Hughes Reminds Sector About Its Own Digital Signage Solution

April 15, 2014 by Dave Haynes


There are some big companies out there that every so often pop up and remind me that they are in the digital signage business, at least a little.

Hughes Network Systems, known mostly as a broadband satellite solutions provider, made some noise this morning about its HughesON Digital Media Solutions – which does the usual stuff but layers in social media integration, low-cost cloud content storage and expanded emergency notification functionality.

Says a news release:

Social media is an integrated part of HughesON Digital Media Solutions and the enhancements bring a full slate of features to more effectively access Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, Google+, and Instagram. Easy-to-use templates and HTML5 make for rapid creation of exciting links to social media, enabling organizations to deliver relevant content based on location. 

Hughes was an early adopter of cloud-based storage and distribution services, and the latest enhancements include the option to use Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) with the full suite of HughesON Digital Signage Solutions. Using the cloud for content storage and access greatly simplifies operational management and resource requirements, especially for large networks of distributed media players.

“Over the past 10 years, I watched first hand as Hughes has delivered innovations to the digital signage and employee communication industries,” said Dan Pryor, communication industry analyst. “I see significant value in these new features. Businesses will increase revenues, save money, and create employee engagement with these timely, relevant, and reliable communication solutions.”

Hughes was one of the first companies to provide emergency notification services as part of its digital signage solutions. The new release gives greater flexibility in what content and where the emergency notifications are displayed, building on an earlier version that includes an iOS application for network administrators to initiate notifications from handheld devices.

“When urgent situations arise, distributed organizations need to react quickly and provide accurate and timely information to their audiences,” said Mike Tippets, vice president, Hughes Media Solutions Group. “Our solution now allows the use of unique messages on each screen or group of screens, making the messages relevant to the precise location and situation.”

I don’t personally see a whole pile of value to adding social media integration, because it’s already a common offer in this sector and comes with a bunch of baggage: the need to filter the content firehose, changing APIs and looming intellectual property claims.

More interesting is the use of Amazon’s cloud storage, though infrastructure on demand and low-cost cloud storage are hardly revelations in this space.

It’s hard to keep track, but I think Hughes is the old Helius software platform. Hughes bough the Utah company about six years ago.

I also wonder how well satellite does these days, as machine to machine wireless costs keep coming down and global weather keeps getting wilder (dishes like calm, blue skies).

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