Friday, September 30, 2005

Finnish company releases Linux-based embedded digital signage player

From this PR Leap bite:

First Technology’s latest product is the FGA-60, a Linux-based multimedia client that feeds still pictures and video clips (plus audio) to single or multiple CRTs, flat-panels, and TVs. The device is intended for use in signage and advertising applications in transportation, hospitality, and corporate environments.

The FGA-60 is similar to the FXA-50 multimedia client, but without a built-in display. Instead, FGA-60 provides interface for LCD and plasma TVs, or CRT and LCD monitors. It supports external displays at 640x480 resolution, and a 60 Hz refresh rate.

The user of the FGA-60 transfers multimedia files into it via a LAN or a GPRS connection, or by plugging in a USB memory stick. Multimedia on the device can be managed with First Technology’s Embedded Media Server software. Also, the server can drive large number of displays in different locations.

The FGA-60, like its companion product, the FXA-50, is based on First Technology’s PXA-3 SBC, which is also offered as a standalone product. The PXA-3 is based on a 300MHz Intel XScale PXA-255 embedded processor along with 32 MB DRAM and 16 MB Flash memory.

Techland releases digiital signage whitepaper

The Techland Group has released a white paper about picking the right video distribution system for your digital signage project, covering a number of wired-solutions (no mention of wireless on a quick glance of the TOC), as well as different possible network topologies. From the paper:

"When considering a digital signage project, users usually focus on display types and content management software. For the integrator, however, there is an important component that the user rarely considers: the distribution technology and platform. This infrastructure transmits the digital video and audio from the server to the appropriate displays, and is a key contributor to actual digital signage performance. In addition, as the connecting component for all displays, the distribution technology can be a significant part of the project budget. That’s why choosing the correct distribution technology is vital in ensuring a successful digital signage installation."
You can download the paper here.

Interview with digital signage expert Brad Gleeson

Broadcast Engineering has a nice little interview with Brad Gleeson, the CEO of digital signage hardware reseller ActiveLight. Brad talks about growth and recent changes in the industry, some of the challenges that we still face (too much perceived need based on the "wow" factor of signage, and not enough understanding of the ROI models available), as well as the future (mostly about measuring the overall impact of digital signs and narrowcast networks). Here's a brief clip:

Digital Signage Update: Digital signage deals are making big news lately. Is the industry really taking off?

Brad Gleeson: It’s a pretty exciting time. The 3M purchase of Mercury Online Solutions, the Kroger deal, Focus Media’s IPO — there’s global activity taking place with large multinational companies waking up either as participants or investors in digital signage. We’re all hoping it’s the great bow wave that will lubricate a lot of the deals that are on the table. I’m encouraged that the stuff happening now will create more opportunity for everyone and a great deal of attraction to the industry. I am hearing about companies being created, and companies spinning off new names I can’t even keep track of. The industry in general is proliferating, and that’s a good sign because it’s attracting so many startups and seasoned veterans who want to get involved. We’ve been waiting for this for years.

DSU: What’s different about current trends as compared to previous growth spurts?

BG: Signage is proliferating on both large and small levels — but also proliferating horizontally within industry segments. Real estate seems active, financial markets have always been active. We’re going to the Government Video Expo with a digital signage pavilion. I recently got a call from the folks at management consulting firm Bain & Co., who were interested in learning about signage in corporate communications. We don’t get a lot of play and publicity for the corporate digital signage marketplace, so that’s really interesting — the bubble-up of activity that’s happening in some of the less-well-known vertical markets. Health clubs, bars and night clubs are now back on the front burner. I see all these as signs that we’re approaching the tipping point — when signage will be seen not as unique, but as a standard part of business.

DSU: Can signage seriously compete with other advertising media?

BG: Arbitron is proposing a standard to measure out-of-home TV. If digital signage is incorporated, and Arbitron is creating a people-meter, then media planners and buyers can incorporate signage into their planning. It becomes real when it’s a line item on the spreadsheet for media planners. It isn’t there yet but we’re coming close.

DSU: Is measurement the critical challenge?

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

New Zealand Cinema Chains Deploy First Digital Signage Network

It seems to me that New Zealand should still be called "down under" even though that moniker seems to have been reserved for Australians only... In any case, the first cinema-oriented digital signage network has been deployed in New Zealand, in cooperation with Scala. Here's a clip from the press release:

"SignActive initially began discussing the concept of a digital signage network with Berkeley Cinemas almost three years ago. While talks were underway, Berkeley Cinemas formulated plans for a flagship cinema that was due to open in December 2004. One of the key drivers for the project was to use plasma screens to display movie times, trailers, cinema information and advertising. Berkeley Cinemas also wanted a cutting edge cinema environment that enhanced the movie-going experience.

"Both impressive and informative this new technology has already improved the movie-going experience and enhanced ticket & candy sales. The combination of 42” and 50” plasma screens as well as a suspended “floating” screen driven by a projector provides relevant up to date content such as movie session times and prices, entertainment with movie trailers and previews plus internal and external advertising.

"Using a custom written software interface developed by SignActive that collaborates between Scala InfoChannel®, the world’s leading digital software platform and the existing Vista cinema software platform, live, real-time content, including movie names, movie times and movie ratings, is dynamically generated directly from the cinema database for viewing on the displays. All the creative content including movie title images and third party advertising is sent via a private network to multiple cinema locations from SignActive’s head office in Auckland, New Zealand. In addition, each cinema manager also has the capability to change a scrolling message ticker on the displays for any on-site management updates. While people are waiting they are entertained with movie trailers and a “cinema status” screen that is constantly refreshed to show the status of each theatre in the complex.

Mitsubishi to deliver touch screen LCD for interactive digital signage

Mitsubishi is partnering with Touch-KO to bring a touch screen LCD display to market, thus bringing them to compete with the likes of NextWindow and SMART Technologies, who have a head-start in the large format touch screen arena (which is just starting to become interesting for digital signage networks, due to rapidly dropping price points). Here's a clip from the press release:

"Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America's Presentation Products Division, maker of award-winning, high-quality presentation and display products, today announced that it is working with TouchKO, the premier provider of touchscreen overlay technology, to explore and pursue the emerging digital signage marketplace. The two companies merged technologies at this year's InfoComm show in Las Vegas to demonstrate the capabilities of a touchless, interactive 40-inch LCD signage screen.

"'The positive reaction to the device and interest in the capabilities of reactive screens in the display signage marketplace has been impressive but not surprising,' said Frank Anzures, product manager for Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America's Presentation Products Division. 'We believed the technology would drive the applications, and we were right. TouchKO and Mitsubishi have been busy previewing our screen demos to industries as diverse as casino and in-room gaming to education and museum administration.'

"The new-generation technologies are available today; their creative application possibilities can be explored by contacting either Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America's Presentation Products Division or TouchKO."

KatrinaWish narrowcasts to evacuees

While I have to admit that this is a pretty novel use of digital signage technology, for some reason something doesn't quite sit right with me. I'm of course fully supportive of anything that can improve the spirits or situations of those in need, but I have trouble understanding the benefits of deploying a narrowcasting network to the disaster area that is New Orleans. Oh, I haven't explained what I'm talking about yet. Specifically, it's this news release, and here's a quote:

The MediaTile Company, along with its partners ProView, Chief Manufacturing and Rollouts, and with support from the American Red Cross, today announced that it has deployed a narrowcasting system that delivers digital-wishes on large screen TVs to individuals and families affected by Hurricane Katrina. From the website (, individuals, families, schools, associations and communities from all over the world can send their digital-wishes using the MediaTile narrowcasting system directly to large-screen TVs in evacuee centers. Large-screen TVs are being initially deployed in Baton Rouge, LA, and Jackson, MS, where evacuees are being assisted; additional systems will be deployed as new site logistics are completed.
I think it's a great gesture, and an excellent PR play by MediaTile, but I just have to think that the time and money that went into deploying that network might have had better use elsewhere.

Minicom Audio Video Distribution System to power ONESTOP's Toronto Network

From BusinessWire:

Minicom Advanced Systems, a leading provider of audio/video distribution systems for digital signage applications, revealed today that one of the largest digital transit information systems in North America uses Minicom's Video Display System (VDS) to deliver content to commuters.

ONESTOP Media Group (OMG) is a full service digital signage network operator. Its digital media network for the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) delivers real-time transit information, news, sports, weather, entertainment and advertising to double sided 40" LCD screens on subway platforms reaching over 1 million riders weekly. As the network owner and operator, OMG funded the installation, sells the advertising inventory, and shares its profits with the TTC.

"Integrators like ONESTOP come to us because our video-over-CAT5 distribution system scales well for large digital signage installations, and because we make it affordable for them to deliver high quality, high definition video over long distances," says Saul Mishaan, President Minicom US.

ONESTOP Network chose Minicom because of its superior price/performance ratio. "Our electronics design team evaluated several video-over-CAT5 solutions and Minicom's solution had the best quality image output and design for the rugged environment in which we are deploying our systems. Also compared to other similar products, Minicom has the best price to performance available," says Steph Gagnon, Director of Operations ONESTOP Media Group.

The decision to use Minicom products was advised by Eclipse DS of Canada, a distributor who specializes in turnkey solutions for Digital Signage.

Building a Successful Digital Signage Team - Parts I and II

I've been writing a series of articles for KioskMarketplace about assembling the best team to deploy and manage a digital signage network. The first two of five planned articles have been published, with clips at WireSpring's Dynamic Digital Signage and Interactive Kiosks Journal, and of course, in full text, over at KM. From the introduction article:

In the retail world, we've found that the most successful digital signage deployments are managed by teams who understand each of the unique jobs and roles required to install and maintain their networks. Spanning a diverse range of fields including finance, marketing and IT, a structured group can best handle the wide array of responsibilities that a digital signage network creates. And even though this kind of structure can provide tremendous benefits, we've found that few companies seem to take a role-based approach towards their signage projects. Thus, while this might sound more like "Staffing Your Company 101" than an article about digital merchandising techniques, I'd like to devote a few thousand words over the next few weeks to the roles and responsibilities that we've found to be essential in building out and maintaining a large, retail-oriented digital signage network.
And from the Technology & Operations article:
"[O]ne major functional area that I haven't touched upon at all is general logistics management. It's not included in the above list because it is part and parcel of every other task mentioned there. But experienced managers know all too well how much time and manpower apparently simple tasks like shipping, order tracking, and maintaining store contact lists can take. The bottom line here is to consider every aspect of a job, get processes in place early to automate as much as possible, break out complex tasks into small, attainable (and measurable) goals, and above all, don't underestimate even apparently simple tasks. For example, we recommend that tech and ops teams break down their pre-installation procedure into a checklist like the one below so that problems can be spotted early-on and the tasks can all be tracked and accounted for.
You can find the full text of these articles at:
Role Call: Building a successful digital signage team
Role call: technology and operations

DigitalView upgrades its digital signage software

Digital signage software maker DigitalView announced upgrades to its software for managing networks of dynamic displays. Major new functionality included support for RSS nesdfsdwsfeeds, split-screen capability (though with the common limitations of a hardware-based digital signage system), multi-user support for their managing system, and more flexible playlist scheduling options. As they start to catch up to the rest of their competitors in the embedded signage player market (and yes, there are a number of them for some reason), we'll start to see some features from higher-end software packages get integrated into the mix, thus raising the bar for digital signage systems overall, which, in my opinion, is a good thing.

That was an unusually long last sentence for me.

If you'd like to read KioskMarketplace's writeup, it's right here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

GVExpo to feature a focus on digital signage

Apparently big things are afoot for the digital signage industry in terms of government projects, or at least that's what ActiveLight seems to think, as they have announced that they will be sponsoring a pavillion at the upcoming GVExpo:

"Now in its eighth year, GVExpo is the premier government video, broadcast, AV, and multimedia event. Sponsored by GovernmentVideo and Videography magazines, the event is produced by CMP Media. The Digital Signage Zone will highlight the show floor which features more than 300 exhibitors. The special area will include products and services used to implement digital signage strategies such as narrowcasters, digital signage control software, display technology, video routing and distribution, graphical and content creation software, and technology integrators supplying digital signage elements.
"In addition to showcasing the latest technologies in digital signage, there will be free educational sessions open to all attendees in the GVExpo Digital Signage Presentation Theater on the show floor, and a more in-depth presentation is also included in the accompanying GovernmentVideo Conference Program. On November 30, Digital Signage Quarterly will present the "Digital Signage Solutions" session at 3:00 p.m. This session will examine the various elements involved in implementing digital signage, including content creation, display technology and control systems. Attendees will also learn how digital signage can be an important tool for spreading messages to employees and the general public, how to evaluate needs, how to maintain a system and how to measure ROI. Moderated by David Keene, Executive Editor of Digital Signage Quarterly, scheduled session speakers include Brad Gleeson of ActiveLight and Steven Platt of The Platt Institute. Digital Signage Quarterly is published by CMP Media in partnership with Active Light."

Additional details can be found at this link, which is just the rest of their press release. You might also want to check out the GVExpo page itself.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Digital signage firms hold summit

Sales growth in the digital signage industry is expected to quadruple by 2009, at which point there will be 540,000 screens at over 76,000 sites in North America. Given these tremendous opportunities, Strategy Institute will be holding its inaugural “Building Your Successful Digital Signage Business Summit” November 15th and 16th, 2005 at Chicago’s Eaglewood Resort and Spa.

This summit has announced its industry leading faculty of speakers including: Michael Hudes, Global Director of Digital Media – Clear Channel Outdoor; Jack Sullivan, SVP and Media Director – Starcom; Stewart A. Stockdale, President, Chief Marketing Officer – Simon Property Group; Barry Krause, President – J. Walter Thompson, as well as Pierre van der Hoven, CEO – TBM Communications (South Africa).

Attendees will also have to the opportunity to learn from the world’s top networks including: Harris Bank, f.y.e., PRN, Transit Television Network, i-vu USA Inc., PubliSystema (Chile), TMB communications (South Africa) and RTV Media (Sweden).

300-400 industry leaders and participates are expected at this highly educational event. The conference will hold key sessions on: the optimal digital signage profit model, real world case studies, configuring the right pricing structure, exclusive Q&A with industry leaders, world’s top digital signage networks, as well as success stories from retail, banking and shopping centre industries.

The rest of the press release is here.

BTV+ integrates digital signage and RFID tag technologies

I think this is the way things are headed for different digital retailing technologies, so it's good to see a player like BTV+ taking the first steps. As reported at Broadcast Engineering:

"BTV+ has successfully integrated low-cost radio frequency identification (RFID) triggering with digital signage displays. The RFID display triggering system integrates with the company’s ADvantage and other digital signage systems to provide consumer behavior-based targeting of merchandising, information and customer-facing digital displays.

"The BTV+ system operates in typical retail and other public environments, uses ISO standards, and is inexpensive, safe and highly reliable. It can be built into or added to merchandising displays.

"In practice, reusable RFID tags cost $0.05 to $0.50 each and range in size from a penny to 2in square and can be attached to any product or brochure, or embedded on fobs or other products. The RFID antenna can be tuned to define the reading field and software can distinguish hundreds of unique tags or product tag groups in the merchandising display. Using an RFID antenna attached to a store shelf and RFID tags attached to the display products, the software interprets the signals of whatever tagged product is selected and displays a video, text or animated clip on a digital display to inform, educate and influence.

"An RFID-enabled shelf of, for example, cosmetic products could trigger information or a merchandising display when the shopper picks up a particular product for inspection. Following the promotional reel or when the product is placed back on the shelf, the display screen reverts to a marketing loop designed to attract attention. When a different product is lifted from the shelf for examination, information about that product is displayed."

You can find the full article here.

Harris to acquire Leitch, who acquired Inscriber digital signage

Since Leitch just recently acquired Inscriber's line of digital signage solutions, it seems appropriate that that company would turn around and get acquired by Harris Corp. But that's apparently what happened, according to this press release.

“The combination of Leitch Technology with Harris will create a powerful force in the broadcast technology industry,” said Tim Thorsteinson, president and CEO, Leitch Technology Corporation. “This is an extremely positive opportunity for our employees, customers and shareholders.”

“This acquisition further positions Harris to lead the broadcast industry’s transition to high-definition digital services,” said Howard L. Lance, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Harris. “Leitch has a veteran management team with strong domain knowledge and has launched important new products to meet the changing needs of the digital marketplace. Our combined products and systems serve every segment of the increasingly complex supply chain that brings digital audio, video and data content to consumers. This acquisition clearly establishes Harris as the company that broadcasters turn to as they upgrade their equipment and software systems to operate in a digital environment.”

So while Harris' focus is obviously on broadcast and high-definition video, it remains to be seen what attention will be given to the digital signage services the firm previously offered.

3M touchscreens merge kiosk and digital signage functionality

The battle between large form factor touch screen vendors, previously contested by industry-leader Elo and smaller firms SMART Technologies and NextWindow, is further heating up with the announcement of new overlays from 3M TouchSystems. As KioskMarketplace tells us:

The result of extensive research and development, the 32-inch ClearTek II touchscreen is designed specifically to meet the stringent physical and functional requirements of large format, portrait-mode slot machines and complements the recently announced 40-inch Dispersive Signal Technology product as another ideal solution for the emerging large-format digital signage needs of casinos. The optimized optics of ClearTek II, "smoother-than-glass" touch sensation, extreme reliability and high endurance are the critical features with which this large format touchscreen is built.

"Our large-format touch solutions continue 3M's strong tradition of innovation," said Larry Loerch, global marketing manager for 3M Touch Systems. "These large-format offerings are ideally suited to satisfy the needs of casino managers — both on hospitality applications for interactive signage and point of information, and gaming applications for emerging slot machine designs — while delivering easy integration and more flexibility in order to enable creative applications."

The line between kiosks and digital signage continues to blur, thanks to these types of cross-over technologies.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Sainsbury’s supermarket chain trial new digital merchandising techniques

Lifted from this article at AVEuro:

UK: The Sainsbury’s supermarket chain has installed screen systems in its stores’ entertainment software areas. Three large plasma screens and four 15in touch screens have been installed in each of eight pilot stores by Retec Interface.

The screens are designed to drive sales, improve ‘customer buying ambience’, allow ‘try before you buy’, and generate advertising revenues, says Retec.

The service uses Retec’s Entertainment Xtra system and ABC Media has been retained to act as the media sales agency for the plasma screens, which display a loop of entertainment trailers. The touch screens feature trailers for all Sainsbury’s charts — including music, film and books.

‘We selected Retec Interface because they can provide us with a complete specialised entertainment package’, says Sainsbury’s entertainment category manager Ria Konkon.

Asda set to deploy in-store TV rollout

UK retailer Asda has been trialing an in-store television network for close to a year now, and has found that it generates about a 10% sales lift for advertised products. Consequently, it is currently preparing to expand its network from the early trial locations out to the remaining 250 stores or so. However, success is far from ensured, as this article at BrandRepublic points out:

"Rival Tesco has already been hit by problems. It originally intended to install Tesco TV in more than 300 stores when it unveiled its rate-card in mid-2004, but this stalled at about 100.

"Tesco has also been forced to lower revenue expectations as advertisers stayed away, resulting in it slashing its rate-card by 30% at the start of the year.

"The rollout of Asda Live was initially due to be announced in June, but a loss in the retailer's market share and several changes in senior personnel are believed to have held up plans."

I recommend you check out the rest of that article!

Ambient Media upgrades digital signage platform

PRWeb is carrying this press release on digital signage network provider Ambient Media. Here's a clip:

"Ambient Media Inc. today announced a major upgrade of its Ambient Scheduling and Distribution System™ (ASDS). ASDS delivers broadcast quality video and audio over terrestrial and satellite-based networks. Used with the Ambient Media Player™ (AMP), ASDS provides for the dynamic scheduling and delivery of visually appealing information directly to consumers on many types of digital displays.

"'The latest release of our Ambient Scheduling and Distribution System enhances our ability to deliver high quality digital media over our networks and those of our clients and partners,' said Chantel Renee, Ambient’s SVP of Business Development. 'The ASDS gives our producers the flexibility to program a variety of media for playback on any digital display, including archived and live streaming Web content.'

"When first released in 2001, the Ambient Scheduling and Distribution System was used exclusively by Ambient Media Inc. to manage the programming of its growing community network. Subsequent upgrades to both the ASDS and AMP provided more robust scheduling, distribution and playback features, including the ability to include both archived and live streaming Web content. In 2003, Ambient entered the network provider space, making the ASDS and AMP available to strategic partners and other organizations. Today, Ambient’s unique narrowcasting system delivers information, entertainment, and marketing and promotional messages to hundreds of thousands of viewers each day."

Helius wins new patent for satellite communication

As this press release at Yahoo! tells us:

"Helius Inc., a leading developer of world-class IP broadcasting solutions for business, announced today it has been awarded a U.S. patent, enabling the company to add to its definitive stable of intellectual property.

"The granted patent (U.S. Patent No. 6,922,719) is directed to a method and system for providing high-speed, satellite-based information delivery and is the result of a continuation application filed to pursue coverage of additional claims over another U.S. patent previously issued to Helius in this technology field. This patented technology represents key innovations that are used in consumer industries," including digital signage and narrowcast networks, of course.

Now if I could just figure out what a "definitive stable of intellectual property" was...

Richardson Electronics delivers new large-format touch screen

"Richardson Electronics, a global provider of Engineered Solutions for the Display Systems Market, today announced the preliminary release of an integrated NEC LCD4010 40" TFT touch screen monitor solution which features 3M Touch Systems' revolutionary Dispersive Signal Technology (DST). The solution - developed by Richardson's Pixelink Division in collaboration with 3M Touch Systems - integrates the NEC large-screen LCD with a 40" MicroTouch(TM) DST Touch Screen and Controller to create a unique touch solution designed to meet the needs of the digital signage applications market. The touch enabled display is a first offering from the forecasted product line of large format (over 30") touch screens to be designed by Pixelink. The solution is available through Richardson.

"3M's Dispersive Signal Technology marks a fundamentally different approach to touch-screen capabilities. Unlike other solutions that recognize touch by the interruption of electrical fields, acoustic waves, optical fields or infrared light, Dispersive Signal Technology recognizes touch by interpreting bending waves created in the overlay substrate via the impact of a touch. This approach helps eliminate performance issues associated with on-screen contaminants and surface scratches, while offering enhanced palm rejection. All of these features represent key functional advantages in the target applications.

"Richardson's Pixelink Division, a worldwide leader in flat-panel display systems, expects to leverage its vast engineering resources and respected reputation combined with 3M's touch screen knowledge to create demand and find new markets for its new DST - enabled touch screen monitor solution. The company's strong, specialized sales organization's active participation within growing markets will work to broaden market share where similar technologies are being developed. Richardson's goal is to be the premier global provider of digital retail signage and advertising. Key application segments for this new touch monitor solution include transportation, entertainment and promotion, financial exchange and other varied indoor venues such as casinos, trade shows, clubs and restaurants."

You can read the rest of the PR here.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Digital signage on London buses?

Apparently so, at least according to this article. Viacom is teaming up with to deliver time-sensitive travel offers to viewers outside of the busses, as opposed to most other in-motion digital signage networks that typically focus on the captive audience inside the bus/cab/train/whatever. Here's a snip:

The innovative campaign, which could be the precursor of widespread bus-side screens, will put animated images and text on LED displays that occupy half the ‘Superside’ area of double-decker buses – the wide, shallow area between the two decks on the long side of the bus. Only the left-hand side of the buses will be used, the better to reach pedestrians. (Vehicles in the UK drive on the left-hand side of the road.)

The 12-week campaign, due to begin in October, is part of media-sales company Viacom Outdoor’s drive to promote digital media on the properties it represents, which include all main London bus services as well as the London Underground and some long-distance buses, railway stations and other transport-related sites.

It is believed that if the trial with works well, Viacom will start to offer the screen space to other advertisers in two-week and four-week packages, and roll it out to other bus services in London and elsewhere.

Elevator Channel preps for digital signage expansion

From PRNewswire's vault:

The Elevator Channel, a unique advertising, news, information and entertainment network, announced today that it will partner with global digital signage provider Digital View to outsource the manufacturing and technical support of its flat-panel, high-resolution digital display systems found in elevators throughout Charlotte, N.C.

Since its inception in 2001, the Elevator Channel has been managing its
elevator-based network of display screens, associated hardware, software and hosting services in-house. Outsourcing these technological aspects of the company's business to Digital View allows the Elevator Channel to save thousands of dollars on overhead expenses, respond to growth opportunities faster and focus on building its brand through its core competencies: advertising sales, media creation and real estate acquisition.

Digital View, one of the world's leading providers of digital signage and complete digital media networks, will be the primary provider of display
units, supplying the Elevator Channel with LCD flat-panel screens, solid-state media players and Web-based media scheduling software called Remote Transfer(TM). Digital View will also provide hosting and help desk services to the Elevator Channel.

With the advent of this partnership, the Elevator Channel is currently in
the process of retrofitting all of its current locations in Charlotte. In
September, the company will also begin to install its enhanced network and equipment in approximately 100 additional elevators in Charlotte, including Gateway Center, Wachovia Two and Three, SouthPark and Interstate Tower.

"This is an exciting and pivotal point in the company's history," said Elevator Channel Chief Executive Officer Rudy Alexander. "Our recent expansion efforts demonstrate just how beneficial the company's new partnership with Digital View will be for our profitability and growth. Now we're positioned as a pure media company and equipped for rapid expansion."

According to Alexander, additional real estate acquisition is currently underway in Charlotte as well as other major cities in the southeast and southwest.

POPAI ponders digital signage standards

BroadcastEngineering is running an interesting article that highlights the diversity of digital signage applications coming to market. I'm not talking about digital signage software per se, but more along the lines of things that people do with their digital signage networks. As they note, this kind of diffusion into the market creates the needs for some standards to help business compare apples-to-apples when deciding on how they want to deploy their network:

"Standards are considered essential not only to technology integration, but also to foster advertising spending in signage-related applications. Major growth areas include not only dynamic displays at retail, but also signage-related venues such as movie theaters, which in the U.S. are gradually making the investment into digital projection.

"Yet even as new standards emerge to foster growth of signage media, end users also look for unique digital signage applications that set them apart, according to Scott Calder, CEO of Mainstream Data, which won a contract from Technicolor this summer for satellite distribution of advertising and trailers to U.S. movie theaters that have adopted digital projection technology."

You should check out the rest of the story.