Is normal PC suitable for Digital Signage?

There are several drawbacks to apply PC directly for Digital Signage.

1. Form factor of PC is not right

For desktop PC, ATX and Micro-ATX form fatcors are too big. There is no standard for the motherboard of notebook. A small box like iPhone is ideal for digital signage player that can be attached on the back of a large screen. In one word PC’s design is not compact.

2. Power consumption of PC is high

I can not imagine to use 100W system for 24/7 running in a small box.

3. Cooling system is simply wrong

Digital Signage Player requires passive cooling system. However you can check many PC boxes and find there may have several fans there.

4. Processor and chipset of PC are not a SoC

Any X86 PC includes a CPU and a Chipset. Unlike a single chip SoC, which integrates a processor and a chipset together, two chips solution used up more space and power. New 32nm semiconduct technology should make a single chip PC possible.

5. Too many external interface

Shall we need so many external interfaces for Digital Signage Player? RS232, Parallel Port, USB, .etc, VGA/DVI/HDMI. By using HDMI we can remove all other video and audio interfaces.

6. Video performance of PC is poor

A dual core CPU may not be able to decode a HD 1080p video in real-time. However by using a hardware accelerated video codec, a single core CPU can play HD 1080p video in smooth.