Marketers everywhere are hearing the dreaded R word, and as a result theyre under increasing pressure to account for every last bit of their spend. And theres no difference when it comes to choosing your digital signage solution.

Every digital signage network brings some often unseen or overlooked implicit costs. In most cases this is due to inexperience or poor decisions. Frustratingly in a lot of these cases the decision maker has received and ignored appropriate advice.

1920×1080 High Definition panels look fantastic, especially when the creative team has produced the content to take advantage of the technology.

But, do you really need all those pixels for digital signage?

Digital signage networks can incur significant implicit costs; often resulting from poor system design.

Content for digital signage does not require the high level of detail offered by HD panels. In most cases the content needs to be readable from a distance and therefore utilises large images and text.

The impact of deploying HD panels is firstly on the player hardware, it needs to pack some grunt. Secondly, the HD content increases the file size which impacts on the network. This is where the implicit costs are unseen. A 115 second HD clip is about 115MB in size compared to about 66MB in 1366×768 High Resolution. Of course the bit rate and codec has significant impact, but the ratio is about the same. Extrapolate the HD content over a weeks play list and you’re looking at pushing a lot of data through your network.

This is compounded even further by the number of sites or screens you are displaying on. The costs are seen in the bandwidth required to run the network, the bigger the network and the greater the file sizes the more bandwidth is required, and that equates to greater costs.

On the other hand if we were to use 1366×768 high resolution panels, the file sizes are smaller, therefore the bandwidth impact is less, and really the same message is conveyed; ultimately the goal is to convey your message, and for marketers looking to reduce costs, it doesnt make sense to spend on all those extra pixels if you cant justify the ROI on them!