ONELAN Digital Signage, my experience – Steven Ashley Installations/Projects:
After installing ONELAN digital signage for a couple of years I was intrigued to learn more about the software side and the programming that was involved. For a basic ONELAN installation for example in a school reception, a site survey would be carried out. Firstly we would check the location, making sure the wall was strong enough to hold a commercial monitor, we would then decide on a position with the client making sure they are happy with the height. Once this has been agreed we would ask for a power and network socket to be installed which the monitor will conceal. On the installation day we would fix the monitor to the wall and place the ONELAN signage box either behind the set or above if a false ceiling is present, the basic ONELAN player is the size of a small format pc, it has 2 usb sockets 1 for a remote and 1 for RS2232 control, it has an HDMI, VGA, and Audio input, we would strongly recommend using HDMI as this would give the best picture. It also has a network socket so this would be linked between the ONELAN player and the network connection that was installed behind the screen, if a network socket isn’t possible you can get a wireless version of the ONELAN box so this solution can still be installed. When installation is complete we would turn both the box and monitor on and make sure we have a picture. The boxes come with a pre-loaded demo signage layout. Down the left hand side of the screen we have some scrolling text giving us some info mainly the IP Address which we would note down for the client, we would also take a note of the network socket number this is so we can pass on the relative information to the Network/IT technician. We would show the client the screen working and make sure they are 100% happy with their system. The other ONELAN digital signage solution is a publisher and a subscriber based solution. The publisher is installed into a server room and configured on to the network, the subscribers are then installed behind monitors that are dotted around the client’s site. Let’s take for example a factory, a subscriber and monitor could be installed in a reception, factory floor, canteen, office space and goods in/out the publisher can then be set up to push out relevant information to different monitors.
Going from just installing the boxes to learning about the software and the programming that is needed to get the box up and running, I believe that understanding the user benefits is probably the most important part so the solution provided is exactly what the client wants. Which gives me peace of mind that I can walk away from the job knowing that they have a system they believe in and a system that will essentially grow their business. Looking at the user benefits:-
- Easy to use
- Fits client/user expectations
- Most importantly meeting business goals.
Let’s take for example the factory, there goods in/out space has a board where the manager writes on each morning expected deliveries and pick-ups. This takes time and effort which could be avoided by using digital signage. For example a screen and ONELAN player could be installed in a central position so that everyone can see. The main part of the screen could tell them expected deliveries/pick-ups. It could have scrolling news along the bottom, messages from the manager and the time and date. ONELAN boxes can be linked to software the client uses on their computer and give a constant stream of relevant information. Let’s say they had another screen in the canteen, the box could be programmed to have menus on, live TV and important information to the employees.
Whilst installing ONELAN boxes, I always believed the programming and configuration was complicated and something I could not do myself. I was offered the opportunity to look into the software and programming side of the box and I was amazed by how easy the software and create templates were to setup and navigate through. It really didn’t take much time to learn the basics of the setup and how effective this could be in schools, factories, hospitals, leisure centres.
Let’s go back to the finished installation. The IP address that was noted down for the Network/IT manger is simply typed into the internet search bar.
What makes ONELAN digital signage unique is its ad hoc functions so you can assign a username and password to a member of staff with limited functions, let’s take for example a school receptionist – If they only need to change the scrolling text and let’s say pictures you can limit their access to just these functions.
So if we look at the above picture this is the signage layout, you could limit the receptionist to just being able to amend zone A and C making sure the rest of the content can’t be changed or moved. Once we have our login we simply input the IP address into our internet search bar and a login box will appear we login with our username and password we now have access to the box. The box does come with a default username and password which gives you full access. All of the software is inside of the digital signage box so you don’t need any software installed onto your computer. The boxes come with a selection of basic layouts or you can create your own, once the layout is designed it’s as easy as dragging and dropping content into relative layout boxes.