The New York-based digital signage agency/solutions provider Show + Tell is known for working on very big canvases, like the screens up the street from them in Times Square.
But the company has just released a decidedly different product called Video Sign Player – a free, entry-level signage player app that runs on the newest version of the Apple TV set-top box.
Show + Tell’s President, Phil Lenger, said his team had a specific job that demanded a low-cost, very simple player. “We made it for ourselves and felt it was too cool not to share,” says Lenger. “It’s just to fill what we saw was a needed gap and not to replace the more feature-rich offerings out there. It’s a DVD player replacement more or less.”
Here’s the drill:
1) On your Apple TVs App Store, you download the free SHOW+TELL Video Sign Player
2) Drop your video and stills in a shared Dropbox folder.
3) Allow you Apple TV to access your Dropbox folder, via a simple, one-time-only link.
4) Hit play.
The set-up supports videos and still, and has a very basic scheduling system. That said, there is support for playlists and basic dayparts.
The videos are streamed from a cloud drive, so simply changing the contents of the drive will allow all of the displays to play the same content. Multiple screens in multiple locations play the same video loop if they are pointed to the same folder.
There is no software fee and no subscription fee. it is genuinely free, though you’ll need the latest Apple TV, connectivity and a DropBox account (which is free, but a $100 paid subscription would provide vast storage for as many players and playlists as needed).
It’s basic, and it s not perfect, by any means. There’s zero device management, so if the box is down, or screen out, you’d never know. The units do have content caching capability, however.
But then the market for this is not defined by businesses with mission-critical requirements. We’re talking small business here.
This will not work with an existing Apple TV, just the new ones, which have a new OS, called tvOS. They also have a dedicated Apple TV App Store, which contains the Video Sign Player. The units start at $149 USD, or $199 Canuck.
Interesting. I know people who have got other little TV boxes working as signage players, and the Android signage world is all about little TV boxes and sticks. BrightSign and Roku are joined at the hip, if you want a higher end example. But this is the first thing I have seen with an Apple TV.