Samsung SSP: A digital sign of things to come?

Samsung’s Smart Signage Platform (SSP) technology has well and truly put the cat amongst the pigeons in the digital signage world. Having opened up their platform to allow some of the world’s leading digital signage vendors to develop solutions directly onto its Smart TV chip set, Samsung has thrown down the gauntlet to the digital signage PC player and set top box world and simultaneously set itself aside from other screen vendors.

Well played Samsung.

Tripleplay is one of those chosen by Samsung to partner on the SSP platform which, as a hardware agnostic developer, has given us another fantastic avenue to investigate with our software. In fact, we were invited to exhibit with Samsung on in their hall at the IFA Exhibition in Berlin.

The SSP solution not only means that an end user does not need to worry about extra hardware and where to keep it, they also save money by not needing to buy two pieces of technology.

The SSP solution not only means that an end user does not need to worry about extra hardware and where to keep it, they also save money by not needing to buy two pieces of technology.

As mentioned previously, however, Tripleplay is hardware agnostic and while we have developed our solution to work on Samsung SSP screens we have traditionally worked with the Amino STB and Intel NUC PC player for our digital signage deployments depending upon client requirement; so it’s our and our partner’s job to fully understand where each solution fits and why it fits.

So, what are the advantages of an SSP screen?

  • Single piece of hardware to maintain
  • Protected by Samsung standard warranties
  • Simple screen swap upon failure
  • Sleek, simple and convenient installation
  • Easy to switch software supplier without buying new hardware

With these advantages why would people even consider buying an STB or PC player? Well, the traditional method still has a couple of aces up its sleeve.

  • Smaller, easier to store replacements
  • Lower cost replacements, screen agnostic
  • More mature technology

The SSP fits well into areas where screens may be easily accessible by members of the public, reduce the amount of technology in arms reach and prevent them from interfering in delivery of your messaging. It also helps in high profile/pressure environments where in the event of a screen failure you can rely upon the swapping out of a single screen to fix the problem rather than checking cables, STBs and screens to find the route of the problem before putting it right.

However, the digital signage player approach is one that potentially enables greater flexibility. You want to show some digital signage on your projector? Easily done with a player. You want to use the budget TV you bought from Wal-Mart/Asda/Spa? Then that’s no problem with a digital signage player. You want to move the digital signage from the reception to the canteen? Easy.

So, it’s very tempting to get carried away with new technology, new developments in the industry, but it’s always good to look at things with a balanced head. The right answer is probably a hybrid approach, STB free for some but not all signage locations. The SSP platform is great, it’s a fantastic option for installers, developers and end-users, but has it signalled the end for the signage player?

Maybe not quite yet, but it is certainly a reason to pause for thought, especially for the other heavyweight screen manufacturers.