Digital Signage is transforming the way in which education communicates with stakeholders in schools across the UK. It has created an effective platform where pupils, staff and visitors can be reached quickly with engaging, relevant messaging.
Why digital signage in education is important to us
Beyond this, nothing pleases me more than seeing our education customers growing their digital signage estates with TrilbyTV. Those such as RGS Worcester, who have boosted their whole school communication and embraced digital signage across their family of schools.
Our passion at TrilbyTV has always been to show schools and colleges that digital signage in education is more than just a screen on the wall. It’s about evidencing all the great work achieved and for us getting to see our customers grow their signage estates, is a real pat on the back.
A few questions I receive from our customers who are looking to grow their estates are about outside digital signage and portrait content. Think of the upright kiosk type screens we see at Train stations, in city centres or in well-known retailers on the high street.
So what’s involved when it comes to outdoor digital signage and using TrilbyTV on other types of screens such as portrait screens? TrilbyTV gives you the ability to share content that is perfect for a portrait screen, whether it’s an inspirational quote, eye-catching imagery or an announcement you want to share across your school, displaying your content portrait can really create an impact. Think about what content can stand out, is it there to engage, inform or inspire?
In regards to outside screens, a great example is Brentwood School who recently installed outdoor digital signage. We caught up with Sarb Singh, Head of IT at Brentwood school who spoke about what they had to consider when installing the screens,
“They are quite expensive to put up, in terms of editing content and having the extra brightness, but they are working really well. The one in the senior school which is just outside our sports centre, is an enterprise, so is open to the public. They’re showing content to both the public and then also to the school community, along with any visiting sports teams”
“The new outdoor screen is very much prep school focused, it’s about showcasing photos and events that are happening on site. The students are between the ages of five and eleven, so it’s very much about displaying engaging content, sharing photos, videos and team sheets. The main difference between indoor and outdoor signage screens is having different content and of course editing that for the brightness of the outdoor screens.”
Specifications for the screens, casings & NIT Values
Sarb discussed specifications and further things to contemplate when considering using outdoor digital signage,
“It’s really important to ensure that we get the right NIT value on the screen. Our outdoor screens are not normal screens, they are probably three to four times more expensive than an indoor screen. But by doing it that way, even in bright sunlight, you can see everything. So any content that is created by the marketing department can go on any one of the screens and it looks the same. That was one thing that we were worried about originally but it’s about ensuring you have the brightness on the screen for an outside environment, both screens get hit by direct sunlight at various points of the day so it’s quite important.”
“I went to a company called ‘just projectors‘ who supplied us with screens and I asked for screens that will display content visible in bright sunlight. For every screen there is a NIT value and that NIT value needs to be as high as possible. I think these ones are 4000 NIT which is very high and means they can be seen in bright environments. They specced up the screens in both areas and it worked out very well.”
“The casing is from a company called ‘Armaguard’, their casing units go down to minus 27º and up to plus 40º/50º. They have internal fans and include everything we needed, which has been working really well.”
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Considerations for outdoor digital signage
“Money. It’s not cheap, we’re talking around £4000 depending on how big you want to go with your screens, that was for a 49 inch, if you’re going bigger it’s going to be around £5000/£6000 (including VAT). So it is expensive for us to do it that way, so that’s why we’ve only got two outdoor screens compared to 27 other signage screens. So we’ve got to make it worth its value. With the prep school students because they’re younger and they engage more with that rich content, I think it really works over there. Seeing themselves in a video or in other content is really great, with the senior schools content it’s more information focused than anything else.”
Electricity & WiFi
“The screens are all on timers, with auto turn on, turn off. If you buy new commercial screens, they’ve got built-in timers anyway which is great and the screens just run out of a protected 13 amp socket.”
“In simple terms it’s very easy to set up. It’s just having the funds to be able to do it, that’s all. One issue was that we only had players that didn’t do 4K. So we had to get new players to make use of the screens and content, because you’ve got to have the right player to be able to do that. It was the same even for our video wall, the original player we put in wasn’t capable of running 4K, so we had to change that for those screens too. It was just simple things and getting TrilbyTV set up was easy, you just set it up on the screens and it works.”
“If we wanted to, we’ve got outdoor WiFi and it would work absolutely fine. We just find everything is more reliable working over ethernet. We prepared for that when we built the building four years ago and the thought was always to have an outdoor screen, so we built it with the components already there.”
An alternative hardware option for outdoor signage
Peerless-AV has been manufacturing AV products over 75 years so they know what they are talking about. Their portfolio includes interactive kiosks and outdoor digital signage solutions, this includes their award-winning Xtreme High Bright Outdoor Displays and Smart City Kiosks.
Protection from the elements such as rain, moisture and dust
Whether you’re an education or business user, your outdoor digital signage needs to be protected from the elements. The Peerless-AV Xtreme™ High Bright Outdoor Displays feature an IP66 rating which means they’re built to withstand the harshest environment. IP stands for ‘Ingress Protection’ and IP ratings are used to define levels of a gadget’s resistance to the elements. IP68 is the highest rating you can get when it comes to protecting your technology from solids such as dust and liquids like water. Solid resistance is marked up to 6 and liquids on a scale of 0-8, with bigger numbers equalling better protection. Peerless-AV absolutely have you covered when it comes to outdoor protection from the elements and so much so they are more than happy to dip one of their screens into a large fish tank while exhibiting at the worlds largest AV Show.
Screen glare from direct sunlight
The Xtreme High Bright Outdoors Displays cover glass is optically bonded, where a protective cover glass is adhered directly to the display. This creates a single index of refraction, which eliminates internal reflection. It also increases the perceived contrast ratio cutting down on glare and providing amazing picture quality even in direct sunlight.
Security and protection
Mike and Tom from Peerless-AV showed me how tough their Xtreme High Bright Outdoors Displays were. They did this by hitting them as hard as they could – they are IK10 rated indicating a degree of protection against external impacts. This gives their customer’s absolute peace of mind when it comes to protecting against vandalism and flying objects.
Not so much a direct question for Peerless-AV but certainly a point that needs thinking about. If you’re an education user who is looking to have your digital signage screen in a playground or outside area then it’s more than likely your current wireless signal will be unusable. You can install a wireless access point to boost your current wifi signal outside. One thing to remember is that any outdoor hardware will need a good IP rating. A hardwired ethernet connection from the school will work, although this usually means digging up the playground and could cost thousands of pounds.
Guide to effective digital signage in educationRequest free guide
TrilbyTV working seamlessly on outdoor digital signage solutions
With TrilbyTV being cloud based we simply needed to plug a device into the Peerless-AV Xtreme High Bright Outdoor Display and connect to the wireless internet. We connected an ASUS ChromeBit to the Peerless-AV office wifi. It was as easy as opening the TrilbyTV Player App to see content playing and looking fantastic.
Then to test on one of the Peerless-AV Smart City Kiosks which I’d passed on my way into the building. Again it was super simple to plug in the Very PC D390 running Android 10, connect to the wifi and have content playing. I’d set the Very PC D390 to rotate to 270º to play Portrait content I had created in the Adobe Spark (now Adobe Express) iPad app on this screen and the content looked great.
A huge thanks to Mike and Tom for their time and for answering our questions. Our advice, if you are thinking about outside digital signage for education then make sure you work with a company who has years of experience in delivering such solutions – a company just like Peerless-AV. More information on Peerless-AV Xtreme High Bright Outdoor Displays and Smart City Kiosks can be found here.
If you’re new to digital signage, don’t forget to try out the number one solution made for education for free by signing up for a demo.