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AV Integrator's Digital Signage Melds with Bosch Paging

Alpha Video & Audio, an AV integration firm based in Edina, Minn., announced that it has developed a visual communication interface between its CastNet digital signage software and the Bosch Praesideo digital public address and emergency sound system.

Bosch Praesideo system

Bosch Praesideo system

Alpha Video & Audio, an AV integration firm based in Edina, Minn., announced that it has developed a visual communication interface between its CastNet digital signage software and the Bosch Praesideo digital public address and emergency sound system. (See an example of Alpha Video's CastNet in action here. Company officials said this integration of systems from Alpha Video and Bosch creates an innovative solution for integrating digital signs, projectors, TV monitors, videowalls and other visual communication devices with an enterprisewide or campuswide emergency notification system.

As a digital public address and emergency sound system, Praesideo processes and communicates both the audio signals and control data entirely in the digital domain. The integration of Praesideo with CastNet digital sign systems means that emergency events that trigger digital audio messages may now also trigger digital video messages. The new system has the capability to control projectors and TV monitors in classrooms or meeting rooms so that individuals inside a building are able to see, as well as hear, emergency messages.

The system includes a zone feature to show different messages on selected digital signs based on their location or proximity to an event. For example, company officials said, if a fire alarm is triggered in a certain area of a building, the alert messaging may direct occupants to use different escape routes based on their location. Visual alert notifications use graphics as well as video animations to better inform and direct people in emergency situations. Zoning can also be used in non-campuswide emergency events, such as a broken elevator or water pipe, so that only those notifications are displayed in the affected areas.

"Bosch is excited that Alpha Video has integrated their CastNet solution with the Praesideo mass notification system, and the timing could not have been better," said Mark Andersen, product marketing manager for Bosch Public Address Systems, in a statement. "2010 marks the first time the NFPA 72 National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code and the soon-to-be published UL2572 standard have extended their scope beyond the realm of fire alarm to incorporate other life-safety systems and functions. In addition to simply indicating the existence of an emergency situation, these new codes require instructions via voice communications and/or visible signals that include text, graphics, or other displayed communication methods. When used together, CastNet and Praesideo can enhance the safety and effectiveness of virtually any mass notification application."

"More and more of our CastNet customers have been requesting that our digital signs be integrated into an emergency messaging system," said Kevin Groves, co-owner of Alpha Video, in a statement. "Rather than start from scratch, it made sense for us to partner with an outstanding audio messaging system so that we could communicate audio and video alerts. We selected the Bosch Praesideo system because it offers increased scalability and greater reliability during an emergency situation due to its redundant loop design. Praesideo has been successfully installed throughout Europe where there are much higher standards for mass notification systems. We are confident that this success will continue for installations at major organizations and educational institutions in the United States as the new UL standards are implemented."

 


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