Friday, January 29, 2010

Running on MicroTiles on Digital Signage EasyStart

As Andrew Neale posted on DailyDOOH yesterday, they decided to try and use our entry-level Digital Signage EasyStart system to power a Christie Digital MicroTiles 1×5 column that will be in the DailyDOOH Blogger Lounge at ISE2010 in Amsterdam next week. Since nobody on my team had yet seen or worked with MicroTiles, we were rather curious to see how easy (or hard) integration would be. And having worked with all sorts of weird display formats, video distribution systems, and matrix splitters for video walls, I was a little bit worried about hooking such a display up to a product who's driving design mantra is to hide all of the low-level tech stuff from the end user.

Still, Andrew and his team are experts, and perhaps more importantly, apparently Christie's MicroTiles just work. Configuration was literally as easy as plugging a DVI cable into the controller powering the stack of MicroTiles, clicking the "detect monitor and video card" button in EasyStart, and then picking the right resolution, which in this case was an improbable 720x2700.

While I don't normally bother expounding on every new whiz-bang technology that crosses my path (and as Andrew pointed out in his post), I am greatly impressed when you can just take something out of its box, plug it in, turn it on, and have it do what you expect. And that's precisely what happened with Christie's brand-new, high-end and (currently) low-volume offering, which is particularly remarkable since that combination of adjectives is like the unholy trifecta of excuses for why so much stuff in our industry (and the AV industry in general) doesn't just work when you plug it in and turn it on.

So, my hat goes off to Christie Digital.

If you are at ISE2010, a tower of MicroTiles powered by EasyStart will be on display at booth 10N118, so you can check it out for yourselves. Unfortunately I won't be there this time around, but I'm sure Andrew, Adrian and their cohorts will take good care of you :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

pre-DSE mixer/party/free beer event details announced

Per last Friday's pre-announcement (which I got yelled at by Dave Haynes for), the Preset Group is now taking all comers for their digital signage mixer, which is scheduled for Tuesday, February 23rd from 6-8 at Lavo (a restaurant in the Palazzo/Venetian complex).

There's room for about 150, but there are only about 50 slots left as of the time of this writing.  So if you want to go, I suggest you RSVP now.

Sponsors will be picking up the tab for the first round of drinks covered and some some food. Many of the digital signage cognoscenti (which I think is an oxymoron) will be in attendance. I'm not sure whether that's a good thing or not, but I'll check it out first-hand before passing judgment :)

If you're interested, you can sign up here:

Free digital signage content to help Haiti

I'm stealing this directly off of Dave Haynes's blog for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it's a good cause:

A series of very simple hi-rez video spots are available now for download that help continue to drive awareness and donation for the relief effort in Haiti. Network operators can use to help direct funds to Red Cross groups in the US and internationally.

The downloads are available here:

Landscape and portrait versions are available, and there are a few different file formats. We also left the Final Cut Pro file up there for producers to download. (That alone saves them 2 - 3 hours of work).

ANYONE can have these, including other networks, any end-users. You can even download the Flash versions and resize for your website, if you so choose.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Raise 'da roof with a bunch of digital signage geeks in Vegas next month

The Preset Group is having a free digital signage industry mixer on Tuesday, February 23rd at Lavo, a restaurant in the Palazzo/Venetian hotel between 6 and 8 p.m. They expect a good turnout, and have promised to provide a vendor-neutral, hype-free zone (as much as that's possible in our industry, anyway).

The sign-up sheet goes live on Monday, so check back here to find out how to sign yourself up.

See you there!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bloggers of the world, unite!... in comfort

Adrian Cotterill of DailyDOOH fame sent this over to me this morning, and I'm posting it because:

a) as a blogger, I hope he does the same at DSE so that I might not have to pay $7 for crappy Starbucks coffee outside the expo hall, and

b) he said that if I wasn't nice to him, he wouldn't vote for me for digital signage man of the year

So, without further ado, here's the good news for digital signage bloggers who will find themselves in Amsterdam next month:

Comfy Couches and Espresso Machines Lined Up for Blogger Lounge at ISE
2010 AV Trade Show

DailyDOOH news portal and blog for digital signage sector arranges
industry-first new-style press room for bloggers on hall floor of
major European technology show

LONDON - Bloggers have re-written the rules on how industries are
watched and analyzed, and now a leading technology and media blog is
changing the way trade shows are covered by these new-style

Bloggers at next month's Integrated Systems Europe show in Amsterdam
will have comfy couches and chairs, free high-speed Internet and a guy
on hand making them all the espressos and lattes visitors can sip.

The Blogger Lounge, organized by digital signage/digital out of home
business DailyDOOH, is thought to be the first of its kind for such a
large AV show. While press rooms for mainstream and trade press are
typically hidden away far from a trade show's action, the DailyDOOH
Blogger Lounge will be located right among the booths and attendees in
the trade hall.

"We wanted to put together an area that was comfortable and relaxing,
and would allow our own writers and our friends who cover the industry
to sit, write, meet and catch their breath," explained Adrian
Cotterill, UK-based DailyDOOH's Editor in Chief. "This is going to be
the place where a lot of the buzz around ISE will be created and
relayed to readers all over the globe."

Cotterill added his hopes that the lounge attracts not only the
digital signage crowd, but writers more focused on the AV and systems
integration sector.

"People tend to not always realize the influence that bloggers and
social media in general has on how companies, and the industry as a
whole, are viewed," noted Dirk Huelsermann, the president of OVAB
Europe, whose booth will be next to the Blogger Lounge. "We're going
to see blogging and social media right in the middle of the event, and
that's fantastic."

The International Systems Integration show runs Feb. 2-4 at Amsterdam's RAI.

The DailyDOOH Blogger Lounge will be located in hall 10 at stand 10N118

Saturday, January 02, 2010

One bad apple spoils the whole...

pie? cake? tart? I don't know how that expression ends.

Regardless, Happy New Year!

No, this blog isn't dead. I just had a much busier than anticipated end-of-year, and frankly there wasn't that much digital signage news worth talking about (and plenty of other folks do a good job of covering the news anyway).

This is just a quick update to note that a) yes, I'll continue posting in 2010, and b) I'm enabling comment moderation on posts older than 2 weeks, because some asshat has been spam-commenting on this blog for the past couple of days in what appears to be a , very amateurish attempt at search engine optimization.

So I'm sorry if that inconveniences anyone. Obviously I'm not going to mention who the spammer is, since that would just draw attention to them, which is exactly what they want, the jerks.

Here's to a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.