Bloomfield Hills Schools in the suburbs north of Detroit has long been a champion of professional AV technology, leveraging digital signage and other systems district-wide to engage students and enhance learning environments. The district recently upgraded its digital signage network to the Carousel 7.0 Digital Signage Software platform from Tightrope Media Systems, at once introducing new content playout capabilities while streamlining the creation and management process for network operators.
The digital signage content targets 34 displays in the high school alone, the majority of which serve specific learning communities. Each community receives content specifically targeted to its curriculum, while other displays around the high school—including five in the Media Center—provide information about room schedules, school events and other messages pertinent to faculty, visitors, and the larger student body.
The upgrade to Carousel 7.0 software has made life easier for the communications department, which is responsible for creating and disseminating most content. The streamlined workflow of Carousel 7.0 also simplifies these processes for operators working across a wider away of user devices.
“Carousel 7.0 moves content creation and management from a linear to a very dynamic nonlinear process that simply provides better flexibility,” said Matthew Webster, digital media systems engineer, Bloomfield Hills Schools. “We can move forward and backward as needed to edit templates and schedules, which makes changes, updates and improvements very easy to accomplish. The text is also larger and easier to read, making bulletins easier to create.
“Carousel 7.0 also introduces a responsive user interface that has been extremely helpful,” continued Webster. “The high school campus includes 35 monitors over 340,000 square feet that I am responsible for maintaining. The new responsive interface means that I can open up and work on the signage output from my phone or a tablet; that flexibility extends to our communications department, which often must update content on the fly. There is no difference in the user experience regardless of what device is being used.”
BrightSign media players at each display better accommodate live video playout and dynamic animations. They also keep the bottom line manageable as the network scales due to a cost-efficient price point.
“We also have a TV station at the school with a full broadcast headend powered by Tightrope Cablecast Broadcast Automation, which is fully integrated with Carousel and our BrightSign players,” said Webster. “Using a Wowza Media server, I can take live video mixed with Carousel content through our production switcher, and send that to every display in the school simultaneously. It’s a big step up and we intend to do much more with video moving forward.”