OPUS Display Control, Mgmt Software Solution

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Urban Digital, better known perhaps for several large format digital display installations in shopping mall and High Street locations around London and major cities within the UK this week announced its own display network monitoring and control solution dedicated to the digital signage industry.

There are of course many challenges in managing remote digital signage networks and thus began so they tell us THEIR search for a total display monitoring package.

With allegedly nothing comprehensive available on the market their software developers set out to design and write, we quote here “the first display network monitoring and control solution dedicated to the digital signage industry based on our real life experience”.

The result is OPUS™ – a Display Control and Management Software solution designed to present the most common and relevant information to the user in a friendly format.

OPUS we are told, will allow users to control, configure and manage digital displays (Projectors, LCD, LED, Plasma, OLED, etc.) from both LAN’s and WAN’s.

OPUS is so they say, an industry first, designed to monitor and control the health of the digital displays themselves and not just something that alerts you to PC errors.

6 Responses to “OPUS Display Control, Mgmt Software Solution”

  1. Anthony DiPrizio Says:

    An in-depth video overview of the product can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4X-uMDeLpOM

    We want to stress the importance of a system such as OPUS since we have seen nothing from the industry that combines the necessary information to provide 99.9% accountability. The video does a good job of explaining some typical scenarios that we’ve all seen on a daily basis – screens down at airports, underground stations, and in many other public locations – and the operator or owner never seems to know about it.

    Please feel free to view the video and check our website for more information. We are happy to demonstrate the strengths of our product and show how you can actually gain control of your digital signage networks and produce much more than a content management report which in the end proves nothing if the actual display is off.

  2. Brent Says:

    How is this any different than the various RS-232 screen control features that most digital signage software already has? Remotely turning on/off display, monitoring screen health, ensuring proof-of-display and sending email alerts has been around for years now.

  3. Anthony DiPrizio Says:

    Thanks Brett. I’m glad you’ve asked that question ! I’ll apologize in advance for the long winded response but I am doing my best to provide overall market education as we have been asked this question before and when people realize how different it is and how useful it is, it helps demonstrate the concept much more clearly.

    We certainly see some companies such as BitLogix using very basic methods of control over the LAN but it’s entirely different to OPUS. For starters OPUS works over LAN/WAN with zero network configuration (no VPN, no VLAN, no port forwarding, etc.) Yes, we do all of the basic control elements and can control the screen in it’s entirety but with our API, advanced trending and analytical mechanisms, data mining collection and many, many more features, it certainly puts us much further ahead.

    If you ask any digital signage owner or operator at this point in time exactly WHAT was playing on their screens (most can provide only this), if the screens were on/off, had a signal, are on the correct input, showing the correct amount of motion necessary, no obstructions in the video, no stutter in the video, etc. etc. they will be unable to provide that information.

    If these systems existed then we wouldn’t see as many errors, screens down, pop up boxes, blue screens of death, etc. as we do today. This doesn’t even include all of the Windows/Linux elements which we also monitor (computer uptime, ping replies, disk analysis, software installed, and the list goes on).

    Something else to mention is the fact that OPUS does automatic “first fixes” – a simple scenario would be someone switching an input and forgetting to turn it back to it’s intended input, OPUS will automatically correct the error by using an input locking mechanism built into the software. The same is said for general configuration of the screens themselves (brightness, contrast, color, etc.). This is only the tip of the iceberg.

    We are truly the first product to introduce advanced features specically for digital signage. Some of these features are mentioned on our website but for a more in-depth look we certainly recommend seeing a demo of our product and it will become clear in an instant how this is a first of a kind product and will become an industry “must have” not “nice to have”.

    If you would like to see a live demonstration of the product please let me know and I’d be happy to do so. Also, another feature that separates the two is our ANIM module which does some amazing screen motion analysis from the graphics card, this ensures the proper amount of motion is taking place on the screen and will detect abnormalities such as stuttering/slow playback of video, pop up box detection, etc.

    Contact information is also available on our website so please feel free to reach out any time and please do not hesitate to come back with more questions, I’m always happy to field them.

    Thanks again.

  4. Anthony DiPrizio Says:

    Please note the second paragraph should actually read as the owners or operators only being able to produce a report of WHAT was delivered to the computer it-self, not actually the screen.

  5. Curious Says:

    Interesting to see how it stacks up along side something like http://www.simtrol.com/

  6. Anthony DiPrizio Says:

    We’ve seen the Simtrol product and it’s a very different solution as well. OPUS again is designed specifically for the Digital Signage industry built on real life practical experience. We’ve used OPUS in the past to manage large profile client networks such as Virgin Media, Vodafone (projection network), and Limited Space. We are also rolling the software out with a few other large organizations in which we will issue a statement when these has been completed.

    We notice that some of the companies trying to design software for display management just don’t understand all of the “moving parts” within digital signage. We would have happily used another product if it existed so we had to set out and design our own since there was nothing comprehensive enough that allowed for total accountability of digital displays.

    Having a full understanding of digital signage is important when writing software for this specific industry. Unfortunately one size does not fit all in many instances of digital signage.

    Also, many of the generic device management platforms are not nearly as up-to-date as OPUS. We regularally add digital displays to the software to ensure that we’re supporting all devices possible. There’s no need for the user to try and figure out all of the hex codes for RS-232 or the PJLink commands or anything even remotely close to that. All of the hard work is done and automated so that it’s as simple as possible. We don’t even push this as a “feature” of the software because it’s aimed towards digital signage, these types of things should come standard and in almost all cases with other software, they do not.

    If you’re interested in seeing a demonstration please let me know !

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