Using NTP to Synchronise your Digital Signage System

Digital signage is advancing quite rapidly for such a
burgeoning new industry. Fantastic new innovations and content styles are being
developed all the time and there are some really fantastic campaigns out there and
more and more adventurous implementations are springing up all the time.

One of a growing number of trends is the use of complicated,
scheduled and synchronised campaigns on multiple machines. These are incredibly
eye-catching especially when the content is synchronised to provide passers-by
with an almost interactive experience.

Synchronised content can be really challenging to implement
and this sort of content is certainly not for the beginner as setting up such a
sophisticated campaign can be really difficult.

One of the essential aspects of these types of scheduled
digital signage campaigns is to ensure all displays are synchronized.
Synchronization is perhaps the most crucial aspect of these types of
sophisticated digital signage campaigns. There are multiple methods of
synchronising this type of campaign.

One solution is to a network time server which receives a
single time source and distributes it amongst all devices on that network using
the time protocol NTP (Network Time Protocol).

NTP servers receive the time from an external source
(normally GPS or long wave radio) so there is no need to have the network
connected to the internet although it is just as possible to synchronise to an
internet time source although this can be problematic if there is any
disturbance in the internet connection.

Any large network of digital signage displays also need to
be protected, especially if media players or PCs are being used to generate
content. The best option for ensuring total security is to place both the
screen and media device in a display enclosure, often referred to as an LCD
enclosure
.

This post was written by Richard N Williams

Richard N Williams

Richard N Williams is a writer and journalist based in Birmingham, UK. He has many years of experience writing about all aspects of the internet and digital technology. He is the author of several technology related books and his articles have appeared in various publications, trade magazines and online journals. Richard N Williams Google+

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