Digital Signage Solution
Digital signage provides the ability to combine multimedia assets and present them on public displays as electronic notice boards to inform, communicate, advertise or entertain.
LCD and Plasma technology is widely deployed for signage solutions typically using customised personal computers (PC) to deliver the content to screens and control their functionality.
Reliability of a public signage system is crucial and must be considered when using a PC platform and is required to perform on a 24 by 7 basis, as power usage requirements, remote control of the PC, security from theft and rapid evolution of hardware and software are strong conditioners from an on going solution’s support perspective.
Some screen manufactures have adopted an integrated PC client within their screen but the problems of power usage, PC reliability and support for different video formats still exist and the user is tied into a specific screen and signage system.
The other alternative is to use traditional video distribution architecture but this lacks the ability to zone content and control a screen state in a way that is flexible enough to meet the demands of today’s operations’ requests for these kinds of solutions.
Management of a digital signage network must be quick and easy if it is to be kept up to date.
Existing solutions using dedicated PC’s require extensive user training, restricting the number of users who can interface with the system resulting in the need for dedicated resources to manage the day to day operations.
Whilst graphics, animation and text are used as the primary sources within a public display system, it’s the use of video, either live or stored, that attracts people to an electronic notice board.
Video and broadcast television standards and formats are changing rapidly and the ability to support these changes and associated costs effectively will remain as one of the main challenges for many electronic signage systems.
Industry standard IP Set Top Boxes (STB) are used as the main client device which has full remote management is easily mounted and has low power consumption plus the option for Power over Ethernet (PoE).
As there are no moving parts to fail such as hard disks or fans and due to low consumption, low heat production and opening less that don’t allow dirt or insects’ ingress hardware reliability and durability is addressed.
The STB’s are screen agnostic allowing customers to choose the most price competitive or functional screen to meet their specific requirements and upgrading screens, as new technology becomes available, is also possible without the need to change either the main server or the media player devices.
A central server is used to manage and distribute the content and play lists to the end devices which are zoned to allow different messages to be communicated to different screen locations.
Content can be displayed in a wide range of layouts using either standard or user defined templates.
The digital signage system supports a comprehensive list of content types including text, images, Power Point, RSS, HTML, video streaming and live television and by adopting a configuration of components , allows the increase of its capacity in a controlled way meeting with the users’ expectations and, unlike other systems, it’s unique software architecture allows multiple services to operate on the same platform thereby turning the unit into an Application Server that can also support the other products of our multiple play offer if required.
Access to the system configuration and management is provided through an easy to use web interface with a network management protocol support and with limited user access rights to allow different end user groups to use or administer the system.
Using a centralised digital signage control server simplifies content management as any changes are administered in a single location without the need to distribute content to each of the individual end devices.
This enables fast deployment of content changes and provides confidence that all screens will have implemented the latest updates immediately without the need to check that downloads to each end devices have been successful.
Live TV and video feeds can be distributed centrally to all client devices and external systems can be interfaced to the control server for passing messages to the end client device such as emergency announcements or generic information.
As the server is able to support a range of video formats, which can be converted and displayed on the end client devices in both standard and high definition, this removes any issues with the client device having to support new video codec formats and the solution uses standard based components to ensure ongoing support and longevity of the platform, no matter where the system is deployed.
Voice over IP
VoIP refers to voice carried over IP (Internet Protocol), also called IP telephony, telephony on Internet, broadband telephony and voice over broadband, is the transport of human conversation using the Internet or any network for data transmission based on the IP, making the voice transmission in one more of the services supported by a data network.
The procedure consists on voice digitalization into data packets, carry it by the IP network and convert it back into voice at the destination, thus making it possible to chat. To the user, the procedures for dialling, calling and answering are identical to those that are used with a traditional phone set.
By using in our solution Set-Top-Boxes (STB) which have IP/IP and IP/PSTN voice interfaces it’s possible to connected, on the end-user side, any type of phone, be it an analogue fixed or wireless phone, an IP terminal or a Softphone.
In any case, it’s used up a system for transmitting voice over IP, be it a direct connection to Internet broadband or a VoIP PABX.