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Digital Signage Technology Showcase

Dec 7, 2010 10:54 AM, By Mike Keadle

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Mitsubishi is recognized for its lineup of high-quality LCD monitors. The new MDT series is no exception to this recognition. The MDT series of LCD monitors was designed for digital signage displays. The company offers resolutions up to 1080p, and the models range in size from 42in. to 65in. diagonal. The features of the MDT series are what help to set it apart. It offers a built-in Cat-5 receiver and comes with the accompanying transmitter to allow cost-effective cabling at longer distances than standard cabling allows for. They also offer both front and rear ambient light sensors to allow automatic brightness control based upon the ambient light in the display area. Power Save mode allows the monitor to be powered on and off based upon a schedule programmed into the unit. All of these features are backed by the Mitsubishi Express Monitor Official Service (MEMOS), which eliminates shipping cost and provides an express monitor replacement.

Mitsubishi is also now offering digital signage bundle packages. The packages are based upon the resolution chosen&emdash;480p, 720p, or 1080p. Each package includes a Mitsubishi LCD display and a RISC-based IAdea signage player. The players offer basic functionality and are Scala-enabled for connection to existing Scala signage systems.

NEC has been in the display industry for years. The company has always been a leader in the digital signage display arena. The current E series display lineup continues this tradition. The E series display line offers resolutions up to 1080p and 120Hz refresh rate. They run on very low power to minimize the total cost of ownership. Multiple HDMI inputs are standard, as are an RGBHV, S-Video, and composite video. NTSC and ATSC tuners are also standard. Built-in low-profile speakers offer superb sound for any accompanying audio. The E series offer great features for any display, but the price point they fall under makes them an exceptional value in the signage market.

Omnivex Moxie software offers content creation that is virtually unlimited. Moxie is designed to allow true WYSIWIG content creation. It simplifies both 2D and 3D graphics by offering automatic scaling so that one design will fit multiple display resolutions. Content can be created in layers, and any aspect may be changed independently and automatically. Additionally, any visual aspect may be tied to live data.

Moxie’s playlist manager allows creation of intelligent playlists, which play at the appropriate times and right locations, eliminating the need for manual playlist scheduling. Moxie’s network management offers autosensing and remote configuration of Moxie systems. It provides secure encryption, permissions, and authentication to protect data, and full system monitoring and recovery. It also provides bandwidth and energy-use management to reduce operating costs. Integration to Microsoft Active Directory for users, groups, and permissions is also included.

Premier Mounts is a recognized leader in mounting solutions for the AV industry. The company is also a leader in offering mounting solutions for digital signage. Premier’s Gearbox line of products offers storage for digital signage players, video extenders, amplifiers, or any other equipment that must be mounted in some fashion.

The Gearbox line includes ceiling-mounted storage boxes to allow equipment to be installed near a ceiling-mounted display (or in the ceiling above a wall-mounted display), as well as offering new integrated wall mounts for displays with built-in storage boxes attached. The storage boxes are fully vented to minimize heat buildup and are easy to access, yet provide a clean and finished look to the installation.

QVS is known as the connectivity specialist. The company’s line of HDMI and DVI extension and distribution products lends itself well to digital signage connectivity. QVS offers HDMI and DVI extender kits in either of two Cat-5e configurations. DVI extenders provide up to 130ft. of transmission distance. HDMI extenders provide up to 200ft. of transmission distance. HDCP is supported in both lines.

QVS also offers a unique HDMI distribution method: HDMI over LAN with broadcast capability. The HDMI-over-LAN solution kit contains an HDMI-over-LAN transmitter and an HDMI-over-LAN receiver. By adding a LAN switch, unlimited additional displays are available by adding additional HDMI-over-LAN receivers. The transmission distance when using a LAN switch is up to 300 meters at 1080p resolution.

Scala offers a multiplatform approach to digital signage. The simplest solution uses an electronic photo frame to display signage information. This option uses MPEG-4, JPEG, and MP3 file formats and is limited to 800x600 resolution. Stepping up from the photo frame, the Scala SD Media Appliance is offered. It offers additional file format support and resolutions up to 740x480 NTSC. The Scala HD Media Appliance offers even further file format support such as H.264 and WMV 9. It is capable of output resolutions up to 1080p. Additionally, Scala can use both low-end and high-end PCs to display content.

Scala’s Content Manager and Designer software work seamlessly with whichever display method is chosen to allow customized content creation and management.

EX Modules allow features such as video inputs, weather feeds, and RS-232 control of displays and video switchers.

Scala also offers Scala Advantage, a premier software maintenance program. Scala Advantage provides software updates including additional features, improved functionality, and associated application compatibility. It also offers solutions for bugs found in the software.

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