Raspberry Pi media players are a great choice for technology-based education programs and those on a restricted budget. Raspberry Pi can be configured into a compact case and offers a wide array of design possibilities.
Create Raspberry Pi-based digital signage with Rise Vision!
Raspberry Pi is a small, stripped-down computer that often doesn’t come encased. It was intended to provide a hardware platform for computer enthusiasts, educators, and do-it-yourselfers with a low cost, yet highly expandable base to work from.
Raspberry Pi computers traditionally cost around $25 (US). They are powered by the Raspbian operating system (developed from Debian Linux) which has a no-cost license. However, to build a reliable, fully functional digital signage media player, other hardware components need to be added to an out-of-the-box Raspberry Pi computer.
Raspberry Pi media players provide the lowest introductory costs for any person or organization looking to design a digital signage system. Additionally, there are no limits to the kind of digital signage system you can build - assuming you’re highly skilled at building computers from scratch.
Most basic Raspberry Pi computers start around $25 (US), which is a fraction of the cost of traditional media players. However, a basic, bare-bones Raspberry Pi will not serve as a useful digital signage media player. Additional hardware components will be required to operate a digital signage system. With that said, a well built Raspberry Pi media player will be around $125 (US), which is still considerably less expensive than other media player options.
Raspberry Pi comes assembled on a motherboard that is 85mm by 56mm in dimensions (roughly 3.35 inches by 2.20 inches) - which is smaller than an index card! With such a compact size, you’re able to design a very small media player. This can come in very handy for tight spaces and any weight concerns (for example, if you must stow your media player above ceiling tiles).
The support base for Raspberry Pi consists of a large international community. There are tens of thousands of Raspberry Pi enthusiasts tinkering on DIY projects around the clock. Some are making flying drones and others are designing a digital signage system just like you! You can view general Raspberry PI documentation or browse through a Raspberry Pi digital signage forum topic and chances are someone has solved the problem that you might be facing.
While we do not discourage people from experimenting or building digital signage with Raspberry Pi, there are some potential drawbacks you should know about before diving in.
The most time-consuming and possibly expensive issue with building your digital signage system with Raspberry Pi will come from system troubleshooting and debugging. When you build your digital signage system using Raspberry Pi, you’re on your own. But that’s why people choose to go this route: it’s really about the experience and journey of building a media player from scratch.
You may have issues installing the Raspbian operating system. Or you may have trouble getting the right fan to work. Every issue will cost time and sometimes money. For instance, if you need to return a fan or heat sink, your project will be delayed and extra costs can start to creep up.
Displaying high-resolution digital signage on dimensionally large screens usually requires powerful computer hardware. A typical, out-of-the-box Raspberry Pi computer (even with a fan and heat sink) will most likely have trouble displaying crystal clear digital signage on large high resolutions displays.
It doesn’t mean it can’t be done, but now your low-cost, open-source digital signage project will turn into a more expensive “hot-rodding” computer project. When your project enters this territory, it’s usually a better bet to purchase a pre-configured digital signage media player that’s ready for action out of the box.
Raspberry Pi media players can have a difficult time running crystal clear looking video and animations. Special components (such as graphics cards) may need to be purchased and configured to make video and animations to run flawlessly on a digital display.
If you are adhering to a tight digital signage rollout schedule, then we do not recommend using Raspberry Pi media players for your digital signage system. There will most likely be too much troubleshooting and tinkering with components that will cause delays. We do recommend preconfigured digital signage media players that are ready to perform right out of the box. Here are a few choices we regularly recommend:
“We use Rise Vision to display marketing videos, safety videos, consumer The vividness of the displays and "pop" they have on our tv's is impressive. It is like an ad one might see on tv. This is not a fancy power point. It is on a whole different level.”
|• Raspberry Pi 4 Computer
• Heat Sink
|• Power Supply
• Micro SD Card
• Case (optional)
Occasionally, you can find all of these components sold together. However, sourcing individual parts will allow you to select high-quality products that will reduce troubleshooting and downtime later on.
For instructions on how to set up your Raspberry Pi media player, please see this page.
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