Since 1881 St Joseph’s College has provided excellence in boys’ education. Today, its reputation is underpinned by a strategic plan for innovation and integrated technologies that are improving all facets of College life.
As part of the constant innovation taking place at ‘Joeys’, the College now has total flexibility over management of real time display content – from the pushout of notifications across the campus and live screening of events, to the selection of TV programs in the boarding houses.
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Beyond catering for the College’s 1,100 students, Joeys has 600 boarders, 120 teachers and 200 support staff across eight major complexes on a large campus in Hunters Hill, Sydney.
Its ageing fleet of 13 digital signage panels in the day school had numerous end of life, WindowsXP licensing issues. Managing it was a laborious process. In many cases panels were stuck on inactive blue screens or content updated by staff taking a USB stick to each panel. And the boarding complex had a separate register of TVs where students could access only two Foxtel channels and had to ask house coordinators to change between them.
The College evaluated and trialled a range of options. Graeme Kachel, Director of Innovation and Technology at St Joseph’s College assessed that: “The CompNow/ Tripleplay solution was to keep the screens but ditch the players that were causing issues. It would overcome the technical problems and allow us to reinvigorate our existing investment in the panels by cost effectively integrating them via new server-based comms and set top boxes.”
CompNow re-purposed most of the exiting fleet by adding set top box (STB) interfaces between the older panels and TVs, and a Tripleplay server. The unified platform – with 35 panels across Joeys’ extensive campus of teaching blocks, staff areas, reception and boarding areas – is now centrally managed.
“With the server built and the boxes connected back to it, the system just worked. The one week installation went very smoothly and professionally. And getting to know how to operate it was easy. From the start, all staff could use it to really good effect,” Kachel confirmed.
He considers the technical advantage of the CompNow/Tripleplay solution to be the total reliability of the Linux box – all aspects of the self-managed platform have been tested in the year since its implementation.
“The project was not only competitively priced but it provided for the unusual functional set we stipulated – Tripleplay’s integrated digital system allows us to pushout the Foxtel component as it is done in hotels. The solution’s expandable, flexible digital signage with integrated IPTV platform future proofs our investment,” Kachel said.
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Staff and students are kept up to date as timetable changes, special meetings and reminders are shown where and when they are needed – all display panels and TVs have the capacity to display content such as emergency notifications.
House masters and year coordinators can now manage their own content. While in the dormitories, boarders select their own viewing from ten Foxtel channels.
“Joeys is a big sporting school. The screens have had an enormous impact as we can show televised Rugby throughout the College and throw out slideshows of student photos from the weekend’s matches,” Kachel said.