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5-Minute Interview: Lyle Bunn

Lyle Bunn, strategy architect, Alchemy International, a Toronto, Canada-based digital display solutions provider.

Lyle Bunn, strategy architect, Alchemy International, a Toronto, Canada-based digital display solutions provider. Bunn moved to the design and content side of the digital display market in July after serving as the director of digital display and rich media at Ontario, Canada-based digital signage systems integration and satellite broadcasting company BTV+.

Pro AV:Are pro AV systems integrators embracing digital signage and its revenue potential as much as they should be?

Bunn: I think their customers are embracing digital signage, and AV integrators are being asked to respond to this explosively high-growth area. But I'd say that demand is ahead of supply at this point. There are many prospects and clients who have an interest in dynamic digital displays and are looking for any information they can get. Because of the amount of information available about the different elements of a digital signage or retail media system and the complexity of integrating all of those elements, pro AV providers should learn about this capability now, so they can be more proactive in presenting it to their established client base.

Pro AV:What advantages do AV systems integrators offer in installing digital signage systems?

Bunn: The biggest edge is that they often have a good overall understanding of what an organization wants to do with visual and audio media. Their installation and service capabilities are also crucial. Another advantage is their familiarity with balancing audio, video, data storage, and communications elements. One of the major challenges in digital signage is balancing the technology to deliver the best possible price performance equation for the client.

Pro AV:How can AV pros best “sell” their services to the end-user?

Bunn: They need to realize that this is just one more communication tool that their clients can use. They're already positioned as AV suppliers, but they need to demonstrate a competency in integrating the elements of a dynamic digital signage display, including the display capability, the media player, and the communications connectivity.

Pro AV:What are the keys to making digital display networks more cost efficient and cost effective?

Bunn: The first key is balancing the network configuration with the content that's going to be presented. Secondly, it's important to balance the long list of materials required for the display to work when it's supposed to work. For example, if you have a very high resolution display and content that was encoded at a high bit-rate, but are using a player with limited capacity, that player will be the weak link in the display chain. That would make the high resolution display and encoding a waste of money. The cost benefit comes from balancing the content and how often you change the playlist and what kind of content you're presenting. To maximize effectiveness, it's important to have a content strategy that meets the business goals the digital signage system is supposed to achieve. This is a big breakdown area right now. It's the difference between filling the display with content instead of using the display to achieve business goals. Failure in any one of these areas will result in the failure of the network, and erosion of the relationship between the client and the pro AV provider.

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