BrightSign Updates Signage Comms At UC Irvine

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Six networked BrightSigndigital players have been installed at University of California – Irvine on the Paul Merage School of Business campus.

The turnkey solid-state media controllers include five BrightSign HD210s with high-definition looping playlist support and a BrightSign HD1010 Interactive player. In addition to delivering school news combined with RSS feeds, the HD210s deliver inter-school news and inspiring alumni success stories while the interactive HD1010 drives a touch- screen directory of more than 200 faculty and staff offices.

Located in the heart of Orange County, UCI has dramatically increased its construction and remodeling activities as part of the Strategy for Academic Development at UCI through 2015, a master plan that outlines the vision of making UCI a first-choice university for college applicants nationwide.

With the remodeling projects, UCI’s School of Business replaced outmoded communications systems with BrightSign high-definition digital displays to provide modern, engaging signage solutions for four different communications applications.

The first area to be upgraded was the lobby outside a classroom sponsored by Experian in the Business School’s main SB Building where a BrightSign HD210 player displays a series of JPG images of Experian alumni and their biographies. The biography series concludes with an appreciation screen thanking Experian for its sponsorship before automatically looping back to the first screen in the series.

“The HD210 PC-less controller for the digital sign in the Experian Lobby was purchased directly from BrightSign and I installed it myself,” says Toshi Nakamura, system administrator for UC Irvine. “Following the successful deployment of our digital display in the Experian Lobby, we added four more HD210 displays and an HD1010 interactive player in the business school’s main building, the SB building.“

One HD210 digital sign controller has been installed in the Business School’s multipurpose Academic and Administrative Building to display inter-school news. Across the street, in the SB Building, three more network-enabled, controllers display business school news as well as RSS feeds from Reuters and The Wall Street Journal which are provided over the network through a subscription with SignChannel. Prior to the upgrade to BrightSign units, the signage consisted of PCs mounted in the ceilings connected by long wires to older LCD displays running PowerPoint presentations.

“The last project we completed was the touch screen building directory in the newly remodeled main SB lobby,” says Nakamura. “Here, we use a BrightSign HD1010 that supports both basic looping and interactive presentations. This gives us the ability to present slides thanking our latest donors. Then, if someone touches anywhere on that screen, the directory immediately appears with an alphabetical reference of the staff and faculty names and their room numbers. It makes finding the person you need really fast and easy, even for non-technical people.”

Prior to installing the touch screen directory in the SB Building, students and visitors had to search a board listing more than 200 offices to find the one they wanted. Whenever someone in the building changed offices, the letters had to be manually peeled off and moved around.

For the touch screen display, which is connected to the UCI network, Nakamura can sit at his desk and use BrightSign’s BrightAuthor software to create the display and the decision tree that brings up the information for each area of the screen that is touched. He also uses BrightSign’s simple networking feature to quickly and easily send updated content to the BrightSign unit controlling the directory. This feature is included with BrightAuthor, with no additional costs or license fees to pay.

Included free with all BrightSign controllers, BrightAuthor is a PC software application that simplifies creating, publishing and managing BrightSign presentations with intuitive templates and tools. The software also automatically creates the playlist file and bundles it with the selected content, ready to drop onto an SD card or send via the network for BrightSign playback.

By eliminating the need for a PC, the turnkey BrightSign players cost significantly less than PC-based systems and require a fraction of the power. They also have no moving parts to fail; are substantially smaller and can be mounted directly to the back of flat-panel LCD displays where they are out of sight.

Nakamura says, “As we get more space, we’re going to have more digital signage displays; and anywhere we have digital signage, we’re definitely going to use BrightSign boxes.“

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