VIA to Show Low Cost Android Digital Signage Player

By Matthew Brennesholtz
VIA_Alta_DS_2_resize.jpg
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Via Embedded, a division of Via Technologies Ltd. (New Taipei City, Taiwan) announced on March 4th that it will demonstrate its two low-cost (Under $200) Android media players at Digital Signage Expo (DSE 2015) in Las Vegas March 11 – 12 (Booth #1845).

The new unit, the VIA ALTA DS 2 will drive either two independent HD displays or a single 4K display. Key features of the DS 2 include:

  • 1.0GHz dual core VIA Elite E1000 Cortex-A9 SoC with a high-performance 2D/3D graphics and video engine that supports Open GL ES 3.0 hardware acceleration and simultaneous multiple Full HD video playback
  • Fanless operation
  • Dual-screen support with optional second HDMI port
  • 4K support
  • Extended & independent screen content support
  • 2GB DDR3 SDRAM and up to 16GB eMMC Flash memory onboard
  • Two HDMI-out ports; two USB 2.0 ports; two mini-USB 2.0 ports, one Gigabit Ethernet port; Audio-out/Mic-in; one SD card slot
  • Optional USB Wi-Fi dongle
  • Priced starting at $195 and available now

VIA Alta DS 2 showing independent dual-screen HD support

The other member of the DS family is the ALTA DS with a single output. Key features of the DS include:

  • VIA Cortex-A9 SoC with advanced 2D/3D graphics and HD video playback capabilities
  • Fanless operation
  • 1GB DDR3 SDRAM and up to 16GB eMMC Flash memory onboard
  • HDMI and VGA (optional) ports; four USB 2.0 ports; one 10/100 Ethernet port; Audio-out/Mic-in,
  • Auto power on when plugged
  • Optional Wi-Fi card
  • Priced starting at $180 and available now

Both the DS and the DS 2 are certified for use with the Scala (Philadelphia, PA) digital signage control software. Scala digital signage software runs the digital communications of companies in a variety of industries, including Rabobank, IKEA, Bloomberg, Tommy Hilfiger, Burger King, TMobile, Virgin Megastores, Disneyland Resort Paris, McDonald’s, Warner Bros., Mercedes-Benz, DNB, Hard Rock Hotel, Shell, Esso, Ericsson and IBC-13.

VIA Embedded also has an independent software vendor and system integrators program that works with third party suppliers to integrate the DS and DS 2 into digital signage networks. For example, Capital Networks (Markham, Ontario, Canada ), which has been providing digital signage systems since 1991, has developed software to create a complete Android digital signage solution. Capital Networks has developed solutions for a wide variety of applications and environments, including kiosks, POS systems, video walls, menu boards to TVOIP, cloud streaming, and Out of Home Advertising. These systems are used in retail, hospitality, education, and entertainment environments.

Capital Netorks will also be exhibiting at DSE 2015 in booth 1828. Scala was at ISE 2015 earlier this year but won’t be at DSE.

In the past there has been problems with poor quality and poor support for low-cost Android media players, an issue that VIA Embedded has addressed. “The flood of cheap Android signage devices onto the market has caused an untold number of headaches for many players in the industry because of their poor quality, software incompatibility, and non-existent vendor support,” commented Richard Brown, VP of Global Marketing, VIA Technologies, Inc. “With our VIA ALTA DS Series systems, we provide solutions with commercial-grade quality and performance that customers require for large-scale 24/7 deployment combined with a full range of software development and technical support services from our US headquarters in Fremont, California.”