Case Studies

Background
The Vacation Channel is an in-room visitor information channel that plays in over 85 hotels and timeshares throughout the Hampton Roads, Virginia area. The channel features general information relevant to the specific city in which the hotel or timeshare property is located as well as featured content from their advertisers. They have been in business since 1981, originally starting in Williamsburg, Virginia; then moving to Virginia Beach, Newport News, and most recently Hampton, Virginia. The service they provide to the hotels is a free service as it provides guests with relevant information about their stay in the area. Their customer base is any and all businesses looking to gain a market share of tourism spending, especially during the high tourism season of the summer months.

Digital Signage
The Vacation Channel began looking into digital signage as a more economical and engaging way to reach hotel guests. They had been running on a DVD based system since 2001 and realized that advances in technology and the Internet could finally allow them to take the next step, which most logically was digital signage. Under the old model, each city had a specific video program and there was no room for customization as they mass produced the DVDs that ran the program. Using Cilutions' digital signage they are now able to provide a hotel property with a custom channel that they have control over. This gives each property partial "ownership" of the programming content. The Vacation Channel also wanted a system that would allow them to have multiple custom channels yet still maintain the program; all while being updated via the Internet and other networks. In addition to giving the hotel properties control and customization, they wanted to allow them the opportunity to communicate directly with the guests. This would offer each hotel the ability to showcase the amenities and features of the property. Today, using Cilutions' digital signage system, The Vacation Channel can offer their hoteliers a custom branded channel, with local control of text assets, which promotes their property and enhances the guest experience. Cilutions' digital signage system also allow The Vacation Channel to better services their advertisers. Previously, The Vacation Channel placed strict rules on their advertisers because they were limited by duplication dates for the DVD program. With Cilutions digital signage system, they no longer have to set dates for their advertisers in order for them to be featured on the show. They can upload their updated videos as they please and have custom and unique airtimes over the course of their contract.

Cilutions
The Vacation Channel chose Cilutions because of two key features: cost and ease of use. The Cilutions pricing model is extremely affordable; with some digital signage applications more than triple the cost of Cilutions. Because The Vacation Channel program is a free service, they wanted to ensure that they could still offer digital signage solutions for those properties who choose not have custom channels without having to pass on the costs to their advertisers. In addition to the cost advantages, the Cilutions technical team has been readily available to assist The Vacation Channel with questions - which has made developing the new system as "headache-free" as possible. In short, Cilutions is the low-cost, high quality digital signage solution that The Vacation Channel was looking for.

Future Plans
The Vacation Channel has immediate plans to update their entire network to take advantage of digital signage. They plan to remotely monitor and update the network with Cilutions SNMP and Telnext Proxy Server applications and eliminate any need to travel to a hotel or timeshare for regular maintenance. They also plan on expanding their reach to other markets such as Washington DC, Baltimore, MD, Asheville, NC and other large tourism destinations as their remote capabilities allow them to monitor the systems from their central office in Hampton Roads.

Click here to see an ad produced by The Vacation Channel.

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Digital signage can often be too expensive for a small college to install and maintain. There is not simply the initial costs of the media players (and any other additional software costs) to consider, but the resources required to maintain a digital signage network can often be costly too. Many colleges simply don't have the personnel dedicated to maintaining a large and complex digital signage system.

Mott Community College chose Cilutions digital signage to install it's 60 screen network across its campus. [something more here] The features provided by Cilutions include:

Local user controls to update fields on the screen
Real-time, graphical weather display
Multiple RSS feeds playing on the screen
Plug-and-play capability so the end user needs to know nothing about the network. The user just plugs the set-top box in and powers it up
Automatic detection of each set-top box when it comes online

ConneC-TV is a central Massachusetts focused television network for local advertisers. They deliver focused marketing messages to specific locations, within the community. ConneC-TV enables local businesses to deliver a personal "out of home" message to potential customers. The message will be viewed by consumers who live, shop, dine and obtain services from local businesses. A business is showcased in one of ConneC-TV's local Advertisement Viewing Locations (AVL’s). ConneC-TV will work with a business to help develop the most effective video and/or audio-video message for that customer. These messages serve to assist the local business by providing a direct focus to the customers who they are marketing to most; local customers.

Cilutions
After having worked with other digital signage providers, ConneC-TV chose Cilutions digital media platform. Our set-top box solution provided ConneC-TV with the right combination of price and feature set. Plus, our highly trained support staff is always available to help customize ConneC-TV's digital signage offering as new advertisers are added. The features provided by Cilutions include:

Local user controls to update fields on the screen
Real-time, graphical weather display
Multiple RSS feeds playing on the screen
Plug-and-play capability so the end user needs to know nothing about the network. The user just plugs the set-top box in and powers it up
Automatic detection of each set-top box when it comes online

Click here to see an example Connec-TV digital signage screen.

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Automotive Broadcasting Network

Background
The Automotive Broadcasting Network (ABN) is the first in-dealership, private television network controlled by the dealer. ABN, which is fueled by the CBS Television Network, was formed to leverage existing dealership assets to assist automobile dealerships with selling more products and services in an entirely unique and professional manner.

ABN serves captive customers inside the automobile dealership with high-quality, fast-paced, family-friendly entertainment - prime time programming not available during normal business hours.

ABN helps reduce customer perceived wait times by providing entertaining content, thereby improving customer satisfaction and enhancing customer loyalty. More importantly, ABN eliminates competitor advertising from playing in the dealership.

ABN is based in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

ABN Network Diagram


Requirements
ABN recognized that dealers wanted to take advantage of the increased amount of time customers were spending at their facilities. With customers coming back to trusted dealerships more often than in the past for service work, dealers saw a unique opportunity to market to their best customers.

In addition, dealers wanted to make a customer visit to their dealership more pleasant by providing quality television programming rather than the traditional daytime TV that customers were being forced to watch.

ABN also wanted a system that allowed dealers to control the advertising content being shown on TVs throughout their facility. Thus, ABN decided to feature three types of "out of home" content:

Entertainment - screening popular, family-friendly CBS shows
Advertising - showing customers a dealer's upcoming vehicles for sale
Educational - providing customers with technical tips on the importance and benefits of routine auto maintenance

Most importantly, ABN required a private network that would send custom programming straight into the dealer's waiting areas, to be aired on the dealership's own televisions or flat panel monitors.

To do all of this, ABN selected a private satellite data network as the transport mechanism for delivering content to automotive dealerships nationwide.

Cilutions
ABN chose Cilutions DMB Media Player and DMB Content Distribution software products to manage and control video distribution and playout to the various automotive dealers on the network. Some ABN network features provided by Cilutions include:

Reliable storage of all dealer content at ABN's central sending hub in Detroit, Michigan
Easy registration of content - an ABN administrator simply delivers individual dealer content into well-known directories, where they are automatically registered for delivery to designated dealer receivers
Multicast Addressing - Cilutions software allows video content to be sent simultaneously to thousands of receivers across ABN's dealer network
Package addressing to ABN dealer receivers at a group or individual level - Cilutions software allows custom advertising to be targeted to specific dealerships, while letting broader CBS content span an entire region
All ABN dealer receivers are ensured of reliable delivery, since Cilutions software uses forward error correction (FEC) techniques that detect and repair lost packets during reception
Prioritization of content - Cilutions software lets ABN indicate the order in which content should be sent to its dealer receivers when more than one file is scheduled for transmission at the same time
Status Reporting - Cilutions software provides options that allow ABN to track delivery status either through web service reporting mechanisms or via on-demand email status reports
Dynamic Bandwidth Scaling - Cilutions software offers dynamic, seamless, transmission rate scaling to accomodate any surge in ABN's distribution demands. This is especially useful when ABN needs to send a new set of advertisements just before a weekend sale

Click here to see how ABN is using our digital signage solution.

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Background
SpectiCast is the fastest growing all-digital private network company in North America, distributing film, cultural arts events, and alternative content to both theatrical and non-theatrical venues. SpectiCast's proprietary Digital Theatre NetworkTM delivers the highest quality audiovisual digital experience using state-of-the-art Internet-protocol technologies operating over a network that has worldwide reach. SpectiCast leverages patented technologies to deliver both live and pre-recorded HD content over standard, commercial-grade Internet connections. SpectiCast has extensive experience in the fields of data networking, video transmission technology, video production, and the cultural arts.

How It Works
At the retirement home, the setup is simple. A set-top box has standard HDMI components that can connect to a projector, DVD player or closed circuit TV network. All you need to do is to plug it into an Ethernet connection. The set-top box then sends a UDP packet through the router and handshakes with Specticast's network, opens the proper ports and streams the live video to the target display. The box is controlled virtually, so the Specticast help staff can reboot it, change settings and power cycle should problems arise. If a user is running a downlink that can't support high definition, the content is shown in standard.

At the venue itself, Specticast commissions a professional production team or utilizes the in-house team to record performances. In the case of the Philadelphia Orchestra, seven robotic camera and two handhelds record the action. A producer, directory and editors make sure that the production stays on taks. A host emcees the event and interviews the orchestra crew backstage before and after the event.

Cilutions
Specticast chose Cilutions DMB Management Applications to manage and control the operation of their set-top boxes across the Internet. The features provided by Cilutions include:

Standards-based management agents running in each set-top box and providing health and status information to the network operations center
Reporting of video and audio activity for each set-top box; Specticast knows when a set-top box is up and working well
Plug-and-play capability so the end user needs to know nothing about the network. The user just plugs the set-top box in and powers it up
Automatic detection of each set-top box when it comes online
SNMP proxy capability in the network operations center letting Specticast's management servers configure and monitor the set-top boxes by setting the video channels, tracking up-time and even initiating a reboot of one or more set-top boxes automatically
Engineering development services where Cilutions combines software components from the set-top box manufacturer along with third party components and Cilutions supplied components into a cohesive image configured for field deployment according to Specticast's requirements
Cilutions Tier 3 services supporting field operations and technical problem analysis and resolution

Click here to see how Specticast is using our video-on-demand solution.

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Verizon Business

Background
Verizon Business, which operates the satellite broadcast communications service for the International Satellite Communications System (ISCS), required a file distribution system. They needed a system that could reliably and securely transmit large amounts of weather map data to the National Weather Service (NWS) worldwide locations.

Cilutions
Verizon chose Cilutions DMB Content Distribution product for the ISCS network at NWS. Some features incorporated by the ISCS network include:

Reliable storage of NWS content at its central sending hub
Easy registration of content - The NWS computer system simply delivers bundled weather maps into well- known directories, where they are automatically registered for delivery to receiving platforms
Multicast Addressing - allows each weather map bundle to be sent simultaneously to thousands of receivers across NWS' worldwide network
Package addressing to NWS receivers at a group or individual level allows weather maps to be targeted to specific local stations, while letting broader weather alerts span an entire region
Reliable delivery to both receive-only and two-way NWS receivers - uses forward error correction (FEC) techniques that detect and repair lost packets during reception
Priorization of content - lets NWS indicate the order in which content should be sent to its receivers when more than one file is scheduled for transmission at the same time

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Digital Signage Products

Use Cilutions' Digital Media Bridge products to build the complete digital signage solution

Cilutions offers four software products that are integral to a successful digital signage network. These products together comprise our Digital Media Bridge (DMB) product suite. A network operator can choose any or all of our products to build a successful digital signage network.


DMB Screen Builder

Digital Signage, Menu Board and Video-On-Demand screen authoring application.
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  DMB Media Player

   Digital Signage, Menu Board and Video-On-Demand player application.
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  Multicast Distribution

   File distribution sender and receiver applications for multicast enabled networks.
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  Management Applications

   Network operations center applications and remote SNMP and Telnet management agents.
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What do you get with Cilutions Digital Signage?


Video-On-Demand

Cilutions digital signage software can be used to build and send Video-On-Demand menus to each screen in your network. The videos that are available for playback can reside on the local set-top box's hard-drive or played via a live video stream.
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Menu Board

Enhance the current menus for your restaurant with a digital menu board. Digital menus are more than just an eye-catching addition to your restaurant; they are a cost-effective digital solution that produces a better customer experience, decreased costs, and a boost in revenue.
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Emergency Message

Recently, emergency messaging has grown into a popular feature for large properties. Widely used in universities, the industry has seen emergency messaging also gain popularity in hospitals, corporate office buildings, and hotels, will resume normal playback.
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Reader Board

Cilutions digital signage offering gives organizations a compelling digital alternative to traditional, static signage. Organizations seeking new and innovative ways to reach their audiences find that a digital readerboard offers flexibility and savings they never could have achieved through traditional, printed displays.
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