Go Train guys change software platform

August 11, 2008 by Dave Haynes

The UMBC guys who run the screen network on Toronto’s commuter rail system have annnounced a software change, going from something built in-house to the Omnivex system.

GO Transit operates over 400 bi-level passenger rail cars in the GTA, serving over 170,000 passengers daily, and over a million impressions per week. The majority of passengers are affluent professionals, who use the trains to commute to and from work. The average passenger rides the train for 35 minutes, twice per day. Each car is being fitted with eight 15 inch LCD monitors (four per level) to display an informative and entertaining digital signage network featuring news, weather, sports and business content, movie previews, videos, and advertising. Audio is available via FM radio stations.

An in-house software solution was considered to run the On-Train TV (OTTV) network, but ultimately, Omnivex was selected for its flexibility when working with new communications technologies (such as wireless EDGE), cost-saving ability while maintaining a network, and the ease of collecting proof of play data.

Well, as a sales monkey, I guess I should have been chasing the railroaders, but my suspicion is the greeting would have been less than warm. I have done a couple of posts noting that the hardware installation looks pretty good, but the programming on this network is pretty much a textbook case of what not to do – cluttered screen layouts and content that is relentlessly shoveled straight from Global TV newscasts, silent talking heads and all.

Getting the system stabilized on a well-established (and local) platform, is perhaps a good step in the right direction.

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