BrightSign has announced a complete overhaul of its digital signage player portfolio, and also unveiled a nice new feature that takes the time and hassle out of prepping and activating big lots of players.
The Silicon Valley company’s distinct purple boxes (they’re first cousins of Roku set-top boxes) have been completely redesigned, and the supporting software has also had major updates.
Says a press release:
“The digital signage marketplace is evolving rapidly. For that reason it’s important that our technology solutions not only support signage as it’s being used today, but that they also work flawlessly many years from now,” says Jeff Hastings, BrightSign’s CEO. “Customers can install our players today knowing that BrightSign software, hardware and networking solutions will serve them well in the future as they implement new and exciting digital signage features.”
BrightAuthor software v4.5 will enable a new feature on the HD, XD and XT players called Mosaic Mode, which allows a multitude of lower-resolution videos to be played in multiple video zones that add up to the total resolution decoding power of the player’s video decoder. CEA HDR 10 is supported on all players delivering a much higher contrast ratio and much wider color palette, complementing the higher resolution of 4K displays. And the ability to real-time encode and stream content from the player to another end-point or device is now incorporated in XD and XT players.
The boxes are a lot more sleek and compact than the chunky, commercial-grade units (right) BrightSign now has in the field, and they do look very nice. I’m not sure design is important for units that get hidden behind displays and stuffed in cabinets, but even nerds can be swayed by good industrial design.
Aesthetics aside, what caught my eye is a new feature called B-Deploy, which BrightSign says is a setup and provisioning application that allows customers to use BrightSign’s network, a partner CMS platform or an on-premise server to setup and deploy mass numbers of players all at once. That mass provisioning capability is a big jump up from older methods of saving setup files to an SD card and then duplicating the SD card for every player being set-up for a network. Which would take roughly forever.
I’m told the provisioning feature is backwards-compatible with the current range of Series 2 players BrightSign has been shipping in the last year or two.
The seven new players BrightSign is marketing all integrate H.265 (video encoding that cuts file sizes in half without a loss of quality) and HTML5. The top two product lines – XD and XT – offer a hardware-accelerated H.265 video decoding engine capable of 4K HDR 10-bit video playback.
Across four product lines, costs vary from $250 for the entry-level LS423 to the $650XT1143, which will do 4K and 60 frames per second, and has the most graphics and processing power of the bunch.
BrightSign would be, by a big big margin, the biggest hardware player in the signage market. The company ships, on average, about 1,000 players a day and expects to eclipse 1 million deployed units before the end of this year.
You can learn more about BrightSign in a recent 16:9 Podcast interview I did with Hastings.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.