Park High School

The background

Black Box Network Services were asked to provide assistance to Park High School in Greater London who required a digital signage solution. The school requested a way of broadcasting useful information to key areas on campus. Black Box attended site and carried out a full survey to ascertain the requirements, to determine the physical structure of the building, the provision of power and CAT5e cable points.

The solution

The building required power and a CAT5e cabling infrastructure to be installed at each desired screen location. This included all containment, back boxes, patch panels and mains outlets.

The Black Box Media Player 2 was chosen for its ability to mix media types and its ease of use. It allowed internal staff to manage the players from any location around the school and to remotely update and change the content each user had individual access rights for. One unit was placed in the comms room to provide content to all the screens in the main building, and another was placed in the 6th form area, allowing separate content to be displayed if required, including terrestrial and satellite TV. Both players were networked to enable management to take place from anywhere in the building. This enabled the receptionist to be able to update welcome messages for visitors, whilst the canteen staff could update information for the menu. Various other members of staff could also change individual sections of content.

An eight port Video Distribution System ((1) AC156A-8 Local Unit with (7) AC158A-REM Remote units) was chosen for its reliability and proven track record within the signage market place. This made full use of the CAT5e cabling installed and required only a single power socket in the comms room.

Each of the remote units placed at the rear of the screens was powered from the local distribution unit itself. This minimised the number of mains sockets required at each screen location, and also helped to minimise installation costs.


The remote units were small enough to be mounted easily onto the rear panel of each screen and included the ability to adjust the picture.

The screens chosen were NEC LCD screens for the smaller sizes and Panasonic Plasma screens for the larger sizes required. (3) 32" NEC LCD panels were mounted in reception and in the canteen corridor, chosen for their brightly lit displays and their convenient size for narrow corridors. (2) 40" NEC LCD panels were mounted in the 6th form common room and also in the foyer area, providing a larger display for the slightly larger areas. (1) 50" and (1) 58" Panasonic Plasma screen were installed into the main hall area, and chosen for their ability to reach the wider audience and also for their cost effective sizes.

The solution was chosen above all other by Park High School for two reasons:

  • Ease of use - The staff are able to manage the unit without the need for external consultancy.
  • Price - The equipment chosen for this requirement gave a high quality display, but minimised the costs required for installation and therefore reduced overall costs for this project.
Black Box provided an exemplary service, visiting the school when required and recommending the appropriate system for the school, not necessarily the most expensive. Their staff were very knowledgeable, helpful and answered all of my questions thoroughly. Staff and students at the school are very impressed with the digital signage system and I have already recommended Black Box to colleagues in other schools. Nick Simper Network Manager, Park High School

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