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I'm Jackyie Lei, the project manger in Haisheng LED Co., Ltd. I'm avaliable via emails: jackyie@hsleddisplay;


Successful Digital Signage is a Team Effort

Digital Signage users know that the implementation process can be long and tedious, even worse, like something akin to a moving target that is as allusive as shooting clouds in the sky! It’s time to understand why this is often the case and what you can do about it.

It’s not hard to recite hundreds of examples on how adding a digital signage network to an organization’s communications mix can reap a variety of rewards, including increased awareness, decreased printing costs, and instant dissemination of helpful information with a high degree of relevancy. As a matter of fact, the benefits are as diverse as the breadth of applications for digital signage.

Of course, none of this happens automatically, but often we act like it does. Hanging a digital display on the wall and throwing up a few pictures is not likely to reach anyone’s communication goals. It will likely become just another sign to ignore that generates only more background noise. A digital sign strategy that meets specific goals requires a team effort with key stakeholders at the table. Most often, a digital signage catastrophe is in the making without the collaboration of experienced mentors in the fields of AV and IT technology, project management, finance, marketing, and business leadership to guide the launch process.

Corporations, retailers, government agencies, hoteliers and building management firms, to name a few, are relying increasingly on digital signage vendor/partners to advance their communications goals to help circumvent potential pitfalls.

Frequently, organizations that are new to digital signage encounter unanticipated problems that waste both time and money and could have been avoided with a little foreknowledge and planning. How do I know this? Simply by observing too many digital signage failures over the last 18 years. As the old clichés go, “Fail to plan, plan to fail,” and another one of my favorites, “You don’t know what you don’t know.”

To help your organization reach digital signage success—however one may define and measure success—I suggest this seven-step process that will make the digital signage planning and rollout experience much more smooth and rewarding.

1)   Preparation – Do Your Homework & Draft a Vision
Digital signs can be used in so many ways, e.g., wayfinding, interactive informational kiosks, menu boards, reader boards, and digital door cards, just to name a few. For any application to be successful, a clear, concise, and realistic purpose must be set before all of the necessary pieces to the digital signage puzzle are assembled to achieve the intended result. It’s pretty hard to put a puzzle together if you don’t know what it’s supposed to look like.

2)   Approach – Creating Sizzle, Bacon, or Dessert?
Some approaches may involve revenue generation by creating buzz with advertising or a consumer experience. Others approaches may fo­cus on communicating useful information to the public with visual impact. Still others may aim to set a mood for an environment or some self-serve process. But whatever the approach or combination thereof happens to be, investing the time, effort and forethought to develop a plan that achieves what’s desired is necessary to succeed.

3)   Discovery – Do More Homework & Test Your Ideas
Through an extensive discovery process, creative staff and managers identify the Brand Purpose. This is the final collaborative phase before the assembly process begins that explains and then demonstrates the purpose of your customer’s digital experience. This is the phase to beta test ideas before expending larger sums of time and effort into building a system. This is doubly true if your digital signage strategy has a strong marketing component.

4)   Content Design – Don’t Be Boring
It’s important to keep content relevant to the situation. This is at the core of digital signage success. Failure to do so can derail otherwise well-executed campaigns. Too often, not enough effort is given to keeping content fresh, up to date, appealing or engaging. To achieve those goals requires someone—either internally or a skilled third-party provider—to take responsibility for content and its effect on the audience. Failing to do so will condemn a digital sign to the performance of print media because the public eventually will lose inter­est as stale messaging pushes the sign out of mind.

5)   Solution Design – Experience Matters
Regardless of the technical ability of system designers, their experience in designing digital signage systems makes a big difference when it comes to specifying the right mix of components, which will have a major impact on the next phase—implementation. For example, if someone specifies consumer-grade monitors that are not engineered to be mounted in portrait mode, nor designed to run the long hours of commercial operations—you will likely face displays that will overheat, develop pixel sag, and become unreliable.

6)   Implementation – Time to Get Your Hands Dirty
Don’t make this mistake: not giving much thought to sign placement. The physical locations and deployment of digital signage displays, players, cabling and other elements is an important consideration. An experienced digital signage integrator can expedite the process. However, it is important that the integrator is aligned with the central purpose driving the use of the technology. It is also important that the integrator brings to the project the ability to act as a general contractor. Modification of walls, studs, electrical service and even plumbing may be required to deploy signs where need­ed. In these instances, having skilled tradesmen who can make necessary building modifications and take care of all of those unplanned “surprises” can keep a digital signage installation on track and on budget.

7)   Repeat – The Cycle of Success
OK—You now have created and deployed a system that can be A/B tested, measured and tweaked to your heart’s content. Repeating the above steps will allow you to see where improvement can occur as well as what works better for your situation. Share stories of success and failures with key stakeholders. Let the system be a catalyst for change and communication improvement.

So there you have it—the seven steps to digital signage nirvana. It’s important to shake off the common “a slide show is good enough” mentality—it’s not an effective strategy for creating the wow factor that drives a better customer experience. Given your willingness to work through each step without taking shortcuts that derail the original vision, your team can be successful with digital signage.

About the author

David Little has over 18 years of experience helping businesses implement digital marketing techniques and technology that meet ever-evolving business needs. For further digital signage insight from Little, visit the Keywest Technology website and download his white papers and case studies. Connect with Little on LinkedIn.


Keywest Technology Integrates Digital Signage With Hospitality Cloud Services

Keywest Technology became an early adopter of the Newmarket® Web Services Developer Portal, enabling the company to accelerate application delivery and improve customer and guest experiences.

LENEXA, Kan. (October 26, 2015) – Cloud services and related applications are putting a new face on operations management. And for hospitality managers, service partners that can effectively parse operations data are setting a higher standard for customer service all the while streamlining operations. In cooperation with Newmarket, an Amadeus company who is a leading provider of hospitality technology solutions, Keywest Technology was one of the first companies to be certified this fall with the newly released APIs being offered through the Newmarket Web Services Developer Portal.

This collaboration resulted in the development of a new digital signage interface (KWT-Delphi) for Newmarket’s Delphi system. The dynamic integration of digital signage with Delphi allows properties to provide guests with event and room scheduling information seamlessly and effortlessly. The Interface enables a property to repurpose automatically detailed meeting, function, and booking information for reader boards, meeting room and wayfinding signage, providing current details and up-to-date information.

According to an announcement made by Newmarket on September 28, 2015, the new cloud-based developer portal gives third-party service providers an easier and quicker solution to implement.

“With this powerful new resource, our partners have the opportunity to build Newmarket certified solutions,” stated Melissa Jurkoic, Technical Product Manager for Newmarket.  “They also gain the added value of advertising in our Partner Apps area, increasing their visibility to hospitality organizations that are looking to integrate additional products with their sales and catering solution.”

Not being tied to a single platform allows developers to quickly create solutions and provides for a secure environment partners can trust. “We are committed to delivering platform agnostic APIs that enable developers to use familiar tools such as HTML/Javascript or MUMPS, all with secure authentication using OAuth and other industry standards,” said T Antonio, API Evangelist for Newmarket.

According to John Macan, Keywest Technology’s product support director, “From start to finish, the NWS Developer Portal was very helpful and made our development process seamless.”

This collaboration with Newmarket gives Keywest Technology a wider breadth of hospitality interface options, ensuring that the company can satisfy any need that arises. Most importantly, the collaboration provides hospitality owners and managers cost-effective digital door signs and reader board solutions based on multiple platforms, e.g., Windows, Linux and Android. The Newmarket certification is universal across all Keywest Technology brands, including MediaZone Pro®, SignWave®, and Breeze® Digital Signage, and it is available immediately.

About Keywest Technology

Keywest Technology is an authentic developer of digital signage technology and a full-service provider offering solutions from simple playback to large multi-sign and interactive networks. Keywest builds systems with a holistic approach that includes key software technologies, creative design, system design, and comprehensive network-managed services. Based in Lenexa, Kansas, the company is dedicated to making business communication as enjoyable as a day at the beach. For more information, visit


Keywest Technology Adds HDMI Input Option to MediaZone Pro

Keywest Technology expands the video processing capabilities of its MediaZone Pro digital signage system by adding an optional HD video capture card.

LENEXA, Kan. (August 12, 2015) – MediaZone Pro®, Keywest Technology’s PC-based digital signage system, gets a high-definition input option that captures live video content from multiple sources. The input option processes both digital and analog video formats, enabling users to capture and insert live video feeds into a digital signage playlist from HDMI, DVI, VGA and YUV sources.

Keywest Tech engineered the integration of the AVerMedia® full HD 1080P capture card into the MediaZone Pro platform for seamless use and no-hassle operation. According to the company, the option gives MediaZone Pro users the ability to stream live video directly into the digital signage playlist with absolutely stunning quality. The video input option also supports live stream switching between analog and digital inputs.

Koytt Nichols, Director of R&D for Keywest Technology, commented that this option gives digital signage viewers what they want. He said, “Adding live media to a digital signage zone is one of the best ways to keep content fresh and interesting for viewers. This tactic [a.k.a. sticky content] gives viewers a reason to come back for more.”

“The card can capture the video easily and requires minimal configuration. We are satisfied with the hardware combination and look forward to years of use,” said Lance Ha, Shell IT A/V Coordinator. Mr. Ha’s department manages a multi-channel IPTV distribution system that is used to provide staff local and world news channels combined with other pertinent employee information. “We use the input cards to capture cable television channels from our satellite tuners via the component to serial adapters, and we wrap the channels with zones of relevant information,” Ha added.

The MediaZone Pro video input option was released in the 3rd quarter of 2015, and it’s available from authorized AV system and architectural integrators throughout North America. Interested parties and resellers are encouraged to visit the MediaZone Pro website for more information:


About Keywest Technology

Keywest Technology is an authentic developer of digital signage technology and a full-service provider offering solutions from simple playback to large multi-sign and interactive networks. Keywest builds systems with a holistic approach that includes key software technologies, creative design, system design, and comprehensive network-managed services. Based in Lenexa, Kansas, the company is dedicated to making business communication as enjoyable as a day at the beach. For more information, visit

MediaZone Pro is a registered trademark of Keywest Technology, Inc.

AVerMedia is a registered trademark of AVerMedia Technologies, Inc.




Going Green With Digital Signage Makes Dollars And Sense


It has been shown that digital signage can reduce the environmental impact of your marketing and communications efforts, which of itself can be meaningful in multiple ways when considering greener alternatives. This is all well and good, but digital signage can also be a smarter approach to communications, which makes good business sense, too.

In past writings, I've mentioned several studies (download whitepaper) that enumerated the benefits to the environment of choosing to communicate via digital signage rather than with traditional printed signs. In this blog, let’s explore a few of the cost benefits organizations can realize by going green with digital signage.

Money talks

As we learned in grade school, Benjamin Franklin popularized the notion that has become an idiom of our day, “a penny saved is a penny earned.” Many people apply this principle only to the initial cost of something they buy, but for businesses, in general, it is particularly helpful to look at the cost from a different perspective—total cost of ownership.

For this reason, a business manager should consider that it is often much less expensive, in the long run, to replace printed signs with greener alternatives. Matter of fact, depending upon the type and quantity of printed signs being replaced, it is likely for a digital signage system to pay for itself in less than two years based on a prospective-cost comparison.

This has certainly been true for Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino in Altoona, Iowa, who transitioned from conventionally printed and translucent backlit signs to digital signage over the last five years, saving the facility millions of dollars in printing costs.

When asked about the cost comparison between digital signage and their former print habit, Ryan Dunn, Media & TV Manager at Prairie Meadows, commented, “With the savings we realized using digital signage, we paid for our 25 channels within the first two years. We also save close to six figures a year by not having to print those backlit signs.”

Of course, prospective-cost comparisons are calculated with anticipated cost. But when we are considering the total cost of ownership of the imperfect and variable communication plans of marketing, we also need to consider the unavoidable unknown costs—like printing mistakes, price changes, last minute venue event changes, and the list goes on and on. This is one area digital signage excels like no other medium because it eliminates the cost penalty to correct the message and the majority of the time penalty from making a communication change.

“Once we have the initial cost of putting in digital signage, they pay for themselves because we don’t have to worry about constantly printing, worrying about mistakes or changes,” said Dunn.

In this instance, the sheer quantity of signs needed to tell patrons about frequently-changing entertainment acts, menu items, and special offers, along with the expense of the backlit signage medium, made selecting digital signs a financially wise decision.

Message per meter

Closely related to the cost benefit of digital signage vs. printed signs is something I'm dubbing "message per meter." Digital signage networks have an innate ability to playback media files in a playlist—one after another—in an endless sequence, just as a TV channel plays back a ceaseless lineup of entertainment, commercials, news, and other content.

That ability means a theoretically unending sequence of timely messages can be played back on a digital signage network. It's almost silly to conjure up how printed signs would do something similar—wallpaper the entire venue? Clearly, when it comes to the number of messages communicated per meter (or whatever unit of measurement you desire) of space, digital signage wins hands down thanks to the element of time.

From the perspective of being green, winning the "messages-per-meter" crown makes digital signage a far more environmentally friendly alternative. From a business perspective, the ability to play back the sequence means more goods and services can be promoted per unit of wall space, which should positively affect sales.

Improved workforce productivity

Whether it's printed or digital signage, there is a pretty well-established workflow for creating a given message. The former requires transport of people and actual end product at several points in the process. From the moment paper stock arrives at a printer till the time someone in an organization—or an outside contractor—actually hangs the finished printed sign, the transport never ceases, nor does the carbon footprint associated with that process.

On the other hand, the digital signage workflow is far more efficient. There is literally zero transport of physical media and people required between the point of origination of a digital signage graphic and where it's displayed. Cutting out all of "the middlemen" needed from concept to delivery in a print workflow makes digital signs an attractive alternative from a productivity point of view, and reducing the transport of people and materials makes digital signs the more thrifty choice.

Prairie Meadows experienced an efficiency revolution after they transitioned from analog print to digital signage. Dunn further commented, “Our digital signage makes financial sense because we don’t have to have our graphic designers on property designing for print and designing for electronic media. They [the graphics department] are all designing for one [system], which greatly reduces duplications and the necessity to re-create for each system.”

Add to the efficiency equation the ability of some digital signage software applications to extract specific information from existing databases and facilities management software to automatically create digital signage pages, and the positive impact digital signage can have on the productivity of an organization becomes even clearer.

With benefits like these, it's clear going green with digital signage is a sound business strategy that you can bank on.

About the author

David Little has over 17 years of experience helping professionals use digital signage technology to communicate more effectively. For further digital signage insight from Little, visit the Keywest Technology website and download his white papers and case studies. Connect with Little on LinkedIn.


Keywest Technology Releases 4-Channel Signage Player That Connects to Cloud Services

The Breeze 4-channel player simplifies digital menu or video wall installation and management by using a single platform that connects to a cloud server for ubiquitous control.

LENEXA, Kan. (July 13, 2015) – Keywest Technology has launched another multi-head digital signage player using an Intel® Core i7 CPU running on an Ubuntu® open source software platform. The 4-channel signage player supports up to four 1080P channels, which provides a dynamic, high-res presentation for menu systems or video walls. The player is controlled via the company’s cloud-based digital signage service called Breeze Digital Signage.

Just before the summer concert season, Keywest Technology contracted AVIES TECH to install the Breeze 4-channel system at Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Kansas City Chiefs. The Breeze system lights up club-level digital menu boards at eight concessions stands using 42 Philips thin-bezel displays.

Lisa Ramsour, Project Manager at Keywest Technology, commented that the 4-channel Breeze players performed like “rock stars” during a Rolling Stones concert held at the 80,000-seat venue in June. “One menu item needed to be changed instantly because a food vendor sent crispy chicken rather than grilled. One phone call to Keywest Creative and the new menus were updated instantly. The service staff and management were delighted!”

Working in conjunction with Breeze Digital Signage, Keywest Technology offers network-managed services through Keywest Creative that provide restaurant owners and venue managers all of the benefits of digital menu boards without any of the worry that comes from technical snafus and creative management. 

“The Breeze 4-channel signage player expands Keywest Technology’s capabilities in network-managed services,” said Nick Nichols, Keywest Technology’s President. “With Breeze, we’re not just offering the nuts and bolts of digital signage, but full-on network management that delivers expert results at a reasonable price. The 4-channel Breeze system extends our ability to create and manage robust menu systems or video walls offsite, which not only offers greater utility to clients but also offers far-reaching service value.”

Although network-managed services is an integral part of the Breeze Digital Signage value proposition, restaurant and venue managers may login to Breeze using the ubiquitous web browser to control the 4-channel signage player. Browser access gives managers advanced digital signage management tools like a template builder, nested playlists, an advertising module, an admin approval queue and handy widgets that add useful features such as weather or data integration. Also, Breeze can also be accessed and controlled via a smartphone. This essentially gives it “pocket control” for those that want to manage the system themselves while on the go, or at least make last-minute changes if a standard browser is not available.

The Breeze 4-channel signage player commenced shipping this spring, and it’s available from authorized AV system and architectural integrators throughout North America. Interested parties and resellers are encouraged to visit the Breeze Digital Signage website for more information:

About Keywest Technology

Keywest Technology is an authentic developer of digital signage technology and a full-service provider offering solutions from simple playback to large multi-sign and interactive networks. Keywest builds systems with a holistic approach that includes key software technologies, creative design, system design, and comprehensive network-managed services. Based in Lenexa, Kansas, the company is dedicated to making business communication as enjoyable as a day at the beach. For more information, visit

Intel is a trademark of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.

Ubuntu is a registered trademark of Canonical Ltd.

Breeze Digital Signage is a registered service mark of Keywest Technology, Inc.



Keywest Technology Refreshes SignWave With More And Bigger Features

The SignWave digital door sign, a pioneering electronic meeting room display for event scheduling data automation, receives a complete refresh that provides conference room managers a plethora of installation options, colors and features all wrapped around a larger and higher resolution LCD touch display.

LENEXA, Kan. (June 1, 2015) – Keywest Technology, Inc. announced today that it had refreshed SignWave™ with more options and features for 2015, including a bigger wall-mount LCD. The SignWave refresh also includes all-new designer frames that minimize the labor required for installation. The frames offer a multitude of color options, making it easy to match a building’s décor. It also received various software updates including an upgrade to Android™ 4.2 OS, ensuring its ability to run stably in a 24/7 environment. Most significantly, the touch-enabled LCD screen has increased from 10 to 13.3 inches, the largest display available in its class.

SignWave, known for its dependable workaday duty as a digital door sign for meeting rooms and conference centers, pioneered the set-it-and-forget-it philosophy by integrating with popular event and property management software programs. According to Koytt Nichols, Director of R&D, the goals for the SignWave refresh were “to substantially decrease installation time, improve security and increase display attractiveness and visibility.”

To this end, SignWave now ships with a touchscreen that is 33% larger than the previous model. “Nobody wants to stop and stare at meeting room signage,” says Nichols. “At best, you get a quick glance as attendees shuffle in and out of meeting rooms. The larger screen size gives viewers extra confidence in finding the right meeting place without missing a step.”  

The larger 13.3-inch display also offers greater display performance with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels and a contrast ratio of 500:1.

Besides making the event and meeting schedules easier to see and read, the refreshed SignWave also decreases installation labor by over 50%, effectively reducing the cost of ownership. Part of the labor savings is obtained by using a custom commercial display. The OEM display includes a built-in Power-over-Ethernet (PoE), which means that only a single CAT-5 or CAT-6 cable is necessary to supply both data and power. All external third-party parts have been eliminated. The other part that makes installation a snap is the addition of the exclusive designer frames. The designer frames offer a quick-mount wall plate that hangs over a single gang box. Four additional mount holes are provided in the wall plate to secure it to any wall. This means that if a single gang box is in place and the CAT-5/6 cable is present, SignWave can be installed in just a few minutes to any wall surface.

Another important feature that has been added as an option to the designer frames is the Key-Rex™ security screws. These OEM screws give SignWave a unique “key” for removing the outer frame that is both tamper- and vandal-proof. This completely secures SignWave in public venues like hotels, where asset protection cannot be an afterthought.

Finally, the SignWave refresh includes a fresh coat of paint, too. The designer frames now come standard with a choice of seven industrial coatings that not only look sophisticated but are extremely durable for a public-use environment. “However,” noted Nichols, “we can custom paint or wrap any graphic on these frames to match a building’s unique ambiance.”

The refreshed SignWave started shipping in the spring of 2015, and all noted options are available immediately. Further details are available at

About Keywest Technology

Keywest Technology is an authentic developer of digital signage technology and a full-service provider offering solutions from simple playback to large multi-sign and interactive networks. Keywest builds systems with a holistic approach that includes key software technologies, creative design, system design, and comprehensive support plans. Based in Lenexa, Kansas, the company is dedicated to making business communication as enjoyable as a day at the beach. For more information, visit


Digital Signage Case Study Reveals 7 Improvements for Restaurant Chain

Download and read our case study demonstrating how a network-managed digital signage system resulted in successfully combining custom creative with cloud-based digital signs and tablet-based kiosks to facilitate seven key areas of improvement from cost savings to increasing sales and customer satisfaction.

Faced with diverse customer demographics and hard-to-forecast service demands, Jose Pepper’s Border Grill & Cantina has the on-going challenge of maintaining communication channels that reach full circle, from Baby Boomers to Gen-Y.

These channels of communication must engage and entertain patrons waiting for service, present useful information to service staff that prefer to be busy on their feet instead of sitting in “boring” meetings, and just as importantly, help mitigate food price volatility. It’s a tall order to be sure, but growing restaurant chains like Jose Pepper’s are not afraid to try new things.

“This case study is a significant example of how combining key technologies and services such as the Breeze digital signage system with network-managed services, full-on creative campaigns and custom fabrication can produce exceptional results for clients,” explained Koytt Nichols, Keywest Technology President. “It provides a solid argument for any business to capitalize on the strength of partnering with a solutions company rather than doing it themselves and potentially negating any measurable benefits.”

The Jose Pepper’s case study may be downloaded here:

About Keywest Technology

Keywest Technology is an authentic developer of digital signage technology and a full-service provider offering solutions from simple playback to large multi-sign and interactive networks. Keywest builds systems with a holistic approach that includes key software technologies, creative design, system design, and comprehensive support. Based in Lenexa, Kan., the company is dedicated to making business communication as enjoyable as a day at the beach. For more information, visit


12'' Industrial Open Frame Monitor, touchscreen lcd display

Aplus Display LD Series Open Frame LCD Monitor offers flexible options for TFT LCD Panel, touchscreen, signal interface and bracket mounting. The series with standard integrated metal housing,with mounting bracket for easy installation, support rear mounting and VESA mount, are ideal mounting solution for different embedded application. AP-12OPLDT-R is 12'' Open Frame monitor with Resistive touch screen, with super slim, support 12'' 400nits, 800x600 resolution TFT LCD Screen, with -20~80 °C operating temperature range.

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15'' ATM,Kiosk,POS Open Frame LCD Monitor with Super Slim Design and Easy installment, Touch Screen Optional

Aplus Industrial Open Frame LCD Monitor series offers flexible options for TFT LCD Panel, touchscreen, signal interface and bracket mounting. The series with standard integrated metal housing, is ideal mounting silution for different embedded application. AP-15OPLHN1 is 15'' Open Frame monitor without touch screen, with super slim design, support 15'' 250nits, 1024x768 resolution TFT LCD Screen, with 0~50 °C operating temperature range.

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24'' Open Frame LCD Monitor with Full HD for Advertising,digital signage,gaming,POS

Aplus Industrial Open Frame LCD Monitor series offers flexible options for TFT LCD Panel, touchscreen, signal interface and bracket mounting. The series with standard integrated metal housing, is ideal mounting silution for different embedded application. AP-24OPLHN1 is 24'' Open Frame monitor , support 24'' 300nits, 1920x1080 Full HD resolution TFT LCD Screen, with 0~50 °C operating temperature range.

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22'' Panel Mount Industrial LCD Display with IR Dual Touch Screen,IP65/NEMA 4X Aluminum Front Bezel

Aplus Industrial Panel Monut monitor series offers flexible options for TFT LCD Panel, touchscreen, signal interface and chassis mounting. The series with standard integrated frame and aluminum front bezel, stainless steel bezel optional. AP-22IPPCT2-I is 22'' industrial monitor with IR Dual touch screen, with 6mm aluminum front bezel with 8pcs mounting hardware, IP65 Front compliance, widely use in all kinds of different application like ATM,Kiosk, marine, military, medical, transportation, and other industrial application.

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How to Select the Best Web Hosting

How does one decide if a particular web host is excellent? Do the disk storage and bandwidth features matter nowadays? Which type of hosting is best for your needs? Often overlooked, web hosting is a key component of all successful websites. Choosing the right web hosting can go miles in increasing your sales and improving your SEO.

The following is a five-point checklist that will help you select the right web host:

a. Know your hosting needs

Getting the best web host is impossible if you do not know your needs. To know your needs, ask yourself the following questions:

• What type of website do you intend to build?

• Will you need any windows apps?

• Do you need some special version of software such as PHP?

• Will your website need any form of special software?

• How small or big do you intend your web traffic volume to go?

The above are just some of the basic questions you need to answer. When looking for a web host, you should figure out what your website will need in the coming twelve months or so. If you are a newbie, start small with an excellent shared hosting account. This account is sufficient, affordable, and easy to maintain for most new sites. Later on, when your site grows, you can upgrade to dedicated or VPS hosting.

b. Know the server uptime record

Nothing can be as important as having a web host that operates twenty fours a day and seven days a week. When looking for a great web host, you need to choose one that operates on stable network connections and a powerful server. The recommended uptime score is anything above 99.5%. Anything less than 99% is totally unacceptable. Plenty of sites that offer hosting reviews exist to help you get information about the highest uptime.

c. Get information about multiple add-on domains

Domain names are affordable. Actually, they are so cheap that it is extremely hard to resist not owning just one, but many. Most webmasters have plenty of domain names nowadays. An extra hosting space is necessary to host the domain names. This is the main reason why having a hosting account is prudent because it allows you to add multiple domains.

Generally, many hosting companies allow not less than twenty-five add-on domains in a single account. However, you can never be sure – the best thing is to ask. Always check your prospective domain capacity before making a purchase.

d. Know the different server upgrades options

Today, shared web hosts are extremely powerful. A single shared hosting account is sufficient to support one proper-optimized WordPress blog that has between thirty thousand and forty thousand unique monthly visitors. If in the near future you expect your website to grow big, pick a web host that has room for growth.

e. Renewal prices

Hosting deals are very affordable when signing up, but expensive during renewal. To avoid any unpleasant surprises, inquire about renewal prices before signing up. This will put you on the safe side.

The above checklist will surely help you get the best web host.


How Technology Is Advancing

Rapid advances in technology have allowed for massive social, political and cultural change in the past century. And the arrival of the internet has catalysed things further over the last two decades.

Image Credit

Recent developments have been particularly influential, but people are so quick to embrace and adapt to new tech that it is easy to forget just how much things have changed. So here are three current and upcoming elements of the market that are making waves worldwide.


At the moment, 93 per cent of Brits own a mobile handset and over-two thirds have a smartphone, according to figures from industry regulator Ofcom.

It is not just the rise of mobile devices as a means of communication that makes them so significant, but the way they are incorporating other forms of functionality and even eating into the market share of other gadgets.

PC and laptop sales continued to slip in the first quarter of 2015, with smartphones and tablets allowing people to browse the web, access social media service, use apps and play games all in once place.

Of course, the rise of mobility means that businesses need to adapt their websites to cope with being displayed on smaller touchscreen devices. And so mobile optimisation is a hot topic, with companies such as delivering web design Chichester businesses can use to stay ahead of the curve.


Broadband has similarly empowered domestic users and businesses to flex their muscles in terms of productivity, communications and general IT resources. And with the average fixed-line connection in the UK rising to over 18Mbps as FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) ousts older ADSL services, the pace of improvement is quickening.

4G mobile broadband is another advance that is worthy of note, exceeding older fixed-line connections for download and upload speeds as well as giving communities in isolated areas the chance to get online using a superfast connection without having to wait for the fibre roll-out to arrive.

The downside is that this is creating the so-called digital divide, with well-connected urban areas being empowered by broadband and securing economic growth, while isolated regions where the infrastructure is less likely to be updated get left behind.

By 2017, there are targets to deliver superfast broadband to 95 per cent of premises in the UK, while in the future full FTTP (fibre to the premises) will allow for 1Gbps speeds to become the norm.

The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is perhaps the most talked-about emerging tech trend at the moment, and it is tied closely to mobility and broadband connectivity.

From wearable gadgets such as the Apple Watch to connected home and office appliances, gadgets are becoming smarter thanks to wireless internet access.

This is allowing for greater degrees of automation, as well as enabling people to control heating, lighting and other elements remotely.

A decade ago, even the original iPhone would have seemed like a massive leap forward. Today even watches are expected to offer smart functionality.


Buried Under with Assignments? Save Time with Docs Zone 

As a student, you probably use PDF format a lot. Your lecturers probably provide information in PDF format. Many eBooks are in PDF format. Reports, assignments and other resources are also in PDF format. It is everywhere. You cannot avoid it.

While PDF format is great for conserving information, it does not allow you to edit information once you have converted any document to PDF. This makes it difficult to extract and work with information from PDF resources. It also makes getting your assignments done time consuming.

The good news is that there are various online tools that can help you convert PDF documents into other editable formats. One such tool is Docs.Zone. This online converter can help you save time on your assignments in several ways.

1. Converting documents and conserving formatting

When you log onto you can convert PDF documents into other editable formats such as Word or Excel. The great thing about using this website is that the formatting of the original document remains intact during the conversion process.

Having the resulting document with the same formatting will save you a lot of time in editing and formatting. You will not need additional software to retain formatting. You can work with the document produced as is.

2. Extracting information from PDF resources

A lot of information shared online or through other digital platforms is in PDF format. This is because this format conserves the integrity of information and is viewable on various devices. This format however, makes extracting information difficult. Copying and pasting information is often inadequate.

Logging onto Docs.Zone will enable you to convert the PDF documents into editable formats such as Word and Excel. This will allow you to extract the information you need from the resources and complete your assignments.

3. Editing your reports and essays

Have you ever worked on a report or essay and converted the finished product to PDF only to find that you need to edit the assignment? As a student, you likely have various versions of the report or essay as a result. This can make it confusing when editing documents that you finalized previously.

You can save time by simply converting the PDF version into an editable format and editing this document in order to submit it.

4. Combining documents

When working on assignments, you are likely to use information from different resources and work on different programs including Excel, Word and PowerPoint. All this is necessary to provide a professional looking report or essay. However, combining information from different file formats into a single PDF file can be taxing if you have to copy and paste information.

Docs.Zone allows you to combine the files into a single PDF right from your hard disk. There is no need for copying and pasting. Simply select the documents and combine them. This application is possible for merging PDF files as well as different file formats. Your formatting remains intact throughout the process. You therefore do not have to worry about editing.


Top SQL Server tools

Maintenance and tool scripts are important when it comes to performance monitoring, query tuning, index analysis or problem diagnosis. The market today has plenty of SQL Server tools that can help you accomplish many things. The following are some of the top SQL Server tools – they are in no order of awesomeness:

Plan Explorer

Are you always finding yourself having constantly to stare at the SQL Server execution plans? If this is you, then the Plan Explorer is the ideal tool for you. This tool builds upon the graphical execution plan mode or view in SSMS to ensure that working with query plans is efficient. It also makes working with query plans to be more than “pleasurable.” You no longer have to scroll through the vast plans or hunt through the property windows to find all the metrics you need.


This tool is pretty much like Batman’s utility belt. In other words, it can do everything and anything for you. With this tool, you can rapidly access performance, health, security, and configuration issues. It also helps you organize your results in a prioritized list. sp_Blitz helps you offer simple explanations of every risk together with a column of links that you can copy and paste into a browser for adequate information about every issue.


Do you really want to know what is eating up your SQL Server? If so, then this is the perfect tool to use. It is the best diagnostic instrument that you can get. If you have a production issue on your hands, and not much to go on other than “is there something wrong with my server”, then trust on this weapon. With this tool, you can immediately triage an instance of your server in order to get a feeling of what is currently happening and speedily decide on what your next steps ought to be.

The tool can also help you execute commands and know exactly what they are waiting on.

MDW (Management Data Warehouse)

This other awesome tool is incredibly good although many folks have not tried it. It brings with it impressive performance levels. The tool is incredible when it comes to monitoring insights. You can effortlessly use it to make the production of performance insight data to be directly available to the development teams. You can do this by extending the default implementation by using the SQL reporting services.


It is quite natural to think that indexes usually improve performance. For sure, that is exactly what they are supposed to do. However, in some instances, indexes can be such a hindrance to performance. Of great importance to note is that things such as unused and duplicate indexes can turn out to be silent killers. They can really drag down your performance. This tool can help you to evaluate your general or overall index health. You can also use it to identify those areas that need adjustments and improvements. Ultimately, it will help nip any potential future problems.


Use Suitable PowerPoint Templates to Make Attractive Presentations

There is no doubt that professional PowerPoint templates are some of the most effective tools that can make your presentation different from the rest. You may be working on some projects that need you to present our idea or thought in an organized way. In order to execute such important tasks, you may take help of Microsoft PowerPoint templates.

PowerPoint presentation portrays a lot of information that we want the audience to understand. Microsoft offers many valuable templates with the PowerPoint application, but these always cannot fulfill the requirement. Then we have to look out for the third party PowerPoint template providers. Here in this article, we will discuss on how you can make your presentation attractive and unique by utilizing suitable PowerPoint templates.

Try to maintain consistency

If you apply different borders and animations in your presentation, it can confuse the audience and force them to withdraw their attention from the field. However, always try to stick with the subject and prepare the presentation in a clean manner.

We know that business PowerPoint templates can develop the brand value of any organization and the presentation should be prepared with keeping its theme on high priority. However, while working with business PowerPoint, the presenter should value the reputation of the organization and prepare the project according to their theme and strategy.

Show your ideas in best the way

PowerPoint presentation is the best way through which you can bring ideas and concepts to life. You have to learn the way of how to convert our imagination into information which will also be interesting for the audience.

By utilizing PowerPoint flow charts, you can present your thought and ideas in an easy-to-understand manner. Give your best shot to make the presentation unique and make sure that it offers effective information.

Value the expectation of your audience

Whenever you are preparing your presentation by using PowerPoint, always keep in mind that the presentation should meet the expectation of your audience. Utilizing PowerPoint maps can be a great tool if you are working on or defining regional sales strategy to the team of representatives, but it will not have the same value if you apply same method for financial delegates.

Select right tool for your project

You have to choose the right tools regarding to what you want to show through your presentation to the audience. For instance, PowerPoint SWOT and PowerPoint timeline are the examples of some specific, but effective templates that can help you to illustrate information to your target audience. Thus, by selecting right tools for your project, you can make it more understandable to the audience.

Never forget the importance of your presentation

When you work on Microsoft professional PowerPoint, you have to secure the importance of your project. Professional PowerPoint templates provide you the opportunity to demonstrate your ideas in proper way so that your presentation can convince the audience.

PowerPoint diagrams and PowerPoint flow charts can be utilized within any organization by keeping their standard high. Special templates such as PowerPoint maps, SWOT and timeline can help the presenter to prepare more efficient and attention-grabbing presentation that will definitely overwhelm the audience.

Take help of the above-mentioned tips and guidelines and put in your best efforts to make your presentation the most amazing and impactful.

Author Bio- Charlie Brown is an expert at information and technology industry and working as an online consultant for several websites including Besides that, the author has written for many web-based journals on the subject of PowerPoint templates and has acquired much fame among the people who were seeking information on such subject.


5 Digital Signage Content Design Elements That Will Drive Customer Engagement


7 link ideas for brainstorming and writing new content pieces

It’s always a great moment when, as a link-building newbie, you learn how you can look at content and create an idea from it. The idea could be creation of something completely new, or just realizing how you can create greater benefit by adding some resource to it. Link building can be an exciting and dangerous venture; sometimes this happens simultaneously. When the creativity fails and you’re wondering how best to go about link building, this article provides a few tips you can brainstorm about with your team to end up with quality organic links for your site, by simple examination of content alone.

Brainstorming sessions for links ideas

Here are a few pointers for how you can go about this:

• Make contact with the site you are interested in being linked back from and direct them towards the resource/content of interest. If you have time, it would be preferable to work a relationship first. However, you can just be forthright and ask for a link politely, if that’s your style.

• The links directing to the new content can be tweeted, including a copy of the Twitter account belonging to the originating company so that they know you drew inspiration from them.

• Make contact with critics and respected commentators within your field. You can connect through social media and then point them towards your content when the time feels right. • You can also include a link to the originator’s content in your own piece, but this isn’t a must.

Link ideas that can be implemented in most sites:

1. Create a checklist that can be downloaded, containing information about related subjects. You can ask these sites to offer links to your content from their Recommended Links segment.

2. If you are writing about a particular subject and it requires further reading on a separate webpage, you can create this content yourself and then direct readers towards the same.

3. You can also create a webpage with an ask-and-answer scheme, so that users can ask their questions and get answers depending on some predetermined scheme. Request related sites to link to your page on their Recommended Links segments.

4. If you need users to accomplish a certain task related to the information you’re providing, you can create a link to a page that offers a tutorial for the same. For instance, if you need them to build something, provide a page with instructions on how to do it.

5. Create a video for the same idea above, with demonstrations related to the content topic you’ve written about.

6. Create content that provides fertile ground for organic link building – these could be videos, articles, blog posts, tutorials, case studies and other information related to your field. You can then direct sites to look in and link back to you.

7. If you had dated content e.g. “Top SEO news for 2014” or you see the same in another site, you can write about what’s relevant today, and then link to this on your own site. Alternatively, if it is in another site, contact the author and find out if they’re interested in linking to your updated content.



Is Self-Service The Future Of Banking?

Banking services used to be simple and straightforward. You got a paycheck, filled out a deposit slip, walked or drove up to the counter and presto, your needs were met. Perks? Anyone for day-old coffee and a lollipop?

Today, banks, credit unions, pay-day loans and other financial firms look more like modern retailers. The amount of financial services has mushroomed, and with more customers choosing to bank on their mobile devices, the need for promotions to build awareness has never been greater.

Also like modern retailers, progressive financial institutions have shifted into high gear meeting customers’ needs for a better, more connected experience by creating an atmosphere that is conducive to selling financial products.

However, today’s connected finance customer can get services almost anywhere but the bank—on the Internet, via mobile apps, or at the ubiquitous ATM. Human interaction is no longer required for a bank transaction. Considering this, we ask, is self-service the future of banking?

According to the TD Branch Financial Education Survey, some of those “old fashioned” face-to-face banking practices are not only valid today, but also have demand from younger generations. For example, consider these recent findings:

  • 54% of Millennials prefer to visit their bank for detailed information.
  • Millennials still visit bank branches as frequently as they did in 2013 for simple transactions.
  • 90% of consumers prefer face-to-face advice for complex financial products.

To be sure, routine transactional banking activities are going digital by the majority of customers with over 50% using online services, but for more complex transactions that require thorough consideration, modern banks are meeting the needs of consumers by shifting to the concept of full-service flagship locations.  These consumer-friendly centers provide a plethora of financial services and tools, and are staffed with knowledgeable associates for on-the-spot assistance alongside self-serve kiosks for the do-it-yourself customer.

“Many people do their banking not only at a branch but online as well,” noted Robert Moctezuma in the Digital Signage For Financial Institutions white paper published by  “Digital signage can help tie together the financial institution’s online and offline presence.”

“When people walk into a branch just wanting to do a few things, there may be a line at the cashier. They can go to a sign, they can touch it, they can interact, and they can get what they need done,” Moctezuma said. “That helps the institution extend the online presence to the offline world.”

Since banks can no longer take walk-in or even drive-through customers for granted, managers want to do their utmost to maximize the opportunity. This is where modern banking differentiates itself from our parents’ bank. Modern banking crosses the digital divide to connect to customers in new ways, ways that provide information and ways that provide services.

Here are four examples that demonstrate how digital signage can improve the customer experience and better meet growing expectations.

Cross-Selling Financial Services – The common task of cross-selling financial services typically falls on tellers’ shoulders, which is not the best game plan for positions that have high turnover. Fortunately, digital signage provides a platform that can prime customers’ interests and create awareness before having that conversation.

Customer Experience – Modern banking can facilitate better customer experience by reinforcing the brand—and the atmosphere—that makes the client better informed and more inclined to accept additional services. This can happen through customer engagement with both bank employees and interactive media, bolstering services that directly address and fulfills customers’ needs on the spot.Drive-Through Banking – For approximately 60% of the customers that drive to the bank, the majority use the drive-through to meet their banking needs, which is possibly the most overlooked opportunity to promote and cross-sell customers. Today’s digital signage can be easily placed outdoors, providing a reliable, dynamic way to keep drive-through customers informed.

Staff Training – Bank employees can benefit as much as patrons with targeted digital sign messages. Keeping staff up to date with the latest promotions, rates, and industry regulations becomes much easier on a display platform that resides in break rooms and cafeterias. Busy personnel can be reminded of the most important product promotions, rates, and other service offerings that managers want to emphasize. This greatly reduces the time required training staff, and the reinforcement greatly improves retention.

So, to resolve the question we started with, the answer is a resounding YES! Self-service is the future of banking, but that future will also include many digital bridges that go right back to face-to-face services that even your Grand Pa and Grand Ma would fondly remember, barring the stale coffee of course.

David Little is a charter member of the Digital Screenmedia Association with over 20 years of experience helping professionals use technology to effectively communicate. For further digital signage insight from Keywest Technology, visit our website for many helpful tips and examples. For more in-depth research from Keywest Technology, download our free digital signage white papers and case studies.