Sony continues to seemingly nibble around the edges of the digital signage business – kinda sorta in it, but not in any big or consistent way.
The company has had system on chip smart displays since at least 2013, but has not really gone after a smart signage play in the way rivals like Samsung, LG, Phillips and others have.
But Sony is still releasing product that supports the concept of pro displays that ship with embedded media players. The company recently announced six new pro-grade BRAVIA displays aimed at use-cases like digital signage, information and monitoring applications.
The six BZ35F models, says a press release, range in screen sizes from 43 to 85 inches. Based on the display technology in Sony’s consumer TVs, the new series adds professional features like network and serial communication control, flexible installation options and high brightness.
The new models operate on the Android TV platform and support HTML5, allowing users to easily create and customize digital signage layouts by selecting image or video files or web links. More than 100 REST APIs enable greater creative flexibility as well as remote control and monitoring and integration with external systems.
“Digital signage users need to create, schedule and distribute content easily, whether it’s an information display for a lobby or an interactive screen in a showroom,” says Anthony Cianfarano, Product Manager at Sony Professional Solutions Americas. “These new models put everything the user needs right at their fingertips, to develop the right signage network for the right application.”
I need some reader help here to understand if there is a distinction between smart displays that ship with Android OS installed, like Phillips, Panasonic and Sharp, and displays that ship with Android TV. I THINK they are two different development paths and are obviously related, but different. Not sure at all if a CMS software shop that has developed to Android OS can use Android TV-equipped panels pretty readily, or if there is a whole bunch of additional work required.
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.