Welcome to the new world of digital signage

Whether in the classroom, conference room or hotel lobby, see how Apple TV devices are transforming the way we communicate with students, employees and customers.

January 22 2019 by

Sam Weiss

Apple TV has been creeping into the spotlight for the past few years — have you noticed? Newer models brought the App Store with streaming services, 4K support, HomeKit capabilities, Siri integration, and of course AirPlay. This new feature set paired with Jamf management enables Apple TV to find new homes in conference rooms, classroom, hotels and hospitals worldwide. A device that was previously reserved for the home theater has found a global stage with one use case in particular: digital signage.

What is digital signage?

Using a combination of multimedia and dynamic data, digital signage is a fantastic way to showcase information or advertising in an attractive way. Do you want to make students and parents aware of extra-curricular activities and clubs? Do you want store visitors to see your products or promotions featured in beautiful 4K? How about making your corporate lobby more welcoming or replacing the Apple TV screensaver in your conference room with something purposeful and valuable? Digital signage could be the cost efficient and scalable solution you need.

A digital signage system is made up of a few parts. You have your display (flat panel or projector), media player and a content management system. Historically the media player has been expensive hardware that was difficult to setup and manage. Content management was either done over the network or manually distributed to the media players using physical media like SD cards. All of this special hardware and manual labor added up quickly, making early digital signage projects unattainable for many.

Enter the 4th Generation Apple TV

October of 2015 saw Apple’s release of the 4th Generation Apple TV which included the Apple TV App Store. Developers finally had the ability to write software targeted towards Apple’s lowest cost device, attached to the largest possible screen. tvOS 12 was released in September of 2018 and it brought automated device enrollment and Apps and Books to Apple TV. This series of fortunate events brings us to a world where tvOS has certain management capabilities that mirror other Apple platforms:

  1. Automated enrollment enables zero-touch device configuration
  2. App management makes it easy to get software where you need it — without an Apple ID
  3. Configuration profiles allow you to set apps in 'Single App Mode’ and apply additional security settings
  4. Apps and operating systems stay up to date through Jamf’s management solution

Carousel Signage

Carousel Signage is a company that saw immense opportunity with an Apple TV-based digital signage player because it solves virtually every problem associated with traditional deployments. From many considerations (cost, graphics performance, management of the platform), Apple TV is superior to purpose-built devices. Located just blocks from Jamf headquarters, Carousel found a partner in Jamf to offer advanced integrations that make initial deployment and ongoing management of the deployment simple.

Carousel offers granular levels of access to content contributors — this means you can empower an individual to update just a portion of the digital signage message while ensuring brand integrity. Content approval workflows allow staff or even students the ability to submit content that won’t go live until it is approved. Their ability to display dynamic data make it effortless to provide valuable information to your students, employees or customers. And finally, integrations with CAP-enabled alerting systems extends emergency notifications to Apple TV as well.

Apple TV + Jamf + Carousel

Innovation by Apple, Jamf and Carousel have led to a perfect storm of opportunity. A fantastic media player, paired with a robust management framework, and given purpose with software like Carousel Signage, will revolutionize how digital signage is deployed and maintained. If your organization has something to say, make sure it’s both heard and seen with the powerful combination of Apple TV, Jamf Pro and Carousel Signage.

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