digital signage player hardware

After choosing Enplug digital signage software, many of our customers ask, “Do I need to use your digital signage player to show content on my display, or can I just use my computer?”

Enplug’s digital signage software is cross-platform, meaning it can be controlled via a wide range of methods, including a digital signage player, Mac/PC desktop or even an Android tablet.

While we think it’s important to give our customers several options across multiple platforms, one option offers the most benefits, flexibility and value by far. That’s why we strongly recommend using a digital signage player to display your Enplug content.

Well, what’s the difference?

A digital signage player is a device that’s much smaller than a computer and is dedicated solely to your digital signage content. A computer includes extra software not necessary for your digital signage (like applications for home/office use) and can make for an awkward setup.

Check out our digital signage player guide!

There are 4 main benefits to using a digital signage player, like the Enplug device, for displaying your digital signage software instead of a laptop or desktop computer:

1. Cost

Digital signage players are cheaper.

Digital signage players don’t include the unnecessary bells and whistles of a personal computer, and they’re priced to reflect that.

You can purchase an affordable and highly effective digital signage player for as low as $49 (just check out Enplug’s device!). A trustworthy personal computer will run you at least $250. Of course, there are more expensive digital signage players out there, but don’t be fooled—most inexpensive players will be just as effective as the pricey options, even for playing fast-moving video content.

2. Size

Digital signage players are smaller.

Using a laptop or desktop to run digital signage software presents placement issues and, for those looking for an aesthetically pleasing digital signage experience, is not the solution. Even with the smallest of desktop computers, you’ll need to figure out the logistics of holding the device up (using adhesive or a stand of some sort). Before you go with this option, think about it: Will a computer on a stand distract or detract from the overall visual experience of your digital signage?


Not only are digital signage players smaller, they can usually just plug into the back of your display with no adhesive or stand required. Like a Google Chromecast device, just plug it in and forget it!

3. Convenience

Digital signage players are easier to set up.

Digital signage players are made solely for delivering content to your display. Not only is the install easy (remember, just plug it in), the one-time onscreen setup is, too. Once you’re connected, you’re always connected. With a personal computer, you’ll likely need to purchase an additional HDMI converter, and any time you need to reboot your computer, you’ll have to manually open up your digital signage software application. (Errors will also require a manual reboot and are time-consuming.)

If you plan on using a matrix control system to manage multiple displays from one central computer, you run the risk of a single point of failure issue. If your sole computer happens to go down, all of your screens will go along with it. Which brings us to…

4. Remote Management

Digital signage players can be controlled from anywhere.

Scenario: It’s a busy Saturday, and your digital signage software application randomly quits on your desktop due to an unexpected error.

What happens next? You’ll have to manually log into your personal desktop and reopen the app, which is a time-consuming pain.

With the remote management features of a digital signage player, not only is the likelihood of an error occurring greatly diminished, but any error that does occur will be detected by your device. The digital signage player will automatically restart itself in seconds to get back to displaying your content—hardly ever missing a beat (or requiring you to intervene).

If you’ve ever dealt with the headache of manual desktop digital signage management, you’ll quickly come to appreciate the automatic software updates, power on/off scheduling and network monitoring. And with the added benefits of a small, convenient and low-cost option, it’s a no-brainer: digital media players streamline the digital signage software management process entirely, freeing you up to tend to the most important operations of your business.