The ancient Greeks and Romans used signs to depict specific businesses, using symbols made of terracotta, wood, stone or metal. Around 1389, a law was passed in England by King Richard III that any establishment selling ale must place a sign outside the building. It didn’t take long before the utilitarian signs became more intricate, including logos and images, like lions, shields, dragons and other popular symbols of the time.
During the 16th and 17th centuries, signs became increasingly flamboyant with gold leafing, wrought iron and hand-carved wooden designs being common place. It’s uncommon today to see a business without a sign. Telling potential customers who you are and what you do is essential in their decision to enter a store or not.
Of course, billboards and other outdoor advertising spaces have expanded this concept. Digital options, however, have changed the way signage is approached. Now content can be altered in an instant – from video to live feeds.
There are challenges with digital signage, of course, because of weather conditions, sunlight and durability. But, innovative technology always finds a way to overcome potential challenges. Mike van Lier, Director Consumer Electronics for Samsung South Africa, says, “The Samsung solution to digital signage offers a completely integrated, self-contained ultra-slim display with an embedded power box, housed in an impact-resistant enclosure and thermally protected by a patent-pending filter-less steady cooling system.”
Even in outdoor spaces that are affected by direct sunlight, Samsung’s high 2,500-nit brightness, an auto brightness sensor that optimizes brightness, together with circular polarizing technology and 5,000:1 contrast ratio (3,000:1 for 85? display) work together to deliver easily seen messages, no matter what the light conditions. Samsung Full Outdoor displays are also IP56 certified to withstand dust, water, rain, snow, sleet, and corrosion while the Magic protects against vandalism. Van Lier continues, “With Samsung’s technology, there’s simply no limit to what you can do to highlight your business, whether it’s an in-store presentation, a window display or a big outdoor screen showcase.”
This article was published in partnership with Samsung.
The Premier League is waiting for a late delivery from Amazon.com Inc. Possible interest from Amazon offered the best chance at bigger proceeds for the auction of live U.K. rights through 2022 than the 5.1 billion pounds (£7.2 billion) secured last time, with Sky Plc and BT Group Plc signaling restraint ahead of the auction after years of soaring inflation. But when the broadcasters took the five best packages for only about 4.5 billion pounds last week, it appeared Amazon was sitting on the sidelines.
The league still has a shot with two remaining packages, which it says have multiple bidders interested in matches that would normally be seen as supplementary to the top rights. Tweaking those packages to add rights to replay other games soon after they’ve ended could woo the tech giant, said Mike Darcey, a former Sky chief operating officer. “That would be quite a smart potential combination,” said Darcey, who has been involved in Premier League bidding on five occasions.
Adding the so-called near-live replay rights to one or both packages of 20 games each would let Amazon give its Prime subscribers in the U.K. a bigger and more regular taste of England’s top soccer tournament. It could add weekly commentary in order to claim it’s got a true U.K. soccer offering, as it builds out its Prime video service. Sky currently holds the near-live rights — normally sold in a separate process — and could also be interested in bidding for them again.
Representatives for Amazon, Sky and the Premier League declined to comment. The league might expect to attract about 360 million pounds for a 20-game package, bundled with near-live rights, according to estimates from Ampere Analysis. To cover that tab and break even in the U.K., Amazon would need another 1 million Prime subscribers in the country, according to Ampere.
For Amazon, which has done deals for tennis and NFL football rights, the foray into sport is young.
Still, the company had planned to bid on Premier League rights, a person familiar with the matter said last month. Leagues globally are embracing the entry of streaming services into sport as cable cord-cutting hits viewing figures in some places, threatening their biggest source of revenue. While the Premier League has secured lower proceeds for the U.K. rights so far, it’s already set to match the total figure for domestic and global rights of roughly 8.4 billion pounds last time, due to increased revenues from overseas deals, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified as the figures are confidential.
Anything the league gets from the last two U.K. packages would push the proceeds above last round, the people said. As it stands, neither remaining Premier League package individually — nor both packages together — are sufficient for a new entrant to build a sport proposition around. Taken together, they would only provide eight live viewing opportunities in just four separate weeks throughout a 30-week season, because some matches are played simultaneously.
Another alternative for the league with the remaining packages would be to ink deals with BT or Sky at higher prices.
Sky is restricted from holding rights to more than 20 additional matches, however, due to competition rules.
The league could also opt not to sell them and instead stream matches onto its own digital platform, charging to watch.
The lower-tier English Football League recently came to this arrangement for a number of matches in its latest agreement.
UK Internet Service Provider Airband has announced that it has connected the first customer in a scheme that will bring full fibre, superfast broadband services to 14,000 premises in Shropshire, England, by 2020. “Rural Shropshire suffers with some of the poorest broadband speeds in the UK… UK Internet Service Provider Airband has announced that it has connected the first customer in a scheme that will bring full fibre, superfast broadband services to 14,000 premises in Shropshire, England, by 2020. “Rural Shropshire suffers with some of the poorest broadband speeds in the UK, and we are delighted to be playing a significant role in turning this situation around.
This key milestone highlights the progress we’re making to help connect rural residents across the county. The project will be going live in five phases. Phase 1 of the project is due to complete in Spring and involves 28 transmitter sites.
During this period, Airband will be making Superfast broadband available to 7,000 homes. Further areas will be going live incrementally as the network is created,” said Dave Lloyd, project manager at Airband. Andrew Lee and his wife Sulayma, who live in a village outside Shifnal, are the first to be installed with Superfast broadband under the first phase of the project.
The couple have been waiting for faster broadband for four years and are delighted to now have a Superfast broadband connection from Airband. “We live in a tiny village with just 46 houses three miles from Shifnal, close to Cosford airbase but our communications have always been poor,” said Mr Lee. “When BT upgraded the exchange in Albrighton it didn’t make any difference to us, so we were really keen to get a better connection with Airband,” he added.
“It’s a challenging location so installation wasn’t straightforward. I think this is because we are in a valley and it took a while to establish line-of-sight connection and also because our house is a listed building. They were very patient and thorough and to be honest I’m overjoyed with the results.
“Before our Airband connection, we had download speed of 2.5 Mbps.
Streaming stuff was awful – it was always buffering, and working from home was almost impossible.
Now we have 30 Mbps and I am able to work from home when I need to,” he said.