Capital Networks Partners With SHARP


Capital Networks is a proud CMS partner in Sharp’s Strategic Technology Alliance Resource (STAR).

Sharp is making digital signage more affordable and accessible than ever. Two new Pro AV models have been launched with hardware built in to simplify the experience.

Thanks to its built-in SoC (System on a Chip) controller, the 40″ Class (39.5″ diagonal) PN-B401 and 50″ Class (49.5″ diagonal) PN-B501 professional LCD displays deliver out-of-the-box digital signage solutions, even without external devices such as PCs.

Product features include:

Built-in SoC: A powerful, integrated SoC controller, driven by the Arm® Cortex®-A17 quad core processor with 2 GB memory and 8 GB storage, integrates Android™ OS (4.4) for third-party Android platform apps.

Flexibility: Whether in a landscape or portrait orientation, the displays can be installed face-up, face-down, or tilted forward or backward at an angle of up to 90 degrees. Designed for easy hanging installation, they can be suspended from four corners of the rear housing with wires.

Expandability: They are equipped with an Intel® Mini OPS-compatible expansion slot that provides for an optional HDBaseT™ receiver board (PN-ZB03H), wireless board (PN-ZB03W), or computing board (PN-ZB03AO). An optional wireless adaptor (PN-ZW01) is also available.

SHARP Open Architecture Platform: The PN-B Series offers end users easy ways to download, store and play content directly from the display. For more advanced applications, leading Content Management Software providers have ported their Android™-based application to run on the PN-B Series embedded SoC.

Here’s an excerpt from an interview with Capital Networks president Jim Vair, recently distributed in Sharp’s online newsletter Think Big:

Think Big (TB): As a leading CMS provider that supports various brands of digital signage displays, what was it about Sharp’s Open Architecture Platform that lead you to invest resources to support the new Sharp Smart Signage lineup?

Jim Vair (JV): Sharp reached out and we had some useful discussions early on in their process.  We felt that they listened to our input and included us in their efforts. The Sharp Open Architecture platform closely followed our existing development plans – which is a great benefit for all customers as this means that support for the Sharp method of supporting SoC will be in line with the continuing development efforts of leading digital signage CMS vendors.

TB: As your company tested the new Sharp Open Architecture Platform and its system-on-chip (SoC) technology, how did it perform with your software as compared to other platforms that you currently support?

JV: The Sharp implementation of SoC allowed us to take advantage of all of the features of our Android digital signage media player solution. Enabling us to use our complete Android OS media player engine provides customers the advantages of a forward-and-store content solution and advanced scheduling, content triggering and interactive features. There are no compromises with this solution and the customer can truly manage their content with no limitations.

TB: What is the unique value proposition of your CMS solution to Sharp’s channel partners and their customers?

JV: There is always the right tool for the right job. With the Capital Networks Audience CMS, customers and channel partners can take advantage of the ease of deployment and lower cost of operations of the Sharp SoC solution—but also have a fully featured CMS to manage all of the digital signage opportunities within their environment.  Audience can manage the ‘mix-and-match’ environments in which some screens are Sharp SoC, some are Microsoft® Windows®, some are thin-client. The customer can deploy one consistent backend to manage communications on all screens. This capability, along with the Capital Networks’ 26 years in operations provide channel partners and customers a trusted, reliable team for their digital signage projects.

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