Android For Digital Signage: A Closer Look At Park Media’s Android Offer
April 12, 2013 by Dave Haynes
This is the second in a series of closer looks at digital signage solution providers who have started working with the Android operating system and low-cost, ultra-small ARM processors.
At least 20 companies have introduced products based on the open-source Android operating system that is very widely used for smart devices like handsets and tablets, all of them using CPUs based on ARM reference designs. Most smartphones and tablets use ARM.
It is likely that much of the industry will shift to ARM-based devices using Android or Linux in the next 1-3 years because ARM devices now rival the processing power of lower cost x86 personal computing devices, but at a fraction of the cost and, in most cases, size.
Based in Memphis, TN and San Francisco, CA, Park Media is the antithesis of some of the more marketing and social media-happy software companies in this sector. They’re just quietly doing their thing, and have built up what sounds like a decent amount of business with enterprise-grade companies focused mainly on retail.
Company president Brad Trotter contacted me a few months ago, did a web demo, and a few weeks ago sent me a little white Android player box that’s been ticking away since then on my desk (that’s it in the pic), playing out a string of videos I loaded through the web-based portal. It can do multiple zones and stupid ticker crap, but’s a don’t even go there thing with me, so why bother. The demo content that was pre-loaded shows that all works well, but technically capable is different from logical.
In short, little unit just plays and plays and plays, and the software was sufficiently intuitive I mostly figured out how to load, schedule and distribute without training. The interesting thing is how deep the software is for a low-cost device, going well into the weeds on the important stuff like remote device management management.
I asked a technical guy whose opinion I completely respect, whose company uses Park’s product (among others). He says it’s stable and does a good job.
Here’s the breakdown on Park Media’s Android offer, based on a standard set of questions sent to those companies selling Android/ARM solutions.
Park Media and Android
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