Minicom looks at costs of content distribution systems

Published on: 2015-02-05

Minicom has released a whitepaper on content distribution technologies, as is noted in this press release:

The paper is called "Cost Ramifications of Player Placement in Digital Signage Networks" and it illustrates the major reduction to the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of digital signage networks that can be achieved by placing media players in a back room.

Ronni Guggenheim, President Minicom Europe says 'Digital signage integrators and customers are always looking for ways of maximizing the return on investment from digital signage networks and protecting the total cost of ownership of their systems. This new white paper shows how extension technology safeguards their IT investment '

While both media "player in back room" and "player at screen" technology are popular choices for the "last mile" of digital signage networks there are significant differences between the two which have major repercussions on TCO. The new white paper shows that extension technology in a ten screen Digital Signage network over a three year period can save over $10,000 dollars in service costs.

Our take:

Minicom makes the technology that provides the lowest TCO, so they have a vested interest in the research showing it in a positive light.  This is not to say that the proposed solution isn't, in fact, the least expensive to operate -- in fact, it may very well be, particularly in the specific usage conditions described by the white paper.  However, as every digitals signage installation is different, your mileage may vary, and actual results may not match the predicted/researched results.

WireSpring has used Minicom (and other) video-over-CAT5 distributions in numerous projects in the past, typically with good results.  While we do tend to agree with the Minicom paper about raw costs, there is one aspect we feel they fall short on: video quality.  These distribution systems typically will not do true HD 1080p content distribution, and even at lower resolutions quality can suffer as distance increases or other environmental sources of electromagnetic noise are introduced. While this is a difficult cost to quantify, it does mean that even in some of the "ideal" cases that Minicom has noted, we would be unable to recommend a video-over-CAT5 system.

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