University of Minnesota Now Has 275 Digital Signage Displays with Carousel 7.0

Published: 2017-10-31

It goes without saying that the University of Minnesota has embraced digital signage displays having rolled out 275 of them since launching the initiative 10 years ago. It probably wouldn’t have gone as well without a scalable platform, and that’s where Carousel 7.0 Digital Signage Software from Tightrope Media Systems enters the equation.


The digital signage network on University of Minnesota’s main campus in Minneapolis has continually expanded its network to more departments.

The scalable architecture of Carousel Digital Signage Software from Tightrope Media Systems now supports departments throughout all of the campus locations, including the Twin Cities, Duluth, Crookston, Morris and Rochester, along with remote research stations and outreach centers, according to a Tightrope Media press release.

For the school, one of the benefits of Carousel’s de-centralized, multi-seat capabilities is assurance that each new department added to the network can quickly create and disseminate local messages, while Emergency Management services can automatically post and cancel alert bulletins utilizing Carousel’s supported CAP protocol.

Emergency messages are localized to each respective campus.

Handling a Lot of Content

Of course, the multi-seat digital signage software must be easy to learn and use, given the large number of personnel with various skillsets creating and publishing content on the digital signage displays.

“Since launching the Carousel network, we have had more departments coming online each year,” says Eric Topping, digital signage manager, University of Minnesota, in the press release.

“Since launching the Carousel network, we have had more departments coming online each year,” says Eric Topping, digital signage manager, University of Minnesota, in the press release.

“This network now serves the entire University of Minnesota system, so any department on any campus that is signed onto the service acts their own governing body be it athletics, academics or administration.

“This is also very useful for our emergency alerts, which remain completely independent from other campus operations but can be quickly and easily added as needed.”

“Overall, we hear a lot of feedback about the value of being able to manage their own content, and the ability to do it from anywhere on campus, at home or from another location. And there is no question that digital signage has very significantly changed the culture of communications both here and on other university campuses.”

Dealing with a Lot of Data

Having 275 digital signs creates an opportunity to learn from the system itself. Meanwhile, that opportunity also creates a challenge to be able to do so.

Topping describes a digital signage displays project with the Student Unions and Activities department that incorporates tCarousel 7.0, digital signage displays, University of Minnesotaransit schedules from city bus services.

Carousel Digital Signage Software communicates directly with a Metro Transit server to feed arrival and departure times to digital signage displays throughout the student union buildings.

“Carousel does an excellent job with data feeds and real-time updates,” says Topping.

“It’s dynamic and live, with a refresh every five seconds.

“In the dead of winter, students can stay inside the student center with one eye on the schedule, and run outside just as the bus arrives.”

Then There’s Wayfinding

The Carousel Digital Signage network also features a handful of interactive touchscreens and kiosks that are primarily used for wayfinding. As with the real-time bus schedules, Carousel’s data-rich benefits offer a strong value proposition for interactive digital signage applications such as wayfinding, allowing people to map routes through campus with ease, according to the press release.

One interactive kiosk located by a donor wall allows student and visitors to look up donors, with selectable video clips, bios and pictures accompanying each entry.

While the university network has operated successfully on many Carousel Digital Signage Software iterations, Topping adds that the transition to the recently-released Carousel 7.0 software has opened many new opportunities and efficiencies.

From the press release on Carousel 7.0:

As Tightrope’s broadest digital signage software refresh in many years, Carousel 7.0 provides richer content creation and content management software to empower a variety of modern digital signage needs, including wayfinding, interactive kiosks, video walls and digital menu boards.

It also offers a completely redesigned web-based interface and responsive software to simplify the user experience, and allow users to efficiently access Carousel from tablets and mobile phones.

“The transition to Carousel 7.0 makes it even easier for operators to turn out high-quality professional content even without web development or graphic design skills,” said Topping.

“Moving forward, 7.0 will allow us to take advantage of Tightrope’s integration with Apple TV, which turns Apple TV devices into actual digital signage media players. That will be a game changer in the way we support, manage and configure our systems. The way that Tightrope continues to bring new features and capabilities to Carousel and evolving how we can use digital signage makes them an ideal partner.”

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