Why Is So Little Shared About Digital Signage Errors?

February 25, 2019 by guest author, Mitch Leathers

Guest Post: Luis Villafane, Maler

Final entry to my Cranky Spaniard’s Trilogy

Luis Villafane

In recent articles, I gave my thoughts and facts about panel display manufacturers. Different providers with different issues. None of them are “free of sin.” All have issues, no doubt there.

Today, I asked Google for the following:

1. Digital Signage Errors

Got a few pictures, even one of my very old systems (CBS-LCD on the London Underground), but not that many overall. The best result heading was: 10 Reasons your Digital Signage Sucks – And How To Fix it – Well played, Rise Vision)

I thought it was weird that I got so little “up to date” entries or images, thus I extended my search.

2. BRAND (type in the name, I did four brands) PANEL/MONITOR/SOC errors

Nothing relevant.

3. ERROR Digital Signage PANEL.

Also nothing relevant, but I did get a ton of CMS systems claiming “this won’t happen with us.” Overall, nothing really worth reading, or previewing. Nothing from 2019.

The reason I asked Google is because after my last article, I got a few requests from companies claiming that they can take care of those issues I wrote as examples.

Hmmmmm … You all probably do what we do, which is to send the same command/question 12 times, but that is a “workaround” – not a solution. Those are Band-aids to an issue that is never going to solved, simply because most panel firmware cannot be upgraded remotely. Maybe the article was reading as “I cannot monitor my systems” when it should be reading “I can monitor just fine, but check these brands that don’t work, as expected.” Right?

Anyhow … Why is there so little information on errors on digital signage? Not only from the point of view of hardware, but also from CMS or play-out systems?

One of my first articles was about sharing mistakes on digital signage – things we did that screwed up networks, so that others would learn from those mistakes and make sure they didn’t happen again. But still nothing on DS … like describing nasty bugs (even if they were fixed), but for all of us to know “what is out there.”

Are we all so good and brilliant that there is nothing really nasty happening? I doubt it.

Think about this: You buy a TV (for home), brand XXX. When you get home, TV works OK, then after a while (where while = warranty is gone) you start seeing issues. For example, a constant reboot, a frozen panel, or that the TV has run out of memory and needs to reset, or a few pixels have gone bust. What do you do?

You call the service repair office and go crazy on social media. You want to make sure the brands know you are pissed off. That everyone who follows that brand on social media reads your comment and follow-ups. Come on, don’t lie. Yes, you do it. I do it. The first thing you do after getting the cost of the repair, is to let them and everyone else know via Twitter that you will never buy XX again.

Moreover, if you do the same search I did above but for home TVs, there are 100s and 100s of entries, even ways of hacking the manufacturer’s operating system.

The fact is that on the searches above, the most common item was “LG Refrigerator Error Code.” God knows why, but I do suggest for the LG home appliance division to take a look at it. (I own one … no errors so far)

So, why nothing on CMS errors? Why nothing on software player errors? Why isn’t anyone sharing the issues they are having? There is NO WAY that the people using SOC systems are not having issues. There is no way that … OH… I might be getting onto something here.

Dave… how about a new section?

New 16/9 Navigation Bar


Yes, I know, you can call it COMMON ISSUES … sorry. Let me rephrase …



A completely anonymous entry, with details on Software/player/hardware … I will even proudly write about a few bugs I’ve found on my software, that still have not been fixed.

Something like a “shared Excel document on the cloud” that anyone could filter by hardware/software/brand/CMS.

Moreover Dave, I will sponsor that document, because it will have more hits than the full blog.

Maybe we are all too afraid of lawsuits? Too afraid that someone finds out we have chosen the wrong solution? The wrong hardware? The wrong software? And if we write about it … too afraid we could get fired?

Oh well, I leave it there, but I would love to see responses on this blog entry with a few “funny” or not “so funny” bugs.

  1. Ken Goldberg says:

    Hi Luis:

    My theory is that more of the errors end up on Twitter than they do on the web.

    The problem with logging them as you suggest is that people rush to judgement on the root cause with absolutely no data. Without doubt, there are issues caused by hardware, CMS software, operating systems, networking and of course the occasional user error.

    As an example, when a blue screen of death appears, it it always the OS? Or could it be the lack of a watchdog, a corrupted file, or a bug in the player software? All are quite plausible, but the instant assumption is always that it is a Windows error. We ran from Windows many years ago, but sometimes the BSOD might be a symptom of an error caused elsewhere. I have learned over many years that jumping to conclusions with regard to causes without data to back it up is problematic. Our support and engineering teams joyfully punish me regularly for doing that.

    Being aware of common errors is not a bad thing, but assigning cause and blame can be a slippery slope. Few companies are willing to own their mistakes publicly, and few observers are able to actually analyze what might have happened due to lack of data.

  2. Ken ken ken… you are absolutely right, but that is no fun at all.
    The “Excersise” was to write something nasty… like… :
    So and So saves the admin pass on a txt file…
    or so and so crashes the player if you schedule a jpeg instead of a jpg..
    you know.. one of those… “if I find who it was, I’ll fire his/her ass.

    You are just no fun at all.

  3. Erin says:

    Luis you need to subscribe to the “Public Blue Screen of Death” subreddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/pbsod). Enjoy!

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