Tidy little solid state unit aimed at DS market

Posted July 26, 2008 by Dave Haynes
Categories: Gear

Taiwanese industrial PC maker Acrosser has some up with a nice little fanless and potentially full solid state box aimed at the digital signage marketplace.

The thing is 6.5 by 10 by 2.5 inches, also known as pretty small, and at least looks pretty rugged.

Acrosser announced an embedded system capable of running Intel’s 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo fanlessly. Targeting digital signage and vehicular applications, the AR-ES5430FL features an aluminum case with advanced heat pipe technology, four serial ports, dual LAN ports, plus DVI, LVDS, VGA and S-Video outputs, says Acrosser (found on WindowsforDevices.com)

Like other designs including the recently announced APC-3×17 panel PC from Datasound Laboratories, the AR-ES5430FL tackles the issue of adapting relatively inexpensive, but hot-running, processors to use in passively cooled embedded devices. In this case, it’s Intel’s long-life Core 2 Duo T7400, a 65nm CPU that runs at 2.16GHz.

This processor’s 34 Watt TDP would normally disqualify it from fanless operation, but Acrosser has provided its computer with an aluminum chassis, integral heat sink, and a “high technology heat pipe thermal module.” Thus, claims the company, the device can operate with no problems in operating temperatures from 0 to 50 deg. C, when it is equipped with Compact Flash storage. With a 2.5 hard disk drive fitted instead, operating range is 0 to 45 deg. C.

The AR-ES5430FL is also available with Intel’s 2GHz Core Duo T2500, and with Celeron M 530 and M 540 processors, running at 1.73GHz and 1.86GHz, respectively. All configurations come with a standard 512MB of DDR2 RAM, expandable to 2GB via a single SO-DIMM socket.

The device comes with Intel’s 945GME northbridge and ICH7M southbridge, and it offers integrated GMA950 graphics. Four different video interfaces include analog VGA, DVI, an S-Video TV output, and a dual 18-bit LVDS interface that has a DB25 connector and “LCD backlight inverter control.”

The box also sports dual gigabit Ethernet connectors, with R45 connectors, via a Broadcom BCM5787 controller. In addition, it provides four USB ports (two internal, two external), PS/2 keyboard/mouse ports, and four serial ports.

Inside, there’s room for an anti-shock mounted 2.5-hard disk drive (optional), a Compact Flash socket for an SSD (solid state disk, also optional), and a PCI-104 expansion interface. The AR-ES5430FL has a 44-pin box header for an IDE interface, plus a SATA-2 port.

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Wanted: Complete DS platform, will trade for 4X8 billiards table

Posted July 25, 2008 by Dave Haynes
Categories: Sightings

Spotted on GetAFreelancer.com

We are looking for a person or a company who can supply a turnkey digital signage solution including player exe and ASP server. Player XP and can play all kind of video codec, sound, swf,ppt,scolling text, RSS and internet in different frame of the screem If you have and only if you have this built or something very similar and the rest can be modified, please bid. Thanks you

Yours welcome!

The budget is listed as between $1,500 and $3,000 … for the whole shot.

Your company may have many years of R&D, patents and a professional, seriously good development team, but at the end of the day you may still find yourself competing against something that was written in India at $8/hour.

The job post, by the way, did not originate in Lagos or Bangalore or some distant part of the Third World. The guy looking to get this built is in New York. There are nine other open jobs listed on the site for software design jobs.

I hear all the time from people who slam some commercial, heavily marketed DS platforms they’ve looked at  as steaming piles of poop. One can only imagine what you buy into when you pay all of $3K.

The good thing is that I’m finding, as I am sure others are, a healthy business in people trading up from the built or bought cheap platform, to a real one.

Another entry into gas pump TV game

Posted July 24, 2008 by Dave Haynes
Categories: Newcomers

There are lots and lots of gas stations out there, so it is no surprise to learn of another entry into the screens on top of gas pumps game – the latest in Lexington, Kentucky.

Fuel View TV has 100 screens installed on pumps at Shell stations around Lexington, and plans to add another 80 this summer. Expansion plans would put them into another 10 markets next year.

The guys are using Chyron’s DS platform.

According to the website:

Through a partnership with WKYT, Channel 27 and Traxx Management/ Thoroughbred Energy, the FUEL VIEW TV NETWORK will air on 25 strategically placed Shell Gas Stations across Central Kentucky and the Lexington market.

Fuel View TV on Gas PumpsOur State-of-the-Art LCD monitors will deliver local news content, including the day’s top stories, weather and sports headlines, alongside advertising content from our local & regional business community..

The 2 minute “mini” newscast loops 3 times every 15 minutes and is updated by WKYT 4 times per day. An L-Bar with the 5 Day Forecast, as well as stock updates, lottery numbers and sports headlines, rotates consistently to keep you up to date on the news that concerns you most.

Your advertising content is balanced with local news and entertainment and airs continuously as patrons fill their cars!

Well first, sincere best wishes to Fuel View.

Second, eeesh. I just don’t get the continuing obsession in this industry with shoveling TV assets onto gas pump screens, and pummeling people with weather reports when they are already outside and have car radios if they really do need to get a forecast. There must be better, more engaging and relevant content to put up on these things, like, umm, traffic reports???

Third, with fuel prices the way they are … are people looking at the screens, or staring at the ground muttering in disgust?

And your point is? …

Posted July 23, 2008 by Dave Haynes
Categories: News

The hoo-hah continues about big LED boards and their impact in communities.

The latest comes from Grand Forks, North Dakota (final resting place of many brain cells – the cheapest road trip from my college days in Winnipeg), where authorities have put a hold on such boards on the very flat prairie outside the little river city’s limits.

Grand Forks County placed a six-month moratorium on the placing of digital billboards outside Grand Forks, reports the local paper.

Not that it’s an immediate issue. County Planner Lane Magnuson said there have been no requests to place digital billboards in rural Grand Forks County.

Regional outdoor player Newman Outdoor Advertising has one LED board in Grand Forks and 5 down the interstate in Fargo.

Magnuson said digital billboards, which are made up of LED light bulbs, could pose hazards outside cities.

“In a rural setting, you can literally see them for miles,” he said.

And having done lots of highway miles in North Dakota, something … ANYTHING … to look at while driving, is actually a good thing. And probably a safety enhancement, not a risk.

LED envelope gets pushed a little further (as in brighter)

Posted July 23, 2008 by Dave Haynes
Categories: Gear

Silicon Valley semiconductor company OSRAM has managed to push out 500 lumens of brightness from a single LED, albeit in a lab setting, reports Gizmodo.

That’s still not all that bright when thinking in terms of projection technology (the crappiest little desktop projectors push 1,100 and something driving a window display will need a lot more than that). But it’s more evidence  LEDs  will at some point be an alternative to current, bulb-driven projector systems we’re seeing for things like ad displays in sidewalk retail windows.

The sorts of units now in use are limited by the short life span of the bulbs, the high cost of said bulbs, and energy consumption.

LEDs will mean a much longer lifespan, likely lower cost per unit, and lower energy consumption. All good things, particularly when combined with miniaturization of the projectors that should allow for some very cool projected displays in the reasonably near future.

Network announces it would like to make an announcement

Posted July 23, 2008 by Dave Haynes
Categories: Sightings

This had me howling this morning …

A press release pops up about a digital screen network getting political for the upcoming U.S. election. Cool, I think, as even in a down-market there will be a tanker-load of money spent by politicos this fall by everyone from Obama down to local comptrollers … and some of that will hopefully pour into the digital out of home bucket.

Television Network at Gas Pumps Reaches Millions of Voters in Captive Environment

IRVINE, Calif., July 23 /PRNewswire/ — As Election Day approaches, voters continue to turn out on a regular basis … to the gas pump. And political media dollars are heading there as well.

Ok! Ok!!!! So, I’m reading away … looking for word on who and what’s getting booked …

While many out-of-home media firms are restricted from carrying political messages, PumpTop TV is one of the few networks that welcomes such advertisements. Media buyers interested in political advertising opportunities should contact …

Oh, bother …

Anyway, I do think this fall will be a much welcomed opportunity for network operators to get a few attack ad buys from campaigners trying to reach voters who don’t consume a lot of traditional media, like broadcast and print. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing some real announcements and activity.

How consumers are using mobile direct advertising

Posted July 22, 2008 by Dave Haynes
Categories: Research

Many of us are trying to bend our brains about the how the relationship between interactive mobile and digital screen networks is supposed to work.

One of the key challenges has been trying to sort out how consumers might interact with advertising, and how that correlates to screens.

We offer no answers here, but have found some interesting data from Marketing Charts on how consumers are responding to mobile marketing.

The most notable finding – text messaging gets action.

Some 70 percent of consumers who have responded to a mobile marketing offer say they’ve responded to a marketing text message – compared with 41 percent who’ve responded to a survey and 30 percent to email offers – according to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), writes MarketingCharts.

Among other findings:

* Teens 15-17 years old (19 percent) and young adults 21-30 years old (19 percent) are twice as likely to respond to offers on their mobile devices as those 18-20 years old (7 percent).
* Single (never married) respondents were the most likely of all groups to respond to mobile marketing appeals.
* Overall, higher-income respondents making more than $60,000 per year were more likely to respond to mobile offers.
* Responders to mobile marketing were typically more tech savvy – for example, responders were twice as likely than non-responders to subscribe to internet-based music subscription services.
* Buyers of entertainment/music/video products were the most likely to respond to mobile offers.
* Categories of mobile offers were dominated by entertainment/music/video (44 percent), followed by…
o Food/beverage (21 percent) and telecommunications/mobile (21 percent)
o Beauty/personal care (15 percent)
o Automotive/transportation, business services, consumer electronics, financial services, and vacation/travel (12 percent each)
o Healthcare/pharmaceutical and real estate (7 percent each)

“These findings suggest that mobile marketing will continue growing into a multibillion-dollar industry as more mobile phone users are enticed by falling prices to purchase data plans and broadband enabled devices,” said Edward T. Manzitti, Ph.D., author of the DMA’s report and VP, Research & Market Intelligence, at DMA.