Digital signage player provider BrightSign LLC announced today the launch of what it is billing as "the industry's first line of solid-state digital signage media players with PC-class performance."

Solid-state players have always been more affordable and much more reliable than PC-based signage solutions, the company said, but BrightSign's new XD product line now delivers the features and capabilities of PC-based solutions as well.

"This is a major milestone for BrightSign, and we believe our new XD products will reshape the competitive landscape of our industry," said Jeff Hastings, CEO of BrightSign. "Historically, PC-based signage solutions have held certain advantages BrightSign XD media playercompared to solid-state players, but today we're leveling that playing field. Our solution offers the robust functionality that PC-based solutions are known for, but with the dramatic cost advantages and unparalleled reliability of a purpose-built signage solution."

BrightSign's new XD solid-state players offer video and other multimedia capabilities that the company said were only previously possible with PC-based solutions, if at all. This includes the ability to display Live HDTV broadcast content using an ATSC/Clear QAM tuner or HDMI input. The ATSC tuner is used to play cable TV or closed-circuit TV broadcasts, and the HDMI input is used to play any broadcast content — even HDCP-protected content. All models include an advanced video decoding engine with scaling technology that delivers 1080p60 video and supports 3D content. The video engine is capable of decoding two 1080p60 videos or several lower-resolution videos simultaneously. All models support HTML5, so content creators can use familiar development tools to create engaging content. In addition, BrightSign's usual touchscreen interactivity is enhanced with swipe/gesture control.

After participating in the BrightSign XD beta testing program, Udi Shemesh, director of technology integration at The CSI Group, said that "BrightSign's digital signage players have been improved with every new release, and the new BrightSign XD is no exception ... We were particularly impressed with the overall performance of the player's video engine and the ability to play back multiple images at very high speed. In addition, the video quality of Live HDTV playback was exceptionally high."

BrightSign's new XD digital signage media players are available in three models:

The XD230 Networked Player - Powerful video engine capable of dual full-HD 1080p60 decode and simultaneous content playback from local, networked and streaming sources; abundant content support, including HTML5 and 3D content; and UDP network control for messaging between the BrightSign player and third-party devices.

The XD1030 Networked Interactive Player - All the features of the XD230, plus S/PDIF output for pure digital and surround-sound audio, as well as a diverse range of interactive controls such as GPIO, serial, USB, UDP and mobile devices for engaging interactive displays.

The XD1230 Networked Interactive and Live HDTV Player - Includes all the features BrightSign offers, plus Live HDTV playback to play content from any broadcast channel (even HDCP-protected content) via the HDMI input or the ATSC/Clear QAM tuner.

"Implementation of a PC-based signage solution is reserved for a very specific application. In usual circumstances, we simply can't afford the cost of a computer-driven system when a large-scale rollout is required, not to mention the inevitable PC downtime and high heat emissions," said Michel Baronnier, president of TMM Communication in France. "BrightSign has always offered us an attractive alternative — and now with BrightSign XD, we can fulfill all market needs."

BrightSign's new XD product line will be available from the BrightSign Store in December 2012. The MSRP of the XD230, XD1030 and XD1230 digital signage media players will be $450, $600 and $700, respectively. Distributor pricing is available upon request. The players are backed by a one-year warranty and include BrightSign's free BrightAuthor software, which simplifies creating, publishing, managing and monitoring digital signage displays.

Read more about digital signage hardware.

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