Black Box Corporation (NASDAQ: BBOX), an industry-leading provider of voice communications, data infrastructure, and product solutions, announced today a new family of browser-based, networked digital signage media players and appliances designed to simplify the layout and distribution of professional-caliber content.
Designed for standalone or multisite applications, Black Box’s iCOMPEL appliances (AC4000A, AC4001A, AC4002A, AC4003A, AC4004A, and AC4005A) make it easy to assemble and manage HD-quality digital signage content. Digital signage can be used to increase sales and improve communications, as well as alert, inform, and notify a target audience.
The system can be used by companies of all sizes, but it should be particularly suited to small- to mid-sized businesses looking for an affordable, out-of-the-box solution.
“It’s exactly what business owners and integrators have been asking for,” says Mario Calabro, Black Box multimedia products manager. “They’ve wanted a truly plug-and-play device that delivers compelling content but doesn’t require a high level of technical skill or advanced creative skills to set up and use. Many companies just don’t have the time, staff, or resources necessary for managing a more complex application. For these companies, iCOMPEL is a very effective and affordable solution.”
Calabro also stressed that despite its simplified design and low price, iCOMPEL contains features typically found only on high-priced, top-of-the-line systems. “The system offers professionally designed layouts, easy-to-use drag-and-drop tools, and a whole host of other features,” he says. “In addition, there are no ongoing licensing fees to deal with. All the software you need is included, and updates are always free.”
The iCOMPEL system can be used for content management, scheduling, and distribution, plus system monitoring. It supports playing of stored and live media in multiple screen zones, as well as changing content ad-hoc at the display.
Because iCOMPEL supports many media formats, users can combine 1080p video or live TV with scrolling text, photos, Flash, and Web content. In addition to HTML and RSS media, it handles MPEG, AVI, Quicktime, and PowerPoint media, as well as JPEG, GIF, and TIFF images, and WAV and MP3 audio. All files can be stored on the appliance’s internal disk.
To install, the end user connects the iCOMPEL box to the network and to an LCD, a plasma screen, or other display device, powers it up, and once the unit has an IP address from the network, an administrator can use a standard Web browser to access the appliance via a DHCP server. Fixed IP addresses can also be set.
The iCOMPEL products are part of Black Box’s extensive line of digital signage solutions, including media players, extenders, splitters, converters, and switches. For details on iCOMPEL, visit http://www.blackbox.com/go/iCOMPEL.