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Tech Roundup: Digital Signage 2021

The role of digital signage systems continues to evolve. As a digital communication platform, it is increasingly driven by content, data, and interactivity, whether it’s part of a digital-first stadium like So-Fi or virtual reception.

The AOPEN DE6340 is part of a lineup of Digital Engine media players for commercial and enterprise solutions. The company says these Digital Engine media players are designed to deliver innovative three-, four- or six-screen solutions for QSR (quick-service restaurant) menu boards, video walls, digital advertisements and traffic/information displays. The DE6340 second-generation 4-port digital signage player is the successor to the DE6140. The newer player works with fourpanel video walls and UHD menu boards. It’s AOPEN’s first AMD Ryzen embedded processor-based digital signage player with four 4K 60 Hz outputs and HDR support. This continues AOPEN’s use of AMD products to power their digital signage solutions with 4K, rich content and other new technologies. AOPEN’s DE6200, featuring AMD RX-421 embedded SoC, steps up to solve the general lack of triple digital output solutions; it can deliver 4K promotional videos alongside static information like menus and service information. The DEV7610-X6 features an AMD E8860 GPU with six Mini DisplayPorts for multi-screen video wall solutions aimed at premium and corporate locations or critical operations such as control rooms. It features an aluminum front panel.

AOPEN’s eTILE-X1032TB is a small all-in-one touch display running on Android 8.1 and supporting RFID and NFC. It’s often used for meeting room occupation signage, basic wayfinding and building management—it can even be mounted on glass, for a simple install. In January, it was certified for Meeting4Display allowing users to use the complete set of administration and management tools available within the supporting Telelogos software. With Meeting4Display, users can book a workspace directly from the 10” e-Tile touch display, from their messaging system or their smartphone, as well as having a complete control of the hardware and any other software elements installed on the device (silent software updates, remote management, hardware and software monitoring).

Certainly in this year of COID challenges, AV innovation has been part of finding the way through, and will eventually help us back to community in new ways. The Aurora Tavis thermal sensing tablet provides temperature-sensing abilities with an 80×64 thermal sensor in a variety of size and mount options. The TAVIS is available in 10.1-in, 15.6-in, and 21.5-in (TAV-21) sizes. It provides alerts when a person is running a high temperature within one second, up to 1.6 meters away. Two people can be scanned simultaneously, providing digital signage prediction features that include age, gender and other identifiers. The TAVIS thermal temperature-sensing tablet can be mounted in a landscape or portrait aspect; it’s available with black and white colors and customization options for Aurora’s drag and drop ReAX Core Studio software.

As we go to press, Black Box introduced the first solution in its Return to Work suite designed to help organizations and businesses in different industries provide a safer environment for their staff, visitors and customers. The BDS-8 Temperature Screening Kiosk is an all-in-one solution with fast, contactless temperature measurement and access control through facial recognition and mask detection, even for multiple people simultanously. Available in floor-stand, wall-mounted and tabletop models, the system provides a contactless temperature reading in less than a second and displays a high-resolution image of the subject with temperature readout on an 8-inch LCD screen. This plug-and-play solution can be easily integrated with any door or ticketing system and also supports digital signage applications when not in use for screening.

The Chief FCS1U Cable Mount System creates the illusion of a floating screen. The FCS1U Cable Mount System is positioned for retail applications; it allows integrators to discretely install displays into environments without the requirement of conventional load-bearing walls, and enables stores to use displays in the middle of the store or window without blocking products. The system design supports displays size 40in – 80in diagonal and can be displayed in landscape and portrait orientation. Including post-installation display leveling feature, Chief further supports display realignment with the use of the PACFCL Lateral Shift Accessory, which allows for the caballing mount system to be moved left or right, as well as the PACFCB back-to-back accessory to retrofit a second back-to-back screen for increased visual impact.

To support the return to public spaces safely, Chief brought the Tablet Floor Stand to market last fall, providing an aesthetic and easy-to-install mounting solution for an array of virtual reception, access control, and wayfinding applications. The stands can be integrated with tablets, temperature-screening devices, badge, pass or information printers and other access control devices. Thoughtful cabling and physical security options make for easy and flexible installation.

When a digital signage application calls for distributed TVs–for example in a stadium— Contemporary Research has an AV Over IP ecosystem option. A longtime provider of TV distribution over RF, the company started bringing its expertise to IPTV products; the result is three products—the budget-friendly 1080p QIP-DVX IPTV Decoder/Controller and QIP Encoder, and the IP-DXL Control Center. The encoder accepts MPEG2/H.264 IPTV streams and can handle two separate sources; the decoder/controller accept MPEG2 or H.264 single program or multiple program transport streams and are compatible with unicast or multi-cast. The Control Center is the company’s newest product for display control over Ethernet, sending control commands as UDP broadcast data packets to all compatible devices on the network. It can communicate with individual displays, groups, zones, or all displays using either: onboard DX Lite web page, proprietary Display Express Software, or third-party control systems.

As we go to press, Epson is debuting eight new laser projectors. Among them are four pitched at digital signage; the long-throw PowerLite L730U and L735U and shortthrow PowerLite L630SU and L635SU have advanced installation features, including lens shift, and software tools in a minimalist, discreet design that integrates into virtually any environment, such as corporate experience centers, retail visual merchandising and entertainment venues. The 7000 lumens long throw projectors display an image up to a maximum of 500 inches at WUXGA (1920×1200) resolution at 16:10 and ultra-wide 16:6 aspect ratios.The short throw projectors can display a WUXGA image up to 200 inches. The new PowerLite L-series include 5GHz wireless and HDBaseT connectivity. Available software tools add in the ability to edge blend, control and monitor the projectors remotely, and manage content. The new projectors will be available in May 2021.

LG Business Solutions has greeted 2021 with ambitious new signage lines for indoor and outdoor. In January, the company introduced three new lines of high-brightness outdoor LED Signage displays: the GSCA Versatile Series, GSCC Essential Series, and GSCD Ultra Light Series. With pixel pitches ranging from 3.9mm to 16mm, the six new models are built for outdoor viewing with webOS control, remote diagnostics, and failover protection. The GSCA Versatile Series allows users to combine 1:1 (500mm square) and 2:1 (500mm x 1000mm rectangle) cabinet options to create custom displays. The cabinets are open-frame construction, with modularized data and power, comfortable carrying handles and hand-actuated locks, so installing and dismantling this 5,000-nit LED signage display requires no additional tools, making it equally suited for fixed and rental applications. The two GSCA Versatile models each feature an IP65 front/rear rating and are available in 3.9mm and 4.6mm pixel pitches. The GSCC Essential Series comes in three pitch sizes: 6.66mm and 8mm at 5000 nits, and 16mm at 8000 nitts. The cabinets of the GSCC series can be assembled to configure virtually any screen size including 16:9, 8:9, and 4:3. All three models come IP65 front-rated and IP54 rear-rated. Rounding out these new outdoor models is the lightweight, 10mm pixel pitch, IP65 front- and rear-rated GSCD Ultra Light Series, giving installers and end users additional options when weight is a concern. All three series have an optional 90-degree corner design feature that makes it possible to display content around corners.

In February, LG debuted two new indoor direct-view light-emitting diode (DVLED) display series, the Versatile LSCA and the Ultra Slim LSCB, for indoor environments such as office lobbies, shopping malls, hotels, transit hubs and stadiums. Both the LSCA and LSCB will ship with LG’s new CVCA controller and webOS Signage platform for smooth content playback from baseband-connected high-resolution video sources, the built-in media player, or the built-in video streaming decoder. The controller also has 3.6GB of storage for applications and content and a TV-style remote control. The installation-friendly Versatile LSCA Series and the rental-friendly Ultra Slim LCSB Series come in a range of pixel pitch and flexible cabinet options. Just over a year ago, Matrox debuted the latest addition to the QuadHead2Go family — the QuadHead2Go Q155 multi-monitor controllers. Featuring HDMI input support on both appliance and PCI Express card form factors, the units are purpose-built to drive four Full HD displays from a single 4K HDMI source, offering a simple, yet elegant approach to digital signage-based video wall designs. Use multiple QuadHead2Go Q155 multi-monitor controllers to deploy artistic and emerging video walls of any type and size. Just prior to ISE 2020, Matrox also announced Matrox D-Series, a new family of next-generation, multi-display graphics cards. These new single-slot graphics cards drive up to four 4Kp60 displays and can be easily combined to output up to 16 x 4K monitors for high-density video walls. The cards work with the full Matrox video wall ecosystem; when used with QuadHead2Go multi-monitor controllers users can power up to 64 1920x1080p60 displays from one system. Also at ISE 2020, Matrox announced the latest addition to the Maevex 6100 Series family: the Maevex 6152 Quad 4K decoder. Built on the same core technology as the Maevex 6100 encoders, Maevex 6152 decodes up to four 4K streams—or many more lower resolution streams—across up to four 4K displays from a single, standalone appliance.

In the fall, NEC Display Solutions launched the latest version of MediaPlayer for its digital signage solutions. MediaPlayer software comes pre-installed on NEC´s Raspberry Pi Compute Module at no additional charge, delivering easier setup and operation, increased performance and customization for digital display boards in retail, digital menu boards, leisure, and corporate communication applications. The MediaPlayer is a plug-and-play digital signage solution that’s designed to be easy to install and customize. With NEC´s MediaPlayer, the latest, real-time visual experiences are now faster and easier to set up, showing target audiences dynamic, up-to-date information and advertising. This modular SoC MediaPlayer solution can be integrated inside any compatible NEC display offering the Raspberry Pi slot. It enables the remote operation of setups with individual as well as multiple screens supported by browser-based playlist and content distribution as well centralized device management. Organizations can choose various media formats and web content via the browser for all kinds of demands. The NEC MediaPlayer comes pre-installed on the Raspberry Pi CM3+ offered by NEC Display Solutions. Starting in October 2020, all NEC –MPi bundles will be offered consisting of NEC V series 40-98-inch and C series 65-98-inch models, which include the Raspberry Pi CM3+ with 32GB internal memory with MediaPlayer pre-installed.

The Neoti UHD direct-view indoor LED video wall options feature a modular design that can be configured into standard custom video wall shapes. The range of 600 nit options includes pixel pitches from .93mm to 4.6mm. All are 5000:1 contrast ratio with refresh rates +/- 2800 Hz in a range of power requirements between 40 and 60 W average and 120-185 maximum. All are 16-bit color.

As we go to press, Optoma has announced what the company is calling the world’s first compact fixed lens, 7500 lumen laser WUXGA projector. The ProScene ZU720T is 4K and HDR10 compatible and features a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. Built-in image blending and warping and four-corner correction, as well as 360-degree and portrait installation modes, provide versatility for installation. A fixed, telecentric lens design with full motorized lens-shift and 1.8x manual zoom and focus delivers the flexibility of interchangeable lens solutions at an affordable price-point. In addition, the ProScene ZU720T features an integrated Android OS and built-in media player. Engineered with DuraCore technology, the ZU720T features a sealed IPX5-certified optical engine for dust-free operation and 24/7 operation capabilities, with maintenance-free projection for up to 30,000 hours in Eco mode.

The Optoma FHDQ130 1080p QUAD LED display is a comprehensive large display solution with 130 inches (2.88 x 1.62 m) of visuals and 4K compatibility. Setup for the QUAD LED display has a simplified three-step installation process, thanks to an all-in-one design that includes an image processor, centralized power cage, receiver cards and more. The all-in-one QUAD LED display also comes pre-calibrated out of the box, removing the need for additional software management or separate devices. Uniquely, the QUAD LED display is cable-free. The LED diodes are set in clusters of four with a 1.55mm pixel pitch, which allows for a smoother screen surface, 170-degree horizontal and vertical wide viewing angle. The QUAD LED display also features integrated HQUltra 4K image processing technology for image switching and scaling and is compatible with Optoma’s Control Q application for content management and display from mobile devices.

Peerless-AV was one of the first to market with digital signage solutions for public health preparedness. Their products include an Occupancy Control Kiosk, three variations of Temperature Sensing Digital Signage Kiosks, as well as Temperature Sensor Tabletop and Floor Stand Mounts. Peerless-AV’s Temperature Sensor Stand Mounts (THR-100-COUNTER, THR-200-STAND) are designed to support an 8-inch temperature sensor tablet (not included). Additionally, three new small-format, indoor temperature sensing digital kiosks combine camera technology, facial and temperature detection software, sensors, reporting algorithms, and machine learning: the Temperature Sensing Digital Signage Kiosk (THR-300) is integrated with a 22-inch display, as well as non-touch, thermal sensing TempDefend Protection Basic Software from 22Miles; the THR400 model is integrated with a 21.5-inch Mimo Monitors Display and digital signage software from Revel Digital, which provides detection within 3 feet and temperature readings up to 18 inches. The THR-500 comes with personal protection dispensers for refillable touch-free antibacterial foam dispenser, disposable gloves and facial tissues. It accommodates a 32-inch display, FLIR temperature camera, and a non-touch, thermal sensing TempDefend Protection Basic Software from 22Miles. Peerless-AV has also partnered with Navori Labs on a completely integrated digital signage solution for occupancy control. The Occupancy Control Kiosk (THR-600) is integrated with a display, Navori Labs QL 2.2 Digital Signage Software, media player, and web camera. This indoor, portrait kiosk regulates foot traffic at each point of entry. It detects if a visitor is wearing a mask, while also displaying dynamic digital messaging, such as rules, instructions, wait times, promotions and other information. All kiosks are available as standard or customized.

Planar is bringing bright, ultra-high definition video outside with the release of the Planar HRO Series high resolution outdoor LED video walls. The Planar HRO Series expands the company’s portfolio of LED display solutions with a high brightness, fine pixel pitch LED offering that is built for close-up daylight video viewing. The Planar HRO Series delivers impactful visual experiences for audiences even in direct sunlight. Planar HRO Series features some of the finest pixel pitches available for outdoor LED displays, 1.5 millimeter and 1.9 millimeter. The fine pixel pitch paired with 3,500-nit brightness and a 16:9 aspect ratio for video make the series ideal in a variety of outdoor applications ranging from uncovered business pavilions and amphitheater backdrops to poolside hospitality, transportation signage and retail exteriors.

Planar brought two unique signage options to ISE 2020. The pliable LEDs of the Planar CarbonLight CLI Flex let it bend into curves as tight as 25-inch or 637 millimeters–concave or convex, and can be column wrapped without color shift. The LED modules can also be combined with standard CarbonLight CLI Series cabinets to form unique video walls with both flat and curved surfaces; offered in 1.5, 1.9, 2.6 and 3.9 millimeter pixel pitches. The next-generation Planar LookThru Transparent OLED makes it possible to create truly see-through installations with a virtually frameless glass design by utilizing cutting-edge Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) technology, eliminating the need for a backlight or enclosure. With 38 percent light transmissivity, the glass delivers the benefits of interactive digital signage while allowing consumers to see the product or scenes behind the display. Available in 55-inch with full HD resolution. Also at ISE 2020, Planar presented a preview demo of an ultra-fine pitch 0.6mm 8K microLED wall. At 216 inches, and in combination with 4-in-1 pixel packaging technology, the new videowall clearly announced Planar’s intention to be competitive in the 8K future.

Premier Mounts’ Convergent LED Mount Series brings an easy bracket system to LED mounts. Adjustability points across the mount tackle instances of extreme wall unevenness to ensure that no seams show throughout the video wall structure. Connector plates are easy to fasten both vertically and horizontally to build video walls of unlimited scalability. Mounts support an array of panel options; most recently a mount was released for Barco XT. As we go to press, Samsung was highlighting the breadth of its digital signage options for retail including the new QBR Series Small Signage Displays. The 13” and 24” standard and touch screen displays allow retailers to embed small, high-resolution digital signage into compact portrait or vertical locations throughout the store to increase customer engagement and easy purchase. These new displays join an ecosystem that includes QLED 8K Displays for in-store high-impact content; MagicINFO, which enables real-time content management from any device at any time; In-Window and Semi-Outdoor LED; Interactive UHD Displays that increase engagement and wayfiniding; LCD/LED Video Walls for check-out to drive loyalty program participation while reducing perceived wait times; Pro TV + 4K UHD Screens to provide personalized, data-driven content; and Outdoor LED + XPR-B Displays providing clear visibility in a variety of conditions.

Visix has launched a media player that features two, three or four-output playback. This model standards the multi-output player lineup on Nvidia Pascal GPUs. It features a 512 CUDA core Pascal GPU, 256 GB SSD storage, built-in wireless and a Windows 1 IoT Enterprise OS. The new player allows clients the flexibility to show two, three or four video streams for scalable digital signage and video wall applications. The NVIDIA Quadro P620 combines a 512 CUDA core Pascal GPU with large on-board memory. The unit is a small form factor device measuring just 7.05 inches wide x 7.2 inches deep x 1.38 inches high, and weighing only 3.1 pounds. It has 8GB of memory, 256 GB SSD storage, built-in wireless and a Windows 10 IoT Enterprise OS.

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