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Datapath controllers drive South African retail videowalls

BluChip Media, a leading supplier of digital media solutions based in Johannesburg, South Africa, is using Datapath x4 display wall controllers to help meet commitments at a growing number of retailers, with a client base that includes Vodacom, Cell C, Massmart, and Blue Label Telecoms. At many stores, a large array of video screens relaying information about the product offering and consumer deals is part of the high-tech aesthetic design intended to draw customers in throught the door.

 “Our digital media solutions provide advertisers with custom platforms and interaction models, giving a brand the potential to become interwoven into every moment of every day of its consumers’ lives,” said BluChip Media’s chief operations officer, Lofty Oelofse. “The robustness of our platform, both independently and in an integrated approach, continues to give marketers new ways to provide greater connectivity between brand and consumer.”

The digital signage deployed in stores range up to nine panel configurations, a typically configuration recently (September 2013) been installed at Vodacom’s flagship store in Johannesburg. A single video is displayed across all nine panels, allowing advertising campaigns to take the form of rich, digitised content.

Multi-screen video wall
The effect of showing a single video flexibly across multiple screens is facilitated by the Datapath x4 display wall controller, a stand-alone unit that accepts a standard single or dual-link DVI input which can be displayed across four output monitors. Dual-link video input will support high resolution pixel-perfect source images for display.

Each output can represent an arbitrary crop region of the original input image. The output resolution and frame rate does not need to be related to that of the input, as the Datapath x4 display controller will optionally upscale and frame rate convert each cropped region independently. Each output monitor can take its input from any region of the DVI image, since all the required cropping, scaling, rotation and frame rate conversion is handled by the x4 hardware. These regions can overlap to allow any output to replicate another, or they can be configured to support any creative splice of the source material.

Silent Salesman
Clearly, both BluChip Media, and BluChip media’s clients are delighted with the outcome as more stores continue to be commissioned. The reasons for this are numerous, and include: the digital signage acts as a silent salesman by attracting attention to the displays via the campaigns; it informs and educates consumers on products to make a more calculated purchasing decision; it alleviates pressure on sales consultants and increase overall business performance.

“We pride ourselves in being the market leaders in next-generation digital solutions, bringing added value to our clients and providing return-on-investment through effective digital content solutions,” concludes Mr Oelofse. “BluChip Media has used Datapath x4 technology for two successful years and it has proven to a reliable product providing digital solutions for our customers. BluChip media will manage over 400 stores and communicate, deliver and manage content to over 23,000 devices by end of 2013.”