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England's St. Aidan's Academy installs ONELAN digital signage

digital signage has been installed by St Aidan’s Academy in Darlington, England to communicate with both staff and students and to promote the school to visitors. The network also enables each of the school’s departments to promote its own activities.

The school is using ONELAN’s Net-Top-Boxes (NTBs) to play content on screens in the network. Alan Dick, assistant principal, at St Aidan’s Academy, first saw ONELAN’s Net-Top-Boxes (NTBs) at the BETT show in 2009, and having researched the product’s capabilities, decided to use media players as part of the install.

“The introduction of the ONELAN solution has transformed communication between staff and students. We have a number of staff actively controlling the 14 LCD screens throughout the building, displaying a variety of information including canteen menus, exam information, student presentations and notices,” Dick said.

One of ONELAN’s NTB615 Publisher units is installed in the Academy’s Server Room. In addition, there are 11 NTB610 Subscriber units using Smart-e CAT5e SLX111units to distribute the signal to display screens throughout the school. One of these screens is in reception, another is in the library, two are located in the canteen and the others are situated in various open spaces throughout the site.

Currently St. Aidan’s is using Channel Manager to update the NTB610 Subscriber units with new content and information. This is being run as a single channel using the Ad Hoc feature to allow local content to be added to specific screens. A third-party IPTV system is being used to drive video on demand (VOD) across the digital signage network. The system is managed centrally by a network manager, and an initiative is now underway whereby a number of hubs has been created, each with its own manager responsible for hub content.

A wide range of content is displayed, including photographs of events and activities at the school, media, exam information, canteen menus and opening details, examination timetables, PowerPoint presentations and news reels. In addition, each house has recently completed a “day in the life” video that is displayed on the digital signage.

St Aidan’s Academy is a Church of England secondary school funded by the government and sponsored by the Church of England and business entrepreneurs Anne and David Crossland. The school became an Academy in September 2007, providing 700 places for local studnets ages 11 to 16.

digital signage