With this glossary, we aim to provide you a guide to the most common terms related to digital signage organized in eight categories. From technical terms like pixel density and aspect ratio to industry-specific jargon like narrowcasting and dwell time, we cover all the key concepts.

Tip: Whether you're a seasoned professional in the digital signage industry or a beginner looking to learn the basics, let this article serve as a useful reference for your digital signage needs.



Glossary of Terms used in Digital Signage:


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Term Definition

Aspect Ratio

The ratio of a display's width to its height. Aspect ratio refers to the proportion between the width and height of any graphical content, such as images or videos, as well as digital screens. The aspect ratio is determined by dividing the physical width of the image area in inches or centimeters by its height. Standard aspect ratios for displays include 16:9, 9:16, and 32:9.

Digital Signage displays typically adhere to a 16:9 aspect ratio for horizontal and 9:16 aspect ratio for vertical orientation. On the other hand, LED displays may vary in dimensions and depending on their size, may feature a custom aspect ratio. 


Beacons are tiny devices that use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to repeatedly send a small amount of data. They can be integrated with interactive digital signage to create more personalized and targeted messaging for individual viewers. For Beacons to be effective, a receiver device must be present to detect their signals. Mobile phones can function as both Beacons and receivers.

The two most common uses of Beacons are to track the movements of people within a given space, or to trigger a notification on a mobile device when a user enters a specific location. To fully utilize the potential of Beacons, they need to be paired with mobile devices.


Bezels are necessary to provide structural support to screens, including monitors, TVs, and smartphones. The bezel refers to the border or frame-like structure around the perimeter of the screen, which separates the display area from the edges. It helps to protect the delicate screen from damage. In recent times, screens have been designed with thinner or no bezels, resulting in a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.


Billboards are a type of outdoor advertising that typically feature large-format displays similar in structure to posters. They are commonly found in high-traffic areas such as busy roads, marketplaces, and outside shopping malls. Traditionally, billboards were made of paper or vinyl. However, digital billboards are now available, offering attractive displays that instantly grab the attention of passers-by.

Contrast Ratio

In the simplest terms, Contrast Ratio is the difference between the brightest and darkest parts of a display screen. It is more complex than that, however, as Contrast Ratio is the ratio between the highest and lowest luminosity that the screen can emit, including involuntary reflection of ambient light. This makes the contrast ratio impossible to define without a reference to ambient light level, so the term is ambiguous with physically impossible claims like 1000:1 common.

Digital Signage Display

The physical screen used for digital signage.

Digital Signage Network

A digital signage network is a collection of digital displays that are connected to a central management system or software. A digital signage network can range from a few screens in a single location to thousands of screens across multiple locations.

Digital Signage Player

A hardware device (also called Media Player) that connects to a digital display and plays digital content from a digital signage software or a CMS. The SpinetiX HMP players are an example of digital signage players.


Software that is embedded in hardware devices, such as media players, and controls their basic functions.


An abbreviation for High-Definition Multimedia Interface. This technology enables the transfer of content (image and picture) from a digital signage player to a display using a single cable port.

Interactive Display

Interactive displays are digital signs that enable users to interact with them using sensor-based inputs including touch, facial gestures, or motion, as well as gadget-to-gadget communication via QR codes, barcodes, or scanners. With interactive displays, users can have a more customized experience as they are able to perform a variety of actions like clicking, zooming, searching, scanning, visiting websites, downloading media, and much more.

LCD Display

Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) are conventional, flat display panels that are available in both small and large sizes. LCD displays are made up of a thin layer of liquid crystal material sandwiched between two sheets of polarizing material to produce images. When an electric current is applied to the liquid crystal material, it changes the orientation of the crystals, which either allow or block the passage of light through the polarizing material. By selectively allowing or blocking different amounts of light, LCD displays can create a wide range of colors and shades to produce images.

As LCD screens have become the most conventional and ubiquitous display technology, usually the word LCD is skipped for marketing reasons to emphasize refinement of the technology like IPS for better colors or LED for the backlight.

LED-Backlit LCD Display

An LED-backlit LCD display is a type of flat-panel display technology that consists of a liquid crystal display (LCD) panel using a backlight system based on light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to provide the illumination required to create the images on the screen. Unlike traditional LCD displays that use cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFLs) as a backlight source, LED-backlit LCD displays use LEDs that are more energy-efficient, provide better contrast ratios, and can produce a wider color gamut.

Overall, LED-backlit LCD displays are generally thinner, more power-efficient, and provide better image quality compared to traditional CCFL-backlit LCD displays. While technically not an LED display, a display using such a combination of an LED backlight with an LCD panel is confusingly advertised as an LED display by some manufacturers and suppliers.

LED Display

LED displays use light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to produce vibrant images. They can be customized to cover or fit any space and therefore may go beyond the typical 16:9 aspect ratio of regular digital signage displays. Individual "tiles" of LED displays often serve as the building blocks of large video walls.

Motion Sensor

A device that can detect movement in its immediate vicinity. When integrated with a digital signage display, a motion sensor can trigger the display to turn on or change its content. Motion sensors are often used in public places like museums, airports, and shopping centers to capture the attention of passers-by and engage them with relevant content. Motion sensors can also help reduce energy consumption by turning off displays when there is no one around.

Network Connectivity

The ability for digital signage devices, such as players, to connect to a network for content updates and remote management.


The position of a display screen, either landscape (horizontal) or portrait (vertical).


The acronym OS stands for Operating System, which is the interface between the user and a device. Examples of operating systems that are commonly used include Windows, Android, and iOS. In the context of digital signage, using a lean operating system that was designed for the purpose, such as DSOS by SpinetiX makes a good sense over general-purpose systems slike Microsoft Windows.

Pixel Density

The number of pixels per inch on a display screen.


The basic building block of a digital image is called a "pixel". In technical terms, it is the smallest unit of programmable color that is utilized in computer-based images or digital displays. When the resolution of a display is higher, the size of the pixels decreases and grows in number, increasing the pixel density.


PoE stands for Power over Ethernet, which is a technology that enables network cables to carry electrical power, along with data, to connected devices. This allows for devices such as digital signage players to be powered through a single Ethernet cable, instead of requiring a separate power source. PoE is typically used in situations where it is difficult or expensive to install power outlets, for example, in outdoor areas or remote locations.


PoE+ is an updated version of PoE that provides more power to connected devices. While standard PoE provides up to 13 watts of power per port, PoE+ can deliver up to 25.5 watts per port.


A digital signage projector is a type of projector that is designed specifically for displaying digital signage content. These projectors can display large-scale, high-quality images and videos on a variety of surfaces, including walls, ceilings, floors, or building facades (see Video Mapping below).

The main advantage of a projector is being able to use a non-dedicated surface like a wall. Digital signage projectors are commonly used in public spaces like museums, retail stores, and airports to display advertisements, wayfinding information, or digital art installations.

Screen Resolution

The number of pixels on a display screen, usually measured in horizontal x vertical (e.g., 1920x1080). The unit of resolution is 'pixel per inch' (ppi). Screen resolution is not a physical dimension of a display, but rather a measure of the number of pixels that can be displayed on the screen.

Screen Brightness

The luminosity of a display screen, measured in nits or cd/m2.


A type of digital signage display that allows users to interact with digital signage content via touch.

Video Wall

A large display made up of multiple smaller screens, used for creating immersive digital signage experiences.

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Term Definition


Stands for Application Programming Interface – a set of protocols and tools for building software applications. Typically, APIs allow different software applications to interact with each other, making it easier for developers to create new applications that can integrate with existing ones. APIs specify what data should be passed between them and how it should be formatted. This makes it possible for integrators to create complex software systems that can incorporate a wide range of applications and services.

Related: How to generate an API key for my SpinetiX ARYA account

Cloud-Based Digital Signage

Digital signage that is managed and delivered over the internet using cloud computing.

Digital Signage Software

A computer program that enables the creation, scheduling, and management of digital content on one or multiple displays. It provides tools for designing and publishing various types of media that range from images and videos to text and animations, as well as managing and updating content remotely. Elementi by SpinetiX is one example of digital signage software.


SaaS is an abbreviation for "Software as a Service," which refers to providing software services over the internet through web-based access. SaaS eliminates the need for separately installing or managing software, as users can simply access it through a web browser, thus avoiding technical complications. SpinetiX ARYA is an example of digital signage SaaS.

Screen Resolution
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Term Definition

4K Resolution

A digital display resolution that offers a higher level of detail and sharper image than standard high-definition (HD) resolutions. Specifically, 4K has a minimum resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels, which is four times the resolution of Full HD at 1080p. 4K resolution is commonly used in high-end digital signage screens.

8K Resolution

8K resolution is a display resolution that features a minimum of 7680 x 4320 pixels. At four times the resolution of 4K and sixteen times the resolution of Full HD, 8K resolution is currently the highest resolution available for digital signage.

Full HD Resolution

Full HD resolution, also known as FHD or 1080p resolution, is a digital display resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, which is roughly two times the resolution of standard HD (720p) and provides a high level of detail and clarity. Full HD resolution is commonly used in digital signage where high-quality visuals are important. While Full HD is still widely used, higher resolution displays such as UHD (4K) and 8K are becoming more and more common.

Content, Design, & Management
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Term Definition

Animated Transition

In digital signage, an animated transition refers to the effect or animation that occurs when switching from one piece of content to another on your display. For example, an animated transition might involve fading one piece of content out while fading another piece in or sliding one piece of content off the screen while sliding another in from the side. These transitions can be used to add visual interest to your content, making it more engaging.

Automated Content Creation

Usually involves the use of widgets or data-driven apps to automatically generate and update digital signage content based on real-time data. This includes but is not limited to social media feeds, weather updates, financial information, geolocation, etc.

Cloud Storage

The ability to store digital signage content in the cloud, providing scalable and secure storage options.

Cloud-Based Digital Signage

Digital signage that is managed and delivered over the internet using cloud computing.

Content Creation

The process of creating and designing content for digital signage displays.

Content Library

A collection of digital assets, including images, videos, and templates, used for creating digital signage content.

Content Scheduling

The ability to schedule digital signage content to be played at specific times and dates.

Related: How to customize the way your content is scheduled with SpinetiX ARYA


In digital signage, duration refers to the length of time that a particular content or message is displayed on a screen. The duration of each content should be carefully considered to ensure that your message is conveyed effectively. If the duration is too short, the message may not be fully absorbed by your audience. On the other hand, if it's too long, viewers may lose interest.

Dynamic Content

Digital signage content that changes in real-time based on various factors, such as time of day, weather, or audience engagement.


A markup language used to create interactive digital signage content.


A type of digital signage content that provides a combination of information and entertainment including news, games, quizzes, and more.

Interactive Content

Content that enables the viewer to interact with the display in some way. This can be achieved through various means, including touchscreens, motion sensors, facial recognition, and more. The main goal of interactive content is to increase engagement and provide a more personalized experience for the viewer. 

Interactive Wayfinding

The use of touchscreens and other interactive technology to help users navigate through public spaces. Also see Wayfinding below.

Ken-Burns Effect

The addition of an animated transition to otherwise still image in order to fit better in video content. Adding zoom, pan and fade transitions to still images is a technique commonly used by many digital signage content creators to maintain viewer interest and make the composition more dynamic. The name of the term comes from the eponymous American filmmaker who invented the technique.


The layout refers to how your digital signage content is displayed on screens. This includes dividing the screen into zones, choosing the orientation (vertical or horizontal), and positioning images and text.

Multi-Layer Content

Digital signage content that allows multiple layers of elements such as graphics, text, video, widgets, etc. to be placed on top of each other. Both Elementi digital signage software and SpinetiX ARYA allow multi-layer layouts.

Multi-Zone Layout

The ability to divide a digital signage screen into multiple zones, each displaying different content. A multi-zone layout may allow for single-layer or multi-layer content.


A list of digital content to be played on a digital signage screen in a specified order.

QR Code

Digital images composed of black and white squares that can contain links and other data. Each QR code is unique and leads the user to a specific destination URL. With a mobile device, users can scan QR codes and perform a variety of predefined actions. While initially primarily used in the Logistics industry, QR codes have emerged in digital signage as a powerful marketing tool with the potential for making interacting with screen content more creative.

Real-Time Data

Live data feeds used to create dynamic digital signage content, such as weather updates or social media feeds.

Remote Monitoring and Management

The ability to monitor the status and performance of digital signage players as well as manage content remotely.

RSS Feed

RSS Feed stands for Really Simple Syndication Feeds. A format for delivering frequently updated web content, for example - news headlines - to digital signage screens., An RSS feed consists of the title of the post or a headline, a brief description of the same, and the link to its source. SpinetiX ARYA also dynamically associates images to the displayed headline and description.

Static Content

Digital signage content that remains the same over time and is not affected by external factors.


The broadcast of real-time video content over a network to digital signage screens.


Pre-designed layouts used for creating digital signage content. For example, SpinetiX ARYA typically allows users to pick from a number of ready-made templates to facilitate the creation of content.


The use of digital signage to help people navigate through public spaces, including at airports, hospitals, etc.


A digital signage component designed to display live data that auto-updates. A widget is typically a small, self-contained software application used to display specific types of content on a digital signage screen. Widgets enable automated content generation for hands-off high-impact results.

Related: Elementi software contains more than 250 data-driven widgets. Learn more about them here.

Audience Engagement & Measurement
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Term Definition


The collection and analysis of data on user behavior and content performance, used to optimize digital signage strategies.

Audience Engagement

The ability of digital signage displays to capture and hold the attention of viewers, and to encourage them to interact with the content being displayed. It involves designing and delivering content that is visually compelling, informative, and relevant to the audience. To learn more, read our Digital Signage Best Practices guide.

Call to Action (CTA)

A prompt or invitation for users to take a specific action, such as clicking a button or making a purchase. In the context of digital signage, a call to action may be a call to, for example, scan a QR code.

Data Visualization

The use of graphs or charts, to display real-time data on digital signage displays.

Dwell Time

Refers to the duration of your audience's interaction with your content, specifically the amount of time they spend viewing your screen content, which can range from seconds to minutes. When the dwell time is longer, it enhances the engagement of your audience, increases the visibility and popularity of your brand, and also raises the likelihood of word-of-mouth marketing.


A set of measurements used to track the performance of your digital signage installation. These measurements provide objective insights for making informed decisions on improving the performance of your digital signage content. Important metrics are defined as Key Performance Indicators (or KPIs) and include audience engagement, dwell time, number of sales, etc.


The delivery of targeted digital signage content to a specific audience or location to maximize engagement. The term 'broadcast' is widely recognized, referring to disseminating information to a wide audience simultaneously. Conversely, 'narrowcasting' is the opposite of that, involving transmitting information to a smaller, more targeted audience. In the context of digital signage solutions, narrowcasting can be crucial because certain messages or advertisements may not be relevant to all customers, but instead aimed at a particular group.


A person who is walking or passing by a particular location. In the context of digital signage, passersby are individuals who are exposed to signage content while passing by on the street or in a public space. The objective of digital signage is to capture the attention of these passers-by and convey a message or promote a product or service to them.

Proof of Play

A report that verifies that digital signage content has been played on a specific screen at a specific time. It is especially used for paid advertising in the digital-out-of-home (DooH) industry.

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Term Definition

AV Installer

Involved in the installation of AV systems - including digital signage - on site. Installers don’t do the integrations between the different AV systems. This is the job of AV ntegrators (see below).

AV Integrator

AV (Audio/Video) integrators are responsible for managing the installation and operation of your AV solutions. Their aim is to achieve optimal efficiency and productivity through the integration of different technologies while ensuring that all systems are functioning seamlessly. 

Audio Integration

The ability to integrate audio content with digital signage. This can enhance the overall viewer experience and provide more engagement with the audience. Audio integration can include features like background music, voiceovers, sound effects, and live streaming of audio content.

Augmented Reality

The use of graphics and animations, to enhance the real-world environment viewed through a mobile device or digital signage screen.

CMS Integration

The ability to integrate a digital signage CMS with other systems, like point-of-sale systems, room-reservation systems, or customer relationship management software.

Digital Signage Solution

Digital signage solutions are designed to solve a challenge with the help of digital signage system. Solutions can have a specific purpose. For example, a retail digital signage solution will offer tools a retailer will need to attract customers. Similarly, digital signage solutions can be end-to-end and all-encompassing.

End-to-end digital signage solutions are able to solve multiple challenges. The SpinetiX Complete Digital Signage Solution is an example of an end-to-end solution integrating multiple components like software, cloud, and related services.

Dynamic Pricing

The use of real-time data coming from inventory levels and demand to automatically adjust pricing shown on digital signage displays.

Emergency Alerts Integration

Emergency alert integrations enable the display of alerts and other important information on digital signage screens when needed in place of existing digital signage content. The role of digital signage in an alert situation is to improve reaction to an emergency, compared to just the mandatory safety systems. Such integrations can incorporate audio integration and wayfinding for enhanced awareness and crowd control in the event of emergency. This is useful for schools, hospitals, and other public spaces where safety is a concern.

Interactive Digital Signage

The use of touchscreens or other interactive technology to engage with digital signage content.


The ability of digital signage devices and software to work together seamlessly.


A self-service terminal that integrates digital signage with another technology or system like point-of-sale systems, que management systems, a printer, etc. that allows users to interact with digital content, such as ordering products or services. Kiosks are popularly used in the Retail, Transportation, QSR and Banking industries. Examples of kiosks include Airport and Hotel Check-In Kiosks, Quick Service Kiosks and Digital Teller Displays.

Live Agent Integration

An integrated solution that merges digital signage screens with live-chat video technology to create an interactive on-site support platform. Learn more...

Mobile Integration

A type of interactive signage which integrates digital signage with mobile devices. Mobile integrations often use QR codes or NFC technology to deliver content on display.

Queue Management

Queue management integrations enable businesses to display queue information on digital signage screens. This integration is useful for businesses with high foot traffic, such as banks and government offices. It usually involves a customer taking a ticket, thus obtaining a number, and waiting until their number gets shown on the display.


The ability to add or remove digital signage screens and content as needed without significant changes to the overall system.

Social Walls

A type of digital signage that displays social media content from various platforms including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. in real-time. The social wall typically uses a hashtag or keyword to collect and display social media posts related to a particular topic or event. The content can be moderated to filter out inappropriate or irrelevant posts. Social walls are commonly used at events, conferences, and in public spaces to engage with audiences and encourage social media interaction. They can also be used for brand promotion and to showcase user-generated content.

Systems Integrator

System integrators have expertise in linking various internal and external applications, systems, cloud-based software solutions, and data storage. Their primary objective is to combine separate subsystems into a unified integrated solution and ensure their harmonious functioning. Systems integrators work with more than just audio/video technology.


A free-standing, vertical structure that houses one or more digital signage displays used for advertising, information sharing, or wayfinding. You can find digital signage totems in public spaces like airports, shopping centers, museums, and transportation hubs. They are an effective way to engage with a large audience.

Video Mapping

The process of projecting video content onto buildings, sculptures, and other 3D surfaces to create immersive digital signage displays. Video mapping is realized with the help of projectors.

Video Wall

A display made up of multiple individual screens arranged in a grid-like pattern to create a larger, seamless image.

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Term Definition

Digital Flight Information Displays

In the Transportation industry, a type of digital signage display and the public-facing part of a flight information display system (FIDS). Digital flight information displays were among the first reiterations of digital signage first appearing at airports in the early 2000s.

Digital Menu Board

A type of digital signage used in restaurants and other food-service and Hospitality establishments to display menu items, pricing, and promotions.

Digital Out-of-Home Advertising (DOOH)

An industry centered around the use of digital signage for advertising purposes in public spaces. DOOH is a type of outdoor advertising and marketing that employs digital signage screens. Its objective is to reach out to audiences in crowded public areas, on roads, and highways for successful promotion.

Digital Shelf Display

Shelf displays are small digital screens that are placed on store shelves to show various information like product prices, features, directions for use, promotions, and discounts through QR codes or coupons. They serve as an effective tool for Point-of-Sale marketing in the Retail industry.

Digital Signage Dashboard

Enables businesses to display sales figures, social media engagement, website traffic and other real-time date on digital signage screens. This integration is useful for displaying key performance indicators (KPIs), providing employees with relevant up-to-date information presented in a way that facilitates decision-making. Industries that benefit from digital signage dashboards include Corporate and Manufacturing.

Digital Waiting-Room Displays

Digital screens that are placed in waiting areas, to provide information, entertainment, or advertising to people who are waiting. These displays are commonly used in the Healthcare industry as well as other public-service areas and are designed to show a variety of content, including news updates, weather forecasts, social media feeds, marketing messages, or promotional videos.

Room Reservation Displays

A digital screen typically used in the Corporate sector located outside meeting rooms or other shared spaces in offices or public buildings that provides real-time information about room availability and reservations. Digital signage can be integrated with room reservation displays to provide additional information and enhance the overall user experience. For instance, a room reservation display can be designed to show not only the status of the room but also a rotating series of images or videos promoting upcoming events and activities in the building. 

Smart City Display

A digital screen that shows real-time information about a city's operations, services, and activities. It provides quick access to maps, directions, and public services. It's part of the larger Smart City ecosystem that uses technology to improve urban efficiency and sustainability.

Smart Street Furniture

Refers to a type of urban infrastructure that incorporates advanced technology and often digital signage capabilities into everyday objects commonly found in public spaces. These include benches, bus stops, waste bins and more. Fore example, a smart bus stop may have a digital signage display that provides real-time information about bus arrivals and departures, as well as weather updates and emergency alerts.

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Term Definition

Access Control

The process of limiting user access to certain features or functions of digital signage systems.

Audit Trail

A record of all user activity on a digital signage CMS. The objective of audit trails is to perform forensics analyses of security incidents.

Single Sign-On (SSO)

An authentication scheme that allows a user to log in with a single identity provider to any of several independent, software systems. Single sign-on allows the user to log in once and access services without re-entering authentication factors. SpinetiX ARYA includes SSO in its feature set.


And for a great finish...

  • "Digital Signage": Digital signage is an electronic communications channel to dynamically display content on screen like advertisements, announcements, directions, and entertainment. We see digital signage everywhere. We’ve gazed at advertisements at bus stations, found gate information at the airport, ordered food in fast food restaurants, bought movie tickets, and pulled up directions at museums, all thanks to digital signage. Learn more about digital signage and its components by checking out this page.




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