NEC Unveils Android-Based Smart Digital Signage Panel, Using OPS Spec

January 28, 2014 by Dave Haynes

ops-drdNEC Display Solutions just got into the smart digital sign contest, but in a very different way.

Whereas companies like Samsung and LG are effectively extending variants of their Smart TV development and hardware into commercial displays, NEC is using the Open Pluggable Spec (OPS) to allow an open-source Android player box to be snapped into the back of their commercial panels.


Says NEC:

The new internal ARM-based digital signage media player, OPS-DRD, runs an Android Operating System, multiple video formats and high-definition content at 1080p, and is targeted for use with all types of digital signage from static content to dynamic graphics.

“Our new digital signage media player can be easily integrated into the OPS slot on most NEC displays for multimedia playback, making an all-in-one solution easier for our customers,” said Ben Hardy, Product Manager for Large-Screen Displays at NEC Display Solutions. “With full access to the Play Store through wired and wireless network support, the OPS-DRD can be customized for any digital signage platform.”

Among the features of the OPS-DRD digital player are:

It looks like the player will work with panels ranging in size from 32 inches up to 65 inches.

NEC says an  OPS device adapter (SB-02AM) is required for the NEC P402, P462, P552, P652, X463UN, X462UNV and X551UN displays. No OPS device adaptor is required for the NEC P403, P463, P553, P703, V323, V423, V463, V552, V652, V801, X401S, X462X and X552S displays.

The OPS-DRD media player is now available and costs $249, with a 3-year warranty.

Very interesting. As always, the devil is in the details, but in theory this means NEC has a competitively priced counter to the Korean displaycos’ smart sign platforms, and one that doesn’t put development restrictions in place. For LG, as an example, developers will have to acquaint themselves with WebOS. With this set-up, companies such as BroadSign, Capital Networks, Stratacache, TargetR and others should (again) theoretically be able to drop their native player code on to this OPS box.

NEC has been doing OPS panels for a long time, but the hang-up (if there’s been one) is that they’re PCs, in small production runs, which has meant expensive.


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