Technology Showcase: Turnkey Digital Signage Systems
Jun 1, 2009 12:00 PM, By Jay Ankeney
New out-of-the-box solutions simplify signage.
From network setup to central management and deployment of content, the Helius MediaSignage system is easy to use, yet powerful enough to meet any digital signage need. MediaAuthor from Helius is a software program that works with Microsoft PowerPoint and allows anyone to create professional digital signage content and layouts in a matter of mere minutes. With Helius MediaAuthor, users can select from a variety of digital signage templates; add video playlists, graphics, RSS content, weather and news displays, text, and animations; and then instantly publish them from PowerPoint to a Mac mini for immediate viewing on regional screens. MediaAuthor’s intuitive system lets you avoid long and expensive content development cycles for digital signage displays.
All of the MagicBox digital signage systemsincluding VIP, Memo, and Aavelinwork the same way. They have composer software for creating and scheduling the content and a dedicated player that sits on an IP-addressable network to deliver it. The company’s flagship turnkey digital signage and video-messaging system is Aavelin, which lets you use the tools and digital backgrounds included with the Aavelin Composer or create and import from common graphic programs to feed multiple digital displays. MagicBox’s new optional E-Blast software allows you to remotely access multiple systems from one location to insert urgent or emergency messages in crawl lines or as full pages.
Omnivex offers a turnkey digital signage system that is bundled with one of its partners, TTUFF Technologies. The bundle includes Omnivex Display 3 software preloaded on a TTUFF Technologies MPE-201, one of the most trusted digital signage PCs in the industry. Omnivex Display 3 also provides wizards to help walk customers through the process of creating content, scheduling it, and distributing it over their networks. When you receive your MPE-201 digital signage package, mount the TTUFF PC on the back of your display, connect the VGA and RS-232 cables (optional) between the PC and the display, and turn it on. Omnivex even includes background templates to help get you started. Omnivex Display 3 allows you to see your content as you create it with no complicated scripting or file conversion.
Sony has stepped out of its renowned broadcast arena to provide an out-of-the-box, ready-to-go, digital signage solution called SimpleSign. The SimpleSign kit includes a choice of 26in. or 32in. LCD display, a BKM-FW50 digital signage card, Sony Creative Software Vegas 8 content-creation software, a CompactFlash card, a CompactFlash card reader, and a Quick Start Guide. The SimpleSign system is preconfigured to operate with no setup. You just save content to the supplied CompactFlash card and insert the card in the SimpleSign slot, and the content will play back automatically. With green considerations in mind, Sony also wants you to know that its LCD technology consumes 30 percent less power than equivalently sized plasma displays.
At April’s NAB Show 2009, Stratacache spotlighted its ActiVia digital-media-management and -control platform and OmniCast, its recently upgraded solution for reliable, efficient digital-media distribution. With ActiVia for Media, companies can deliver dynamic, rich media and video directly to any remote location. ActiVia for Media IP-BTV can also be leveraged to deliver business video, distance learning, and mission-critical information directly to employees without going through the clutter of layers of management. For distribution, ActiVia uses the proven OmniCast content-distribution engine for efficient delivery with a seamless, user-friendly interface. OmniCast’s award-winning one-to-many media distribution system can securely and efficiently move media at up to 500Mbps across satellite, terrestrial, wireless, or hybrid networks.
At the Digital Signage Expo 2009 in February, X2O Media introduced Xpresenter Xe, an all-in-one, standalone digital signage system. In a single-chassis configuration, Xpresenter Xe features better-than-broadcast-quality video output, up to 1080p, powered by a graphics-rendering engine used in the broadcast industry. In order to get users up and running, Xpresenter Xe includes an easy-to-use configuration screen, point-and-click content-management tools, and links to live data. Any day-to-day updates to the screen’s content can be made quickly via a web-based control screen. Actions include the ability to quickly display breaking news, add new video clips to the playlist, and display welcome messages and alerts. With its professionally designed templates, no high-level technical knowledge is needed to install and operate Xpresenter Xe.
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