Mounts and Enclosures An Integrator’s View of Design and Environmental Impact
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As support players in the larger integration of digital signage displays, mounts and enclosures have to be strong, functional and unassuming. In this issue, we spoke to two integrators who are not only installing mounts and enclosures for DOOH and large venue channels, but also custom designing and building their own as clients and installation demands exert more influence. Also in this issue, we highlight our Digital Signage Magazine
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Best of Show winners from InfoComm 2019 — including
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Kitcast, Elo, Kramer and more — as well as take a behind-thescenes look at two integration projects that showcase just how AV technologies. Finally, with summer drawing to a close and Digital Signage tions to hit the channel in the past few weeks.
MOUNTS AND ENCLOSURES An Integrator’s View of Design and Environmental Impact By Llanor Alleyne
DIGITAL SIGNAGE MAGAZINE’S BEST OF SHOW WINNERS AT INFOCOMM 2019 Innovation in Digital Signage Receives Recognition
FUN IN THE SUN Travelers Virtually Experience Their Next Vacation
SOHO VIEWS Large Video Walls Transform New York Buildings’ Lobbies
NEW PRODUCT SHOWCASE New Hardware and Software Solutions for Digital Signage
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MOUNTS AND ENCLOSURES
An Integrator’s View of Design and Environmental Impact By Llanor Alleyne
n the digital signage world, it is easy to overlook the scaffolding holding up those beautiful, information-filled displays. In one sense, that is as it should be — distracting mounts and enclosures can take away from the effective message delivery that digital signage, especially video walls, facilitate. Yet, the design and functionality of mounts and enclosures continue to shape the evolution of displays and digital signage overall, most significantly in DOOH and large-venue channels where designing impactful large digital signage installations is coupled with environmental and security challenges. “In the ever-growing world of 24/7 public signage applications in transit, malls, and outdoor shopping centers, the needs for enclosures and mounts are shifting from ease of install and adjustment, to aesthetics, security, durability, and environmental control,” said Malik Khan, vice president of operations of ANC Sports. “In DOOH and large venues where the screens are in constant view, and where the public may be in contact for most of — if not the
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The design and functionality of mounts and enclosures continue to shape the evolution of displays and digital signage overall.
entire — day in outdoor and unsecured environments, the needs start to change. Mounts and enclosures for these applications need to take into account security while allowing access for service, ventilation, and durability of the glass and other materials, all while being pleasing to the eye and having minimal, or in some cases, a positive impact on the environment of the electronics inside.” On the installation design side of the coin, Jack Mele, CEO of New York’s Metropolitan Interactive, noted that, in concert with the display application, mounts and enclosures have to take into account sightlines, viewing angle, and contrast while also considering what he calls installation efficiency. “We all find more circumstances where ADA compliance is a necessary component of the design,” Mele noted. “Further, in the case of multi-monitor designs, three-dimensional seaming of adjacent displays and installation efficiency become big components.”
At Metropolitan Interactive, where the companyâ€™s team of engineers custom build and design their own mounts and enclosures, the observed trend is toward smaller unit components for LED displays.
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TECH IMPACT The key driver for current and future digital signage applications is interactivity. While displays are rapidly evolving to take into account everything from touch to voice to facial recognition, the impact on the design and manufacturing of mounts and enclosures has followed a parallel path. In addition to supporting and housing ever-expanding displays, the materials being used in the construction of enclosures and mounts have also had to evolve. “Interactivity has forced the industry to evaluate impact-rated glass and flexible but compact enclosure designs that allow for IR and other technologies that provide touch- or motion-based control,” Khan said. “Outdoor rated high-res screens bring their own list of considerations as well. High brightness LCD or LED screens generate a lot of heat, and enclosures need to be able to handle the ventilation or cooling needs without taking away from the overall aesthetic, or using a ton of noisy, high CFM fans.”
depending on the location’s overall architectural needs.” Similarly, Metropolitan Interactive’s Broadway theater installation of large flat panel display video walls was developed with bolted back panels that sat on the floor, eliminating the need for onsite electricians to perform a layout. With such applications, the MI team look for reusable design. “We strive to develop components that can be reused in many applications,” Mele said. “Because display system sizes can vary greatly, we try to find ways to address multiple sizes whether it is a single flat panel display or an LED wall.” WHAT’S NEXT As the literal supporting cast member in large display installations, mounts and enclosures always have to deliver not only on aesthetics and safety, but also act as a screen protector and shelter. It’s a role that extends to the back end of the business, ANC SPORTS
For a recent installation at New York’s Fulton Station and Moynihan Train Hall, ANC provided custom LCD panels and enclosures built to withstand constant public interaction and the daily heavy traffic that define such applications.
At Metropolitan Interactive, where the company’s team of engineers custom build their own mounts and enclosures as a reflection of the unique demands of their client base, the observed trend is toward smaller unit components for LED displays. “It improves time to market, however, it adds to the overall project complexity when you have to seam many small components,” Mele explained. “We take the approach of developing modular framework to install and seam displays faster.” CLIENT CONTROL In large venues and DOOH applications, the most obvious challenge is environmental control. Perhaps the best case study city for the challenges of outdoor digital signage and large venue display integration is New York City, where the fast pace, massive crowds, and sensory distractions provide a sample slide of how mounts and enclosures optimally function. For a recent installation at New York’s Fulton Station and Moynihan Train Hall, for example, ANC provided custom LCD panels and enclosures that were built to withstand constant public interaction and the daily heavy traffic that define such applications. “While the order of priorities can change depending on the project and applications, we usually start with the needs of the environment,” Khan said when asked about clients’ requests. “We take into account temperature, sun and rain exposure, durability, and visual appeal. From there we evaluate the level of security and exposure to damage to the enclosures, whether vandalism or natural. We typically shift the aesthetic features up or down the list
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where both Khan and Mele would like to see some improvements, especially in the harmonious integration of the display and mounting structures. “Auto leveling or alignment would be amazing,” Khan said. “I’d also love to see an integrated universal wiring system that connects at the mount level, instead of having to wire Cat5/ HDMI and power for every display.” A request that marries with Mele’s desire for integrated electrical components into UL-listed assemblies that would quicken the rough-in process. “Mounts and enclosures will become a more critical component than the actual display,” Mele predicted. “Even now, most of the limitations we see with displays are rooted in their packaging; not the raw glass or LED module. We choose the work around those impediments. Display manufacturers need to package their components a certain way to sell to the end user and average integrator who is not a UL shop and does not possess the electromechanical engineering capabilities.” As with all aspects of digital signage, the business of mounts and enclosure will continue to grow, as Khan predicted when he added that the channel will see competition from panel and screen manufacturers who are starting to integrate similar features into their displays — with Samsung OH models being a notable example. “Mounts and enclosures are going to have to continue to evolve for the ever-growing needs of LED or mixed LCD/LED installations,” Khan said. “They’ll need to start offering simplicity for the more difficult large screen applications, all while still being serviceable.”
DIGITAL SIGNAGE MAGAZINE’S BEST OF SHOW WINNERS AT INFOCOMM 2019
Innovation in Digital Signage Receives Recognition JOHNSTALEYPHOTO.COM
igital Signage Magazine has announced its Best of Show winners from InfoComm 2019. “The digital signage market continues to experience explosive growth, particularly in the retail and hospitality venues. Our winning entries feature products that allow integrators to innovate in this ever-expanding segment of the industry,” said Llanor Alleyne, content director, Digital Signage Magazine. “On behalf of the entire Future team, I’d like to offer a hearty congratulations to all of recipients of a Digital Signage Magazine Best of Show award at InfoComm 2019.” “The Future Best of Show Awards at InfoComm are in their sixth year,” said Adam Goldstein, Future vice president, market leader for AV, Pro Audio, and CE. “The program focuses attention on superb innovations in technology as seen around the exhibit floor of the industry’s top trade show. The list of 2019 winners and nominees shows where our industry is headed.” INFOCOMM 2019 BEST OF SHOW WINNERS A. Mobile Digital Signage: Clear Touch Evo Lite B. Interactive Signage: Elo 65in. 4K C. Laser Projectors: Epson Pro L10 Series D. Software: Kitcast Digital Signage Software E. Signal Management: Kramer KDS-8 4K/60 Streamer Transceiver F. Large-Format Display: NEC C651Q
G. Meeting Room Signage: ONELAN Reserva Edge H. All-In-One Display: Optoma FHDQ130 QUAD LED I. Commercial Display: ViewSonic CDE9800 J. Digital Signage Platform: Visix AxisTV Signage Suite Cloud CMS Platform K. Broadcast: Blackmagic HyperDeck Extreme 8K HDR Broadcast Deck
About the selection process: Manufacturers nominated their products via online submission prior to InfoComm 2019. At the show, a panel of digital signage experts judged each entry live on the show floor based on a variety of factors including innovation, ROI, and ease of use. Results were then tallied at the conclusion of the show.
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Case Study: INTERACTIVE SIGNAGE
FUN IN THE SUN
Travelers Virtually Experience Their Next Vacation
uring the winter months of 2018, as travelers prepared to take a flight from some of the colder U.S. cities, including Boston, Washington D.C., Chicago, and Cleveland, they were presented at the airport with a proposition: why not fly somewhere warmer? This message was heavily reinforced through an experiential marketing campaign that used live digital signage to show off Rio de Janeiro’s sunny beaches on a geodesic dome screen — giving winter-time fliers a live look at the summer sun they were missing. Not stopping at live looks of Brazil’s beaches, the interactive signage also provided an opportunity for the staff of the Hilton Rio de Janeiro Copacabana Hotel to talk live with travelers who were drawn in by the views of the Copacabana beach. This real-time broadcast, and the virtual face-to-face discussions, was a reimagining of the traditional advertising used in airports. It required additional AV solutions that were less commonly used in the signage market, including live broadcasts from the Rio hotel
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and cameras set up around the hotel and city. Executing that level of interactivity required a live component. At what scope was this type of signage both feasible and affordable? “When we were first approached by the group with Hilton Hotels, they said they wanted a single camera broadcast of one individual talking about the location,” said Victor Borachuk, director and executive producer at JupiterReturn, the integrator that designed and executed the system for the signage. “A lot of that was driven by a reasonable budget and a traditional understanding of what can be done under that budget. I think there are a lot of companies that would just accept that and run with it. What we did was offer a far more robust program at nearly the same cost thanks to some major shifts in the way you can control live video.” Borachuk said this shift in technology allows for more affordU.S. winter airport travelers were presented with an experiential marketing campaign that used live digital signage to show off Rio de Janeiro’s sunny beaches on a geodesic dome screen.
Through the interactive experience travelers were able to speak live with staff at the Hilton Rio de Janeiro Copacabana Hotel using the Skype TX software builtin to the TriCaster TC1.
able and scalable solutions. In turn, this empowers more creative productions from traditional broadcast to interactive digital sig-
nage. To achieve this shift, the JupiterReturn team used NewTek solutions, including the free-to-use NDI protocol the company provides. The production set up live cameras across the hotel – from the pool, the lobby, the bar and the beach access. Using NDI, Borachuk was able to affordably connect the cameras to a TriCaster TC1 live production system using the hotel’s local network. NDI allows for a complete, end-to-end IP video workflow and is designed to work on the existing networks of facilities and bring in video sources from nearly any device. At the hotel, Borachuk used Sony FS7 cameras connected to NewTek Spark devices, which switch the signal from the camera into an NDI feed. Using the Skype TX software built-in to the TriCaster TC1, Borachuk connected the airports with the hotel via a video chat. This allowed for real-time discussion to take place between travelers with questions and the hotel staff. A director was also able to live switch the signage to different shots as the staff spoke about hotel amenities from footage of tourism, nightlife and cuisine to live looks at the hotel pool or the beach. The digital production stayed live for eight hours at a time, meaning the signage was constantly being adapted and refreshed depending on the time of day and the questions of different travelers. And, because the signals were run through the existing hotel network, the cost was minimized. “The beauty of that is that it isn’t a massive spend,” Borachuk said. “With NDI you don’t need to run a ton of cabling and you don’t need a huge staff. You can set up your positions and then control it directly from the switcher. It really frees you up to be creative with something like signage — you’re actually providing a live stream to the location where you want to advertise. That’s really an incredible sales pitch to people who would love to be traveling somewhere warmer than where they are right now.” DIGITAL SIGNAGE MAGAZINE
Case Study: VIDEO WALL
Large Video Walls Transform New York Buildings’ Lobbies
ideo walls are an increasingly popular treatment of lobby areas in commercial and residential buildings in urban centers. New York-based RedStraw is one of the creative media content agencies at the forefront of this trend, supporting designers, contractors and building owners by offering them new ways to use the latest video technology to liven up these heavily trafficked areas. “Building lobbies are typically the first interior impression of anyone who works, lives or shops in large, mixed-use buildings, so it’s important to make a favorable, lasting impression,” said Lisa Smith, CEO at RedStraw. “Particularly in Manhattan, space comes at a premium and one of our primary objectives is to find the best technology capable of pushing the rich media content we create into these environments. It’s amazing to see how video adds so much color, brightness and visual interest — it really helps to open up and enhance the space, and also creates a visually pleasing experience for people to enjoy.” RedStraw partnered with Elevecture, a New York City-based company that laminates Gorilla Glass to a variety of materials such as metals, woods and even fabric to create products such as panels for elevator interiors and lobbies. Elevecture’s panels were
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10 Astor Place’s lobby features eight 46in. Planar displays to create a ribbon-like wrap around two walls of the lobby while video content produced by RedStraw creates a welcoming environment for guests and tenants.
recently installed in a pair of buildings in New York City’s chic SoHo neighborhood — 740 Broadway and 10 Astor Place. In both cases, displays are placed throughout the common areas to freshen up the spaces and make them appear larger than life. The 740 Broadway property features 42 55in. Planar displays arranged in columns extending vertically to the ceiling. The display columns are separated by Gorilla Glass-laminated rectangular panels, creating a striking zebra-like effect. Each column of displays mirrors the arrangement of ceiling-mounted light panels, creating geometric balance that accentuates the lobby’s modern design. RedStraw produced a striking 6K video montage that immerses visitors in exotic, relaxing scenes that all but erase the concrete jungle of New York City looming beyond the lobby doors. RedStraw selected BrightSign’s HD media players to distribute and manage video content for the project, particularly for the players’ ability to deliver frame-accurate synchronization across all 42 displays. And while most displays feature the soothing scenes, a subset of displays is used to present the building directory
740 Broadway features 42 55in. Planar displays arranged in columns extending vertically to the ceiling. The display columns are separated by Gorilla Glasslaminated rectangular panels, creating a striking zebra-like effect.
and other informative content. The 10 Astor Place property is similar in design, but on a smaller scale and plays off the lobby’s horizontal lines versus the height found in the lobby at 740 Broadway. Eight 46in. Planar displays create a ribbon-like wrap around two walls of the lobby, while video content produced by RedStraw creates a welcoming environment for guests and tenants. In both instances, RedStraw expanded the traditional video
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wall concept to create impressive arrays of displays strategically placed to take advantage of the rooms’ unique layouts. Eyecatching video content complements the hardware layout to create a visual display that’s as artistic as it is informative. 740 Broadway features 42 55in. Planar displays arranged in columns extending vertically to the ceiling. The display columns are separated by Gorilla Glass-laminated rectangular panels, creating a striking zebra-like effect.
NEW PRODUCT SHOWCASE PEERLESS-AV’S ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATIONS Peerless-AV has released the newest generation of electric vehicle charging stations, created in partnership with Volta. The new kiosks feature a slim airfoil-like silhouette with a design focused on both user experience and community impact. Throughout the charging process, the station communicates real-time status updates to users using emotive and intuitive external lighting. The station includes dual displays built to meet the needs of brick-and-mortar locations seeking amenities that increase consumer traffic. The new Volta charging station features Peerless-AV’s 55in. Xtreme High Bright Outdoor Displays. The ruggedized, optically bonded, and fully sealed weatherproof design offers protection against all extreme outdoor conditions, such as rain, snow, sleet, dust, insects, and pressure washing. The display is also equipped with ambient light sensors to automatically and gradually adjust the screen’s brightness based on the surrounding conditions. New charging station locations are confirmed and coordinated using data modeling to map current demand and predict future growth. With stations in nine of the nation’s top 20 electric vehicle markets, regional networks are thoughtfully expanded to lead local electric vehicle market penetration.
LG’S TRANSPARENT OLED DIGITAL SIGNAGE DISPLAY LG Business Solutions has begun shipping the LG Transparent OLED digital signage display in the U.S. With the LG Transparent OLED, watching video on the screen is augmented by seeing objects and images behind the screen. The versatile 55in. class display (model 55EW5F) delivers LG OLED’s picture quality while maintaining a high transparency. Technology solutions reseller, integrator, and rental provider ABCOM Digital Signage Solutions and its ABCOMRENTS rental division are the first in the U.S. to deliver this new technology. The thin, see-through display is designed to deliver a unique customer experience in specialized commercial applications, particularly retail and hospitality.
CONVERGE RETAIL’S INTERACTIVE RETAIL DISPLAY PLATFORM The Converge Universal Kinetic Retail Display System by Converge Retail include a compact form factor with four-foot sections that can be joined for any size display and fit virtually anywhere, including narrow end-caps and other spaces not large enough to accommodate traditional retail displays. Other features include a system that mounts easily on top of existing retail fixtures, or can be wall-mounted for even greater placement flexibility; affordability that is ideal for small chains and other cost-sensitive brands and retailers; easy deployment with no development resources required to get it up and running; and, despite its small form factor, the system offers the same interactive experience as the larger-scale Converge platform, with rich analytics, reporting and dashboard access to give brands and retailers detailed insight into the customer journey. In addition to laterally sliding interactive tablets that move with the customers through their shopping journey, the platform automatically serve up rich content with product education, specs, tutorials and reviews that allow for a more informed purchase decision. Converge Retail has also made significant upgrades to the chassis design, customer user interface and data analytics that extend across its entire portfolio of kinetic retail displays.
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EMBED DIGITAL’S DIGITAL MENU CONTROLLER SOFTWARE
Embed Digital’s Digital Menu Controller (DMC) allows restaurants to make real-time text and data changes on digital menu signs without a complex process or technical training. The DMC is ideal for restaurants, specifically fast casual and quick serve establishments. Designed for ease of use, the software enables restaurant operators’ instantaneous updates to their menu items, including item name, description, price and more. The DMC incorporates a simple-to-use web-based interface that is available on any device with a web browser. Constructed as a modern API solution that is lightweight yet robust, Embed Digital’s DMC software is operating system agnostic and works with all media players and SoC digital signage displays that support standard HTML5 content. Embed Digital provides its Digital Menu Controller as a SaaS solution. Hosted in the cloud on AWS or Microsoft Azure, it can also run on a local server in any location. The DMC’s Fail-Safe Playback enables a menu to playback, even when the internet is down.
VIDEOTEL’S RF PUSH SOLUTION
Videotel Digital has launched its latest interactive digital signage solution, the RF PUSH for the IPM+ Inter-Play Module, ideal for use in museums, healthcare facilities, amusement parks and more. Able to connect to eight of the company’s digital signage media players, the IPM+ Inter-Play Module is an external interactive module that can receive triggered playlist content to create interactive experiences. The solution was created to wirelessly connect to the IPM+ Inter-Play Module so it could conveniently trigger multiple video files with an eight-button remote, which has a connectivity range of approximately 50 feet. Each button on the remote will prompt one corresponding media player to play content. Given the eight buttons, that racks up eight different screens, in eight different rooms, each playing unique content all controlled by one small remote.
KEYWEST TECHNOLOGY’S BREEZE 3.0 DIGITAL SIGNAGE PLATFORM
Keywest Technology has released of its newest digital signage software, Breeze 3.0, its third generation iteration that boasts new features, workflow improvements, support for more powerful hardware, and enhanced security features. This cloud-based, complete digital signage solution is a flexible, scalable choice for various campus-based industries, including healthcare, hospitality, education and corporate. Breeze’s secure, cloud-based server becomes the central hub for all deployed digital signs, schedules, media playlists and other content to players. Users are only responsible for the Breeze player internet connectivity and video signal connection, as Keywest Technology handles the initial setup and server management. Breeze 3.0 features include a dashboard where users can view the status of all players in a customer’s system on one screen, a text engine with more robust styling features, improved UX, player and playlist syncing, newly designed templates, upgraded security, new permissions and access restriction features for users, and more.
LEYARD AND PLANAR’S EXPANDED VM SERIES LCD VIDEO WALL LINE
Leyard and Planar has introduced four new offerings to the company’s Planar VM Series line of LCD video wall displays. Featuring what the company says is the industry’s smallest bezels and a new 49in. size, the new models offer Energy Star 8.0 certified, ensuring customers receive an energy-efficient video wall solution. Two new 55in. models in the series — the Planar VM55MX-M and Planar VM55LX-M — feature a 0.88mm tiled bezel width and native full HD resolution, with the VM55MX-M offering 700-nit brightness to support high ambient light environments. The Planar VM55LX-M model delivers 500-nit brightness, ideal for slightly dimmer viewing environments. The company also added two 49in. models with native full HD resolution to the line: the Planar VM49MX-X offers 700-nit brightness and a tiled bezel width of 1.8 millimeters; the Planar VM49LX-U offers 500-nit brightness and a 3.5-millimeter tiled bezel width. Planar VM Series LCD displays provide a video wall solution with an all-in-one design for demanding requirements of 24x7 mission-critical applications and high ambient light environments. They are ideal for digital signage applications in retail, hospitality, universities, sports bars, corporate lobbies, casinos, and museums. DIGITAL SIGNAGE MAGAZINE
Digital Signage Magazine - September 2019