NEC debuts digital signage solution

TVs get enterprise smarts

Companies that need to display information and multimedia through large flat panel displays now have the option of an integrated software and hardware solution from NEC which launched its PanelDirector digital signage solution for the local market today.

The PanelDirector software works with plasma, LCD, and projectors to distribute information wherever there is an IP network.

Potential applications include public marketing displays, announcement screens in hotels and airports, and stock market trading rooms.

NEC Australia managing director Toshiharu Iwasa said the new digital signage solution simplifies the entire process, because it integrates all elements - from the hardware to the software and network.

NEC's Nextep broadband network is being touted by the company as a business-grade IP network for the distribution of content to geographically distributed displays. Nextep will also offer a 'hosted' PanelDirector solution, which will scale down to the sole-trader and small business markets.

While not entirely new - the solution has been available overseas since 2003 - local early adopters include the Sofitel Hotel in Melbourne and the University of Technology Sydney.

Andrew Shearer, NEC Australia digital signage product manager, said the professional edition integrates with back-end databases to deliver content to the displays which can be in the form of HTML, Flash, still photography, and video, among others.

The standard edition supports from 20 to 50 displays while the professional edition is unlimited. The software also includes scheduling for predefined content distribution.

Individual components of the solution can be purchased separately and Shearer stressed it is not proprietary. Displays can be managed remotely from any Windows desktop.

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