Chyron, known best as the broadcast industry’s standard for on-screen graphics, has developed over the last five years a strong foothold in the digital signage space. The ChyTV products are designed for basic applications that often involve only a single screen — think of a deli with a busy lunch line, entertaining its customers with a live television feed while trying to promote specials (via graphics around the border).
The focus of the ChyTV line has not changed much, except that it’s participated in the industry’s general move toward HD. The new ChyTV HD 150, for instance, accepts an SD video feed on the input and incorporates digital signage graphics on the output and upscales the aggregate signal to 720p or 1080i/p. It also plays clips via its 160GB hard drive.
An even newer box, the HDVC (high definition video compositer), has two HD inputs. The signals are combined on the output with video squeeze. Combining this with an HD 150 and you’ve got a true high-definition digital signage solution for about $7,300 total ($3,500 for the HD 150 and $3,800 for the HDVC).
Now what to do about content? That’s always the trick with digital signage. No retail store wants to spend that kind of money just to play a CNN feed that’s wrapped by some month-old special on pants. ChyTV is now making it easier for non-technical folks to update signage content via a web browser with its new Axis HD system, a web-based content creation and graphics tool, according to ChyTV’s Vinny Biondolillo. It’s a repository for a company’s graphics and other assets as well as a simple layout tool.
Chyron also offers ChyTV.net, an online service that can be set up to systematically pull content from a server in order to update ChyTV systems regularly.