I did some searching here and didn't really come up with what I was looking for. Did a little on google and found a Tuxgraphics kit, but it is almost the same price that I can buy NTP displays.
What I'm looking for is a cheap NTP display that uses 7 segment LEDs so that I can change the size as needed. Needs to connect with wired ethernet and be able to read the time from our win2003 domain controller. Getting the time from DHCP would probably be easiest, and the server is set to update clients every 5 minutes. The server is connected to NIST to keep it on time. While I could connect all the displays directly to NIST, I don't want to waste their free resources, so I would prefer connecting the displays back to my DC, and that way I only connect to NIST to update that single server.
Alternate would be to use SMPTE timecode, but running ethernet cable and using power over ethernet to power the clocks seems like a better choice.
Radio penetration inside the building is horrible, which is why the current clocks do not function properly. This will be rolled out in the college where I work, but only in our department so probably 10-12 displays total. Immediate needs are the clocks in our radio station (2-3 displays) and in our TV studio (another 2-4 displays). I'll probably end up buying displays from somewhere like ESE but thought I would check the DIY method first to see what kind of prices I could get this down too.
I can program all the 8 bit AVRs and I think the 32 bit AVRs too, but would prefer the cost of the 8 bit devices.
Thanks for any help you can provide.