Device Performance Analysis Series: BrightSign

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A large part of the daily signageOS operations involves testing SoC displays, media players, new firmware, etc. in order to manage, maintain, and optimize device integrations for the highest level of performance. In order to provide the industry with an honest look at performance levels across devices, signageOS introduces the newest series: Device Performance Analysis

signageOS not only manages integrations for smart displays, but also media players for trusted companies like BrightSign. Integrated media players receive the same amount of performance and security testing as integrated SoC displays. In October of 2018, we collaborated with the digital signage industry’s leading resource and online publication, Sixteen:Nine, to report on the current state and progression of SoC in smart displays. But, as this report’s primary focus was on SoC, we did not include testing results for any digital signage media players.

BrightSign, the global market leader for digital signage media players, is known for player reliability, performance, and sophisticated features. Offering four models of media players, the LS, HD, XT, and XS, BrightSign also has numerous content, software, hardware, training, technology, and display bundle partner solutions across the globe. 

The tests discussed in this article are the HTML5, JS DOM, and the WebGL  tests. To read more about the tests and why they were used,  view the Sixteen:Nine report here.  

HTML5 Test

The goal of this article is to report and analyze the results of BrightSign media player performance using compatible testing across models and new firmware (FW) versions. Scores from models operating on FW 7.0 and 7.1 will be analyzed first then scores from the newer FW 8.0 will be reviewed.

Using the HTML5 feature support test, all models operating on FW version 7.0 or 7.1 maintained HTML5 feature support scores in the 450 range. The LS, HD, XD, and XT, respectively, scored 458, 458, 452, and 452. The LS, marketed as the entry-level offering, and the HD, the updated and reliable classic, scored higher for HTML5 feature support than the XD and XT. Those scores are in the median range of Samsung SSSP4 at 432 and SSSP5 at 487. LG’s WebOS 3.2 scored 432 and WebOS 4.0 scored 484. Additionally, varying displays operating on Android 7 also scored in the 470’s.

The updated HD and XT running on FW version 8.0 scored 510; a drastic, average increase of 60 points, second only to SSSP6 devices with a score of 523.

 BrightSign HTML5 Performance Testing

JS DOM TEST

The JS DOM test reflects the time required to parse elements across a JavaScript Document Object Model (DOM) that contains over two million elements. Most pages will not contain this amount of elements so by doing this we have a reliable control variable. Unlike the HTML5 feature support test, the lower the score the better performance.

The results of the JS DOM test for BrightSign players on FW version 7.0 and 7.1 indicate an increase in performance with each model. But there is an increase in speed of almost 50% from the LS to the HD with only 0.4 or less of a difference in score between each of the HD, XD, and XT lines.

Compared to other platforms, the XT with FW version 7.0 scored the third best time behind SSSP4  and SSSP5.  The SSSP5 display scored 1.7, the fastest time of any of the other tested devices. The LS model scored almost 3 full milliseconds faster than SSSP2 and SSSP3 but was less than 0.7 of a difference from the scores for WebOS 3.0, 3.2, and 4.0. The XD line’s performance scored identical to the ELO display operating on Android 7 at 2.6.

When analyzing performance for the media players using FW version 8.0, there are some unique changes. JS DOM scores for the HD and XT worsened when tested with the newer firmware. The HD jumped to 4.3 and the XT to 2.6. Interestingly, there are similar results for SSSP6, with a score of 5.4, when compared to SSSP4 and SSSP5.

 BrightSign JS DOM Performance Testing

WebGL Test

A clearer conclusion is obtainable when analyzing the WebGL performance tests for the displays and media players.

*Note scores are scaled to fit the device within the correct category of fps. For example, scoring 16 fps at the "Few" level is not equal to scoring 16 fps at the "Many" level. 

Testing for media players on FW version 7.0 or 7.1 indicated little to no WebGL performance support. But on each device, WebGL performance scores improve with FW updates. BrightSign players experienced the largest of these increases with a score of 18 fps for the HD and 48 fps for the XT. The HD's score with FW version 8.0 is now comparable to SSSP5 and SSSP6. The XT’s performance with FW 8.0 was the highest of all tested devices and now reflects scores similar to Android 7.0 devices with WebView or Raspberry Pi devices with signageOS optimization.

 

 BrightSign WebGL Performance Testing

Conclusions

Overall, the results indicate a common theme among media players and SoC displays that have recently upgraded their firmware. The root of this commonality: Chromium 65. With each new FW comes the updated web engine to Chromium 65. The results from these tests indicate with Chromium 65 there is better feature support for HTML5 content, better WebGL performance, and worsened JS DOM performance.

Computational capabilities across devices vary over time for many different reasons and are often unidentifiable to outsiders looking in. But these performance tests, created and used by objective experts within their respected fields, are the most reasonable approach we have to comparing technologies.

Each version of media player or SoC display possess their own unique advantages and disadvantages that are not completely covered in this article. So, while every digital signage installation has unique requirements, the performance testing results presented here will hopefully provide an unbiased look at testing across device types and firmware versions.

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