Directable Puts Digital Signage On Sony’s Android TVs

Android-TV-Sony

A Reno, Nevada company called Directable has announced it is now marketing a digital signage solution that has been tested and approved for use with Sony’s new line of Android TVs.

directable-blueAs with some other Android solutions out there, you get moving on this by getting the TVs, connecting them online, and then hitting the Google Play Store to download the Directable Digital Signage application for free. Once installed, there is a complimentary 30 day trial.

“Working with Sony, we can provide a high-end digital signage solution at price point that will be attractive to a business of any size,” says John Norton, Directable’s President. “The new Sony TVs range from 43” to 75” in both HD and 4K Ultra HD. They are available at Amazon and Best Buy, making them very easy for our customers to buy.”

“Directable is a great example of the power of Sony’s Android TV platform,” says Nick Colsey, Vice President of Business Development at Sony. “Our Android TVs are now computing systems that can be employed for many useful business purposes outside of entertainment.”

The company, run by a couple of guys with web hosting backgrounds, sets up its offer as $30/month for up to 4 TVs with players. That fee includes:

  • Online slide builder – no software to buy;
  • Playlist builder – Create unlimited “shows” that run on TVs;
  • Scheduling – Run your playlists at certain times of day;
  • Remote control of each Directable TV – Update and run different content per screen;
  • System Monitoring and Updates – View connection status and change settings via a Web-based control panel;
  • Multi-user Access – Work as a team to keep content current.

Someone, somewhere will know what version of Android this runs, and what the specs are on the processor. But I can’t find anything on the site. Those bits would have a considerable bearing on what this can actually do well, but then again, the offer and the use of TVs points to the small business market and pretty simple messaging. That small to really small business market is probably only going to use TVs instead of far pricier commercial displays, no matter what they get told.

Very interesting to see yet more companies entering the signage space, and this is the first new Android solution we’ve seen in a while.

Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes

Editor/Founder at Sixteen:Nine
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than a decade. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He's based near Toronto.
Dave Haynes

@sixteennine

Decade-old blog about digital signage and related tech, written by industry consultant and shit-disturber Dave Haynes.
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1 Comment

  • IMO Directable has missed the mark. Android TV and Android 5.0 (Lollipop) are now indistinguishable from one another; Android TV is now native to the Android OS.

    Directable has a base hit deploying a signage app to Android TV however they are not long for the market in a meaningful way because of two factors:

    1.) HDMI sticks

    The apps running on HDMI sticks are becoming powerfully configurable which provides value. Furthermore the computing power of the stick already rivals that of what is being integrated into TV sets. There is huge upward pressure coming from developers like myself who have mastered the HTML5 stack deploying with sticks to challenge those standing on higher ground.

    What Directable may very well have done is develop an HTML5 app which has been “phonegappped” so it could be deployed as an apk through Google Play. Not bad but very vulnerable in a marketplace of sticks and those with advanced software development capabilities as we can and are doing the same thing.

    Furthermore, developing our CMS using Chrome Apps allows us to run on any desktop or tablet. There is great scale emerging for the HTML5 stack however…

    2.) Android 5.0 supports PIP with live TV video sharing the same screen as the rest of the content. In fact multiple PIPs are supported.

    To hit a home run with Android TV the app needs to be developed in Java to create a native app that runs on Android so the signage service can take advantage of PIP and live TV.

    PIP is the holy grail of using a TV set for signage.

    The developer(s) that come along with a native app that enable PIP(s) will take the high ground for signage services deployed to TV devices running the Android OS.

    This is as I contend because the old school broadcast media is converting to OTT and we’ll have the opportunity to run their TV programs in the PIP(s) which can and will interoperate with their content running on the rest of the screen.

    It must be clear then that getting to the high ground required a lot of Java coding which does not come cheap when a “whole product” is developed. Somebody that can finance developing for Android TV will likely soon appear to take the high ground on the Android platform.

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