Networking Giant Ubiquiti Has Digital Signage As An Add-On Solution

March 21, 2024 by Dave Haynes

We’ve seen, though the years, all kinds of companies of varying sizes and product focuses find their way into digital signage – in part because it is relatively easy to bolt on a simple media play-out software application to broader solutions and platforms.

A good example of that is the video collaboration business, with companies like Zoom adding digital signage capability for when screens are not being actively used.

Years ago, networking giant Cisco was quite active in digital signage – but the company’s solution had the twin challenges of being both expensive and not all that good or capable.

Now there is word, via a reader, that one of Cisco’s competitors has added digital signage to its capabilities, with software and specialized hardware that gets added to its networking environment.

I know precious little about networking solutions, but the Silicon Valley company Ubiquiti is a major player, with a market cap of more than $6 billion. It has shipped nearly 85 million networking infrastructure devices, and has a footprint in more than 200 countries.

More than a year ago, the company announced Display Cast, a $199 USD device not much bigger than a mouse that acts as a media player and hangs off a UniFi Connect solution – UniFi being the brand for Ubiquiti products. There is also touchscreen hardware. The units are controlled with UniFi Connect, and from what I have read going down this path only makes real sense if the end-user is already operating a network environment with Ubiquiti solutions.

The Display Cast units have to be on the same network, which might be fine for a one building solution but not across different locations on different networks.

There’s not a bunch of information about Display Cast, and the company’s website is a bit of a labyrinth. I rarely come across a big company like this that does not archive press releases or have a site search field.

What I have seen suggests that it, as is often the case with these add-on solutions, is very limited. The little units don’t support WiFi and they can’t run HTML5, meaning the devices are not going to do much more than run a playlist of videos and/or images.

That said, that might be all some end-users need or want. It doesn’t matter of experienced people say, “But you could so so much more!”

This guy walks through the solution in this video, and though he is a UniFi networking fan in general, was unimpressed – suggesting a $5 thumb drive in the back of a smart TV is an alternative.

The primary attraction is that after the hardware cost for the Display Cast, there are no monthly SaaS fees.

  1. Nick Ratcliffe says:

    No monthly fees = no support, monitoring or reporting

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