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 prepare a USB provisioning flash drive, how to purchase a screen license, list the best TV accessory options for your use cases, 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 can I do to prepare for the arrival of my Station P1?
As your device makes its way to you, take advantage of this waiting period to purchase the equipment you're going to need, maybe sort out your account licenses, or even prepare some content ahead of time so that once you do have your device, you can immediately start streaming.
Adequate preparation is not always fun, and some may find it tedious or boring, but a little bit of advance planning now can make your deployment much faster 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. Simply put, if know how the device operates and understand its functions, you know how to better troubleshoot an issue or maybe prevent one.
A fantastic example of this is understanding how the ScreenCloud OS recovery menu works. The ScreenCloud recovery menu is used to perform tasks such as refreshing your device, factory resetting, viewing network configurations, and clearing the environment. It's important to learn how all of these features work and more importantly how to access the menu in the event you will need to use them. To learn how to access and navigate through the Station P1's recovery menu, read through our How to Use the ScreenCloud Recovery Menu guide.
It may also be beneficial to read over our How to Factory Reset Your Station P1 Powered by ScreenCloud OS guide to learn how to factory reset your device. This is a good procedure to learn if you want to reset or change your device network configurations in the future. If you're looking for an all-in-one article to get the general gist of what the Station P1 is, our How to Set up your Station P1 Powered by ScreenCloud OS or the Introduction to ScreenCloud OS guide will give you that boost of confidence in knowing how to use the Station P1 media player.
2. Prepare a Provisioning USB Flash Drive
Planning out the number of USB flash drives you will need ahead of time and purchasing them, is a great way to prepare for the arrival of your Station P1. We see this as a potential issue for users who have multiple locations with all of them having different Wi-Fi credentials like Schools or large office spaces.
Because of this, we recommend planning in advance the number of USB drives you will need and configure them based on the number of Wi-Fi networks you have. Doing this will save you a lot of painful hours of going back and forth from the computer to location; reconfiguring a single USB flash drive, especially if it's a one-man job. Secondly, by configuring a USB flash drive ahead of time, deploying a large fleet is made easy through these quick and secure methods and can even be done by none tech-savvy personnel.
How to configure your USB provisioning flash drive for your Station P1
To set up your Station P1, you will need to create a USB provisioning flash drive to connect your device to your network.
Please note that inserting a USB flash drive is the only way to configure and change any settings on your device. So if you plan to move your Station P1 to another building with a different network, you will have to reconfigure your USB flash drive and insert it back into your Station P1. You can use this provisioning USB flash drive for one device or as many as you like, as long as the devices are using the same type of connection on the same network.
If you don't already have a USB flash drive laying around, now would be a good time to purchase one. Different manufacturers create different looks and designs, but as long you purchase a USB with 8GB storage capacity or higher you will be fine. You can find an 8GB USB flash drive at your local hardware or stationery store.
Once you have your USB flash drive, make sure it's correctly formatted in the FAT format to ensure your Station P1 recognizes your USB. FAT formatting is commonly used as it works on various operating systems like Windows and macOS. If your flash drive is not properly formatted, your Station P1 will let you know by displaying a "USB incorrectly formatted" error message on your screen.
Once you have your USB flash drive ready, connect it to your computer and visit this link to get started https://scos.screencloud.com/start.
- For a more detailed guide on how to configure your USB provisioning flash drive, follow along with this article here.
- 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
The most important piece of hardware is your TV (after the media player). When choosing a TV for digital signage, it's important to consider how long you plan to show your content as this will determine whether you need a commercial or consumer TV. 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.
Secondly, take into consideration where you would like to place your screen. First impressions defiantly do count. So before your Station P1 arrives, take a moment to look around and decide where the best position or best viewing angle 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 is supported by some great accessories that are compatible with your TV and enhance your viewing experience.
Although we have included a 1.5 meter long HDMI cable in the Station P1 box, it may not be long enough for your setup. If this is the case, we recommend getting a standard or high-speed HDMI cable. Please do not use an HDMI cable with Ethernet as this can cause issues in the event there is a power outage.
Other accessories like mounts can be used to add an aesthetic, but also 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 add 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 mount to be stable and stay attached to the wall. Cement and wood are great, but If you're 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 TV 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 or grab a buddy and digital laser leveler to make sure your mount is level.
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.
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 first hand glimpse of what digital signage with ScreenCloud is like. Devote some time to familiarize yourself with our ScreenCloud home page to see all of the free apps we offer and once your ready head over to our Sign-up page and sign up for a free trial here.
Once you purchase your screen license, you can prepare 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 and give you a head start on your digital signage journey. At this point, you may also want to plan any training that may be necessary for new employees or non-tech-savvy users who will be using the Station P1 or ScreenCloud screen management system.
We highly encourage you check out some of our setup guides below that 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. 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 the viewer and your companies message, so you want to make sure it's top-notch to give them the best experience with your brand. 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. For example, digital signs can be used to display information like company accountments, real-time statistics, or corporate goals and values so employees can be motivated by what is expected of them.
Careful placing of well-thought-out digital signage around your offices or customer locations could greatly impact your business by building trust with your audience, cultivate customer loyalty, one-up your competitors, or even 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
Need some more help with your content strategy? 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, you will be guided by a dedicated Enterprise Account Manager who 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 new way to target your audience now using 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 to better serve your customers.
Or maybe you're 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 best.
Enterprise clients will automatically receive direct access to the professional services team and will receive training for your team, hardware recommendations tailored to your business requirements, and a strategic content plan as you see fit. To learn more and to get in touch, check out our detailed page here.
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.