The advent of digital technology has led to remarkable changes in business operations. There is a massive reduction in the use of paper, even receipts are being generated digitally!
Likewise, digital signage has come up in a big way. Digital signs give organizations and event planners a unique medium to display meaningful content and engage interactively with target audiences.
The usage of traditional static signboards is on the wane, and digital signage is the latest buzz – a popular choice due to its flexibility and high return on investment. Technology is a real game-changer in the digital signage domain.
There are tons of options when it comes to digital signage software. However, it can indeed be a challenge to find the right fit for an organization with diverse needs. So, exactly how does one choose the best free digital signage software?
Well, if you have decided to make the transition from static to digital, you need to research quite a bit before getting an open source digital signage software. Here are a list of important features to look for in digital signage software:
Must-Have Features of Digital Signage Software
- Content Scheduling
One significant factor that differentiates digital from static signage is its ability to automate the scheduling of content display. The main objective is to deliver the right message to the right person, at the right time. Options such as pre-determined rules allow users to automatically deliver dynamic content and also drop expired content so playback stays up to date.
Such rule-based scheduling reduces the workload significantly. Besides, an effective signage software enables multiple scheduling for different screens or groups of screens.
- A Commercial-grade Display
It is true that the screen is the core of digital signage software.
Commercial-grade displays offer the best results as compared to consumer-grade screens. It can provide more inputs for external devices, including HDMI or VGA inputs.
Besides, commercial-grade displays offer enhanced durability needed for screens operable for 12-15 hours per day.
- Engaging Content
For effective results, digital signage solutions should be able to provide engaging content. A digital signage system should grab the audience’s attention — whether you want to advertise, entertain, or interact with them.
Visuals are a great way to help people retain information. Thus digital signage content can be a perfect tool to educate your shoppers, customers, or clients.
Similarly, you can use the right digital signage content to entertain your audiences. It makes their wait time feel shorter and helps them pass their time.
Besides, an interactive digital signage solution will allow you to both transmit and receive information. Thus, it helps create an interactive environment where audiences can input their data or submit requests for the kind of content they need.
Creating engaging digital signage content can help keep your audience’s attention long enough to consume your message.
- Multi-User Access
Another important feature for any digital signage is having a multi-user platform with user access control.
Having individual roles and access to different portions of the digital signage system gives the administrator the ability to restrict the use of digital signage systems. It allows operators to assign responsibilities without losing full control of digital signage management. For instance, the admin can control users from publishing any content without approval or restrict access of users for specific campaigns, and more.
Having access control within the organization is essential, especially when the organization is looking to scale up its digital display network.
- Multi-Screen Support
There are numerous multi-screen video layouts like large format LCD television screens, movie screen-type display, or video walls. A single size won’t fit all the formats. That’s why always select the digital signage software that maximizes multi-screen support. It largely depends on the combination of chosen software and hardware.
Hardware like commercial grade screens needs to be compatible with the software chosen to manage and display the content across multiple screens. Additionally, the software should have the ability to support and control multiple platforms from the same login.
- Network Monitoring and Reporting
To evaluate how the content management system, workflow system, and the whole software is performing, you need to monitor the health of the digital signage network.
Monitoring and reporting are the two most important features of digital signage software. Basic monitoring involves the ability to notify network operators if the performance falls below the service level agreements. And, reporting enables users to evaluate what content is performing best.
A useful digital signage software offers a comprehensive and intuitive dashboard that provides insights into overall network health. The network operator can quickly detect any issue and have minimum downtime by solving it actively.
14 Top Free/Open Source Digital Signage Software
This web-based free digital signage tool provides smart multimedia display features for small and medium enterprises in all industries. The system provides complete control over a large network of screens and facilitates optimal content management to target focused audiences.
- Rich Media Library
- Template and Content Design
- Visual Intuitive Interface
- Content Scheduling
- Advanced Analytics
USP: A 24/7 support team and a wide variety of assorted widgets make DigitalSignage.com an ideal choice for organizations looking for a long term open source digital signage software.
- Free Edition: $0.00
- Includes core features and users can install unlimited screens along with 1GB storage space.
- It also provides Open source versions that anyone can fork on Github
- Open source StudioLite / Angular
- Open source SignagePlayer
- Open source mediaSERVER+
One of the most user-friendly free digital signage software tools, Concerto is a web-based Linux solution that is perfect for small to medium businesses. It is highly compact, flexible and capable of supporting multiple formats. Concerto is still in active development with regular upgrades and system updates being added to the rich feature list.
- APT-based Linux system
- Multiple format casting
- Multi-screen support
- Content Scheduling
- Categorized content feeds
USP: Concerto has many smart options for content display, and makes it highly easy for users to engage with community members through textual, graphical and video messages.
Concerto is a free and open source digital signage software that can help organizations manage their advertising and content management.
A modern free digital signage software tool, DisplayMonkey has a simple visual layout and user-friendly interface. This cloud-based digital signage solution is open source and has rich features that are accessible across multiple platforms. It is highly customizable and provides first-class technical support.
- SQL Reporting Services
- YouTube Support
- Network Monitoring and Reporting
- Open API
- Commercial-grade display
- Multi-user access
- Location support services
USP: One novel feature of DisplayMonkey is that it allows users to geo-tag displays, and arrange them in hierarchical order.
DisplayMonkey is a free open source digital signage software tool, hence it can easily be accessed and utilized by interested users.
One of the most widely used free digital signage software tools, Screenly is simple, efficient and extremely customizable. It is highly adaptive and can support a number of media formats.
- SD Card Support
- One-stop screen management
- Content Scheduling
- Well-stocked media library
USP: Screenly is popular due to its intuitive and visual user interface, along with excellent support services.
Screenly provides an Open Source Edition for Raspberry Pi
Looking for Digital Signage Software? Check out SoftwareSuggest’s list of the best digital signage software solutions.
A unique provider of social connected digital signage for small businesses, MangoSigns has several innovative features and pricing plans. It is highly user-friendly and visually appealing with a super-easy setup system.
- Pre-made Templates
- Flexible Scheduling
- Automatic Player Updates
- Social Media Integration
- Multimedia Support with RSS Feeds
USP: MangoSigns enables users to control content from anywhere with no proprietary hardware requirement – it is indeed a comprehensive digital signage solution.
- Freemium: It supports 1 user for 1 sign. You can save up to 10 slides and it includes all basic apps
- Premium: $24.99 per month. Up to 15 team members can manage 2 signboards. It also provides access to free templates, images and premium apps.
- Corporate: Custom Price quotations are available for corporate plans that support over 100 signs, collaborative template customization, and user training sessions.
One of the best free digital signage software, ScreenHub is fully compatible with Linux and Windows-based operating system. It allows users to create, modify and control content on signboards anywhere using an internet-powered device. User-Friendly software that provides excellent customer support, ScreenHub is the perfect choice as a complete content management software for digital signages.
- Varied Template Options
- Content Scheduling
- Work Flow Control
- Graphical Frame Designer
- Social Media Integration
USP: One of the most advantageous aspects of ScreenHub is that it is hardware agnostic, therefore it is compatible with any display type and screen resolution.
- Starter: Free. Provides no additional screens, basic features, and 1GB storage
- Standard Content Package: $39/month. Provides 10 additional screens, 5 GB storage, email support and maximum upload of 50 MB
- Pro Plan: $99/month. Provides 15 additional screens, 30 GB storage and maximum upload of 100 MB
- Enterprise: Custom Pricing
A popular digital signage content management software, Xibo sets itself apart in both functionality and cost-effectiveness. It is available on Android, Windows, Ubuntu, and WebOS, making it highly convenient for users. Xibo has a smart visual interface, along with various advanced features and widgets that help in efficient digital signage.
- Content scheduling
- Advanced analytics and diagnostics
- Layout designer with powerful widgets
- Flexibility of HTML functionality
- Continuous support and service
USP: Xibo is well liked by users due to its minimalistic design, easy set-up, and administration.
While Xibo offers a free trial to interested users, its paid version pricing is from $18 for Android subscription to $345 for CMS custom domain.
This web-based open source digital signage software is an efficient tool that is accessible across multiple platforms and devices. It allows users to create customized content with impressive images and videos for intended target audiences. A diverse and feature-rich free digital signage software, RiseVision is extensively used in over 128 countries worldwide.
- Multiple screens and device support
- Automated content scheduling
- Well-stocked media library for content design
- Automatic player updates
- Cloud-based remote deployment
USP: A very high potential freemium solution, RiseVision is an extremely powerful tool for visual advertising, branding and employee communication.
- Open Source Version – Free
- Starter (1 Display): $10 per Display per Month
- Basic (3 Displays): $9 per Display per Month
- Advanced (11 Displays): $8 per Display per Month
- Enterprise (70 Displays): $7 per Display per Month
Professional software that allows users to manage screen networks from anyplace at any time, OpenSignage is one of the best free digital software signage tools in the market. It offers efficient and intuitive digital signage solutions to various sectors and targets specific audiences through smart content displays.
- Compatible with Android, Linux, Windows and HTML5 devices
- Content scheduling
- Manages playlists and content on multiple devices
- Extensive media library with widgets and third-party content
- Continuous and extended customer support
USP: OpenSignage servers and software are improved, upgraded and upgraded daily, hence users can benefit from the latest technological trends in the digital signage field.
Free Narrowcasting software for Windows and Android players.
Choose from the best free and open source digital signage software in the market, and go in for premium services if your business has heavy content requirements and larger capital at hand. Digital signage can make or break your business strategy – it’s a potent advertising and communication tool that can enhance brand presence and capture target audiences effectively.
Intuiface is a free digital signage software, which aims at creating visually appealing and compelling digital experiences. What sets it apart is that it allows you to interact with your audience using any external output device like NFC/RFID tag readers and other connected IoT devices.
- Offers multi-screen support and size — be it landscape or portrait style
- Automatically imports Photoshop PSD files
- Compatible with any touch device
- Free Plan
- Essential: $600 per year
- Premier: $996 per year
- Enterprise: $1800 per year
USP: Intuiface is that the design you create looks precisely the same in the editor. Plus, you can easily add content using drag-and-drop from File Explorer or via the built-in Content Library.
11. Info Beamer
Info Beamer is another popular, free digital signage software, which can be easily customized. And you don’t even need to have any technical knowledge to run your digital signs. You just need to copy a few files to an empty SD, and that is it. Plus, their simple web interface gives you a rich user experience you don’t want to miss.
- Lua-based source code that can be easily manipulated according to user’s needs
- Easily edit schedules, upload new content, add or modify devices
- Offers high-security service — devices are always encrypted
- Free plan (one device plus 1 GB storage)
- Additional active device: €0.25 per day for each device
- Additional storage: €0.02 per day for each GB
USP: One unique feature about Info Beamer is that it allows processing, logging, and scheduling of content in real-time on all instances. It makes the display and streamlining service effortless.
Yodeck is an all-in-one digital signage solution that enables you to create content in all forms, including images, videos, data dashboards, and even playlists. This web-based solution lets you access the system from both your desktops and smartphones. Besides, it offers a pre-configured plug and plays players that can be installed by anyone.
Some of their top-leading clients are Adobe, Autodesk, Domino’s, and more.
- Remote content and screen management
- Straightforward dashboard
- Top-grade security level
- Automatic content adaptation
- Custom widgets
USP: Digital signage solution offers top-grade encryption, firewalls, and other security measures to ensure the complete safety of your information.
Yodeck offers a flexible pricing scheme. In all its plans, you get one screen for free.
- Standard: $7.99 per month per screen
- Pro: $9.99 per month per screen
- Enterprise: $12.99 per month per screen
Novisign is a simple yet effective digital signage solution that comes with a rich set of drag and drop widgets. It is quite easy to use. The system offers pre-designed templates where you can enter your content and publish it. Besides, it allows you to display live and dynamic social media streams from your social feeds by integrating your Instagram, Facebook, and other network accounts.
- Remote content management
- Signage studio editor
- Digital signage player
- Interactive kiosk
- Content scheduler
USP: Novisign is compatible with various devices, which allows you to access the system from anywhere. It runs on Chrome OS, Windows, and Android..
- Evaluation: Free for 30 days
- Business: $20 per month per screen
- Contact: On request
14. Pi Signage
Pi Signage is an open source digital signage solution that lets you customize as per your requirements. It enables businesses to control their network of screens and displays centrally. The best thing about it is that it allows you to display the content in full HD. Besides, the system is scalable and lightweight.
- Flexible content sourcing
- Inbuilt templates layout
- Rich and intuitive interface
- Campaign scheduler
- TV control and screen-capture
USP: Pi Signage allows you to create content using the tools you are comfortable with. You can choose to upload them as files or use streamlining links to load the content.
Besides the open-source solution, it also has paid plans.
- Player license: $25
- Hosting: $20 per player per annum
|Product Name||Customizable||Multi-Screen Support||Content Scheduler||Multi-Format Support|