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All ‘Signs’ Point to Continued Growth

All signs point to success as IBC2008 rolls out the Digital Signage Zone, a new addition to the programming and exhibitions being held at the RAI Centre in Amsterdam, 11–16 September.

Digital Signage — defined by IBC as the use of IP-networked screens to distribute information, advertising, multimedia, and TV content in retail environments, transport hubs, and stadia — is a sector proving to have a widescreen future. The industry has projected that digital signage sites will grow from 210,000 in 2007 to 850,000 by 2010. Recognizing this, and in response to the interest generated by an overflowing digital signage seminar in 2007, IBC has created a networking zone specifically for digital signage.

(click thumbnail)Digital signage is used for many different purposes: for the deployment of information and/or advertising, enhancing a customer experience, influencing customer behavior, building a brand, enhancing an environment, and more. The growth of opportunities for interaction and automation have increased the uptake of goods and services by as much as 400 percent in some outlets (from airports to retail to corporate common areas, just to name a few).

With $2.7 billion in advertising revenues projected for coming years, digital signage technologies and applications are most certainly an advantageous market for systems integrators, content producers, technology manufacturers and brand owners to explore. IBC2008 will address these tangible benefits through dedicated programming and exhibitors.

On Friday, 12 September, U.K.-based Retail Technology editor Miya Knight will chair the Digital Signage Zone’s free opening panel. The day’s sessions, 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m., will offer a platform allowing application developers and technology companies to share experiences that impact the creation, management and delivery of content.

In the Digital Signage Zone, key exhibitors display solutions covering the entire content workflow.

Sony, experienced in developing AV and IT solutions for business and entertainment, will demonstrate entry-level installations to global networks, delivered for such brands as Arsenal LC, La Poste, Mercedes Benz and Benetton.

Panasonic, known for its wide range of large-format commercialized displays — from 42- to 103-inch plasma — will show how its research and development stresses reliability and full flexibility, able to be deployed in any local market.

Harris leverages years of broadcast expertise to assure carefully managed content and video quality across networked screens, and will be featuring the company’s flexible, scalable and customizable InfoCaster product line, which enables targeting of graphical elements within and between on-screen regions, by zone, and by schedule.

Matrox offers a variety of multi-architecture, multidisplay graphics cards, multichannel digital extension solutions, graphics eXpansion modules (GXM) and remote graphics units (RGU); these internal or external devices maintain the harmony between single computers and up to four displays each.

DigiSHOW will demonstrate the compact, versatile communication cable through its Future Software brand. Kinoton will showcase Lifefast 360°, a way of presenting digital data on a cylindrical screen, and of using completely transparent displays for visual effects, as well as integrating other unique means of impact. Stinova will offer a glimpse into the company’s comprehensive digital media server (DMS) and digital media player (DMP) software, a Web-based campaign management system, easy-to-manage screen designer and more centrally controlled ways to deliver targeted signs with content split between multiple, dynamically changing zones.

In the main exhibition halls, additional companies will feature digital signage-associated products. Albrecht Electronik, Biostar Microtech Int’l Corp., Dayang Technology Development Inc., Electrosonic, Guntermann & Drunck GmbH, Media Broadcast GmbH, Multidyne Video & Fiber Optic Systems, Stream Labs JSC, TV Logic Co. Ltd. (co-exhibiting with Videor Technical), and U.K. Pavilion c/o Tradefair will all establish presence. Products and services showcased will include rich content overlays and channel generators, broadcast generation and workflow management, cards for on-air design, multichannel monitoring and source selection devices, fiber optic content transport and distribution, video wall and interactive kiosk installations, video servers and remote diagnostic systems, an extensive range of multiformat and multi-orientation LCD and plasma monitors, HD/SD convertors, DVI/HDMI extenders and matrix switches, and additional intelligent layout/publishing utilities.

The only signs not represented through IBC2008’s Digital Signage Zone and its related content are any signs of digital signage interest waning.