Userful Corporation, the Canadian provider of centralized display controller software, recently announced the release of its version 8.6 software, which turns a standard PC into a high-end video wall controller capable of supporting video at 60 frames per second as well as up to 8K video to one or more video walls over the network in real time. Digital Signage Connection caught up with Userful’s Vice President Daniel Griffin to further discuss the product.
Q: As Vice President of your company, why do you think this software release is a game changer for your business?
A: Well, we were the first company to release software for 4K in real time, and now we’re the first to do it for 8K. So, when you add in the ability to work with footage that is running at 60 frames per second and the ability to split content up into multiple zones, you can squeeze that much more power out of the PC, so this is a pretty big release for us.
Q: You’ve mentioned several product features, but what is your favorite and why?
A: I think, in addition to the preset zones and preset remote control for content, the most important feature is the ability to support up to 60 screens from one PC. It can also offer artistic or mosaic-style video walls with any angle rotation of individual displays, which is pretty cool in that it just allows for that many more use cases.
Q: Who are your primary competitors, and do you expect to see a lot of copycats following this release?
A: Competition isn’t such a huge issue for us at the moment. A lot of our competitors aren’t even at 6K yet, so we’re leading the way, and we feel we’re far enough ahead to not have to be constantly looking in the rear-view mirror.
Q: Who is your ideal target audience?
A: It was intentional to target off-the-shelf consumer PCs so that this is an affordable and accessible solution for all industry verticals. In other words, syncing menu boards with video wall apps could make it great for QSR and/or retail. We’ve also got earlier versions installed at various command and emergency transportation centers in Europe and Spain in particular. It’s fairly universal in that it’s supported on Windows, Android, LINUX, live feeds and for HDMI capture.
Q: Besides transforming PCs into video wall controllers, what’s down the road for Userful?
A: It will be interesting to see how things develop as AV and IT work become ever more integrated, but I’m fairly confident that Userful won’t change its core as a software company. We really like to think of ourselves as specialists that are continually striving to improve.
You gotta love specialists! Userful’s v8.6 release conveniently came just two weeks prior to InfoComm 2016 and is on display at the event in Las Vegas until June 10. There, the new software roll-out will also be demonstrated by several Userful partner companies including BTX, ViewSonic and Philips.