What You Need
We'll look at what you need:
- to create & publish content
- to play content
To Create & Publish Content
To create and manage the content of your channel, you need a reasonably current computer with an up to date web browser. Internet browsers we recommend (in order of preference):
- Google Chrome 40 or later
- Safari 9 or later
- Firefox 38 or later
- Microsoft Edge
- Internet Explorer 11
- Opera 27 or later
Of course the computer has to have access to the internet to make use of the internet browser.
Besides a computer, you can also use a mobile device to manage the content of your channel. A computer is recommended for creating and designing pages because you can use a full keyboard and mouse. Mobile devices that can be used for Playr are, among others:
- An iPad or iPhone with iOS version 9 or later
- An Android device (tablet or phone) with Android version 4.4 or later
To Play Content
Next to the hardware to display your content, you also need an internet connection, so that the player can access the content. Let's look at both.
An internet connection is needed to get the player started. If during the day, the internet connection is lost, the player will either wait for the connection to become available again, or continue playing what it has played so far. See the company settings for more details.
The minimal speed and expected data consumption greatly depend on what type of content you play. Basically the use of video dictates this the most. If you use video, we recommend at least 2Mbit/s internet speed per player. Data consumption is really hard to predict, but if you upload your videos directly to our platform and use a capable computer, the video will be buffered once it is loaded and it won't use any internet data anymore. That's different for YouTube and Vimeo videos: those will be loaded anew at least once a day. All other types of content will either be buffered, or do not consume a significant amount of data. Typically, an average Playr channel without video won't consume more than 50MB of bandwidth per day.
Playr is designed to play even on the simplest web browsers. But the more advanced the web browser, the more of Playr's features you can use and the smoother your channel will be played. Here is an overview of the installation options with their pros and cons.
A Smart TV With Built-In Web Browser
- You don’t need any other devices besides the TV; so it’s a nice and simple setup.
- Multi functional: if you do not want to play a Playr channel, you can also just watch TV.
- Some manufacturers have a built-in screensaver that cannot be disabled and kicks in after (e.g.) 20 minutes, thereby blocking the view of your content. This seems to be the case with LG as of 2021. Be sure to check this before buying!
- Most built-in web browsers do not have the ability to play video.
- Most built-in web browsers are quite slow, making playback of animated content less smooth.
- With some built-in browsers top and/or bottom tool bars stay visible during playback, which is not really what you want. Samsung TVs tend to have this limitation.
- Smart TVs require manual starting of the browser every time, which can become quite tedious after a while.
- Samsung consumer Smart TVs
- Sony Smart TVs with Android
Any TV Screen With A Separate Playback Device
- A separate playback device is often a lot more powerful (and therefore faster) than a Smart TV, making playback a lot smoother.
- Allows you to select a decently prince screen, while selecting a device that best matches your performance needs.
- Ability to set it to startup automatically, e.g. every morning.
- You need to figure out how to neatly and safely mount the external device.
- It requires some more work to configure the playback device the way you like.
- An extra device means additional costs.
A Professional Digital Signage Display With Built-In Playback Device
- Playback device is nicely built into the display
- These TV screens don't change a lot, so if you have many and need to replace one in a few years, you can often still get the same model
- They often have remote management capabilities
- They are available for several specialist situations, e.g.
- extra bright for outdoor or in shopping windows
- dust / water resistant
- vandal proof
- Auto on / off via built-in timer, so that no manual operation is needed.
- Installation and support available from professional installation parties.
- The total setup is relatively expensive.
- Some manufacturers have their own closed signage platform so you cannot use these for Playr.
- Built-in players can be rather underpowered, so smoothness of playback should be tested before purchase.
- Additional costs for installation and configuration of hardware and software, which is usually left to the professional installation party from whom you buy the display.