The Sterling, Virginia-based signage firm Mvix has launched a new hardware/software bundle that gets users a teeny Intel-based player and lifetime software for just $259.
Dubbed Xhibit Mykro, the set-up is an Intel Bay Trail-based player and Mvix’s cloud-based XhibitSignage software, which can be managed and updated over the Internet, supports HTML5 media playback, and has the sorts of playlist, scheduling and multi-user capabilities common on subscription-based platforms.
Says a news release:
Xhibit Mykro, an organic extension of Mvix’s digital signage platform, is the company’s latest innovation in its affordable digital signage lineup. With the web-based XhibitSignage CMS and integration with SignageCreator, users can easily create, manage and distribute content. Keeping the message fresh, effective, dynamic and up-to-date is not a problem with Xhibit Mykro.
Zoned templates allow users to mix their message with full HD 1080p video, stunning images, RSS feeds, custom text tickers, PDF slideshows, a digital or analog clock and date/calendar display. Effective media animations can be positioned anywhere on the screen to bring the content to life. The powerful and free CMS enables users to make changes on the fly, always keeping content current. Additionally, a versatile, simple and intuitive playlist creator and scheduler drives graphic content, making content delivery an automated process so users can “set it and forget it.”
“Choosing a reliable and easy-to-install media player is one of the first milestones in deploying a successful digital signage project,” said A. Jay, the Mvix Sr. Director of Business Relations. “Xhibit Mykro is designed with this in mind, with its unique heat dissipation enclosure, HDMI connector and commercial-grade solid-state design.” It simplifies the selection process of the “right” player by offering not only all of the high-performance features, but also the capabilities needed for more efficient deployments, like integrated Wi-Fi and LAN. Built to last with utmost reliability, the robust metal chassis ensures the player withstands high loads of professional applications.
Sub-$260 for an x86 Intel box that includes cloud-based software and no recurring fees is pretty interesting, but also a little puzzling – as in “How does Mvix make a buck with that?”
So I asked Jay by email …
“These units are targeted primarily toward simpler applications – Digital Menu Boards, Digital Building Directories, End-cap displays, Door signs, etc. Soon we plan on having 7-10″ embedded screens (similar price range) for price tags on retail shelves,” he says.
“We use the same software that is used for our higher-end systems (Xhibit Lite: $575, Xhibit HD-4k: $850, or Videowalls). Since Xhibit Mykro is targeted toward simpler solutions/applications, we dont include some widgets that are available in the other models.”
The devices run Linux, so the bundle price doesn’t get forced up by OS license fees (Linux is open-source).
As for the economics?
“The bottomline is – our fixed costs are low, so moderate profits suffice,” says Jay. “Our objective with this product is to keep the price at a point which covers our costs, and we can provide adequate support to our clients.”
“I am not sure if you have noticed – but all our products are sold at a one-time upfront cost and no subscription fee for the cloud software. We have been doing this for many years now. It works for us.”
“Firstly, we view DS space not as “ONE client-ONE application” concept. For example, a school district has multiple applications for DS screens (notice boards, wayfinding directories, menu boards in cafeteria, etc.) OR a hotel/resort (menu boards, lobby displays, flight info boards, wayfinding, room door signs etc.) … Traditionally, companies have offered ONE product/model for all applications … which in our opinion is unjustified (from the client’s perspective!)”
“Our approach has always been to have an assortment of models – which can be a best applied for each application within a client. Such a strategy offers best ROI while maintaining lower training costs, maintenance costs etc… since all these models are run from the same software, albeit with different role-based user permissions.”
Secondly, the digital signage space is nearing maturity … i.e. the “late majority” folks are just joining the party – they want to try this stuff (because the mall down the street has it, too) but are not willing to invest into high-end hardware (leave apart paying a monthly fee for the software). They are not heavy users of DS features. Mykro is a near-perfect fit for such market.”
Interesting development. Mvix is another one of those companies that doesn’t make a lot of noise within its own industry, and just kinda chugs along doing its thing.
I absolutely know from site traffic that cost is huge driver of research and decision-making when it comes to many companies and organizations, particularly smaller ones. So an offer that appears to provide a lot, in a small, solid state, ruggedized package, for one fixed fee that’s lower than just the hardware price on most systems, will get attention.