Toby Keith’s I Love this Bar & Grill TVs Powered with Real Studio
“MediaSwitcher Web™" app streamlines entertainment with 32 TVs tuned to perfection
- Developed MediaSwitcher™ within 3 months
- Gained customers all over the world
- Streamlined entertainment for Toby Keith’s I Love this Bar & Grill restaurant
- Continue to expand app features and new locations for Toby Keith’s I Love this Bar & Grill
Jon Ogden never expected to get into the A/V business, nor did he ever dream of owning a software company, but when a friend, Ed Qualls from Just Add Power contacted him to help promote a new product he had developed to enable multiple HD video sources to be delivered to multiple TV screens over standard Ethernet networks using off-the-shelf managed switches, he saw a great opportunity.
Jon got familiar with Ed’s product and found there was one small problem – controlling the switch. Up to this point, the customers of Just Add Power had used expensive, high-end control systems to communicate with the switch and perform the switching functions. Having a limited income, Jon was not able to afford one so he decided to dust off his programming skills and write himself an application that could do just that. Another friend of Jon’s had previously told him about Real Studio so he downloaded the latest release, started the trial version and began writing some code. Within a few weeks, Jon had a working GUI interface for his managed switch, and after Ed encouraged him, Just Add Software was born.
Over the next few months, Jon spent hours of his spare time developing his MediaSwitcher™ application, adding features and preparing it for release to the market. Because of his prior programming experience, he was able to learn how to code in Real Studio especially fast. And the fact that Real Studio is cross-platform was icing on the cake. “I began a beta test with several of Ed’s customers and received great feedback from them on the features needed for use in the software. Because of the ease-of-use of the Real Studio development environment, I was able to quickly and easily add them and more,” said Jon.
With the release of Real Studio Web Edition, Jon was able to re-use most of his MediaSwitcher™ code and released, MediaSwitcher Web™, a web-based version of his software that did most of what the desktop application could do. This enabled deployment to nearly any web browser enabled device including the iPad and iPhone. He now has customers using his software all over the world. “I have sold software to customers from Europe and Australia to Nigeria and Malaysia.”
Jon soon began working closely with several AV dealers and his first customer went live with the software in April of 2010. Then in October 2011, one of the A/V installation companies, AudioSpace, contacted Jon about needing his web based software for the Cincinnati, OH location of Toby Keith’s I Love this Bar restaurant.
When it came to Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill distributed video system, AudioSpace had to do a bit of out-of-the-box thinking to create a product that was truly revolutionary and easy to use. They chose Just Add Software’s control solution for distributed video for the following reasons:
- Expandability — Just Add Software’s MediaSwitcher makes it easy to add and control more TVs or other video sources to allow the restaurant’s entertainment to easily expand as needed.
- Ease of use — When it’s a busy night and some customers want a game on TV one, a different game on TV seven, and the finale of Glee on TV four, the last thing the bartender or server wants to do is fumble with a difficult system that is clunky and hard to figure out. Just Add Software’s MediaSwitcher Web puts it all on an iPad, so with a touch of the screen, the bartender can route the signal to where it needs to go and get back to serving the customers.
- Customization — With MediaSwitcher and MediaSwitcherWeb, AudioSpace added the restaurant’s logo and added their channels, along with several other options to further customize the restaurant’s video switcher.
AudioSpace had specific UI requirements so that MediaSwitcher Web™ would fit in with the rest of their remote system. They provided Jon screenshots and with a few hours of work one evening, Jon was able to rapidly and easily customize the MediaSwitcher Web UI for AudioSpace. “Real Software’s Web Edition was extremely easy to customize and adapt to the specific graphical design that the customer required” notes Jon.
The Cincinnati location has 32 TVs and 12 video sources. Video content is delivered from unique channels in sports, news and music, as well as the restaurant’s own live music, which was broadcast throughout the restaurant. Since implementing Media Switcher, bartenders can easily change channels for customers in one place without walking around to each individual TV.
Over the coming months, AudioSpace will be implementing Just Add Software’s solutions at Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar locations in Dallas, Texas, Rancho, California and Rosemont, Illinois. The Texas and Illinois locations will feature over 50 TV screens and live music venues.
- “Real Studio is so user-friendly. Its flexibility allows me to develop something that is simple to complex.”
- “With Web Edition, I can re-use code from desktop projects and deploy the app easily to virtually any platform or environment I need, including the iPhone or the iPad. I can also customize easily per the customer requirements.”
- “Real's tools allowed me to quickly and easily change the background, button sizes, colors, positions, etc. to meet the client’s aesthetic requirements.”
The Real Solution
Jon was able to develop the Media Switcher because of the following features found in Real Studio’s Enterprise Edition:
- Cross Platform Deployment: Real Studio makes it possible to develop software on one platform and deploy on multiple platforms with native-looking results. Jon loves working on a Mac, but most of his clients are on Windows and sometimes Linux, and he also needed an app that is accessible through an iPad, or iPhone. As a part-time developer, the cross-platform capability was key, as he didn’t have the time to learn four or five different environments and support four or five different unique versions of software.
- Code Sharing Between Desktop & Web Editions: Jon was able to reuse code from his Real Studio desktop apps and create Real Studio web applications that nearly mirrored the executable files simply by copying and pasting code between the two versions. The web version was important to allow easy and fast deployment to multiple web-based devices.
- Rapid Application Development: Real Studio is a rapid application development environment that gives programmers the power to write, test and ship software four times faster than C++ or Java.
- Automation: With Real Studio’s “Build Automation” feature, users can visually drag and drop build steps to execute common actions, like copying files and running IDE scripts, before and/or after an application is built. All of this can be done from within a given project.
- Code Editor: The Real Studio code editor includes an auto-complete feature that helps users write code faster with fewer errors by offering suggestions on valid syntax. Also included are code assistants that are a contextual menu of syntax options that help users code faster and with fewer errors.