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Now Offering Combined Audio/Visual Public Address

Electronic signage has become a mainstay of public communications. Because these types of signs are increasingly used for both everyday and emergency situations, it is important for signs to have both audio and visual capabilities. MessageNet systems’ Audio/Visual PA meets this criteria, fulfilling the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Because these signs are powered over ethernet, they can run on levels of power a long distance from the power source.

“PoE signs are the optimal emergency messaging tool. When other devices aren’t working because of a power outage, these signs, which use data instead of a power outlet, can function on lower levels of power. They’re also a powerful emergency device because they can deliver information in both audio and visual formats,” says Kevin Brown, CEO of MessageNet Systems. “Audio PA alone is now obsolete. Even if no one in the vicinity is deaf or blind, that can all change very quickly in an emergency. An explosion, for example, can render anyone temporarily deaf or blind and we need to take that into account.”

PoE signs have a variety of capabilities, including speakers, scrolling text capabilities, and flashers, which can be used to alert people in the vicinity to a new message or to differentiate between normal communications and
emergency messages. With MessageNet Connections, messages can be scrolled repeatedly and can continue to play after an audio portion of the message has finished. Audio messages themselves can be spoken live, recorded and played later, or typed and spoken as text-to-speech. An important new feature of Connections is that messages spoken live are now recorded as well, allowing for replay either over the speakers or access through the system for later reviewing. Automatically recording a message that is spoken live also creates an audit trail for messages, creating additional accountability for users beyond the already-existing sign-in requirement.

“In an emergency, it can take too long to record a message. But speaking a message live can have its problems, too. Recording that message allows a user to quickly get a message to people in the area, but can be repeated without that user needing to stay, which could be hazardous in an emergency situation,” says Kevin Brown.

Connections and PoE signs can be easily integrated with devices that customers have already installed and can be expanded as well. Using digital signage with Connections provides significant ROI because it eliminates the cost of printing, distributing, and installing traditional printed media. Also, only one system is necessary, because it provides both everyday and emergency capabilities and can be used for customer-oriented content or to facilitate staff communication.

For more information on MediaPort and the Connections server software platform, please visit:

About Chris Rider

Chris Rider is a Systems Architect for MessageNet Systems, focusing on several areas including client-side software (e.g. browsers), micro-computer hardware components, and mobile platforms such as Android. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with an Electronic-Business degree, and has done website development and intranet-supported workflow process consulting with businesses ranging from locally-owned restaurants to global Fortune 500 companies. In his off-time, he enjoys tinkering with new technology, Linux, photography, videography, writing, media-content creation, learning new languages (trying to tackle Korean, currently), and travel.

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