Once you've ordered your ScreenCloud OS device, it's time to start preparing for its arrival! In this article, we'll provide tips on how to purchase a screen license, how to get your digital signage set up, how to purchase a USB provisioning flash drive, and much more.
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So, you got the green light that your Station P1 is on the way. Congratulations! you're one step closer to setting up your digital signage strategy. But now you're wondering, what do I need to do in order to prepare for the arrival of my digital signage device?
As your device is on its way, take advantage of that waiting period to prepare the equipment you're going to need, sort out the account licenses, or even prepare some content so you can start streaming immediately once you have your device. Adequate preparation is not always fun, and some may find it tedious or boring, but a little advance planning now can make deployment that much faster, and help you avoid a build-up of stress by eliminating a few obstacles beforehand.
Let’s take a look at some of the tips we recommend, that could help you prepare for your Station P1.
1. Understanding Your ScreenCloud OS Device
Do you know how to set up your Station P1? Learning the ins and outs of your device can be very beneficial in saving you time during the setup process - and as well all know, time is money!
Familiarizing yourself with the device, how it works, how to set it up, and understanding the specifications are all things you could do right now to prepare for the arrival of your Station P1.
If you have a moment, take a minute to go through our Introduction to ScreenCloud OS guide to give yourself an idea of the type of features that you can use with the Station P1. This gives you the opportunity to revisit any particular area you may not understand and ask us questions if you any further explanation. Here at ScreenCloud, we are always available to answer any questions you may have along the way.
Seeing as this is a unique software that isn't on the market, it would be beneficial to read over our How to Factory Reset Your Station P1 Powered by ScreenCloud OS or our How to Use the ScreenCloud Recovery Menu guide to learn how to navigate through the different features. If you're looking for an all-in-one article to get the general gist of the Station P1, something as simple as reading our How to Set up your Station P1 Powered by ScreenCloud OS can give you that boost of confidence in knowing how to use the Station P1 media player.
2. Prepare a Provisioning USB Flash Drive
Another way to prepare for the arrival of your Station P1 is to purchase a USB flash drive ahead of time. Using a USB flash drive is required when setting up the network configurations for your Station P1.
To give you some real life context, for example when you receive your Station P1 devices, you want to ship them out to your various offices, each in a different location, but not all locations have IT staff members on-site so they might not know how to configure the USB flash drive themselves.
This may cause a bottleneck in the future and could potentially slow down progress if you have to send an IT staff member to every location to reconfigure a device. But, if you prepare a configured USB flash drive (ready to be plugged in) in advance, this could save you time and money down the road. To configure your Station P1 you need a FAT formatted USB flash drive. FAT formatting is commonly used as it works on various operating systems like Windows and macOS, and a FAT formatted USB flash drive can also be prepared on various operating systems.
To see our detailed guide on how to set up your FAT formatted USB drive via Windows or macOS, follow along with this article here.
Please note, Only FAT, FAT16, or FAT32 is compatible for ScreenCloud OS provisioning.
3. Setting up Your TV for Digital Signage
Before you receive your Station P1, check to make sure you have all of the equipment needed to get started.
The most important piece of hardware is your TV (after the media player). Ultimately any TV with an HDMI will do. When choosing a TV for digital signage, it's important to consider how long you plan to show your content and the scope of your budget. If you plan to use your TV for less than 8 hours a day, 7 days a week, then a normal consumer TV that you can buy at your local hardware store will be enough. But if you plan to play content for longer than eight hours, seven days a week, then we recommend purchasing a commercial-grade TV.
What you need to set up your screens for digital signage:
A compatible TV
Wireless or Ethernet internet connection
Wall mount (optional)
Station P1 media player
USB flash drive
They're many reasons why a commercial or professional TV may be a better option for you. Firstly, they are far more robust than your average consumer TV and are designed to operate for long periods of time. Professional TVs are equipped with commercial-grade components like mental chassis to help dissipate heat and reduce dust. They are powerful little pieces of equipment and you can rest assured that your TVs won't fail as they are built to survive the toughest conditions.
It would also be beneficial to make sure you know where you want to place your screen. First impressions count. So before your Station P1 arrives, take a moment to look around and decide where the best position is for your digital signage. We have many articles about different ways to use screens for different purposes like restaurants, office spaces, education facilities, and health care centers that could give you some ideas if you're feeling uninspirational.
Not sure which TV to use for your digital signage display? This guide has everything you need to know about how to choose the best TV for your needs:
- Click here to read about the best consumer displays to buy for digital signage.
- Click here to read about the best professional displays to buy for digital signage.
4. Buy the Necessary Accessories for Your Setup
Accessories are the unsung heroes of digital signage decor.
It's important to have a well-chosen TV and media player, but it's equally as important to ensure your new hardware setup is supported by some great TV accessories to really make its presence known.
A good soundbar, if your TV does not come with built-in speakers, maybe something to look into if you would like to play some ambiance music in your coffee shops.
Synchronized lighting is also a new and interesting way to bring your TVs to life. Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box is a system that reacts to what's playing on-screen and syncs up all of your Philips Hue light to display the same colors in various brightness intensities, relative to where they are placed in a room. This is quite an amazing little gadget and is a real gamer changer if you want to immerse your viewers in your content even more.
Accessories can also be used to support the integrity of your digital signage hardware. A rocky table or chair may not present any significant risks or issues other than being a little annoying. But it's difficult to say the same for low-quality hardware accessories. Buying a high-quality mount for your TV is just like buying a phone case for your shiny new iPhone. It protects it and makes using the device much easier and safer.
An appropriate fitting mount will help boosts viewers' attention, increase flexibility if you want to change the angles of your screens, and adds that special touch to your space. By mounting your TV you reduce clutter and gain access to all that unused space that would normally be taken up by a TV stand.
How to choose a TV mount that's right for you:
First, of all things, make sure you're able to hang up your TV mount by checking the type of material your walls are made out of. Having a heavy anchor is important for your TV mount to be stable and stay attached to the wall. If you are drilling into drywall, use a stud finder to locate the nearest wood panel.
Secondly, check the exact size and weight of your TV to see which wall mount is compatible with your specifications. Most TV mounts will be VESA compatible which are standard mounting holes located at the back of your TV, but just to be sure, check the instruction manual as some manufacturers don't always follow these standards.
There are a few options for mobility when it comes to TV mounts, so decide whether you want a swivel, tilt, or fixed mounts.
Consider buying tubing or some kind of means to hide your cables once your TV is mounted. A trail of wires can be distracting but also dangerous - and the last thing you want is someone tripping over some loosely sprawled-out cables.
Next, assess your budget and purchase a high quality mount that suits your needs.
For the last step - set up your displays. We recommend hiring a professional to get the job done.
5. Setting up Your ScreenCloud Account
Setting up your accounts and all the bells and whistles that go with it is a great preparation task while you wait for your ScreenCloud devices.
Preparing for your digital signage plan is just as important as planning it. Planning helps us provide a structure or a "to do" list of what the outcomes are, and what needs to happen in order to meet them. Although the problem with planning is that it assumes everything will go as predicted. This is where preparation comes in handy.
Firstly If you haven't already, visit our pricing page here to find the perfect plan for you or your business. The great thing about ScreenCloud is our "try it before you buy it" philosophy, meaning you can get a free week trial to test out our features and get a glimpse first hand of what digital signage with ScreenCloud is like.
Devote some additional time in setting up your ScreenCloud account by heading over to our Sign-up page and sign up for a free trial here.
Once you purchase your screen license, preparing your accounts by either adding in all your team members, configuring your schedules, or create app instances. These are just some of the activities you can do right now, that would help put you in a position to foresee any issues that may arise. You may want to plan and schedule any training that may be necessary for new employees or non-tech-savvy users who will be using the device on sight.
We highly recommend you check out some of our setup guides below which share the best practices and tips on how to manage your screens.
Articles on how to use and set up your Digital Signage accounts:
6. Get in Contact with Our Professional Service Team
Here at ScreenCloud, we have a great professional service team consisting of project managers, hardware specialists, enterprise account managers, and strategic consultants all working in unison to help you create a digital signage strategy that will give you the best return investment from your screens.
At the start of a project with the Professional Services team, a dedicated Enterprise Account Manager will work with you to analyze your business and devise a plan that aligns your digital strategy to your business goals.
What does this look like? Perhaps your company is looking for a solution to improve the way in which you target your audience with digital signage. As experts in the digital signage industry, our team will supply detailed recommendations based on your specific needs, help tailor your message, reduce market spending, and better serve your customers.
Or perhaps you are looking to create a custom app to use with your digital screens? If this is something that interests you, we have a dedicated team of developers who are able to do this. Simply consult our professional service team to define the scope of your app needs, and outline a time frame that would suit your business needs.
Enterprise clients will receive direct access to the professional services team and will receive direct training for your team, hardware recommendations tailored to your business requirements, and a strategic content plan. To learn more and to get in touch, check out our detailed page here.
7. Setting up Your Content for Digital Signage
Purchasing your hardware is only half the battle, setting up your content and putting the right screens with the right content is the home stretch.
Having powerful content is that middle ground between your companies message and the viewer, so you want to make sure it's top-notch to give them the best experience with your brand. Content has always been a great way to promote your brand and to build a relationship with your users. These days, more and more companies are turning towards content marketing as a form of exposure. With almost 95% of businesses using content as a way to advertise their products and services, you may be asking, how do I cut through all of that noise and get people to notice me?
That's easy, by creating content that is tailored to your audience and focusing on content that genuinely adds value to your customer's lives, increase interests, and enjoyment. Once you tick off at least one of those three things, you will begin to build a long-lasting connection between your customers and your business.
Take Go Pro for instance. In 2016 they were named 18th coolest brand by Centre for BrandAnalysis. Now, how could a company selling cameras be that "cool"? Well, not only is their product great, they created a lifestyle brand based around showing compelling photos and videos of people doing extreme sports. They even encourage their customers to do the same and share their own extreme experiences using their products. Their products of course slowly evolved to have other use cases other than just extreme sport, but this carefully thought out market strategy put them on the map. They thought about who their target audience was and imagine how customers would or should use their products, then brought those ideas to life.
Nowadays, content is the main source of interaction for customers as a majority of people have access to some type of technological device. But content doesn't always have to be used externally. There are many ways you can use content internally to better engage your employee and communicate important details like company accountments or real-time statistics.
Careful planning and preparation of what type of content you want to use for your digital signage could greatly impact your business by building trust with your audience, cultivate customer loyalty, and potentially on up your competitors or in simpler cases, boost employee morale.
Check out some of the ways you can start making content with ScreenCloud below:
- How to Create a Digital Signage Marketing Strategy
- 30 Examples of Good Content for Digital Signage
If you have any additional questions on how to prepare for the arrival of your ScreenCloud OS device, or any other questions or feedback about our service, feel free to reach out to our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at our toll-free support line at +18885575335.