Harris Announces McDonalds Pilot at NAB

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LAS VEGAS, NV--Harris Corporation used the first day of the NAB show in Las Vegas, to announce that is is beginning a pilot program with McDonald's in May that will launch the fast-food chain's unique, branded TV channel -- powered by Harris' digital signage solutions -- into 20 restaurants around the country. The announcement follows on the heels of two successful trials at the technology-inspired Viva McDonald's location on the Las Vegas Strip, and an additional McDonald's restaurant in Norwalk, Calif.

Each pilot location will feature Harris Digital Signage solutions to manage, monitor and play out digital broadcast-quality video content for the McDonald's Channel, a unique private network. The McDonald's Channel will present entertainment, infotainment, messaging and advertising to enhance the customer experience, reinforce the McDonald's brand and broadcast focused promotional campaigns. ChannelPort Communications will manage and coordinate the overall implementation of the channel on behalf of McDonalds -- developing the content strategy, identifying content partners and managing the look and feel and monetization of the channel.

Harris InfoCaster technology will drive broadcast-quality video content to displays installed throughout each restaurant. The new
systems are designed around file-based workflows that merge broadcast television technology and IT infrastructure. The systems will be designed and managed by Harris Broadcast Communications and Harris IT Services, and Harris IT Services will supervise the entire operation from the Harris Advanced Media Center in Melbourne, Fla. Managed services include reception of programming and interstitial content, quality assurance, content scheduling for every display in the network, and remote monitoring for each location.

"The McDonald's-Harris relationship has been essential to getting this project to the pilot stage," said Brad Hunter, West Division marketing officer for McDonald's. "It is comforting to know that Harris can manage this end-to-end platform, allowing McDonald's to focus on the day-to-day operation of its restaurants."

"As the technology enabler for the McDonald's Channel, Harris InfoCaster delivers a wonderful viewing experience for McDonald's customers," said Lee Edmonson of ChannelPort Communications. "The InfoCaster-driven channel surpasses typical digital signage networks in quality and capabilities to produce a true broadcast experience, similar to what consumers see at home."

"We are pleased to announce the expansion of the McDonald's Channel technical trials featuring Harris Digital Signage based on the early success of the Las Vegas and Norwalk installations," said Tim Thorsteinson, president of Harris Broadcast Communications. "Harris Digital Signage solutions will provide broadcast-quality entertainment and information to McDonald's patrons for the duration of this pilot, with opportunities to extend the capabilities of the network into cross-promotional advertising and other revenue-generating opportunities."

The three parties anticipate a pilot of several months and will then evaluate the potential for a wider rollout. Note: If you would like to see the McDonald's Channel while in Las Vegas for NAB, please stop by Viva McDonald's -- open 24 hours a day -- at 2896 Las Vegas Blvd, South.

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