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Digital Signage Media Player for $279.00

Recommended setup for an inexpensive, powerful & compact Player

Very often (probably on a daily basis) we get asked:

Do you sell hardware ?
What is the recommended hardware ?
Can I use a Media Player ?
How much should I pay for a Media Player ?
Will the Media Player be able to support my Signage Presentation ?

So, we decided to post this article and answer all of these questions with a straight, cut to the chase approach.

Now, you can purchase Media Players from our sister company at
These players are optimized for our SignagePlayer and are very efficient.

You can also check out the new Dell OptiPlex 760 here which is more expansive, but very small in comparison to other players with such high end hardware specifications.

First of all, you should understand that in most cases a Media Player is nothing more than just a PC inside a closed box. Some Digital Signage vendors may try and convince you to purchase their Media Player claiming for optimized performance and better stability.
But, in most cases its merely a capital gain that they are after. It may seem that the vendor is selling you proprietary hardware, but in fact all it is, is a Windows or Linux box that runs an operating system which is configured not to show the OS logo and boot directly onto the SignagePlayer application.

It is true that some Media Players are true RISC based proprietary devices which run about $150.00 and have very low processing power. They are mostly used for very simple signage presentation and can only show one video at a time. These limited devices are considered proprietary as they operate a custom based OS software.

Our Media Signage SignagePlayer desktop  version may run on any PC based OS that supports Flash 10 or greater. We supports Linux, Mac and Windows.

As of May 2009, Adobe has some bugs with their Mac OS and Linux runtimes and so we only recommend using Windows based OS until these issues are resolved (we will update this document once we fully support Mac and Linux). We recommend using Windows XP or Windows XP embedded with SP3 (try and stay away from Vista as the OS is not stable enough). You can use low end hardware such as 800 MHz processor but again, this will limit you to using none HD videos and very simply swf animation. Flash LOVES processing power so we recommend investing all the money we save you on the software, towards better hardware.

You are free to use any hardware you feel best fits your needs. We personally recommend a Pentium  dual core 2.7GHz. In fact, the following is a shopping list for a Mini ATX PC that we recommend. You can purchases all the components from and you will only spend around $279.00 for the whole system. That’s right, a powerful Digital SignagePlayer in a compact Mini ATX case that can fit behind an LCD monitor for only $279.00

Recommend hardware for only $279.00 from

Western Digital Caviar SE WD2500AAJS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive - OEM
Item #: N82E16822136113

$47.99 ea

GIGABYTE GA-G31M-ES2L LGA 775 Intel G31 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813128357
30 Day Return Policy

$52.99 ea

Kingston 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model KVR667D2K2/4GR - Retail
Item #: N82E16820134747
Limited Non-Refundable 30-Day Return Policy

$38.99 ea

Intel Pentium E5400 Wolfdale 2.7GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80571E5400 - Retail
Item #: N82E16819116076
Processors (CPUs) Return Policy

$89.99 ea

hec Black 0.7mm Thickness SECC 7K09 Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case - Retail
Item #: N82E16811121027

$48.99 ea

Total you pay:



* Prices updated as of 5/4/2009 from’s web site

The only thing that is missing from this is a CD/DVD Player that you only need once to install the operating system. Once the OS is installed and the internet is configured you will no longer need a CD/DVD bay drive, so we did not include it in the shopping list.

And of course you will need a Monitor. That is beyond the scope of this article but it goes without saying that you can purchase any LCD or Plasma monitor as all new monitors support VGA and DVI  computer inputs.

So, we are excited and we think you should be too. You now got yourself a killer Media Player for $279.00 and our software (the SignagePlayer) is so inexpensive its practically free.

Putting the PC together is a snap and since the case is a Micro ATX it can be installed behind most LCD monitors. The case also comes with a Key-lock ring and Kensington lock hole support so you may protect the case. The case can be installed vertically to stand up as a tower or as horizontally like a desktop. It comes pre built with a quiet power supply so its a match made in heaven.

Here are the dimensions for the Micro ATX case:

Height: 3.9"
Width: 13.8"
Depth: 14.5"

So size should not be an issue at all. The motherboard already has built in LAN and Sound board. You may want to add a wireless network interface card if you wish to reduce the wiring you need to run to each Media Player, but that’s optional.

And if you want to be able to watch live TV feed, connect external DVD or satellite / cable, be sure to add a capture card ( click here to read our Capture card article ). Note that you will need a bit deeper computer case if you plan on installing the PCI tuner card; for the USB tuner board you do not.

Now, if you are willing to compromise quality and speed, you may be able to save about $100.00 and build a Media Player for about $200.00, but we recommend better hardware for improved performance and smoother signage playback.

Below you will find some images of the Mini ATX case. Note that if this case is out of stock, have many (over 20) Micro ATX cases, so you can always pick a different one.
Simply do a search in for Micro ATX case and you will have a great selection to choose from.

Enjoy our inexpensive Digital Signage solution.

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