Beaver Group is an organisation whose focus is the delivery of digital signage and design solutions. It is made up of two companies, Beaver Solutions and Beaver Design. The group is led by the two directors, Barry Thurston and Peter Critchley, who in the late 1990’s, started the digital signage venture. Beaver Group has successfully provided digital signage solutions to many large institutions and companies, such as IKEA, The Home Office and Ericsson.
In late 2007, Beaver Solutions was chosen by Showcase CDL to provide a complete digital signage solution for their new Cinema De Lux in Derby. With the ‘Cinema De Lux’ concept, Showcase wanted to create an enhanced recreational environment and chose a digital signage solution as part of the premier customer experience off ered. Traditionally, printed signage would be used on the concessions stand menuboards, box office and for the upcoming movie posters. These posters would previously be static and manually put up by cinema staff . With a digital signage solution, movie posters, trailers, box offi ce screens and menuboards are more elegantly displayed and can easily be updated.
The result is an environment that is immersive and inviting for the cinema goer. The space which the signage occupies is often used by visitors and has a signifi cant audience waiting time. Whilst people prepare to go in to watch the movies, they have the opportunity to view the screens and watch the content. A cinema goer can view posters and trailers for upcoming titles, buy drinks and snacks from the concessions stand or just relax in the ambient surroundings of the foyer.
Beaver Solutions, part of the Beaver Group, provided the digital signage solution used throughout a £30million (UKP), 12-screen Showcase Cinema De Lux (CDL). The new cinema opened on Friday 16th May and provides a fi rst-class customer entertainment experience within the new Westfi eld Shopping Centre in Derby, UK. Showcase is a brand of US-based National Amusements and specialises in luxury, state-of-the-art cinemas, creating an exciting lifestyle destination. Showcase have 19 cinemas throughout the UK and in a competitive market, Showcase CDL Derby has created a high quality experience for its patrons, which sets the cinema apart as luxury venue.
Beaver Solutions installed 47 Sanyo 42” LCD panels, which display content for the box offi ce, concessions stands and movie posters throughout the cinema. The screens are mounted using Vogel brackets, in a variety of landscape and portrait positions and the high defi nition RGB signal is delivered to the screens using structured cabling with Scion Pro9000 transmitters and receivers.
All the content for the 47 LCD screens and six projectors in the foyer is managed by Beaver Digital Signage Goes to the Movies Showcase Cinema de Lux Solutions using Scala InfoChannel 5, from their offices in Ware, Hertfordshire. A team of content editors, video producers and technicians create custom content and manage the screens in Derby.
The screens and projectors are supplied content from 28 media player PCs. Each player sends two separate video signals to two screens or projectors. All the content for the screens is controlled independently, per screen, through InfoChannel 5’s Content Manager system.
The content for the screens is stored locally on each player, but the overall network is managed by the Content Manager PC. This PC is located at Showcase head office in Nottingham and is accessed to update templates, add content and change display times or locations. New content is then published to the players, and seamlessly presented on the screens. The content is dynamic, interchangeable and independent on all the screens, providing a complete and flexible signage network.
A Premier, Luxury Experience
Luxury is a key part of the Showcase CDL brand and with this in mind, Beaver Solutions produced a wide variety of rich, vivid content for the screens. All the content was created in-house by Beaver Solutions, who worked closely with Showcase CDL to promote the premier brand. High-defi nition videos of the concession products were shot by Beaver Solutions, which were then inserted into the menu board content. Using the InfoChannel 5 software to create and distribute the content for the screens, Beaver Solutions has enabled Showcase CDL to play menus that are clear, rich and inviting.
Up-to-date movie times and ticket availability is displayed on the five box office screens, which are automatically kept live from a data server. Beaver Solutions used a link to an existing fi le held by Showcase and developed a custom application which interfaces with Scala InfoChannel to display this information on the box office screens. This ensures the screens are current, showing relevant times for movies starting soon. It also keeps track of ticket sales, displaying ‘SOLD’ or ‘FEW’ with the times of each showing, as tickets are sold and begin to run out.
Important or promotional messages can be delivered to any of the screens using tickers or a full screen display. This can include warnings or precautions about certain movies, for example strobing effects or BBFC ratings. Having a clear and effective way of getting a message to the audience allows Showcase CDL to ensure their messaging is clear and fits in seamlessly with their premier brand.
The digital signage screens used in the spillways move through a number of upcoming titles, and display high definition movie trailers with the traditional static content. The Scala InfoChannel 5 software can handle layered graphics and high-definition video, creating a movie poster board that is much more engaging than any previous printed methods. With new movies being released every week, Beaver Solutions works with Showcase CDL to ensure that they have current, up-to-date trailers and movie posters displayed on the spillway screens.
“This was a great opportunity for us to work with a company that had a clear vision of what they wanted to achieve, and I think Showcase has ended up with a one of the best cinemas and digital signage installations in the UK.” – Peter Critchley, Managing Director, Beaver Solutions.
Showcase CDL has created a dynamic, luxurious and immersive experience for the cinema guests. From conception, to opening day and with ongoing support, Beaver Group is proud to be working with Showcase CDL on this rich, dynamic digital signage solution, helping to provide a premium cinematic experience.