Posts Tagged ‘digital signage’

Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 to be launched by the end of the year, used in NEC displays

October 14th, 2016 37 comments

Eben Upton had already mentioned the Raspberry Pi Foundation was working on a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 based on the same Broadcom BCM2837 quad core Cortex A53 processor and 1GB LPDDR2 RAM used in Raspberry Pi 3 board earlier this year, but few details had been provided at the time.

Click to Enlarge

RPI Compute Module 3 in NEC Display – Click to Enlarge

The module is still not available, but NEC Display Solutions Europe has already announced they are working on integrating Compute Module 3 into commercial displays starting with 40″, 48″ and 55″ models in January 2017, and up to 98″ by the end of next year, used for digital signage and presentation platforms.


The Raspberry Pi Foundation goes on to say they’ve been working on NEC project for over a year now, and they expect to release Compute Module 3 to the general public by the end of the year. Price and complete technical details have not been released yet.

You can also watch the video below with NEC announcing Raspberry Pi 3 module based Displays at the 7:43 mark.

Via Raspberry Pi Blog

How to Set an Android TV Box Video Output to Portrait Mode

August 2nd, 2016 5 comments

Most buyers who buy an Android TV box just want to use it to watch videos, browse the web, play games, and so on, so landscape mode seems to be the best choice, and orientation option in the firmware is often disabled. However, TV boxes can also potentially be used as digital signage players, which may require landscape or portrait modes if the screen is positioned vertically. Since I’ve just been asked that question, I’ve checked for a solution, and luckily there’s an app called Set Orientation that does the job.

Click for Original Size

Click for Original Size

When you first start the app, it will show the option “Disabled”, but you can click on the arrow to reveal more options, and select Portrait to rotate the screen.

Click for Original Size

Click for Original Size

In case the screen is upside down, simply select Portrait (reverse) option, click OK, and you’re done! Easy.

Gateworks Ventana GW5530 SBC is Designed for Drones, Robots, and Digital Signage

July 21st, 2016 No comments

Gateworks Ventana is a family of boards based on NXP i.MX6 processor designed for embedded applications, and often include one or more mini PCIe ports for expansion. Their latest single board computer – Ventana GW5530 –  is powered by an NXP i.MX 6Dual processor coupled with 512MB RAM, 256MB storage, a mini PCIe port, a micro SD / SIM card slot, micro HDMI output, and some I/Os.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Ventana GW5530 specifications:

  • SoC – NXP i.MX6 Dual Core ARM Cortex-A9 processor @ 800MHz with Vivante 2D and 3D GPUs
  • System Memory – 512MB DDR3 (Up to 2GB as option)
  • Storage – 256MB flash (Up to 2GB as option), micro SD/SIM card slot, serial configuration EEPROM
  • Video & Audio Output – micro HDMI 1.4 port
  • Connectivity – Optional u-blox EVA-M8M GPS Receiver with MMCX or u.FL Antenna Connector
  • USB – 1x micro USB 2.0 OTG Port
  • Sensors – 9-axis inertial module (accelerometer/gyro/magnetometer)
  • Expansion
    • High-Power Gen 2.0 mini-PCIe Socket with USB 2.0 Support
    • SIM socket (shared with micro SD card)
    • Video input header for CVBS, Y/C, YPrPb
    • Digital and serial I/O header
  • Debugging – JTAG connector
  • Misc – RTC with battery backup, voltage and temperature monitor, programmable watchdog timer, reset header, LED header
  • Power Supply – 8 to 60V DC input via 2-pin header; Reverse voltage protection
  • Power Consumption – [email protected] (typical); 7W Available for mini-PCIe socket
  • Dimensions – 100x35x13 mm
  • Weight – 28 grams
  • Temperature Range – -40°C to +85°C

    Click to Enlarge

    Click to Enlarge

The company can provide OpenWrt, Android, Yocto Linux, and OpenEmbedded board support packages (BSP) for the board. Some documentation can be found on Ventana wiki. The boards targets “small embedded applications such as Man Portable Units (MPUs), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) equipment, digital signage, and robotics”.

Block Diagram

Block Diagram

The board is available now, with pricing not disclosed, and 1 year warranty. Gateworks GW11038 development kit with GW5530 SBC, OpenWrt BSP, USB and video cables, power supply, and a JTAG programmer can also be purchased for evaluation. More details can be found on Gateworks Ventana GW5530 product page.

How to Install PHP 5.6 (and Xibo Digital Signage CMS) in Ubuntu 16.04

May 28th, 2016 5 comments

Xibo is an open source digital signage using a client / server architecture, and in the past I wrote a tutorial showing how to use it, and ran Xibo Python client on ARM Linux TV box, but with software handling only so rendering scrolling text was not very smooth at all, and video decoding was not really possible. But now I have Star Cloud PCG02U Intel TV stick which costs just $70 shipped with Ubuntu 14.04, and that I have upgraded to Ubuntu 16.04, and I thought that would be a great low cost Xibo Linux client which should have pretty good performance. I started by installing Xibo server, only to find out that the cross-platform Python client had been phased out, with now only Windows and Android clients available.

So I canceled my plan. I still had some challenges installing Xibo server on Ubuntu 16.04, so I’ll report my experience as it may be useful to others. There will be two sections: 1. Downgrading PHP 7.0 to PHP 5.6 in Ubuntu 16.04 and 2. Installing Xibo CMS in Ubuntu 16.04.

Downgrading PHP 7.0 to PHP 5.6 in Ubuntu 16.04

Ubuntu 16.04 ships with PHP 7.0, and while it provides much better performance over previous version, the massive changes mean that some software packages are not compatible, and that includes Xibo that requires the “mysql” php module, which has been removed from PHP 7.0. So that means I had to install PHP 5.6 instead, which is not officially supported, but can be installed through a ppa.

Remove all php 7.0 packages:

Install php 5.6, apache2 and mysql, and required php modules for Xibo:

Usually, this is enough, but Apache2 will not enable php 5.6 automatically, so you need to run three more commands to enable some modules, and restart apache2:

You should now be able to create phpinfo.php file in /var/www/html, and confirm PHP 5.6 is running.

Installing Xibo 1.7.7 CMS in Ubuntu 16.04

The rest of the installation is actually standard. Download XIBO CMS, extract,. and setup the directory permissions for the CMS and media library.

You’ll also want to modify 2 lines in /etc/php/5.6/fpm/php.ini to allow for longer execution time and larger files:

Now go to your browser to access http://localhost/xibo or http://<IP_address>/xibo to complete the installation.


Click to Enlarge

The first step will check all requirements, and if that’s OK, you can click next. if not you are likely missing some PHP modules, but the instructions above should have installed all what’s needed already. The rest of the installation is pretty straightforward, but if you have issues you can check out Xibo CMS instructions.

Xibo_Ubuntu_16.04_Install_SuccessNow you can login to create a layout and schedule to played by one or more Windows or Android clients.

ADBoard 3G/4G Digital Signage Board is Powered by Allwinner A83T Octa-Core Processor

December 17th, 2015 2 comments

MQMaker officially launched their WiTi router board earlier this week, but the company has also introduced ADBoard, an octa-core board specifically designed for digital signage with a connector for LVDS display including backlight, an RTC with backup battery, and a mini PCIe connector for 3G/4G connectivity combined with a SIM card slot.

ADBoardADBoard specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner A83T octa-core ARM Cortex-A7 @ 2.0 GHz with PowerVR SGX544MP GPU @ 700 MHz supporting OpenGL ES 2.0/1.1, OpenCL 1.1, and DX 9.3.
  • System Memory – 1 GB DDR3
  • Storage – 16 GB eMMC + micro SD slot
  • Display Interfaces / Video Output
    • HDMI up to 1080p60 with HDCP 1.2 and CEC support connector
    • LVDS connector, LCD backlight control header and capacitive touch panel header
  • Audio – HDMI, 3.5mm audio output, speaker connector, microphone connector
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, 1x USB 2.0 OTG port (full size), and 2x USB 2.0 headers on-board
  • Serial – 3x UART headers
  • Other Expansion Headers/Connectors
    • 1x mini PCIe slot for 3G/4G modem and SIM card slot
    • 1x SPI, 1x I2C headers
    • 1x keys header, 1x IR receiver + LED header
  • Misc – Power switch, U-boot button, fan header
  • Power Supply – 12V input for board, LCD power header, header with 12V/5V output?.
  • Dimensions & Weight – N/A

Digital_Signage_Board_SIM_CardThe board is said to run Android 4.4, but there’s very little other information, probably because it’s not been designed as a community board, but instead for companies who may need integrate such board in large LVDS displays such as in retail locations, or possibly connected them in smaller one as in their bus fleet to monetize with targeted advertisement.

The board sells for $89 plus shipping on Aliexpress, and according to the product page the price drops to $69 when ordering 100 pieces or more. Allwinner 83T has also been used in Banana Pi BPI-M3 board for a while, and I’ve been informed about another similar digital signage DS-830 V3.0 board by a company called SMDT (Smart Device Tech), which also integrates a mini PCIe slot for 3G/4G modem, and most of the same features as the ADBoard, however, all information is only in Chinese language.

Lenkeng HDMI PowerLine Extender Brings one HDMI Signal to Many Displays over Electrical Cables

November 18th, 2015 No comments

Shenzhen Lenkeng Technology is a company specializing in video converters, splitters, and extender products. One of their latest product is LKV380Pro HDbitT HDMI over powerline extender that allows to carry one HDMI signal from a source to up to 4 displays through existing electrical cabling.

HDMI_Extender_powerlineSome of the features and specifications listed for LKV380Pro transmitters and receivers:

  • Technology – HDMI over power line with HDbitT technology
  • Video I/O – 1x HDMI 1.3 / HDCP 1.2 output, transmitter also includes an HDMI loop out.
  • Resolution – 480i/p, 576i/p, 720p50/60, 1080i50/60, and 1080p50/60
  • Range – 1080p video transmission up to 300 meters
  • One transmitter supports to 4 receivers simultaneously
  • IR pass back function (20 to 60 kHz IR devices) with IR output on transmitter, and IR input on receivers.
  • Security – AES encryption
  • Power Supply – 100~240V AC
  • Dimensions – 150 x 92.7 x 25 mm
  • Weight – Tx: 330 grams, Rx: 316 grams

Powerline_HDMI_receiver_transmitterOne potential case use at home would be for digital TV, where you may have a single access point to the antenna, and this solution would allow you to receive TV channels from another room, using the IR receivers and transmitter on the device. It would also be interesting in locations where you need to show one source to many such as retail locations, universities, airports, etc…, and probably some industrial applications. You can watch a short video demo on Facebook.

The company quoted me $256 for a sample kit with one transmitter and one receiver. You can visit Lenkeng LKV380Pro product page for more information.

Zidoo 12K Video Player Plays…12K Videos (on 3 Synchronized 4K UHD TV)

September 28th, 2015 6 comments

Zidoo Android TV boxes have often been featured in this blog, but the company also has products for the industrial market such as their 4K streaming player outputting the same video to up to 8 monitors, and a “12K video player” that outputs a video to three monitors @ 3840×2160 resolution.

12k_media_playerZidoo strength is software and support, and they are not a hardware company, and while so far they have partnered with Kaiboer for their Android media players, if the picture above is any indication, they are using Skydigita SDG-3112 player as the hardware platform.

The list of specifications and features currently released are unfortunately quite sparse:

  • Video Playback
    • Single 12K video outputted to three 3840×2160 monitors @ 30Hz max, 1080p also supported
    • Codecs – H.265 and H.264 decoding.
    • Containers – TS, MKV, AVI, VOB, MPG, MPEG, MOV.
    • Iimage formats – JPG, JPEG, GIF, PCX, PNG.
  • Video Output – 3x HDMI ports
  • Storage – Internal hard drive, or external USB drive

You can watch the player in action below connected to 3 TVs, and playing a single 11520×2160 video.

This time of system could be useful in places like shopping malls and airports. In some ways, this is a similar to a 3 monitorvideo wall, and in the past, I’ve seen people use ffmpeg and beagleboards to play a video on a 6 monitors setup, of course not at 12K resolution…

Further details may eventually surface on Zidoo 12K player product page. If you are interested in playing a single video on multiple displays, you may also want to have a look at VIA Chrome Video Walls solutions.

Cloudsto Embed+ RK3288 is a Rockchip RK3288 Board for Digital Signage and Point-of-Sale Applications

March 20th, 2015 No comments

As Rikomagic launched their MK80LE (Linux Edition) mini PCs on Cloudsto a few days ago, I also noticed a new page entitled embed+ RK3288, which described what should be the first board sold by Rikomagic/Cloudsto. The Rockchip RK3288 based board can be used as an Android & Linux development board, but it appears to mainly target OEMs for applications such as digital signage, point-if-sale, and web kiosks.

embed+_rk3288_boardRikomagic embed+ RK3288 specs:

  • SoC – Rockchip 3288 quad core ARM Cortex A17 up to 1.8 GHz with Mali-T764 GPU supporting OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 /3.0, and OpenCL 1.1
  • System Memory – 2G DDR3
  • Storage – 8 to 32 GB eMMC flash. The daughterboard adds an SD card slot.
  • Video / Display interfaces – HDMI 2.0, LCD interfaces (backlit, power, data)
  • Audio Output – HDMI, 3.5mm earphone / audio output jack, and built-in microphone.
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi , and Bluetooth 4.0 (external). Gigabit LAN via a daughterboard.
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x mini USB OTG. 2 extra USB ports via a daughterboard.
  • Expansion Headers – 11 headers for connection to daughter board, display and others.
  • Misc – RTC + battery slot, RS232, power and reset function.
  • Power Supply – TBC
  • Dimensions – 118 x 83 mm
embed+ RK328 Board and Daughterboard

embed+ RK328 Board and Daughterboard

A daughterboard and 11.6″ to 65″ IPS display (1366×768 to 4K resolutions) can also be provided. The daughterboard includes an SD card slot  (up to 32GB), 2x USB 2.0 host port, and Gigabit LAN.

Embed+ RK3288 kit supports Android 4.4 or Linux (Ubuntu). People interested in this platform can contact Cloudsto for pricing and availability information, since these will depends on the project’s requirements such as eMMC size and display used.