Digital Signage Systems Tech Showcase

The exponential growth in digital signage has produced a wide field of solutions in displays, switching, signal extension, content management, and player devices. Here we have a survey of the tools available at each of these points in the digital signage creation and distribution chain.
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Digital Signage Systems Tech Showcase

Dec 6, 2011 11:08 AM, by Bennett Liles


The exponential growth in digital signage has produced a wide field of solutions in displays, switching, signal extension, content management, and player devices. Here we have a survey of the tools available at each of these points in the digital signage creation and distribution chain.

With the combination of the IS-XPT-2000 player and the Inspired XPert workflow management software tools, AMX has created a complete digital signage solution that can be fully integrated with AMX control systems. The player can be mounted behind a monitor to provide HD images, text, video, and Internet feeds. USB ports allow direct connection of keyboard and mouse while the Ethernet port connects the computer running the Inspired Composer application. Video outputs include VGA and HDMI. The software allows multiple participants to collaborate with control over who can edit which entry, and it provides a review and approval process for distributed content. Professional level templates are included for quickly composing signage material.

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Black Box iCOMPEL

Black Box Network Services offers a choice of three families in the iCOMPEL scalable digital signage line. One unit acts as a channel publisher while other units perform as channel subscribers downloading files from the channel server and activating the schedule. The system may be composed of the HD Plus Publisher unit, HD Plus, or the HD unit. These can be used to make up view-only and interactive touchscreen signage installations. iCOMPEL appliances may be ordered with a built-in video capture card for stored and live video to be displayed together on the same screen. Firmware and software upgrades are free and network setup is very simple with either fixed IP or DHCP.

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Cisco DMP 4310G

Cisco Digital Signage is composed of three product lines including Cisco Digital Media Manager, the Cisco Digital Media Player, and the Scientific Atlanta Encoder. The first is a suite of web-based software apps that assist in publishing and scheduling media to the display network. One of the media players is the DMP 4310G, which can play interactive multimedia including on-demand video, broadcasts, Flash animations, graphics, and text tickers. The unit has a network port, two USB ports, HDMI and S-Video outputs, console connection, and an RS-232 serial port for remote control. The Scientific Atlanta encoder provides SD video to the media player.

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C-nario Messenger

Among software applications for digital signage, C-nario Messenger supplies all of the functions necessary for a complete digital signage management system. Included are content creation tools that enable realtime composition along with display remote control, multi-scheduling, and database solutions. Open architecture enables smart plug-ins to integrate with external systems, dynamic data feeds, and interactive sources. Messenger allows innovative communication with players and provides control, monitoring, realtime reporting, live snapshots, alerts, and auto recovery. The system scales up to 10,000 content channels that can be managed from a single control center.

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Contemporary Research QMOD-HDSC

For digital signage integration with an existing coax TV network, Contemporary Research offers its QMOD-HDSC HDTV scaler modulator designed especially for digital signage integration. Using the QMOD-HDSC, you can broadcast the video from a single signage player to many displays over the existing RF coax network as an HD digital cable channel. Flat-panel TVs simply tune in to show the HD signage channel, eliminating the need for new IP wiring, players at every TV, and extra licenses and servers. The internal scaler lets the user format the media for edge-to-edge 16:9 presentation. Signals are input at PC resolution and scaled to 720p or 1080i. The unit features up and down scaling, zoom, shrink, and positioning along with integration on RS-232 control and monitoring

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Harris Corporation DS550

The InfoCaster digital out-of-home suite from Harris Corporation consists of three product types. InfoCaster Creator features text and graphics through drag-and-drop WYSIWYG content design, authoring and creation using pre-loaded templates, backgrounds, and other elements. InfoCaster Manager allows content administration, scheduling, and editing permissions for coordinated showing on multiple remote InfoCaster Player devices. Tightly integrated with the InfoCaster digital-out-of-home suite is Punctuate software for content creation, network management, and playout. Punctuate handles the synchronization and distribution of content from multiple sources to player devices on LAN or WAN network links. One of these player devices, the DS550, is a very compact single-channel unit with VESA or desktop-mounting capability. Monitoring and reporting features are included.

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Digital Signage Systems Tech Showcase

Dec 6, 2011 11:08 AM, by Bennett Liles

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KeyWest Technology MediaZone Pro

KeyWest Technology designed its MediaZone Pro software application to be used with customer provided computer hardware or as a pre-installed feature in hardware available from KeyWest in the form of the Nano Wall-Mount Player, Micro Wall-Mount Player, or the Rack Mount Player. MediaZone Pro features a Windows 7-style interface with drag-and-drop functionality providing up to five separate onscreen zones in which to place content from various sources. The built-in FTP file scheduling and transfer feature allows control of media playback on media players along the network without using a server. MediaZone Pro can also operate as a client to the KeyWest InfoZone Pro server for larger deployments.

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Unveiled by LG Electronics at Infocomm 2011, EzSignTV is a digital signage system incorporating live TV without additional hardware. The system shows branded advertisements along with television broadcasts, and it is based on the Pro:Centric platform developed by LG for hospitality applications. The LG EzSign software uses a four-step process to allow users to choose a template, upload material, edit, and export content. The display itself has a 1920x1080 native resolution in the 42/47in. class and 366x768 in the 32in. class. The unit has public display settings that can be used to turn it on and off, set the channel, aspect ratio, and volume level automatically and lock out the front panel.

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Magenta Research MultiView

Among the products from Magenta Research for digital signage networks is the MultiView family for distribution on UTP. MultiView’s building block approach allows users to cascade transmitters, daisy-chain receivers, and use distribution amps to get one source to hundreds of displays. The MultiView T4 transmitter has four UTP outputs. High-res PC RGBHV video, plus audio or one-way serial, can be input and sent out to four Multiview receivers such as the XR-2000 up to 2,000ft. feet away. The Octet-SAP 8-port transmitter handles HD RGBHV video, stereo audio, and display addressable serial. Receivers can be daisy-chained off of this product as well to distances of 2,000ft.

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Mitsubishi MDT652S

One of the primary displays used in Mitsubishi digital signage installations is the MDT652S 65in. LCD with a horizontal and vertical viewing angle of 178 degrees, mini D-Sub 15-pin in/out, HDMI, DVI-D, DisplayPort, Cat-5 in/out, five BNC (component) in, S-Video, and composite (BNC) in/out. Remote control links include RS-232 D-sub in/out and LAN. It includes an external speaker jack and uses 445W without speakers. At the source end, the XMP-340 media player has 4GB internal storage that can be augmented through a covered CF card slot. It also has a watchdog timer that allows it to recover from power, network, or other disruptions.

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Opticis M1-201-SA

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Opticis DVFX-110-TR

Fiber-optic signal extension has proven to be a mainstay for widely dispersed digital signage displays, and Opticis offers a number of solutions for long distance digital video distribution. The M1-201-SA four-fiber DVI extension module connects a pair of LC duplex multimode fiber lines for resolution up to WUXGA with self-EDID programming. The M1-201DA-TR connects one pair of single-mode or multimode fiber in the same manner with a graphic data extension capability of up to 1500 meters at WUXGA resolution. The DVFX-100 handles uncompressed 2K resolution DVI for a distance up to 500 meters over one multi-mode fiber and the new DVFX-110-TR will carry a WUXGA signal up to 3,280ft. on single-mode or 1,640ft. on multimode fiber lines.

Panasonic full-HD LCD displays such as the TH-47LF30U feature SLOT2.0 for Easy System Expansion so that the monitor can be configured to suit the specific application. Inputs include DVI-D in/out, component, composite, HDMI along with RS-232C in/out for daisy-chaining up to 100 displays. The .72in. bezel works well for multiscreen displays, and its Eco Mode uses a light sensor to detect ambient light level and control backlight brightness. The company has teamed its hardware with CoolSign digital signage software from Haivision to allow users to display, distribute, and control digital media on networked displays from a central location.

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Planar Systems PT2285PW

Planar Systems has allied its well-established touchpanel technology with the new XQ Interactive Retail application from iQmetrix to provide visual displays while facilitating the sales process in the wireless retail space. Touchscreens such as the PT2285PW 22in. wide multitouch screen zero-bezel LCD monitor use projected capacitive touch and include analog and DVI-D video inputs. Featuring a viewing angle of 170 degrees horizontal and 160 degrees vertical, the display provides a resolution of 1920x1080, and it’s compatible with Windows and Linux operating systems. The XQ Interactive Retail Platform provides shoppers with browse and stream applications while giving retailers a content management system (XQ Console) that operates with the iQmetrix Master Product Catalog and the iQmetrix Retail Management System.

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Digital Signage Systems Tech Showcase

Dec 6, 2011 11:08 AM, by Bennett Liles

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TVOne C2-8000

One of the most popular products from Rise Display is the Rise LED Ticker, which is available in three heights: 16 pixels (5.8in.), 24 pixels (8.2in.), and 32 pixels (10.6in.). They start at 6ft. in length and can be expanded in 1ft. increments to any length using a flexible cabinet that may be wrapped around curves and corners, streamed up pillars, or mounted in serpentine configurations. With 24-bit color (6.7 million shades), the ticker requires no external dedicated computer. It connects directly to the network and is updated from anywhere through a web-browser. The Rise Vision Application open-source software platform allows complete control and management of all digital displays (LCD displays, video walls, and tickers) and authoring of content using easy templates and/or HTML.

The 570DXn 57in. LCD monitor from Samsung can store and execute files locally and function as a web browser. The unit can be mounted in either landscape or portrait orientation and be set to pivot between the two. The internal cooling fan can be controlled through an onscreen menu while the built-in processor can provide for video walls up to 5x5 without external equipment. Using Samsung’s MagicInfo Pro, the 570DXn can be remotely monitored and controlled over the network and software updates can be loaded. Files can be sent to all monitors on the network or to a single display. The monitors can search for library files to play or the files can be sent out to the monitors on a schedule.

With a single PC, control and management of multiple displays can be done with a hardware/software package called Signage Pro HD from Smart-AVI. Each remote display can be set up to run local and common media presentations in separate screen areas. The player has an NVidia GPU:GeForce 7100 chipset, serial, one parallel SATA IDE interface, PS/2 and LAN ports along with S-video and DVI/VGA video outputs controlled by an embedded Linux OS. Supported formats include AVI, various MPEG versions, Flash, Acrobat, PowerPoint, and WMV, JPEG, GIF, BMP, PNG stills.

The VSP-NS7 HD storage player for digital signage from Sony can provide content resolution up to 1920x1080 for graphics and 1280x720 for HD video. Logos can be inserted over playing content and orientation can be rotated for portrait format. The unit also has a live IP camera input and is controllable on RS-232. Used with Sony’s VSPA-D7 digital signage player management software, the player can easily be set up to provide scheduled operation of custom content. The multi-window GUI includes “launcher buttons” that automatically show the content necessary for the specific operation being performed. Content is distributed to screens such as the Sony 65in. GXDL65H1 LCD public display with serial and LAN remote control capability.

voLANte from Southern Vision Systems is a digital signage solution offering live video-over-IP streaming mode for time-sensitive content. VoLANte's LocalPlay and HostPlay features deliver ad content with audio to each display over standard IP networks. LocalPlay signage is specific to display location while HostPlay signage is specific to a particular source and maintains image and audio synchronization over many displays and zones. Designed specifically to minimize the time from content creation until screen display, LocalPlay and HostPlay support multiple play-lists with independent audio tracks and scheduling between different playlists. Conductor Server software organizes multiple display zones, manages user ad databases, and supports matrix switching. Because of voLANte's live streaming capabilities, EMCast emergency messaging comes standard and takes over every screen on the network to immediately display time-sensitive information.

TVOne designed the C2-8000 universal input seamless switcher with two channel bi-directional conversion between a number of analog and digital video formats. The outputs are selectable in a variety of PC and HDTV video formats to suit the method of distribution and screen display. Transitions include cross-fade, push, wipe, and cut while dual PIP mode allows two windows to appear together on the same output. Control is done either locally on the front panel or over an RS-232/422/485 or IP connection.

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ViewSonic EP5502T

Among the ePoster digital signage solutions from ViewSonic, the EP5502T 55in. digital signage board with interactive touch is especially well suited for way-finding applications. The drift-free 4Kx4K touch interface connects to a PC and offers a variety of video input formats. The display also shows JPEG graphics and includes two 5W speakers to play WMA, MP3, and M4A (ACC) audio files. The NMP-640 industrial-grade X86 network media player is designed for 24/7 operation and comes with its own VESA mounting bracket. Connections include HDMI, VGA, USB, and LAN. ViewSonic offers several digital signage software solutions including Signage Manger Express with looping or weekly scheduling, auto detection of IP and MAC addresses, and the ability to push PowerPoint slides directly to the player.

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