Date posted: May 13, 2015

Integrated solution removes the headaches of procuring content and licensing, while simplifying deployments and operation through a fully networked system

StoreStreams is debuting this week at the 2015 NRA Show with a compelling case for restaurants, foodservice and hospitality businesses seeking an all-in-one, branded in-store radio service.

StoreStreams simplifies the traditional patchwork of systems and components to deliver branded music and advertising. Instead, the StoreStreams model brings together the network infrastructure, audio systems and licensed content—the latter of which saves content providers and businesses months of legal headaches and costly fees. Delivered together with a simple front end user interface for content management, the complete StoreStreams platform simplifies the launch and operation of a multi-site in-store radio system, and delivers a quick return on investment for businesses.

“We are intent on delivering a single platform with all the tools needed to launch a profitable in-store radio service,” said Will Schmidt, vice president of sales for LineQ, a Minneapolis-area distributor that brings together the audio playout systems. “With no disparate elements and the freedom of comfortable month-to-month contracts, businesses can focus on customer service while enjoying the benefits of a branded, monetized streaming audio service.

StoreStreams brings together the music catalog and network intelligence of XYZ Stream Hosting, a specialist in live, multiplatform content delivery with a robust and reliable streaming architecture.

In addition to a wide selection of music channels with pre-licensed content, StoreStreams includes a management application to structure and time ad placements, station IDs and promotional material. LineQ will supply the end point hardware for each deployment, featuring Ecler Sound amplifiers, Cornered Audio loudspeakers and media players from Barix, an IP audio pioneer with hundreds of thousands of hardware players in deployment worldwide.

“With the reliability of our cloud-based, redundant streaming architecture at the core, the StoreStreams model ensures a live, reliable streaming service with high availability for networks of any scale,” said Charles Odom, vice president of marketing, StoreStreams. “This ensures a dynamic, high-quality and uninterrupted in-store radio experience for the restaurants, foodservice and hospitality businesses we serve.”

LineQ and XYZ Stream Hosting will jointly demonstrate the StoreStreams service from May 16-19 in the Start Up Alley section of the 2015 NRA Show exhibit floor, Booth 9416D. Please visit http://show.restaurant.org/Exhibit/Start-Up-Alley for more information on the Start Up Alley.

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Date posted: May 6, 2015

Orlando-based worship-oriented college keeps student body informed, inspired with dynamic, multi-location network

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, May 6, 2015 The First Academy (TFA)—a worship-centered college preparatory school in Orlando, FL—has deployed a Carousel digital signage network from Tightrope Media Systems to keep its 1,200-plus student body informed and inspired.

Designed for scalability, security and ease of use, Carousel lets users fill displays with a montage of video, pictures, text, tickers, social posts, weather graphics and more. TFA regularly updates Carousel-driven information on eight 55-to-65-inch digital displays strategically located across its large campus. Each display is divided into zones dedicated to the different school divisions including: the Upper School (high school), Middle School and Lower School (K-6), athletics facility, media center, library, theater and school store.

The First Academy keeps its student body informed and inspired with lively and dynamic content driven by Tightrope’s Carousel platform

“Our goal was to engage students with timely, captivating content that would keep them informed about important school events while still celebrating the achievements of our students and teachers,” said Matt Eggert, M.S., director of technology and innovation for The First Academy. “We also wanted our signage system to be easy to use and update on the fly, with displays reinforcing our school brand identity. Carousel does everything we need as part of its automated workflow.”

The First Academy is committed to using state-of-the-art technology, including iPads, computers and digital media systems like Carousel to support and enhance the academic experience. In the case of Carousel, each school division can easily create unique content, which is automatically delivered to a zone on their display. While the Upper, Middle and Lower schools see information focused on their school experience, items that pertain to all TFA students, like school store sales or the weather, are pushed to all the displays at once.

Eggert notes, “The network quickly scaled after the Upper School went live with the initial Carousel media players,” inspiring a call to Tightrope’s Professional Services team to bring more creative and dynamic design elements to the network. The web-based Carousel server, which operates on the school’s existing local area network, supports up to 300 players should the campus choose to further expand, and as Eggert points out, “it’s a cinch to connect new players to Carousel’s virtualized backbone.”

“It didn’t take long before others across the campus wanted their own displays, so we expanded the system to support other departments very quickly,” said Eggert. “However, while Carousel has a wide array of built-in design tools, we turned to Tightrope’s professional design team to help design our templates. Over a conference call with Tightrope’s design team, we discussed how to apply our website’s look, colors and fonts to our Carousel displays, which Tightrope considered in the creation of our custom templates.”

The Carousel network expansion has opened new opportunities to drive content from different personnel. Teachers now regularly email photos to their displays’ administrator for posting, and Carousel automatically converts them to the file formats and resolutions needed by the system. Video clips can be programmed to run continuously in a loop, or simply run as a special bulletin at the top of the hour. Additionally, visits from college recruiters, college deadlines and messages from the guidance department are just some of the important announcements made on Carousel, reinforcing the power of a campus-wide digital signage network.

About Tightrope Media Systems

Founded in 1997, Tightrope Media Systems is the pioneer of web-centric digital signage and broadcast automation systems. It provides station automation, video servers, Internet video on demand, live streaming, the Carousel Digital Signage system, and ZEPLAY, a multi-channel instant replay machine for stadiums, arenas and Outside Broadcast vehicles. Tightrope’s award winning systems are used throughout the world. You can reach Tightrope Media Systems at (866) 866-4118 or visit them on the web at http://www.trms.com.

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Date posted: February 26, 2015

Latest-generation of Tightrope Carousel, BrightSign media players enable stunning videowall displays, and affordable yet dynamic large-scale networks

Tightrope Media Systems and BrightSign are evolving their partnership throughout 2015, with new innovations to more effectively power videowalls and large out-of-home networks on a tightly integrated, scalable and robust signage architecture. The two companies are leveraging each company’s next-generation platforms within an integrated digital signage solution to enable these and additional benefits for their customers.

Last year at Digital Signage Expo, Tightrope and BrightSign announced a partnership to offer a very cost-effective enterprise solution with a full suite of tools. The combination of Tightrope’s strengths in advanced content creation and management, and BrightSign’s market-leading technology and signature reliability, results in a winning solution for any business or network operator to manage an affordable and sophisticated digital signage network.

Tightrope’s accelerated content rendering, combined with BrightSign’s enhanced connectivity for media playout via PoE support, enhances the value overall integrated solution for large out-of-home network deployments.

This year at Digital Signage Expo, Tightrope and BrightSign will demonstrate seamless integration between Tightrope’s Carousel digital signage system and BrightSign’s next-generation XD2 players. The companies will exhibit two spaces apart (Tightrope at 2631; BrightSign at 2131), demonstrating how the integrated platform produces stunning videowall displays; as well as highly scalable and manageable networks for enterprise-level businesses and organizations.

New features of the integrated platform including portrait mode display and H.264 video streaming support to enhance visual capabilities for any signage network or application. Additionally, newly available media player synchronization for videowalls ensures that Carousel can drive content to multiple BrightSign players, which collectively deliver video and graphics across many panels for cohesive output and display of stunning visual content.

BrightSign XD2 networked media players, to be shown in the North America for the first time at Digital Signage Expo, all feature faster HTML5 and graphics processing; as well as Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability to simplify the powering of BrightSign players in remote locations. The complete XD2 portfolio includes:

  • BrightSign XD232, a networked interactive player capable of full HD 1080p60 video decoding and simultaneous content playback from local, networked and streaming sources
  • BrightSign XD1032, a networked multi-control interactive player that adds support for pure digital and surround sound audio
  • BrightSign XD1132, a networked multi-control interactive player that adds support for live TV playback via an HDMI input and live TV player

Users of the integrated platform will also benefit from Carousel 6.5’s faster processing power, which accelerates content rendering at the creation levels. The faster upfront rendering ensures quicker delivery to BrightSign media players across networks of any scale.

BrightSign CEO, Jeff Hastings, agrees that the partnership is beneficial for customers across all vertical markets. “Our respective companies are committed to technology innovation and continued integration work to provide our integrators, VAR’s and end-users a leading solution for sophisticated and robust digital signage roll-outs in all shapes and sizes.”

Eric Henry, signage solutions lead, Tightrope Media Systems, adds that the evolving relationship between the two companies includes cooperative research and development efforts to ensure continued innovation across the integrated Tightrope/BrightSign platform.

“We continue to bring more depth to our partnership, with dedicated project managers from both companies working together to develop new features and functionality for our combined customer base of resellers, integrators and end users,” said Henry. “Digital Signage Expo is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the most recent innovations from our combined efforts.”

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Date posted: February 4, 2015

New pricing structure eliminates channel licensing costs, reduces price per end point

Tightrope Media Systems has refined its pricing strategy to benefit its entire Carousel customer base, reducing the cost of digital signage network deployments at any scale. The new cost structure removes the need to buy unique licenses for each channel, instead charging for server and player connections only.

Tightrope has long offered its customers the freedom to buy only what they need, instead of forcing them to purchase packaged systems or blocks of players. While the further simplification of pricing benefits all Carousel customers, it’s especially valuable for larger networks – or smaller networks with an interest in scaling to more end points. As a result, new and existing Carousel customers can customize as many channels as desired without escalating costs – and potentially experience a cost savings north of 50 percent in networks with more than 75 media players.

Tightrope’s new pricing structure focuses almost exclusively on server (pictured) and player connections, eliminating unique channel license costs and making large DOOH networks more affordable.

“Carousel has always offered a straightforward pricing structure, but we have further simplified the buying experience through unlimited, free channel licenses with the purchase of a Carousel server,” said Eric Henry, signage solutions developer, Tightrope Media Systems. “This is not only attractive for new customers, but also for existing customers that want to re-invest in their signage networks.”

Henry adds that resellers and systems integrators also benefit from a greatly reduced complexity in quoting systems or installations.

Additionally, end users can now virtualize any Carousel server, and deploy its software on any operating system. Tightrope’s Professional Services team offers remote integration assistance to any customer interested in virtualizing systems to ensure smooth and proper configuration.

“We believe there is tremendous value in a beautifully designed network with custom-branded channels, as well as having the end customer up and running quickly,” said Henry. “Ultimately, our goal is to remove constraints from the end user’s mind, lower their costs, and ensure they are leveraging their Carousel investment and all its possibilities.”

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Date posted: January 26, 2015

Digital signage industry veteran Thomas Pollum will lead sales and business development efforts across DACH countries

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, January 26, 2015 Navori announces the opening of a new office in Germany to support growing interest in its digital signage solutions across the German-speaking DACH countries of Germany (D), Austria (A) and Switzerland (CH). The company, which will soon unveil new branding, organizational strategy and products, has appointed industry Thomas Pollum to lead sales and business development from the new office, located in the City of Elmshorn.

Thomas comes to Navori with a history of success in director-level and management roles at BIS Germany (A Mood Media Company) and Samsung, among others. The Elmshorn office location will allow Thomas to drive closer customer intimacy, and develop deeper relationships with existing partners.

“The DACH region is one of the most important markets for Navori, and the establishment of a local office will increase our presence and brand awareness across German-speaking area,” said Pollum. “There is strong demand for powerful yet easy-to-use digital signage software as businesses of many sizes transition to digital media platforms, and recognize its value for everything from general communications to revenue generation. Navori offers the most reliable and user-friendly digital signage solution on the market, and our new office will enable the best possible support for our customers.”

Pollum points to increasing business with systems integrators, resellers and digital signage operators in the DACH region as a key strategy for Navori’s continued growth in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

“As a Swiss company, the DACH region is a crucial market for Navori, which is renowned for local support worldwide,” said Ronni Guggenheim, managing director, Navori. “With this strong commitment to a local presence, we will drive growth and market penetration through enhanced customer focus and support. We are happy to add Thomas, who is well known and networked in the digital signage industry, to the greater Navori team.”

The new office location in Elmshorn is near the City of Hamburg, Germany. Thomas can be reached at t.pollum@navori.com, and will be present and available for meetings at the ISE 2015 show, February 10-12 at the RAI Conference Center in Amsterdam, Stand 8-M210.

 

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Date posted: January 15, 2015

New release accelerates rendering times, improves remote diagnostics for out-of-home networks

Tightrope Media Systems is enhancing its Carousel digital signage system at Digital Signage Expo (March 10-12, Las Vegas Convention Center, Booth 2631) with new tools to accelerate content rendering speed across out-of-home networks of any size. The updates, now available in the recent Carousel 6.5 release, improve core processing and memory utilization for increased rendering times—to the tune of 60 times faster.

The Carousel 6.5 enhancements empower network operators to seamlessly scale networks to an infinite number of screens and locations, without adversely affecting network performance. The faster rendering performance specifically benefits the creation and distribution of weather bulletins, RSS feeds, and other time-sensitive content that requires real-time display. To achieve this, Carousel 6.5 amplifies its server performance to more effectively scale across multiple cores.  Tightrope’s Carousel enterprise servers are easily scaled by adding further processing cores as the number of player end points escalates.

At Digital Signage Expo, Tightrope will also introduce Carousel Detective, a network diagnostics tool incorporated within the Carousel server core. The software-defined architecture allows network operators and Tightrope service engineers to access Carousel Detective over IP from any connected device for troubleshooting and general performance monitoring, further enhancing the enterprise-level performance of Carousel 6.5.

“Tightrope continues to invest in improving the user experience,” said Eric Henry, signage solutions leader, Tightrope Media Systems. “With enterprise-level bulletin rendering across large-scale network now taking a matter of seconds, our customers are assured timely distribution of dynamic and time-sensitive content across networks of any size. These improvements, along with extensive diagnostic toolset of Carousel Detective, set the stage for significant strides in next-generation Carousel systems on the horizon—notably a far richer, intuitive and user-friendly GUI on tap for the next major software release later this year.”

About Tightrope Media Systems

Founded in 1997, Tightrope Media Systems is the pioneer of web-centric digital signage and broadcast automation systems. It provides station automation, video servers, Internet video on demand, live streaming, the Carousel Digital Signage system, and ZEPLAY, a multi-channel instant replay machine for stadiums, arenas and Outside Broadcast vehicles. Tightrope’s award winning systems are used throughout the world. You can reach Tightrope Media Systems at (866) 866-4118 or visit them on the web at http://www.trms.com.

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Date posted: January 14, 2015

Audio over IP pioneer will demonstrate comprehensive, cloud-based management and audio playout capabilities of SoundScape at ISE 2015

Barix last year introduced SoundScape, a solution to centrally manage and distribute branded audio over IP networks of any size.  At ISE 2015, Barix will demonstrate the complete cost-reducing, revenue-generating capabilities of SoundScape as the company brings the fully integrated solution to market – including cloud-based content management and live status monitoring via the SoundScape Portal; and new compact, multi-format Exstreamer SoundScape IP audio players for location-based media playout.

Content providers and network operators can manage the new SoundScape IP audio players remotely from a central location, from firmware updates to volume adjustments.

SoundScape is the only “in-store radio” solution capable of integrated audio distribution, remote device management, dynamic contact scheduling, system-wide reporting and monitoring, and high-quality, multi-format audio playout.  Essentially, SoundScape brings together several traditional Barix strengths previously available as separate applications—including dynamic, targeted ad insertion—to simplify, accelerate and monetize deployments for content providers and systems integrators.  SoundScape’s cloud-based, software-as-a-service (SaaS) design also establishes a centrally hosted model to increase network accessibility and availability, reducing overall operating costs and maintenance.  As a result, SoundScape is more than a basic in-store radio solution:  It is a fully functioning, revenue-generating music and entertainment system with hierarchical user management for single locations (clubs, supermarkets), large campuses (universities, corporate complexes) and multi-location networks (retail and hotel chains).

The introduction of Exstreamer SoundScape players is significant because it provides a highly reliable platform for remote device management and local playout.  The Linux-based players feature the traditional benefits of Barix Exstreamer device­s—including a compact form factor, low power consumption, multi-format decoding and broadcast-quality audio—and adds integrated control via a simple built-in, five-button keypad.  Users can navigate the menu, skip songs, and change audio settings and network configurations without connecting to the central web-based SoundScape interface.  A blue-toned backlit LED display details audio program and player information relevant to the location.

Exstreamer SoundScape players also bring greater efficiency to the playout operation through exceptional internal memory, minimizing network resources required for live streaming.  A built-in real-time clock ensures that players continue to stream content locally via internal content storage in the event of network downtime—and pick up exactly where the playlist left off upon return of the network.

Visitors to the Barix stand (Hall 8, M-245 in the Amsterdam RAI, February 10-12) can simulate remote device management using the SoundScape Portal, the solution’s central management interface.  In a typical SoundScape deployment, a content provider or network manager can visualize every player on the network using an intuitive, interactive map.  Color-coded pins help users quickly determine the operating status of every player in the network, with green indicating normal operation and red indicating that attention is required.  SoundScape’s in-depth troubleshooting capabilities enable users to remotely drill down into each player to determine and fix operating issues, while finely-tuned alerting capabilities inform users of problems via automatic e-mails or SMS texts.

The SoundScape demonstration at ISE will also allow visitors to establish connections between the Portal and players—the first step in adding new locations to the SoundScape network—build dynamic playlists featuring music and advertisements, and download audio content to local players.  The SoundScape Portal’s rich content management capabilities also allow users to centrally assign and schedule content to unlimited player groups; and group devices by location and language.  These flexible parameters further empower SoundScape’s revenue generating benefits by establishing a foundation for highly targeted, localized ad insertion.

“SoundScape is exciting as it truly offers a wide range of users an audio content distribution system for background music and messages across commercial and public spaces,” said Frank Frederiksen, managing director, Barix.  “No other IP audio solution on the market offers as rich of an SaaS-enabled content and player management solution that also incorporates targeted advertising, stream tracking and reporting, and live status monitoring.  Adding in tried-and-true reliable Barix audio players, SoundScape brings together a complete hardware and software solution to build new revenue streams and reduce total cost of ownership for branded, location-based music and entertainment.”

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Date posted: October 28, 2014

Transition to IP audio simplifies scheduling, playout of music for Ohio retail campuses

The Dutchman Hospitality Group specializes in helping its guests slow down and enjoy the simpler things in life.  Keeping with this philosophy, the company has turned to Barix to centralize its in-store radio programming on its core IT network, transitioning to the Barix Store&Play IP audio solution to simplify the scheduling and playout of content on three of its largest retail and hospitality campuses.

Based in Amish country in rural Walnut Creek, Ohio, Dutchman Hospitality Group sought a unified solution to deliver audio programming across multiple buildings to maintain a consistent and pleasant customer experience — a feat that proved impossible with separate CD players and the “everyone’s a DJ” approach.  The company put its IT contractor, Mark Greenawalt of Makarios Networks, in charge of finding a cost-efficient solution that would offer better control of the overhead music in each building.

The Barix Store&Play solution simplifies scheduling and playout of music for Dutchman Hospitality Group, while using minimal network resources to distribute high-quality audio

“When we made the business decision to have a single source of overhead music on each campus, the challenge of distributing the audio seemed to require pulling new wires between each building,” said Greenawalt.  “I discovered Barix Store&Play while conducting research, and discovered that their solution converts audio to data packets for network distribution, before converting back to audio at the playout point.  Once I realized we could use our existing infrastructure, it became clear that transitioning to Barix would save a lot of time, labor and money.  The devices are inexpensive, and the ease of setup made the overall transition very affordable.”

Since discovering Barix, Greenawalt has since transitioned Dutchman Hospitality Group’s Walnut Creek and Sugar Creek campuses, which include multiple buildings spread across large areas, featuring a mix of retail stores, restaurants and inns.  In the Ohio town of Berlin, the company is streaming music from the Berlin Farmstead Restaurant to the Carlisle Country Inn a quarter-mile down the road, taking advantage of Barix’s flexibility in networking audio across separate, distant properties.

The distribution of audio over the network via Barix technology delivers a more consistent hospitality experience across the mix of retail stores, restaurants and inns on three Dutchman Hospitality Group campuses.

The Barix Store&Play solution is configured to minimize use of network resources, downloading programs for playback on a scheduled basis.  The network architecture includes a central Instreamer device on each campus to encode audio into files for streaming over the network; and Exstreamer devices at each remote building to receive and decode the files back to high-quality audio.  With fiber-optic connections and a Gigabit Ethernet backbone already in place, Greenawalt had the Barix system online and streaming audio across all assigned locations within days.  The IP-addressable Barix solution has operated flawlessly, producing outstanding audio quality with exceptional reliability.

“Being a musician, I have to say that I’m very impressed with the sound quality,” said Greenawalt.  “But the ease of configuration and reliability is what really makes this special.  The Barix receiving devices plug directly into our sound systems, instead of requiring investment in new amplifiers and loudspeakers.  As one representative in a two-person IT department, having a low-maintenance solution is huge.  It really is a set-and-forget system, with no wires to pull and no extra materials or components required.”

Looking ahead, Greenawalt expects that the Barix system will be used solely for the purpose of reliable background music distribution, but envisions opportunities to scale the network to additional locations on each campus as new services develop.

“The Barix IP audio solution strikes me as having an internet radio station for our own private campuses,” he said.  “The sky is the limit in terms of where we can take it in the future.  Considering its flexibility and ease of configuration, I’m not sure there is anything you can’t do with this system in terms of audio distribution if you are thinking creatively.”

Date posted: September 22, 2014

Systems integration specialist Human Circuit, Inc. networks Tightrope Carousel system across two locations, and multiple conference rooms and common areas

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, September 22, 2014 Choice Hotels, the corporate parent of several well-known hotel chains in the United States, recently relocated its Maryland headquarters to the northern Washington, DC suburb of Rockville.  The company occupies six floors of a newly built 10-story building, with a second corporate location in Phoenix, Arizona.  With various conference spaces and thoroughfares to communicate across, Choice Hotels turned to systems integrator Human Circuit, Inc. to design a complete professional AV system with a dynamic and interactive digital signage network from Tightrope Media Systems.

Tightrope’s Carousel solution was selected for its interactive capabilities and ease of use, allowing Choice Hotels to customize outputs depending on the nature of the message for each location.  The network serves three main corporate communication purposes:  interactive wayfinding, historical education, and general information for visitors and personnel.  The open nature of Carousel has also made it easy to incorporate business operations, such as Outlook integration for real-time schedule of meetings and events.

“We work with a number of signage companies and representatives for many different manufacturers,” said Kevin Filano, systems design engineer, Human Circuit, Inc.  “Tightrope was an ideal choice for this project because Carousel is highly customizable, which was important given the targeted content across different locations.  Their layouts are non-cluttered and elegantly designed, which works great for a corporate environment.  Tightrope makes sure the end user can display the right amount of information without making it look too busy, while retaining a smooth and professional look.”

The main business operation is centered on the fourth floor, and is naturally the most visible part of the network.  The main conference center and several reconfigurable meeting rooms rotate a variety of engaging content, but the interactive elements of the network are spread throughout the building.  The wayfinding displays are found at elevator lobbies and stairwells along a staircase spanning all six floors.  Visitors can view a floor map, daily schedule and page through an alphabetical staff directory to pinpoint floor, room and other pertinent information.  The historical education displays also incorporate interactive elements, engaging both visitors and staff.

“Choice Hotels added an interactive museum area to play out video clips that educate on the history of the company,” said Filano.  “A lot of thought went into the layout, color scheme and playout of these interactive elements for both the historical and wayfinding displays.  We worked very closely with Tightrope to achieve that.  Their programming services were instrumental in bringing everything together on time.”

According to Filano, the installation process was unusual as his team was working in tandem with general contractors and architects as the building was raised.  This had the benefit of cleanly integrating the entire technology infrastructure, including the digital signage, into the overall architecture.  However, there was no downtime to create punch lists and program systems, which made Tightrope’s professional services that much more critical to the signage network’s success.

“Normally, the contractor completes 90 percent of the job before we even come on site, but we were pulling cables and hanging displays while they were raising walls,” said Filano.  “We had enough to manage on the AV installation side, so we took advantage of their services to enable the custom functionality of the various outputs, and assist with signage network configuration.”

The overall Carousel architecture for Choice Hotels is clean and network-friendly, using a virtual server cluster with intelligent software to drive content instead of a central computer.  The robust network now extends to the Phoenix corporate location, with similar content created, managed and driven from the Rockville headquarters, where Carousel’s remote capabilities also enable network-wide troubleshooting from a central location.  The scalable Carousel backbone ensures that Choice Hotels can expand to additional displays at the Phoenix location without significantly driving up costs, labor or operational complexity.

“One of the biggest benefits of Carousel is ease of use and learning curve, which is important as the network scales,” said Filano.  “Choice Hotels has already had a handful of people move around in the company that were previously operating Carousel.  With a number of different operators taking over the system, they have had no issues with those transitions.”

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Date posted: June 10, 2014

Custom solution reliably streams branded content to more than 30 stores in central Europe

Leading corporate music provider DMD2 of Switzerland has long trusted Barix IP audio solutions to stream branded audio content to businesses around Europe.  The company has again selected Barix for multipoint in-store radio, streaming high-quality custom music programs to 33 Bucherer retail jewelry stores in four countries.

Bucherer was founded in Lucerne, Switzerland in 1888, and is today the European retail leader for luxury watches and fine jewelry.  The Barix installation marks the first time Bucherer has used a live in-store radio service, with DMD2 crafting a specially branded music stream from a huge music library to match specifically the vibrant and elegant atmosphere of their stores.  The service gives the retail chain a high-quality audio program, producing a pleasant and consistent audio experience for customers.  The service is now live in stores across Switzerland, Germany, France and Austria.

The Barix IP-based delivery architecture also keeps employees focused on customer service instead of fumbling with CDs and the FM radio dial, removing the role of “in-store DJ” from the sales team’s job description.

“Bucherer have gained exceptional control over this part of their in-store branding with the Barix and DMD2 solution,” said Alexander Dal Farra, owner and president of DMD2.  “They are very happy with their choice.  The Barix solution also ensures that their existing audio equipment could be used for an overall cost-effective installation.  Additionally, the audio service is virtually maintenance free once it is up and running.”

The technical concept of the Barix and DMD2 solution was equally appealing to Bucherer.  The solution provides a low-latency, bandwidth-efficient live stream over the retail chain’s existing network, requiring no major updates at the store level.  The streams originate from the DMD2 offices in Bern, Switzerland, with direct connection to Barix Exstreamer IP audio decoders inside the stores.  The Exstreamers reliably play out AAC+ streams at a bitrate ideal for background music.

The Exstreamer models selected for this installation feature a front-panel display with artist/title and stream information, as well as MicroSD slot with backup music in the event of network failure.  That MicroSD slot additionally provides built-in content protection, eliminating the temptation for customers or employees to remove attached USB sticks with DMD2 in-store content.  Set up is simple and efficient,  and virtually no physical space is required due to the Exstreamer’s compact footprint.

Dal Farra adds that his success with Barix across similar in-store radio installations, including Victorinox retail stores in four countries, gave Bucherer the confidence they needed to modernize their in-store music approach.  DMD2 handles all Barix device configuration, service monitoring and music licensing for its in-store radio customers, further simplifying matters for retail customers like Bucherer.

“DMD2 has installed well over 1000 Barix Exstreamers across many businesses, each of which have varying network conditions,” said Dal Farra.  “That track record of success made it easy to convince Bucherer that it was smart to build their service on this technology.”

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