The new “Pro:Centric Catena 2.0” platform from LG Business Solutions (opens in new tab) upgrades the powerful LG Catena display network management solution with new features that make it even easier to deploy and manage virtually any number of displays and video sources. The IP-based solution is an ideal way for sports bars, fitness centers, hotels, hospitals, and retail establishments to remotely tune content and manage their displays without having to use multiple remote controls or tune individual set-top boxes to TV channels.
According to Richard Lewis, vice president of technology and research for LG Business Solutions USA, hospitality entertainment systems designed around Catena 2.0 and commercial headend systems dramatically reduce the amount of hardware required and lower the cost of overall operation, compared with existing solutions, all while increasing patron satisfaction. The updated solution was unveiled at the Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference.
“With Catena 2.0, audio-video integrators can now simplify content delivery by using a commercial video headend with fewer receivers having full access to the available channels,” Lewis said. “Where traditional setups might require 12 satellite or cable receivers which output their content to a complex video encoding system with limited or no control capabilities, Catena 2.0 can provide a new level of access and control for a commercial IP video system and LG hospitality smart TVs. This improves reliability and reduces complexity, resulting in overall system cost and space savings.”
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Operating with Pro:Centric-enabled LG hospitality smart TVs, Catena provides a browser-based user interface to enable simple and convenient control of multiple commercial displays by staff using smartphones or tablets.
New features in Catena 2.0 include content control of AV receivers using the more-reliable IP connection to the device to access headend device application interfaces instead of IR blasters which can become out of sync. This allows Catena to import all available channels into a channel map for easy operation and display of content from the satellite system. This new source device control can easily combine multiple types of input sources including IP cable systems and other HDMI sources that can be made available in IP by using external encoder devices. Combining all available content within the channel map allows users to easily select content from a central location rather than flipping through inputs on the TV.
Pro:Centric Catena also offers a unique benefit for customers: A simple web app that allows sports bar or fitness center patrons to select from the available live TV shows and listen to the audio through their own smartphones and earbuds. LG Catena uses a unique way to manage lip synch by separating the audio from the video stream on the premises and delivering it to the smartphone independently synchronized with the TV broadcast.
Bars and restaurants can play background music while each table or customer chooses which game or show they want to listen to via their smartphone. LG Catena also is ideal for gyms, hospitals, and transit centers where multiple TVs show various channels, but their sound is muted.
The Catena solution comprises a server and a TV application that is accessed through an intuitive web-based user interface, providing control of every display, either individually or in pre-arranged groups of displays. TVs can be remotely tuned, powered on and off, rebooted and display custom messaging created by the owners.
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Catena is designed to work exclusively with Pro:Centric-enabled LG hospitality smart TVs and set-top boxes (STBs) and supports both 4K Ultra HD and 2K HD resolutions. For new installations, using an IP-based design reduces equipment costs by replacing long HDMI cable runs and video matrices with simple Cat6 cabling, while also eliminating the need for each display to have its own set-top box or media player for live TV content delivery.
To provide these new functions to the widest market of business owners, including those using other displays, LG’s smart STBs support Pro:Centric Catena. This provides a cost-effective path for integrators and end-users to upgrade to the Pro:Centric Catena experience.
“Our innovative solution enables simple system control through a drag-and-drop interface to direct content to displays, while also giving business operators the option to add their logo, brand colors or other related brand content to create a personalized user experience,” Lewis added. “It also allows staff to change channels or volume instantly upon guest request using mobile devices. There’s no longer any need to sort through drawers full of remotes.”
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Pro:Centric Catena supports headend IP input sources using the Pro:Idiom digital rights management system that provides owners access to premium content and protecting content with a leading end-to-end digital rights management system. “All of these attributes combine to make controlling a digital display network simple, fast, reliable, affordable and directly beneficial to end customers,” said Lewis.