Digital Signage HardwareQuite possibly the most varied field in AV hardware serves the expanding digital signage business. The wide range of specific applications and customized installation provides room for a plethora of 12/10/2012 9:30 AM Eastern
Digital Signage Hardware
Dec 10, 2012 2:30 PM, By Bennett Liles
Quite possibly the most varied field in AV hardware serves the expanding digital signage business. The wide range of specific applications and customized installation provides room for a plethora of system designs and hardware features. In this survey we take a look at the expanding field of gear that can be used to create a digital signage system custom tailored to the client’s needs.
Small enough to be easily mounted behind a display monitor or inside a kiosk or videowall, the IS-SPX-1000 Inspired Signage XPress player from AMX can function as part of a multiscreen or interactive signage display controlled remotely by RS-232. The unit supports RSS and a number of graphic formats along with the capability to provide a remote snapshot of what it is showing. The VGA and HDMI outputs can be used simultaneously, and the SPX-1000 can generate logs with metrics for ad tracking and verification.
For a simple turnkey signage solution, Black Box Network Services offers the MediaFlyer Express, a combination hardware and hosted platform. Supporting up to 1920x1200 resolution and 24-bit color, the unit can be installed at the display and controlled through its web interface. The playlist can include Flash, PowerPoint, slideshows, live text, and RSS news feeds in any combination with a customized layout. The case has multiple USB ports, DVI-I, HDMI, a network port, 3.5mm mini audio output, mic and headphone jacks, and a memory card slot.
The XD line of media players from BrightSign provides 1080p60 video and features looping playlists and multiple content zones. All models support HTML5 for the latest web features, and they offer accelerated JPEG decompression with professional-quality transitions. The units can also display on videowalls including non-standard display shapes and mixed screen orientation. The XD1230 is the flagship of the line with an HDMI input to play live HDTV and an ATSC/Clear QAM tuner. Video and audio playlists can run independently from a single player. There is also an internal MicroSD card slot for storage and playback.
The QMOD-HDSC HDTV scaler-modulator from Contemporary Research can input RGBHV/component video from 480p to 1080p, auto-sensing the resolution and zoom, shrink, and position to fit the display. The system can also convert PAL HD to NTSC, and it provides a buffered RGBHV out for monitoring RGB input. The unit is used for digital signage and HD subscriber service on existing broadband coax cabling for viewing through HD displays or tuners. The front-panel controls are used for setup of inputs, encoding, channel, and RF options.
Capable of scheduling and playing digital signage content through analog and digital connections, the Gefen HD Digital Signage Media Player can also accept content pushed to it by way of a network on which it acts as an FTP client. The unit can log important parameters for verification and diagnostics and playlists can be manipulated through any text-based editing program using its intuitive directory and file structure. Ports include USB, Ethernet, HDMI, optical audio out along with component and composite analog video. It supports resolutions up to 1080p.
The R4100 is the multi-channel member in the InfoCaster line of media players with two, three, or four channels as an option. Harris designed the InfoCaster R4100 as a 2RU chassis with eight USB 2.0 ports, FireWire, and network connections along with a recordable DVD-RW for backup or system restore. Users can begin to play out content while continuing to modify or create additional content using templates and regions within InfoCaster. Programming can be scheduled by time, event, region, zone, venue, and monitor. Features include play logs for verification and billing along with export to ODBC-compliant files.
The all-weather-capable H461MC LCD 46in. digital signage display from Hyundai is IP65-rated and features anti-vandal protection with tempered security glass, an air looping system, auto brightness sensor, and RS-232 remote control. The 16:9 screen has a 1920x1080 resolution, 16.7 million colors, 1500 cd/m² brightness, 178/178-degree viewing angle, and a 50,000-hour lifetime. The display has an anti-reflective coating and automatic heating and cooling. The unit has both VGA and HDMI video input ports, and it can operate over a -30-degree to +50-degree temperature range.
Digital Signage Hardware
Dec 10, 2012 2:30 PM, By Bennett Liles
Loaded in a miniature chassis designed for 24/7 operation, the MXS-NONO-MZP MediaZone Wallmount System from KeyWest Technology includes RS-232 control, USB 2.0 ports, LAN connections, stereo audio I/O, and DVI video. Interactive, Wi-Fi, and streaming video input are available as options. Each player comes with MediaZone Editor Pro, the Windows 7-compatible digital signage software. The small unit includes a 258MB onboard memory, 1GB RAM, Direct-X 9.0 along with a 160GB hard drive, and it runs on a 12VDC external power adapter.
The NC1100 media player from LG Electronics is an external unit that attaches directly to the back of a display and has an embedded Windows XP operating system. The player has a USB 2.0 port, a four-in-one multicard slot, a PCI mini express card slot, an HDMI output, and a LAN port in addition to a microphone input and audio line level output connection. The NC1100 provides up to 1920x1080 at 60Hz display resolution and 32GB storage capacity. The unit comes with integrated menu-driven management software.
Voyager is Magenta Research’s award-winning, fiber-optic-based product line designed to switch, extend, and/or distribute pro AV signals. Using its FiberMax engine, Voyager provides multiple-output transmitters and daisy-chainable receivers, along with upgradable matrix switching solutions from eight to 640 ports. The system can switch uncompressed 1920x1200 video with HDCP at 60Hz, 8-channel 24-bit DTS-HD Master audio, and bi-directional RS-232 up to distances of 18 miles. With its interoperable building block components, Voyager can work 24/7/365 as the heart of a comprehensive digital signage system.
Mitsubishi has launched two edge-lit LED monitors. The narrow-bezel flagship 70in. MDT701S and 55in. MDT552S LED monitors feature an Intel Open Pluggable Standard (OPS) card slot for easy installation and maintenance. They also come with built-in speakers that fire toward the bottom to eliminate reverberation. Both monitors feature a built-in, plug-and-play USB hub and are Crestron Connected displays. The monitors can be monitored, managed, and controlled using either RoomView Express or Fusion RV. They have front and rear ambient light sensors that adjust the monitor’s brightness level and balance image brightness for optimum viewing.
The OPS platform is an industry-wide standard for the design and development of digital signage to simplify installation and maintenance. OPS-PCIC devices from NEC are designed for high-end, high-load digital content in applications including airports, quick-service restaurants, and higher education. With a 2.5GHz Intel Dual Core i5 CPU and Windows 7 embedded, OPS-PCIC devices provide complete connectivity with an integrated Ethernet connection, DisplayPort output, and four USB ports. They also prevent the hassle of hiding PC cables and protect internal components in a stainless steel chassis.
Capable of playing up to 1080p video through its HDMI output and VGA with sound on a 2.5mm mini connection, the HDMP-1000 can store 2GB on SD or CF memory or up to 16GB as an option. Opticis offers the unit with Sinus Server Pro network management software, making it capable of managing an IP network for all connected players and enabling users to monitor and control all displays and players. The unit includes a USB 2.0 port, and it ships with a 12V power supply.
Unveiled in August, the Panasonic LF5 series digital signage displays feature a videowall friendly 18.6mm bezel and 500 cd/m² brightness along with the ability to switch to the next incoming video signal in the case of a signal interruption. The monitors also provide Eco Mode, which detects the ambient light level and controls the brightness of the backlight accordingly. The TH-47LF5U is the larger of the two LF5 models with a 46.9in. diagonal viewing area, 1920x1080 resolution, and a serial control loop-through.
Unveiled by Planar Systems at InfoComm this year, the Ultralux series zero-bezel LCD displays aim for the 60in., 70in. and 80in. screen market with a 3in. depth in either freestanding or wall-mount configurations. For technicians, the displays incorporate a kickstand device that angles the screen away from the wall for easy access to the ports and electronics. Among the options are onboard media player mounting and six-point multi-touch for interactive applications. The screen is protected by Planar’s Extended Ruggedness and Optics protective glass.
The Laser Phosphor Display (LPD) developed by Prysm consists of a 450nm wavelength laser engine, a laser processor, and a phosphor panel. Among the company’s varied line of LPD products is the Digital Spectacular, a 150in. diagonal screen system with 1920x1440 resolution, 1.6mm pixel pitch, and 14-bit color processing. The unit consists of a set of LPD tiles, a backing frame, an optional enclosure, an image processor, and a standard power connector. The video input formats include VGA, DVI-D, HDMI, and component.
Digital Signage Hardware
Dec 10, 2012 2:30 PM, By Bennett Liles
The 32-pixel Premium Ticker from Rise Display shows graphics or logos in full 24-bit color and is housed in a 10.6in. cabinet that can be horizontally extended from 6ft. in increments of 3in., and it can be ceiling or wall mounted. The display can conform to concave or convex surfaces showing characters up to 9.6in. tall, and it contains a built-in network connected controller. With a brightness spec up to 5500 nits, it can be used in high ambient light environments and it can be fitted with custom angled corners.
For interactive digital signage installations Samsung has designed the TS series 82in. Interactive LCD display with 1920x1080 native resolution, 178/178-degree viewing angle, lamp error detection, anti-retention, brightness and temperature sensing, built-in 10W speakers, and a protective 3mm LCD glass panel. The MagicInfo-Pro content management software runs on an internal network connected Windows XP operating system, and it communicates with the display on an RS-232 serial connection, which can be looped through to other units. Operational power consumption is 930W, which drops to 1W in standby mode.
SmartAVI offers SignWall, a videowall processor that is expandable from 2x2 to 4x4, and up to four SignWall processors can be linked to play in sync on 16 displays. When an HD video player is connected, the processor can capture the HD video in realtime while the SignWatchPro software captures live video or transmits still images of the displays to FTP, phone, or email for monitoring and verification. The unit can be controlled via IP and in turn can control the connected displays through RS-232.
The new FWD-S55H2 55in. pro display from Sony with direct LED backlight generates 1000 cd/m² brightness and can be remote controlled through either LAN or serial interfaces. Capable of operating in portrait or landscape orientation, the unit can input HDMI, DVI, and analog video on HD-15, composite, and component ports; it can also use its option slot to allow use of other formats such as HD-SDI. It can also extend a progressive video signal across multiple displays up to 4x4 without external hardware, and there is a pair of 7W speakers built-in.
Southern Vision Systems offers the voLANte system as a complete solution for digital signage signal distribution using IP packets over standard Ethernet/fiber networks. Fully managed with Conductor management software, the system components can interconnect with other Ethernet devices and send any source to any display. Sources and displays can be added by connecting units such as the VMT 105 standalone encoder and the VRR standalone decoder. These components carry RS-232 control signals as well as video and sound for the displays, and the lines can be extended through multiple Ethernet switches.
Capable of using its video outputs independently or tying them together for a videowall application, the TVOne CORIOmaster can dedicate one output as a multi-viewer. The windows can be designed, positioned, and rotated up to 360 degrees on the predefined layout and up to four layouts can be used at the same time. Video outputs can be warped for projection on curved surfaces, and graphics can be loaded through the rear-panel USB port. The 4RU device automatically recognizes and configures input or output modules inserted into the 16 universal AV slots.
The CDP6530 full HD commercial display from ViewSonic has a 65in. screen with 1920x1080 resolution; two built-in 12W speakers; two 12W speaker output terminals; and a versatile range of inputs including HDMI, DVI, VGA, S-Video, component, and composite video. For videowall applications, there is also RS-232 control loop-through and daisy-chain capability for VGA and composite video. Videowalls of up to 10x10 displays can be assembled. Designed for 24/7 operation, the CDP6530 also has an internal scheduler. For easier power wiring in videowall designs, there is also an AC output connector.