There are large differences in performance and reliability among various SD/microSD card brands and models. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you use BrightSign microSDHC cards, which use an MLC flash chip and support wear leveling. BrightSign cards have been thoroughly tested and are proven to be long-lasting and highly reliable. Even though BrightSign players are fully compatible with all SD/microSD cards, customers who use cards not qualified by BrightSign do so at their own risk.
Protecting Against Card Corruption and Read Fatigue
A typical digital signage application often includes an “attract” video loop. If this video is fairly short, then a small number of flash blocks will be used repeatedly. Over time, the frequency with which these flash blocks are read may trigger “read fatigue errors” because the controller chips on certain microSD/SD cards are not designed to correctly handle and eliminate them.
The result is that some cards begin to fail after only 30,000 or 40,000 read cycles. If you have a video presentation that loops all day, every day, some cards may begin to fail a few months after purchase.
MLC and TLC
BrightSign microSDHC cards use a type of NAND flash technology that is less susceptible to read errors than many other card brands. Many SD card manufacturers use “triple-level” (TLC) flash chips, which are more vulnerable to read issues than the “multi-level” (MLC) flash chips that BrightSign cards use. MLC flash chips provide faster write performance and greater reliability.
Most (if not all) SD cards currently on the market have sufficient read speed for digital sign and kiosk applications that use standard definition video, which in general requires cards that can sustain read rates of above 3 megabytes per second. However, high-definition videos (720p and 1080p) require a read rate of at least 4 megabytes per second, and this requirement is increased if you want to play 4K video (2160p) or two 4K/HD videos at once.
BrightSign microSDHC cards are rated at Class 10, which is sufficient for all of the above applications.
Digital signage has a heavy use profile, so you should buy a high-quality SD card for your player(s). See How to select an SD cardfor more information.
The expected lifespan of a BrightSign-provided SD card should be at least two years under the average digital signage usage profile (which includes many reads). However, many factors can influence the lifespan including heat, humidity, and the number of card reads and writes. Light usage can extend the lifetime significantly while heavy usage can limit card lifespan to less than a year.
Some customers have reported playback problems and I/O errors with Transcend SDHC cards that are 8GB and larger.
You must format your SDHC or SDXC card as FAT32 or exFAT. Note that exFAT is only supported by Series 3 and Series 4 players (XTx44/43, XDx34/33, HDx24/23, LS424/423) running firmware 6.2.94 or later. You can also format your card using NTFS, but the player will not be able to receive network updates or generate logs (i.e. it cannot write to the card).
BrightSign players do not support storage devices larger than 2TB. If your player is using firmware version 6.1.37 or earlier, it cannot support storage devices larger than 500GB.
HDx10 and earlier models do not support SDXC cards or any SD cards larger than 32GB.