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LG Fires Salvos in Digital Signage Market

David Keene– In a private demo at the LG offices outside of Chicago on Tuesday of this week, LG’s Jeff Dowell gave me a briefing on LG’s plans to offer digital signage content management systems for the SMB part of the market. I’ll have to say that it was refreshing to hear Jeff explain LG’s strategy in very straight-forward terms. So often, when it comes to digital signage content management software, providers promise to be all things to all people with promises that “just doing 10 screens? Our software is perfect for that. Doing 1,000 screens enterprise-wide? Absolutely– we’re perfect for that to…” Well, not LG apparently.

On Tuesday, Dowell explained that LG is going to make its offering different: it does not plan to compete with any of its customers by entering the high end of the market in terms of content management; and, importantly, it has a two tier offering: one SaaS offering, and a separate Premise-based system. Both are designed at the SMB end of things. This combined with the fact that since Dowell took the helm, LG is doing things a bit differently than its big competitors: it’s going through distribution only. This reinforces the trend of more and more AV and digital signage product being handled by the big distributors, streamling the procurement process for customers.

And more good news from LG: While at LG offices Tuesday, I bumped into Dan Smith. Dan has recently joined LG, great news for LG, as Dan is an experienced veteran in this market (with previous stints at Magenta, and Samsung, among others.)

Look for more coverage of LG’s new offerings in Digital Signage magazine and our Digital Signage 2010 Virtual Trade Show on Nov. 18.

Here is the official Press Release from LG this week:

LG Electronics Introduces 'SuperSign' Digital Signage Solutions

Customizable Digital Signage Solutions Enhance SMB Commercial Environments with Simple-to-Use, Innovative Displays
CHICAGO, Sept. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Addressing the needs of the Small and Medium Business (SMB) market in the United States, LG Electronics USA today announced "SuperSign," a suite of digital signage solutions that makes it simpler than ever to incorporate customizable and engaging digital signage in commercial environments:
SuperSign Elite-s, a customizable hardware and software platform designed for system integrators, and
SuperSign Premier-s, LG's turn-key solution, complete with compelling content offerings, technical support and convenient monthly financing that SMBs can utilize out of the box.

"LG's new SuperSign suite is designed to meet two primary needs of the SMB market – complete turn-key and fully customizable. These solutions satisfy both end-users and channel partners, and we believe we've come up with a unique and compelling approach to the market," said Jeff Dowell, vice president, Digital Signage, LG Electronics USA Business Solutions.

SuperSign Premier
SuperSign Premier is an all-in-one, turn-key solution. Previewed earlier this year under the codename signNET, this digital signage solution includes a flat panel display (model M4214C) and the NC2000 media player, which provides access to content management software and starter templates as well as news and weather feeds from CNN, all available at an affordable monthly cost*. Right out of the box, digital signage content can be created easily using more than 50 starter templates that are customized for numerous vertical markets. In addition, SuperSign Premier includes a stock image library from iStockphoto that can be used to add a compelling and professional look to any message.
SuperSign Premier works with CNN to display the latest news and information as designated by the user. This alliance with a major news service ensures that end users are not stuck with static content; rather, they can provide customers with fresh promotional and syndicated content. Bundled into more than a dozen different categories such as latest news, business, entertainment, politics, and technology, the end user can select which category will be displayed without paying an additional monthly cost.

Recognizing that SMBs need access to professionally developed content, the SuperSign Premier platform includes LG's Certified Content Providers. Customers have direct access to content partners who can create customized content for their digital signage messaging needs. At launch, content partners include Alchemy, Aspect Productions, Blue Pony and Saddle Ranch Productions. Over time, LG may expand the number of partners in order to bring more variety and expertise to end users.

SuperSign Premier has a target monthly price of $179 for a three-year period**. At the conclusion of that time, users have the opportunity to renew their contract and get a complete "technology refresh" or pay a reduced monthly fee with their current package. The SuperSign Premier sales package also includes 48-hour on site swap and a financing plan***. Supplementary features to further enhance SuperSign Premier are expected in the coming months.

SuperSign Elite
SuperSign Elite is a hardware and software platform designed for system integrators who need the flexibility of choosing specific LG components to build a customized solution for their end-users. This digital signage solution works with designated LG displays combined with either the LG NC1000 stand alone or NC2000 integrated media players. A simple and reliable system, SuperSign Elite makes implementing customized digital signage easier than ever before.
The media player, when connected to a display, allows users to create dynamic content using pre-loaded templates for information sharing or displaying video segments in Full HD. The intuitive and user-friendly Management Software allows for quick navigation through menus to control networked displays and simultaneously run media files such as video, images, audio and flash.
LG SuperSign Digital Signage Solutions are available for pre-order now through LG authorized national distributors and will be shipping in October.

About LG Electronics USA
The LG Electronics USA Business Solutions division serves customers in the lodging and hospitality, digital signage, systems integration, healthcare, education, government and industrial markets. Based in Lincolnshire, Ill., with its dedicated engineering and customer support team, LG Electronics USA Business Solutions delivers business-to-business technology solutions tailored to the particular needs of business environments. LG Electronics USA, Inc., based in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., is the North American subsidiary of LG Electronics, Inc., a global force in consumer electronics, home appliances and mobile communications. For more information, please visit