As part of our sixth form refurb, I have been asked to install a plasma which will primarily act as a sign with daily notices for students. The screen should also act as a TV during (time specific) breaks for the students to use.
Putting this into practice: I'd intend to use that powerpoint viewer that plays the most recent presentation in a folder (sorry can't remember the name). Then hook up a standalone freeview receiver or equiv for the TV. Fine so far...
The problem I can forsee is automating the switch between TV and sign mode. Do you know of any screens that will default to one input (VGA), but switch to another when available (TV), then switch back to default (VGA) when priority input (TV) is unavailable? If this is possible, we could have the TV receiver on a simple timer switch. Or are there any other specific things available?
I expect that a remote control will need to be supplied (chained to the wall). We wouldn't want students turning the sign off, so I guess I'd get a programmable remote and only "learn" the channel numbers and volume, and no other functions. Will this work in practice?
You could invest in a commercial digital signage solution such as the OneLAN NetTopBox which one or two of us here use it (indie springs to mind). It is quite expensive but will offer everything you're after + more.
You could also do it in one box just by adding a freeview tuner to the PC that runs the presentations; and use something like Windows' Scheduled Tasks to change over apps.
@meastaugh1: If you do a quick search you will find my comparison document... the Navaho MediaCAT system will do exactly what you want... you can even play the TV in a window so that your notices are always displayed - just use the scheduling functions.
Mandy is now at Oliis if you want to talk to her about it.
I've had someone in to demo Sedao which seems to address the requirement. The system itself seems to require little investment to start off with one screen (¬£600 I think). There isn't much mention of this on the forums. Is anyone using it? Any good?
I have a friend who uses a package called Promospace he demod a few packages and stands by it mainly because it was easy to use and at a good price point! you can get a demo from there site www.thinspace.co.uk