Digital Signage

Software and solutions for the management, operation, and/or creation of digital signage content and networks. 7/16/2008 9:51 PM Eastern

Digital Signage

Software and solutions for the management, operation, and/or creation of digital signage content and networks.


Credit: khartney

Typical markets/applications: High-traffi c retail locations such as shopping malls, department stores, pharmacies, and convenient stores
Hardware requirements: Standard PC hardware/servers; comes with Celeron 600 MHz CPU with 256MB RAM for standard defi nition content and a Duo Core 2 GHz CPU with 1GB of RAM for high-defi nition content playback
Software requirements: Linux
Network requirements: Standard; peripherals include 1000/100 BaseT Ethernet switches/routers, IEEE 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi standards, a broadband ADSL connection, and FTP protocol for content transfer

The 1-2-1View Digital Signage Solution is an installed solution. Media players connect to assigned servers at regular intervals to retrieve the latest content, schedules, and time synchronization, as well as post back playout statistics to ensure content is played back at the right place and time. Users operate the system via a Web-based user interface that enables management of the entire signage network with a browser. Based on IPTV technology, the system is scalable to any size. An optional InterFace module allows operators to provide viewer counts so advertisers can validate the effectiveness of a campaign. It can also monitor and optimize the effectiveness of the network. Pricing: Server Management software, starts at $1,295; Media Player hardware, starts at $495, Player software license, $200; InterFace options, contact vendor. 1-2-1View. 801-278-9769.


Typical markets/applications: Manufacturing, education, government, corporate, building management
Hardware requirements: PC with 512MB of memory and an 80GB hard drive, Ethernet port, and screen that supports 1024x768 resolution
Software requirements: Microsoft Windows running Web server software, including Apache or Microsoft IIS
Network requirements: Local area network (LAN) 10/100 BaseT or wide area network (WAN) via corporate network or Internet. LANs use Port 80, WANs use Port 21 via FTP protocol

Server-based installed solution comprises the Best- Wave DisplayIT! Software, ViewSonic NMP-530 Network Media Player, and ViewSonic Commercial Display. The user interface offers shared multimedia content libraries, unlimited reusable template creation, and built-in templates, backgrounds, and sample presentations for quick start-up. Supports standard media fi le formats, such as MPG, JPG, TIP, PCT, BMP, GIP, and PNG, as well as Flash and PowerPoint. XML fi les may be used to provide automated or manual updates of data for room schedules, building directories, menus, and other dynamic content. Pricing: DisplayIT! 1 user license, $600; NMP-530, $1,299. BestWave. 480-368-8900.


Typical markets/applications: Large digital signage networks
Hardware requirements: Varies
Software requirements: Contact vendor
Network requirements: Varies

BroadSign Suite is an SaaS-hosted platform that addresses the issues of time to market, the need for full campaign execution functionality, accountability, and scalability. The software enables operators to target out-of-home audiences, sell network airtime, and reliably play back scheduled content on each screen and account for campaign performance. The suite includes BroadSign Administrator, a desktop interface that enables users to remotely operate digital signage networks of any size. Broad- Sign Player is the software component installed on playback PC and is capable of outputting to multiple displays, controlled via an RS-232 interface. BroadSign server is confi gured in a cluster for high concurrency and redundancy, and is completely managed by BroadSign. Price: Solution dependent. BroadSign International. 877-399-1184.  


Typical markets/applications: Corporate, transportation, finance, retail, public, media, and entertainment
Hardware requirements: Varies
Software requirements: Microsoft Windows XP
Network requirements: Includes IP-based bi-directional communication, multicasting abilities over unicast networks, scheduling and bandwidth control

C-nario Messenger is an installed, software-based platform that can also be integrated with proprietary hardware for the player. The all-in-one solution provides tools to maintain the whole digital signage spectrum using the same intuitive graphical user interface (GUI), including broadcast playback quality, 1080p support, and display-agnostic screens. Other features include internal content creation and management tools; multiple scheduling workfl ows; four (HD) to eight (SD) channels from a single PC; support for external data sources in order to integrate almost any type of content into the system; open architecture that allows specifi c data sources from various types and shapes to be developed according to the specific client needs through C-nario or C-nario Software Development Kit; monitoring and control; e-mail or SMS system alerts; and remote updates support. Pricing: Solution dependent; contact vendor. C-nario. 646-330-4501.


Credit: khartney

Typical markets/applications: Retail, transportation, education, corporate communications, hospitality
Hardware requirements: Client included; server requires at least a Pentium 4 2.0 GHz CPU with 1GB RAM and 40GB or more HDD space
Software requirements: Microsoft Windows 2003 server
Network requirements: Comes with built-in RJ45 Ethernet jack for deployment throughout a wired 10/100 Mbps network; wireless Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g option also available

WebDT is an installed solution that is offered as a full licensing model to customers, so they are free to install and manage their own server software. The system includes the WebDT Content Manager and WebDT Device Manager. The software management tools feature Web-based interfaces for easy remote management and control of all computing displays from any location that has network/Internet access. When offered as an all-in-one solution, the signage system includes both the display and an integrated signage appliance. The appliance supports a variety of screen sizes and includes the ability to remotely manage each screen from a central location. Additionally, the WebDT Signage System has the ability to pre-install Kiosk applications and have these applications coexist with the digital signage network while being served from a single platform. Pricing: $999 for standard confi guration. DT Research. 408-934-6220.


Typical markets/applications: Casino, retail, education
Hardware requirements: Off-the-shelf PC
Software requirements: Microsoft Windows
Network requirements: TCP/IP

An installed solution, InfoCaster offers the flexibility of multizone screens, allowing users to design layouts that best fi t their applications. The TitleMotion character generator graphics tool provides creativity, animations, text, and graphics within the software.InfoCaster Manager allows users to manage clients through remote control and monitoring of groups of InfoCaster Players, on which content can play identically or be modifi ed. InfoCaster can also display moving messages from any source fi le in real time. It also includes Schedule Manager, touch-screen capability, and InfoCaster Online, which allows users to log in and administer content to assigned players from anywhere on a digital signage network. Pricing: Varies. Harris Interactive. 877-919-4765.


Credit: khartney

Typical markets/applications: Airports, corporate communications, hospitality, sports stadiums, retail, hospitals
Hardware requirements: Dual-core processor, 2GB RAM, enhanced graphics card
Software requirements: Microsoft Windows
Network requirements: Supports a variety of networks including satellite, cell networks, wired (TCP/IP), and wireless

Moxie is a hosted or on-premises content management platform system that uses 3D vector graphics, allowing content elements to change shape and size based on the context of underlying business data and corresponding business rules. Moxie also has a robust data platform, which provides the ability to move data around the network for content updates. Secure role-based views of the network allow IT staff or marketers to monitor and control different aspects of the signage network. The software includes a server, a player, and the Spider network management console for managing a large network of signs. Pricing: Starts at approximately $2,500 per screen for network of 10 screens. Omnivex. 800-745-8223.


Typical markets/applications: Banking, quick-service restaurants, specialty retail chains, university, government, corporate, gaming, and hospitality
Hardware requirements: Varies; player PC specifi cation on three levels of playback provided
Software requirements: Microsoft Windows
Network requirements: Standard corporate network, supports most IP standards; scalability achieved through Planar CoolSign Transfer Server

Typically sold as an installed solution, CoolSign also comes as a managed service. Available as an enterprise-class “store and forward” platform, it comprises several individual software components. It also combines support for enterprise security, very large networks, and event-driven dynamic content with an intuitive management experience. Other features include support for a variety of displays, including plasmas, LCDs, and LEDs; frame synchronization, Flash 9 interactivity, multiregion confi gurations, live data feeds, role-based security, integration with Microsoft Active Directory, and new content templates for customers without dedicated design resources. Pricing: Standard Edition: $4,995, plus $1,495 per player; Enterprise Edition (100 players or more): $19,995, plus $1,495 per player. Planar. 866-475-2627.


Typical markets/applications: Large-scale digital media deployments in finance, retail, automotive, government, and services markets
Hardware requirements: Varies
Software requirements: Datacenter servers use Linux; media players use Microsoft Windows/Linux/Unix
Network requirements: Satellite, terrestrial, wireless

ActiVia manages digital signage applications endto- end, from content management, playlist creation, device/user management, and content distribution to monitoring, reporting, and billing. Available as a customer-deployed solution, Software as a Service (SaaS), or as a managed service, ActiVia can manage networks of up to 250,000 concurrent devices. Users can display a combination of multiple types of digital media, such as video, images, and tickers, simultaneously on a single screen or on a multiscreen display. Other features include scheduling, role-based access control system, multilayered playlist creation, drag-and-drop functionality, instant or prescheduled unicast or multicast content, centralized backup and restoration of media player confi gurations, property- or geography-based player selection, and remote device management. Pricing: Solution dependent, media player-based license: perpetual, managed service, or SaaS. Stratacache. 800-244-8915.


Credit: khartney

Typical markets/applications: Regional banks, convenience stores, wireless/telcom stores, emergency network services, houses of worship, public works facilities, real estate, and doctor offices
Hardware requirements: No additional hardware required
Software requirements: Microsoft Windows XP
Network requirements: Ethernet LAN connection or IP

Self-contained system includes an integrated 42-inch LGE M4210N fl at-panel LCD HD display, media player, content management software, and built-in Wi-Fi for installation and confi guration. The MediaManager software manages and schedules content to the Lobby system, which controls the display of content on-screen. Lobby supports ad insertion and multiple-quadrant viewing. It can also be confi gured to display live video via IP streaming or a set-top box. Price: Starts at $4,999. Triveni Digital. 609-716-3500.


Credit: khartney

Typical markets/applications: Indoor and outdoor environments in retail, corporate, and education
Hardware requirements: Varies; 120GB SATA II hard drive, Intel Core2 Duo 2.4 Ghz CPU or better for Template Maker and Player; 300GB SATA II 7.2 RPM hard drive, Dual Core Intel Xeon 2.0 Ghz CPU for Server Desktop version
Software requirements: Microsoft Windows XP Pro and Microsoft 2003 Server Web Edition
Network requirements: Variety of network protocols, including HTTP, HTTPS, TCP, FTP, and Windows networking

Xpresenter is available as an installed or hosted solution for content creation, management, distribution, monitoring, management of live data, and playout. Xpresenter’s authoring tool runs within Microsoft PowerPoint for simplicity, so users are able to create complex display layouts in a familiar interface. Comprising Template Maker and Player, Content Manager, and a Server Desktop version, Xpresenter features broadcast-quality output, Webbased controls, real-time data tools, a central server, and interactivity support. Pricing: Solution dependent; contact vendor. X2O Media. 888-987-7557.


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