Scala announces that its Scala Release 5 software is now. Release 5 comprises new versions of the entire Scala product line, including Content Manager, Ad Manager, Designer, Player and various EX Modules.
“Release 5 changes the game for Scala by bringing our software to customers that have a wide range of digital signage needs,” said Robert Koolen, President of Scala. “With more choices for hardware, from low-end photo frames to the top-of-the-line PCs, Scala lowers the barriers to entry for customers by offering solutions at virtually every price point.”
Release 5 contains a package of improvements that are valuable to all users of Scala Player, but they are specifically geared to enable successful and stable use of the new wave of Ultra Low Cost PCs (ULCPCs). ULCPCs are a major new trend in hardware as seen in the explosion of small, inexpensive netbooks. Expanding Scala’s reach to cover ULCPCs makes the full-featured Scala Player available for less expensive digital signage solutions.
For customers seeking a cheaper and easier to maintain solution, Release 5’s advanced Player playback software runs on a wide range of commodity Windows®-based PCs at various price points. And for networks requiring a less costly, more appliance-like solution, Release 5 supports wireless photo frames, as well as high-definition and standard-definition MPEG players. Release 5 supports specific makes and models of MPEG player and photo frame appliances designed by IAdea and manufactured by several vendors, including Advantech and ViewSonic.
Scala’s powerful ad management, scheduling, distribution and playback have always been oriented towards visual digital signage. Starting with Release 5, Scala supports audio-only channels, which can be used for background music, in-store audio and more. The major benefit is another channel of audio from a Scala Player at license. This flexible offering serves as an entry path into full Scala digital signage for customers whose initial need is audio only.
“Scala hasn’t offered audio playlist management before, so this is a new opportunity that is free with every existing Scala Player,” said Peter Cherna, Scala’s VP of Research and Development. “For customers only requiring audio, there’s a new low-cost license available.”
Release 5 also features improved player health monitoring that helps users diagnose problems on their digital signage network more easily. The player health screens in Content Manager have been reworked to display better information more prominently. The improved summary gives a clearer and more versatile view of player and network health.
Other new major features of Scala Release 5 include:
- New and improved transitions — Gives end users the ability to create more engaging content.
- Additional Web services — Enables an even wider variety of solutions that integrate with Content Manager.
- Playlists in templated messages — Allows for more sophisticated applications such as kiosks to be managed solely from Content Manager.
- Improved playback audit reporting module — Provides a more advanced and refined selection of which media and players to report on.
- Stronger approvals workflow in Content Manager — Approvals workflow now includes email approval notifications and media item approvals.
- Improved control of broadcasting — Improved automation provides easier use of broadcast distribution.
- Support for the IPv6 standard — Scala functionality now runs over this new network addressing system.
- Reporting and filtering — Reservations that have not played the expected number of times can be easily located.
- Demographics — Demographic data can be integrated with report data to provide a clearer view of ad sales and effectiveness.
- Improvements to Ad Manager mapping — Offers users visual tools that make managing their business simpler and easier to understand.