Just like almost everyone who attended InfoComm 2013, I left the show with a bunch of questions about 4K. I was caught off guard by the number of 4K displays and distribution technologies populating the show floor, but the real head-scratcher came after my visit to the Alcorn McBride booth. The company was showing off its truly spectacular Carbon 4K 60fps video player. And what were they demoing it with? A video of some guy with his shirt off juggling a set of devil sticks in slow-mo at a hippie carnival. The content didn’t match the technology at all. It didn’t add up! And so I was left wondering whether now is really the right time for 4K to take off, what 4K taking off would actually look like, and whether all these manufacturers are putting the technology cart before the content horse.
Serendipitously, an email landed in my box the next day inviting me to chat with Leonard Wong, the vice president of technology at RMG Networks
“We wanted to build a new network experience that was a little bit beyond our traditional digital signage, and we wanted to add on to the experience of what Delta has inside their Sky Clubs,” Wong said in a recent interview. “So we really decided to build the experience around taking a look at what that audience wants to see and then how we can figure out how to monetize that.”
The digital out-of-home marketplace is moving again, with the announcement that RMG Networks has acquired Symon Communications, which sells enterprise digital signage infrastructure, hardware, and software.
RMG also said it is relocating its corporate headquarters to Dallas. It is currently based in San Francisco and Chicago.
They can also help hotels that don’t have the resources to keep concierges on site all the time, says Garry McGuire, chief executive officer of RMG Networks, another digital signage provider.
“With digital signage, a hotelier always has the right information available on demand in the lobby for their guests,” he says. “Now the hotel doesn’t need to worry about having the ‘right person’ on hand at all times.”
RMG is going it alone, using a proprietary box that sits between the source (ie cable box) and the TV. It will be sold, box included, as a subscription service.
The target markets are sports bars, but RMG also sees a broader play in the SMB business – really anywhere with live TV on walls or poles.
I most definitely don’t have an MBA, so the machinations of this somewhat escape me. But what’s been explained to me is that the seemingly odd marriage of Symon – which does NOT do Digital OOH networks and focuses on corporate communications – with RMG, which focuses on Digital OOH, makes some sense when you are going public and want share values going north.
While the cost of digital out-of-home hardware has been dropping, it’s still too pricey for many smaller businesses — but that fact may change soon, thanks to RMG Networks, which unveiled a new digital signage product that can turn any ordinary TV into a DOOH display.