Luxury Retailer DFS Depends on Extron TouchLink™ Configurable Control and Twisted Pair Technology

The DFS Group is the world's largest retailer of duty-free merchandise, renowned for its service and product lines, which include Cartier, Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Tiffany. DFS is partially owned by the Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton group. With that kind of pedigree, when DFS wanted to install an AV system in its fashionable Sun Plaza Galleria in Hong Kong, it was natural to choose high-end integrator BAP Technology Consultants and Extron AV control and twisted pair transmission technology.

Extron TouchLink control totally met our needs for stability, quality, and flexibility, and allowed us to configure the control software with ease.

Finson Lam, Managing Director, BAP

The Galleria

The installation of a new AV system was part of a major overhaul to the DFS Galleria in Hong Kong, including the refurbishment of two existing stories, and the addition of a new retail floor. The galleria contains 35 large HD displays in horizontal and vertical orientations for digital signage, including product promotion and in-store advertising, in four main areas: the first and second floor escalators, the watch shops, and the Canton Road entrance area. The displays include a 103 inch (260 cm) plasma at the Canton Road entrance, an array of 40 inch (102 cm) LCDs throughout the galleria, and two 1080p DLP projectors at the main escalator area.

Client Needs

DFS needed to display high definition digital signage and video content on a large number of displays throughout the store; some as far as 150 feet (45 meters) from the source. The challenge was to implement full HD within the client's strict budget.

The Solution

Two Cayin SMP-WEBDUO dual display digital signage players, one near each of the escalators and another near the Canton Road entrance, output VGA on one channel and DVI on the other. One channel feeds content to horizontal displays, the other to vertical displays.

BAP designers chose to first convert the DVI signals from each signage player to analog using an Extron DVI-RGB 200 DVI-to-analog RGB video interface. The signals are then sent to the horizontally oriented displays using an Extron MTP 15HD RS Series twisted pair transmitter and receivers.

Signals from the signage player's VGA channel are sent to the vertically oriented displays, also using an Extron MTP 15HD RS Series transmitter and receiver. An Extron MTP DA4 twisted pair distribution amplifier is used to send signals separately to the large display near the Canton Road entrance.

This solution enables the system to easily support the large number of high definition displays over a long distance. With pre-peaking on transmitters and separate variable gain and peaking controls on the receivers, the Extron MTP 15HD RS Series is able to maintain signal quality on every display. Also, the receivers feature an additional buffered output, so they can be daisy-chained in series, which eliminates parallel cable runs.

The area near the watch shops contains two 58 inch (147 cm) plasma screens. HDMI signals are transmitted from two Blu-ray players by Extron HDMI 201 transmitters and receivers across distances of up to 150 feet.

According to Finson Lam, Managing Director, BAP, "We adopted Extron twisted pair technology for the long distance transmission. We knew it would deliver distortion-free signals."

TLP 700TV for Control

To control the system, BAP used an Extron TLP 700TV TouchLink touchpanel combined with an Extron IPL 250 IP Link® control processor in the store. BAP added an IPL T S2 IP Link control processor in the Canton Road entrance area to handle the extra 103 inch plasma display, and another IPL T S2 in the first floor escalator area to handle the projectors.

"The client was totally satisfied with our control solution," Lam says, "because it eliminated programming costs and was very easy to install and operate." The touchpanels are configured using Extron Global Configurator software to turn all displays on and off at the start and end of business days, and to show the appropriate content on each display. According to Lam, "The total management and operation time was greatly reduced, making it efficient and effective for the user."


Both BAP and DFS were pleased with the results of the installation. Lam states, "Extron TouchLink control totally met our needs for stability, quality, and flexibility, and allowed us to configure the control software with ease."

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