Application Scenario
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Date: 3/19/2012

Fast Food Chain’s Multimedia eMenu Delights Guests

Area: China 

Project:
A global fast food giant, as part of their branding strategy, was revamping the digital signage systems at their restaurants in China, starting with their chain outlets in Shanghai. Their original digital signage platform was powered by commercial-grade PCs, with attendant frequent downtime and short product lifecycles. To overcome these frustrations, the fast food chain sought systems with greater reliability, and opted to install industrial-grade signage players instead. They also hoped that the upgrade could include support for full-HD video playback as well as content in other formats, including Flash, scrolling marquees, and hi-res images, all of which they intended to use to enhance presentation of their brand image.
 
Thesolution provider found Advantech’s ARK-DS520, a low-profile, compact multimedia digital signage player an ideal platform for this type of advanced graphicsdelivery. The accompanying accessories and peripherals such as mounting kit and wireless module, along with the comparatively affordable price, made an irresistible combination.
 

Requirements:

  • Powerful graphic engine to support HD video up to 1080p
  • Compact, low profile for easy installation
  • Reliability and stability
  • Window XP embedded
  • Rich video output interfaces
  • Optional TV tuner expansion
  • Wireless IP connection
     

System: 
As the system is aimed at displaying a variety of information including menus, promotions, weather, news, and more, it has support various data formats such as videos, images, slides, etc., and be able to provide high quality video display. The ARK-DS520-based digital signage player used in this application, powered by an Intel® Atom™ D525 dual-core processor with an integrated NVIDIA GT218 (ION2) graphic module, supports full HD playback up to 1080p. It displays eMenus, videos, images, slides, instant information, etc. according to a scheduled playlist, which it receives from a central server via TCP/IP compliant LAN.
 
ARK-DS520 also has a rich combination of video output interfaces for dual display (2 x VGA, VGA + HDMI, HDMI+ DVI, or VGA + DVI) that eliminates display limitations for solution providers and reduces total system cost. It also supports internal 2 x Mini PCle interfaces for add-on functions such as wireless IP connection and TV tuner cards, so that the system can display full HD video andlive TV content at intervals and can update display content online.
 
To accommodate the interior environment of each restaurant, LCD displays are installed either verticality or horizontality, so digital signage players for such applications have to be small and easy-to-install so as to maintain maximum flexibility. The Advantech ARK-DS520 meets such demands with a compact and low-profile form factor; it can be easily installed behindeach LCD display, keeping itself and all cable wires well hidden in accord with the sleek and stylish restaurant design.
 
As many displays are installed in many corners of many restaurants, it is important for the system to have remote management and maintenance functionalitiesto reduce operation and maintenance costs. All Advantech digital signage solutions support Advantech’s proprietary SUSIAccess, a remote control and management program pack, which allows for remote updating, diagnosis and maintenance. With an auto alarm function, SUSIAccess helps to issue warning messages should any device in the system encounter a failure or abnormity, and allows IT engineers to diagnose, troubleshoot, and maintain the system off-site. This helps to reduce on-site maintenance costs and avoids interference with dining guests.

Conclusion:
The ARK-DS520 ION2-based digital signage system features centralized management, easy content updating and remote hardware health monitoring. With outstanding graphic performance, a compact form factor, reliability and stability, ARK-DS520 proves to be an ideal and cost-effective solution for the retail environment.It not only enriches the dining experience for the guests in the restaurants, but helps maximize promotional efforts as well.
 
Advanced (ION2 based) Graphics Digital Signage Platform 
  • Intel® Atom™ D525 dual-core (fan) or Intel® Atom™ N455 single-core process (fanless)
  •  Integrated NVIDIA GT218 (ION2) graphic module for Full HD playback
  • Rich video I/O combination supports dual display (e.g.: 2 x VGA, VGA + HDMI, HDMI + DVI, VGA+DVI)
  • Compact, low-profile design for easy installation
  • Highly expandable via internalMini PCIe interface (e.g.: WLAN, 3G or TV tuner)
  • RS-232 and DIO ports convenient for system integration and applications
  • Consumer Electronic Control (CEC) implemented on HMDI (*1)