Why Apple TV Rocks as a Digital Signage Media Player

November 26, 2019

Why Apple TV Rocks as a Digital Signage Media Player

Hello, I’m John Reilly with Carousel Digital Signage. I’m so excited about Carousel, Jamf, and Apple TV. I believe that this combination of technology has the ability to change the way we think about visual communication and collaboration.

At Carousel, our mission is to help organizations create spaces where people feel welcomed, informed, and connected by using digital signage.

Historically, this has meant putting signage displays into areas like entryways, breakrooms, and common areas. Now however, Apple TV has unlocked the potential to put signage in so many more places, allowing you to truly transform your space.

But, before we explore this more, let's dive into how a digital signage system works. There are two basic parts to a digital signage system.

The content management software, that lets you create and manage the content that you see on your screens...

and a media player, which is the hardware device...

that displays your content on a screen.

At Carousel, we focus on making the best content management software, and we use 3rd party media players to show your content. So obviously, we have some pretty strong opinions about media players!

Let's talk about why we prefer Apple TV as the best media player above everything else we've seen.

Way back in the olden days, media players were often just simple Windows PCs. And they they got the job done. However, they came with some serious drawbacks. Primarily, this was because they were designed to be general purpose computers, and not the best media players.

This meant that occasionally you might see see things on your screens like the Windows desktop or perhaps a stray Windows update notification. This doesn't built a ton of confidence with your audience.

And on top of that, windows-based players were often among the most expensive media players out there, which can put limits your deployment options.

Later on, a new breed of purpose-built media players arrived on the scene. And because they were purpose-built, they often made for a much better digital signage experience than Windows PCs did. But they came with their own set of limitations.

These devices were typically built by embedded device manufactures who used either propriety software stacks, or open-source software that was heavily customized. This made them fairly hard to manage by IT departments. They were, essentially, unknown boxes sitting on your network with unknown security risks.

All in all, it was a world of hard compromises, and as a digital signage software company we lived in this world for years.

Until Apple TV! Apple TV is amazing because it's

- a dedicated media player.
- It has a modern, secure, supported OS.
- And it is completely manageable by the tools that IT teams already know and love. Like Jamf!
- Oh, and by the way, Apple TV costs a fraction of the price of the classic media players.

This is completely game changing. So. Great. But: What can we do with it?

Let's start with deployment. The very thought of deploying dozens, or hundreds, or even thousands of unmanageable, expensive media players sounds like a nightmare. And this is where the combination of Jamf, Apple TV, and Carousel come to the rescue.

It's all in a process we call "Shrinkwrap to Signage." This means that you don't have to touch the media player at all! Well, other than taking it out of the box and plugging it in. But that's it. Here's how it works…

You simply buy your Apple TVs using your Apple Business Manager account that’s connected with Jamf Pro. While you wait for them to arrive, connect up your Jamf Pro, and Carousel accounts, and then tell Jamf Pro to enroll these Apple TVs as Carousel media players.

With that done, as soon as they arrive, unbox them, hook them up to network, and power them on. Within a couple minutes, they will automatically provision themselves with all the appropriate settings, install the Carousel Signage app into single app mode, and immediately start displaying your standardized messaging and branding. All by themselves.

This is Shrinkwrap to Signage! Completely managed, secure, and you can put them everywhere.

Now that we have digital signage throughout our facility, we can get even more value! Because your signage is running on Apple TV, you can enable Air Play connections to any of your digital signs...

turning them all into instant collaboration spaces. Imagine working with your colleagues and sitting down in front of any screen in the building and instantly collaborating with Air Play, whether that's in a standard conference room, a hoteling space, a hallway, or even your front lobby.

And when you're done, your displays automatically return to your standard messaging and branding.

And it gets even better. The integration between Carousel and Jamf Pro runs deep. We’re not done after app delivery. This integration allows Carousel to actually interrupt and override any of the active Air Play sessions in order to display urgent messages.

You know, just in case something really important is happening in the office right now!

This integration allows you to deliver urgent, location specific, visual communications to your teams, wherever they are in your facility. And this plays such an important role in making your entire staff feel welcome, informed, and connected in your space.

We're so excited about this combination of Apple TV, Jamf, and Carousel, and we really believe it's the best solution to extend collaboration and visual communication into all parts of your organization. Thank you for watching.

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