As the cost of flat panel HDTVs has steadily decreased, more and more companies are looking to interact with their customers, prospects and employees through the use of digital signage solutions. The technology is readily available to allow a non-technical user to easily add and update content to keep it fresh and relevant. However, one important consideration that is often overlooked in deploying a solution is the connectivity. A large investment in technology can miss reaching its full potential with cables that are unreliable, cumbersome or time consuming to install, particularly in buildings where retrofitting in areas with walls made from brick, cinder block or concrete.
Sterling Communication Technologies faces complex installations all the time as a solution provider of low voltage communication systems for hospitals and other medical and healthcare facilities in the Rocky Mountain States and Gulf Coast regions. They often receive requests to install different types of digital signage solutions for applications such as conference rooms, cafeteria menus, scheduling and customer interaction stations at venues. No matter the ease or complexity of the installation, they use RapidRun from C2G to significantly reduce installation times.
RapidRun is a modular cabling system that can transmit multiple signals over a single runner cable. At the end of the RapidRun cable, users can connect different flying leads and wall plates with connections for HDMI, DVI, VGA, USB, 3.5mm audio, RCA and more. “We do a lot of audio/video installations where we have different signal needs, such as HDMI, DVI+audio, component video and composite video”, said Hal Winford, vice president at Sterling Communication Technologies. “In the past we have had to run multiple cables for our installations, but now we can do it all with a single RapidRun cable. The cable is easy to pull, and it gives customers a high quality and reliable signal.”
A recent installation at Warren Village, a housing facility in Denver that helps women and families develop personal and economic self-sufficiency, became much easier with C2G’s RapidRun. Sterling used the modular cabling system to make a cable run through a ceiling and walls comprised of concrete, cinder block and wood framing. The facility wanted a more efficient way to notify residents of events and classes, recognize them for milestones and accomplishments plus provide local news and weather updates.
In the past, they printed fliers to post in public areas, but it was generally not very effective. They asked Sterling to set up a high-definition, 42-inch monitor in the main lobby where residents could view it each day. Future plans call for additional monitors to be placed in other common areas. C2G also offers RapidRun digital plenum, the industry’s only modular-style digital plenum cable, which gives customers true digital performance while meeting the highest standards in safety and reliability. Winford said, “We use C2G no matter the application and no matter the distance. Their RapidRun system is user friendly, and works well whether we have to run through open attic space, conduit or solid materials.”
The content was to be delivered from a media hub in a nearby office that allows messages to be updated, images to be added and colors and fonts to be changed. The challenge was the cabling needed to be run through a 3/4-inch flexible conduit which ran through a drop tile ceiling, a sealed ceiling, a cinder block wall filled with concrete and a wood-framed wall. With the three different cables normally required for this installation, it would not be possible to pull it all through the conduit, but with RapidRun the entire installation was done quickly and easily with a single cable.
"Without RapidRun, the in-wall installation may not even have been doable, but with RapidRun it went through the conduit with very little issue," said Winford. "We definitely could not have been as clean or efficient without RapidRun." Even in normal installation, Sterling Communication reduces cable installation labor time by as much as 25 percent. As the difficulty level increases, through solid ceilings and walls, the time savings are compounded even more. C2G and the RapidRun modular cabling system allow Sterling Communications to minimize the time spent on A/V installations, which translates to lower labor costs. Winford added, “We get paid to find solutions to challenging situations, and C2G is a big part of being able to handle complex installations. They allow us to put cable in places that we normally wouldn’t be able to. As a result, C2G is our first call for our cabling and connectivity needs.” About C2G Winford added, “We get paid to find solutions to challenging situations, and C2G is a big part of being able to handle complex installations. They allow us to put cable in places that we normally wouldn’t be able to. As a result, C2G is our first call for our cabling and connectivity needs.”