Ping HD, Apex Procurement and LG, Roll Out 2,400 Site Digital Signage Network

Best Western® Hotels & Resorts selected Ping HD partner Apex Procurement LLC to provide EngagePHD™ powered LG webOS digital signage displays within the lobby of every Best Western hotel property in North America.

DENVER, Jan. 14, 2019 — Ping HD, a leading provider of digital signage software solutions, today announced that Best Western International Inc., is near completion of a digital signage rollout to over 2,400 hotel properties throughout the United States and Canada, making this one of the world’s largest multi-site deployments of LG Electronics’ webOS SoC (System on a Chip) digital signage displays.

The solution is built around 43, 49 and 55 inch LG displays featuring LG’s flexible “webOS for Signage” platform and powered by Ping HD’s EngagePHD™ software. This is a solution that eliminates the need for any external media player hardware, “working natively at the SoC level puts you right at the last point of failure, which minimizes capital investment by eliminating the purchase of unnecessary hardware and the labor costs associated with the installation of that unnecessary hardware. Operating expenses are lowered by reducing content management and design effort, support hours and maintenance,” says Kevin Goldsmith, Chief Technology Officer at Ping HD, therefore each property only requires the LG display(s) configured with the EngagePHD™ application and connected to the Internet. Some properties have these screens fitted with a touchscreen overlay that elevates the customer experience from passive to interactive.

Typically, Best Western guests will see one to three displays at each property, providing travelers with instant access to information about the hotel, the local area and latest news from Best Western. In addition to relevant local and brand information, property owners can display their own custom content.

Some properties are also equipped with a touch screen overlay to allow guests to interact with the screen, helping them gather more information about nearby tourist hotspots, recommended restaurants and, for those properties close to airports, live flight departure information. Ping HD is able to offer live flight data to over 10,000 commercial airports worldwide. Use of QR codes embedded in the content allows the hotel guests to take any of the content with them on their mobile devices.

Finally, some properties feature displays in the restaurant and bar areas to show live TV with an L-Bar wrap.

EngagePHD™ is an easy-to-use, web-based design, content management, and network monitoring application that has been built to enable users to manage large scale multi-site networks with minimal effort. The ‘Locations’ based feature enables the customer to minimize the number of variants to the same ‘Layout’ so that Best Western, does not need 2,400+ unique layouts, one for each display, which would be a labor intensive and logistical nightmare. Instead, only a handful of layouts are required and the same layout can be scheduled to all of the ‘Hi-Board’ screens throughout North America. Based on the location reference, when each layout hits each display, the layout is dynamically populated with site-specific content, such as for example the local weather forecast.

Kevin Goldsmith, Chief Technology Officer at Ping HD, says: “It is an exciting time to be working with the team at Apex Procurement and Best Western® Hotels & Resorts. The scalability and power of EngagePHD™ on LG’s webOS displays demonstrates this affordable and robust player-less digital signage solution exceptionally well.”

For more information about Ping HD’s digital signage software visit https://www.engagephd.com/

JoAnna Pabich, VP Strategic Implementation at Apex Procurement LLC, says: “This is the best one-stop solution on the market. By combining the highest technological hardware from LG along with Ping HD’s cutting edge software platform makes this partnering of technology, experience and software management the easiest and most cost-effective method for any business looking to transition to the digital signage marketing experience.”

Clark Brown, Vice President, LG Electronics USA Business Solutions, says: “Best Western’s massive digital signage deployment leverages LG’s advanced display technology and Ping HD’s feature-rich solution,” said Clark Brown, vice president, digital signage, LG Electronics USA Business Solutions. “This powerful combination, built on our webOS for Signage platform, delivers an unparalleled, flexible digital signage experience. With wide viewing angles and color accuracy, LG’s IPS built displays are designed to excel in public venues like Best Western.”

Dorothy Dowling, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Best Western Hotels & Resorts, says: “Today’s travelers want real-time access to the most relevant information about their stay, and at Best Western we’re dedicated to offering innovative amenities that enhance the guest experience. This new digital signage rollout enables Best Western and our hotel owners to more effectively communicate with guests and is yet another example of our constant evolution as a brand.”

About Ping HD

Ping HD is a full service, end-to-end digital signage software company. We design and build digital experiences that help transform the way consumers interact with business. Ping HD is the company behind EngagePHD™, an affordable, scalable, flexible and innovative digital signage software solution. We tailor our approach to meet your specific requirements and make the most of your investment. Ping HD digital signage solutions are tailored to meet the needs of the travel, hospitality, sports, QSR, retail, corporate and education industries.

About Apex Procurement LLC
Apex Procurement LLC is LG’s largest distribution arm for the WebOS digital signage solution displays. Apex along with its partners provides a one-stop hardware, software, and installation solution. We work very closely with our clients to ensure that the digital signage transition is a seamless and cost-effective experience. Our knowledgeable and highly trained staff is able to customize a hardware and software program to fit every clients need.

About Best Western
Best Western Hotels & Resorts headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, is a privately held hotel brand with a global network of over 4,200 hotels in nearly 100 countries and territories worldwide*. Best Western offers 13 hotel brands to suit the needs of developers and guests in every market. Now celebrating more than 70 years of hospitality, Best Western provides its hoteliers with global operational, sales and marketing support, and award-winning online and mobile booking capabilities.

About LG Electronics
LG Electronics USA Business Solutions serves commercial display customers in the U.S. digital signage, systems integration, lodging and hospitality, healthcare, education, governmen, and industrial markets. Based in Lincolnshire, Ill., with its dedicated engineering and customer support team, LG Electronics USA Business Solutions delivers business-to-business technology solutions tailored to the particular needs of business environments. LG Electronics USA Inc., based in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., is the North American subsidiary of LG Electronics Inc., a $49 billion global force in consumer electronics, mobile communications, home appliances, and air solutions. LG is a 2015 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year-Sustained Excellence. For more information, 

Digital Signage is an eye-catching and effective way to showcase content for your business— but how do you know if your content is connected and secure?

Here are 3 reasons why people choose EngagePHD™:

1) Ensure your content is being displayed correctly and reflecting any changes instantaneously.

Digital Signage is the key to making lasting impressions on a consumer. EngagePHD™’s Network Monitoring tools work cohesively to make sure your message is correctly displayed across all screens regardless of where in the world they may be installed. In addition, we have made it easy to update content as well—giving your business the flexibility to update your information as needed.

2) Receive Automated Email Alerts for instant notifications.

Automated email alerts through EngagePHD™’s Network Monitoring System allows you to be constantly connected to your Digital Signage. These alerts will notify you of any issues or changes made to your content. This feature alerts you instantly if: any screens are offline, there is a black screen, if content appears to be frozen, if the temperature of a screen exceeds a pre-determined level and if a user changes a price point of a product. Rest assured there will be no surprises when using the Network Monitoring System.

3) Get access Realtime Dashboard to view current content.

Another important feature of EngagePHD™’s Network Monitoring System is being able to show content that is running on any screen at any given time. We created a Real-time Dashboard view that shows you content that is currently displayed on the screen regardless of your Player/Screen hardware. This allows you to be in control and even request a screenshot of your content on demand.

Retailers are one of the biggest markets for digital signage, but that doesn't mean every retailer or supplier uses it correctly. Even while going shopping, I regularly run into these issues with both interactive and normal displays such as broken or malfunctioning displays, bad attract screens and poor content. But thankfully, these can all be fixed with a little bit of love and work.

Broken displays

I regularly run into displays that are malfunctioning. Their screens might be blank, or the touchscreen might not be working. Or even worse, I might see a normal desktop pulled up on the display, which allows anyone determined or mischievous enough to do a lot of damage.

Worst of all, I almost never see any sign anyone is working to fix the issue. At best, the retailer might tape a handwritten note to the display.

An easy way to fix this is to use digital signage software which monitors the "health" of the display. In other words, it checks to make sure the display is operational and everything is working smoothly. This can help speed up response time from a repair service. Also, the vendor can supply the retailer with tools to use when the display goes down, such as a branded "out of order" sign.

Bad attract screens

I have seen a variety of attract screens used with kiosks and interactive digital signage, which just don't do the job. I've seen some that are just a bit boring and others that are downright disturbing. For example, I saw one kiosk that featured virtual people staring directly into the passerby's eyes, with a soulless expression and a strange smile. It made me want to run away from the display, not to it!

Attract screens need to offer a clear and concise motivation to draw in the user. It could be something like local artwork that draws a customers' eyes, or it could be an advertisement for a discount. It could even change based on the customer's demographics or where the customer is standing.

You can also use analytical tools to test the effectiveness of the attract screen, and switch out the content accordingly.

Poor content

In many ways, this is the worst and most damaging issue for a display. If the content doesn't work, the entire display becomes worthless. I've seen many displays that deliver boring or poor content, such as a mall display that used pixelated images or a gas station display which was still advertising warm weather products on a cold day.

Developing and maintaining effective content is certainly difficult, but you can make it a bit easier by using three tools:

  • Use a good content management system that allows you to easily swap content in and out.
  • Put someone in charge of content creation and management. If someone doesn't "own it," it won't be as effective.
  • Consistently use analytics to test the effectiveness of the content.

Content is a continuous investment, and you can't afford to fall behind.

 

Make sure your content is displayed correctly! 

 

Images Taken at a Local K-Mart Store

   

The Orlando City Soccer Club has chosen Ping HD’s powerful EngagePHD™ digital signage software to drive the IPTV network at their new home, Orlando City Stadium.

The IPTV portion accounts for 147 commercial grade Samsung SSP (Smart Signage Platform) SoC (System on a Chip) displays which has everything needed to run the application embedded onto a single chip inside of the display.  This means no more external DMPs (Digital Media Players) which results in lower hardware costs, lower installation costs, less failure points, increased reliability, and greater flexibility. 

Each Samsung SSP display is connected to the Internet and EngagePHD™ is automatically downloaded.  To complete the solution, EngagePHD™ makes use of the Samsung SSP displays onboard ATSC/QAM tuner which means that all the available TV channels e.g. ESPN, Fox Soccer etc.,  along with a live raw game camera feed and scoreboard feed can be modulated over RF and appear as a channel number on the Samsung SSP displays.  From here the team at Orlando City Soccer Club creates custom layouts by logging into the EngagePHD™ website application, defining the size/position of where the Live TV feed will appear and then wrap the feed in an L-Bar style fashion with any marketing, sponsorship, information, or social media content.

The TV channel shown on each display used for IPTV can be changed remotely via EngagePHD™, so the team can reset any/all displays to any channel at the start of a game.  Functionality also exists to allow fans in a suite to change the TV channel via a unique QR code.  Once scanned the QR loads a touch friendly interface on the fans own mobile smart phone that shows a logo for each TV channel, touch the logo and the channel is changed without affecting the L-Bar wrap.    

Since each display is unique and has its own identity and IP Address, the content for each screen can be unique, grouped together in batches or be the same on all 147 displays.  Content can also be synchronized so a playlist of assets change at the same time on all the screens in the sync group.

The 47 Digital Menu Boards allow the Concessions operator, Spectra, to use Bypass Mobile for their POS (Point of Sale) System integrated with the EngagePHD™ software.  When making pricing changes in Bypass Mobile, the pricing on the Digital Menu Boards are reflective of those changes.

Whether a Digital Menu Board or an IPTV display, EngagePHD™ powerful monitoring tools allow the team to know exactly what content is being displayed on every single display with automated screenshots pulled directly into a Dashboard view. Some of the other great features include:

  • Automated e-mail alerts inform users if a screen has gone offline and failed to perform its scheduled system health check
  • Ability to turn all screens off/on from a mobile phone
  • Interrupt/Moment of exclusivity triggers
  • Proof of play reporting

Kevin Goldsmith, Chief Technology Officer at Ping HD, says:

“EngagePHD™ offers greater elasticity and a fresh approach to traditional IPTV solutions and can exist in a hybrid environment where modulated TV content and network based UDP (User Datagram Protocol) based IPTV streams exist. System on a Chip display technology has advanced so much that we are able to deliver as much flexibility within Samsung SSP Displays that you’d expect to get from a high-end external Windows based media player.”

Looking for a similar installation? Contact us today:

Ping HD’s Players Map Feature

PingHD Australia provides a scaleable and flexible digital signage solution. Ping HD is an industry leader when it comes to new and innovative cloud-based software enhancements through EngagePHD™. EngagePHD™ offers a Players Map feature to help your business better manage and maintain your digital content.

Players Map is a versatile tool that you are able to configure and implement to your industry’s needs. Players Map allows users to upload a floor plan of their stadium arena, shopping mall, airport, convention center, or campus. Once the floorpan is uploaded you are able to plot where each and every Player is located. This Players Map will show a green dot or a red dot representing each Player. The green dot indicates that all operational systems are functioning properly. The red dot alerts the user that there is an error or issue with a Player. These color codes make your digital signage Players easy to read and allow the user to quickly pin point where all Players are located.

The Players Map is an interactive medium to provide a snapshot of content currently being displayed by your digital signage player. By hovering your mouse over each green and red dot it will reveal a near realtime screenshot to show exactly what content is on the screen. This action will also provide all of the Player’s information such as: serial number, IP address, MAC address, firmware version, network, and temperature.

For the University of Texas, Austin Ping HD was able to implement the EngagePHD™ Players Map feature for the entire Longhorn’s locker room. Regardless of the size or scale, Ping HD’s Players Map allows you to have complete clarity when reviewing your digital signage operations.

Digital Signage Direct is proud to announce that we are an authorised dealer of Airtame Australia, we have stock available and ready to ship as at the 1st July 2018 so get your preorders in now!

BUY HERE

 

Client Need — Elevate Hospital Aesthetics and Messaging

With no previous digital signage in place, the beautiful Foothills location of Boulder Community Health wanted to implement a high impact, engaging solution that would clean up the visual appeal of their waiting areas, assist in wayfinding, and effectively deliver messaging and promotion initiatives.

Ping HD Solution  — Facility-Wide Immersive Digital Signage

To create a more engaging and timely guest experience, two of the touch screens were powered by the intuitive EngagePHD™ platform so staff could quickly and easily change out and upload new content from their smartphones, laptops or desktops. Ping HD also installed resource-based touch screens and reader boards to communicate a variety of messaging initiatives throughout the facility.


Results — An Engaging and Resourceful Guest Experience

Having an intuitive digital signage system in place has allowed Boulder Community Health to easily manage their messaging and promotional initiatives, connect with guests, and capture new patient leads. Once the system was in place, one patient, whose mother in search of a specialized doctor, noticed messaging on some of the digital signage and was able to easily identify and get in touch with a particular physician. After using the system, Boulder Community Health staffers were thrilled with the versatility, ease of use, and new patient leads garnered from its implementation, and have plans to implement Ping HD digital signage at their other healthcare locations.

 

IPTV Solutions by Ping HD

EngagePHD™ provides complete flexibility for IPTV based digital signage solutions. The IPTV feature supports a wide range of hardware options and hybrid systems.  Depending on the current infrastructure, EngagePHD™ can be implemented in many different ways and work side by side:

  • Multicast Network Stream: EngagePHD™ supports any UDP or TCP based multicast stream. The Multicast Network Stream can be positioned anywhere in a Layout so you can wrap any content around the TV feed. This method is supported on Samsung SSP and LG webOS commercial displays, however, if you need to use external DMP’s, then BrightSign and Windows based players are also supported.
  • RF (Coax):  The RF is uniquely supported on Samsung SSP Commercial Displays (North America Only). TV content can be distributed via RF and each Samsung screen can be programmed to receive all the channels that are available. Furthermore, just like the Multicast Network Stream, users can design a Layout and have this TV source as an option. In addition, we’ve added a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) solution for sports fans in a suite or a visitor to a corporate office building etc. The BYOD solution allows the user to change the channel from their own smart phone without affecting any L-Bar wrap style content.
  • HDMI External Source: Samsung SSP and LG webOS allows the support of an external set-top box e.g. Comcast, DirecTV, Sky, Virgin Media etc. to be connected via HDMI.  EngagePHD™ is connected to the HDMI port and users can design a Layout to incorporate an L-Bar style wrap containing other content.

The above options are some of the different ways in which we can deliver an IPTV type solution.  Each screen is uniquely IP addressable meaning you can show the same content or showcase unique content on every screen. Regardless of your needs, EngagePHD™ can be used to manage your Digital Signage based IPTV networks.

If you are searching for a streamlined platform where TV content can be mixed in with your Digital Menu Boards, Room Signage, Ad Screens and Wayfinding displays; Ping HD IPTV is your digital solution.

One Platform can do all your digital signage needs Read More

We are very excited to report that our multiple award-winning, web-based digital signage platform, EngagePHD™, is now supported on Samsung SSSP 4.0 Tizen Displays!

EngagePHD™ is the first platform able to integrate with the robust features of this brand new technology.

Tizen is the brand new cross-platform system that delivers increased performance and great features, such as the ability to support the playback of 3 different video files simultaneously, when compared to the existing SSSP 3.0 E-Series Displays.

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