Digital signage helps the Denver Center for Performing Arts communicate with its growing audience.

The Denver Center for Performing Arts in downtown Denver is equipped with digital signage that pulls live RSS feeds and other Web content.

Nestled within a four-block, 12-acre Performing Arts Complex in downtown Denver, the Denver Center for Performing Arts (DCPA) encompasses a wide variety of theatrical offerings for more than 750,000 patrons. The Tony Award-winning Denver Center Theatre Company, Broadway musicals presented by Denver Center Attractions, and a top-quality Theatre Academy cast a wide net among local and regional participants interested in professional and amateur theatrical offerings. Upcoming shows at the venue include highly anticipated productions of Spring Awakening, Five Course Love, The Aluminum Show, Avenue Q, Ruined, and Superior Donuts.

To expand upon the theatre’s ability to communicate with its growing audience, highlight sponsors, and promote performances to attendees when spending time in the lobby, the Bonfils Theater Complex at DCPA appointed Howard Steele of Technology Plus Consulting with the task of specifying a lobby digital signage project.

Steele made contact with Cliff Wernet, Western regional manager for audio/video distributor BTX, who demonstrated the new Gefen Digital Signage Creator (DSC) for the project, offering in depth follow-up training via WebEx.

Deploying a user-friendly system
The Gefen DSC unites hardware with proprietary software to create cutting-edge digital signage content with sophisticated features. The intuitive layout program works with all Windows programs and enables users to record and upload video, select music, pull RSS feeds or live video streams off the Internet and layer all content to build a totally customized theme. Users can select from a host of pre-loaded templates for an immediate solution or spend time building a totally unique visual program as they see fit. The software is designed to be easy to use, while offering advanced functionalities to enhance audio/video displays. It offers built-in scheduling and calendar functions so users can pre-arrange content to play down to the second.

Steele specified 13 DSCs to be used with 13 flat panel displays strategically mounted throughout the lobby of the DCPA. Local installation specialists, CEAVCO Audio Visual, performed the installation. To blend into the environment, many of the displays were mounted flush with the wall, mimicking a poster-type display with all the features and functions of 21st century digital signage enabled. Others were built into custom kiosks outside of each theater entrance. Thirteen individual DSCs, one per display, were mounted inconspicuously behind each display, requiring very little power (less than two watts) and running cool.

To assist with custom content development and scheduling, BTX compiled an intensive training program with ongoing customer service support to assist both CEAVCO and the DCPA. “The DSC’s unique features, versatility, ease of use and pricing were head and shoulders above the competition,” explained Cliff Wernet, regional sales manager for BTX. “This was, undoubtedly, the best way to go.”

“The DCPA is very happy with the completed installation,” added Jack Emerson, president CEAVCO Audio Visual. “The open design platform, small size and low energy usage really added to the benefits.”

///Eco Impact

New Report Explores Energy Usage of Digital Signage

As digital signage continues to proliferate around the country, a new report examines the technical, environmental, economic and regulatory issues surrounding this emerging technology. Although much attention has been paid to the driver safety impacts of digital signage, until now there has been relatively little research regarding the environmental and energy-consumption issues raised by this new technology.

This paper, for the first time, provides citizens and regulators with a solid background of both the technical and practical issues surrounding digital signage. It explains complicated technical issues involving such things as sign brightness and energy consumption in an easily digestible manner. Report creators hope it will serve as a much-needed starting point for understanding and exploring these issues and sets the ground for further discussion.

The paper was authored by Gregory Young, LEED AP, an architectural designer and urban planner active in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Young’s research was supported by a grant from the Samuel F. Fels Fund, and performed in collaboration with the Philadelphiabased organization SCRUB: the Public Voice for Public Space.

The report asks: How big of a problem do unregulated energy consumption and luminance levels of DS pose? Right now, only a small fraction of American outdoor advertising is digital. This number is growing, however, and the trend shows no sign of slowing. Rapidly dropping prices for large LED screens have led to a growing increase in the number of digital signage installations. Today, there are nearly 800 of these digital billboards in the U.S. It’s a small number compared with 450,000 traditional billboards across the country, but it’s growing fast. The Outdoor Advertising Association of America, an industry trade group, projects that the number of digital billboards in the U.S. will expand at a rate of several hundred per year. Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, an industry powerhouse, says it is expanding its digital billboard business in markets such as Los Angeles, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Philadelphia is home to an estimated 1,800 billboards, including a handful of digital signs—the effects of widespread conversion from static to digital would raise significant safety and environmental issues.

The report and related materials can be found on Scenic America’s website at billboards/digital_signage_energy_report


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• 11 PST16 Chief 16-inch Center Stud Mount
• 9 PSB2124 Chief Large Flat Panel Mounting Bracket for 400UX2
• 1 PSB2536 Chief Large Flat Panel Mounting Bracket for 460UX2
• 1 PSB2126 Chief Large Flat Panel Mounting Bracket for 520DX2
• 2 PRO2241 Chief Tilting Wall Bracket
• 13 EXT-DSC Gefen Digital Signage Creator— Includes Software & License
• 1 EXT-HDMI 1.3-142D Gefen HDMI Distribution Amplifier
• 5 RU-PA40D RDL 40 W Stereo/Mono 8 Ohm Audio Power Amp with VCA & Power Supply
• 9 400UX-2 Samsung Thin Bezel Professional 40-inch LCD Monitor, 1920x1080
• 1 460UX-2 Samsung Professional 46-inch LCD Monitor, 1920x1080
• 1 520DX Samsung Professional 52-inch LCD Monitor, 1920x1081
• 2 320MP-2 Samsung 32-inch LCD Monitor


Atlas Sound
Chief Manufacturing
Denver Center for the Performing Arts