5 min read

How Apple TV has disrupted the digital signage industry

Written by
Pavlo Fedykovych
Published on
March 9, 2020
May 29, 2024

Apple TV has taken the world by storm upon its release in 2007 and it still stays one of the best media boxes on the market. It also brought a much-needed change to the digital signage industry. Here's how.

If you analyze how the digital sign industry evolved over the years, you will notice that the progress was steady but very slow. It's a typical picture even today, in 2020 that many companies still use the technology that had its heyday in the 90s refusing to change ways. 

While traditions may generally be a good thing, we still believe that in the case of our industry, the system should be disrupted by innovation. That's when Apple TV comes to play as a game-changer.

While the media box that the Apple TV is per se isn't the digital signage provider itself, the software that runs using its capabilities is. We proud ourselves as a front-runner in Apple TV digital signage movement and not once ever since Kitcast inception in 2015 we never doubted our choice. There are several reasons for that. Let's review how Apple TV has disrupted the digital signage industry.

Starting with digital signage basics

You can either go on-site or cloud-based. These are two truths about the digital signage of today. Businesses choose the option based on their size and their preferences. And while we're representing the second, cloud option, it's important to understand that the success of both approaches always depends, there's no right or wrong choice here. Nevertheless, we are strong proponents of the cloud-based solutions as we believe that it's the necessity nowadays.

What is the difference between these two approaches and how Apple TV is involved? When you go with on-site digital signage you are creating a centralized network that should be operated by a dedicated (usually) in-house team of IT specialists with all of your information stored locally on the servers. In case of the cloud-based solution, you go fully online meaning that all your data is stored in the cloud and you don't have to purchase any servers or deal with wires. That makes this choice more versatile and allows you to set an elaborate digital signage network easily and hassle-free.

That's when Apple TV steals the scene. Cloud-based solutions run using media boxes that are connected to the screens. While there are many choices to choose from, Apple TV is the best one on the market right now, in our opinion. It has all the know-how Apple has gathered over the years and the power to fulfill even the most demanding content tasks.

“Why Apple TV, again?”

It's the fifth year that Kitcast is using Apple TV as the medium to create digital signage networks. And throughout all of this time, we haven't got a single reliability issue using this media box as a base for our software. That tells something about the quality of the ecosystem Apple created and that is a very solid ground for any cloud-based digital signage solution.

Also, it's secure. In a world where you have to evaluate every tiny risk to your systems, the device that can guarantee protection is highly valued. Apple TV is such a device. Your digital signage shouldn't be vulnerable, it should be stable and secure. Kitcast works hard for ensuring just that with our state-of-art digital signage software but Apple TV ensures it to the point where there's no doubt about its security.

As we're firm believers in simplicity, it's another ace up Apple's sleeve. How much time do you need to have Apple TV up running? Few minutes, just plug in and enjoy the digital galaxy Apple created. It's the same approach we have with installing and running Kitcast. You download it from the App Store, install, connect your screens and voila, you're all set to show the digital signage content you want. Apple TV makes the whole process quick and enjoyable. And it saves your nerves too, which is extremely important.

You can't overlook the pricing advantage too. The math is simple here, Apple TV would cost you less than 200 dollars while standard digital signage players have a price tag twice that. It's 2020 and we're not talking here about some amateur-level digital signage running the moving slideshows. We are talking hundreds of screens showing top-notch content and realizing the wildest marketing department's fantasies. Apple TV is capable of all of it having the business-level possibilities. So why paying more when there's an affordable and powerful solution on the market?

“Wait, isn't Apple TV a consumer-oriented device?”

It's both yes and no from us. You can't deny that it's a consumer device first, it is in this market. However, it's the software that turns it into a powerful digital signage player. Something that we do. This symbiosis allows using all the technical capabilities of Apple TV for the benefit of the business.

Because digital signage is always a combination of the hardware and the software part. There lies the most important choice the businesses are making. Cloud-based makes this choice a bit easier, you can easily switch from one provider to another, Apple TV still stays on the device side of things, you won't have to spend money again on the technical redeployment.

With on-site digital signage, it's a bit different. When you opt for a provider there, usually the provider would also bring its own hardware that would cost you a fortune to change if you decide to pull out from the cooperation. So at the end of the day, these are the things you have to take into account when browsing through the digital signage solutions that are on the market today.

So what's the disruption?

Reliability, low costs, security, multifunctionality and easy-to-use philosophy in combination with the digital signage software that's capable of making the powerful use of all these qualities make Apple TV a game-changer of the industry. So why are you still not benefitting from it?

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