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New Zealand Cinema Chains Deploy First Digital Signage Network
SignActive Limited, Auckland, NZ: SignActive Limited, a Scala Certified Partner, rolls out New Zealand’s first cinema digital signage installation within Berkeley Cinemas and their joint venture partner Reading Cinemas.
SignActive initially began discussing the concept of a digital signage network with Berkeley Cinemas almost three years ago. While talks were underway Berkeley Cinemas formulated plans for a flagship cinema that was due to open in December 2004. One of the key drivers for the project was to use plasma screens to display movie times, trailers, cinema information and advertising. Berkeley Cinemas also wanted a cutting edge cinema environment that enhanced the movie-going experience. Both impressive and informative this new technology has already improved the movie-going experience and enhanced ticket & candy sales. The combination of 42” and 50” plasma screens as well as a suspended “floating” screen driven by a projector provides relevant up to date content such as movie session times and prices, entertainment with movie trailers and previews plus internal and external advertising.
- Movie Titles — (graphics) created monthly and sent to the players via the network
- Movie Times — (text) automatically changed and updated from the cinema database
- Movie Ratings — (graphics) automatically taken from a database stored on each player
- Movie Trailers — (video) monthly encoded movie trailers sent out to each player over the network
- Cinema Information — (graphics) monthly creation of cinema backgrounds and cinema specific information for movie trailers
- Advertising — (graphics and video) composed of a limited number of advertisers at present, representing an area for future growth
- Scrolling Ticker — (text) file managed and updated by each cinema manager to display site specific information.
The infrastructure, consisting of the software, computers and display screens, is owned by Berkeley Cinemas and Reading Cinemas and because the installation has to be extremely reliable SignActive is contracted to manage the network connection, create and update content, and remotely monitor the players and displays.
Using a custom written software interface developed by SignActive that collaborates between Scala InfoChannel®, the world’s leading digital software platform and the existing Vista cinema software platform, live, real-time content, including movie names, movie times and movie ratings, is dynamically generated directly from the cinema database for viewing on the displays. All the creative content including movie title images and third party advertising is sent via a private network to multiple cinema locations from SignActive’s head office in Auckland, New Zealand. In addition, each cinema manager also has the capability to change a scrolling message ticker on the displays for any on-site management updates. While people are waiting they are entertained with movie trailers and a “cinema status” screen that is constantly refreshed to show the status of each theatre in the complex.
“Because of the extensibility of the Scala InfoChannel® platform we were able to integrate database information and the Vista software system into a custom cinema experience unique in New Zealand”, says Glenn Anderson, principal at SignActive Limited.
“Our new digital signage system is much more functional and definitely more in line with the look and feel of the cinema. People just love the new technology and the customer feedback has been all positive”, said Andy Fordham, cinema complex manager for Berkeley Cinemas Botany Downs.
The next stage of the project will include an ongoing roll out to other Berkeley Cinemas and Reading Cinemas locations and further enhancements to the information shown on the displays. As the number of sites increases it is expected that more third-party advertisers will be interested in taking advantage of this new medium to communicate with prospective customers in the cinema foyers.