Volume 8, Issue 4 — April 20, 2016
|InfoComm: Digital Signage Embraces Fast Cellular Networks|
By Monica Heck
Special to InfoComm International
As 3G and 4G LTE cellular technology – and now 5G trials — make headlines around the world in the field of mobile video delivery, the same technology has quietly emerged in the digital signage space. Swiss signage vendor Navori Labs recently disclosed that it’s powering 20,000 networked mobile ad players in taxi cabs in the Middle East and Asia over 3G and 4G cellular modems.
In this particular deployment, Android tablets are equipped with a 4G or 3G cellular modem to support content updates, live data delivery and real-time GPS tracking. Organic bandwidth consumption is limited to 19 MB per month on the 3G connections, based on a 24/7 connection cycle, giving priority to content downloads.
This large-scale mobile signage network, expected to expand to 50,000 players in the region in the next couple of years, is a first in the digital signage space based on its sheer scale and inclusion of LTE. Navori’s and other projects, such as Autobahn Tank & Rast’s early adoption of cellular technology to update content on more than 3,000 digital signage screens in 360 German motorway service areas, indicate that cellular networks have piqued the interest of the digital signage community.
4G LTE in particular, with its high data speeds, is well positioned to support the demands of the Internet of Things (IoT) when it comes to the type of machine to machine (M2M) communication common to digital signage network updates. The key difference between broadcast and digital signage use of fast cellular networks is, of course, that digital signage doesn’t often require live streaming. Many cellular-based signage applications use “store-and-forward” or caching infrastructures for content distribution, whereby the remote signage player downloads updates of a few kilobytes at various times.
In some cases, often to limit data costs, a 4G connection is established to one sign or kiosk charging station, which in turn becomes a Wi-Fi access point for nearby devices.
“This combination of LTE and Wi-Fi could be called Bring Your Own Network, ” explains Andrew Lund of Digi International, which supported digital-out-of-home (DOOH) advertising company Monster Media’s use of Verizon’s cellular network to wirelessly update content on thousands of displays across the U.S. In that case, the cellular network was deemed a more cost-effective and secure solution compared to a wired WAN, landline, Wi-Fi or even satellite technology.
Also in the U.S., Aurora Digital Signage, a Verizon wireless digital signage partner, is at the coalface of operator collaboration when it comes to digital signage data delivery over cellular networks, pairing its signage solution with Verizon’s cellular connectivity solutions. The company deploys cellular digital signage technology in sensitive data spaces such as hospitals, financial institutions or government entities that won’t allow outside units to access their networks. Indeed, the specter of Target’s infamous network breach at the end of 2013 still looms in organizations’ minds.
“We bring in our own network, turning screens into signs using ‘stick PC’ devices and using cellular data to operate a signage network without ever touching any other sensitive information,” says Brent Robinson, CEO of Aurora Digital Signage. “It also eliminates concerns like firewall issues and network settings, while allowing the deployment of digital signage in areas without Wi-Fi. We’re doing a project for a city, with off-the-grid locations where they want to use digital signage for communication without paying for a whole Wi-Fi network. A cellular data point will give them the same functionality.”
Over the last seven years, Robinson says he has witnessed the emergence of ideal conditions for boosting the profile of cellular networks in the digital signage space, making such a solution technologically viable. Those conditions include the advent of 4G, the evolution of smaller form-factor, plug-and-play hardware and the plummeting cost of digital signage technology.
The Data Usage Bill
However, the elephant in the room remains the data usage bill that lands on the customer’s doorstep. Although Robinson believes cellular companies are starting to make pricing more appropriate and enterprise-friendly, Jeff Hastings, CEO of BrightSign, believes the biggest challenge to using LTE technology for digital signage is the business case.
“The issue that has emerged after our many trials is not technical,” Hastings says. “It’s the fact that the cost per month is economically not feasible.”
Hastings says that the M2M world is an “odd place” for carriers such as Verizon. “We’re seeing rates for business customers in the range of $10 to $20 per gigabyte, which is an insane amount of money when you compare it to consumer plans.”
A cursory glance at Verizon’s M2M business plans shows that 1 MB a month costs approximately $9. “The hardware cell modem adds around $100 and a content update, usually about 1 GB, will cost even more,” Hastings says. “So for most customers, the first year cost is about $200 just to connect the device to the Internet. This is considered too costly for most customers.”
Hastings sees no inherent advantage to using a fast cellular network setup, other than the fact that it’s completely wireless and can be placed in off-grid locations, such as transportation hubs and vehicles. Even the security advantage is a red herring, he says, addressed in other solutions through the adoption of PCI-compliant (Payment Card Industry) signage technology. “Economics aside, there would be way more adoption of this type of technology,” he says.
Michele Dupré of Verizon Enterprise Solutions says it’s important to look at the bigger picture and the overall business goals of the customer. “It’s not just the wireless connectivity, you have to look at the entire package,” she says. “If it has its place in a retailer’s strategy, for example, and if it turns out LTE delivery — as opposed to wired or Wi-Fi delivery — is the way forward, the strategy will absorb the costs as the benefits will outweigh the inconveniences.”
Rogers Brewer at AOpen agrees that price is rarely a factor if tangible value is built into the solution. “Because [with cellular] you’re running on a very stable, secure network, it’s very robust,” he says. “Think of the headache related to interlinking any of this digital signage into your infrastructure, as opposed to being plug-and-play.”
That said, although AOpen partnered with Sprint for a 3G solution and with Verizon using the Sierra 4G hotspot module, Brewer hasn’t seen the turnaround he expected. “People want to stay with what sells and until someone does it at the right price point with the right partner, I think that everybody is missing an opportunity,” he says. “I don’t know that it will be the differentiating factor for one company but it’s a nice solution to have in your arsenal.”
In Europe, where 4G has better penetration than other parts of the world and B2B data packages are more attractive, wired digital signage installations are still considered more reliable overall.
“More and more small projects, such as ‘shop-in-shop’ solutions, are using 3G or 4G,” says Florian Rotberg, Managing Director of Invidis Consulting. “The drawback is that voice is always a priority on these networks. We met some challenges close to a school for example, where the signage network connection dropped at 10 a.m. on the dot when kids were phoning on their break, which affected the data transmission rate significantly.” (Integrated Systems Events, which along with InfoComm International produces the Integrated Systems Europe show, recently entered into a joint venture with Invidis Consulting. Invidis will bring its Digital Signage Summit to InfoComm 2016 in Las Vegas this June.)
Rotberg says that as long as 4K content isn’t used, price doesn’t usually kill the cellular network business case in Europe. “Less than 5 percent of digital signage projects are over LTE and it will always stay niche, as cable is more reliable,” he says.
But there are those who believe the niche stands to grow larger. In a future where LTE technology and cost become more attractive, and piggybacking on existing networks becomes more painful and dangerous from a security perspective, LTE is likely to become a stronger presence in the digital signage world. Says Digi International’s Lund, “There are other advantages of LTE that aren’t about speed, but related to latency and building penetration that from a technology standpoint make it attractive,” concluded Lund.
This column was reprinted with permission from InfoComm International and originally appeared here.Leave a Comment
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|Review Hound: As seen at DSE 2016 – Emerging Technology & Applications|
By John Bilar Jr. and Review Hound Bambi
For those among us who crave big bright images, DSE 2016 in Las Vegas did not disappoint… Bambi the Review Hound and I share a few comments from our show floor stroll.
LG: Digital Wallpaper & Stuff with Curves!
Designers and consultants might have turned up their noses at LG in years past… not anymore. LG has come full circle, and it amazed us with super-thin OLED wallpaper (“two business cards thick” we were told).
LG’s exhibit demonstrated a certain sense of style – with visionary use of curved surfaces capturing our imagination, and causing us to ponder the “Art of the Possible.”
PLANAR / Leyard
Resistance is Futile? (not really).
Some of us might have expected mediocrity would result when the BORG (Leyard) swallowed up the creative development team at PLANAR. After all, how could a group of all-around nice folks with innovative & truly royal heritage from Tektronix survive when grafted into the world’s GIANT of LED production?
Well – so far, looks like things are going better than expected.
We learned that (unlike what we heard at DistribuTech in Orlando), PLANAR is going to continue producing it’s small-form “Direct Light” LED cabinet with innovative front-service and Z-Axis adjustment capabilities. Another interesting feature of the “Direct Light” series I’ll note here – (as Bambi has found a squirrel to watch and is no longer paying attention to me) – the smaller format PLANAR cabinets have remote power supplies. Leads me to envision racks in remote equipment rooms holding all the supplies (and available spares) which would vastly simplify servicing in the event of a failure.
The booth featured a wall of Leyard’s TW series of Direct View LED cabinets.
Transparent Television on Display
PLANAR was showing off its Transparent TV Technology. Similar offerings were scattered about the show – I saw one at Samsung , but I really liked the PLANAR demo that appeared to be borrowed from a retailer’s fashion exhibit. It featured a well-dressed mannequin in a transparent box; the front glass consisted of two Transparent TV’s stacked vertically in portrait mode. Various moving graphics and (yes – blatant commerce!) attention-grabbing sales suggestions flashed about on the surface. See my hand-held video below.
Transparent TV demo at Planar/Leyard booth – DSE 2016 from Spectrum ITC Group on Vimeo.
…And we saw tons of other cool stuff at DSE 2016:
SCT displayed their offerings at several locations on the show floor – SCT is a solid contender with a bright future and interesting core patents, which provide specific performance advantages for Critical Facility & Control Room applications – something I’m especially interested in – (and for which Bambi could care less about unless they have squirrels… although she briefly found the frog interesting).
Inception Visual – Glassless 3D
Several exhibitors were showing off their Glassless 3D offerings.
I arranged seed funding for a small glassless 3D military product startup several years ago, and enjoyed researching how the magic is made possible. In just a few years, the retail & commercial offerings have come a long way. Inception Visual had a small booth with some pretty compelling 3D imagery on display.
By the way – no surprise that the images I shot at their booth do not look “3D” here… you have to view it in person to realize the effect. It works.
GDS Global – “E-Ink”
Ever used a Kindle? Ever wondered why the screen image stays there forever – even when the reader is turned off ? That is the magic behind GDS Global’s display offering tagged: “E-Ink”.
The E-Ink displays receive an image (directions, critical information, retail pricing, etc…) … then they continue displaying that image (without power) forever, or until the user pushes another image to them. The signs are reflective in nature and work better as ambient light (ie. sunlight or general space lighting) is increased.
Many applications come to mind, especially where power savings are desired and a vast number of signs are in use for presenting clear and basic information.
I’m currently consulting on two large public sector transportation programs and can envision applications for this type of technology.
They do not display flaming rotating logos or brightly colored mythical movie creatures… but who needs that for a bus route identifier or an airline schedule?
Feline Fabrication Inc. – Warm & Furry Flat Panel Mounts
OK, this is a complete fabrication, but I had to have something to end with. I must say … Bambi found this quite distasteful.
That is about it for now. Bambi and I enjoyed the experience and hope you did as well.
Let me know if you’d like to see more from Bambi the Review Hound at future technology shows.
Images by Spectrum ITC Group
This column was reprinted with permission from John Bilar Jr. and Review Hound Bambi and originally appeared here.Leave a Comment
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|Attention and Retention: The Key to Successfull AV at Events|
By Mark Coxon
We’ve all heard the saying that in a digital world, content is king. Some still stand by that saying and in the face of a never ending avalanche of content out there, others have started modifying it to include variations like relevant content is king or context is king. I don’t disagree with any of these assertions. Relevant content given in the right context is extremely important… if someone actually notices it exists. There are a multitude of digital marketing specialists out there that help companies get noticed in the virtual world online. They help with websites, blogs, reputation management and social media.
I’d like to focus on the original social media, the face to face, handshake and personal interaction kind that takes place at a trade show or networking event.
I heard once that the average time a person that walks into a trade show booth stays is 45 seconds. That’s not long and that’s if they walk into the booth at all.
So what are the keys to using technology in a way that maximizes your investment in those events?
Attention and Retention.
The truth is everyone has a 4″ to 10″ screen in his pocket and can access any content he wants at virtually any time. What is going to make him consume yours? There is no longer such a thing as a captive audience. You need to get people’s attention. Just throwing a flat panel in a booth isn’t going to cut it anymore. Flat panels are everywhere and everyone else will have one too, meaning they will all be tuned out.
Go Big or Stay Home
One way to get attention is to be too big and bright to be ignored. A video wall or large scale projection based system will draw eyes just based on size alone. Now of course the 8 second attention clock in everyone’s head starts ticking after that, so you have to deliver once you get the eyes as well. We’ll talk about that in a minute.
Think Outside the Rectangle
The right angle may be to avoid right angles altogether.
Let’s be honest, the rectangle is boring. Four right angles with a picture floating in the middle? Yawn. We all have one at home. Try creating media in organic shapes, on curved or contoured walls, on the structure of the building. Domes and tunnels invite people to explore and act as portals into your world of possibilities for your clients. If you haven’t heard terms like mediatecture and projection mapping, it’s about time you have.
What good is it to get someone’s attention only to lose it eight seconds later, or to get three minutes of face time with someone, only to have them forget you ever existed by the time the day is over? You need to focus on retention, both of the initial attention and of your message long after the experience is over.
Tell a Story.
One exhibit that has been shared quite a bit on LinkedIn lately is a booth in which they use a Tesla Type S as a canvas to project upon, transporting it through many different environments. It’s a great show of technology for technology’s sake, but according to at least one commentator, they missed the point. He said “It looks great… now tell a story.” He was right!
It is one thing to exhibit technical know how, it’s another to tell a story using that same technology. Why not show the car driving through a polluted city with exhaust and gasoline usage totaling up as the car goes through it’s typical year. Then one night “lightning” strikes the car, the Tesla symbol is projected on the hood, and the car is mapped with the electricity running through the drive train to the wheels as it drives through pristine air and as a very small electrical recharge bill tallies in the background. Now you’ve not only engaged the eyes, but you told a story without subjecting anyone to death by Power Point.
Create an Experience.
Take Disneyland as an example. Put its roller coasters in Magic Mountain’s park, stripped down to their steel skeletons and they would get very little traffic compared to the thrill based monoliths that already reside there. However, if you can transport riders to another time and place and then tell a story with the ride, you’ll have two-hour waits daily. Create an experience and you’ll get retention on the side.
When I used to work in the visitor center and museum space, the goal was always to create a “place based” experience. By this I mean an experience you can only get by showing up. If you can create an experience like this people will share it. And guess what? If people share it, they’ll remember it. It’s just simple logic. If you read something out loud, you remember it longer. If you share a story you remember the experience more vividly. If you make something shareable, you make it memorable and that is why going viral is not just for online content, but why a place can go viral too. People will come to get the experience despite the content.
Putting together a booth or exhibit that just allows people to surf your website on a touchscreen or sort a picture gallery will not do the trick. If you want to leverage existing content that is fine. But do it differently, and in a way they can only do there. If you have a photo gallery on your website and videos on YouTube, take advantage of them. Maybe create a 3×3 interactive video wall with 8 sections of the picture scrambled up. Allow the user to unscramble the pictures like an old slide lock puzzle and when the puzzle is solved, a video launches detailing the product.
At the end of the day, companies spend a lot on the spaces they buy at trade shows and networking events. We should be leveraging technology in a way that maximizes those investments, by attracting the attention needed to get people into your booth and then making sure you convert that attention into a memorable experience that they take with them when they leave, sharing it with others well after the event is over.Leave a Comment
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|It’s Time to VOTE for the 5th Annual rAVe Readers’ Choice Awards|
We received over 10,000 nominations – yes, 10,000 – for our 5th Annual rAVe Readers’ Choice Awards! And, now it’s time for you, the readers, to vote. You nominated them and now it’s time for you to vote for the best of the best. Here’s a list of the top companies and products in each of the 27 categories of our 2016 rAVe Readers’ Choice Awards.
Go vote now!
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|Vivitek Ships New DU8090Z Laser-Phosphor Projector
Vivitek announced that the DU8090Z laser projector, using a laser light source spec’d at 20,000 hours of operation time and 8,000 ANSI lumens of brightness. The projector is aimed at installs for conference halls, auditoriums and theaters.
With built-in edge-blending, warping and portrait mode projection with 360 degrees, the Vivitek DU8090Z is a versatile projector, designed for multiple applications. The DU8090Z is native WUXGA (1920×1200) resolution and includes the DLP and BrilliantColor technologies from Texas Instruments. The DU8090Z specs a contrast ratio of 10,000:1.
In addition to the 3D compatibility and a wide range of interchangeable optical lenses, the DU8090Z features a full suite of connectivity options including HDMI 1.4a, DVI-D, component 5BNC, 3G-SDI and HDBaseT interface support for the distribution of HD video contents over a standard CAT5e/6 LAN cable.
Easy to set up and install, the Vivitek DU8090Z has a wide range of interchangeable lenses available to choose from, as well as motorized focus and zoom in addition to horizontal and vertical lens shift for greater installation flexibility and 10 predefined lens positions which are registered in the Lens Position Memory (LPM).
All the specs are here.
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|CastNET Introduces CastNET Sports SolutionsCastNET just launched something called Sports Solutions — a new family of digital signage products that will enhance the fan experience and increase sponsorship opportunities at collegiate and professional sports venues.
CastNET Sports Solutions uses the award-winning CastNET digital signage software, along with IPTV distribution hardware, to stream multiple channels of live game day content to screens in concourses, suites, press boxes, and concession stands. CastNET Sports offers a variety of modules that integrate real time data sources like game clock and score, player stats, social media, menu boards and much more. Fully branded and multi-zone sponsor advertising and venue promotions can be displayed on the side and bottom of the screens while showing live game day content.
- CastNET ConcourseView enables venues to distribute live IPTV game day events on concourse screens with messages from sponsors and advertisers along the side and bottom of the screens.
- CastNET SuiteView allows suite guests to control multiple channels of game day, satellite TV, or cable TV content using a tablet channel.
- CastNET StatsView shows in-game and pre-game statistics full screen. Data from numerous internal and external sources can be added.
- CastNET MenuView screens are installed over food and merchandise concession stands and easily integrated with POS systems.
One of the most important features included with CastNET Sports is an easy yet powerful software tool called CastNET GameDay Control. Authorized personnel are able to manually switch screen content throughout a sports venue using a simple web browser playlist. Stadium-wide manual switching is important because an operator, for example, never knows the precise time for the start of the half or end of the game.
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|Zytronic Simplifies Touch User Interface Design for AndroidZytronic says they have made it much quicker and easier to design powerful and intuitive multi-touch User Interfaces (UI) for Android with the announcement of its Android ZyConfig App.
Each target hardware running Android can be slightly different, and setting up the Android Operating System to work with a touch controller and touch screen requires a certain amount of low-level software configuration, which not all companies have the in-house expertise to perform. We’ve made it as easy as downloading an app onto the target hardware and performing two simple steps to remove the complexity from the installation and set-up process.
The app is available here and is loaded onto the Android target hardware. Once loaded, the tool detects the attached Zytronic touch controller and the user just needs to calibrate the touch screen and tune the touch sensitivity which is done quickly and easily through the app.Leave a Comment
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|KanexPro Launches New HDBaseT Digital Signage Products at DSEKanexPro announced the new EXT-HDBTKVM100, a 4K HDBaseT KVM Extender and the EXT-HDRPT70, an HDBaseT Repeater with 1×2 Distribution Amplifier and Loop Out.
The 4K HDBaseT KVM Extender is ideal for digital signage applications where high resolution video, audio, USB KVM function and data with diagnostics can be sent back to the computer from the QSR display or vice versa. For users, a KVM extender can keep their work areas quieter and cooler allowing more focus and productivity. In addition, the KanexPro KVM Extender allows 4K transmission and extension over cost effective CATx cabling sending uncompressed video, audio, control, power over HDBaseT and USB for controlling your keyboard, mouse and other USB HID devices. The KanexPro 4K HDBaseT KVM Extender consists of a transmitter and receiver that are used to extend USB and 4K UHD AV up to 150 meters over HDBaseT. The USB KVM function supports USB 2.0 with display resolutions to 4K x 2K@30Hz and 60Hz and will also support 1080p HD and WUXGA. It is HDCP 2.2 compliant with CEC pass-through, supports the latest HDMI 2.0 specifications with Dolby Digital, DTS and DTS-HD audio formats. All the specs can be found here.
The HDBaseT Repeater with 1×2 DA and loop out is designed for digital signage clients looking to extend HDMI signals to two or more displays using a single HDMI device and allows users to look out to another HDBaseT repeater to daisy chain more displays making it ideal for retail, pharmacies, airports and restaurants, where it’s necessary to loop in and out to multiple displays. The device supports built-in audio de-embedding using phoenix connectors to 2-channel stereo from television speakers or an amplifier. It is HDCP 2.2 compliant with CEC pass-through and supports 4K@24, 30, 50 and 60Hz video resolutions with a 4:4:4 sampling rate up to 12 bit for better high-definition resolution support and color depths. With a built in 1×2 HDMI Splitter, the HDBaseT Repeater supports standard 1080p and WUXGA with CATx extensions up to 330 feet. More information is here.Leave a Comment
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|Extron Announces Compact FOX PowerCage Enclosure and Fiber Optic Extender ModulesExtron just launched the PowerCage 401 modular power enclosure and the PowerCage 401 FOX DT HD dual-transmitter and PowerCage 401 FOX DR HD dual-receiver modules, which provide long haul transmission of HDMI, stereo audio and RS‑232 control signals over fiber optic cabling. The PowerCage 401 enclosure features a space-saving 1U rack-mountable design that is hot-swappable and field-upgradable. It provides an efficient way to power and mount up to four fiber optic modules. Engineered with uncompromising quality and proven performance, the boards use all‑digital technology to deliver pixel-for-pixel extension of computer and video resolutions up to 1920×1200, including 1080p/60. Each compact module provides two independent FOX HDMI extenders that are HDCP compliant, and share many of the same capabilities as other Extron fiber optic extenders. They are compatible with Extron FOX II and FOX Series extenders. Mounted in the compact PowerCage 401 enclosure, the PowerCage 401 FOX DT HD and PowerCage 401 FOX DR HD modules are ideal for point-to-point installations or in combination with a FOX Matrix Switcher for an enterprise-wide AV distribution system.
The PowerCage 401 enclosure is designed for dependable performance in mission-critical applications. Exceptional thermal management and a variable speed fan provide optimal cooling, while dual-redundant and hot-swappable power supplies ensure system reliability. The enclosure also includes dual AC power inputs for continuous connection to primary and back‑up power sources. The Ethernet port on the enclosure allows insertion of RS‑232, enabling system level control of the endpoints and attached devices without needing additional cabling. For space-challenged workstation applications and larger systems with multiple remote devices, the PowerCage 401 is the ideal solution.
The PowerCage 401 FOX DT HD and PowerCage 401 FOX DR HD offer many integrator and user-friendly features, including Key Minder, EDID Minder, Auto Input Memory, audio embedding and de‑embedding, audio gain and attenuation adjustment, internal test patterns, and Ethernet monitoring and control. The transmitter and receiver modules are available in multi-mode and single-mode models, providing signal extension for moderate distances of up to 2 kilometers (1.25 miles) over multi-mode fiber optic cable and extreme distances up to 30 kilometers (18.75 miles) when using single-mode cable. The dual transmitters and receivers operate independently to support two separate devices.
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|Signagelive and IAdea Partner for 4K PlayerSignagelive and IAdea have collaborated in the development of a digital signage media player they are calling the Armoroid 4K (XMP-7300). The Armoroid 4K XMP-7300 player, powered by Signagelive’s cloud-based SoC and HTML5 software, can be used to connect 4K displays, regardless of size, orientation or type, over LAN to deliver dynamic 4K content that, until now, has only been possible on high-spec Windows PCs.
The new Armoroid 4K XMP-7300 player is based on IAdea’s flagship digital signage platform and are compliant with WC3 SMIL open standards. Thus, it’s compatible with Signagelive’s newest System on Chip (SoC) software version with web triggering, NFC and Beacon functionality. Digital signage users can therefore incorporate contextual and responsive signage into their marketing campaigns for enhanced engagement and interactivity without needing to purchase any additional equipment.
Signagelive SoC and HTML5 software provides full support for different content formats including static images, video, HDMI input, IPTV, web pages, RSS feeds and integrates with QR code technology and all common social media widgets to increase engagement and enhance ePoS activities.
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|Christie Allure Announces Packaged VideoWall SystemsAllure “out of the box” Video Wall (by Christie) packages designed to make implementation easier, quicker and more cost effective, all while offering a choice of top quality displays, warranties and installation services.
Packages start at four displays and include as many as 25 displays designed to transform high traffic areas such as retail spaces, lobbies and stadium concourses into highly engaging destinations that increase audience dwell time and drive revenues. Driven by the powerful Allure Content Management System (CMS) software, high impact messages can be remotely distributed, scheduled and delivered to guests. Increasingly being installed in many retail environments including movie theaters and cultural attractions, these digital destination points attract consumers and immediately turn unused or underutilized wall spaces into revenue generators.
Delivered and installed by Allure project management and installation services, these new video wall packages are pretested and feature dynamic content produced by its award-winning creative services team. They include all hardware components and everything needed for a successful and long-life deployment. Allure has installed video walls in major venues that include stadiums and arenas, convention centers, theater circuits and more, as retailers are increasingly targeting a new generation of tech-savvy consumers with more dynamic, experiential signage solutions that connect brands and products at points of influence.
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|BroadSign Mobile Used by Xprnc Media to Bridge DOOH With Smartphones in RetailBroadSign has deployed its BroadSign Mobile product across the Xprnc Media LLC digital out-of-home network in retail locations.
Xprnc Media provides ad-based DOOH to top media retailers and plans to grow to 300 locations in the next two years. Reaching over 300,000 consumers monthly, the network selected BroadSign’s software platform for its depth, scalability and API, and believes BroadSign Mobile has opened the door to lasting communication with consumers once they have left the store.
Viewers are driven to the mobile experience through digital signage ads using QR codes and NFC tags. By interacting with the mobile menu, consumers can access product details, special offers, discounts, streaming media and any URL desired by the advertiser.
Given that shoppers browse in-store from 15 to 30 minutes per visit, Xprnc Media’s 55” plasma displays run five-minute loops with 15-second slots. Half of the content is dedicated to advertising, while 20% of screen time is used for custom messaging by local managers through BroadSign Creator.
Other time in the loop enables the network’s audience to benefit from “mobile listening stations” and “exclusive concert screenings”, where concerts from artists like The Rolling Stones and Aerosmith are broadcast to all locations at 7 pm on Friday nights.
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|Salamander Designs Introduces Motorized FPS Series Display Stands for Interactive TouchscreensSalamander Designs has announced the introduction of the FPS Series display stands for interactive touchscreen products such as the Microsoft Surface Hub and other VESA-compliant displays. The FPS Series is currently available in two form factors; mobile stands for easy portability and a low-profile wall-mounted solution, each providing precise motorized control of screen height. Some models offer the capacity to control tilt angle of the display as well when desired. Salamander FPS models are designed to provide ergonomically correct positions for working, drafting, collaborating or presenting while using an interactive touchscreen. The extended range of motion from highest to lowest position, offered exclusively on FPS stands, is useful to achieve ADA compliance and the best possible user experience for collaborators. When fully extended, viewing position is optimized for unimpeded visibility to large audiences. FPS Series products are robust, designed to accommodate monitors from 42 to 90 inches in size with a weight capacity up to 300 pounds.
FPS Mobile Stands: The Salamander FPS Series Mobile Stands utilize furniture-grade finishes in a sturdy powder-coated steel frame and wood panels, heavy duty casters for easy mobility and a premium-grade electric lift infrastructure and components derived from the healthcare industry. Available in three models to ideally accommodate each specific touchscreen, Salamander FPS Series products also place an emphasis on style, with compact designs that move easily between spaces, accommodations for wire management and options such as rack-mount equipment storage, retractable cable reel, a wireless remote and a rear-attaching shelf for keyboards or other peripherals.
FPS Wall Stand: The Salamander FPS Wall Stand provides a low-profile wall-mounted solution for your interactive touchscreen, delivering the same precise motorized control of screen height offered on the mobile stands. The FPS Wall Stand features a sleek, low-profile design that conceals all equipment and cabling. The base of the stand rests on the floor and is secured to the wall, capable of supporting the 55-inch Microsoft Surface Hub as well as flat panel displays from 32 to 90 inches and up to 175 pounds in weight.
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|Extron Unveils New Versions of DTP Switchers With Audio Embedding and HDBaseT CompatibilityExtron just launched new versions of the DTP T USW 233 and DTP T USW 333 three-input switchers now featuring analog stereo audio embedding and compatibility with HDBaseT-enabled devices. The DTP T USW switchers send HDMI or analog video, audio and control up to 230 feet (70 meters) or 330 feet (100 meters) over a shielded CATx cable. The switchers can embed stereo analog audio onto the digital video signal for transport over DTP. This streamlines integration and is particularly useful when connecting to displays without analog audio inputs. Additionally, a selectable HDBaseT output mode offers the convenience of sending digital video and embedded audio, plus bidirectional control signals over a shielded CATx cable to any HDBaseT-enabled display. The new DTP T USW versions with audio embedding and HDBaseT compatibility are now available.
Extron says the DTP Systems product family is the industry’s most comprehensive integration platform for small to medium-sized AV systems. This family includes a number of different extender models in a wide variety of form factors and video formats, plus a broad offering of distribution amplifiers, switchers, and matrix switchers with essential AV signal processing and control features. DTP Systems allow complete flexibility in designing systems precisely to application and budget requirements.
Check out all the specs here.Leave a Comment
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|Matrox Announces Maevex Multi-Encoding and Decoding TechnologyMatrox Graphics today announced that it is expanding the Matrox Maevex product line of encoders and decoders with a new range of products designed for multiple real-time encoding, streaming, transcoding and recording. The Maevex 2 product line will feature a variety of form factors, including PCI Express cards, stand-alone appliances and OEM versions of the hardware and software, capable of supporting up to 64 channels of 4K capture, real-time encoding and streaming in a single 5U rack for high-density applications.
For extension and switching applications, Maevex 2 will provide Full HD, 4K and 8K extension and switching over standard IP including UHD at 60Hz with ultra-low latency.
For enterprise video management systems (VMS), Maevex 2 will feature Matrox Advanced Hybrid Streaming (AHS) which provides multiple source capture, real-time encoding and streaming, adjustable picture-in-picture and picture-by-picture, simultaneous stream and record, multi-protocol streaming, multiple concurrent bitrate streaming, and more.
For live streaming and recording in government and enterprise environments, Maevex 2 will provide maximum interoperability with third-party hardware and software. In addition to the market-leading real-time encoding resolution capabilities of Maevex 2 SKUs, the new products will be highly adjustable to bias for image quality to the point of near lossless video. 4:2:0 color sampling currently shipping on the Maevex 5150 Series will now be joined by Maevex 2 with support for up to 4:4:4 color sampling for the clear transmission of the most demanding detail in any application.
The new Maevex 2 product range will support commonly used streaming protocols such as RTMP, RTP, HTTP, MPEG2.TS and RTSP making new SKUs compatible with the current Maevex 5150 series and thousands of third-party hardware and software encoders, decoders, cameras, media players, network storage, mobile devices, browsers, and streaming media servers.
Matrox is further expanding the Maevex developer APIs to help OEMs, integrators and software developers incorporate Maevex features into their own applications including AV processors, digital signage software, enterprise video management software, the most challenging video and graphics recording applications, security and surveillance environments, and WAN and cloud tools for any need.
Here are all the technical details.Leave a Comment
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|Visix Premieres AxisTV v.9.4 with New User Interface at DSE|
Visix premiered version 9.4 of their AxisTV enterprise digital signage software in booth 1834 at Digital Signage Expo 2016 this week. The release boasts a brand new user interface design using clean, modern colors and imagery, while optimizing workflows. The content management system retains all the favorite AxisTV features and has extensive data integration options, and Visix’s powerful desktop Design app allows users to create content on their desktop and then sync with the CMS.
Visix also showed its room sign line and RoomBoard, a one-stop touchscreen wayfinding solution that shows space availability, maps event listings to rooms, and can allow room booking right at the sign. It integrates with popular calendar apps and the company’s Touch room signs.
Both Touch and Connect interactive room sign models show schedules from Exchange, EMS, Google, and other popular event management systems, as well as digital signage playlists. Both use green and red lights to show room availability, and allow bilateral scheduling at the sign. Clients can check in, start, extend and end meetings right at the room sign to better monitor and manage meeting spaces.
The company’s EPS electronic paper room signs will be on show with a variety of custom faceplate options and easy mounting solutions. E-paper signs are an economical, wireless option for room management or office hoteling. These seven-inch signs display events from calendar apps, and can combine various calendars for display using the AxisTV Conference app.
Here are the details.Leave a Comment
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|A Unique LED Screen Support System from Upstage VideoA few years ago, Upstage Video’s product development team wanted to develop a cost-effective solution to support small LED screens for their clients. Features of the new design had to include ease of use, portability and various configuration options. The result is a four-legged LED screen support system called the V-Tower. This brand new design offers a compact and sleek alternative to traditional truss and staging support options currently in the rental and staging market.
The V-Tower wasn’t designed to replace large screens; it was simply designed to open up new opportunities at live events. It’s no secret that event producers are taking a closer look at their safety procedures and how to improve upon them. The V-Tower’s small design allows for strategic placement locations in large crowds to transmit emergency messaging. Pertinent event information including safety and evacuation procedures can easily be displayed with the switch of a button.
Experiential marketers, sporting event producers and corporate trade show organizers will benefit from using the V-Tower to display sponsorships and advertising information. Participants and attendees will be able to view video content from any angle of screen due to the V-Tower’s various configuration options, from a one-sided to two-sided or three-sided structure with a 5’x8’ standard size screen. Multiple screen size configurations are also available.
The V-Tower is available now and all of it is here.Leave a Comment
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|Peerless-AV Showcases LED Mounting System, Portrait Kiosk Enclosures and Other AV Solutions at DSEPeerless-AV demo’d at DSE 2016 its Universal Modular LED Wall Mounting System, a new line of Portrait Kiosk Enclosures and a very-cool custom kiosk solutions using a Volta Electric Vehicle Charging Station.
Claiming to have the industry’s first Universal Modular LED Wall Mounting System, Peerless-AV’s system offers a quick and easy pop-out mechanism that can be adapted to support various brands and display sizes, and a modular design, enabling custom installs for specific configurations. Its universal nature will give installers infinite choices as they look to specify more full-color, high brightness, big viewing angle LED displays in their projects.
Peerless-AV will also be showcasing a variety of video wall mounts with quick release, including the award-winning SmartMount Full-Service Video Wall Mount (DS-VW765-LAND), the Supreme Full Service Video Wall Mount (DS-VW775), the SmartMount Full Service Thin Video Wall Mount with Quick Release (DS-VW755S), and the DS-VW795-QR for larger displays. These mounts offer integrators the ability to design video walls with ease and flexibility.
Other featured mounts include the SmartMount Digital Menu Board Mount with Height and Depth Adjustment (DS-MBZ647L), as well as ceiling mounts with media storage (DST995 and DST 965). The exhibit will also include the Tilt Wall Mount with Media Device Storage (DST660), an ideal low profile solution.
Kiosks on display include Peerless-AV’s award-winning new line of Portrait Kiosk Enclosures that offer elegance unprecedented in the large format kiosk sector. The floor-standing enclosures incorporate a robust feature set while maintaining a modern, curvaceous, and slim aesthetic look with lean frames and a small footprint. The new line of indoor kiosks house 40″-80″ displays in portrait orientation.
Offering variety in kiosk solutions, Peerless-AV will also showcase the In-Wall Kiosk Enclosure (KIP746), the Xtreme Outdoor Landscape Kiosk with Touch (KOL555-XTRTO), Portrait Kiosks (KIPC555 and KIPC546), the Xtreme Outdoor Digital Menu Board Kiosk (KOP547-XTR-1), the Landscape Kiosk Enclosure (KILH542), Wall Kiosk Enclosure (KIP648), and the Outdoor Totem Kiosk (KOP575). Peerless-AV will show custom kiosks offering various enhancements such as printers, cameras, scanners, and vehicle charging, as well.
An electric vehicle charging station and digital signage solution, Peerless-AV’s Customized Kiosk for Volta features an Xtreme Outdoor Daylight Readable Display inside an Outdoor Portrait-in-Portrait Kiosk. It offers an Outdoor Media Player Enclosure, an EKM power meter for charging, and a cellular modem for real time content updates and power consumption records. A secure, fully sealed solution for year-round use, its two-sided design allows for outdoor digital advertising and static signage.
Featured AV innovations include the PeerAir Pro Wireless AV System powered by HD Flow 3 (HDS300). Offering the furthest wireless distance of any Wi-Fi-based device – 210 feet – the PeerAir Pro vastly improves versatility while making it possible to penetrate multiple walls, floors, and ceilings for complete coverage. The system can multicast Full HD wirelessly to up to six displays in addition to a seventh wired display using a pass-thru port on the transmitter. It also features three HDMI inputs, while maintaining VGA or Component input, and offers a new quick push-button multi-cast configuration set up.
Also on display will be Peerless-AV’s continued showstopper, the Xtreme Fully Sealed Displays, which are 100% sealed and engineered to endure the elements (IP68 and NEMA 6 rated). Ventless with full 1080p HD flatscreens, the displays withstand water, sand, dirt, dust, wind, pressure, and extreme heat (+140°) and extreme cold (-40°) without damaging the LCD.
Peerless-AV is here.Leave a Comment
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|Visionect and E Ink Launch Prototyping System for Developing Large-Format ePaper SignsVisionect and E Ink Holdings announced a partnership for the development of large format, energy saving, wireless digital signs. The new 32” epaper (electronic paper) development kit supports turnkey solution for rapidly prototyping new digital signage products and quickly transitioning them to real production end products. The kit is available for both color and grayscale displays.
The new development kit supports the largest single module epaper display available from E Ink, and is integrated with Visionect’s software and hardware platform, developed specifically for large-scale epaper deployments. At 32”, the displays are approximately 25x the size of an eReader. The new kit joins Visionect’s existing family of epaper development products which support product development for display products ranging from 6” to 13”.
The energy efficiency and robustness of epaper signage makes it an excellent solution for displaying clear, crisp information under all lighting conditions, both indoors and outdoors. This is particularly true where power consumption and infrastructure costs are a very important consideration. Examples of such applications include wayfinding, advertising and passenger information solutions, to name a few.
The 32’’ development kit is available in grayscale (supporting a resolution of 2560×1440 pixels and 16 level grayscale) and color (supporting a resolution of 1280×720 pixels and a RGBW color scheme). Both kits support the driving of an LED based front light option with an integrated ambient light sensor. The color version retails for $6,000 USD and the grayscale for $5,000 USD. There is a special DSE promotional offer in place until April 15, 2016, with the color version retailing for $4,500 USD and the grayscale version for $3,500 USD. More information is here.Leave a Comment
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|GDS Announces Color Digital Poster Using E Ink epaper TechnologyGDS has announced a 54”, A0 size, Color Digital Poster based on E Ink epaper technology. The new display is part of GDS’ e-Tela product family and can be used in any indoor or outdoor application opening up many options previously not possible. It can be powered directly or Solar powered, reducing the infrastructure build out costs. The new product is ideal for menu boards or timetables in public areas.
The 54” display consists of 3 tiled 32” E Ink displays using GDS’s G+Bond technology and G+Natural-light technology. G+Bond creates a seamless display that is suitable for any indoor or outdoor environment. G+Natural-light gives the display a uniform front light making the display ideal for use at nighttime as well is in full sunlight, taking full advantage of the characteristics of an E Ink display. e-Tela large format displays are very low power, completely fan-less, sunlight readable, and ultra-thin, making them ideal for harsh outdoor applications in transportation, QSR, retail, road signs, price signs, gas stations and other DOOH applications.
The Color Digital Poster has a resolution of 1280×2160 with 94 DPI and measures 27.75” wide by 47.25” tall and replicates an A0 size poster. Here are all the details.Leave a Comment
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|Digital Signage Expo Announces 2016 APEX Award WinnersThe Digital Signage Expo (DSE) today announced the independently judged winners of its APEX Awards for 2016 at its 12th Annual Awards Program as part of the Free Networking Reception and APEX Awards Ceremony Wednesday March 16 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
This year Gold, Silver and Bronze Apex Awards were presented to winners in nine categories from a field of 155 entrants:
Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (16 entries)
• Gold – Westbury National Show Systems for Winter Festival of Lights – Oakes Hotel, Niagara Falls Ontario
• Silver – SET for Palais de Tokyo
• Bronze – BARCO for ShowBiz Cinemas Baytown 10
Business & Government Services (18 entries)
• Gold – Cineplex Digital Solutions for Scotia Plaza
• Silver – Omnivex Corporation and Radiant Technology for Cardinal Health
• Bronze – JPMorgan Chase for The Midtown Food Trucks Animation
Education & Healthcare (10 entries)
• Gold – Second Story, part of Sapient Nitro for John J. Hemmingson Center, Gonzaga University
• Silver – Level 3 Audiovisual for Saint Xavier University
• Bronze – Intermedia Touch for Nicklaus Children’s Hospital
Event Venues & Hospitality (19 entries)
• Gold – McCann Systems for Viacom Corporate Headquarters
• Silver – Dreambox Visual Communication Inc. for CityScape Global
• Bronze – Westbury National Show Systems for Pepsi Center
Food & Beverage (9 entries)
• Gold – GDS Inc. for Starbucks Corporation
• Silver – Cineplex Digital Solutions for CF Markville
• Bronze – Stingray Business for Fogo Restaurant
Immersive Environments (19 entries)
• Gold – Digital Kitchen for Microsoft Corporate Office
• Silver – BARCO for Daimler Truck North America at Hoover Dam
• Bronze – ZEBRADOG for Livsreise
Public Spaces (25 entries)
• Gold – Second Story, part of Sapient Nitro for Times Square 4K Screen Launch of Vornado Realty Trust
• Silver – Pearl Media for JetBlue Airways – A Better Wingman
• Bronze – Technomedia Solutions for “Grand Hall Experience” at St. Louis Union Station
Retail (23 entries)
• Gold – RMG Networks for Virgin Money
• Silver – MaxMedia for MyChicago Window Content Display
• Bronze – FGL Sports for Maple Leaf Square Sport Chek
Transportation (16 entries)
• Gold – ANC and MTA Arts & Design for “New York Minute” at Fulton Center
• Silver – Art of Context for Boston Logan Airport (Massport)
• Bronze – Pearl Media for Kumho Tires: Free Throw Challenge at Times Square Station
APEX Installation of the Year – Second Story, part of Sapient Nitro for Times Square 4K Screen Launch of Vornado Realty Trust
APEX Content of the Year – Digital Kitchen for Microsoft Corporate Office
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|LG Intros 86″ “Stretch” 7-foot Wide by 1-foot Tall, 4K Resolution MonitorLG introduced an 86-inch “Ultra Stretch” digital signage monitor at DSE aimed at transportation, retail stores, banks and museums.
Using an aspect ratio of 58:9, the Ultra Stretch Signage monitor measures seven feet long and one foot wide. Dubbed the LG 86BH5C, it’s a 4K Ultra HD resolution and uses LG’s Picture-by-Picture technology, which allows the user to divide the long, rectangular signage into four seamless screens in landscape or portrait installations.
Offering integrators a range of customization options, the monitor supports lateral tiling by linking together 1×4 or 4×1 landscape or portrait installations, and up to a 4×4 installation with a daisy chain configuration. The LAN daisy chain allows users to control and monitor devices, distribute content and update firmware. These unique features empower users to customize the display to maximize content and impact.
LG’s 86-inch Ultra Stretch Signage monitor has a host of other features including LG’s SuperSign media editor that allows users to easily edit images or video clips of original content without the need for additional editing programs.
You can see all the detailed specs here.Leave a Comment
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|3M Unveils New Multi-Touch Display at DSEVisitors who attended the 2016 Digital Signage Expo (DSE) in Las Vegas last week were the first to see 3M’s new large-format Projected Capacitive (PCAP) Multi-Touch Displays. At the core of the new 3M multi-touch displays and systems offering is the proprietary design of the ultrafine metal mesh touch system conductor – a step change in sensor optical performance, responsiveness and durability.
The new, ultra-fine metal mesh touch system conductor design technology will be available on the company’s display products, ranging from 32- to 65-inches. This new technology breaks through previous technology barriers by maintaining high image quality and multi-touch responsiveness, and minimizing many known problems in other metal mesh PCAP systems, such as moiré and sparkle. The displays are durable enough for harsh commercial environments and 24/7 public use.
Notable features of the new 3M Multi-Touch PCAP Displays include:
- A fully-integrated chassis solution with 3M proprietary ultra-fine metal mesh design; highly tuned, multi-touch functionality that supports up to 80 simultaneous touch points
- Exceptional optical clarity, regardless of viewing angle
- A sleek, all-glass front surface featuring a bezel-free edge and modern design aesthetic
- Strengthened sensor glass to withstand the rigors of public environments and harsh conditions
- Customization for 2K and 4K applications across a wide range of sizes and display technologies
- The ability to accommodate many display orientations, including landscape, portrait, tabletop and various tilt angles
- An easy-to-clean, virtually “no wear” surface that provides operation unaffected by surface scratches
- An anti-glare surface for table-top applications or strong ambient lighting environments
- Operating systems compatibility with Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP, Linux and Mac OS
- Stable, life-cycle product availability
New 3M PCAP Multi-Touch Displays with Ultrafine Metal Mesh Design will be available for purchase in May 2016 and details are here.Leave a Comment
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|VISIX Opens 2016 Expression AwardsEnter your VISIX AxisTV messages, videos and screen layouts in the company’s 9th annual contest honoring excellence in digital signage content design. The entry period is now open for the 2016 Expression Awards in the categories of Best Still Design, Best Motion Design and Best Screen Design for digital signage.
The Expression Awards recognize excellence by AxisTV clients responsible for planning and designing digital signage campaigns and content. Work ranges from PowerPoint slides – to audio and video production – to interactive projects – to layout design.
Winners in each category will receive fantastic prize bundles, including a 43-inch Smart TV and a digital signage Theme Pack from our award-winning creative team.
The deadline for entries is April 29. To enter, go here.Leave a Comment
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|Chief Increases Coverage of Digital Signage MarketChief has announced the addition of a Technology Solutions Group to better serve customers with digital signage rollouts from start to finish. The group will provide a full service offering to manufacturers, content providers and their end users. From product phase recommendations, site surveys, pilot phase support and project management to product modifications and engineering assistance, the group works as a trusted partner and consultant to provide the support and expertise needed at each step of development.
Additional capabilities include staging and kitting, site surveys and cost of ownership analysis. Together, the team is equipped with everything it needs to be the source and subject matter expert for any digital signage project.
This focused group is backed by dedicated support teams across the entire Milestone organization. Customers will have access to all Milestone commercial product brand offerings including Chief mounts and AV accessories as well as Da-lite Screens. In addition, marketing, engineering, customer care and technical support are available to assist throughout the projects.
The North American team is comprised of five individuals from both the US and Canada with diverse backgrounds and experience in AV and digital signage. Elizabeth Klauda joins the team with more than 15 years of experience in the industry working with manufacturers on large projects. Patrick May joins Elizabeth on the team and has a wealth of knowledge in product management and digital signage solutions architecture. Team member Jarad Flax, CTS, DSCE, has been focusing on the digital signage segment for the past seven years and has extensive experience with channel sales, management and program development. In addition, the US team works collaboratively with David Galos, who leads a high performing team in Canada with great success working with many well-known Quick Service Brands.
Frank Pisano, director of U.S. sales for Chief, will head up the U.S. group while David Galos leads the Canadian efforts. Pisano has been with the company for 10 years and is well known in the Pro AV dealer channel. Pisano helped to craft the idea of the new group along with a cross functional team of Milestone employees. “I’m excited about the new group and our deeper focus on digital signage,” said Pisano. “It’s a growth category for all of us and one we need to focus on. Our extensive capabilities allow us to compete on any project from the simplest to the most complex.”
Chief is here.Leave a Comment
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For all you REGULAR readers of rAVe DS [Digital Signage] out there, hopefully you enjoyed another opinion-packed issue!
For those of you NEW to rAVe, you just read how we are — we are 100 percent opinionated. We not only report the news and new product stories of the ProAV industry, but we stuff the articles full of our opinions. That may include (but is not limited to) whether or not the product is even worth looking at, challenging the manufacturers on their specifications, calling a marketing-spec bluff and suggesting ways integrators market their products better. But, one thing is for sure, we are NOT a trade publication that gets paid for running editorial or product stories. Traditional trade publications get paid to run product stories — that’s why you see what you see in most of the pubs out there. We are different: we run what we want to run and NO ONE is going to pay us to write anything good (or bad).
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