Decoding digital signage prices: A complete guide to the cost of digital signage

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How much does digital signage cost?

Well, there is no one-word answer to that. The reason is digital signage can mean several things.

From retail stores to corporate offices, electronic signs have become a powerful tool to convey information, promotions, and messages. However, the world of technology can be somewhat enigmatic, especially when understanding the cost structure associated with these advanced displays.

This guide discusses how digital signage prices work, decoding the intricacies and focusing on the factors influencing the cost.

Components impacting the cost of digital signage ownership

The price of setting up a digital signage display depends on four factors:

  • The choice of digital signage hardware

  • The number of screens

  • The features & installation cost of digital signage software

  • The functionality of the digital signage

However, once we scratch the surface, a few other costs emerge that we often don’t calculate because they are not involved upfront while setting up digital signage. But those costs are intrinsic to your digital signage budget. Two such hidden costs are:

  • The cost of effort

  • The cost of content

Let’s discuss this in more detail.

Digital signage software prices that make sense.

Pickcel software pricing

A. The cost of digital signage hardware

The hardware cost of digital signs includes the investments in the digital screens, the digital signage player, and ancillary expenses like the cost of setup.

The cost of screens

The type of screen you choose depends on the purpose of your incorporated signage alongside the digital display board cost. A simple LCD TV screen can suffice for showing image & video content on a digital church sign, but the same will fail to support a long-term digital advertising billboard.

Decision-making parameters for choosing the screen type:

  • Working hours

  • Interactivity

  • Indoor or outdoor implementation

  • Screen positioning (hanging, standing, mounted, or embedded)

Specifications that affect the per-screen cost of digital signage are:

  • Size

  • Resolution

  • Brightness

  • Viewing angles

  • Touch support

  • Screen refresh rate

  • Contrast ratio

  • Energy consumption

  • Durability

a digital signage screen placed outside a retail store to display offers

Here is a comparison of some commercial displays in terms of display price and features:

Sl. No. Display Type Display Model Price Features Suitable for
1 Commercial TV Samsung NT670U Series 50" $569 - 3840 x 2160 4K UHD

- Direct-lit LED technology for better energy consumption

- Super sleek with no bezel
Single-screen digital display boards in hotels, corporate offices, & retail stores
2 Commercial Digital Signage Screen Samsung PM-H Series Digital Signage (PM55H) $2,119 - 1920x1080 Full HD

- Plug and Play

- Tizen 2.4 (VDLinux) OS

- Built for 24/7 Operation

- Temperature sensor
Digital signboards inside showrooms and hospital digital signage
3 Budget Buy TV TCL 43" Class 4-Series 4K UHD HDR LED Smart Android TV (43S434) $350 - 4K Ultra HD Resolution

- Chromecast built-in

- 3 HDMI inputs

- Google Assistant

- Voice Remote Control
Small businesses with limited run time

The cost of digital signage player

The digital signage player helps render your content on screen. The choice of your player determines what type of content gets processed (images, videos, web content, URLs) and how fast it is processed.

The digital signage cost breakdown varies from player to player. For instance, Samsung displays use Tizen OS, Intel players use Windows OS, and the pricing depends on the same, while Chromebit & Chromebox players use Chrome OS.

To learn more about the most popular digital signage players, visit the Pickcel player page.

The necessity of purchasing an external digital signage player device hinges on your screen model selection. Should your signage display include an embedded media player, there is no requirement for an external device.

However, if you are converting a regular TV into digital signage, you will need an external media player. Sometimes, displays with in-built players also need an external digital signage player for additional processing power.

pickcel android media player px300 image
Image: Pickcel's stylish, custom-made Android digital signage player PX300

Factors that affect the cost of your digital signage player:

  • Operating system

  • Memory/storage/CPU power

  • Media support

  • Working hours

  • Indoor or outdoor operation

  • Environmental conditions (temperature/humidity)

Here are some recommended digital signage players depending on signage pricing & business necessity:

Sl. No. Signage Player Specifications Price Verdict/Suitable For
1 Zidoo 4K UHD Media player Z1000 PRO - Android 9.0 OS

- Supports almost all 3D video formats like MVC 3D (Blu-ray\MKV)

- Supports standard WOL to allow 24/7 power ON usage
Very Powerful player

24/7 power ON screens like billboards & Passenger Information Display Systems
2 Pickcel PX300 - Optimized firmware for high performance and better stability

- Pre-built and pre-configured digital signage player app for Android

- Scheduled device sleep, ensuring longevity
$180 Custom-built player for smooth experience

Businesses that require easy setting up and want a well balanced cost-effective player with adequate features.
3 MI Box 4K - Ultra HD 4K streaming

- Cortex-A53 Quad-core 64bit, 1.5Ghz CPU

- 8GB eMMC storage

- Chromecast built-in
$50- $60 Medium-grade budget-friendly player

Screens that want to run 4K content
4 Raspberry Pi 4 - Supports 2x4K displays

- Highly flexible modular player
$35 - $169 Highly versatile player

Organizations or entrepreneurs with coding knowledge or IT manpower who want a budget buy
5 Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max - Easy plug-and play device

- Quad-Core 1.8 GHz CPU

- Fire OS 7 (Android 9.0)

- Resolution upto 4K @ 60fps
$60 Most user-friendly & universal device

Businesses that want a quick setup with a readily-available and affordable digital signage player

B. The cost of digital signage software

Digital signage network owners commonly fall into the trap of overemphasizing digital signage hardware, leading them to overspend on digital displays while overlooking the significance of robust, feature-rich digital signage software.

In any digital signage system, software forms the most crucial component. Therefore, it is important to select your partner and support team based on much research.

On-premise v/s Cloud digital signage software

Your digital signage software can be hosted in two ways: on a cloud server or deployed on a private data center (on-premise).

The following infographic compares the cloud and on-premise digital signage software:

table showing differences between cloud-based digital signage and on-premise digital signage

Cloud-based software typically follows a subscription-based license model for digital signage. This indicates the generation of monthly bills. When discontinued, the subscription stands canceled, and subsequent months won’t incur charges.

On-premise solutions, on the other hand, require a one-time upfront cost and are commonly preferred by enterprises with established IT infrastructure, such as hospitals and corporate offices.

At Pickcel, we offer both cloud digital signage software and on-premise solutions. The Pickcel's digital signage software pricing is 3-tiered:

Free 14-day trial: Unlock all the software features for 14 days (no credit card details required). Just register and get started. Users can register up to 2 screens during the free trial.

Professional plan: The plan offers all the software features at $15/device/month. Choose this plan if you need licenses for less than 250 displays.

Enterprise plan: The Enterprise plan is for organizations with network coverage of more than 250 displays. Pickcel enterprise customers enjoy all the Pro features, plus additional customizations of the digital signage software such as custom apps, custom reporting, and integrations with internal servers.

See Pickcel Software Pricing

Free vs. commercial digital signage software

There are many open-source digital signage software. These open-source software are free of any cost. You can go to GitHub and search for the codes and build your own program.

Here’s the catch with open-source software: You have to be technically proficient since the responsibility solely falls on you.

This brings challenges during setup and lacks accountability protection, leading to a growing list of risks and obstacles. As a result, many open-source software users spend significantly more than those using proprietary alternatives. How does this happen?

There can be software-hardware compatibility issues (leading to hardware damage, hardware repurchase, and loss of time).

There will be challenges in bug fixes and getting a software update. The user has to maintain the software independently.

If you’re not a hobbyist building software in your leisure time, opting for licensed digital signage software is the right choice. These user-friendly solutions are designed to be easily manageable, even for someone unfamiliar with tech.

Opting for licensed digital signage software not only guarantees robust data security but also ensures you receive comprehensive support. These professional vendors are familiar with diverse digital signage requirements, resulting in feature-rich software. For instance, most providers offer an in-built app store offering an array of business, social media, and utility apps to cater to your business needs.

C. The effort cost of implementing & maintaining a digital signage network

After acquiring the digital signage hardware and software, the next step is assembling a team of experts to set up the system for you. However, digital signage budget plans often skip these effort costs.

One-time implementation cost

The hardware installation, screen mounting, and cabling costs are one-time physical setup cost. Generally, this shouldn’t be more than $100 for a small project (but it can multiply based on the size of your digital signage network).

Another setup cost is the software configuration expense, a one-time investment. If you use plug-and-play devices, the deployment process should be straightforward without much complication.

At Pickcel, we support all our clients with offshore assistance. Our plug-and-play devices have pre-built digital signage player app and are easy to get started with. Users do not require any technical expertise.

However, if you are configuring the software on more complicated signage systems, such as immersive video walls or giant screens, incurs additional costs.

Additionally, deploying on-premise technology adds to the digital sign costs compared to cloud software setup.

Continuous technology maintenance cost

Besides the upfront cost, there is a maintenance of IT (keeping the server up & running, software updates, and physical maintenance of the data center in terms of environment) These expenditures will vary based on your network size, your software partner agreements & more.

With Pickcel software, you can enjoy free software updates for a lifetime! Try Pickcel free.

D. The cost of digital signage content

The heart of digital signage is the content. There are countless blogs on digital signage content ideas and how to design a signage content. But what often doesn’t get mentioned enough is that there is a cost of creating and managing these content too.

The cost of creating content for your digital signage

There are two ways to create a content for digital signage: either you design your creatives yourself, or you outsource it to a professional. Either way, there is a cost of creating your digital signage content.

Firstly, if you go into a full Do-It-Yourself mode, there is the price of a design software. The most common design app that beginners and DIY-ers use is Canva. The app super user-friendly and also gives a number of free graphics & templates. In fact, that is the primary reason Pickcel has integrated the Canva app within its software (Pickcel users can design unlimited content for free once they sign up.)


Numerous Canva alternatives offer easily editable graphics designers’ templates, but!? These tools typically provide limited-period free trials, requiring a switch to a paid plan afterward.

The price of these software plans roughly range from $7/month to $40/month.

But practically speaking, DIY content creation is only feasible if you don’t have much requirement of content.

DIY content creation works well only when you have minimal content requirements. However, for medium to large organizations relying on digital signage for daily communication, product advertising, and branding campaigns, the approach proves inadequate for such scenarios.

The cost of content management (publishing and monitoring)

It might sound absurd that there is a content management cost. Aren’t we already paying for the software?

Well, that’s true.

Most businesses can save money on content management with signage software that supports scheduled auto-publishing at no additional cost. It is particularly beneficial when considering outdoor electronic sign prices, helping businesses optimize their budget effectively.

But there are also businesses that have large screen networks and require a steady flow of content in real time (or even a very targeted & dynamic distribution of content). Organizations with such complex content management needs often outsource these cumbersome assignments to professionals.

For example, when Pickcel took up the Amazon Easy project, we helped publish real-time product promotions and the latest offers from Amazon sellers on the Easy Store signage screens. By entrusting content management to Pickcel services, Amazon could efficiently manage the cost of digital signs and make the most of its in-house workforce.

Sample cost sheet: Digital signage cost breakdown

Accurately outlining the digital sign board cost requires a comprehensive understanding of digital signage components. We have used the following digital signage price list as a reference to give an approximate budget estimate.

Customer - A retail chain having 5 stores in different parts of New York

Business Need: Real-time publishing of offers & discounts along with product showcase

Solution requirement:

  • Indoor screen of 40-43 inch size,

  • Operating hours 12-14 hours a day.

  • Ability to publish content from central location

Proposed solution and cost:

Digital Signage Component Per Unit Cost
TCL/Sansui 43-inch (Android TV) 300 USD
Installation and brackets 100 USD
Internet subscription Already available - no perceived additional cost
Software license cost monthly 15 USD (yearly 162 USD)
Electricity and power cost (18 hrs a day) 20 USD a year

Total cost of ownership for 5 units and 3 years -

1 year per unit cost (CAPEX + OPEX)
= 582 USD

3 years per unit cost
= 946 USD (Considering 3 years Hardware life)

3 years 5 unit total cost of ownership = 4730 USD*

*Effort cost for content creation and publishing not included considering:

  • Part time activity of management and not measurable/tangible

  • Power full signage software providing ready-made templates and tools for creating and sourcing content reduces effort costs significantly.

The above estimate is the most simplistic and generic case study. The cost of digital signage ownership may vary significantly depending on the complexity, constraints and other environmental conditions.

Reiterating what we started with: The following parameters would affect the expenses:

  • Number of displays and their geographical distribution

  • Type and size of display

  • Outdoor implementation (the hardware cost increases significantly)

  • Integration with third party application for displaying data

  • Interactivity

  • Operation time (24x7 usage will increase the cost)

  • Security compliance related requirements

  • Data retention within the premise which would require on-premise implementation

  • Criticality (high critical signage application would require redundancy to be built in)

Is the digital signage cost worth bearing?

Digital signage is a proven catalyst for advancing your business goals.

In the era of digital dominance, traditional paper-based mediums are waning in relevance for businesses. As an astute business owner, optimizing the returns from such a dynamic digital asset becomes paramount.

Aligning with the right signage partner allows you to unlock the full potential of your digital signage cost breakdown. At Pickcel, we offer complimentary consultations during our product demo, empowering you to make well-informed decisions for a strategic and professional digital signage solution.

Start your digital signage journey and take your business to new heights!

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Basudev Saha

Basudev Saha is the founder and CTO of Pickcel. Being addicted to screens, he found himself making his favorite gadgets more smart and agile. When he is not at the innovation meetings taking giant leaps of faith, you can find him outdoors running, cycling & playing badminton. He dreams of scaling the mighty Everest one day.

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