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I'm not sure this is where I should be asking this - as I have never had this request before.

One of my retail clients has inquired about the implementation of a "TV Loop" broadcast to each of their stores located in six different cities.

From our conversation, he described it as a 30 second to 1 minute commercial that could be played on a TV located in each of the locations and administered from a central location (to reflect weekly deals, promotions etc.) - Similar to what you may have seen in McDonalds and various other fast food establishments.

I have some ideas of how I might go about doing this, but some input from the community would be greatly appreciated (with regards to a client server architecture, or other potential solutions already on the market)

Thanks in advance


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This is perhaps not the correct area but I really can't think of a more appropriate place to ask. :) –  John Gardeniers Dec 17 '09 at 21:32

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Very simple actually, an ex-collegue of mine does just this across Europe.

Basically his system is to buy some Panasonic 'street-quality'/hardened plasma TVs and attach them to a very small Cisco-made media player that has a few GB of flash storage on it. It also has an ethernet port and you drop your video content to the box using ftp/sftp etc. in a specific format and it just plays the clips in a predefined order.

Edit - found out the machine is one of Cisco's Digital Media Player 4400G's.

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Thank you very much, seems to do exactly what I need it to. –  user28859 Dec 17 '09 at 17:50

We have a solution which is not quite the same but is very similar. We have a display and there is a daily powerpoint presentation that plays in a loop and changes daily.

I use a FitPC at the display, this connects wirelessly to the internet and via VPN to our private shared folder. You could also use some sort of wget if the video is not private. As a cheaper alternative, any PC could be used that is able to play the video you want to show on the televisions.

In linux (Ubuntu is the OS we use) the script will be fairly simple. You would use mplayer (on linux) to control video playback, and daily you would kill the player process, download the new content loop video file locally, and finally launch the new video file.

I'm sure there are big names that put out a solution that does all of this, but if you are willing to get your hands dirty you can do this on the cheap.

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