Digital Signage Glossary

The glossary includes several definitions to help provide a common base and language for all people and organizations involved in the digital signage industry. It is our hope that this glossary will help newcomers and experts alike. All Terms and Definitions Listed Alphabetically


Activation: Refers to a buying decision motivated at the point-of-purchase by such factors as buying convenience, price, promotion, impulse selection, etc.

Ad Audience: Refers to the number and type of people exposed to the specific ad, with an opportunity to see.

Ad Exposure Frequency: The number of separate ad exposures of an ad audience member during the venue visit, or other period.

Ad Exposure Time: The number of seconds spent watching and listening to the ad.

ATM Topper: Video screens built into the top of ATM machines used to display advertising and other information, independently of the ATM itself.

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Bandwidth: In video applications, the range of available frequencies that can be encoded and decoded as well as the signal-carrying capacity in a video path; measured in Hertz (Hz) or bits or bytes per second (bps/Bps).

Brand: A simple, cohesive identity or consumer impression of a product, service or organization

Browser: A software application used to access, retrieve, and present information on the world wide web. Can be used for accessing internal networks and files as well.

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Channel: A specific, prescribed, or official course or means of communication. In regards to digital place-based, this refers to a particular network of venues.

Cloud-based: The software application that runs your digital signage display lives on the Internet instead of on your local computer, meaning you can access it as long as you have an Internet connection.

Content: Media, clips, text, video and audio that is presented by display and audio devices by a digital signage system.

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Demand: A desire for a product or service. A buying decision is based on brand identity and the impression based on previous purchases and experience of use.

Digital Advertising Networks: Digital networks integrating targeted entertainment and/or information program content with advertising narrowcast through digital networks and/or screens in place based venues such as big box and small retail, transit, malls, grocery, health clubs, medical offices, gas stations, office buildings, hotels and other out of home consumer venues.

Digital Billboards & Displays: Communicate advertising-only messages through screens equipped with LED (Light emitting diode) or LCD (Liquid crystal display) technology, often changing at predetermined times, or through motion recognition technology, to showcase multiple brands.

Digital display sign: LCD, Plasma, TV or LED screens displaying digital content throughout a digital signage network.

Digital dynamic signage: Digital dynamic signage is a term used to describe the emerging industry where flat panel devices such as plasma screens and liquid crystal displays are used as moving posters, electronic bulletin boards, and the like.

Digital menu boards: LCD, Plasma, TV or LED screens that take the place of static menu boards in restaurant venues. Content is delivered to the menu board through a central content manager and changes are displayed to the menu dynamically based on the requirements of the venue.

Digital Out-of-Home: Refers to signage that is displayed in public spaces by means of projector, LCD, Plasma screen, Electronic billboard, Isle-talkers, etc. Multimedia content is usually displayed using a computer, also referred to as a digital engine or media player.

Digital Sign: A singular reference to a screen that is running digital signage content and typically replaces static billboards and posters.

Digital Signage: A network of digital displays that is centrally managed and addressable for targeted information, entertainment, merchandising and advertising. Synonyms: Dynamic Signage, Digital Signs, Electronic Signage, Digital Media Advertising, Digital Signage Network, In-store TV Network, Captive Audience Network, Narrowcasting Network, Out-of-home Media Network, Digital Media Network, Advertising Network, etc.

Digital Signage Player: A Digital Signage Player is the device at customer sites where Digital Signage Software accesses and displays digital signage information that it "receives" from the controlling server. Digital Signage Players automatically communicate with a primary server and in some cases; roll over to backup servers in the event of an interruption. The player may further assure consistency and uninterrupted signage presentation by preloading pages while others are being displayed.

Digital Signage Software: Software that is standalone or Internet based that drives a digital signage system and digital sign.

Digital Signage Solutions: A complete system with software, hardware, installation, training and sometimes even including content.

Digital signs: Plasma display panels (PDPs), liquid crystal displays (LCDs), light emitting diode signs (LEDs), or traditional television (CRTs) being used like signage. That is, instead of tuning in a television station, they are showing specially prepared visual images to make them function like signs. This gives the operator of these signs the ability to update them quickly, and to use engaging content.

Display device: CRT, flat panel LCD, plasma, aerial imaging, projector or other electronic devices that are at the end-point of a digital signage system, presenting the content.

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Ethernet: A local-area network (LAN) architecture uses a bus or star topology and supports data transfer rates of 10 Mbps. A newer version of Ethernet, called 100Base-T (or Fast Ethernet), supports data transfer rates of 100 Mbps. And the newest version, Gigabit Ethernet supports data rates of 1 gigabit (1,000 megabits) per second.

Eyes-On: A new measurement for traditional Outdoor which reflects the probability that a person notices a billboard, and therefore, the advertising on it.

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Flat panel display: Is a computer or television monitor that does not use cathode ray tube (CRT) technology, but commonly LCD or plasma technology. This allows the monitor to have a thin profile, light weight, small footprint and a flat screen, which is how the flat panel displays, gets its name.

Frequency distribution: The percentage of respondents reached at each level of exposure to an advertising schedule.

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Gross Impressions: Refers to the sum of exposures to a schedule of digital place-based network announcements.

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HDMI: Acronym for High-Definition Multimedia Interface, a digital connector interface that combines uncompressed high-definition video, multichannel audio, and intelligent format and command data in a single cable; with a bandwidth of up to 5 Gigabytes, it supports all HDTV standards.

HDTV: Acronym for High-Definition Television, a display format for digital TV transmissions that boasts twice the number of scanning lines per frame (60 fps) than conventional Standard Definition TV (SDTV), as well as offering a much higher number of pixels and a wider aspect ratio.

HDTV: Acronym for High-Definition Television, a display format for digital TV transmissions that boasts twice the number of scanning lines per frame (60 fps) than conventional Standard Definition TV (SDTV), as well as offering a much higher number of pixels and a wider aspect ratio.

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IP Address: Internet Protocol Address. A numerical label assigned to each device participating in a computer network and used for communication between devices and location addressing.

IP Multicast: IP Multicast is a networking transmission protocol allowing multiple computers to simultaneously receive the same transmission.

IPTV: Digital television service delivered via a broadband IP link using data communications wiring.

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JAVA: A programming language invented by Sun Microsystems. It is network-oriented and designed for writing programs that can be downloaded to your to your computer with small programs called "applets."

Javascript: A programming language that enables web pages to be designed with a higher level of interactivity.

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kHz: The abbreviation for kilohertz, or thousands of cycles per second.

Kiosk: An electronic device that provides information (via a display), is interactive in nature (a multimedia combination), and allows for input (via an input device such as a touchscreen or a keyboard). The kiosk is unique from a standard PC as it is created for a specific user and specific purpose and is owned, controlled, and operated by the deployer.

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LCD: Acronym for liquid crystal display, a thin, flat-panel display device containing liquid crystal solution between two transparent electrodes and two polarizing filters; when electrically charged, the crystal molecules align in one direction or another in front of a light source, forming a pixel-rich, composite image.

LED: Acronym for light emitting diode, a semiconductor diode that emits light when an electric current passes through it; in digital signage applications, clusters of red, green, and blue diodes are grouped together to form large panels, many of which are suitable for outdoor use.

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Multichannel player: Outputs multiple streams of unique content to multiple display devices.

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Narrowcast: Program content designed to reach a specific group defined by a particular demographic.

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Out-of-home Video Advertising Bureau: The official resource for information on out-of-home video advertising, marketing and metrics.

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Playlist: A schedule defining the order and duration of content to be displayed.

Playlog: Record of information created from the digital signage system reflecting the content played, the system performance and other data.

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Quick Response Code: Is a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) first designed for the automotive industry. More recently, the system has become popular outside of the industry due to its fast readability and comparatively large storage capacity. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be made up of any kind of data.

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Resolution: Refers to the clarity and detail of an image relating to the number of lines (horizontal and vertical) of pixels; measured in dots per inch (dpi), with the higher pixel density the better.

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S-Video: Short for separate video, a video connection interface that carries luminance (Y) and chrominance (C) signaling separately to prevent color crosstalk and for improved image reproduction.

SaaS: Is sometimes referred to as "on-demand software," is a software delivery model in which software and its associated data are hosted centrally (typically in the (Internet/cloud) and are typically accessed by users using a thin client, normally using a web browser over the Internet. SaaS (Software as a service) has become a common delivery model for most business applications, including accounting, collaboration, customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), invoicing, human resource management (HRM), content management (CM) and service desk management. SaaS has been incorporated into the strategy of all leading enterprise software companies.

SMIL: Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL) is a extensible Markup Language (XML) markup language to describe multimedia presentations. It defines markup for timing, layout, animations, visual transitions, and media embedding, among other things. SMIL allows presenting media items such as text, images, video, audio, links to other SMIL presentations, and files from multiple web servers. SMIL markup is written in XML, and has similarities to HTML.

Streaming: Content delivered live over the Internet.

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Triggered Content: Media that can over-ride planned content when certain pre-determined conditions are realized such as the proximity of a shopper, removal of an item from display for examination or the reading of various inputs such as bar code, loyalty card, biometrics, etc.

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URL: A string of text that specifies the location of an object accessible through the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), typically a World Wide Web address, as of a home page or i-play channel. A Web URL (Universal Resource Locator) begins with “http://” or “https://”.

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Video wall: A wall mounted or frame-mounted checkerboard configuration of multiple video screens showing different images or the same image spread across multiple screens.

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Webcast: Movies, videos, or radio and television that is delivered on a live or delayed basis via the internet.

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XML: XML (Extensible Markup Language) is a standard data format used for text files and information in computer memory that allows easy data processing and exchange between different applications.

XSLT: XSLT (Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations) is a standard subset language of XML designed to allow one XM

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YPbPr: A set of video color spaces used to encode RGB information for Progressive Scan capable Component video connections; the analog version of YCbCr connection, contains the luma or brightness (Y) information along with the difference between blue and luma (Pb) and the difference between red and luma (Pr).

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Zip: A data compression format that holds multiple compressed files in a directory. This allows for large software files to be sent more quickly and easily over the web.

Zone: When creating your content, it is the screen areas created or that are provided on templates for different information to be placed.

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