Harris, VBrick Address Digital Signage Needs

By Ken Kerschbaumer

Digital signage technology continues to see an influx of new products and systems designed to bring greater customization and revenue generation to the market. The latest? Harris Corp. and VBrick Systems are providing a joint system that combines Harris InfoCaster scheduling and playout with VBrick streaming technology.

InfoCaster is used for creating, scheduling, distributing, playing and reporting video and graphics over digital signage networks. “It’s user-friendly interface and broadcast-quality output makes InfoCaster a perfect choice for your digital signage network,” says Don Hewitt, InfoCaster product manager.

The system allows the screen to be divided into multiple regions, each served by a different PC. “The PC holds all the native content locally and plays it to the screen, usually through DVI, VGA or composite video,” says Hewitt. The output can be divided to different regions, video in a video window, still graphics in another and text in another. All independent of one another and can overlap.”

The VBrick appliance provides network-friendly features such as multicast, reflecting, and HTTP encapsulation using standards-based video encoding schemes. When the VBrick appliance is combined with the Infocaster technology, the result is a single centralized digital signage system that can be used to drive displays at diverse regional, national or international locations.

Mike Savic, VBrick director of marketing, says the systems can be used in several configurations, including using the VBrick WindowsMedia video appliance as a front end while InfoCaster provides a wider distribution of the content. “Digital signage content can be sent within a Firewall using IP multicasting to PCs, Macs, and large-screen TVs and the same content can be sent over the Internet,” he explains.

Tim Thorsteinson, president of Harris Broadcast, says the offering gives content owners a single point of control for delivering rich media and “the critical tools to effectively and efficiently support both online and digital signage delivery models.”

When the InfoCaster solution is used as the network interface, live video streams can be combined with other signage inputs, adding live video streams to existing deployments.

“As the demand for both digital signage and online video communication increases, organizations will want to streamline the process with reliable solutions to help them not only capture video at the source, but also stream it live via the Internet and over digital signage networks to reach a broader audience,” says Vince Graziani, chief executive officer, VBrick Systems. “Our collaboration with Harris is just one example of how VBrick is shaping the future of video.”

When combined with additional VBrick systems components and management software, the video appliance becomes the foundation an EtherneTV system. The complete video delivery system can capture, record, manage and distribute video across the enterprise.

In addition to the widely used InfoCaster professional-grade graphics creation and presentation line of products, the Harris portfolio offers a full line of content management solutions for supporting creation, production, management, scheduling, distribution and reporting.