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General Chat Thread, Can You See Digital Signage Being Used In Your School?? in General; We have 6 TVs and we've ran various pieces of software on them over the years, currently using Xibo. We've ...
  1. #16
    DrCheese's Avatar
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    We have 6 TVs and we've ran various pieces of software on them over the years, currently using Xibo.

    We've decided that we aren't ever going to replace them tho, we will run them into the ground and then remove them. We will possibly keep the one in our main reception area as it looks quite nice but other than that we don't see a benefit.
    Any urgent messages are put up on the Intranet and teachers are always using computers in lessons and will mention anything of note.

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    We have two TV's here - one displays freeview in the Yr11 area, the other displays some content with Xibo in the entrance - which I am more than happy with.

    I don't see digital signage as a big thing here - I see it as a buzz word from a decade ago and is fizzling out. As others have said already, I think when our TV's finally kick it they won't be replaced - most days they aren't even turned on, and I can understand why seeing as though about 6 people a day actually pass the TV, and none stop to look at the thing.

    If I was to implement a new system here for digital signage, I would have it so the screensaver for all computers in the school show our Xibo content.

    EDIT: And any new systems I did implement would have to be free - would not waste the schools money on something that can be achieved for nothing. My colleague has some paid for system in a school of his and he can't stand the stuff. See's it as a big waste of money, and it doesn't even work half the time because of problems with their internet connection.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve21 View Post
    You're kind of bending the truth there a bit.... They have 1500 "solved" threads. Not really complications/errors. Don't see why having 1500 answered/solved threads is bad, If anything it shows support is good, and things get solved easily?

    And as mentioned above, Really your system is a more expensive version of Xibo. You may have "dedicated" support as such, but xibo has much more experience and users etc. "Ignoring" the "cloud" word, Is there any difference to what you offer and Xibo?

    Just my two cents,

    Steve
    We reaches 30 million viewers every year I think when it comes to digital signage in the UK only Amscreen can truly have us trumped regarding ‘experience’. Correct Steve maybe I did bend the truth but not all of them are solved. I would still reiterate that as with anything software is never free although it costs noting in the money sense what price are you paying for content quality and usability. I have just downloaded Xibo…….for free may I add!! ;-) and although I am coming from a very biased stand point.
    Last edited by ZeroHour; 6th May 2011 at 10:56 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hightower View Post
    I don't see digital signage as a big thing here - I see it as a buzz word from a decade ago and is fizzling out.
    Same here. When I came into this role it was on the list as a project with money in the budget. I spent a fraction of that putting XIBO in. The displays are not very well used.
    If I was to implement a new system here for digital signage, I would have it so the screensaver for all computers in the school show our Xibo content.
    Great minds think alike! Shouldn't be difficult to turn the xibo client into a screen saver.

  5. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dynamax View Post
    We reaches 30 million viewers every year I think when it comes to digital signage in the UK only Amscreen can truly have us trumped regarding ‘experience’. Correct Steve maybe I did bend the truth but not all of them are solved. I would still reiterate that as with anything software is never free although it costs noting in the money sense what price are you paying for content quality and usability. I have just downloaded Xibo…….for free may I add!! ;-) and although I am coming from a very biased stand point.

    I suppose you can see for yourself we have a free 30 day trial on our website digitalsignage.net try it for yourself.  
    I'm not trying to be funny, but 30million "viewers" as in 30mil who walk by a sign? or users? I mean Xfactor finals get 20million views in 1 night, doesn't mean I'd pay for any of their songs :P

    And again, You may feel ds is superior product, but why? Ignoring the word cloud. Does it have more plugins? Does it work on more platforms? As I said, not trying to be funny, just want you to explain what "is superior".

    Honestly too many people use the word cloud nowadays to support products, so I tend to ignore anything said about clouds. A website isn't on a server, so it must be cloud product! :P
    Game servers are cloud products! etc. Every product online is "clouds" nowadays so say.

    Steve
    Last edited by ZeroHour; 6th May 2011 at 10:56 AM.

  6. #21

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    In answer to your question, yes everyday when I walk into the reception area.

    Ben

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve21 View Post
    I'm not trying to be funny, but 30million "viewers" as in 30mil who walk by a sign? or users? I mean Xfactor finals get 20million views in 1 night, doesn't mean I'd pay for any of their songs :P

    And again, You may feel ds is superior product, but why? Ignoring the word cloud. Does it have more plugins? Does it work on more platforms? As I said, not trying to be funny, just want you to explain what "is superior".

    Honestly too many people use the word cloud nowadays to support products, so I tend to ignore anything said about clouds. A website isn't on a server, so it must be cloud product! :P
    Game servers are cloud products! etc. Every product online is "clouds" nowadays so say.

    Steve

    But Steve you have just missed the whole point of marketing.......If my product had only reached 2 viewers you and your friend then it would be worthless but 20 million people even if the smallest fraction paid attention it is still a success?? I suppose what I am saying is because you are not willing to pay for the song does not mean none of the other 20 million are.

    Marketing is not interested in the individual because the individual does not represent the collective. Alas we digress……

    Regarding the products I can only stress that you will have to try them for yourselves I cannot persuade you using buzz words. As previously mentioned it all depends on how seriously your school takes Software as a service (Saas) if it doesn’t then it’s not for you. Our systems are similar (I mean windows media player can run a pretty nice slide show but it’s the difference in the detail we look at).

    Still thanks for your input Steve this is exactly what I wanted to get out of this exercise some genuine feedback from genuine people.

  8. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dynamax View Post
    The server is a scheduling and file distribution mechanism and not a streaming server as would be required in this application.
    I wouldn't have assumed many people would require live video, there shouldn't be any need for a streaming server, just a standard web server capable of serving files (which should then be cached client-side in most instances anyway). Is the issue that you have limited bandwidth available? If your servers are cloud-based, how come bandwidth is an issue?

    I can see the advantage of having a central, web-based content editing facility available to all users from wherever they are, and making this an Internet-based service of some kind makes sense as many schools don't have access to their internal servers from outside the school. As you've explained, loss of a school's Internet access isn't too much of an issue - the school's digital signage not updating is a minor problem, if the Internet is down there'll be other things to worry about. However, your advantages are quite small - I'm guessing digital signage rarely needs to be edited from outside the school, and a PowerPoint file or any decent web-based content management system installed on a local server offer all the multimedia and ease-of-editing people could want. Unless your site offers some decent extra content to go alongside the school's (age-appropriate up-to-date news bulletins maybe?) I can't see why anyone would bother paying for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dynamax View Post
    But Steve you have just missed the whole point of marketing.......If my product had only reached 2 viewers you and your friend then it would be worthless but 20 million people even if the smallest fraction paid attention it is still a success?? I suppose what I am saying is because you are not willing to pay for the song does not mean none of the other 20 million are.

    Marketing is not interested in the individual because the individual does not represent the collective. Alas we digress……

    Regarding the products I can only stress that you will have to try them for yourselves I cannot persuade you using buzz words. As previously mentioned it all depends on how seriously your school takes Software as a service (Saas) if it doesn’t then it’s not for you. Our systems are similar (I mean windows media player can run a pretty nice slide show but it’s the difference in the detail we look at).

    Still thanks for your input Steve this is exactly what I wanted to get out of this exercise some genuine feedback from genuine people.
    Well once again, I'm not trying to be funny. But what does your product do that's superior?

    So far as I've read is, You have more viewers than xibo. - 1000 students walking by a paperclip for a year, is 365,000~ views. Does that mean a paperclip is a sucess? :P

    You use "cloud" computing. Ok...

    All I wanted to know is whats superior, in your words. And you've not really said anything, That's my personal issue.

    If you could say, XYZ is better because... XYZ has 9000 plugins.... etc etc, Then it may be appealing etc.

    But as such you've only really said you use cloud, and try it. Personally that's not a reason to go away from what you know. Others may totally disagree, guess we'll see.

    (But please, try to explain what is superior)

    Steve

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    @OP

    You're pitching to a cynical technical audience and not really coming up with a compelling reason to investigate, especially if they have a system already, given the opportunity cost to switch. We have 4 displays on a home-grown Xibo-ish system and after the initial "there's a screen there" reaction, the only people who pay attention are visitors.

    A lot of marketing people get the "ooh, why don't we sell to schools too" idea around this time of the financial year, don't do any research, fling buzzwords around without really understanding them in a bid to avoid answering questions and get upset when they're dealt with rather curtly.

    But you have sold to schools before and have (albeit too short) case studies on your parent site here: DYNAMAX - Case Studies.

    Do you have any lengthier, more detailed info? What did you install? Where? Do they like it? How much (rough, ballpark figure) did it cost? Are they happy for me to phone them up, talk to their tech off the record and discuss it to see if he'd recommend it or tell me to run away screaming?

    And get your tour video up and working if you're going to make the link that prominent.
    Last edited by pete; 5th May 2011 at 05:51 PM.

  11. #26
    CAM
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    If you want to run the same display across multiple campus' then yes, a cloud system is good. But most schools are single site so a cloud system seems pointless.

    I manage the school display and it consisted of a TV on the wall with a spare computer next to it. This computer was old, decreipt and didn't even have an Internet connection, but it ran and ran silently in the corner for 4 years with no updates, enduring multiple power cuts and eventually retired for a digital signage system. It got the job done and was frankly worthy use of old kit.

    Schools don't need something ultra fancy for the school display provided what is on the screen looks decent and most importantly, conveys the information correctly. Currently our new signage has been set up by the NM and has a BBC feed running along the bottom, a clock and the weather all of which I want to rip out and leave just the school pictures and bulletin as the other bits are a waste of space, can't even read the weather.

    And lastly, what is the point of having a notice saying "The Internet is down, sorry for the inconvenience" on the display(s) if they can't connect to the server?
    Last edited by CAM; 5th May 2011 at 05:54 PM. Reason: I can't write a clear post for beans tonight!

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    I use PowerPoint. It works, teachers can write their own presentations for me to send to it, and if I want I can go to the server room and put my hand on the box that runs it.

    Meanwhile, nobody actually looks at the screen anyway. Why would I pay for anything else?

    </cynic>

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    Do I see it being used?
    Yes. Mostly for "cosmetic" purposes. Sometimes to provide information, often to showcase work, but mostly just for show. It does look good and professional.


    I've honestly yet to see a better working *paid for* product than Sedao's offering with the features it provides - but with combinations of powerpoint (people seem to underestimate just how powerful that can be) and open source alternatives such as Xibo the market seems pretty much limited; mostly to schools without permanent technical staff, where hosted solutions can and do save time and money.
    Also I've never been a fan of this "cloud" business. I'm a huge advocate of having a box you can poke/hit/slap/rub/insert jaffa cakes into when you need, the freedom to do what you like to it without the constraints of someone else's schedules or software limitations. Regardless of internet connectivity and redundancy, I'm not a fan of putting your services in the hands of a 3rd party unless you need to - they are in control of that service and should something go south (the company goes bust) then you've got to start all over again and may lose out financially.

    Saying that, it's not always a bad thing. As I said before, it can be a godsend for some schools and therefore a choice should always be available.

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    Thanks for all the comments, going to the boss with them this afternoon.

    OK so I appreciate what you are all saying the general census is “why would I pay for a product when it is free” & “the pupils do not pay attention to it anyway”.
    So If I list below a few benefits regarding our kit and tell me if you think it is heading in the right direction or simply a waste of time and resources (keep it constructive guys).

    1. Nothing to download no pre files to then install supported files or updates/bug fixes (works like Facebook you log in and fire away).
    2. Can log in from any computer on the campus don’t all need regular downloads.
    3. We do have various plugins (however our product is defined by what we leave out) it has been created to be used by the most simplest of users (the average 55+ year old English teacher). The do not need to pass the information to you to then use. We want them to log in and use it themselves.
    4. We supply pre-existing content which can be used directly, it is designed aimed at and created for the children to take note. What we are trying to do is make the content appealing. Teachers can supply their own content or upload some of ours (mix and match).
    5. Content will be updated on a regular basis to keep it fresh and accurate.
    6. We supply the whole support for the software training through to any technical support.
    7. Reacts to triggers Alarms, Epos, Emergency notification systems integrated into the player
    8. Scheduling, choose who the content is focused towards, what type of content you wish to use and when the content is shown (time frames + for how long).
    There are some other mods that I have left out such as Data Reporting, System Health, Monitoring, Metadata as well as others.

    Thoughts guys, like I said be constructive but be honest?

    Cheers

    Tom

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    The only features that your product offers that I don't already have in place here is the support is taken away from the school. I have Xibo configured to be managed from any machine in school, to be managed by various users, it has schedules to show different content at different times. It seems to me all you offer is technical support and pre-made content. Since I haven't had to touch the server or client since I installed it years ago (as in updating for bugs etc) I don't see the point in 3rd party support - why pay for something that is not needed?

    So, now that is all whittled down it seems that the only service you offer different to what most schools already have is the pre-made content.

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