TOP
STORIES
 1 of 5
Flashback Friday: 7 Super-Scary Wiring Scenarios
CI is bringing back our Halloween-themed guide to feeling great about your company's wiring techniques. What's the worst wiring scenario you've encountered?
 2 of 5
ESPN Makes Digital Splash with Eye-Popping SportsCenter Upgrade
Mobile displays, video floor, social media wall among many highlights of the new SportsCenter digital studio DC-2.
 3 of 5
Mission Critical 411 on Control Room Integration
Integrators with long histories in this space discuss how projects and customer demands are different than others.
 4 of 5
How Boston College Gets Fans off Comfy Couches, onto Metal Benches
Boston College installs new Daktronics 13HD LED video boards at Alumni Stadium to draw fans to the in-game experience.
 5 of 5
Top 10 Dante-Enabled Products
Check out 10 key products that have received the increasingly important Dante touch.
Open Pluggable Spec Simplifies Digital Signage
The standardized slot in displays increases choices, reduces install cost and complexity.

Article


OPS
An OPS-compliant (Open Pluggable Standard) digital media player from NEXCOM.
February 19, 2013 | by Daniel Dern

Many digital signage installations need only cabling, at a minimum, to provide power, and possibly for networking as well. Others need a local computer, whether to act as a player for locally stored content or to help process network content to one or more displays (such as a video wall), or some other local device.

Historically, these players needed their own power, network and other cables, and, if they could not mount on the back of the display, their own mounting. For wall-mounted signage, this meant more rear space, more install time and possibly more ventilation — all translating to additional costs. For freestanding signage, this meant a visible box and dangling cables, which looked distracting and inelegant at best, and which could be a temptation to possibly wreak havoc for the younger passers-by.

One solution for many of these scenarios comes from the Open Pluggable Specification (OPS), which defines a standard size, shape and interface for slots, and for “slot-loaded” accessories to be put into these slots. This is in particular for (but not limited to) small-form-factor computer players that are part of a digital signage installation.

“We’ve installed three to four hundred digital signage displays that have OPS slots, with OPS-compliant computers in those slots, at several of our airport customers,” says Brandy Bailey, Software Support Integration Manager, Com- Net Software.

How It Began
Announced at the October, 2010 Digital Signage Expo, the OPS was issued by Intel, with support from digital signage industry leaders including Microsoft, NEC Display Solutions, and the Taiwan Digital Signage Special Interest Group.

“You don’t have to buy additional mounting hardware, worry about additional construction costs or buy video extenders.” — Brandy Bailey, Com-Net Software.

The purposes of the OPS include simplifying the installation, use, upgrading and maintenance of these computers and related accessories. An OPS-compliant device should install easily, and when on-site servicing, replacement or upgrade is required, a technician just needs to be able to reach up, release the securing mechanisms, and slide the PC out of its slot.

“Previously, if you were going to include a computer with a display, you had to worry where you were going to put it,” says Bailey. “For example, would you have to try and mount it in the ceiling, or in a mounting device, or use video extenders and put it in a nearby room? OPS means we can put displays in places that weren’t previously possible, like hanging displays above airport baggage claim areas.”

In addition to the convenience, Com-Net finds that using OPS reduces installation costs, Bailey says.

“You don’t have to buy additional mounting hardware, worry about additional construction costs or buy video extenders,” says Bailey.

There are other advantages too, says Dwight Looi, product development manager, IBASE Technology.

“You can have multiple vendors for computers and screens, and all be interchangeable,” he says.

Prior to OPS, the use of slots and hardwired players had been tried before by several vendors, but they were vendor-specific proprietary implementations. This meant fewer vendor choices, and once a display or player was selected, being locked in to that vendor to replace or upgrade a given component.

OPS in Action
For those digital signage and other public A/V displays that need a computer —and the vendors, integrators and installers that provide them — the Open Pluggable Specification, if embraced, should expand customer options, reduce the time and labor for installs and upgrades and make the results less cluttered.

About the author
Freelance writer Daniel Dern wrote this piece originally for CI sister site TechDecisionsMedia.com.
View all posts by Daniel Dern
Social Bookmark or Share This
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Google Bookmarks
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Windows Live
  • LinkedIn
  • Evernote
  • E-mail


  • Latest
  • Blogs
  • Photos
  • Resources
Tales of the Mentors Who Made Us Who We Are

CI, along with InfoComm, NSCA's Chuck Wilson and Zdi's Jay McArdle, takes a step back to appreciate the mentors who get young, tech-savvy professionals excited about a career in the integration industry.

Redefining the Control Systems Programmer
An AV Guy's Guide to Talking IT
What Are You Thinking… Seeking RMR From Yesteryear’s Trends?
5 Strategies for Selling and Renewing Service Plans
View more blog posts
Flashback Friday: 7 Super-Scary Wiring Scenarios

Chances are, when this story was published one year ago, you didn't learn anything from our Halloween-themed gallery of scary wiring scenarios. But hopefully it made you feel great about your own company's wiring techniques. Check it out for this week's edition of Flashback Friday.

InFocus LiteShow 4 Transmits Digital Content to Projectors & Displays
ESPN Makes Digital Splash with Eye-Popping SportsCenter Upgrade
How Boston College Gets Fans off Comfy Couches, onto Metal Benches
Top 10 Dante-Enabled Products
View more photo galleries
White Paper:
Campuses Banking on Emergency Notification, Upgrades

A survey from CI sister publication Campus Safety shows that one in two campus protection professionals say their institutions plan on or are considering deploying new/upgraded emergency alert solutions in the next year.

Webcast: Unscrambling Your AVB, HDBaseT Questions
White Paper: Technology Brief on Control Rooms
White Paper: The Voice: How to Design Emergency Communication Systems with Announcements
White Paper: Digital Signs of the Times
White Paper: A Snapshot of the Onsite Freelance & Contractor Workforce
Webcast: 7 Ways an Integrator Can Save Clients Money on Utility Costs
White Paper: 3 Dazzling LED Panel Implementations
View more papers or webcasts



Recent comments

I am a co-leader for my local ACE Mentor Program here in central Florida.  It is a very rewarding program…

Posted by Jim Landis on 2014 10 24 · commented on
'Tales of the Mentors Who Made Us Who We Are'.

This set really looks amazing, display walls everywhere!

Posted by Chanan Averbuch on 2014 10 23 · commented on
'ESPN Makes Digital Splash with Eye-Popping SportsCenter Upgrade'.

This device is just awesome. It expands line that includes access control and CCTV camera solutions to offer…

Posted by Nishad Hasan on 2014 10 20 · commented on
'Seco-Larm Launches HDMI Product Line'.

Thanks for your comment, Alan. I understand and appreciate your frustration about the pictures and belief…

Posted by D. Craig MacCormack on 2014 10 14 · commented on
'Inside Look: Long Island Railroad's Hiperwall Command Center Unveiled'.