NEC Beefs Up Open Pluggable PC Line-Up For Digital Signage Displays, Projectors

September 21, 2017 by Dave Haynes

NEC Display Solutions has beefed up its line of Open Pluggable Specification (OPS) compliant computers that plug into the backs of displays and offer a Windows-based alternative to the increasing numbers of smart system on chip displays being sold in the digital signage market.

The OPS computers now all include 64-bit Windows 10 Pro and get as powerful as Intel i7 Skylake Quad Cores. In lay terms, that equates to serious computers that can handle pretty much anything a signage player might throw at it.

The OPS computers are for integration into the built-in OPS expansion slots of NEC’s V, P, and X Series displays, and E705, E805 and E905 models, as well as NEC Display PX and PH Series projectors.

Says NEC in a press release:

The flagship OPS-TCIS-PS features an Intel i7 “Skylake” Quad Core CPU with 8GB of RAM that takes advantage of the Skylake’s dual channel memory, designed to power the most demanding and complex digital signage content. It also includes an M.2 solid-state hard drive and a full Windows 10 Pro license, which insures full use of all Windows-compatible peripherals, such as touch screens and web cameras.

In addition, the OPS-TCIS-PS includes Intel’s powerful Vpro technology, providing hardware-enhanced security with multifactor identity protection and remote access to help reduce IT operating costs. Finally, the unit also features Trusted Platform Management (TPM), which provides a higher level of security – ideal for financial, government and gaming verticals that require a higher level of encryption to protect sensitive data.

The first-tier OPS-APIS-PS PC also features a Dual-Core Celeron CPU, an M.2 solid-state drive, and a 64-bit Windows 10 Pro license, designed to provide high performance and efficiency for a variety of signage needs. Lastly, the OPS-PCAEQ-PS2 gets an upgrade over the previous model with additional RAM (8GB) and Windows 10 Pro.

Each of the above PCs feature gigabit Ethernet connection, USB 3.0/USB 2.0 ports, DisplayPort video output, and 4K resolution support. Both the OPS-TCIS and OPS-PCAEQ also add WiFi connectivity.

“With these latest updates to our line of OPS PCs, we’re bringing to market the most versatile and adaptable computing solutions available by any major display OEM,” said Chris Feldman, Product Manager at NEC Display Solutions.  “The OPS-TCIS-PS is the most powerful OPS we’ve ever offered, which means our customers will have the processing power to smoothly deliver 4K video and render 3D content to produce the kind of digital signage they need to be successful.”

OPS is an industry-wide standard, around since 2010 or so, that NEC and some other manufacturers have adopted, allowing different PC and media player makers to design units that can snap into and out of commercial displays. Among the arguments for OPS over the wide range of smart displays out there is that software companies can continue to work in Windows (instead of Android or the proprietary versions of Linux used by Samsung and LG). OPS also allows for a lot more CPU power than smart displays have, though the 2017 versions of smart displays are substantially beefier than earlier generations.

Some of these units are definitely for specialized use-cases. That flagship OPS-TCIS-PS unit has an MSRP of  $2,000 USD. There are, of course, models with lower price points.


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