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Thursday, April 16, 2009


Black Box Adds Plug-And-Play Solutions To Its Digital Signage Product Line


New media appliances, players, and extenders make digital signage more affordable, easier to set up.


PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA, April 16, 2009 — Black Box Corporation (NASDAQ:BBOX), an industry-leading provider of voice communications, data infrastructure, and product solutions, announced today that it has expanded its line of digital signage products to help businesses more affordably and economically market to and reach their customers.

“Digital signage gets results. Whether you use it to increase sales, cross-sell, upsell, or to improve communications, it’s a smart investment,” says Mario Calabro, Black Box Multimedia Products Manager. “It’s an effective way of delivering the right message at the right time. Businesses and organizations of all sizes in every vertical are seeing a very quick ROI.”

To meet the increased demands, Black Box has launched a wide array of digital signage solutions. Generating the most industry buzz is iCOMPEL™ (part #s AC4000A, AC4001A, AC4002A, AC4003A, AC4004A, and AC4005A), Black Box’s new family of browser-based, networked digital signage appliances. Showcased at the recent Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas, iCOMPEL gives new users and system integrators a highly affordable, “out-of-the-box” way to set up, create, and manage digital signage.

Despite its simplified design and affordable price, iCOMPEL provides the advanced features and functionality typically found on very high-end systems. “You get professionally designed layouts, easy-to-use drag-and-drop tools, and a whole host of other features,” Calabro says. “Plus, there are no ongoing licensing fees, all the software is included, and updates are free.”

Because it supports many media formats, users can combine 1080p video or live TV with scrolling text, photos, Flash®, and HTML and RSS media. It works with MPEG, AVI, QuickTime®, and PowerPoint® media, as well as JPEG, GIF, and TIFF images, and WAV and MP3 audio. The iCOMPEL system supports playing of stored and live media in multiple screen zones, as well as changing content ad-hoc at the display.

Calabro says iCOMPEL is ideal for any size users. “You can have one unit in one location or thousands of units playing different content around the globe,” he explains.

For those looking to use their existing network infrastructure to distribute digital signage content, Black Box has introduced Video and Audio over Ethernet (VAoE) Extenders (part #s AC1140A, AC1140C, and AC1141A).

This breakthrough technology, which uses an existing Ethernet network for end-to-end digital media distribution, is a very cost-effective alternative to today’s expensive solutions for sending live video and audio to remote screens. Calabro says, “All you need is a CAT5, CAT5e, or CAT6 network infrastructure and you can transmit hi-def video and audio to one or more displays as far as 300 feet away. To go farther, you just add a network switch to the system.”

The system provides up to six independent media streams, transmitting broadcast-quality video without amplifiers or signal tuning. The extenders work with any single-link DVI or HDTV display and support 1080p resolutions, no matter what the distance or the number of displays. The system also includes a simple-to-manage interface that the administrator uses to publish, update, and schedule content, or even interrupt scheduled content for emergencies or for ad-hoc messaging.

The VAoE system supports a multiple-screen setup or a digital signage network with screens in different areas. To distribute video to the screens, multiple receiver units can be daisychained through their CATx ports. In addition, the system’s receiver works as a true Gigabit Ethernet switch, supporting device connections via its three 10-/100-/1000-Mbps Ethernet ports.

Other Black Box products include the:

AGNPRO miniBox™ HD700-S 1080p Networked Media Player. (part # HD700-S), a compact, standalone device that delivers high-def 1080p resolution and supports content updates across a LAN or by plugging in a CompactFlash™ card.

HDMI Extender Kit over CATx (part # AC564A), a transmitter/receiver for extending 1080i/1080p video and audio 200 feet over two CAT5e or CAT6 cables, which is ideal for high-quality runs between a DVD or Blu-Ray player and an HDMI display.

3-to-1 HDMI Switch/Extender Kit over CATx (part #AC565A), which enables three different HDMI sources to be connected to one remote HDMI display via two CAT5e or CAT6 UTP cables, and supports distances up to 280 feet.

CATx DVI-D SL Extender Kit (part # ACS2001A), a transmitter/receiver for overcoming DVI cable limits by using CAT5, CAT5e, or CAT6 cable to send single-link DVI-D video up to 164 feet.

DVI-D Extender with Audio and EDID (part # AC2000A), which extends 1080p video up to 150 feet and PC video up to 300 feet over CAT6 cables (CAT5 supports shorter distances), plus audio, serial data, and EDID monitor information.

MultiView CAT5 Transmitters and Pollable Receivers (part #s AC1210A, AC1220A–AC1224A), a family of CAT5-based extenders for sending 1080p video, digital audio, and display-addressable serial data up to 600 feet. They are particularly ideal for setting up two-way communications with individual displays in kiosk or point of sale (PoS) applications.

Wizard USB Multimedia Extender (part # AVU5020A), which expands Black Box’s popular Wizard line to support VGA, audio, and USB 2.0 and 1.1 device connections up to 164 feet over CATx cable.

VGA and Audio Matrix Switch with RJ-45 Outputs and Serial Control (part # AC1122A-RJ45), a high-end PC or HD (VGA or YPbPr) cross-point video switch. It has 16 RJ-45 video outputs, each capable of independently displaying any of its 16 inputs in any combination, and is great for switching source inputs for screen output on digital signage.

Mini CAT5 VGA Extender Receiver Wallplate (part # AC504A-WP-R), a single-gang, junction-box-mountable device for receiving VGA signals from a compatible Mini CAT5 VGA Extender device located up to 500 feet away.

HD/SD SDI Single-Fiber Extender (part # AC1200A), a transmitter/extender combo that uses a single fiber instead of coax cable to extend broadcast-grade SDI video from a source device to a distant SDI monitor.

Component Video Extender Kit (part # AC651A), which transmits Component video up to 1000 feet over CAT5e or CAT6 cable, and supports 1080i resolution up to 500 feet and 1080p at 300 feet.

In addition, Black Box has expanded its screen-mounting accessories selection to include a:

Universal Flat Wall Mount for LCD Screens (part # SF630)

Universal Tilt Wall Mount for LCD Flat-Panel Screens (part # ST630)

Extended-Reach Wall Arm for LCD and Plasma Screens (part # SA730P)

LCD Pedestal Stand for 10–30" Screens (part # LCFS-100)

These additions are all part of Black Box’s extensive line of digital signage solutions, including media players, extenders, splitters, converters, and switches. All products in the line are backed by free, live, 24/7 Tech Support, which customers can reach by calling 724-746-5500.

About Black Box

Black Box is the world’s largest technical services company dedicated to designing, building, and maintaining today’s complicated data and voice infrastructure systems. Black Box services 175,000 clients in 141 countries with 192 offices throughout the world. To learn more, visit the Black Box Web site at http://www.blackbox.com.

Black Box® and the Double Diamond logo are registered trademarks and iCOMPEL is a trademark of BB Technologies, Inc. Any third-party trademarks appearing in this press release are acknowledged to be the property of their respective owners.


Contact:

Black Box Corporation
Gary Doyle
Director – Investor Relations
Phone: 724-873-6788
E-mail: investors@blackbox.com

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