Choosing an Inexpensive Digital Signage: a Comprehensive Guide

May 6, 2024

Choosing an Inexpensive Digital Signage: a Comprehensive Guide


This article will provide a detailed and practical guide for businesses and organizations looking to invest in digital signage, focusing on how to choose cost-effective solutions without sacrificing essential functionality and future scalability.


Today, there is a growing need for digital signage across various sectors. It offers a practical and affordable way to display real-time data, provide updates, and use other integration features to encourage customer interaction. However, there is a misconception that digital signage is inherently expensive. In fact, there are cheap digital signage solutions for every budget. 

Choosing an inexpensive digital signage

When it comes time to choose an inexpensive digital signage solution, you have several ways to save money while also meeting your needs.

Understanding Digital Signage Costs

First, you have to understand that there are several costs that go into a digital signage solution, depending on what you choose.

  1. Firstly you'll need the screen itself or the hardware. This comes down to choosing commercial versus consumer-grade monitors and screens. While you might think of investing in a residential screen, like a television screen, in order to save money up front, in the long term, this is not worth the investment, so this is not an area where you want to cut corners.
  2. Secondly, you might need supportive hardware like a media player, which is the device you use to broadcast your content, and that can take many forms, whether it's something as simple as a company laptop you already have or an affordable Raspberry Pi. There might be secondary installation costs as well as display and mounting hardware if you plan to mount the display screen to the wall.
  3. From there, you'll have to determine the level of support and maintenance you want, such as regular upgrades to your system or tech support. The type of software solution you choose may come with this option, which could help you reduce the cost.
  4. Software solutions include software licensing fees, third-party licensing fees, and content management costs, all of which can be determined based on things like monthly or one-time purchases.
inexpensive digital signage screen

Evaluating Your Needs

When it comes time to evaluate your needs, you might consider going through a professional consultation to determine what level of display best meets your company goals. If you are simply providing a wayfinding station, your licensing options may not be a substantial portion of the potential cost compared to a company using digital signage for marketing purposes and Licensing third party content.

Hardware Options

When you are looking for cheap digital signage solutions, you can choose commercial digital signage devices ranging from $100 to over $400, depending on the features. This is based on things like:

  • The size of the screen
  • Resolution
  • Type of display
  • Warranty
  • Ports
  • Setup with mounting hardware

What you get is also contingent upon your needs. For example, if you are simply trying to set up a small screen in a school or an office building, you can get away with something less expensive than if you are setting up an advertising network with screens that can play video and image content, with products that are on display for more than 8 hours at a time.

One of the factors that influence cost is the lifespan and technology incorporated into each digital sign. Commercial-grade screens cost a few hundred dollars because they are better equipped to run content over the course of several hours without burning out, with sharp, bright colors. 

You might need, for example, your:

  • Digital screen
  • A media player
  • A display mount with cables

That said, if you want to do things very cheaply and you only need a display that provides static content for a few hours per day, you can get away with less expensive models. 

Software Solutions

Another factor that influences the cost is the software solution you choose. 

Costs for software solutions are either:

  1. A cloud-based subscription solution that runs at a monthly cost or
  2. Installable software that comes with a single-price

You can find inexpensive digital signage software that uses secure, cloud-based options with limited storage and no integrated access to things like stock videos or pictures, which would simply mean one less feature. 

By comparison if you want to spend slightly more on your investment you can find options that have libraries of stock images with unlimited cloud-based storage but might not have the support you need for things like third party media players or certain devices. 

There are several features that can influence the cost of your software solution and when you work with a professional company, you can find the right balance between meeting your digital signage needs and your budget. 

inexpensive digital signage solutions

Total Cost of Ownership

Your total cost of ownership is not based on the purchase price of a single part of your digital signage display but rather the total lifestyle you can expect from all of the elements listed above, including:

Let’s look at an example of a potential cost:

Hardware - $400

Wall mount - $50

Set up and support - $150

Cloud-based software - $30 per month

Vendor Selection and Negotiation

You'll have to be selective about the vendor you choose based on the options they provide as well as the features that are built into their costs. You can find cost-effective options that include things like annual subscriptions with a slight discount or similar modifications. Don't be afraid to negotiate with potential vendors to see what type of licensing options they offer, as well as support and content templates for the material you create. 

Future-Proofing Your Digital Signage Investment

It is important for companies to ensure the chosen digital signage solution is scalable and adaptable to future needs. This extends not just to hardware but to software. 

For example, if a company has one location for now and wants affordable digital signage for that location, they can easily scale with the right software later by adding other signs or managing content at secondary locations. 

Equally important, given the sum of your investment, is to ensure your cheap digital signage solutions have the right support. With remote support from content management companies, troubleshooting can be managed from anywhere, with real-time updates pushed when and where needed. This ensures your content and all related connections are safe. 

Finally, be sure to consider compatibility with emerging technologies. While one type of slightly more expensive software solution might not seem necessary at present given your company marketing goals, you can future-proof your digital signage investment by making sure a small investment now means a slightly more compatible option for the future. 


Overall, there are options for an inexpensive digital signage solution if you know where to look. With the right guidance and the right team, you can choose an affordable solution that balances your cost, quality, and anticipation of future needs.

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