Utama 1 Shopping Centre employs large scale digital signage network with cutting-edge content distribution

Fri, 26 Aug 2016 10:28

Utama 1 Shopping Centre

The 5-million square-foot Utama 1 Shopping Centre, the biggest shopping mall in Malaysia and the fourth largest in the world, has always been an early adopter of cutting-edge technology. Ten years ago, it was the first shopping centre in the country to deploy a mall-wide digital signage network and sell display “airtime” to advertisers. Fast forward to today, and the shopping centre is once again looking to implement the latest AV technology to distribute digital content to over sixty displays from one central location.

To do so, they called upon JD Molecule to design and install an extensive network of content distributors, displays, network switches, industrial PCs and servers that would alleviate them of time-consuming system management and expand their ad revenue possibilities. To guarantee the seamless and reliable content distribution required for a successful network, JD Molecule deployed a Gefen Video over IP solution.

The goal of the project was to deploy a digital signage information network that would allow the client to sell airtime to tenants and external advertisers, as well as easily relay updates and events happening within the centre. The centre’s requirement was that the management team needed to be able to seamlessly send content from one location without tedious and exhaustive oversight. “They wanted to sell ad space on the displays to stores within the mall without the headache of constantly monitoring it,” Chuen explained. “They wanted a system that was easy- to-use, simple in infrastructure, and did not require any extensive cabling. The system that my team put in place checked all of these boxes.”

To create a widespread digital signage network that spanned the entire centre, the JD Molecule team installed sixty 50” Panasonic TH-50LFE7 displays, one Gefen Video Over IP Sender (EXT-HD2IRS-LAN-TX), one Gefen Video Over IP Receiver (EXT- HD2IRS-LAN-RX), one Avaya Gigabit Network Switch, and one industrial grade PC accessible only to the centre’s maintenance team. The newly implemented Video over IP solution enables the distribution of content to new and formerly unreachable areas of the shopping centre, including New Wing Centre Court, New Wing High Street, Old Wing, Customer Service, One Card Loyalty Office, and Property Show Gallery.

In the previous system, the centre’s maintenance team was tethered by the extensive management requirements of a wide range of devices including various displays, extenders and splitters. Now, with the Gefen EXT-HD2IRS-LAN-TX and the EXT-HD2IRS-LAN-RX, the centre can seamlessly transmit HDMI, RS-232, and IR (bi- directional) content over a Gigabit Local Area Network to over sixty displays from one location. “The flexible and reliable nature of the new system requires less manpower to operate, and offers more options in terms of the type of content and the resolution of the content that can be distributed,” Chuen emphasized.