Digital Signage De-Mystified

Digital Signage is a huge market, and there is still room for you to get involved in it.  Large national retailers have embraced digital signage for years, and it is now trickling down to smaller private outlets, restaurants, churches, and more.  This is where you come in.  These organizations would like to have Digital Signage installed, but they probably don’t know where to get it.  Let’s break down the components of Digital Signage, the two main approaches to it, the perceived barriers, and how to overcome them.

Approaches:

The first and simplest way to go about Digital Signage is to create a slideshow in PowerPoint and export it to video so that it can be played.  This is great for businesses that may not have graphic talent on staff.  Just about anyone can paste some pictures into PowerPoint and add the text needed to describe their message.  With the CE Labs MP60 player, just copy the video slide show onto a USB flash drive and plug it into the player.  It will now play over and over until it is changed.

Some organizations may want more – like the ability to transmit content to the player over the network or internet, and to incorporate real time information like news, traffic, and weather.  The MP500 is perfect for that.  It includes software for creating content and can read RSS feeds.  Content is stored on the internal 4GB flash memory.

Components:

  • Content
    • This is the message that viewers will see.  It can be created in PowerPoint and exported to video to keep it simple.  More advanced content can be created using QuickSign Pro.  There are also many design firms that can create custom content to a customer’s specifications.
  • Player
    • This is the device that plays the content in a continuous loop.  It can be mounted right at the display, or remote mounted for convenience.
  • Cabling
    • For short runs, a good HDMI cable is all you will need.  We recommend the UltraFlat series from UltraLink.
    • For remote mounted players with long runs, use HDMI over Cat 5 adapters.  The HX1K-3 from CE Labs will carry 1080p HDMI over 328′ of Cat 5e cable.
  • Mount
    • Chief and Peerless mounts are great choices.  Use a flat mount when the display is on the wall near eye-level.  Digital Signage displays are often placed high on a wall or column.  Always use tilt mounts in this case.
  • Display
    • Many installers choose not to get involved with the display due to the lack of profit in that market.  Customers will often provide it, and universal mounts work well.

Perceived Barriers:

Customers may resist a Digital Signage system on the simple premise that they do not have the ability to create the content.  The PowerPoint method is one way to ease those concerns.  Having the content created professionally is another.

Other Thoughts:

Any facility with a waiting room or waiting area is a great target for a Digital Signage sale.  The customer can charge advertisers for their time on the display, which not only pays quickly for the system but also becomes a great source of supplemental revenue.

If your application calls for multiple displays showing the same content, use one player and an HDMI Distribution Amplifier like the CE Labs HA4-3 or HA8-3.

2GIG adds Garage Door Control


The 2GIG Technologies Universal Garage Door Receiver Solution is now shipping. Now garage door control and security can be controlled from a single remote control. For controlling the garage door, use the Universal Garage Door Receiver (2GIG-GDR1-345). This new receiver is designed for use with a garage door operator and is easily programmed to use with up to 10 2GIG 4-Button Key Ring Remotes, each using a unique code for increased security.

To control the new receiver, use the new version of the 4-Button Key Ring Remote (2GIG-KEY2-345). Now customers can easily open or close their garage door from the same keyfob used to arm and disarm their Go!Control Control Panel.

Features
• Control a garage door operator with 4-Button Key Ring Remotes (2GIG-KEY2-345)
• For use with up to 10 4-Button Key Ring Remotes (2GIG-KEY2-345)
• Simple design plugs directly into standard 110 VAC outlet
• Easy to install using two conductors directly connected to the garage door operator or existing wall-mounted push button
• Over 1 million unique transmitter codes for secure communication

System Requirements
The Universal Garage Door Receiver requires the use of the new version of 2GIG’s 4-Button Key Ring Remote (2GIG-KEY2-345) and receives communication from the 4-Button Key Ring Remote over 345 Mhz. The Universal Garage Door Receiver does not communicate directly with the 2GIG Go!Control panel and therefore requires no configuration on the panel.

Update:
We received an operational set of the Key2 and GDR1 today, here are the results of some testing:

– The Key1 and Key2 look identical.  You can only determine which unit you have by reading the part number on the back

– The GDR1 supports up to 10 Key2 remotes

– The GDR1 is activated by pressing the * key on the Key2 key fob

– The * function can still be programmed to control the output in the 2GIG controller even when paired with the door opener

– Pairing the GDR1 and Key2 is simple, just press the learn button followed by the * button on the Key2