Digital Signage: A to Z

Being new to the digital signage world and becoming an integrating partner can be completely intimidating to say the least.

Not only do you have to figure out how this technology can help you capitalize on your current business, but you also have to begin by figuring out what all the basic terms are and what they mean.

Talk about feeling like a digital signage dummy!

Having a basic understanding of some of the key words can make this menacing process seem a little more manageable.

That is exactly what this piece is aimed at. The terms included cover digital signage basics, all the way through to a general understanding of the digital signage world. After reviewing the terms below, you can consider yourself a graduate from "Digital Signage for Dummies" and promoted to "Digital Signage for Smarties."

Once you hold the "Smartie" title, check out Signagelive's glossary for some not-so-basic terminology to expand on your digital signage vocabulary.

Signagelive is a provider of cloud-based media delivery solutions. They have created a platform that offers digital signage as a service and partner with over 440 resellers globally to provide software, servers, and support.



The person or group of people responsible for the updates, maintenance, and operation of the digital signage after installation.


Marketing communication used to promote or sell a product or service.


A sequence of fast moving static images that create an illusion of motion or movement. Often used in content for digital displays.

Aspect Ratio

A term used to describe the proportional relationship between the width and height of a display. Usually written in a width:height format, such as 4:3 or 16:9, both of which are standards for television displays and HDTV displays prospectively.

ATM Topper

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


The people that will be exposed to the digital signage medium. Often targeted to a specific group.


Audio Video Interleaved. It is a sound and motion picture file created by Microsoft in 1992 that allows synchronous audio with video playback. It can play in mainstream media players like Windows Media Player, however it does not provide a standardized way to encode aspect ratio.



It is a visually appealing environment where the message is displayed.


Measured in bits per second, it is the rate at which data is transferred over a network connection. It also can mean a range of frequencies used to transmit a signal and is measured in hertz.


Hardware that is small, battery-friendly, low-energy, Bluetooth connections that can transmit messages to smart phones or tablets.


The persona of an organization. It is the representation of your identity as a company including a specific logo, colors, typefaces, and visual continuity throughout your digital signage content.


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.



As content is changed, updates are forwarded to the players that have subscribed to a specific place.


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 Management System. An application that is used to schedule, customize, monitor, and deploy content across digital displays.


Files, such as graphics, sounds, videos, and script files that are played back on a digital display. Content is used to engage, inform, and entertain your audience.

Corporate Communication

Using digital displays to communicate things such as company initiatives, emergency preparedness, to reinforce brand standards, conduct employee training, introduce new products, boost morale, and even tailor information to specific areas of the building.


Digital Signage

Uses technology such as LCD, LED, Projection, Touch Screen to display content such as video, digital images, streaming media, and information.


Output device for presentation of information. Can typically include LCD, LED, Touch, Kiosks, ATM Toppers, Plasma, etc. for digital signage.

Display Mount

The hardware used to hang up a display to present the information.

Dwell Time

The amount of time your audience has to see and process the content on your display.



Enhancing an audience member's interaction with a digital display by utilizing content that can give pleasure or delight.


Local area technology, with networks generally operating within a single building, connecting devices in close proximity using twisted pair or fiber optic cabling.



The part of a computer system or network that is designed to block unauthorized access and still allow outward communication.


Multimedia and software platform used for creating moving images such as graphics, games, cartoons, videos, etc. in a small, compressed, downloadable format.


The average number of time an audience is exposed to the display or message.



A visual image or design, artwork.



The physical elements of a digital signage project. Can include items such as the display, display mount, media player, kiosk, tablet, touch screen, network cables, etc.


An audio/video interface used for transferring uncompressed video and compressed digital audio data from an HDMI compatible display controller to a computer monitor, projector, Television or digital device.


An industry that