NEC Unveils Android-Based Smart Digital Signage Panel, Using OPS Spec
January 28, 2014 by Dave Haynes
NEC 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.
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:
- Fan-less and solid-state components, which make this ideal for 24/7 run times
- Built-in media player application, which can run video files via flash memory, SD Card or USB Drive
- HDMI video, stereo audio, RS232 control and power, which are all passed internally from the display to OPS device for simplified installation with no external connections required
- Easy setup with a powerful 1.0GHZ CPU and 8 logic core graphics processors, which provide more than enough horsepower for crisp full-HD video playback
- Durable and protected industrial strength components rated for 24 x 7 usage
- Extra low power consumption for economic performance
- Full access to Google Play
- Wired and wireless networking capabilities through integrated LAN port and wireless antenna (included)
- Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2 operating system
- 2GB dual channel DDR3 of RAM
- Watch Dog Timer, which self-monitors and reboots during system instability
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.