HTML5 And 4K Taking Interactive Digital Signage to New Heights

April 4, 2017 by guest author, Jami McGraw

Guest Post: John Wang, IAdea

As touch-enabled large displays become more affordable, we find a quick rise of interactive digital signage everywhere.

John Wang

With the touch of a finger, wayfinding screens take you to your destination with the shortest route. A swipe on the shelf-edge display instantly creates an endless aisle of products that cannot otherwise fit onto the store, accompanied by detailed product specification and live social media reviews.

And gone is the wait for waiters in a restaurant. The table-top signboard enables you to place and pay for your orders without delay. Welcome to the age of instant gratification. With the right content and a screen, you get all you want, anytime.

Interactive digital signage needs to be accessed close to the viewer. On a reasonably-sized screen, the difference between 4K UHD and 1080p FHD becomes clearly visible. Even after spending the extra dollars on hardware, having a 4K display and a 4K media player only answers half of the problem. Without properly prepared 4K content, your screen looks no different from its inferior legacy counterpart. As you probe around for custom-developed 4K content, you discover the cost for 4K video production is much higher than you had anticipated.

HTML5 contains several scalable technologies that always provide perfectly rendered pictures and text information at close distance with extremely high resolution. Started as the foundation for building contents for the Internet, HTML5 has evolved to scale beautifully to small mobile screens.

With the advent of large 4K UHD displays, the ability for HTML5 to scale “up” to provide fine details on large displays is finding great use. No matter how one magnifies or shrinks a page of map or product catalog, every single letter stays razor sharp and elegant looking. Product images can be shot with a digital camera at extremely high resolution, typically 10s of mega-pixels, and displays perfectly on your 4K screen to look realistic.

And the cost of producing 4K content in HTML5 is often a lot more affordable than in video. Millions of web designers are available to help you solve the problem.

However, not all 4K media players play HTML5 content perfectly. Some of the players are only able to display pictures up to 1080p resolution, and scalable fonts show with rugged edges. These players make your premium screen look like a low-cost alternative. The only content they show at 4K, as advertised, are video clips, which can be extremely costly to produce and impossible to change interactively.

Our company builds true 4K players. Just so you can understand the difference, have a look at this reference image below, which shows what a true 4K player outputs vs a 1080 player. You can see a bigger image, with a slider, here.

If you want to really go 4K, and maximize the potential, you need hardware that can truly handle it.

  1. Stuart James says:

    Its true, most Android hardware can not do proper Images at 4K but can do 4K video (even sometimes this is optimized by duplicate framing to produce higher FPS). We have seen all kinds of variances between firmware versions and chipsets and how the lower level GPU can handle these based on player instructions. Some hardware can do multiple videos decoding on GPU and some can do only 1 GPU video and the other software rendered or in some cases only 1 video.

    You really do need good Android hardware(Chipset/GPU) and a company who will support the firmware they provide.

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