Utilizing Zones with Digital Signage: What They Are and How to Use Them
Play Digital Signage is packed with tons of great features that help you create digital signage just the way you want it. Today we will be focusing on one of our unique features– zones. No matter what purpose you use your digital signage for, zones are a handy feature that we know you’ll love. But first, let’s answer the most burning question: What are zones?
What Are Zones?
Zones are dedicated areas on your TVs. Normally, when you look at a TV, like the TV you watch at home, there’s one big picture on the entirety of the TV; however, with zones, you can divide the TV into two or more zones that each will have different content and function independently of each other.
Let’s dive deeper into zones and explore all of the benefits, some examples, and how to use zones with digital signage.
Benefits of Using Zones in Digital Signage
The benefits that come from using zones with digital signage are fantastic.
Include More Content
With zones, you can include a lot more content. Since each section is essentially its own screen with its own content, you can double, triple, or quadruple the amount of content you are displaying. This means more advertisements, information, or entertainment packed into less space depending on what you are using your digital signage for.
Splitting the screen up into zones adds an element of organization to your digital signage as you can assign each section a theme. We will go over examples, but in terms of organization, if you want to use your digital signage for three different purposes, since each section functions independently, zones keep these three separate so they are easy to change and update individually without messing the others up.
Much of digital signage, in general, is all about customization and zones are just another one of the many ways digital signage allows you to customize content. Here at Play Digital Signage, we want you to have your digital signage your way which means we continue to implement features like zone that will give you more control over every aspect of your content.
The content you can create with zones is almost infinite, but to help explain them better and give you a good visual, let’s take a look at some examples.
A good example for all businesses across the board is a screen with three zones split into a footer at the bottom, a right column, and a main content area.
In the footer, you can provide essential information about your business like your logo, address, operating hours, and even a small weather icon if that is relevant to your business.
Then, in the right column, you can add any current promotions you are offering or just general news related to your brand or company.
Finally, in the main content section, you can choose the main content you want to display which could be anything– from educating on a specific topic to entertainment with trivia, or a video product demonstration.
And just to reiterate, with each of these zones, including the footer, right column, and main content would be displayed on the same TV or screen. How cool is that?!
Using Zones with Play Digital Signage
It’s easy to work with zones and you have the freedom of setting up your zones exactly as you like. You can pick one of the predefined layouts or you can build your own zones one by one in whatever size you like.
Another great example of using zones is for those who have multiple departments or managers. Each department or manager has their own zone on the screen giving them the opportunity to edit their content on the fly without interfering with others’ content.
Aspect Ratio & Creating Zones
When you create custom zones you can either work in resolution or aspect ratio. Meaning you can create a zone based upon a resolution or based upon an aspect ratio.
Aspect ratio (AR) describes the proportional relationship of screen width and height (width divided by height). So a square would have an aspect ratio of 1:1, which is the same as 2:2 or 100:100.
To create one or more custom zones, we recommend planning ahead on paper, preferably grid paper to ensure that each zone adds up to the total space.
Keep in mind that it is formatted “width:height”, so if you add up all of the width numbers of each section you’ll find it matches the total width of the screen (1920) and the same goes for the height.
But keep in mind that only your imagination is the limit here. You can create a layout with zones side by side covering the full area of the TV or you can create smaller zones that work similarly to picture-in-picture.
Imagine you have a huge TV on your wall, you have a master (This will be the background of your zones) and then 3 independent zones with video, social media content, or even weather. The 3 independent zones are placed on top of your master and will run at whatever duration you set them. One zone flips through 50 photos in 4 minutes, another zone runs a video for 10 minutes and the last zone displayed social media content streaming.
Another great feature in zones is element locking. Lock elements in your custom zones so they cannot be changed by just anyone. This means that if you don’t want anyone in your team to edit, remove, replace or resize a specific element, you can lock it so that only authorized users such as administrators can change it. for members and administrators. Locking elements gives you the opportunity to be in control of the overall design and layout and prevent anyone from messing with it.
Help with Creating Zones
Zones may be confusing at first but are an excellent tool when designing your digital signage content. Because we want to support you as much as possible here at Play Digital Signage, we have some great resources that can help you out if you get stuck with zones.
Reference our step-by-step tutorial in our extensive help section or our youtube demonstration video and if you are still stuck you can chat with our 24/7 live support specialists, located at the bottom of any page at playsignage.com.
Getting Started with Play Digital Signage
Zones aren’t the only feature that Play Digital Signage offers. In fact, it is just one small piece of our built-in content editor packed with tons of plug-ins and benefits that will do wonders for your business, no matter the industry.
From our focus on support and customization and our wide range of compatibility to our simple pricing structure and ten-screen free trial, Play Digital Signage is here so you can make your content your way without hassle!
Sign Up Today
First, sign up at playsignage.com or after downloading the Play Signage App.
Next, you’ll choose a screen. It can be of any size including large LED video walls or just a small tablet.
The final step is to pick a player. Zones will work with most digital signage media players, though you’ll be able to ensure compatibility based on our tested list.
Once you have all three of your components– Play Digital Signage software, a screen, and a digital signage media player, you can start creating your zones and designing your content.