Capital Formally Launches Android Product Bundle
June 19, 2012 by Dave Haynes
Capital Networks was showing at DSE an Android-based media player for digital signage, and saying it would be out by late spring. Well, it’s late spring and it’s now out.
The Audience for Android media player and software bundle is a mash-up that takes much of the capability of Capital’s product and gets it running on the sort of set-top box media player that will be coming over by the container-load from China.
“Due to the ease of implementation and low cost of the Audience for Android solution, we believe those new to digital signage will be less hesitant to enter the market, while existing users will enjoy the ability to expand current deployments much more economically,” says Jim Vair, VP Business Development. “In speaking with clients, we’ve found this solution provides them the opportunity to think on a much larger scale, when their original deployment plan may have been limited to one or two screens”.
The features include:
- Real time scheduling
- Support of single and multi-zone layouts
- Full screen H.264 video playback
- Support of live data feeds
- As-Run Logs for content verification
- Command and Control features for emergency messaging
- Flash and MNG animation support (MNG is kinda sorta an animated PNG)
“From retail signage, to corporate and campus communications, to restaurant menu boards, we feel the industry applications for this product are limitless,” says Vair. “And the fact that we have both hosted and non-hosted turnkey solutions to offer clients leaves us in a good position to provide customized digital signage solutions to fit budgets and projects both large and small.”
I saw a version running back in March and it did a LOT more than I expected it to do. It runs Android 4 and does all the multi-zone dynamic content, video and transitioning stuff that Audience would normally run on a PC. It also runs on Android phones and tablets.
The Capital guys have been around since the ’90s doing broadcast-level multi-zone stuff for cable TV channels, and much of that is supported here. They continue to have very high-end products that serve that market, so this big scale, low-cost product doesn’t present any cannibalization issues.
The deal is pretty simple – $699/player (minimum order of five), which includes software and three years of support. So less than $20/month if you look at three year costs. Capital also says hosted and non-hosted solutions are available.
There are other guys doing Android, including signagelive (through its virtual player). Most, however, are small shops or start-ups and I’m not sure I’d take the commercial risk of going with something unproven.
Whether it’s using Android or Linux or even Windows, the sector will be seeing more and more of these very small, solid state and low-low cost players to run the simple jobs that just don’t need the horsepower of a full PC.