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Shaw Comms immerses customers with Matrox M-Series

Shaw Communications has installed comprehensive digital signage setups in each of its six new stores across Canada. These are driven by Matrox M-Series graphics cards to deliver interactive customer experiences.

Shaw Communications has installed Matrox M-Series multi-display graphics cards in six new stores across Western Canada to drive immersive digital signage setups.

The telecommunications company wanted the new facilities to use next generation monitors to educate customers on Shaw’s available services. To create this, Shaw Communication’s design team, Nova Scotia-based Breakhouse, enlisted the support of AV solutions provider Trapeze.

Trapeze selected Matrox M9188 and M9148 cards to power a total of 30 setups across the chain of retail outlets. Each store features a 20-monitor ‘social media band’ and five four-monitor innovation pods to digitally showcase Shaw’s available services.

“To have a retail location where the main products are services is a hard sell. So, creating an environment where you immerse the user is what was needed,” said Trapeze digital signage expert Ian Langdon.

At each store, Matrox M9188 octal-monitor graphics cards drive Shaw-specific social media content automatically collected off Facebook and Twitter on an overhead band of 20 total Samsung displays. Five of eight of the cards’ outputs power two displays each, linked together in the monitors’ video wall mode. The 10 displays run horizontally at a resolution of 6830×768 across one side of the store. Mirrored on the other side using distribution amplifiers, they form a “social media band” that sets the technological tone of the store nicely, especially for the four “innovation pods” that stand directly underneath.

Powered by Matrox M9148 quad-monitor cards, the pods—four-monitor, 1366×3072 video walls complete with a touch-screen user interface driven by a separate system—let customers intuitively browse through Shaw’s different services. Langdon said going with the Matrox M9148 was an easy decision.

“The challenge was that traditional gamer video cards would not allow us to create an arbitrary screen configuration,” said Langdon. “The M9148 card, through PowerDesk, let us define a single virtual display in any configuration we could imagine and provided fanless, high-reliability service. Matrox provided us with a worry-free way of interfacing the displays with the operating systems.”

Matrox PowerDesk software suite allows users to configure on-screen layouts. The Matrox M-Series graphics cards were also picked with high-performance Hewlett Packard systems to drive five different setups per store, each ultimately controlled by custom web-delivered software running under Microsoft Windows.