Using PowerPoint for Digital Signage

Using PowerPoint for Digital Signage

With digital signage, ultimately, content defines the end result of your efforts at gaining customer attention and effectively communicating key sales and marketing goals. But remember in the end what you are actually creating is a digital signage presentation. So, what’s the case for using PowerPoint for digital signage?

In this article we’re going to explore the benefits of using PowerPoint for digital signage. We will also introduce PowerPlayer, our low-cost mini-PC media player that displays PowerPoint digital signage presentations on any standard TV.

The Case for using PowerPoint for Digital Signage

Why not look at PowerPoint®, one of the premier tools used for creating high impact presentations? Microsoft® PowerPoint offers flexible screen layout tools, broad multimedia content support, a wide range of free (or very low-cost) digital signage design templates, low cost and ease of use.

Here is a small list of features that make the case for creating digital signage using PowerPoint:

  • Flexible screen layout options
  • Wide range of free and low-cost digital signage design templates
  • Supports ordered, multi-page signage presentations
    • Control how long each “page” is displayed
    • Support for a wide range of page transition effects (fade, swipe, etc.)
  • Offers a wide range of font choices and color palette selection
  • Support for high definition videos, graphic images and audio
  • Wide selection of display object animation effects
  • Embedded excel charts and tables
  • Supports landscape and portrait orientations with up to 4K UHD resolutions

And again, let’s not forget ease of use. PowerPoint is also a software tool that most business people already own and know how to use. Converting PowerPoint to digital signage is normally a case of designing for a wide screen TV and making your presentation self-running.

PowerPoint Digital Signage Presentations

PowerPoint provides everything you need to create cutting-edge multimedia digital signage. You can easily create a signage presentation that displays a compelling mix of high definition video, pictures, a wide range of colors, text fonts, animation and page transition effects. Use PowerPoint to create digital menu boards, interactive kiosks, lobby and retail displays.

Here’s an example of a digital signage presentation used in a hotel lobby. It was created using only PowerPoint:

PowerPoint as a Multimedia Container

Using PowerPoint does not preclude using professional content creation tools like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to design exacting (down to the pixel) signage presentations. You can easily import Photoshop or Illustrator page content into PowerPoint. In this way use PowerPoint as a kind of multimedia container, organizing the imported “pages” into a ordered, seamless signage presentation with very cool page transition effects.

PowerPoint Licensing Cost

It’s clear that PowerPoint provides a compelling tool for creating and displaying multimedia signage presentations on your TV. Great multimedia support, easy to use. So far, so good.

But what about operating cost? Won’t you have to purchase a PowerPoint license for each TV point? This sounds expensive. And there is a simple answer: use the free Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer. The Viewer can display PowerPoint digital signage presentations on your TV without the need of a PowerPoint software license.

PowerPoint Hardware Requirements

Some of you are thinking: don’t you need a Windows PC to display PowerPoint on a TV? Yes you do, but there is a new generation Windows PC that is ideal for digital signage display: the PC stick. A PC stick–also known as an Intel compute stick–is a small (pocket-sized) Windows-based device that plugs into your TV’s HDMI port, capable of displaying PowerPoint presentations.

Along with their small size comes a low price. You can purchase a variety of compatible PC or compute sticks between $100 to $149 from stores and online retailers like Amazon. These PC and compute sticks include a Windows license, a flash hard drive, USB ports and WiFi Internet capability.

PowerSignage Player in TV

To display PowerPoint presentations plug your mini-stick into your TV and install the appropriate digital signage player software on it. It’s the stick’s hardware and player software combination that transforms your TV into a PowerPoint digital signage display station.

Content Management Service

One of the common complaints against using PowerPoint for digital signage is the lack of a content management service (CMS) that supports PowerPoint files. Without a CMS you are reduced to updating your signage content by manually copying presentations files onto each PC/TV point. And how do you support things like signage display schedules or remote management? Without a CMS you can’t.

PowerSignage –  PowerPoint Content Management Service

The lack of a proper PowerPoint CMS was the primary reason we developed PowerSignage™. PowerSignage is a cloud-based CMS designed specifically for PowerPoint.  PowerSignage provides cloud storage and supports the native PowerPoint file format: there is no need to convert PowerPoint into video or export it as a set of image files. PowerSignage CMS makes it easy to upload, manage and display PowerPoint digital signage presentations on you TV screen.

PowerPlayer – PowerPoint TV Media Player

We offer PowerPlayer™, low-cost media player that displays PowerPoint digital signage presentations on your TV. PowerPlayer is a Windows 10 mini-PC stick that plugs into your TV’s HDMI source input. It includes a lifetime PowerSignage CMS product license.

Using PowerPlayer you display PowerPoint digital signage presentations in 3 simple steps:

  1. Create your digital signage using PowerPoint
  2. Upload the digital signage presentation to PowerSignage CMS
  3. Plug PowerPlayer into your TV’s HDMI source input

PowerPlayer automatically downloads and displays PowerPoint digital signage presentations on your TV screen. PowerPlayer makes using PowerPoint for digital signage as simple as 1, 2, 3.

PowerPlayer features

  • Very affordable digital signage solution
  • Create digital signage content using PowerPoint
  • Uses low-cost PC/compute sticks for digital signage player hardware
    • Includes digital signage media player software
    • Converts stick into a digital signage media player
  • Hosted cloud-based service–no PC server required
    • Cloud storage for uploading signage presentations
  • Complete digital signage content management service (CMS)
    • Display signage 24 x 7 or schedule by date, time and day of the week
    • Assign signage presentations to individual TV points or groups
    • Supports location- and role-based digital signage management
    • Supports remote management of signage TV points
  • Supports landscape or portrait signage display
  • Supports signage based on PowerPoint files and HTML (live web)
  • Fully managed CMS, no IT support headaches
  • No subscriptions
PowerPlayer - PowerPoint Digital Signage

And to keep operating cost down PowerPlayer uses the free PowerPoint Viewer to display signage presentations, so there is no need to purchase a PowerPoint license for each TV point.

In Summary

PowerPoint is a compelling content creation tool for digital signage. Through its flexible layout manager, wide multimedia support and page animation/transition effects you can create effective digital signage presentations with minimal effort. Add to this the wide variety of free and low-cost PowerPoint digital signage templates and you have an exceptionally powerful tool for creating professional, great looking digital signage.

Finally, we have PowerPlayer, a very affordable, complete solution for creating, managing and displaying digital signage on your TV using PowerPoint. All these features and benefits make a strong case for using PowerPoint for digital signage–especially for small business.

For more information on PowerPoint please download and review our PowerPoint for Digital Signage Guide article. For more information on PowerPlayer please review our product brochure or visit our website at www.powerdigitalsignage.com.

Microsoft and PowerPoint are the registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. PowerSignage and PowerPlayer are trademarks of Power Media Design Pty Ltd. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Copyright Ⓒ 2017 by Power Media Design, all rights reserved.