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Digital Signage in Recreation and Health

Oct 12, 2012 1:02 PM


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Digital sign is more than a sign. It expands public communication, opening up options for customization, interactivity, and connection that are closer to television than signage. But digital signage can be more targeted and interpersonal than television; in the right application it can enhance, expedite, or improve communication with the public.

This makes digital signage a potential platform for communication in diverse settings. We’re going to look at two settings where designers deployed the same digital signage player—the Gefen HD Digital Signage Media Player—to communicate throughout casino dining establishments and in a children’s hospital wing.

DIGITAL MENU BOARDS

Digital connectivity solutions provider Gefen, in collaboration with value-added distributor BTX Technologies, tackled a comprehensive dining signage refit for Resorts World Casino, a state-of-the-art gaming and entertainment complex in the Queens borough of New York. The retrofit included 36 Gefen HD Digital Signage Players throughout the establishment to deliver up-to-date dining information to several digital menu boards located throughout the casino. Ranging from the basic food court menus up to fine dining establishments such as Bar 360 and RW Prime Steakhouse, the Gefen HD Digital Signage Media Players provide signage to numerous menu board displays located within the food court and other food outlets.

The installation was overseen by Carlos Gonzalez of The Integration Factory, a systems integration firm specializing in audio/video, control, and surveillance systems. He was hired by Genting Group, the parent company of Resorts World Casino. Genting Group controls many global investments around the world with properties in Malaysia, Singapore, Manila, and New York.

“At Resorts World Casino, each of the Gefen media players were mounted directly behind each display in the food areas and connected to the network,” Gonzalez says. “Resorts World employees can now very easily access all of these local players remotely from their office. This is a huge advantage with minimal effort required for updates.”

Gonzalez indicated that one of the main reasons the Gefen media players were selected was for their ease in remotely updating files due to their Wi-Fi capability. The Digital Signage Media Player with Wi-Fi is a LAN and WAN-based media player that uses Wi-Fi connectivity to transmit digital signage content. It provides both digital (HDMI) and analog video (composite/component/VGA) outputs, supporting resolutions up to 1080p. Additional features include one-line scrolling text, calendar-based scheduling, predesigned templates, and a passive cooling system. With 4GB of flash memory with optional expansion up to 16GB, this Media Player can satisfy demanding digital signage content needs.

Aside from minimal challenges of the hurry-up-and-wait variety during construction, Gonzalez explains the entire installation process was very smooth. “Gefen’s media players supplied by BTX have allowed Resorts World Casino to create great-looking food court menu boards from their desktop. We would definitely recommend and use these players in future installations.”

DIGITAL HOSPITAL SUPPORT

Some 1,000 miles to the south of Resorts World Casino, and seemingly a world away, BTX Technologies supplied 30 of the same Gefen HD Digital Signage Players for the Walt Disney pavilion of Orlando’s Florida Hospital for Children. Purchased and installed by AV integrator Sound Stage, the players are helping to create a stress-free and emotionally healing environment by driving Disney HD nature footage to displays on three themed hospital floors.

A highlight of the Florida Hospital’s Walt Disney pavilion is the Disney-themed lobby featuring popular characters from The Lion King, The Jungle Book, and The Little Mermaid. The movies are also reflected in three of the pavilion’s floors, which offer savanna, jungle, and ocean themes. In addition to distinct lighting, color, and even smell, each floor features 10 flatpanel monitors in its hallways, each playing HD nature footage that corresponds to its theme. Content is driven to the displays using the Gefen HD digital signage players purchased from BTX.

Gefen’s HD digital signage player is able to play back multiple HD AV formats, allowing for connection to all standard displays. The HDMI output supports video content up to 1080p full HD and the VGA cable supports video content up to 1280x1024. The digital signage player also features a mini-stereo analog output if audio needs to be routed to an external audio amplifier or listening device.

The included Gefen DSP Server Pro software suite provides all the tools needed to properly create playlists and schedules, as well as manage all the devices in a digital signage application. Content can also be scheduled and updated over an external USB drive. This is an important feature for the Florida Hospital for Children, as it does not have an available server to manage the HD digital signage players.

“The reliability of Gefen and the unmatched customer service from BTX made this a very smooth installation,” says Chet Neal, vice president of Sound Stage. “There haven’t been any issues at all. The hospital has been very pleased with the video quality provided by the players and how simple and quick it is to change out content. As more themed floors are added, we will continue to rely on Gefen and BTX to make sure that the needs of the children and the hospital are being met.”

“The themed displays have proven to be a very popular attraction. The nature content provides a welcome distraction for families placed in a very stressful, and often painful, situation. It is gratifying to see them walk down the halls with expressions of joy,” says Tim Burrill, vice president of construction for the Florida Hospital for Children. “With Gefen’s HD digital signage players, we’ve been able to accomplish this without adding to the busy schedules of hospital staff. And if we ever do experience any issues, it’s reassuring to know that we can count on support from BTX.”



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