Black Box debuts digital signage hardware, hosted system

Turnkey digital signage product integrates well into any customer environment, contends Black Box.

Black Box has announced its MediaFlyer Express system, billed as "a sub-$1000 platform that enables businesses to more easily set up digital signage to increase sales and improve communications with customers." According to the company, the combination hardware/hosted system being offered provides users everything they need to get started with a digital signage system, except for the display.

The kit includes a compact player that installs at the screen and a subscription to the company's MediaFlyer Web site, where content is uploaded to and managed via a Web browser. The kit's hardware player supports 1080p resolutions and has outputs for both HDMI and DVI-I video (adaptable to VGA with the included adapter). In addition to Gigabit-speed network cable connections, the player supports 802.11b/g wireless connectivity for use in areas without wired Ethernet connections.

Through the system’s drag-and-drop interface, the average office manager or business owner can set up a layout, upload and place content in multiple zones, and schedule presentations to play at specific times. Uses can choose from the preloaded screen layouts or easily create their own. The layout editing interface enables a user to divide the screen into two or more areas for showing different content and set up a ticker or text crawl at the bottom.

“What’s nice is you don’t need a lot of technical or creative expertise to set up and use MediaFlyer Express,” explains Gina Dickson, Black Box digital signage product manager. “Simply drop in a PowerPoint or Flickr slideshow next to your logo, add an RSS or a Twitter feed and a video, and in no time at all you can have signage that rivals that of a big box store.”

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There is no software to load on the player, as content resides on the Web. Because signage content is configured via Web browser, signage administrators can more easily share the job of content management with others, including those at other sites. Because all MediaFlyer Express licensing is per player, businesses can add as many users as they like without incurring additional costs.

Dickson says because MediaFlyer Express offers simple setup, it is ideal for integrators and resellers, particularly those seeking a turnkey digital signage product that integrates well into any customer environment. “There’s little you have to do to sell it,” she says. “Plus, in most situations, there’s no need for any IT staff to be involved in its installation. For this reason, it’s perfect for installers who are more comfortable with AV and home theater technology than computer networking.”

To learn more about Black Box's MediaFlyer Express platform, call 800-355-8003 or visit blackbox.com/go/MediaFly.

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