Utah Valley University

This forward-thinking educational institution updated its 15-year-old CRT signage with NEC’s M46-AV for a campus-wide digital signage network.

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Utah Valley University
Quick Facts
  • Facility:Utah Valley University
  • Location:Orem, Utah
  • Challenge:Updating existing CRT displays to create an effective campus-wide digital signage network
  • Solution:46" NEC MulteosTM M46-AV

As a forward-thinking institution, Utah Valley University (UVU) was looking to update its 15-year-old CRT signage. Transitioning to a digital communication network proved to be a challenge, from choosing software and hardware to sourcing and creating content.

UVU is located in Orem, Utah, just outside of Salt Lake City. The school began as a small technical college in 1941 and has recently grown into one of the largest public universities in Utah with more than 26,000 students. UVU offers more than 55 bachelor's degrees, 60 associate degrees, 20 certificate programs and two master's degrees.

Not only did UVU's existing Character Generator and CRT signage require a direct monitor replacement, but additional displays needed to be added to campus hotspots as well. The campus-wide communication tool had to be located in high-traffic areas, such as hallways, the cafeteria and library, so that any particular message could be easily transmitted to its audience.

"We wanted to create interaction with students and visitors by adding three different types of digital signage to a variety of areas on campus, each designed to fit within the environment they are placed," said Travis Tasker, director of UVU's Media Tech Support and Integration (MTSI) team. "The purpose of creating this signage network was to deliver commercial-free content to the appropriate targeted crowd. We wanted a way to effectively show both national news and internal UVU messaging, and creating an updated digital network based on our previous CRT signage was the best way to accomplish this."

Another project requirement included being able to easily manage when, where and what is being displayed. MTSI wanted the flexibility of having any authorized UVU member update content for their local display, as well as submitting it for approval for campus-wide dissemination.

Additionally, the ability to monitor the screens from a remote location was crucial to this rapidly-changing environment. Since UVU Media manages the network and handles the distribution of campus-wide content, it needed to have speedy access to all technical aspects of the network-from image adjustments and color control to content creation and broadcasting timeline.

Based on the required display criteria, UVU purchased 14 46" NEC Multeos M46- AV displays for its new digital signage implementation. The university chose NEC Display Solutions based on the monitors' professional-grade panel and availability of inputs, specifically audio. These displays offer full 1080p resolution, so campus content would shine brightly, and information would be easily noticeable.

By selecting NEC, UVU knew it would find the appropriate product for touch integration when utilizing Display Solutions Partners, NEC's network of third-party companies. UVU also worked with Scala to find a simple software solution that would be easy for student organizations, academic departments and college offices to use.

UVU's digital signage network shows a combination of posters, university commercials, entertainment, national media news and campus RSS feeds. The content of each display is 40% location-specific and 60% campus-wide, so that messages are properly communicated, no matter the viewer's location. The network provides UVU with the ability to brand its school, entertain students waiting in line and inform viewers of campus schedules and events. It is also capable of broadcasting emergency information at a moment's notice, which is vital in such a large environment.

UVU installed three different types of digital signage to meet the needs of the display's environment. The billboard-style signage is installed in high-traffic, fluid areas on campus and shows short 5-15-second commercials. The entertainment signage is installed in areas where students are standing in line or congregating together. These displays play longer clips and include news and sports feeds. Lastly, the interactive digital signage is placed in campus entrances for visitors to interact with maps and other current pertinent information vital to their visit.

"UVU's digital signage network has been a great success because it provides a hassle-free arena for us to inform students, faculty and visitors with beautiful, high-definition content," said Tasker. "The NEC Multeos Series offers a full suite of features that are required for our individual digital signage needs. I'm never worried about them breaking down because they're incredibly reliable and easy to manage. As a tech-savvy institution, we are interested in keeping up with future digital signage trends since the outcome of this project has received such high praise and recognition."