Sep 23 2023
6 min read
Mini PCs, as you know, have taken the world of digital signage by storm. If you’re reading this blog, you perhaps already know about Mini PCs and why you need them for digital signage.
For those getting started, here’s a quick refresher:
A mini PC is essentially your desktop— only smaller and more compact. It operates nearly the same way as your regular PC. It can be used for various activities such as video editing, gaming, quick communications (example, emails), or simply browsing.Despite their compact design, mini PCs, especially the Windows-based players, maintain the ability to run resource-intensive tasks efficiently, ensuring a smooth and seamless user experience.
This article will cover why you need mini PCs for digital signage and the top digital signage mini PCs for 2023.
The global market for digital signage went from $19.52 billion in 2022 to $21.59 in 2023 . This data speaks volumes about the growing demand for digital signage among businesses.
The new-age mini PCs are lean and portable and are one of the crucial components of your digital signage ensemble. They offer a classic combination of size, usability, and performance.
Businesses deploying digital billboard software opt for signage media players that are cost-effective, powerful, and easy to install. The best mini PCs for your industrial screens need to fit the bill.
Listed below are the reasons why mini PCs have emerged as the most viable solutions in 2023:
Affordable and best for single or multiscreen displays
High-performing mini PCs are great for 4K video walls
Lower energy consumption and operational cost
Easy deployment due to minimal accessories
Can support multiple media formats
Related Article: Digital signage installation: A step-by-step guide
Let’s explore the five best mini PCs ruling the market.
The Intel® NUC Mini PC is a top choice for industry majors as it offers the power and performance of the new-generation desktop PC in a compact palm-size player, and businesses can use it for a wide variety of commercial purposes.
Whether a single screen or multiple display walls, Intel® NUC mini PCs offer sustainable 24/7 operations for up to five years. They have an expected service rate of 1% during this period. Engineered and backed by Intel for 24/7 commercial applications, these can be used for:
Multiple display walls & projection maps: An Intel® NUC Pro Mini PC for digital signage has multiple 4K video channel outputs through ThunderboltTM and HDMI. This provides users with a robust foundation for multiscreen, high-performance installations. A single device can be a unified monitor and display different streams for each screen.
Stand-alone digital signage: Intel® NUC offers commercial-level performance and lets you stream 4K videos to multiple screens, digitize menu boards, and support various visual solution requirements. Its robust hardware provides the power to support interactive digital signage systems.
Self-service kiosks: Self-service kiosks have vastly evolved. Today’s customers can use these to self-check in, find directions, and look up inventory in multiple stores. These new-age kiosks come with advanced imaging and interactive touchscreens and naturally demand higher processing power. An Intel® NUC mini PC for digital signage delivers such massive performance in a range of streamlined devices with modern designs.
The Intel® NUC family comes in two major variants:
Intel® NUC Pro: These mini PCs are ideal for embedded PCs for smart signage or kiosks, digital signage PCs, or media players. Be it for a stand-alone media player or multiple players to drive a network of devices, you can always select Intel® NUC Pro Mini PC with enhanced features for digital signage.
Intel® NUC Rugged: If your hardware is prone to dust and temperature fluctuations, Intel® NUC Rugged series is your go-to mini PC for digital signage. These come with IP50 dust resistance and fan-less design and can function within a 0-40 degree Celsius temperature range.
The LG Mini PC series is an integral, full HD digital signage player that can be used as a stand-alone or built-in type player as per your usage and applications. LG MP 500 offers superior clarity and resolution. It comes with the content management software Super Sign Elite-w lite, which is usually provided as a product bundle.
Here’s a quick snapshot of the features:
Intel Celeron P4500 Processor 1.86 GHz (Dual Core)
Intel Core i5-520M Processor 2.40 GHz (Dual Core)
Windows Embedded Standard, Windows7 Embedded Full HD x 2
Maximum Resolution 2,560 x 1,600 @ 60 Hz (DP)
Maximum Resolution 1,920 x 1,200 @ 60 Hz (HDMI)
An increasing number of organizations are leveraging the benefits of the LG mini PC 500 series for their digital signage, and here’s why you should too:
Seamless installation and maintenance: The MP500 series is lightweight and compact. The built-in signage player lets your signage look sleek and easy to maintain.
Smart options to display high-quality content: With MP500, you can choose from premium picture quality with a resolution of 1920X1200 or 2560X1600.
Android mini PCs find wide-scale usage for digital signage at an industrial level. That is mainly due to their ease of use and compact design. We will discuss the two primary varieties of android mini PCs that companies rely upon:
A. Android 16GB RTC digital signage mini PC: This category is mainly used for intelligent kiosks, IoT, educational purposes (e.g., smart classrooms), and digital signage players. It is one of the top recommendations for information kiosk machines, stand-alone PCs, touchscreen kiosk machines, and digital signage PCs. Customers speak highly of this android digital signage mini PC for the following benefits:
You get screen rotation and orientation that supports 90-, 180-, and 270-degree angles with a single click.
Power consumption is low to moderate.
The pre-installed MDM client lets you seamlessly upgrade or delete APKs, lock or unlock devices remotely to prevent misuse, and monitor device usage, health, and location.
It is equipped with a built-in powerful 2dBi antenna for improved and uninterrupted WiFi reception.
B. Android 4K HDMI2 digital signage mini PC :The multi-purpose 4K HDMI 2.0 Android mini PC is ideal for digital signage and personal entertainment. Powered by Quad-core Cortex-A53, it has an advanced GPU that can sustain a speed of up to 1.5 GHz. The mini PC supports 4K HD video hardware decoding. The pre-installed apps let you enjoy uninterrupted movie browsing and playing video games alongside usage as a digital signage media player.
The Android 4K mini PC lets you enjoy the following benefits:
Real-time stamp with built-in RTC
Super fast performance due to 4 GB DDR3 RAM
Up to 2TB USB storage
Built-in Ethernet port and dual-band 150 Mbps WiFi
Hassle-free media sharing
If you are an Apple user on the lookout for digital signage mini PCS, you’ve landed in the right place. It offers the power and performance of desktop computers in devices the size of a mobile phone. It makes your smart TVs sleek, accessible, and portable. Mac mini is your one-stop solution for single or multiple screens, providing high resolution and display.
A Mac Mini lets you transform any available monitor into a complete iMac desktop and carry it on the go. In recent years, Mac Mini has proven more cost-effective for digital signage. You can easily schedule your content for broadcast on digital screens, such as office/college campus directories, corporate announcements, event listings, emergency alerts, and more.
Below is a rundown of more reasons to get a mac mini PC for digital signage applications:
Can handle large volumes of content without limits
Supports multiple 4K displays
It can support a wide range of applications and is scalable
Allows you to download all programs as needed
The only apparent downside of the Mac mini PC is the initial cost of setting up. However, if you are already used to the Apple ecosystem, the Mac mini is one of the best choices for your digital signage needs.
5. Linutop XS Fan-less Mini PCs :
Linutop XS mini PC mini PC has the configuration of a digital signage display and an internet kiosk. Its display software provides a cost-effective and easy-to-install digital signage solution. The content to be displayed can include HD videos, images, documents, or even web pages.
Linutop mini PCs are widely used for digital signage in advertising, city halls, offices, schools, libraries, hospitals, waiting rooms, hotel lobbies, factories, shared offices, and business centers mainly due to the following benefits:
Lightweight with slim enclosure
Devoid of fans and moving parts
Energy-efficient (consumes <4W)
It comes with monitor-mounting screws and accessories and can be fitted with any screen.
Easily customizable per requirements such as silent media player, network monitoring, thin clients, etc.
Read-to-use internet access
Fully compatible with all the stand office formats and online applications
Offers pre-installed software solutions
Quick and easy deployment
The following table will help you decide if you should opt for G4 or G7 mini pc for digital signage: