Preset Mixer Sponsor Profiles: Capital Networks
February 4, 2014 by Dave Haynes
I go back 15 years now with Bil Trainor and his crew at Capital Networks, most of them the same people. Loyal bunch, which says a lot about the company and the guy who runs it.
Capital Networks is a Toronto-area provider of dynamic digital signage software solutions for digital signage, digital display networks, digital cable television systems, digital broadcast, narrowcasting, public information displays, kiosks, corporate, education, government and peg channels. I have no idea what peg channels are, but someone does. The company has been putting broadcast quality video and motion graphics on screens for 22 years now, and can credibility describe itself as an innovator and leader.
One of their biggest calling cards is the software they use for news and sports news networks and cable TV community channels. These channels can have I don’t know how many different live data content elements happening on the screen all at once, and they have been big influencers on screen layouts for companies and end-users in this sector. That hyper-kinetic design works on a TV channel that stays on all day long, but is the wrong idea for just about any digital signage network with short or non-existent dwell times.
My point here is that these channels – despite that incredible complexity – just work and work and work.
The same software team that wrote and supports those types of networks also writes the platform that runs signage networks. Capital’s guys have that sort of hyper-kinetic screen layout running on PCs, and have it ticking along nicely off a $200ish Android box. It’s impressive.
Capital owner Bil Trainor has supported the Preset Group mixer and this blog for a long time. They were telling me last year – days after the 2013 mixer – they were back in as sponsors. I asked Bil (spelling is correct) to give a rundown on what’s shaking with Capital next week at DSE.
Q: You guys have long been a big supporter and sponsor of DSE as well as this mixer, and this blog. Is it purely a marketing decision or is there more to it?
A: For us, it’s all about the relationships we’ve made and continue to make by being a part of the DSE and more recently, the Preset Mixer and 16:9. Great venues for generating partnerships, sharing ideas and having a little fun while doing it.
To be perfectly honest, we became sponsors of the Preset Mixer just so we could get into the thing. After several years of constantly hearing about this must attend pre-show party that I couldn’t seem to get a ticket to, I took matters into my own hands and wrote the cheque. Very much looking forward to seeing everyone at another sold out event this year.
As for getting involved with 16:9, we simply have a lot of respect for the site and the message it conveys. Honest editorial and opinion served with a side of wit. The tagline on the 16:9 website kind of sums it up for me: “All digital signage, some snark.” Even as a sponsor, we’re not immune to the sometimes painfully honest commentary produced by Mr. Haynes. Quite frankly, we wouldn’t want it any other way.
Q: When you debuted an Android solution a couple of years ago you really were the only credible company marketing that. Fast forward and there are dozens now. How do you rise above the crowd with your offer?
A: When we refer to our Android offering as a high performance, low cost alternative, there’s a reason that we lead with high performance. While Audience for Android certainly offers a cost effective alternative to traditional deployments, our main focus is being able to do so with as few compromises from our main content management solution as possible. Most of the other Android offerings have decided to sacrifice power and performance in order to offer the cheapest product possible. We understand there’s a market for that. It’s just not the market we’re interested in.
Q: How has business been? Is the marketplace now there?
A: Our main source of interest has come from clients that have already deployed successful digital signage networks and are looking for a cost effective way to expand without sacrificing quality or functionality. We do very well when we receive RFP’s specifically looking for a robust, reliable solution able to produce and display a polished, professional looking product. Happy to say that 2014 is shaping up to be a busy year.
Q: What are you showing this year that should make people want to come by?
A: Sticking with Android for a moment, we’ll have our second generation player on display at the show. We won a couple of industry awards for the first edition. This one’s better. We invite anyone looking at Android solutions to browse the various offerings at the show before swinging by Capital Networks – Booth 1115 to compare.
We’re also very happy to be showcasing Audience.mobile, our new mobile engagement product. We’ve integrated Dynamic NFC with our Audience solution to allow users to take away information from messages displayed on digital signage with a tap of their NFC enabled phone. We just won a DIGI Award for this one. So, come on by and get your picture taken with a DIGI Award!
We’re very proud of our partnership with Samsung as a member of the Samsung Smart Signage Platform, where we’re developing digital signage solutions that eliminate the need for a PC or set-back box. We’ll have our Audience integrated solution on display.
And, if that’s not enough, we’re fun, kind and Canadian. Who wouldn’t want to spend a little time in a booth like that?