Power-over-ethernet lights up digital signage
The ability to deliver power via Ethernet cabling promises to bring about significant changes to the digital signage landscape. The concept is pretty simple, yet the benefits go far beyond simple convenience. To be clear, the convenience of power-over-Ethernet is significant. The ability to run a single cable that serves the dual purpose of powering a device while also sending content to that device is a great advantage. And not having to run power to the device’s location is a convenience in itself. But the benefits of POE run much deeper.
For example, POE offers a cost savings when compared to traditionally powered devices. Not only does the lack of a power outlet reduce the overall installation cost, but the raw cost of Ethernet cabling is less than the cost of traditional AC wire. You add to that the typical cost of an electrician versus a low voltage contractor.
Ethernet switches are generally enterprise-class products, which are always safer for digital signage installations. In particular, the use of POE eliminates the AC/DC connection as a path for surges into AV equipment, thus adding a subsequent layer of protection to the connected devices.
Lastly, POE opens up new possibilities for device placement. Whether someone is trying to tuck a media player out of view or wanting to power a small tabletop display, powering those devices with Ethernet cabling introduces a great deal of flexibility in where those devices can be placed. Thus, POE enables optimal design of signage installations without the worry of proximity to power outlets.
POE is something that's well known among AV tradespeople, but customers aren’t always aware of how prevalent it's become. As a growing number and diversity of devices are designed to be powered via Ethernet, it’s incumbent on us to educate customers on the benefits of POE, and specify use of POE devices whenever possible.
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Jeff Hastings BrightSign CEO Jeff Hastings joined BrightSign in August 2009 while it was still a division of Roku Inc. In late 2010 with digital signage activities growing so rapidly, BrightSign became a separate firm. The holder of eight U.S. patents, he also has a history of tech industry leadership, including as president of mp3 pioneer Rio. www