Spotlight on InfoComm 2019


The Easy-to-Manage Digital Signage Solution That Malaysia’s Biggest Mall Is Excited About

Sprawling 5 million-square-foot 1 Utama Shopping Center needed digital content distribution for 60-plus displays and settled on a video over IP solution.

CI Staff
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As ubiquitous as digital signage may seem here in North America, we are late adopters compared to some countries in Asia that have long leveraged digital out of home platforms.

Consider 1 Utama Shopping Center, the largest shopping mall in Malaysia which 10 years ago deployed a mall-wide digital signage network and sold display airtime to advertisers. That 5 million-square-foot customer continues to set the digital signage adoption pace having recently implemented a digital content distribution system from one central location to 60-plus displays.

Integrator JD Molecule designed and installed a network of content distributors, displays, network switches, industrial PCs and servers, built around a Gefen video over IP solution, with the goal of facilitating system management and boosting ad revenue opportunities.

Staying away from individual signage players supporting each display, extenders and splitters was a big reason why the firm won the project over other bidders, according to JD Molecule’s Jeffrey Yip Sau Chuen.

Photos: Inside the 5,000,000-square-foot digital signage network

More about the project from Gefen’s press release:

The goal of the project was to deploy a digital signage information network that would allow the client to sell airtime to tenants and external advertisers, as well as easily relay updates and events happening within the center. The center’s requirement was that the management team needed to be able to seamlessly send content from one location without tedious and exhaustive oversight. “They wanted to sell ad space on the displays to stores within the mall without the headache of constantly monitoring it,” Chuen explained. “They wanted a system that was easy-to-use, simple in infrastructure, and did not require any extensive cabling. The system that my team put in place checked all of these boxes.”

To create a widespread digital signage network that spanned the entire center, the JD Molecule team installed 60 50″ Panasonic TH-50LFE7 displays, one Gefen Video Over IP Sender (EXT-HD2IRS-LAN-TX), one Gefen Video Over IP Receiver (EXT-HD2IRS-LAN-RX), one Avaya Gigabit Network Switch, and one industrial grade PC accessible only to the center’s maintenance team. The newly implemented Video over IP solution enables the distribution of content to new and formerly unreachable areas of the shopping center, including New Wing Center Court, New Wing High Street, Old Wing, Customer Service, One Card Loyalty Office, and Property Show Gallery.

In the previous system, the center’s maintenance team was tethered by the extensive management requirements of a wide range of devices including various displays, extenders and splitters. Now, with the Gefen EXT-HD2IRS-LAN-TX and the EXT-HD2IRS-LAN-RX, the center can seamlessly transmit HDMI, RS-232, and IR (bi-directional) content over a Gigabit Local Area Network to over 60 displays from one location. “The flexible and reliable nature of the new system requires less manpower to operate, and offers more options in terms of the type of content and the resolution of the content that can be distributed,” Chuen emphasized.

Additionally, JD Molecule has plans to install a large scale video wall in the near future. “Through the existing system, we can easily configure it to add new devices to receive content distribution,” Chuen said. “The new video wall will be connected to the same system that is currently in place.”

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