A balanced approach
How do you find the best digital signage software? Well, you can start by googling “digital signage”, and take your pick. Trust me, this will be a long read. There are currently hundreds, if not thousands of products to choose from, with more solutions released every year. It’s enough to make your head spin.
In my opinion, the best digital signage software is the one that people will actually use. I’ve heard folks say “ease of use” is less important today and that we should rely more on automation. They think rule based programming is the only way to go.
You also have traditionalists who think playlists and schedules are fine. They like to be hand’s on and feel in control.
I think the answer is somewhere in the middle… Today’s digital signage software should let people work in a manner that fits their needs. I’ve always felt software should adapt to the user, and not the other way around.
Not everyone runs a 500 display network, but those who do should have access to the features they need, like automated updates, real-time monitoring, meta tag support, content validity rules, and others…
We also have folks running smaller networks with fewer displays. These people need a reliable digital signage solution that’s easy to use. A solution with groups, playlists and scheduling grids.
This doesn’t mean the same product can’t be used for both applications. You can find a balance.
Navori QL 2.0
I have used many digital signage CMS products, and I find there are few that really stand out. One of my prefered solution is a product from Swiss-based software developer, Navori SA. The company is known for its QL CMS platform which has been around for many years. Recently, Navori launched the new generation of their QL digital signage software and it walks the fine line between ease of use and automation.
The QL software platform is composed of 3 components.
- An efficient and highly scalable CMS back-end
- A user-friendly web-based UI
- A reliable multi-OS media player software.
The first generation of the company’s QL (quantum leap) software required the Microsoft Silverlight plug-in for its web dashboard. It was quite successful and garnered a good following.
Recently, web browsers began to block plug-ins which meant Silverlight’s days were numbered. That’s when Navori decided to move their UI to an open platform.
The result is Navori QL version 2.0, which features a UI completely re-written in HTML5.
QL 2.0 benefits
- The Microsoft Silverlight plugin is no longer required so you can use any modern web browser, on any OS.
- More features:
- Content previews, including a full-screen mode.
- A fresh, modern UI that still provides a great user experience.
- Live data is now displayed in the software’s template and ticker designers.
- There is enhanced support for social media feeds via APIs (Google Calendar, Facebook, Twitter…)
- You can now perform remote player software reset and PC/device reboots from the UI.
QL 2.0 is compatible with Microsoft Azure content delivery networks (CDN) making it an ideal choice for very large networks. You may not need this feature now, but it’s good to know there are no limits as your network expands.
QL 2.0’s media player support now includes System-on-Chip (SOC) displays from Philips, Panasonic, ELO Touch. Support for Samsung’s Tizen OS is coming soon.
I use QL 2.0, and I have found it to be a solid performer. The software is really easy to deploy, and a joy to use. I think people should take a look at QL and see what makes it a solid contender.
Navori is exhibiting at the Digital Signage Expo late March (booth 1413).
Disclaimer: I am a long time Navori software user and partner. I provide consulting, support, and training services for Navori software products.