Why are Android Media Players so Popular for Digital Signage?

Why are Android Media Players so Popular for Digital Signage?

Android media players are grabbing an increasingly large portion of the digital signage market while Windows PCs are relegated to video wall and niche applications. Why is that?

Android digital signage players offer several economical, and technological advantages over Windows PCs.

About Android based digital signage

Android is a mobile operating system based on the Linux kernel and other open source software. It’s known for its reliability and is commonly used for Android based digital signage player devices and interactive tablets.

You also find Android powering consumer devices, such as Google Chromecast or TV Sticks. These devices are not designed for commercial applications and are not suitable for digital signage use. While these are fine for casual use, such as home entertainment, they lack the features required for reliable continuous 24/7/365 use. These devices should be avoided.

Android digital signage features

In many cases, Android devices offer apps and features that are similar to what you find on Windows PCs.

  • Popular remote control apps like TeamViewer are available for the Android operating system. These apps are extremely useful for remote support services.
  • Wi-Fi and wired networking are fully supported.
  • Android media players, like the Navori Stix 3700, support HDMI-CEC hardware control to enable screen on/off cycling.
  • Android devices support external storage via SD card slots.
  • Android devices, like the Navori Stix 3700, support 4K screen resolutions. They can also drive multiple digital signage displays for restaurant menu boards and video wall applications.
Stix 3700 Picture

Cost

An Android media player costs a lot less than your typical Windows PC. For starters, media players for Android don’t require the same level of customizability or expandability. You never need to upgrade a device’s RAM or GPU, and most them include SD media slot in case you ever want to increase data storage capacity. Android media players can fulfil every digital signage user’s needs right out of the box.

There is no “Windows tax” with Android media players because Android OS is based on an open-source operating system. As anyone knows, the cost of a Windows OS license can add significantly to each PC that you deploy out in the field and this can have a significant impact on your finances.

Reliability

Everyone knows about the dreaded Windows “blue screen of death”. It’s one reason why media player for Android have really taken off in popularity. Android is a proven mobile operating system that powers most of the world’s smartphones and tablets.

Since most digital signage players operate 24/7, reliability is a top requirement. Android media players have proven to be extremely reliable, especially purpose-build devices like Navori’s STiX media players. Look for Android media players that are designed and engineered for digital signal use.

Ease of deployment

Android media players use solid state construction and a fully integrated architecture, so they take up less space, and are more energy efficient than Windows PCs. While there are mini-PCs and PC sticks that run on Windows, they tend to be low-powered devices with limited capabilities that can only perform basic digital signage tasks.

Android media players for digital signage are “plug and play” devices that require minimal configuration compared to Windows PCs. It’s a huge advantage for people who are new to digital signage, or those who need to deploy large numbers of digital signage players.

Performance

Professional-grade Android media players, like the Navori STiX, can outperform many well-equipped Windows PCs. These media players can support complex multi-screen installations and play 4K content at blazing speeds. While Windows PCs can be used for multi-screen signage, they require expensive video cards and additional memory.

Versatility

Most Android players support Wi-Fi and some even include a RJ-45 port for wired network connections. Navori’s STiX media player offers both options and an external Wi-Fi antenna for even greater versatility.

Media players for Android also support interactivity when used with a compatible touchscreen such as is the case with tablets, making them instant kiosk devices. Interactive applications are easy to develop and deploy on Android device compared to Windows PC-based kiosks.

Multi-platform compliance

Media players are only as good as the software that drives them. QL Player is available for Android digital signage players, Windows, BrightSign, Samsung Tizen and many other System-on-Chip displays. QL Content Manager can operate in mixed environments where there are different types of media player devices, delivering the same feature and performance across each platform.

Consider Navori Stix 3700 for your project

Navori Labs developed its own commercial grade Android media player device to respond to market demand. The Stix 3700 delivers PC-like performance in a small and discrete package. This media player features a built-in HDMI port, external storage support via SD card slot, multiple USB ports, Wi-Fi and wired networking. This powerful digital signage device is rated for continuous service and backed by a 3-year warranty.