Jul 1, 2010
Hammond Communications Group designs and implements a mobile digital signage system for Fasig-Tipton
Hammond Communications Group, a leading supplier of turnkey digital signage solutions, was hired by Fasig-Tipton to design, implement and manage a mobile digital signage solution for their Thoroughbred horse auction arenas. A horse auction is an information intensive event where buyers and sellers demand access to content that is both visual and data driven.
Fasig-Tipton challenged Hammond to enhance the way information is disseminated requiring both real-time data and on-demand access to workout videos. Furthermore, Fasig-Tipton needed a system that could be moved nationally from facility to facility during the course of a year’s auctions. Hammond’s experience, knowledge and innovative culture proved instrumental in developing a mobile digital signage system that is perfectly suited to meet the communication and technical challenges a Thoroughbred horse auction demands.
Founded on the Scala 5 digital signage software platform, the system features 2 servers and over 20 media players driving content to more than 50 displays; four interactive kiosks; AS400 database integration; website integration; international racing integration; on-demand HD video library searchable by horse (Hip) number; satellite feed integration; an HD Tote Board (auction) display; the ability to move from location to location and more.
The system centers on a mobile control unit comprised of multiple equipment racks housing servers, media players, HD camera switching & control, audio, SD and HD playback and recording devices as well as HD cable head-end A/V distribution equipment. From this control center, Hammond manages all the equipment, media transmission and content the system requires.
LCD panels are located in high traffic “linger” areas and feature a multi-zone content layout. From these displays Fasig-Tipton customers can view catalogue updates & videos, real-time sales information, outs, a live feed with current hip data & price from the sales ring and more. For Two Year Old sales, where horses ‘work out’ prior to the sale, there is a bank of 18 LCD panels in a separate tent that features a different set of horse workout videos per LCD.
Interactive kiosks are placed strategically in customer convenience areas. These systems give customers a unique buying experience that is horse specific. Users interact with a GUI by inputting Hip Numbers (numbers temporarily placed on the horse’s hip) to access isolated workout videos, catalogue updates & videos, outs, real-time sales information and more. The HD videos accessed on-demand via the kiosk allows potential buyers to carefully scrutinize each video workout on demand.
Beyond the components and infrastructure, Hammond provided a number of services critical to the overall success of the system. Starting with system design, Hammond’s experience staff of managers and engineers formulated a content delivery strategy, component mix and implementation plan. Hammond’s graphic’s department designed the branding for the multi-zone displays, interactive GUIs and tote board system. Hammond’s video production services are used to shoot and edit the HD workout videos critical o the information library. Programmers have developed applications to allow web-based maintenance of sale information (which also drives Fasig-Tipton's website data) as well as integration of real-time sales information from an off-site AS400 database.
“I think this project highlights Hammond’s ability to innovate communication solutions,” notes Craig Miller, VP of Interactive Media at Hammond. “Digital Signage continues to evolve and customized solutions such as this are proving to be instrumental towards advancing the technology and the industry.”
“We have been working with Hammond for years,” says Max Hodge, Director of Client Services for Fasig-Tipton “and they continue to deliver great solutions. With Hammond’s help, we feel this changes the user experience at horse auctions forever.”