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The Retail Red Zone

Just Add Power’s 3G Ultra HD Over IP Platform Pushes the Shopping Experience Over the Goal Line at the University of Oklahoma’s Sooner Shop

Last Spring, the University of Oklahoma (OU) unveiled the Sooner Shop — a two-story space in Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, located in the former site of the University’s bookstore. For students and fans on gameday, the shop provides a convenient place to purchase OU merchandise, ranging from apparel such as hats, t-shirts, and sweatshirts to footballs and other accessories. To enhance the retail experience with digital signage content and live game feeds so fans don’t miss any of the action, store operator Fanatics Retail called on Las Vegas-based integrator AV Technology Systems.

In addition to seven independent displays equipped with digital signage players, AV Technology Systems outfitted the Sooner Shop with a network of seven Philips commercial displays — four in the cash register area upstairs and three in a sitting area downstairs — capable of switching between multiple video sources. These sources include two BrightSign® XT1144 digital signage media players for content such as OU’s recruiting video — featuring highlights from all the University’s sports teams — and two cable boxes for live game feeds.

When it came to video distribution, Fanatics Retail required a system that would allow store staff to change each screen’s sources independently and send any source to any screen. Furthermore, the system had to be exceptionally intuitive, allowing any employee to perform these functions with minimal training. To meet these needs, AV Technology Systems relied on Just Add Power’s 3G Ultra HD Over IP platform with Just Add Software’s MediaSwitcher Lite software for simple, independent source control.

“We’ve utilized Just Add Power solutions in a number of stores operated by Fanatics Retail — both large and small — so the company knows they can expect reliable operation, fast switching, and excellent video quality,” said Brian Baron, owner of AV Technology Systems. “They also appreciate that a Just Add Power network doesn’t require a full automation system; it can be easily controlled with software on a laptop. That’s a key feature for smaller projects with a tighter budget, such as the Sooner Shop.”

The Sooner Shop’s Just Add Power system offers ultra-low 16 ms of latency from source to screen and supports 4K Ultra HD resolutions and HDMI 2.0 devices with HDCP 2.2. The platform enables seamless switching between any resolution HDMI source as well as uncompressed lossless multichannel audio formats including Dolby Atmos support. Video wall functionality is built-in for displays installed in portrait and flipped configurations as well as image push, pull, and pop features. An integrated scaler on the receiver automatically adjusts the picture to fit the screen.

Each of the Sooner Shop’s video sources is equipped with a Just Add Power VBS-HDIP-707 PoE transmitter, while VBS-HDIP-508 PoE receivers are attached to the displays. The Ultra HD Over IP platform is engineered to provide complete scalability, so expanding the store’s system with an additional screen or source is as simple as adding another receiver or transmitter. AV Technology Systems used Cisco’s SG300 network switch to fully optimize the Just Add Power system. Simple and intuitive control is delivered by Just Add Software’s MediaSwitcher Lite software running on a laptop in the shop’s Middle Atlantic equipment rack.

THE RESULTS — It’s Up, It’s Good
“Fanatics Retail is very pleased with their latest Just Add Power system, as are the store’s staff, who find it extremely easy to use. Everything is done with just a few clicks on the laptop; it couldn’t be more simple,” said Baron. “And the video distribution system has been completely reliable, as expected, in delivering fans a unique shopping experience every gameday.”

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