Any digital display network solution should be weary of network mishaps. A simple network mis-connection could cause a data integration source to be cut off and leave your message empty. Luckily there is a Store and Forward technique where all your content is cached locally on the media device so your current cache of content can keep playing even if your connectivity is dropped.
Most content areas will have various text boxes or image frames that might simply show blank if a network problem prohibits the data from being pulled down for that template. This is obviously a big problem which usually the content manager can’t control the network issues, but the blank screen elements will fall on them. With a Store and Forward solution, at least the screen is still populated with your current content, even if its an hour or so outdated.
Most content strategies involve data sources, like social media, and you never want to have blank content areas in your social media modules just because something went wrong with network connectivity. With most corporate media accounts not posting too many times throughout the day, it becomes obvious that caching the past 25 pieces of content, and then showing them during a network outage is perfectly fine, as there might not even have been new content during that last time period of the outage.
Our system employs a two-step process where we cache data feeds, and in some instances even the image or video data for various resources, in the background. The player then resources these local data assets for playback. In doing so we mitigate the direct connectivity that is often the cause of latency, down time, and other issues that are caused by network outages or otherwise. We find that this simple approach is the best approach to solving these unavoidable problems.
With Store and Forward, your viewer experience is guaranteed to stay in tact and not have missing elements. It will leverage your current content, which might not include the absolute latest content, if posted during the time of the network outage, but at least your screen doesn’t have gaps in its content areas.