Thursday, July 23, 2015

Comparing Chameleon for Digital Signage (C4DS) with Traditional Content Management System (CMS) Supported Digital Signage

Traditional CMS Solutions

Traditional CMS digital signage solutions can support a long list of features including screen zones, screen templates, live TV feeds, dynamic content including weather and sports scores,  elaborate content playback scheduling, screen health monitoring and proof-of-play reporting. For any signage network operator or end user that actually requires all of these features regardless of the higher cost, traditional options may be considered.
Traditional Signage with Zones or Panels
When deciding whether to utilize a traditional solution, consideration should be given to the amount of technical resources available to support the solution. To utilize the long list of features, technical expertise is required and extra time and money for this support must be allocated. Some traditional solution vendors do an admirable job of mitigating required resources by providing better user’s documentation and even training videos, but there is no way around the fact that laying out elaborate screens, specifying complex scheduling, selecting and configuring live tv and dynamic feeds requires considerable experience and time.

Today, the majority of full-featured traditional CMS-based solutions run on Windows player platforms that are supported by x86 hardware. Some are beginning to emerge on Arm-based Windows and Android platforms, but often the graphical performance requirements of these systems can limit solution functionality. Fully capable x86 hardware is seldom fanless and solid state which can lead to reliability concerns. x86 fanless and solid-state options are available, but at a premium cost.

The Chameleon Solution

While the Chameleon player and dashboard do not have some of the features of traditional CMS-based solutions, Chameleon is a great fit for operators requiring a simpler solution with a subset of core functions.

Simple Chameleon Sign Screen

Chameleon is not structured to support multiple zones within screens. It is design to show one image or video at a time with full screen display. Content creators may elect to show multiple zones within each graphic or video, but for simplicity of use, Chameleon can only display one graphic or video at a time. Moreover, live TV feeds are not supported by Chameleon. Again, this was design decision made to keep Chameleon simple.
Chameleon does support dynamic content in a different way than other solutions. For example, users don’t have to find or select a weather source, layout weather data, etc. Such complicated steps are common in traditional solutions. Deviceworx maintains web pages that users can capture within Chameleon. These web page addresses accept a location data such as a latitude and longitude and then they display local news or weather automatically for the location specified. Setup is as simple as typing in the web page address with a correct location within a Chameleon capture ad. This simple approach provides for a solution that is also extensible. For example, Deviceworx can create web pages for capture that describe any kind of dynamic information including proprietary information such as company schedules, etc. Or, end users can simply capture web pages that already exist (including their own) and display these pages on sign screens.

To ensure that content is fresh and engaging, proper content scheduling is a critical feature that should be supported by all signage solutions. Chameleon supports full content scheduling.

Device monitoring and proof-of-play reporting is critical for all distributed signage networks and is supported by Chameleon in a similar fashion to traditional systems. Deviceworx has, however, taken great care in simplifying the filtering of report data to facilitate report generation with a very short learning curve.

Chameleon has been developed with end user cost and reliability in mind. To support this, Chameleon runs on cost-effective, mass produced, solid-state Android platforms.

Traditional Signage Advantages

Feature-Rich Content Support
Features such as a zoned or paneled screen with dynamic data such as stock quotes within a ticker or other transitional element can be very important for some deployments. Sometimes, getting consumer mindshare by showing live TV is also beneficial.
Extensive Screen Health Monitoring

Expensive traditional solutions can include support for monitoring screen temperatures, run times and other metrics. Monitoring of some screen hardware (especially older screen hardware that runs at higher temperatures) can reduce screen down time.

Chameleon Advantages

Lower Capital Expense and Operating Costs
The low cost of mass-produced Chameleon Android players is difficult to beat, and because Chameleon has been developed with only a core set of digital signage functions, its license cost of $150* per year per screen supports a very low operating cost. This low operating cost is further supported by use of simpler content. Content graphical design and management is simpler when zones or panels are not used.
Player Reliability
All Chameleon players are solid-state and fanless, ensuring better reliability than players with spinning hard-drives or fans.
Anyone can begin using the Chameleon solution with less training time when compared to traditional solutions. This supports easier system management and reduced operational costs including content creation.
Web page screen captures of any type of information is supported for display of proprietary data, internal schedules, announcements, etc.

About Deviceworx Technologies Inc. (

Deviceworx Technologies Inc (DTI) develops proximity marketing and digital signage solutions for a variety of verticals. The recently released Chameleon for Digital Signage (C4DS) product provides small to large end users and network operators with a solution that is simple, economical and flexible. Click here for more info on C4DS or email DTI sales: