NEC Display Solutions Client Installation Media



Broadcasting to student union venues up and down the country, the Subtv channel reaches 1.5 million 18-24 year olds in 88 UK universities. Offering powerful targeted messaging opportunities to advertisers whilst providing a service and multi- media experience for students, Subtv, as part of their 10 year contract with its stakeholders have replaced legacy plasma displays with 200 NEC V Series displays at over 30 locations.

The Subtv channel began broadcasting in 2003 and currently has a network of over 700 large format display screens that reach 1.5 million 18-24yr olds, at 117 bars in 88 Universities within the UK. Delivering compelling and relevant programming, events and experiences, all Subtv media channels have created audience ownership through interaction, location and relevance.


Subtv Airtime schedules all the commercial advertising, as well as all the music videos for the Subtv Channel whilst the universities have the ability to upload their own advertising content via a web portal. National TV ads play full screen on all of the displays with full audio. Some of the displays screen local ads, without sound, in a video window taking approximately two thirds of the screen, with news content or social media around the remaining screen space.

The remaining displays show either the Subtv music channel or live TV. Students can interact with the screens via their mobile phones allowing them to make free music video selections, view advertising on their phone, post twitter messages and make four square check-ins. Subtv provide all the screens and the Airtime system free of charge to the universities with the right to sell advertising onto the screens in the form of National TV advertising or static local advertising, via its in-house advertising sales team.

The Challenge

Reliability is crucial to the success of our business

Subtv have 10 year exclusive contracts with its stakeholders and after 6 years into each contract they are committed to upgrade all of the displays. In 2011, Subtv was looking to replace 200 legacy plasma displays which were due for upgrade at 30 university campuses. “We wanted to improve the viewer’s experience with brighter, higher definition screens, which also benefited our advertisers,” said Neil Jenkins, Director at Subtv. “Reliability is critical to the success of our business so we were looking for a quality display solution.”


The NEC Solution

We chose NEC due to its widely recognised market leading reliability

Subtv chose NEC V421 and V422 to replace the 200 plasma displays, with portrait oriented screens being a new addition to the Airtime estate. “The NEC product won the best picture test in a side by side trial with other manufacturer’s screens which we carried out in our head office,” said Jenkins. “We also chose NEC due to its widely recognised market leading reliability and customer service which assured us of achieving value for money.

As well as upgrading the screens at existing sites, Subtv increased their estate by installing screens at Royal Holloway University of London, Loughborough University and Leeds Trinity and All Saints University. These new locations were also the first to benefit from the NEC MultiSync LCD175M touch screens which have now become standard across the estate enabling bar staff to select from over 2500 music videos, put messages on the screen, control the volume and switch to live TV.

The Result

Sean O’Donnell, General Manager Students’ Union Royal Holloway University of London stated “We introduced the new screens in our main venue in time for Freshers 2011 and we have been really pleased with their brightness and clarity and the impact they have been having with our students.”

Subtv Airtime is a fully managed solution for Subtv and forms part of Subtv’s integrated campus communication solution when used with other Subtv Digital Communication products such as SubInfo Digital Signage and Subtv Mobile Applications. Universities are attracted by the opportunity to provide a service to their students as well as an impressive multi-media experience without having to make any capital investment. O’Donnell confirmed “The screens have been really effective in promoting our offer and have contributed to the improved ambience in our refurbished venue.”