Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Governments are Using Digital Signage Screens

Digital signs are altering the way we perceive everything around us- from fast food menus, to billboards, to weather displays, and to sporting events. Digital signs give advertisers the ability to make quick changes immediately. Technology is changing fast, and there is no time for delay. For instance, rotating billboards is almost as effortless as a push of a button; shifting menu items and specials can be done in seconds. One of the initial uses of digital signs was in the 1990’s; these signs were first appearing in airports. Airports began using digital signs for a range of activities, but the most noticeable was the use of digital signs for displaying the arriving and departing flights. The benefit of it was that it could be updated almost instantaneously. More recently, video walls are being used in billboards that have the utility of rotating messages. Another attribute of these billboards is that they can be used for Public Service Announcements such as “Amber Alert.” Government agencies are always on the sentry for ways to draw out and develop their budgets. One way to do this is through the use of multiple monitor computer systems. Government agents are pretty much always narrow in what they can do. Budget being one of the biggest factors, multiple monitor computer systems are very helpful for them to help keep the costs down as well as increase efficiency at a good level. The U.S. government civil service department has ongoing multiple monitor usage in their offices. Their aim is monitor the way their business is being operated. The idea is to help drive ambassadorial philosophy and perk up the world more professionally. Another zone within the government that has started using multiple monitors is in schools. Schools are not as safe and sound as they were before, so the necessity for high technology precautions is a must. That is why we are seeing school security systems use multiple monitor video walls to help maintain the safety of the students. It is sad that schools have had to route to such measures, but it is reassuring to know that the technology is accessible to help keep people safe. Furthermore, multiple monitor computer systems are fairly widespread in our defense department. Both abroad and domestically, the military uses video walls as part of a highly developed system to help keep this country safe. The technology that they use is comparable to what you would find in the school systems video walls; nevertheless, they often use multiple monitor systems for tracking, undercover work, and weaponry. For an example, remotely-flown Drones are power-driven by multiple monitor computers; NASA incorporates multiple monitor technology, etc. The rationality for this agency to use multiple monitor system is to improve their working efficiency. Multiple monitor systems provide ample space to work. A number of screens aligned to each other give a much bigger area to work in than would be possible otherwise. The screen-to-screen uniformity makes the job easier! The multiple monitors advance government by escalating the quantity of work that they can do during any specified day. This can be the solution for a government office being able to stay within budget and activate at full aptitude for the whole year. Governments have to be vigilant about how they maneuver. If the government can use this efficiently and learn how to run a better machine, then other industries could almost undoubtedly benefit from the supplementary productivity tools. Today, when governments are managing, multiple monitor technology recognition can be anticipated. Fortunately, the technology is currently improving at such a rate that we have seen enormous increases in the capability to enhance functionality of these systems. For example, government broadcast agencies use a manifold monitor control room to monitor incoming and outgoing feeds. This technology has been built in many diverse types of government systems. Another chief system where this technology has been integrated is our defense systems. Government Navy, Army, Air Force and Marines all use multiple monitor systems for an array of purposes, which include tracking, spying, monitoring, recording, and weapons systems. These multiple monitor control rooms save American lives by allowing the military to activate tenuously. Weather monitoring and recording stations also depend mostly on multiple monitor computer systems. During earthquakes, storms, or other calamitous events, the U.S. government has weather and natural disaster stations that record the details of these events to help others prepare. They use multiple monitors to examine large amounts of statistics. One more vicinity where multiple monitor systems play a key responsibility in government is in mass transit control stations. The capability to monitor directions of trains is absolutely indispensable to the health and safety of everyone on board. Multiple monitor systems help make that plausible by making certain the operators and controllers can see every portion of what’s going on during their transfer. Additionally, electricity, water, sewer, and cable are managed by their providers with the help of multi-monitor computers to make sure everything runs smoothly and efficiently.

Video Walls For Conference Room Environments

  The title of this article might give the impression that this is about a huge projector in a corporate business room, just like the old days. But instead we’re going to talk about an emerging trend in conference rooms, a trend that you’ve likely noticed, video walls and how they are used for various purposes in the corporate setting. There are several other names which are used to represent the word video wall, such as, data wall, and media wall etc. a video wall therefore is simply a large display which displays an images or video in a presentation format. Unlike other displays, these are typically not one complete display devices as they are comprised of several other displays arranged together in such a way that they can work together as one giant screen, or as multiple smaller screens. The image is scaled into each of these screens according to their respective resolutions by using a special video-processing device. There is no restriction to the particular size of the display device, as it could vary from as small as a 4 inch direct view LCD screen or even be as huge as a 120 inches front, or possibly even a rear projection device. The size of this display device depends on the overall size of the video wall, which is to be made. In the case of LED based display walls they are made up of 0.5 mm bezel discrete LEDs in order to denote each pixel on the screen. A common question is asked about display walls regarding the wisdom behind creating large logical displays according to the technique described above. The reason for this is because it provides the ability to have a brighter, bigger screen, at a greater resolution without compromising on inherent redundancy, when compared to other types of image display devices. When planning to buy a video wall for any purpose more attention should be given to its display, as quality of the display is directly proportional to its viewing ability. As mentioned earlier, of the various kinds of devices that could be used for display walls, including, CRT, narrow mullion LCDs, general LCDs etc. Basically the particular display device that is used determines the image quality of the video wall. There are three devices that comprise the display of a video wall, and the two main technologies, which play a major role in the design of a video wall, comprise of the direct view plasma or LCD screen and the rear projection cube. With the advent of newer technologies entering the market everyday, even the cost of LCD display units have decreased in price drastically, however it is quite difficult to make a LCD display wall mainly due to the fact that it is incredibly difficult to align the monitors in such a way that they form a matrix with the multiple displays as LCD displays have a considerably huge border. The border around the screen of a LCD display is known as the bezel, and while tiling each of these screens together these bezels creates a gap in between the entire image. The term used to describe these gaps is either mullions or transoms. As a result it becomes very inconvenient for the viewer to get a clear view of the image or video depicted on the video wall. The reason for which residential LCD TV sets do not require any maintenance at all is because they have only one screen and less life expectancy. This is yet another disadvantage for the use of LCDs in video walls because when they have a poor life expectancy it would also require regular replacement of displays as well, and when replacing them the entire array must be organised with respect to the other screens so that the picture quality is maintained. As mentioned at the beginning of this article about the types of display devices available, the rear projection video wall offers the benefit of greater life expectancy as well as easy serviceability with respect to the typical LCD or plasma display units. The reason why these are better is because light that passes via the LCD is initially projected from the back, and it is then filtered to its respective colour (i.e white light, black light etc). It is because of this process that viewing an image is more precise as compared to a flat screen as they do not have a large impact in the formation of the image from the human eye. Accordingly, you should note when creating a video wall for any given situation, that in addition to factors such as budget, the display type and organization requirement should be given due attention as well. It is because of this that its very important to ensure that professional guidance is obtained prior to the design of your particular video wall to insure a clear image every time. Failing to do so can result in using either wrong configuration of display panels or using wrong display panels itself for the creation of the video wall. LED displays are becoming more commonly used for this purpose. They tend to encompass all of the positives (bright, clear picture) without the negatives that you might encounter using an LCD. The best part is that LEDs tend to have smaller bezels, are lightweight and out last projection screens, projectors, LCDs and plasmas. This means you get all of the benefits without the negatives.

How to Setup Your Three Screen Computer

If you’re a trader or in any industry really, you probably have caught wind of the trend of using more than one computer screen with your computer. This is easier than you think and depending on what you are already using, it’s probably not as expensive as you think. But the advantage of using a 3-monitor computer is every bit as great as you’ve probably read. There have been lots of numbers thrown around, but a university in Utah actually did a study and concluded that yes, if you use multiple monitors you will save a lot of time and your productivity will increase. In this article we’ll discuss what you need to setup a multiple monitor computer, how much it costs and more. There are several components that you’ll to turn your single monitor computer into a 3-monitor computer. But first and foremost you’ll need to check out your computer and make sure that it’s powerful enough to handle multiple monitors. That means you need to look at 3 main things, your processor, your RAM and your graphics card. Let’s talk a little bit about how you check each of those components. For this article we’re going to go over Windows 7, but if you’re using an earlier version of Windows or Mac OS, I’ll point you in the right direction as well. First let’s figure out what processor you’re using.
  1. Click the Windows “Globe” aka, the Start Button
  2. Right Click Computer
  3. Go to Properties
This will give some key information. First and foremost, it will tell you what addition of Windows 7 you are running, whether you are running 32-bit or 64-bit, but most importantly it will tell you exactly what processor you are using how much RAM you have installed. To run multiple monitors, especially a 3-monitor computer, you’ll to have at least 4 GBs of RAM and it’s recommended that you have 2.53 GHz processor or faster, although plenty of people are running 3 screens on the older, slower Core2Duo processors. On a side note, if you’re using the 32-bit operating system, you computer may only recognize about 3.25 GBs of RAM, which is still plenty for setting up three screens. Next let’s look at your graphics card. You’ll need a multi-headed graphics card to setup your multiple monitor computer properly. The good news is that your computer was built within the last few years, and then odds are you already have one of these. Multi-headed means is that there are multiple outputs on the card, so that you can hook up multiple screens to your computer. You can determine if your graphics card is multi-headed simply by checking the number of video outputs, either VGA or DVI. If you don’t have one already, here’s one that I like. Of course you don’t have to get this one though, there many available and they range in cost from $100-thousands for some of the more advanced cards. Spending somewhere between $275 and $500 will give you a high quality video card though, powerful enough to handle multiple screens. On the flip side of things, if you don’t want to install a new graphics card, there are other options available as well. You can buy an adapter for your computer that will give you the same benefits. One that I like is called the Matrox DualHead2Go. This adapter will give you an extra 2 monitor outputs. They also make an adapter that can handle up to 3 additional monitors. The beauty of these adapters is that require very little know-how and you don’t have to open up your computer to install them. They are simply plug and play. You also need to buy the actual extra monitors. There are a few different types available these days, such as VGA LCD, DVI LCD, VGA and DVI LED and so on and so forth. Most people are going to go with LCD or LED because of both cost and quality. Almost no one is still using old CRT VGA monitors though because they are big, bulky and have extremely low quality. You can by a 3-monitor array here that includes a stand to help line them up horizontally. The cool thing about an array like this is both from a tidiness perspective and a space perspective this is going to help you conserve. Another advantage is the ability to speak with a professional before you order, so that you know you’re buying the right thing. Yet another option, if indeed your computer isn’t up to par is to buy a computer that’s already designed to handle multiple monitors. There are a few companies out there that make computers designed for multiple monitors. Here’s one. You can find them for around $1000, but you will need to purchase your array separately. The advantage to doing this is that it will allow you to get a computer that is already configured, saving you the trouble of having to do it yourself. You’ll also know that it’s already up to par with the correct components, meaning there’s less to think about. Once you’ve purchased your computer, you can setup your multiple monitors within Windows 7 fairly easily. According to Microsoft, here’s how:
  1. Open Screen Resolution by clicking the Start button , clicking Control Panel, and then, under Appearance and Personalization, clickingAdjust screen resolution.
  2. Click the drop-down list next to Multiple displays, click Extend these displays, and then click OK.
That’s it now you’re all set. The new monitors should light up with the additional screen space. You can also control how Windows handles the monitors from here, for example you can tell Windows to duplicate your main desktop, extend your main desktop or other custom configurations. So depending on what you are trying to accomplish, you can set this up however you would like. Hopefully you’ve found this article helpful. Setting up a 3-monitor computer isn’t hard and now you know how!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Giant Video Walls in Piccadilly Circus

Video Walls in Piccadilly Circus
Advertisement is an important part in the growth of any business, large or small. The marketing maxim is, “The more you spend, the more you earn.” Of course, that money must be spent wisely, too. So, businesses are always searching for the newest and most effective ways to reach their customers. There are multiple advertising techniques available to businesses today and the question that must be answered is, “which medium is most effective?” In the rapidly changing postmodern era, people spend more time away from home than ever before. As a result, marketers must think deeply to find ways to maximize the attention of their target audience and potential customers. One technique that has been successful is the use of billboards, but not just any type of billboard. These innovative signs are “moving walls” made of LED screens which stand out in the minds of consumers. One key to successfully using video walls is choosing a site where the maximum number of people can see it; Piccadilly Circus is one of the best places in the world for that to happen. Piccadilly Circus, located in the West End of London, is the gateway to London’s premier landmarks and a hub of multiple businesses and entertainment venues. It is surrounded by shopping malls, criterion Theatre, London Pavilion, and the Shaftesbury Memorial, with its unforgettable statue, Anteros. Needless to say, Piccadilly Circus is a major tourist attraction and its being featured in videos, movies and postcards shows that it has reached iconic status. With such large crowds passing through Piccadilly Circus each day, it is natural that the attention of marketers was drawn there. The first electronic advertisement appeared there in 1910. The size and scope of billboards at Piccadilly has changed over time. For instance, in the late 1960’s nearly all the buildings were covered with neon signs and advertisements. In the 1990’s, Coke placed a digital billboard there with images projected by six LCD video projectors. The result was moving images that were able to change with the weather. Later, the advertisement area was reduced to a single building at the corner of Shaftesbury Avenue and Glasshouse Street. Piccadilly Lite was added in 2007, with the purpose of increasing the advertising space by using the same screen for multiple brands whose ads rotate being shown. Piccadilly Lite is available for both long and short term lease. In 2012, the Piccadilly Circus has six illuminated screens. Some of the most successful businesses in the world have advertised on these screens including, Coca-Cola, Samsung, Sanyo, Kodak, McDonald’s and many more. Companies all over the globe understand the importance of this hub in gaining access to a maximum number of people. Though the cost for advertisement on the screens of Piccadilly Circus is high, so are the returns.

Super Video Wall Controller Software: VigiControl Vs. eSign 20

    Video Wall Controller Software: VigiControl Versus eSign 20 Video wall, media wall or data wall – are all ways to refer to large electronic screens that are used to display videos, data or images as a presentation. Usually more than one display device is used as a tile in a matrix that forms a single screen. A special video processor is used to scale an image or video or any text data or multiple images throughout the logical screen. This kind of display is used to present a higher resolution, larger and brighter picture to multiple people in a same place at the same time. Video walls are used for traffic and security management, data display of the stock market, elaborate trade shows displays, data presentation in conference room or simply for advertisements. Multiple variations of software have been developed to enable these special display devices to work correctly. Vigicontrol Data Wall Controller Software (Product Code VC-SPCX) and eSign Digital Signage & Multi-Media Software-eSign 20 (Product Code SPCX-ES20) are two of them. The purpose of this article is to compare and contrast the two types of software on the basis of usefulness, price, performance etc. enabling you to decide which might work better for your project. Similarities: First, we depict the similarity between the two pieces of software. Both Vigicontrol and eSign 20 possess some similar qualities. These are mentioned below: Utility: Both software programs are used for similar purposes: market applications, hospitality, retail advertising, information display, event scheduling displays, factory communications, museums, corporate display and communications, food service menus, control room monitoring, church information display and art gallery display. Operating system: Both run on Windows 2000/Xp and up. Network facility: Both VigiControl and eSign can be operated remotely on any PC via a network connection. VigiControl displays the desktop of the Video Wall Server in use so that you can organize and launch your PC application over a network on another PC or on local machine. You can access VigiControl server via Local Area Network. In the case of eSign, network or local content files run as a standalone system or network operation with eSign Site Manager. Number of IRP: Vigicontrol software uses application Split Screen function to divide an active RGB/DVI window into sub-windows. A maximum number of 16 sub-windows can be created. Also eSign supports up to 20 on-screen IRPs, but recommends for 1-16 displays. Though eSign 20 claims to be 20 IRP, it actually recommends a maximum of 16. So, there is no difference between the two pieces of software. Still and video picture Both Vigicontrol and eSign support industry standard formats for still image display and video playback. Windows screen labeling: VigiControl’s software provides Windows screen labeling. Also eSign offers you a multi-mode text banner player. Differences: Price: There is major difference between the two pieces of software, which may be a discriminate factor in your purchase. That is price of the software. Vigicontrol sells at $1099.99, and eSign 20 sells at $1199.99. Project Manager: eSign 20 provides project manager for daily, weekly and specific date scheduling and background audio player whereas Vigicontrol does not mention such facility. Resize and position application windows: You can use VigiControl to interactively move, size and position application windows and control. VigiControl also has a guide and grid function to aid the positioning of windows. Control of VxSwitch cards: Vigicontrol provides control of VxSwitch cards in stand-alone mode. Screen order: VigiControl’s software provides a screen-ordering utility. Save and re-call layout templates: VigiControl allows you to save specific wall layouts as *.lay files enabling them to be re-called when required. Bezel Masking: VigiControl provides Bezel Masking facility. Creston control: VigiControl’s software supports Creston controllers. Command line interface: VigiControl ‘ssoftware has command line interface for custom applications. Split Windows: VigiControl’s software has Split Windows facility for Security and CCTV Systems and VigiControl now offers the ability to split RGB and DVI capture windows into separately cropped and scaled sub windows. The cropping and on screen display settings for sub-windows can be individually modified and then saved as presets. Inputs can be split into a maximum of 16 separate sub windows. This is useful for applications where specific areas of a captured input need to be individually displayed and controlled, such as security and medical imaging systems. Each sub-window will display a cropped portion of the captured source. When split, the sub-windows will all be the same size and occupy the same total screen size as the window being split. The sub-windows can then be re-sized and cropped using the application Windows properties sheet. Each sub-window can be positioned anywhere on the display wall. Vigicontrol’s software is ideal for use in CCTV and security control rooms. Minimizing Video Gaps: If a video overlay is displayed across multiple screens that have wide casings around the edges, strange effects maybe seen in the video images. Diagonal lines appear broken and circles appear elongated. Parts of the video are lost in the gaps. Vigicontrol’s software allows the video to spread across the gaps between the screens so that the lines are straight and the circles remain circular. Data input Labels: The video overlay input label allows you to allocate specific labels; each input can be given more than one label. Depending on how many graphics cards you have installed will determine how many input labels you can create. The output of the rendering system or source PC is captured by the EMS XtremeRGB capture card and displayed as a single window. From the above discussion, it could be decided that Vigicontrol’s software is more enriched with versatile facilities need for the optimum utility of the software. You can find this software here: VigiControl: http://www.multi-monitors.com/product_p/vc-spcx.htm eSign: http://www.multi-monitors.com/product_p/spcx-es20.htm

Why Dual Monitors are Right for You? The Advantage of Multi-Screens is Huge!

Sounds expensive, right? Today, most computers have graphics cards capable of supporting multiple monitors. You may be wondering how much a dual monitor system can increase your productivity and/or how much would it cost. I will address some common concerns that potential users have when researching dual monitor systems. Hopefully, this article will help answer your most pressing questions and help you decide if this setup upgrade is right for you. When speaking with some friends about multiple monitor computers, I recall being asked, “What applications support these monitors?” The short answer to this is very few. However, this is irrelevant because most applications do not need to be aware of the monitors because that is the job of the operating system. Additionally, applications such as UltraMon (www.realtimesoft.com/ultramon) are available that “trick” your system into thinking that different monitors are actually one large monitor. These applications can also be used to differentiate monitors. For example, they can give you the ability to activate a screensaver on the inactive monitors while you continue to use a different monitor. Multitasking today is a great incentive to increase surface area or “real estate” onto multiple monitors. These monitors allow users to have several applications accessible at once, which can be beneficial to both work and play. By using multiple monitors, you reduce the wasted time and hassle involved in minimizing, maximizing, closing, and reopening windows as you decide which task deserves more of your attention. With a dual monitor setup, you can carelessly switch from task to task without any wasted time or hesitation. A commonly overlooked concern is whether the user has enough desk space to begin with. This is a special concern. However, there are custom stands available to assist you in planning your space. Ideally, both monitors in a dual monitor setup have identical specifications. This is important because monitors placed side-by-side can emphasize differences in quality. I recommend purchasing the same models at the same time, to guarantee that comparable components are shared between the monitors. As mentioned before, applications (often free) are available to help you customize your display settings such as desktop wallpaper, screensavers, etc. You may even want to calibrate the monitors to assure that their color profiles are as similar as possible. Of course, most people do not care to spend too much money on new monitors, and you should not have to. Monitors vary by size and price just as anything else you would buy. Prices of monitors are also influenced by features available on the monitors, quality of picture, etc. For example, 20” monitor selections can vary from $130 to $150 depending on the monitor’s aspect ratio, resolution, mount, input, adjustments, speakers, response time, and availability of USB. This is also true for 22”, 24”, and 26” monitors. In conclusion, users now exhibit increased productivity and comfort with multi-tasking. Operating systems have advanced to a point in which they instantly recognize multiple monitors, allowing for easy setup and configuration for even a novice user. A great 26” dual monitor system can be established for under $800. It is easy to see the increased capability of productivity when experimenting with these systems. Hopefully, this information gives you enough information to consider the process of buying, configuring, and working with a dual monitor setup. If you have not already, I highly recommend a “test drive” of one of these systems. You will wonder how you ever got anything accomplished before without it!