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HP Designs Digital Signage Players For SMBs

Offering between one and ten displays, HP's systems bundle content management software with templates.

Daniel Dern

November 3, 2010

3 Min Read

HP Signage Player

HP Signage Player

(click image for larger view)
HP Signage Player

Hewlett-Packard announced two digital signage products on Monday that are designed for deployments of between one and 10 displays and target SMBs.

"The HP SignagePlayer mp8000s and HP SignagePlayer mp8000r are designed for independent retailers, and other small to midsize businesses that want to deploy full-featured digital signage at a single location or across a small network, " said Bob Rosenberry, manager of Visual Solutions, Retail Store Solutions at HP. "We're providing an easy way to buy, install and run digital signage for a company that isn't prepared or able to involve themselves in a larger deployment project. This will allow wider adoption of digital signage, especially among smaller businesses."

Digital signage refers to computer displays in lobbies and other areas visible to employees, visitors or the public, with text and multimedia content that can be easily changed and updated. Popular venues include airports, movie theaters, department stores, conference centers, hotels, hotel and corporate lobbies, and hallways. As prices for digital signage products drop, more companies are adopting them for information, advertising and sales. Digital signage often runs non-stop, 24/7 and 365 days a year. The content to be displayed may be stored locally, such as on a Compact Flash card or a USB drive, or provided through a wired or wireless network connection.

The two new players are part of HP's digital signage product family. Both are running Windows Embedded Standard 2009 and use an Intel Core 2 Duo 8400 processor.

The HP digital signage players each creates a single "channel" of digital signage output, according to Rosenberry. "You can connect multiple displays via daisy-chaining to a single player, and these displays can be showing identical content, or be "tiled" portions of a display 'wall.' "

HP Signage Player

HP Signage Player

(click image for larger view)
HP Signage Player

The mp8000s is an "ultra-slim desktop" form factor that can be mounted behind a suitable display. Intended for businesses with space limitations, the mp8000s can display video content up to 720p.

The mp8000r is a small form factor (SFF) PC -- slightly larger than the mp8000s -- and includes Nvidia discrete graphics, allowing it to display 1080p content.

Both HP players include Scala QuickStart digital signage deployment software, a hosted SaaS version of Scala's Content Manager software. According to HP, Scala QuickStart lets users quickly and easily create, manage and schedule the digital content, using a web browser, that an HP SignagePlayer will be sending to its display(s).

Using Scala QuickStart, the HP SignagePlayers can create and manage "sophisticated layouts with images, text, Adobe Flash animations, RSS feeds and interactive content."

By including Scala's SaaS-based content management tool with the SignagePlayers, "we have created a digital signage appliance that can be installed in minutes without any IT help or elaborate network setup, and requires almost no configuration," said Rosenberry.

The mp8000s (MSRP $1,119) and mp8000r (MSRP $1,079) are expected to be available in early December in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. (Prices do not include HP’s Digital Signage Display or Wall Mount Kit.) Scala's QuickStart software costs $45/month.

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About the Author(s)

Daniel Dern


Daniel P. Dern is an independent technology and business writer. He can be reached via email at [email protected]; his website, www.dern.com; or his technology blog, TryingTechnology.com

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