One of the most common questions I’m asked by customers about choosing the correct digital signage media player for their application is: “Which media player supports playing 4k content?”. This invariably leads to a host of questions. Almost all of our digital media players support 4k content, however your playback application has the biggest impact on whether or not a player will work in your installation. Using the product selector in tandem with some of the questions below will help you evaluate a 4k media players.
Generally, these are the questions I would initial ask about selecting a media player:
- What software are you using for playback?
- Are you utilizing HTML5 content?
- Does it use GPU or CPU decoding for video/primary rendering/workloads?
- How many outputs do you desire and at what resolutions?
- Are there size/shape/mounting requirements?
- What kind of hardware do you currently use and what do you not like about it?
A playback application that doesn’t utilize hardware video decode may require a media player with more CPU power to perform video decoding. We have also seen applications such as this perform better when using an external GPU, both of which limit product selection and tend to drive towards higher price points.
HTML5 based content typically is easier to select for because of the ubiquitous platform. The <video> tag in most host platforms will support a limited set of codecs, which are hardware accelerated.
If you are unsure how to answer these questions, we can help. In our Product Development Lab, we have a variety of media players and displays that we can use to test your application. This can shortcut selection time by not requiring you to acquire a demo unit and configure it- we can do it in our lab and even provide a video of the results.