How To: Change the scheduling & Content in a Samsung MagicInfo Lite schedule

MagicInfo Lite is digital signage management software that comes with any Samsung commercial grade screen with built in player.  While you pay slightly more for these high quality and durable screens, you don’t need a separate software package to manage your content.  This is a good option for single screen deployments or small networks (1-15 screens).

Here’s a quick video of how to change the scheduling and content of a playlist.

 

lite_img5

Here’s the steps to update the content in the playlist:

1. Press Magic Info button

2. Select Local Schedule Manager

3. Select the schedule – should have a grey button

4. Select stop

5. Select delete

6. Select Create

7. Select the time and choose default

8. Select Content and choose the new files

9. Select Done

10. Select Save

11. Select Run

12. Press Yes
That’s it!  See the video above for visual reference.  Or visit Samsung’s web site: http://www.samsunglfd.com/software/magicInfo_lite.do

Special thanks to the good folks at http://www.digitalsignageblog.com/

New Samsung LED LCD commercial displays

At Electronic Art, we really like the Samsung product line for LCD displays in retail and corporate digital signage.  They really have their head in the game and are always improving and innovating the technology.  They’ve just released a new LED LCD product line update and the new PDF catalog is available here.  What I find interesting is the use of the term “LED LCD” which seems a bit confusing.  They seem to be blending the two different terms to create their own terminology.

It makes me wonder how long it will be until there are no more LCD displays and LED is the standard.  It’s probably not far away as the new LED screens are up to 50% more energy efficient which is so important with rising energy costs.  And being so thin and slender certainly makes for a cleaner looking installation because it doesn’t protrude so far from the wall.   And they are mercury free and easier to recycle.  All very important topics when deciding what the total cost of ownership of these screens are over time.

Don’t confuse these with the consumer grade screens you find at Best Buy.  Samsung LED LCD commercial displays are built for heavy-duty commercial use. They feature more advanced cooling technologies than consumer televisions, and are designed for long hours of continuous use.  Consumer grade screens are rated at about 20,000 to 30,000 hours of intermittent use whereas the commercial screens are rated at 60,000 + hours of continuous usage. They come with a three year commercial warranty instead of a consumer warranty.  Hang a consumer screen in a business environment and the consumer warranty is no longer valid.

In past years we have sold a lot of Samsung screens for libraries, trucking companies, ski resorts and general corporate communication.  We’ve even sold Proctor & Gamble a 9 screen video wall last year that was used in their lobby for an Earth Day event.  I think we’ll have a lot of success with the new LED screens as well.

A new change in the LED line-up is a built in simple media player.  It will play basic Jpegs, video and powerpoint (not sure why anyone would use Powerpoint for screen media… but that is another story).  in a simple rotation.  This new USB plugin method is using what they call MagicInfo Lite software which comes free with the screens.  Other commercial screens with a built-in PC have come with MagicInfo Pro as a free product to manage a small number of networked screens. And there is also the MagicInfo-I premium which is a more robust enterprise application available (not free).   So Samsung has brought added value to their commercial LED lineup to enable an easy to use simple media player right out of the box.  Of course you can still add PC player devices and run more processor intensive applications like Flash and use more sophisticated digital signage management software.  But a small office or low budget project can benefit from these new products from Samsung.

If you’re looking to do digital menu boards, corporate communications, retail signage or you just want to be able to welcome your guests in your lobby, call us.  We can recommend the best solution for both your short term and long term needs.  We offer full integration including installation services, software configuration, training, remote system monitoring and content creation.

Related Reading: Also read the white paper on “Why Buy Professional LCD’s” here.

Tim Burke is the president of Electronic Art LLC and also on the advisory board of the Digital Screenmedia Association which is the leading industry association for digital signage, kiosks and mobile interactive.  He also is chairman of their marketing and PR committee.  Electronic Art is a full service integrator and a Samsung partner.

Kentucky Libraries Get Digital Signage

We recently integrated a digital signage management system for the Kenton County Public Library system in northern Kentucky.  The project included a content management system to allow the library staff to create or upload media and schedule that content for individual screens across all of their branch locations.  The browser based tools allow for setting content via a scheduling tool to push out media to each screen at a chosen time.

The energy efficient commercial grade LCD screens can be set to automatically turn on and off when the library opens and closes and they have smart cooling systems to help preserve their lifespan.  Each screen has a networked player appliance that receives the content from the digital media server and outputs it to the screen as scheduled.

This is another example of how to digitally communicate with a broad audience and cut down on the time to deliver content versus the traditional printed methods.  Digital signage is often used for museums, retail and corporate communications.  Libraries are an excellent place to communicate to the local community and keep them informed of local and regional events as well as news, weather and library related topics such as the NY Times Best sellers list.

Photos from this installation:

William Durr Branch Interior Signage William Durr Branch Interior Signage 2

Erlanger Branch Interior Erlanger Branch Interior 3William Durr Branch exterior Covington Branche Interior

For more information about how your organization can utilize digital signage to communicate to your audience, contact us via our web site.  If you are interested in some of the hardware available you can visit our new hardware catalog at www.TouchScreenHardware.com

Do you have a comment?  We’d love to hear from you by commenting in the blog below.

KioskCom & the Digital Signage Show

Well, its that time again when we pack up touch screen kiosks and LCD screens and rush to get our software apps ready to display at the upcoming www.KioskCom.com trade show in Las Vegas on April 14 & 15th 2010 at the Mandalay Bay resort and casino.  We’ve exhibited at this show for many years and  are happy to be a part of it all again.  This time we have a larger 10 x 20 booth and have one of our many hardware partners who have offered to share the booth with us.  The good folks at www.Zivelo.com are providing their kiosk hardware for the booth including the C10, C2, C6 and the NEW C5 model being built just for the show!  We resell all of their models and are always impressed with the quality of the craftsmanship.  We often partner with Zivelo and provide the software applications for many of their clients.  Come meet Ziver and Ross from Zivelo at our booth.

Also, you’ll see our www.Lobstr.net product that has been rebuilt with new CSS3 based programming and a new pricing model for local operation (no subscriptions!).  And a new kiosk application that offers SMS coupon and lead generation services to drive traffic to your store, along with many of our past projects for various fortune 1000 clients.

Some news, next year the show will have a new name and location.  Goodbye Las Vegas, hello San Francisco! And the new name focuses more on the customer and less on us vendors:  Customer Engagement Technology World which will be at www.CETWorld.com . I like the new direction and the guys at JD Events who put on the show are some really nice folks that do a great job!  We are looking forward to the new format next year. See the press release here.

Are you planning to come to the show or perhaps still on the fence?  Well, let me offer you a free pass into the Expo show floor so you can come visit us  and our peers in the industry.  We will be in booth #205 right across from our business partners at Samsung.  Use the discount code at checkout of:   2LV49F and you’ll get the $50 expo fee on us.   Stop by and see us!  Register at http://www.kioskcom.com/register.asp

I hope to have some good photos and interesting products to discuss after the show, and you can follow my tweets on Twitter during the show at:  http://www.twitter.com/KioskGuy

Do you have a comment?  Add your comment below and I’ll give you a special shout out at the show!

Review of DOOH panel at 2009 Cincinnati Digital Hub Non-Conference

@bcollinssignman: digital signage can be adapted to context a... on Twitpic

Bill Collins

Last week I organized a panel discussion on digital signage or “digital Out of Home” (DOOH) at the Cincinnati based Digital Hub Non-Conference.  This conference was a regional showcase of all things digital with some national keynote speakers.  At last year’s event, I was shocked that a digital conference could have no digital signage discussions so I got involved and got on the programming schedule for digital signage.  The problem is that I was too chicken to do the whole topic on my own. Its the whole fear of public speaking. So I thought… hmmmm  who else can I draft into this?  A panel discussion would be much easier for me to stomach.

I know many people in our industry from our many years of experience, and first turned to some of the partners we have in the business such as Samsung.  Samsung suggested we use Dayton based Stratacache since this event was a regional showcase, and I have been aware of Stratacache for years, even though we had not yet worked with their tools.  Turns out the director of marketing there, Louie Hollmeyer was a classmate of mine in elementary and high school.  I hadn’t seen him since.  (He looks the same as when he was eighteen years old!)  Done!  Then I turned to respected national speaker and research analyst for the kiosk and digital signage industry, Mr. Bill Collins.  He turned me on to Mike Collette of Healthy Advice Networks.  Their firm operates about 7000 screens in their network of patient education content that is placed in waiting rooms around the continent.  He would bring a great perspective on how to manage or operate a large network.   Done!   My connections connected me to new and relevant prospects for the panel.   This was working out quite well.

Now, the reason they call this a Non-Conference is that while the keynotes are held in the main ballroom of the local Hyatt Regency hotel, the breakout sessions are held in local pubs and artsy venues.  The attendees walk the 3-4 blocks to the venue that is hosting the session you are interested in attending.  Our session was held in the Lodge Bar on 7th street in Cincinnati.  The decor is very log cabin ‘ish with deer heads mounted to the wall along side of fishing paraphernalia and similar sporting trinkets.  Certainly interesting when your session attendees are drinking a Gin and Tonic during your talk!  The problem with the Non Conference idea is that the day of the event, there was a large rain storm that started right at the time our session started.   So our attendance was low at first, and the room filled up more as the wet and dripping new media types “poured in”.

Samsung had provided two LCD panels for our use at the event (Thanks Guys!) and our firm, Electronic Art provided the stands and media players.  Stratacache brought a sample reel of Digital signage content and so did Healthy Advice Networks.  Bill Collins brought a great PowerPoint deck with some good visual examples of signage installations and his take on definitions and metrics.   Some folks noted that the content from Stratacache had localized data in it that was set to Nebraska (and we are in Cincinnati),  but they need to understand the lack of internet connectivity and amount of setup needed for this short 45 minute session.   I think everyone understood the scenario being shown.  (The Twitterati can be so picky!)  There were discussions about the reasons to use commercial grade hardware and the reasons why, the slow adoption of signage by retailers in the past and how this has been changing.  We also discussed how traditional agencies have been slow to understand the medium and how interactive agencies (like Electronic Art) have been providing a lot of the content and consulting.  And we talked about the benefits such as localization, day parts, and how the content can be specific to the viewer.

In all, the event was a success.  We could have gone on for another hour but sadly these were short sessions.  We knew that going in which is why we titled the session “Digital Signage 101: – Networks, Components, Media and its impact on traditional media.”.    I heard a lot of people ask for more of this content next year.  We hope to be able to provide a longer session and incorporate more signage into the event overall for way finding and sponsor promotion.

The keynote speeches of the event are available online as PodCasts at http://cms.screamingbob.com/content/null-dhi09/podcasts. To see some of the Twitter posts on the overall conference, look up the tag #dhi09 on Twitter.  And here are some photos from our session at the Lodge Bar.

Louie Hollmeyer of Stratacache #dhi09 on TwitpicJohn Cyzrka of Samsung talking about uVending solution # dhi09 on TwitpicSetting up for #dhi09. That's @kioskguy behind the samsung sc... on Twitpic

Digital Signage: Why buy commercial grade screens?

This is an educational topic that I have to teach quite often to prospects and newbies to the digital signage market. People see cheap LCD screens at Best Buy and think that they should integrate that quality into their retail location. A commercial grade screen costs more and people often think too shortsightedly at the initial cost, not thinking about the total cost of ownership. Like replacing that screen in a matter of months because you ran it 24 hours a day, burning in the image and frying your motherboards. And your limited consumer warranty will not cover you.

A commercial screen will often come with a 3 year warranty, is made for 20+ hours of commercial use with fans, lower overall power consumption, and in some cases, technology to prevent burn in (image retention). Many other reasons exist too, and so it was good to see our partner Samsung sponsor a white paper on the topic. It does a decent job of explaining why the initial up front cost will save you much heartache and money in the near future.

Why_Buy_Pro_WhitePaper

Upcoming Kiosk / Digital Signage Tradeshow Preview

It’s that time again, we are exhibiting at the KioskCom Self Service Expo in Las Vegas on May 6th & 7th, 2009. I think this is our 7th time exhibiting at the show which is in Vegas in the springtime and NYC in the fall. The show is packed with all of the vendors in the Kiosk and Digital Signage industry showing off their latest hardware, software, accessories and giving seminars and speeches. It’s a good show to attend to become familiar with the industry and what is available for your projects. Many of our vendors are there such as Zebra Printers, Site Kiosk, Scala, LG, Samsung and more.

Lobstr Directory ServiceWe use the show to exhibit recent software apps and designs to show prospects the quality of work we can do and showcase new services or products. In this year’s booth we have a new digital signage way finding service targeted towards property managers, architects and developers called  Lobstr. This turnkey interactive office directory solution is a great way to attract new tenants, retain existing tenants, set your buildings apart from the competition and provide great service to your guests and visitors. A low cost enables the software and touch screen LCD panels to be installed quickly and easily. The booth demo will have a 37″ touch LCD mounted on a floor mount that enables you to rotate from landscape to portrait mode easily.

We are also showing the new Zebra Kiosk Print Station. The new product can be wall mounted or table top mounted to provide printing capabilities to your kiosk terminal in a very small footprint. Made by Zebra, who manufactures printers that are used in retail, POS, and many kiosks. As Zebra VAR partners we first saw the kiosk print station at the National Retail Federation show back in January (NRF in NYC).  I think this will be a big hit with applications such as gift registries, loyalty card programs, product locators and HR applications. Come see our booth #829 to see a demo. And, those of you who subscribe to our E-Newsletter get a special promo price this month to kick it off!

vzwstorm_lg1Also in our booth at the KioskCom tradeshow is the IBM AnyPlace kiosk showcasing some of our past kiosk applications from clients such as Verizon, Citrucel, Charbroil Grills, Os-Cal, BlackBerry and more. The IBM AnyPlace kiosk is a retail hardened all-in-one touch screen kiosk that has most of the features required for kiosk applications such as IR glass touch screen, Mag card reader, barcode scanner,  Wifi, built in precense sensor, stereo speakers, Express card slot for cellular broadband connectivity, and Windows XP embedded. The entire PC and screen are built in to one hardware component the size of a large laptop. This enables it to be wall , pole , desktop mounted or integrated into an enclosure. It truely can be mounted just about Any Place!  In the past we’ve combined it with various printers, mounted it on retail end-caps and even combined it with medical devices such as blood pressure cuffs, pedometers and weight scales to facilitate client needs. What can we do for you? Come see it at the KioskCom Self Service Expo.

If you are considering going to the show, post a comment below or let one of our staff know and we’ll be happy to send you free tickets good for free admission to the expo. The show management, JD Events, does a great job every year and we’ve seen the list of registered attendees. It should be another great show!

Tradeshows are work! But you're worth it.
Tradeshows are work! But you’re worth it.

Samsung Digital Signage Products

I’m on a Samsung partner webcast at this very moment listening to new product information, end of life information on old SKU’s that will no longer be offered, and info on video wall connections. Samsung does a great job with partner channel education and today’s call about large screen displays for digital signage is very informative.  They have commercial screens with built in tuners and speakers to look like consumer grade (but with all of the commercial grade benefits) but the biggest sellers are the CX series and UX series.

I really like their video wall options, with small bezels (as small as 2.4mm). Very cool options for stacking screens together in free standing video walls much like a tower display.
They also have prebuilt IR touch screens out of the box instead of having to apply touch to existing SKUs like we often do from many LCD vendors. Nice to have only one vendor responsible for the components.

They also have high bright screens for outdoor signage. The model 460DRn-A is a  46″ high bright panel is 1500 NITS is weatherproof with built in HVAC, PC and shockproof. Vandal resistance has camera built in to snap a picture if someone trys to damage it.

They also mentioned that they are working on a multi-touch series that will hopefully be avaiable soon.  A preproduction version was shown recently at a show.

I will be gathering specs on many of the new products like the outdoor LCD. If you have interest, give me a call and we’ll get the right product for your needs spec’d out.

Samsung product info is available on their public web site.

Samsung Partner

Samsung Partner

Electronic Art Named Scala Partner

CINCINNATI – Electronic Art has partnered with Scala, a pioneer in digital signage, to provide clients access to InfoChannel, the most widely-deployed digital signage software platform in the world. Electronic Art has been given a certified partner status to enable digital signage network management using the Scala InfoChannel tools. This high-end enterprise-level content management system for digital signage will allow Electronic Art to integrate large scale deployments with advanced content features built into the Scala toolsets.

Electronic Art already provides content, hardware and management of out-of-home networks using more simplistic tools, but this new partnership will allow their reach to include global deployments and rich data driven content. As a Scala InfoChannel Value Added Reseller, Electronic Art can provide Scala licensing, software, installation and support in addition to digital signage content. Scala-approved player hardware is also available in addition to the multiple LCD vendors that Electronic Art resells, such as LG, Samsung & Phillips.

“We are proud to be recognized as a certified partner of such a renowned company. Scala is cutting-edge and we are committing Electronic Art to be on the same level,” said Tim Burke, President of Electronic Art.

In November, Electronic Art employees traveled to Scala’s corporate office in Exton, Pa., to receive training on Scala’s InfoChannel and InfoChannel Designer software. This training ensures that Electronic Art can support all of their clients’ InfoChannel needs.

For more information about Electronic Art, contact Tim Burke at (513) 321-1771 or tburke@electronicart.com, or visit www.ElectronicArt.com.

About Scala’s InfoChannel

InfoChannel is Scala’s digital signage management suite that provides enterprise level features and scalability for large and medium size installations. InfoChannel provides the ability to collaboratively create, publish, schedule and centrally control media-rich content that can be delivered and dynamically localized at the point of playback to one or thousands of networked displays . As the leader in Dynamic Digital Signage solutions since 1987, the technology has field-proven scalability and 24/7 reliability.

About Electronic Art

Electronic Art (www.ElectronicArt.com) is a Cincinnati-based interactive agency specializing in kiosks and digital signage as well as many related online services. Originally founded in 1998 and incorporated in 2002, Electronic Art began primarily as a Web studio offering high end custom programming, ecommerce, and design. Electronic Art provides custom solutions for many industries in kiosks, digital signage and Web site development. Sales of kiosk and digital signage hardware allow for a complete solution from one vendor, and an onsite IT staff handles build, integration and support needs.