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Alpha Video & Audio announced today that it has developed a visual communication interface between its CastNET digital signage software and the Bosch Praesideo digital public address and emergency sound system. This integration of systems from Alpha Video and Bosch is an innovative solution for including digital signs, projectors, TV monitors, video walls and other visual communication devices into an enterprise-wide or campus-wide emergency notification system.

As a digital public address and emergency sound system, Praesideo processes and communicates both the audio signals and control data entirely in the digital domain making the system superior to other currently available public address and emergency sound systems. The integration of Praesideo with CastNET digital sign systems means that emergency events that trigger digital audio messages may now also trigger digital video messages. The new system has the capability to control projectors and TV monitors in classrooms or meeting rooms so that individuals inside a building are able to see, as well as hear, emergency messages. Using video messages can greatly enhance the effectiveness of alerting employees, staff, students and visitors what to do and where to go in response to an event.

The system includes a zone feature to show different messages on selected digital signs based on their location or proximity to an event. For example, if a fire alarm is triggered in a certain area of a building, the alert messaging may direct occupants to use different escape routes based on their location. Visual alert notifications use graphics as well as video animations to better inform and direct people in emergency situations. Zoning can also be used in non-campus-wide emergency events, such as a broken elevator or water pipe, so that only those notifications are displayed in the affected areas.

“Bosch is excited that Alpha Video has integrated their CastNET solution with the Praesideo mass notification system, and the timing could not have been better,” says Mark Andersen, Product Marketing Manager for Bosch Public Address Systems. “2010 marks the first time the NFPA 72 National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code – and the soon to be published UL2572 standard – have extended their scope beyond the realm of fire alarm to incorporate other life-safety systems and functions. In addition to simply indicating the existence of an emergency situation, these new codes require instructions via voice communications and/or visible signals that include text, graphics, or other displayed communication methods. When used together, CastNET and Praesideo can enhance the safety and effectiveness of virtually any mass notification application.”

Commenting on the partnership between Bosch and Alpha Video, Kevin Groves, Co-Owner of Alpha Video, says, “More and more of our CastNET customers have been requesting that our digital signs be integrated into an emergency messaging system. Rather than start from scratch, it made sense for us to partner with an outstanding audio messaging system so that we could communicate audio and video alerts. We selected the Bosch Praesideo system because it offers increased scalability and greater reliability during an emergency situation due to its redundant loop design. Praesideo has been successfully installed throughout Europe where there are much higher standards for mass notification systems. We are confident that this success will continue for installations at major organizations and educational institutions in the United States as the new UL standards are implemented.”

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