Player Workload

The workload a player has to process helps determine how powerful a player you need

Workload – Get a Player Fit for Purpose

When it comes to playing content on a screen in a common area or public place, there is zero tolerance for the content to do anything, but play smoothly – no jitter, no hesitation.  What can cause the content to not play smoothly?  One of three things:

  1. Either the power of the device playing the content isn’t able to process the content quickly enough, or
  2. The network isn’t allowing the content to get to the player quickly enough. (Networks are becoming more robust all the time and if they are limited, caching of content on the player can mitigate network problems).
  3. The software – whether it is the application code or in architecture’s like Display5’s the browser software.  Not all browsers perform the same.

Focusing on the first problem of having a player which is powerful enough to play the content, very simply, the more demand to process information you put on any computer the more powerful an engine (CPU) you need.

We can’t imagine watching TV and having small hesitations or hiccups in the broadcast or, watching YouTube videos stop and start as the content was buffered over a limited connection.  It doesn’t take long for our patience to run out, and stop watching.

At the same time players are getting more powerful, the content keeps getting better:

  • The types of content being played are more robust, e.g. live video, 4K video
  • The content quality has more pixels and resolution
  • More items of content are played simultaneously on the screen
  • Some content types, e.g. tickers are very compute intensive as they scroll across the screens

The net result is, the content looks better, but playing it puts more demand on the device and the device must have the hardware specs to be able to play the content without hesitation of any kind.

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