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Adaptive Display's Digital Signage Blog

Digital Signage Infrastructure: Networking Basics

Posted by Chad Bogan on Tue, Dec 02, 2014

Digital Signage Infrastructure: Networking Basics

Technology has changed the way people interact and communicate with the world. Networking computers have allowed us to experience the Internet, cloud applications, email, E-commerce, YouTube, Google, and more.

The same idea goes for the sign industry. Static communication displays have already evolved into high speed and full color digital billboards.

This is why everyone part of the digital display industry must have an idea how computer and networks function.

What You Need To Know

Technology has revolutionized the digital signage industry through central and rapid update of content and immediate delivery to audiences. 

These digital signs make use of technologies such as LCD and LED to display content, images, videos, advertisements and streaming media. Computers, servers and hosting providers run these content management systems and digital media distribution systems.

Being on a network allows users to display content on multiple screens. This lets digital content be shown in real-time and be controlled from a central, connected PC or server. There are also digital systems wherein screens can be turned on and off by the administrator.

Digital Signage Components

The component of a digital signage system typically includes:

  • One or more display screens, which can be plasma displays, LCD or LED monitors, CRT or project monitors, or kiosk stations.
  • A content management server, which is connected to the media player over a network.
  • Operating systems including Windows, Linux, Android and IO
  • A server, where the content is uploaded and distributed to different displays in the network.
  • A distribution infrastructure, which broadcasts media from the server to the displays.


Devices communicate in the network through registered addresses according to TCP/IP rules. It can be in the form of:

  • IP Address: your actual address
  • Subnet: the limitations of your address
  • Gateway: the address of the gateway to the internet
  • DNS #1: the address of your phone book
  • DNS #2: your backup phonebook

Take note that every device must have an IP address to access the network.

Public and Private

The virtual world is separated into Private Networks and Public Networks for there are only limited addresses available.

  • Private Networks: have a smaller number of addresses that they can use legally. Addresses on this network can be duplicated as long as they are on different networks.
  • Public Networks: which are governed by the ICANN, can use the rest of the addresses. Address on this network cannot be duplicated since they are in the same neighborhood that we call "The Internet".


Devices access the Internet through a Gateway. This allows you to communicate through video, email or with public addresses like Google and Facebook. This Gateway directs your device communications back and forth over the Internet correctly.

Without a Gateway address for the device, you can still communicate to your internal private network but not in the outside world.

Domain Name Servers or DNS

Think of it as something that stores and keep track of phonebook numbers and the name associated with it. For instance, typing - the DNS server looks up the numerical IP address so you'll be sent to the right website.

It is the Gateway (Router) that communicates with DNS servers.


To communicate with other devices, the addresses for each device on the network must be in within a designated range.  Making sure that every device is in the same range is important for security and organization. It allows you to display content without any issues at all.

Adaptive provides only the best networking infrastructure and scalable platform to deliver rich media experiences for your business.

Understanding these networking variables will give you a clearer picture of how each element affects a digital signage and understand how traffic flows through. Knowing the anatomy is an important aspect in delivering effective content in the right time and location that would compel your customers to take action.


Tags: LED How To Guides