How to Save Your Laptop Battery

Like any other kind of battery, your laptop battery comes with a limited life. As a laptop consumes a great deal of power, a laptop battery has a survivor lifespan because of your laptop's activities. Once your laptop battery's lifespan is over, you need to replace it with a new one. This means you will…

Like any other kind of battery, your laptop battery comes with a limited life. As a laptop consumes a great deal of power, a laptop battery has a survivor lifespan because of your laptop's activities. Once your laptop battery's lifespan is over, you need to replace it with a new one. This means you will have to make an investment. That is why all laptop owners take the best care of their laptop batteries to prolong the lifespan of the batteries. Yes, my friend, you have read it right. You can prolong the lifespan of your laptop battery.

In today's post, I am going to share with you four proven methods to save your laptop battery.

Without further ado, let us dive in:

Unplug devices from your laptop

Whether it is a USB device or a second monitor through VGA, any device that is plugged into your laptop eats battery because the device will require CPU to work in order to access the device. There are certain USB devices that consume a great deal of power, meaning they will drain the battery quickly. So, my friend, you should unplug the device you are not using. Never keep it plugged into the laptop. This will surprisingly save your battery.

Shutdown or activate sleep mode when not in use

You are working on your laptop. Suddenly, you have to go on an errand. If the charger is not connected, you should shut down your laptop or activate the sleep mode. This saves the battery. When you activate the sleep mode, your laptop will resume from the point you have left it before. On the other hand, if you shut down the laptop, it will go through the bootup sequence, which may require a bit of power. So sleeping mode is the best option.

Activate power saver button

When you activate the power saver button on your laptop, the operating system of your machine adjusts software and hardware behavior to use less power from your machine. The power saver option has an ability to change the behavior of hard drive or CPU in such a way that it will be active only when it is required to perform certain functions. If not required, the hardware will remain inactive to conserve energy. My friend, activate power save option to save the battery of your laptop.

Turn off wireless and Bluetooth

Your laptop will always try to search for Bluetooth and wireless connections if you leave these functions active. So, if you do not need these connections, it is always better to disable these features. Doing so will certainly save your laptop battery.

Also, turning down the volume when playing a movie and lowering brightness save battery.

If you follow these tips, you will certainly prolong the lifespan of your laptop battery.

Benefits of the Solid State Drives (SSDs)

SSD stands for Solid State Drives. These hard drives have been around for years. If you have a PS4 or a computer and you have been looking to buy an SSD, you may read this article. Once you have read the article, you will know a lot of benefits offered by SSDs. Size And durability…

SSD stands for Solid State Drives. These hard drives have been around for years. If you have a PS4 or a computer and you have been looking to buy an SSD, you may read this article. Once you have read the article, you will know a lot of benefits offered by SSDs.

Size And durability

In today's world, most business affairs are done remotely. So, the use of laptops is on the rise. Since they are used when you are on the go, laptops are at a higher level getting damaged. Even a single drop may cause the HDD of your laptop to stop working.

Actually, HDDs contain round platters and a read / write head. All of these are mechanical parts may be delayed to serious damage during transit. So, you may lose the data stored on these drives. That's the reason we do not recommend that you use an HDD in your laptop or any other machine.

On the other hand, SSDs do not have any moving component. So, they can take a few shocks without getting damaged. So, the survival rate of SSDs is a lot higher than HDDs.

Aside from this, a solid state drive measures 1.8 “as opposed to a 3.5” HDD. So, SSDs are a lot slimmer than HDDs. Their size makes them lightweight. That's the reason the small SSDs are gaining popularity among business users.

SSDs' Speeds

Solid State Drives have flash memory with integrated circuits. These drives do not have to use any magnetic media in order to get access to the files stored inside. The mechanical parts inside an HDD slow down the overall performance of the drive. On the other hand, an SSD can achieve higher speeds. For an enterprise, below are some speed benefits of an SSD:

Graphics rendering: businesses that involve graphic manipulation require computers that are the fastest. And high-end applications require a lot of memory. So, SSDs are a great choice for them as they are a lot faster than HDDs.

Bioinformatics: for cutting-edge scientific projects, computers have to analyze a huge amount of data. In order to get their desired results in a timely fashion, they have to invest in the super-fast machines. And SSDs are a must-have for them.

Stock Markets: Stock markets also need the fastest data processing speeds. As a matter of fact, the machines that operate the trading world and the algorithms that are responsible for keeping the stock market moving have to be really fast. So, SSDs are the only best choice they have.

Video-on-Demand: Another great benefit of an SSD is that it is a great choice for video on demand. As a matter of fact, a large section of news, internet commerce and many other entertainment outlets involve streaming videos. And streaming videos require hard drives that give a high level of performance. The computers should not crash when users are streaming their favorite videos.

Noise Level

HDDs make some noise when operating at high speeds. The noise can become annoying especially when you are in a quiet environment. However, SSDs are completely quiet and do not make any noise when operating. Moreover, they run coolers relatively.

So, these are a few advantages of SSDs over HDDs.

The Highlighting Features of a 4G Router

The Internet, not unlike the universe outside is expanding rapidly. Every day a new site enters the arena, or a new article finds its way to the online readers. Keeping parallel with the Internet and its progressiveness is the technology that hosts the system. After 3G, the world is shaking hands with its better and…

The Internet, not unlike the universe outside is expanding rapidly. Every day a new site enters the arena, or a new article finds its way to the online readers. Keeping parallel with the Internet and its progressiveness is the technology that hosts the system. After 3G, the world is shaking hands with its better and brighter cousin, 4G. 4G network came with its cohort of hardware, the 4G router, for one. As you may have heard or seen for yourself, 4G network is surprisingly faster than 3G, and even as the world is trying to wrap its head around 3G Internet in many remote corners of the world, the 4G is an unexpected windfall.

4G Modems- A Closer Look

Speaking specifically of 4G modems, they are not diametrically different from 3G modems or other regular modems stationed around desks in homes and offices. Aside from being identical in technology and functions, 4G routers have one strong point of difference with their 3G equivalents. They support signals that are many times faster than 3G. The primary functions of a 4G modem include encoding of digital information through the modulator and decoding of the signals for use through its demodulator. These modems are all designed to work over an expansive array of transmission methods that previous models were incapacitated to process.

The Specialty

But all these is only the tip of the iceberg. The true specialty of these modems lies in that they are mechanized to connect with highly fast and steady LTE cellular data networks. In fact, it is capacitated to switch between networks so that the user system is never separated from the Internet. To put this in perspective, with a 4G modem, you can not only stay connected to 4G networks, but others of less speed too. In times when one network loses signal, the modem automatically switches to another network to maintain connectivity.

That said, it is assured that with an LTE modem, you can keep switching networks so that you are never out of any. The switch however is enabled between two networks of varying strengths. While your modem is connected to a 4G network, you can have other 3G networks on standby to save the day when the first goes out. For your information, a 4G modem can not toggle between two 4G networks.

Sharing Feature

Another great feature of a 4G modem is its sharing provision. With one 4G wifi router, you can connect multiple devices. The signals get even distributed among devices so that all the systems get to avail the Internet at its highest speed. Unlike in other regular modems, the speed does not get affected by the multi-user program. The modems are designed to be small and universally compatible with most computing devices. 4G routers are used in homes and computers for the purpose of connecting single or multiple devices through one network connection. The device has been significantly effective in flagging and stabilizing 4G network across systems.

Advantages Of Using Wireless 4G Routers

Technology has been progressing by leaps and bounds and the device that you had been comfortable using yesterday may become obsolete today. It is a time that you were up to date too and do not have to experience an unnecessary delay while using your laptop, tablet or Smart Phone. Sure you need a 4G…

Technology has been progressing by leaps and bounds and the device that you had been comfortable using yesterday may become obsolete today. It is a time that you were up to date too and do not have to experience an unnecessary delay while using your laptop, tablet or Smart Phone. Sure you need a 4G Modem in order to operate at never thought before sermeds. Sadly, the 3G modem is not compatible with 4G speeds and you do need the advanced modem to take advantage of the modern technology currently available.

While the 4G speeds are not quite as fast as the recommended standards yet, most companies are trying hard to achieve it ASAP. The 3G modem is not yet completely phased out either and you can definitely use it as a backup, the advantages of going 4G outweighs the disadvantages heavily. Take a look at the benefits that you can enjoy once you switch to the 4th generation: –

  • The download speeds are significantly faster and can be as much as 7 times that of the old 3G model.
  • The upload speed, unfortunately, remains more or less the same but tech professionals hope to resolve this issue sooner than later.
  • The latest Internet protocol ie IPv6 does not duplicate the IP addresses unlike the IPv4.

Staying connected 24X7 has become the catchword now and the young generation along with every business owner wants Internet accessibility no matter where they are. Using a GSM Router has proven to be extremely advantageous therefore. Some of the plus points of this wireless router are as follows: –

  • Internet Accessibility Outside – You can set up a wireless network via your mobile phone wherever you happen to be without having to depend on a Wi-Fi enabled area like your office or home. Enjoy chatting or working in a park or a picnic spot with ease courtesy your cellular router.
  • No Local ISP Required – You do not have to locate the Internet service provider in your area to be online. Simply use the router and stay in touch with the world without any hassles.
  • On The Move – Use the Internet easily via the GSM router without accessing the network in diverse locations whenever you are traveling. This will help you to keep your expenses in check too as you do not have to pay different rates for the data used in different places.
  • Second Internet Connection – You can definitely use it as a reliable backup at home or office, if your primary service is disrupted temporarily for any reason.

Opting for a Long-Term Evolution Modem is yet another move that is going to be worth your while. It is thought to be the best data transmission option in the recent times. You as a user can certainly be in advantage by using the LTE Router for gaining access via the Internet. Check out the associated benefits first: –

  • It can transmit voice as well as data
  • LTE supports multiple input-multiple outputs (MIMO) giving you the benefit of higher data rates.
  • You get to experience high-speed file downloads
  • The process of streaming data is smooth without any interference midway.

How Green Data Centers Save Energy

Data centers consume intense amounts of electricity. According to a report in Computer World, it takes 34 power plants each capable of generating 500 megawatts of electricity, to power all the requirements in US By 2020, the nation will need another 17 similarly-sized power plants to meet projected energy demands. More energy demands exemplifies more…

Data centers consume intense amounts of electricity. According to a report in Computer World, it takes 34 power plants each capable of generating 500 megawatts of electricity, to power all the requirements in US By 2020, the nation will need another 17 similarly-sized power plants to meet projected energy demands.

More energy demands exemplifies more fuel usage. Any increase in using fossil fuels to generate electricity will result in an increase in carbon emissions. A report on data center energy efficiency by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an environmental action organization, shown nationwide, it has used 91 billion kilowatt-hours of electrical energy in 2013. That is enough to power all of New York City's households two over. The power consumption is expected to grow to 140 billion kilowatt-hours in 2020, that's a 53% increase!

It uses up to 3 percent of all power generated in the United States.

Can you imagine, it would be the 5th largest consumer of energy in the world if they were a country? By increasing efficiency and driving the adoption of renewables, the industry can make a huge difference and demonstrate how green business is good business.

Industry analyst firm IDC said companies spend more than $ 26 billion to power and cool servers worldwide. A 40% reduction in energy use, which the report says is only half of the technically possible reduction, would equal $ 3.8 billion in savings for businesses.

The IDC report also finds that energy efficiency progress is slowing. Once the obvious efficiency projects such as isolating hot and cold aisles are completed, additional investment in energy efficiency becomes harder to justify either because of the cost or because of a perception that new initiatives may increase risk. IT managers are highly cautious about implementing aggressive energy management programs because they're concerned that such measures could threaten uptime IDC reported.

How To Make Your Data Center Eco-Friendly?

1. Consolidate Servers: Turn off any dead servers and optimize your existing servers.

2. Upgrade Servers: Move to energy efficient servers.

3. Change To High-Efficiency Power: This removes inefficiencies with multiple AC / DC conversions.

4. Monitor Power Use: Continually check the servers for optimum efficiencies. This allows a data center to only use the amount of power needed and doing away with obsolete servers.

5. Implement Natural Cooling: Create effective cooling methods to use outside air. This reduces energy costs by 40 percent!

6. Improve Air Management: Redesign air management to prevent re-circulation of hot air from IT systems.

7. Find Optimal Environment: If possible, pick an environment that has cooler temperatures, low humidity and good airflow availability.

It may seem like the burgeoning of these solutions has reached its peak. But according to the worldwide public relations firm OpenPR, the Global Green Data center market was valued at USD 35.8 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach a market value of USD 148.22 billion by 2022 , growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 26.20% between 2017 and 2022. Environmental regulations, rising energy costs, expansion are a few challenges driving the need for energy efficient, sustainable infrastructures. Building a green infrastructure requires a holistic approach to the entire infrastructure and not just the IT equipment.

It is absolutely essential for a solutions provider to offer customizable and holistic data center solutions to companies around the world. They need to assess your needs and provide the right solutions to consolidate, redesign and relocate if necessary for optimal IT efficiency.

An industry-coveted IT team, who has an extensive experience in design, implementation and operation of large, medium and small scale levels can make this possible.

Here's How:

· Modular data center (MDC) design

· Hot and cold-aisle containment

· Power supply efficiency minimums

· Energy Star equipment

· Measure and track power and temperature

· Focus on virtualization

· Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) purchased for 100% of annual energy use.

Converting to a green data center has measurable returns. It can significantly reduce the energy costs in running your facility. It is not always capital-intensive and many-a-times, needs minimal amount of upfront costs. Before making any sizable investments in energy efficient technologies, track and evaluate your current environment and / or work with a solutions provider.

6 Different Types of USB Cables

The USB cable is a universal standard and used for connecting electronic or computer peripherals. This universal cable has replaced a wide range of connectors from the past, including midi ports, mouse ports, DB9 serial and parallel ports. The USB cable helps to simplify the entire process of connecting a mouse, hard drive, keyboard, or…

The USB cable is a universal standard and used for connecting electronic or computer peripherals. This universal cable has replaced a wide range of connectors from the past, including midi ports, mouse ports, DB9 serial and parallel ports. The USB cable helps to simplify the entire process of connecting a mouse, hard drive, keyboard, or monitor to computer without needing to be concerned with finding specific cables for each piece of hardware.

Here are a few of the different types of USB cables:

USB-Mini

The USB-Mini is a smaller version of the standard cable and a practical choice for connecting the portable devices. It is useful for hardware like camera and MP3 players. This type is rarely used in modern tech and replaced by the USB Micro.

USB Micro

The USB Micro is the preferred choice for connecting memory sticks, flash drives, or similar to the latest mobile devices. It has the ability to read data without having to rely on a computer.

USB 3

The USB 3 cable is a high-speed and versatile option. It is designed with backwards compatibility to make it easy to use with the early USB ports and cables. There is a slight change in the shape of the connector pins to make it more durable and able to stand up to repeated use. Also, there is also a USB 3 micro cable that is built with more pins to make it more efficient at transferring data.

USB-A

The USB-A is a preferred choice for using with power outputs or computers. It has multiple uses including data transfer, connecting devices to computers or charging devices. This type of cable can only be connected in one way.

USB-B

The USB-B is the most practical choice for connecting an external hard drive or printer to a computer. This type of USB cable is not very common.

USB-C

The USB-C is one of the latest developments to easily connect devices. This cable is appreciated for its high power flow and high-speed data transfer. Also, the cable is reversible for greater flexibility in use.

With such a wide range of USB cables, it is essential to research the different options to make sure you have the right one to match the specific hardware or add-ons. Also, it is important to avoid connecting the wrong cables or attempting unconventional connections because this has the risk of causing damage to your hardware.

Understanding Fiber Optic Cables

Although, fiber optic cables have been around for a long time, many people still do not know much about them. To help you out, here is some information about them: The fibers are not fragile While the units are as thin as the human hair and made from a little bit of glass, they are…

Although, fiber optic cables have been around for a long time, many people still do not know much about them. To help you out, here is some information about them:

The fibers are not fragile

While the units are as thin as the human hair and made from a little bit of glass, they are not fragile. In fact, they are stronger than copper. The units are designed to tolerate high temperatures, resist the roughest installations, and withstand up to 200 pounds of pulling tension. When you look at the fiber, you might think that you can not bend it without breaking. This is not the case. The modern fiber optics are made from an insensitive type of fiber that can not break even if you bend it. This makes it possible to use the optics even in hard to reach places without compromising on the performance.

The cables are not complicated to install

Due to the large amounts of tasks that they handle, you might think that the optics require a lot of specialized knowledge to install, but this is not the case. Years ago, the installation of the units involved a lot of polishing, and the terminations had to be done by hand. This means that you needed a contractor with specialized knowledge to install them.

Nowadays, the cables come in ready to install format. In fact, most of them come with manuals that guide you on how to professionally install them even if you have never done it before. For small projects, you can install the units on your own, but when it comes to large projects, you should hire a professional to help you out.

The units support wireless connections

For years, the units have been used in transferring information over long distances. Since you had to install the cables in the ground, most of the people have the impression that the cables do not support wireless connections. This is not the case. The units have a large bandwidth capacity and are compatible with the wireless networking hardware. These features make them an ideal choice for telecommunications companies.

The units are cheaper than copper

Before the fiber optics hit the market, people used to use copper. Due to the convenience and better performance of the cables, many people think that they are expensive than copper which has a lower performance. Far from this. The units are not only cheaper to buy, but they also require less equipment so consume less power. This means that they cost you less over the long run to maintain them.

6 Benefits of Using USB Flash Drives

USB flash drives are a highly versatile and portable solution to transfer or store computer data. A great quality is the high durability because of the lack of moving parts. This means that they are harder-wearing than alternatives like the hard drives. Here are a few of the major benefits of using the USB flash…

USB flash drives are a highly versatile and portable solution to transfer or store computer data. A great quality is the high durability because of the lack of moving parts. This means that they are harder-wearing than alternatives like the hard drives. Here are a few of the major benefits of using the USB flash drives:

Portability

The USB flash drives are appreciated for their small size, which makes them really portable and easily attached to a key chain or slip into a pocket. Most of these storage devices are two or three inches in length. However, there are larger sizes, such as the novelty designs that are favored by a certain niche of buyers. Plus, the durability of this item also means it is more practical for carrying around.

Memory

The memory capacity of the USB flash drives is in the region of 1 to 128 GB. The 1 GB units are very cheap and a practical choice for light storage and simple file transfers. For those planning to back up a hard drive or run a program, the higher memory capacity is required. The drives with 32 GB or more are useful for the high load jobs. The largest size opens up plenty of data storage options, such as the ability to store music, movies, or photographs.

Transfer speed

The USB 3.0 device is rated to transfer data at a speed of 4.8 gigabytes per second. This is a quite impressive speed and better than other storage options such as the SD memory card which has a transfer speed of up to 312 MB per second.

Compatibility

The USB interface is the standard option to connect electronic or storage devices to all types of laptop or PC. Most desktops, laptops and netbooks are built with multiple ports for accepting USB devices. Also, there are the dual purpose USB flash drives that even have the ability to read memory cards.

Low power

With no motors or moving parts, the USB flash drives are built to consume very little power. They have a lot lower power consumption compared to hard-disk drives which have the writing and reading heads to operate.

Purpose made applications

There are plenty of programs and applications that are built to run directly from the USB flash drives. Software applications like games, web browsers, image editors and other office software can easily be booted directly from this type of portable drive.

When You Want To Learn About Desktop Computers, Read This

So you arrived in search of information about desktop computers. Maybe you're in the market to purchase one, and you need good tips? Or maybe you already own one and want tips about the computer itself? No matter the reasons why, there are great tips in the following article that anyone can use. Consider the…

So you arrived in search of information about desktop computers. Maybe you're in the market to purchase one, and you need good tips? Or maybe you already own one and want tips about the computer itself? No matter the reasons why, there are great tips in the following article that anyone can use.

Consider the disk burning capabilities of any desktop computers that you are looking at. Consider whether you plan to just watch media or to make your own CDs and DVDs. If you plan on doing the latter, make sure the computer that you want supports it. Not all desks come with these capabilities.

Consider all-in-one displays desktop computer for your needs. This means that the computer has a large monitor with the majority of its components in the back. They come in many sizes and with and without touch input. They are easier to transport due to less wires. Many also have built-in webcams for easier video conferencing. They work great for entertainment purposes, too.

Do not overlook the quality of the desktop computer monitor when considering your purchase. The specs of the actual computer may be amazing, but if the monitor is poor, your overall experience will be bad too. Remember, it's the monitor that you'll have the most interaction with, so be willing to spend more to get one you like.

If you're not a gamer, do not get suckered into gaming desktop computers. These computers have been souped up with the largest and baddest video cards, sound cards, and processors. If all you do is email and light photography, this power is major overkill. You are better spending your money on a lesser computer and investing in some peripherals.

When buying a desktop computer with the intent of creating DVDs or CDs of your own, take care to verify that the model you are considering has an integrated disc burner. While most new versions will have this feature, failing to discover that a particular model does not can lead to great frustration. Try to save yourself the aggravation in advance.

If you do photo or video work, you'll want a desktop computer with at least four cores. Called quad-core, this desktop will give you a lot of multitasking ability. Your computer will not stutter when you have multiple big programs open. This will save you a lot of frustration during your work sessions.

Consider upgrading your current desktop computer. If your computer is not doing what you want it to, or not working as fast as you'd like, you might want to consider making some internal changes to your computer. If you are not well-versed in this, you might have a friend who is or be able to learn how online.

After reading the above article, hopefully you gained a better understanding as to the popularity of desktop computers. So many people have them today, it really pays to be knowledgeable about the subject. Take all the information learned here, and use it to help you better understand desktop computers.

5 Factors In Selecting The Best Digital Signage Media Players

Modern digital signage (DS) media players do not use typical PC architecture. This is a cruelial distinction. A modern DS media player is essentially a media appliance to the Internet. It contains optimized hardware and software to accomplish the task at hand-nothing else. Of course, today's choices for digital signage include displays with built-in players…

Modern digital signage (DS) media players do not use typical PC architecture. This is a cruelial distinction. A modern DS media player is essentially a media appliance to the Internet. It contains optimized hardware and software to accomplish the task at hand-nothing else.

Of course, today's choices for digital signage include displays with built-in players referred to as SoC (system on a chip). However, SoC displays can not be compared fairly to a robust DS media player. SoC-powered displays lack the processing power and software features to take advantage of advanced strategies.

For example, it requires significant CPU power to aggregate and parse data in real time, which is a standard feature on modern players. Additionally, SoC displays typically lack the diverse I / O ports required to capture this data. Not to be negative on SoC-powered displays, they have their purpose, but this article is focused on digital signage networks that require more than a limited out-of-the-box solution.

Here are some additional things to consider when shopping for a new digital signage media player, which will assist you in selecting one that meets your immediate needs as well as provide some built-in “future proofing.”

Check the Connectivity Options of the Media Player

The ports of the media player are important because they connect to the monitor that you will use for digital signs. Avoid players with only VGA or DVI ports, both of which are indicators of old graphic chips with lower resolutions.

Look for standard HDMI ports that will support native HD video at 1920 x 1080 resolutions. Better yet, the best DS media players will support HDMI 2.0, which supports Ultra-HD, commonly called “4K”, and is based on a resolution of 3840 x 2160 @ 60fps.

Even though HDMI will support hi-def audio, it can be useful to have a separate audio port for distributed audio-if that is needed in your design. Either a 3.5mm jack or optical audio works fine for this requirement.

The other important port is for the network connection. Ideal players will have both multi-port Gb-Ethernet and built-in WiFi. If using a wireless connection, look for the newest WiFi standard of 802.11ac, which will get you connected to your content source with the greatest speed, reliability, and security.

It is also useful but not always necessary to have a USB port (V 3.0 preferably). It can be used for offline updates of firmware or even installing a playlist if you want to run the player offline. It can also be used for integrating third-party devices.

If your digital signage network requires some kind of customer engagement, wireless interface support becomes a “nice to have” to a “gotta have.” For example, for seamless integration into a larger campaign, you will want to leverage either Bluetooth, Beacons, NFC, or RS-232 (serial port), any of which may be necessary to handle real-time sensors or smartphone interaction. The best digital signage players come with this support built-in-although applications may require programmed widgets to make it work for specific requirements. This is usually done through an API and is supported by the industry at large.

Check Memory Scalability

Memory type and flexibility is often overlooked when shopping for a digital signage media player, but nothing will kill your media playlist faster than a lack of available memory. Modern DS media players excel in installations where scalable memory is necessary, often because of the amount of RAM-gobbling high-resolution content used (think 4K).

Since content is downloaded and stored locally in a DS media player, its architecture offers several memory options that are significantly more robust than SoC displays. In fact, it is expandable according to your changing requirements.

However, avoid media players with standard hard disk drives (HDD)! They may cost less, but they break quickly under the harsh environment of a digital signage player. A HDD is the chief cause of failures in the field. Instead, opt for a modern player design that uses a solid-state drive (SSD) or Flash memory that is commonly available and rugged as nails.

Check The Software And Formats Supported

Ideally, a digital signage media player should be able to run all versions of common operating systems, including,

  • Windows 10 64bit
  • Windows 8.1 64bit
  • Windows 7 32bit / 64bit
  • Ubuntu 15.10
  • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
  • Android 5.1
  • Linux

Any of these platforms will support third-party media engines. However, look for SMIL or HTML5 support, which is the most advanced method for players to source playlists from cloud-based servers. Other methods work as well, like FTP, but this method is old school and limits your playlist options significantly. A new digital signage player with a multi-core CPU will likely support many third-party media playout engines that can be software only or may include hardware. The most reliable media engines that require the lowest CPU power to run will be using SMIL or HTML5 programming.

This is most important when playing high-resolution videos. Since digital signage playlists are designed to match the display's native resolution, it's crucial to support the highest resolution possible to prevent the dreaded and ugly pixelation of images on large screens.

The best DS players take advantage of an advanced graphic processor unit (GPU), which dedicate hardware to support MP4, H.264, and H.265 codecs. By saving a tremendous load on the CPU, advanced GPUs provide both glitch-free and reliable ultra-high-resolution playback. Of course, this added hardware support does increase cost, but it also significantly improves the quality of video playout, and in digital signage, this is more important than saving a few dollars. The best digital signage media players will be certified to support Ultra-High Definition (UHD) on HDMI 2.0.

Define the Cooling Requirements

Another important consideration is the location the player will be installed. Certainly mounting it close to the display is often the best route, but no player can tolerate extreme heat and humidity conditions for long periods of time. Because failure in the field is expensive, it's worth assessing before permanently mounting the player.

Almost all players will include a specification for operating temperature range and humidity. Most will operate well within the specified ranges. The best way to add flexibility to player mounting options is to look for these features, all of which reduce the heat load on the player:

  • Mobile chipsets
  • Solid-state disk (SSD) or Flash memory (no HDD)
  • Built-in metal cooling fins (instead of fan)
  • Fanless design
  • Less than 65 (operating) watts

Theft Prevention

Tampering with digital signage players is not typically a major issue, mainly because the player is often near near or on the display, which is reasonably out of reach of Joe Public. However …

If your installation calls for added security, chiefly because the player is within reach, then you will find that the majority of new media players include a Kensington Security Slot. Use it! This universal locking system works well for preventing the majority of thefts.

But if you absolutely need to lock-down your media player, there are many locking screws on the market (eg Key-Rex) that will prevent thefts even in the most prone areas.

These are some of the key specifications and factors to be considered when buying the best digital signage media players for your business today. You can probably think of others, too.

Now that you are up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies emerging in this dynamic landscape, you can choose one with more confidence!