My Signagelive friends, Jason Cremins and Raffi Vartian, have been talking up a storm with anyone who will listen about the merits and possibilities of Samsung’s SoC product, which was announced at ISE and then announced formally for the N. America market last week at DSE.
It interests me as a product for a few reasons:
- This is the first big display panel company to make the leap from smart TV to smart display panel, and put a processor and set-up in place that would allow it to truly be smart. These things have an ARM processor inside that’s equivalent to what you would get in one of Samsung’s more coveted smartphones;
- The things support HTML5 and 1080P video, and are not running the Android OS. Instead, it’s a custom Linux kernel. Samsung has a development support term in the LA area helping software companies write to this;
- The price is the same or nearly the same as existing panels that don’t have the SoC inside. So in some – certainly not all – cases, these puppies are all that an end-user might need for a sign network, in terms of player hardware. Taking $500-$800 in PC cost out of a job could prove a big deal on some or perhaps many projects.
It is still very early days, with prices not yet set, but it’s technology that you could see attracting attention in a way similar or probably more so than the open pluggable (OPS), slot-loaded PC stuff introduced by Intel in 2010 and used by companies like NEC and Philips. The OPS units likely have more CPU power and management capabilities, but then they also cost as much or more than PCs.
I opted to talk directly to the Samsung folks for this video to get their take, but you can also see the Signagelive pitch here:
Capital Networks, Wireless Ronin, Scala and Four Winds are also fiddling with the platform, and I know at least one other company quietly looking at it. But it’s entirely fair to say Signagelive is the company running (hard) with it in North America at the moment.