Why Sharp Has Added Mini OPS Modules to its New Generation Displays
Digital Signage solutions have truly come of age, with one recent report suggesting that the market will be worth $23bn by 2023. The Retail sector is currently seen as the highest adopter of displays for in-store promotion. However, the use of large format displays in the corporate sector is also increasing, with companies putting displays in their reception areas, as well as in meeting rooms and in open plan offices to share information.
With displays being used for a growing variety of purposes, Sharp has made its latest ranges more flexible with the addition of a Mini-OPS extension slot and modules so that you can change or add functionality with new modules as you need them.
Mini OPS is a modern and smaller format of the original Open Pluggable Specification (OPS) introduced by Intel in 2010 that has become a worldwide standard. The Mini OPS format takes advantage of the latest more energy efficient chipsets coming from Intel. The modules that Sharp has introduced can add a host of features, from making the display more intelligent, to adding more connectivity options.
With its first wave of Mini OPS launches, Sharp has introduced three modules which can be used with the new generation of Sharp PN-R digital displays and Sharp’s Huddle Space display, the Sharp BIG PAD PN-40TC1. The modules are a Win10 PC, Wireless Casting (BYOD screen mirroring), and HDBaseT Receiver, to provide content and interactivity options. Over time, Sharp plans for the Mini OPS slot to be a standard feature across the portfolio range.
The Sharp Mini OPS PC module (PN-ZB03PC) offers the end user a tidy, professional-looking PC solution running a Windows 10 IoT. There are no PC wires or cables trailing around as the module effectively turns your display into an All-in-One PC solution, capable of running any customer application.
The Mini OPS PC is a standard Windows 10 IoT installed PC with 64GB of Solid State Disc (SSD) storage that you can use as a standalone PC. This means you can use a USB keyboard and mouse for setup and configuration and then run applications as you would on any other Windows computer.
This makes it a far more flexible solution than simply using a media player connected to the display. For example, such players tend to have limited format support as well as limited scheduling flexibility, but with the PC module you are not limited by format, file size, and as the module is fitted with a LAN port you have all the possibilities offered by internet access as well as not being limited by the location of your content. The two USB ports also mean that additional devices, features and performance capabilities can be simply plugged into the PC.
The Sharp Mini OPS Wireless module (PN-ZB03W) offers a full array of current wireless standards, allowing users to share content to the digital signage or meeting room collaboration solution using their laptop, smartphone or tablet.
The benefit of this solution in a retail environment is clear, allowing users to quickly connect with the digital display to share or update content on the screen. Also, with the instant-on functionality of the Direct Drawing capability built into the PN-ZB03W users can also make the most of whiteboard features, effectively turning their digital display into a collaborative flipchart at the tap of a button.
Perhaps the most beneficial module for a retailer is the Sharp Mini OPS HDBaseT Receiver module (PN-ZB03H). The addition of this module into the back of your Sharp display will allow you to control the content sent to the screen from farther away than normally possible, without loss of data quality. It can support resolutions up to and including 4K with ease.
Standard connections typically need to be within five metres in order to deliver a good quality signal without noise or data degradation. However, with the HDBaseT module this can be extended up to as far as 100 metres, making it ideal for stores and outlets to have the screen at the front of store and the media player, whether that’s a PC, laptop or Blu-Ray player with HDMI output in a back room or upstairs office.
This means that retailers can place digital signage anywhere in-store and still maintain great image quality and the control of being able to conveniently update your displays. The open architecture of Mini OPS means that Sharp and its partners will be adding more modules in the future and end-users can add or upgrade as and when new technologies are released.
To find out more about the Sharp PN-R range of displays and how our Mini OPS options can help enhance your business, please Get in Touch to arrange a demonstration.