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Digital Signage / IPTV

The other day I quoted a company in Dallas for a digital sign system.

Their requests were that the TVs need to:

  1. Play PowerPoint Presentations on 10 TVs most of the day.
  2. Be able to show Live TV on demand "when something important" is happening.
  3. Show content in a separate campus that is connected by VPN.

In research, I found that one of my suppliers just started carrying a new line of products that fit pretty nicely. The company is called "CableTime" and you can get an "Encoder" that you hook up to the TV/video source and "Decoders" for each TV/display. The encoder can multicast it's source on an IP network and the decoders can subscribe to that IP multicast and deliver the signal via S-video/audio or HDMI to the TV.

The entire system can be controlled by manager software for easy setup and changes.

The encoders can encode the TV signal to several different qualities in order to save bandwidth on the network.

The decoders are really cool in that they can do a lot of things:

  1. Render JPEG, PNG, HTML content (basically a FireFox browser).
  2. Refresh to pull this content every so often.
  3. Show video/html content saved in onboard memory.
  4. Pull new content to onboard memory nightly.
  5. Subscribe to MPEG-2, MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 IPTV streams.
  6. Display content and videos at the same time (ie the display could have advertising wrapped around live TV).
  7. Cycle between "schedules" of the above actions.
  8. Turn the display on and off at specified times via an RS232 connection.

So I have a quote into them and I'll update as things progress.

The encoders can not show Flash content yet but I've been dreaming up a bunch of stuff you can do with these things and it seems that the only limit is what you can create with your web server. A PHP or ASP web page could generate content on the fly and show up-to-date info for many different applications. For instance a main office can build web pages that satellite offices could show on their monitors.

Give us a call and we can discuss how you can use "Cabletime" products to help your business!

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