Scala launched Scala 5 Release 5 software at InfoComm 2009, introducing features that will make digital signage more accessible and cost-effective for existing and future customers. Release 5 supports more media playback appliances and audio-only channels, as well as improved usage of the new wave of ultra low-cost PCs for digital signage.
“Scala has long been the leader in high-end digital signage deployments. With the new features in Release 5, we are now able to serve networks of all different sizes and shapes,” comments Robert Koolen, president of Scala. He adds, “These new offerings help populate the value for money corridor with products and price points to meet the needs of all customers.”
Traditionally, Scala has been licensed exclusively for PC-class hardware, but Release 5 offers new licensing that is compatible with low-cost media hardware such as digital photo frames and standard and high-definition MPEG appliances. This appeals to end users deploying networks based on operating systems other than Windows, as well as those seeking a simple and affordable combination of hardware and software. Hardware providers FrameMedia, IAdea and ViewSonic will showcase Scala-enabled photo frames and media appliances compatible with Release 5 at Scala’s booth (#2354).
Scala’s powerful ad management, scheduling, distribution and playback have always been oriented toward visual digital signage. Starting with Release 5, Scala supports audio-only channels that can be used for background music, in-store audio and more. This new feature provides the flexibility to use an existing player to output an audio-only channel, or to combine the audio of an existing player with a planned background audio channel. Release 5 also provides easy upgrades to full Scala digital signage for customers whose initial needs are audio only.
Release 5’s software enhancements are valuable to all Scala users, but they are specifically geared toward end users seeking to use ultra low-cost PCs (ULCPCs) such as netbooks for their digital signage networks. Customers with more modest digital signage needs can successfully power a network using this new type of ULCPC platform.
“Scala is interested in moving the digital signage industry forward and providing lower cost entry points will help achieve that goal,” said Peter Cherna, VP of Research and Development, Scala. “Release 5 marks the official lowering of many barriers to entry and also adds great new features for our existing customers.”