Why Use It?

We hope that a free, open source media player will help to enable a new wave of innovation in the signage industry.

In the past a customer would choose a player because it was cool, or small, or the right colour, or played some esoteric file format. Then they would have to use the content management system (CMS) that came with it because you couldn’t connect anything else to it. Or they’d choose a CMS that matched their business process, and then find that the player wasn’t rack mountable, or got too hot, or whatever.

OpenSplash is the beginning of a new way of the industry working together. We’d like to see customers be able to choose their CMS and their player separately, and the industry having agreed on standards such as Media RSS for the integration of those systems. Then we will see CMS’s designed for particular verticals, and players designed to be robust, and customers will have a real choice. At the moment they have hundreds of suppliers who all do very similar things at the player level.

Advantages

  • Larger digital networks often opt to build bespoke CMS and players. These kinds of networks could cut their development costs by extending an already-existing open source player. You don’t want to reinvent the wheel. Besides, the secret sauce for these networks usually lies in the complex CMS, not in the player.
  • The license allows you to extend the core player with your own features and you can contribute that work back to the community. The new features can be brought back into the core of the player and made available to all. Or you could keep your own work private and use that  product, including the core player, commercially. You would just need to make sure you adhere to the branding requirements of the license, and publish the object code of the core player with your product. Your own enhancements to the core player can still be private to you.
  • Screen vendors also stand to benefit from OpenSplash. They can focus on what they know how to do best – hardware –  while potentially bundling a free open source player. Imagine if the OpenSplash player was built into every screen that was sold. You could add in your CMS connector of choice (e.g. Scala, Broadsign, OneLan – whoever had chosen to write one) and turn the screen on. If your needs were simple then you’d have a solution out of the gate.
  • Digital Out Of Home aggregators can benefit from OpenSplash: Aggregators would also like to see an open source player, as it means they would not have to perform silos of one-by-one integration efforts with each software vendor in order to fulfill campaign execution across a range of different platforms. More importantly, they will be able to deliver a single proof-of-play report to advertisers across several networks for a single buy.
  • OpenSplash can become a standard – if each CMS vendor integrates with it then the customer still has choice and still has an upgrade path to that vendor’s bespoke player if in the future they need greater playout functionality. But screens can ship with OpenSplash and the user can choose their favourite CMS (based on business process or whether it’s self-hosted or cloud) to plug into them.