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Digital Signage Case Study – Barton Grange

Digital Signage Case Study – Barton Grange

Project Overview

Background

The Barton Grange Garden Centre is a popular family run establishment based just outside Preston, Lancashire. Opened in 2008 the business sells a large variety of plants, equipment and garden furniture. The site also boasts a café, restaurant and farm shop. In 2018, they built and opened the ‘Flower Bowl Entertainment Centre’ next door to the garden centre, with a cost of £8million to build the premium leisure complex that has a three screen cinema, crazy golf, bowling alley and a purpose built curling ring to name just a few of the attractions. With the addition of this new complex the garden centre and entertainment centre (both part of the Barton Grange Group) is now a real destination and fun day out for the lucrative family market.

In April 2020, The Barton Group approached our partner ‘The Image Group’ about upgrading the current monolith sign on the busy roundabout at the entrance to the two businesses. The problem with the sign currently in place was that it was built before the construction of the flower bowl entertainment centre and all information on the sign was about the garden centre. Barton Grange wanted to replace the existing monolith with one promoting the flower bowl and install a new monolith sign on the same roundabout promoting the Garden Centre. They wanted a digital component to these monoliths where multiple sides would have large screens that they could regularly update with opening hour information, cinema times and special events happening at the businesses. ‘The Image Group’ are expert sign makers and they came to us as their Digital Signage partner to collaborate on this project.

Challenges

Barton Grange needed a dynamic and eye-catching large format digital display that would be readable to those passing by in their cars. This is a two-fold challenge as not only do we need to take the image resolution into account but also the brightness. Barton Grange also asked if there was a way we could regulate the brightness of the screens so at night the brightness turned down so as not to cause distractions to drivers.

As the signs were going to be outdoors we needed to ensure whatever solution we provided would be waterproof. The monoliths were designed with space for a square screen and we needed to collaborate closely with them to ensure an easy integration of the digital components into the sign.

Barton Grange were going to be managing the content on the screens themselves, they wanted a quick and easy way to update the signs without the need for extensive technical training. With the signs being roadside they would not be able to display videos as the motion could distract drivers and be dangerous, so they needed the platform to display their images. The screens needed to be ready to be updated at a moment’s notice Barton Grange demanded. With this in mind we needed to carefully consider how we would do this as an internet connection was not currently in place at the roundabout.

Solutions

It was apparent fairly early on that given the size, aspect ratio and viewing distance needed, the most appropriate solution was going to be our Outdoor Direct-View LED Displays. With the size and aspect ratio needed, an LCD screen solution would be expensive, would have needed additional waterproof casing and would have likely had visible bezels.

The monoliths were going to be situated pretty close to the roadside of the roundabout. Due to this proximity we suggested a pixel pitch of P6. The low pixel pitch ensures that all smaller text and images on the screens will be readable no matter the distance. We were concerned if we went for a higher pixel pitch the screens could become unreadable for passengers in cars close to the monoliths.

Our Outdoor DV-LED are more than suitable with a brightness of 6,000cd/m2 that ensures the screens are fully readable even in direct sunlight and an IP65-rated enclosure. We also installed a light sensor on all the displays that automatically changes the brightness levels based on the brightness of the area, meaning the screens stay at a reasonable brightness no matter the time of day. With their robust aluminium casing the Outdoor DV-LED cabinets are IP65 rated meaning they can withstand wet weather conditions.

We worked closely with ‘The Image Group’ to design the tri-sided monoliths that we would integrate the DV-LED cabinets into. On the Flower Bowl monolith each side would have a screen while on the garden centre monolith only 2/3 sides would have screens. With the modular nature of DV-LED, creating square displays was easy to do.

For the content on the screens we provided two Android Cloud Network Media Players with lifetime subscriptions, which gave Barton Grange access to our user-friendly CMS. With the simple rapid publish feature the content on the screens can be updated in seconds as many times as they like. To make sure the screens were constantly connected to the internet we hard wired an Ethernet connection via super long cables (over 75m long) into nearby buildings for a reliable internet connection.

Results

In April 2021 we assisted our partner with the installation of the five DV-LED displays. In the days prior, our partner had installed the monolith structures and the DV-LED was the final piece to be integrated. Although this was no easy task, with five screens to install each four meters from the ground, the installation took two days and it was a big success.

Both ‘The Image Group’ and Barton Grange were delighted with the result. Our partner now knows they can trust us as DV-LED experts for future projects. From helping to choose the correct pixel pitch, to not leaving the installation until all the screens were working, we fully supported the client every step of the way. Barton Grange now have two fantastic looking signs directly outside their businesses promoting to potential customers. With the digital component of the signs they now have a much more dynamic and modern marketing tool.

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Tom Rock is a Marketing Manager for Allsee Technologies. His background is in Digital Signage and Graphic Design.

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