Live From Gatwick

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

JCDeacaux Gatwick

Well actually NOT so live from Gatwick :(

Here we see a JCDecaux screen suffering that strange Windoze problem.

9 Responses to “Live From Gatwick”

  1. luis Says:

    …be nice…. be nice…
    Quién esté libre de pecado que tire la primera piedra….
    (jorge, translate…)


  2. Jorge Garcia de Bustos Says:

    What Luis from Maler (who, as everyone knows, manages the CBS Outdoor screens in the London Tube) means is: let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

    We’ve all had our black screens, mute muzak systems, haven’t we?

  3. C Lester Says:

    This error indicates a hard drive failure occurred on the system, and the DS software is not to blame. Although a certain amount of hardware failures are par for the course in any DOOH deployment, the real question here is how the DS software was able to detect and report this player failure in a timely and actionable way that lead to minimum downtime. Also, how did this downtime affect the ad campaigns that were running on that screen? Will the advertisers receive any make-goods for this outage or will JC Decaux simply conceal it?

    These are the really interesting issues we should be discussing.

  4. Luis Says:


    I was trying to write up a nice reponse on the above, but there are so many many many things that could produce this issue… power failure, file corruption, bad drive, bad compact flash… windows prob, linux prob….

    Anyone of us that currently manages corporate DS systems has been trying to come up with a “perfect” hardware solution that will eliminate to almost none these type of problems. Note that I said “to almost none”, because they will still happen. Thus perfect does not exist just yet.
    Believe it or not, we have found such an almost perfect solution, the question is who is willing to pay for it.
    Currently, I could say that for any owner of a 1000 individual screen/PC network that has been operating for over 1 year, having a +- 2% failure rate is acceptable (although for us is not).
    The question is:
    Does not doing the initial investement on the perfect hardare justify that 2%?
    What will happen on the 3rd, 4th or 5th year of operation when the failure rate increases to 20% or 30%? Do we blame the software? The integrator? Do we blame network owner for not spending more money in the “perfect hardware” from the beginning? .. and tell him… “told you so” ?

    We stopped doing business in Spain precisely for that issue. One thing is that the client is not willing to spend 3000lbs for a perfect system, but another is for you to have to cope with your client telling you to buy the hardware in PC city. I rather close and go back to whatever it is I used to do.

    This will happen on JCD, CBS, KFC regardless if they use cnario, scala, telentice or any other system.
    We will continue see the pictures posted and just hope it is not our network… but if it is… oh well. Again, shit happens.

    For any of you looking to deploy a network…. if the sales guy tells you this will not happen to you… politely thank him and walk away, cause it will.
    Again, shit happens.


  5. JD Says:

    This has nothing whatsoever to do with “windoze”. It’s a hard drive problem. The author’s prejudices come out again.

  6. dsaddict Says:

    C Lester said: “ the DS software was able to detect and report this player failure in a timely and actionable way..”

    Do you know any DS software solution that has a monitor app in real time to identify what is being played in each screen and allows direct control over a ds network?

    I’m looking to manage near 500 ds systems but can not find a suitable, reliable and manageable solution for medium-large networks….

    Thanks in advance.

  7. Luis Says:


    email me and I will show you a real time DS monitor just as you specify.



  8. Sean Milstead Says:

    DSAddict –

    There are a number of digital signage softwares that provide exactly what you are looking for, from CoolSign to Scala and others.

    On to the original post, a “big boy” digital signage system would have reported back to the central server that a screen was not connected. This report would have caused an alert to be fired via e-mail/SMS/smoke signal, etc.

    I forget off the top of my head just who JCD is using for most of their deployments. One would hope that their solution provides for this. The next step in the equation, though is making sure that you have a contingency plan when such failures occur with a proper SLA in place allowing your downtime to be mitigated.

    One other way to minimize downtime is with redundant player hardware, wherein the system notices a dead player and is able to switch from one hardware device to another. Of course, as Luis stated, there is the question of the ROI on such an implementation vs the potential downtime costs.


  9. dsaddict Says:

    Thanks for your replies.

    Luis –

    I will email you.

    Sean Mistead –

    I’m sorry, I have seen a lot of demos and they have not a Monitor that shows you what is the real status of each player on your network, what are they currently playing, hard disk space, pc healt, cpu usage, screen status, etc…

    Most of them only updates info when the players are supposed to connect to the server to check content and the info is very limited, you only can know if a player download content or not, but you dont know what are they playing.

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