Duke Energy Center Welcomes Meeting Delegates and Visitors to Cincinnati
Exton, PA — The Duke Energy Center (DEC) has implemented a system that allows for large video monitors employed as dynamic communication tools. The digital signage network has the capability of displaying pre-produced video, cable and broadcast signals, room schedule information, headline news, temperature, user defined messaging and more.
Primarily viewed as a public information source, DEC uses the system for various communications needs including: allowing advertisers to market to event goers, providing the city with a vehicle to communicate to visitors.
The DEC is owned by the City of Cincinnati. As such, the digital signage project is part of a multimillion dollar expansion and renovation project. City officials, the Cincinnati Architect Collaborative and members of the DEC needed approvals for the system.
The principles in the project consisted of the following: The goal of the DEC digital signage system is to improve communications, create a competitive advantage versus other convention centers, and realize a modest revenue stream from eventbased advertising.
InfoChannel® Network Manager (1) InfoChannel® Designer (1) InfoChannel® Players (16) Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Custom programmed Visual Basic Application Custom programmed ScalaScript and VBScript
61’ NEC Plasma Monitors (16) Internal and external devices providing IP media delivery, and video input functionality Equus computers
- External feeds
Headline News and Weather provided by a third-party
LAN based solution with a secure VPN for remote system management and content delivery.
The digital signage system consists of sixteen 61” High Definition NEC Plasma displays and external speakers installed at various public concourse/lobby locations throughout the convention center. The system supplements static facility directory maps located below or nearby each display.
“The system was designed from the ground-up with maximum flexibility in-mind, allowing the convention center staff to meet the various and changing needs of their clients”, says Dean Reverman, New Business Development for Hammond Communications Group. To provide this functionality, Hammond created a custom software application, custom ScalaScript and VBScript programming. The application stores information in a SQL database that the players access on a real-time basis to get the latest data for the system. Since each player was developed to function as an “independent” on the network, each display in the facility can show identical or different content, providing a truly dynamic solution.
The custom high-definition graphical layout of the system consists of the date, time, temperature headline news, Room Schedule information and a media area that displays videos and stills. One of the main features of the system is Room Scheduling, which is displayed prominently on the graphical layout as a roll. Clients, dates and general information are entered into the system along with room schedule data. This data is then automatically shown on the proper displays throughout the facility based on pre-defined groups or “zones”, which can be changed at any time through the application. Displays tagged in the application as “entry” displays automatically show general client information that directs visitors to the parts of the facility being used by the client. Once visitors reach that part of the facility, they see the detailed Room Schedule data pertinent to that client only.
The system also provides the convention center the capability of entering text-based messages, which like any other content, can be shown selectively on any or all displays. When enabled, these messages appear over pre-defined backgrounds in the media area with existing convention center videos, and stills, providing a seamless integration into the current script. These messages can also be triggered to display immediately to alert visitors of an emergency situation. Client content and paid advertising can also be implemented into the media area in either video or still format with playback logging of advertisements for verification and billing purposes.
Utilizing internal and external devices in conjunction with the custom application and ScalaScript, each display can switch from its typical player-based “media area” video content to video feeds being distributed through the centers internal Cable TV system. These feeds, ranging from satellite TV signals, to live video of Exhibition Hall events can be displayed in the existing graphical layout, or can be configured in realtime in the application to be displayed full screen.
With the expanded and renovated exterior completed, the Duke Energy Center takes its place in the skyline and welcomes meeting delegates and visitors to Cincinnati USA with its new “icon” – a series of glistening metal panels set at angles along the western facade that gleam alongside Interstate 75, proclaiming C-I-N-C-I-N-N-A-T-I in 50-foot-tall letters.
About Hammond Communications Group
Hammond Communications Group is a full-service multimedia communications company specializing in digital signage applications. For digital signage, Hammond provides turnkey solutions with core competencies that focus on content creation, content management and network operations. For multimedia, Hammond provides video/film production, video news releases, DVD presentations, 3D computer animation, virtual tours, Web site development, interactive sales and marketing presentations, computer-based training applications and CD-ROM development.
Hammond’s successful track record can be attributed to an award-winning team of graphic designers, software programmers, interactive media designers, 3D computer animators, producers, directors, scriptwriters, art directors, videographers, and editors. Customer satisfactions and a quality finished product are paramount to every project undertaken by Hammond Communications Group.