on a device we dub a Smart Station or Smart Player which ensures that large video files are only downloaded once over the internet, and then stored locally within the local network where they can be more easily re-distributed without incurring further costs of having to re-download the content for each Digital Signage display.

In addition to caching the media on the local network, each player keeps a copy of its own media and plays back the media from the local storage. This not only avoids costly streaming of videos but ensures that should the Digital Signage display lose connectivity to the internet, it is still able to access its local media and continue playing without interruption.

Once the media has reached its end of life and no longer exists in an active playlist, the files are kept in the local storage for up to 1.5 months, ensuring that should it be needed again during that period, it will not need to be re-downloaded. After 1.5 months, the file is removed to free up space for new content.

Locally Developed. Proudly South African

The One Digital Media SWARM software is internally developed by a team of 3 developers who are actively involved with working with other departments to improve the software. Because One Digital Media provide the full stack of services, from content production to scheduling, to on-site support, the software development team at One Digital Media are exposed to the many challenges faced by different people in the support of a Digital Signage network.

“Other competing software is often designed and developed within the realm of just providing the software license for operating a Digital Signage network, and the developers are never involved directly with the scheduling, reporting or support of large-scale networks. This leads to software that does not scale well for your business as your Digital Signage network grows “says Ross Simpson, Chief Technical Officer at One Digital Media.

As a testament to this, One Digital Media supports a network of over 3000 venues and 12000 players with only 3 scheduling staff and 4 support staff.

Being internally developed also allows us to more easily adapt to the local needs of clients and add in new features as required. We are also not acting as a middleman sales channel, so are able to keep our license costs for our Digital Signage software low.

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