The NTP protocol (Network Time Protocol) has since the earliest days of the internet been responsible for synchronising the time across computer networks. Not only is NTP effective at this, but when connected to a source of UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) NTP is also extremely accurate.
Most computer networks connect to UTC via a dedicated NTP time server. These devices use an external connection to an atomic clock to receive the time and then distribute it across a network. By connecting externally, via GPS (Global Positioning System) or long wave radio , not only are NTP time servers incredibly accurate but they are also very secure as they don’t rely on an internet connection for the time.
NTP time servers are also increasingly being used for other new innovations. Not only have traditional technologies such as CCTV, traffic lights, air traffic control and the stock exchange, become reliant on time synchronisation with time servers but an increasing amount of modern technologies are too.
NTP time servers are now common in modern digital signage systems (the use of flat screen TVs for out of home advertising). These networked screens are often synchronised to allow scheduled and orchestrated campaigns.
A synchronized digital signage campaign is one method of making an out of home advertising campaign stand-out. This is increasingly important as more and more digital signage is being implemented making a conventional digital signage campaign difficult to engage and catch the eye.
By synchronising multiple screens together with a NTP time server and running a scheduled and timed campaign. This allows content to be scheduled or timed to maximise its impact.
Small time servers can eben be installed directly into the digital signage of LCD enclosure although as most of these tiem synchnisation devices require a GPS or long wave signal the antenna can be problamtic. A better solution is to network the digtal signage and use a single NTP server as a method fo synchonisation.
NTP may be the oldest protocol on the internet and NTP time servers have been around for nearly two decades but this comparatively antique technology and software has never been so much in demand.