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General Chat Thread, Infralink in General; At our school weve been looking at having some large screens dotted about displaying information, and our systems manager has ...
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    andyrodger50's Avatar
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    Infralink

    At our school weve been looking at having some large screens dotted about displaying information, and our systems manager has got a quote from a company called Infralink. They are charging absolutely extortionate amounts for the software and equipment, and they dont even come and set it up!

    Has anyone ever had any experience with this company?

    Were thinking of using some of the older replaced PCs, ordering some LCD TVs online and doing it ourselves.

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    webman's Avatar
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    Re: Infralink

    Not specifically about Infralink, but there are numerous posts about the forum about various digital signage systems that may point you in the right direction - start here

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    andyrodger50's Avatar
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    Re: Infralink

    Cheers webman, didn't realise it was called "Digital Signage"

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Re: Infralink

    Infralink don't like their product being called digital signage.

    I know the NM of one of the schools they have it set up in and last time I spoke to him he was exactly complimentary about it.

    Ben

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    Infralink

    Hi,

    I am the sales Director of Infralink and would like to just add our comments to this thread.

    Fistly we do come and setup the software and the equipment and on the cost front, if you look at other Digital Signage soluions we are not that exspensive.

    To my Knowledge we have not said that our product is not Digital Signage because clearley it is. We did however not approach it from a normal Digital Signage point of view which may have been something we had said to someone.

    I am aware our software it not as good as it could be and for that reason, we have recently decided to stop selling it for the time being whilst we completley re-evaluate it and re-write it.

    I would like to know who the NM is, that is not happy and the reasons for his unhappiness.

    I would also like to know what the best solutions is that other people have found as it will help us in nthe futre to offer a better solution.

    One soultion we have seen in other schools is a regulary updated power point being displayed, this seems to us to be the most cost effictive and easiest solution.

    It does dissapoint me to see that people are not complimetary about us as a company ahd the service we provide.

    As a family run company based in east anglia, serving local bussiness and educational establishments our reputation is very important to us.

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    ninjabeaver's Avatar
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    Nice one Andy, that hit a sore spot.

    @Infralink :- Personally I found your 'rant' a little on the rude side. Perhaps an introduction of who you are would of been a better start, and your name. Obviously the salesman did not explain clearly, if at all, that you do setup the software and equipment.

    I agree it is dissapointing to see negative comments about a company, but negatives are made from a negative interaction with a supplier.

    Perhaps to start building your reputation on here would be to rewrite your post and do some proper introductions and then some links to schools in the area who are pleased with your work and happy for us to have comments posted by them showing this.

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    I thought it was rather polite actually. You should see some of the mails that I and the other admins receive from disgruntled companies!

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    HI,

    You really have misunderstood me completely. I was not trying to have a "rant" in anyway and I am sorry if in your opinion I was rude.

    My name is James Hood, I am the salesman that would have visited the School and I know that I did explain the way in which we install and setup our products.

    With every school I have ever sent a quotation to I fully explain the process we go through on how we supply and install our products. I also point out in the quotation letters that in most cases a school will be able to purchase elements of the system like the LCD screens at a much better cost than we can supply them for and that we are happy for them to do this and for us to just install them.

    Four Schools that Pop to mind instantly are Neatherd High School in Dereham and Langley High School in Loddon, the Hewett School in Norwich and Sherringham High school and 6th Form Centre in Sherringham.

    Also I can't seem to see which School Andy and Plexer come from? Have they actually seen of any our work?

    It just seemed to me that the whole thread was very one sided and I wanted to put our side of it.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    I am from Wayland Community High School in Watton and the person that told me you didn't refer to it as digital signage was Jonathan Broom I think is his name when he rang me months ago to discuss if infralink can help us in anyway.

    The school I was referring to is Cliff Park in Gorelston.

    We are looking for a digital signage solution at the moment and I have pricing coming on a one lan install which seems to be one of the favoured solutions.

    If infralink are rewiting their software then I am sure that everyone on here that uses digital signage and those that would like to could help you out with what we would like to see this software capable of doing.

    Yes you can buy lcd tv's for cheap now but what is the warranty and swap out on them when they die? lcd displays are designed to be run for long periods of time.

    Ben

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    ninjabeaver's Avatar
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    Yay, loads better.

    Hi James, and welcome to the forums.

    West Norfolk NM's are a fickle lot as you can probably tell, being the furthest out from Norwich we get the bottom of the barrel treatment.

    You got a link to a website James?

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    Cliff Park High School was the first installation of this type we had done. I didn't realise they were not happy with it as I have not heard from them in at least a year.
    I thought they had stopped using our system as all the schools in the Great Yarmouth area were meant to be getting a new Info system linking them together. we did quote for this but were unfortunately piped at the post by Snellings.

    Cliff Park was meant to be a test site for us, I had an agreement with the head teacher that we would use them as a guinea pig site, but as we lost the deal to do all the schools we let it be.

    The problem we have had is that we have spent lots of time and money on our product and it is still is not running as it should.

    I do believe actually that we have a newer version of the software available than the one they are using at Cliff Park which I could install for them.

    I think where we went wrong is that we didnít do enough research as to what you guys in schools actually wanted from and information screens system. That is what we now need to do, I have heard from other NM that the OneLan system is not the easiest to use either and some didnít like the fact you have a TV screen in the middle of each screen.

    On the LCD TV front we have had some running in a school for a couple of years with no issues. But the LCD displays offer a much better resolution and are brighter but do come at a higher cost, I have not been able to find any with more than a one year warranty as standard.

    Jonathan is no Longer with us! He should not have said that as it is not digital signage, as it is. In his defence I think the point he would have been trying to get across is that our system is different to a digital signage system as we have tried to approach it from a schools angle rather than a commercial one.

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    Hi Simon,

    We are currently having our website re done it is at it's tempory home of Infralink it is however not finished and will be changing over the next few days/weeks.

    Waht school are you at?

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    plexer's Avatar
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    You don't have to have tv in the middle of a one lan screen it can be moved to where ever you want it or not included at all if the net top box doesn't have the freeview card in it.

    One of the other draw backs to one lan as far as I can see is that if you want to have different content on different screens you have to purchase multiple net top boxes and these aren't cheap.

    A cheaper way to do it is to have some sort of intelligent player locally at each display so that multiple screens can show different content.

    I haven't spoken to Nigel for a while but that was the impression I got when I last spoke to him.

    Ben

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    Quote Originally Posted by Infralink View Post
    With every school I have ever sent a quotation to I fully explain the process we go through on how we supply and install our products. I also point out in the quotation letters that in most cases a school will be able to purchase elements of the system like the LCD screens at a much better cost than we can supply them for and that we are happy for them to do this and for us to just install them.
    Okay, fair enough - you certainly seem like a fairly reasonable bunch (hey, you've got yourself on EduGeek, after all!), and you've been kind enough to come along and take the time to answer our questions so far. Thanks, I certainly appreciate the effort there.

    As you're here, perhaps you can explain to us what advantages a system like yours would have over simply getting some big LCD screens (22" available from Insight for £140), attaching a very small form factor PC or thin client (one of those dinky Vigelin things, something Mac Mini-sized, maybe even just a Mac Mini - certainly easily under £500), plugging in power and network and running a web browser in kiosk mode pointed at some internal web server?

    --
    David Hicks
    Last edited by dhicks; 3rd October 2008 at 04:31 PM.

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    David,

    Thank you for your comments,

    I must say that if you are happy to setup a system like that and you have the time available, then that would in my opinion be the best thing to do.

    The only advantage of a system like ours is that it gives you the ability to schedule when the information will appear and for how long but Iím certain you could get your web server to do this for you?

    You really need to think about what type of information you would need on there and whether this will display correctly on your web server. Will it be Pictures video text or all three? Also how often does it need to be updated?

    Also consider who will be inputting the information; is it going to be you? Or will it be someone in the office? How easy will it be for them to put the information up? Iím sure you will be very busy with other things and will not want to have to add this to your list of jobs!! So it needs to be as simple and fool proof as possible.

    Also we have found it works best for the School to appoint one person to be responsible for all content. Then if someone wants something up they go to that one person.

    We have also found that people underestimate the amount of time it will take to make it look good, it is easy to put information on that looks boring! But this will not get read and will be a waste of everyoneís time and effort.

    I would recommend that the bigger the screens the better! We have used small screens 19Ē in some schools because of budgets, but the 32Ē and 42Ē screens have a much better visual impact and the Kids seem to like them and donít vandalise them which has been a surprise in some schools.

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