Repeat Signage V4 help

Control - Flash banner

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Flash banner control

 

Supported file types *.png, *.gif, *.jpg, *.jpeg, *.bmp, *.tif, *.wmf, *.pdf, *.doc, *.docx, *.odt, *.rtf, *.xps, *.rpic, *.xls, *.xlsx, *.ppt, *.pptx
Playlist support Yes
Scheduler support Hourly, daily and weekly scheduling
Scrolling support Yes
Rotation support No
Display options BANNER 01 - Pictures with optional 2 lines of text.  50 picture transition effects plus 40 text transition effects
FADER 01 - Hight performance picture fader.
PAGE FLIPPER 01 - Book effect for displaying PDF brochures.
ROTATOR 01 - Conveyor belt of pictures.
File locations Files and folders on local or network drives (all editions), Internet websites, RepeatServer.com and FTP sites (Standard and above editions)
Corporate and Media Wall editions - Collect pictures from databases.
Data input Manually add items in a play list.  In the Standard and above editions, you can also select a Repeat Signage Picture RSS feed which can be created free at www.repeatserver.com.  Repeat Signage Picture RSS feed allow this Flash Banner control to be remotely updated with new pictures and text. 
Corporate and Media Wall editions - Collect pictures from databases.
YouTube videos Repeat Signage controls - Flash banner control 2014
Repeat Signage Controls - Flash Banner Fader01 control 2014
RepeatServer.com - Creating and using Flash Banner RSS feeds
How to create and use Repeat Pictures in Repeat Signage digital signage software

Description

This control allows you to display pictures with text over the top and gives you the ability to have transitions between pictures.  This option is called BANNER 01 which was originally the only option for this control.  The text is optional so you can just use this to display pictures with nice transition effect.  There are currently 50 picture transition effects that you can use and 40 text effects.  For each picture you can also optionally specify a title and description to go with it.  There are 40 different transition effects for text.  This can be useful when displaying items for sale.  For example, in an estate agents window a selection of houses can be shown with a title such as '100,000 Boston' and a description such as '4 bedroom terraced house with large garden'.

  

The above images show text that can optionally be added to pictures in the playlist.  The first just has a title and then second has a title and description.  The font size, font colour and background colour can be specified for both the title and description.  The positioning of the text can also be adjusted.



The above picture shows the house image rotating off with the transition effect 'Cube rotate right' so that the next house picture displayed.

The Flash Banner control does just display pictures, it can display PDF files, multipage TIF files,  Microsoft Word documents (.doc/.docx) and OpenOffice.org Writer (.odt) documents, Excel spreadsheets and Microsoft PowerPoint slides.   With multi-page documents, such as PDF files, you can use the Page tab to choose which pages to display:



which lets you select a page, specify a range or all pages

With the Standard and above editions, this control is remote updatable.  You can now choose to play a Repeat Flash Banner Picture RSS feed which is a text file (in XML format) containing a play list of pictures, text to be displayed and the transition effect required.  These can be created on our free www.repeatserver.com service which allows you to update a presentation with this control in from anywhere in the world.  This works by you uploading your pictures to www.repeatserver.com (or your organisation's website), and then you can create a new Flash Banner Picture RSS feed and select you pictures to build a play list.  

The BANNER 01 option of the Flash Banner control was the original ways of displaying pictures and text.  There is a new option called 'FADER 01'.  This gives a simple high performance fading play list.  It doesn't allow you to enter the two lines of text that BANNER 01 does.  This was added as if you are doing full screen pictures on True HD screens (1920x1080) or on multiple screens, then the fading of FADER 01 is gives a better quality of fade especially if you are using older hardware.  We trialled this with a US hospital that was displaying a single presentation across a 6-screen video wall.

There are now 4,000+ Repeat Icons for you to use in your presentations.  These can be displayed by the Picture control and the Flash banner control.  These are available in the main Repeat Signage designer and also in the Repeat Pictures system which can be used to create adverts/pictures.



With our Corporate and Media Wall editions, you also have the option of collecting pictures and text from a database.    To do this, then on the 'Location choice' tab, select 'Collect playlist from a database'.  This means that this control can also be used to scroll, animate or display a list of text items.  Use the help pages on each tab to guide you though the process.

November 2015 - NEW - Now supports the displaying of Excel spreadsheets.  These are for whole pages from a spreadsheet file, the same as you would see if printed out.  If you want to display specific sheets and cells from a spreadsheet, then use the Spreadsheet control instead.

January 2016 - NEW - You can now display Microsoft Powerpoint .ppt and .pptx files with this control.  This works by the control automatically splitting the Powerpoint presentation into individual pictures of each slide and then playing them.  See Using Microsoft Powerpoint presentations in Repeat Signage for a walk through.

January 2016 - NEW - PAGE FLIPPER 01 option which allows the display of PDF files in a book format and have a page turning effect when it moves between pages:



January 2016 - NEW - ROTATOR 01 option which allows pictures of different shapes (both landscape and portrait) to be moved across the screen in a conveyor belt effect.  The picture in the middle is expanded. There are numerous customisation effects including the use of a background image, shadows, orientation and sizing:



February 2016 - There is now a 'Image of a website  page' option that allows you to take a snap shot picture of a website and display this and these can be added to a play list the same as any other picture.  See Image of a website page for more details.



Single Flash banners (BANNER 01)

On the designer screen menu, click on 'Insert' then 'Insert Flash banner'.  Once on this screen, you can add pictures to your Flash banner using the 'Add' button.  This will allow you to add a single picture, and you can also optionally add text to go with the picture.  You can also specify a transition effect which is used to load the next picture.  You can add multiple pictures if required.  Once you have added at least 1 picture file, then click on 'OK' to add the banner to the presentation. After adding this control to the screen, you can then position and size your Flash banner control as required.  Double click the Flash banner control to view the properties.


Playlists of Flash banner files (BANNER 01)

Most Repeat Signage controls only allow you to display a single file.  However, with this control, you can create a play list of pictures straight away.  This is only really useful if you are going to scroll Flash videos with the next section.  You can create a play list of Flash banner files so that many Flash banner files can be displayed, one after the other:

1.  On the designer screen menu, click on 'Insert' then 'Insert Flash banner'.  This will allow you to choose a file.  This defaults to 'On local or network drive'. 

2.  Click on the browse button and choose a Flash banner file and then click on 'Open' to return to the previous screen. 

3.  Now click on OK to insert the new control onto the designer.  You can then position and size your control as required. 

4.  Double click the Picture control to view the picture control's properties.

5.  Put a tick in the 'Use play list instead' tick box.  This will take you to the Playlist  tab.  Your first Flash appears in the grid for you. 

6.  Use the 'Add' button to add other files to the list. 

NOTE - You could also use 'Add blank' to add blank items which can be used to give a pause between playing your Flash banner files.  For example, you could insert a single Flash banner file and set it to display for 2 seconds.  Then insert a blank item again for 2 seconds.  This would then give the effect of flashing the Flash banner file on and off the screen.

7.  When you have added your play list files, then click on the OK to close the properties screen and return to the designer.  Your play list will start playing immediately.  Then length of time each item will display for will depend on how long you specified for each play list item.

 
Scrolling Flash banner files (BANNER 01)

1.  Follow the instructions for 'Playlist of Flash banner files' above. 

2.  Open the picture control's properties by double clicking it and then selecting the 'Scrolling tab'. 

3.  Change the 'Scroll direction' combo box to an entry other than NONE, for example RIGHT TO LEFT.   Click on OK to see it scrolling. 

For more scrolling options, on the properties 'Scrolling tab', press the F1 key to see the various options.  Also see Single, playlist, scrolling and advanced scrolling for visual examples of what is currently possible.


Scheduling the playing of Flash banner files (Standard and above editions only) (BANNER 01)

The information on creating a play list above shows you how to create a play list that just loops files.  On the play list tab, there is a 'Schedule type' drop down list.  You can change this from 'PLAYLIST' to 'HOURLY', 'DAILY', or 'WEEKLY'.  The difference between this and the 'PLAYLIST' option is that when you add items you have to specify 'From' and 'To' time values.  You can specify a play list of videos files to play in a particular period.

For example, an HOURLY scheduler can be used to play a file at the start of every hour for 1 minute (0 minutes 0 seconds to 0 minutes 59 seconds).  You have to put in files to cover the entire hour.  If you don't want anything playing for the rest of the hour, then insert a blank item that covers from 1 minute 0 seconds to 59 minutes 59 seconds.  At the end of an hour, the entire hourly schedule will loop again.  When you play a presentation, it displays items based on the current time or day.

When you add a blank item, you can decide whether to make the blank item display the background of the control (which you can specify a colour or picture for) or whether to make the entire control invisible.  When adding or editing a blank item, go to the 'Blank item' tab and either tick or un-tick the 'Entire control is visible' box.   This is useful for scheduling when you want a control invisible.

The DAILY schedule type allows you to specify files and blank items to cover the entire day.  At the end of the day, the schedule will start again.  WEEKLY allows you to schedule what happens on each day of the week (at any time), and then restarts at the beginning of the next week.  Repeat Signage uses Monday as the first day of the business week.  Another thing to note is that every control that supports scheduling runs independently of all others, so you can have lots of different controls all doing different things.

Tools have been added to Repeat Signage to help you test scheduling.  On the designer screen menu, you can click on 'View' then 'View program time for schedule testing'.  Clicking on this puts the time on the bottom right of the designer screen menu.  This is the clock that Repeat Signage uses with controls.  You can change this time using 'View' then 'Change program time for schedule testing'.  This allows you to change either the time or date, so that you can see what will be displayed at any point.  For example, you may have an 'offer of the day' for each day of the week, made by displaying pictures in a picture control.  Changing the program date to another day will allow you to test that the correct picture file, with that day's offer on, is being displayed.


Remote updating of the Flash Banner control from RepeatServer.com (Standard and above editions) (BANNER 01)

You can create a free RepeatServer.com account and use this to upload picture files to your online account for playing with this control.  You can then create a Flash Banner RSS feed in your RepeatServer.com account which is a text file that contains your playlist of pictures, plus the text and transition effects to go with them.  When you have created this file, then you point your Flash Banner control at it from within your Repeat Signage presentation.  Your Repeat Signage presentation will then play your play list.  When you later log onto your RepeatServer.com account and change the play list, then your Repeat Signage presentation will automatically update itself and download all the necessary pictures to do this.

Here is how to do this, step by step:

1.  Create a free RepeatServer.com if you haven't already done this.  This can be done by visiting www.RepeatServer.com in your web browser or via the 'RepeatServer.com' tab on the main Repeat Signage screen.

2.  Log onto your RepeatServer.com account and on the menu click on 'File' then 'Upload files'. 

3.  Use the 'Browse' button and then locate the picture files you want to display on your hard disk (hold down your keyboard Ctrl key to select more than one at a time) and then click the 'Upload' button.  Just select 2 or 3 for a test.

4.  On the RepeatServer.com menu, click on 'RSS Feeds' then 'Repeat Flash Banner RSS feed list'.

5.  Click on the 'Add new RSS feed' button.

6.  Enter a name, title and description.  These aren't shown to users but help you distinguish different feeds when you have several of them.  The file name must be unique and end in '.xml'. 

7.  Click on the 'News items' tab and click on 'Add item'.

8.  Enter a 'Title' and 'Description'.  If you look at the picture below, then the Title is the first piece of text (100,000 Boston) and the Description is the second bit of text (4 bedroom terraced...).  Also choose one of your uploaded images from the drop down list.  If there are no pictures there, then you need to upload some first.  Also select a 'Transition' effect and click on 'Add' to save this item.




9.  Repeat Step 8 and add a second item.

10.  Now click on the 'Save' button to save your Repeat Flash Banner RSS feed and it will return you to the list.

IMPORTANT NOTE - When you first create a Repeat Flash Banner RSS feed (or a standard RSS feed) then it is published automatically.  When you edit a feed (by selecting the edit button next to it) and add or remove items, then the RSS feed file DOES NOT automatically change.  You have to then click on the 'Publish' link next to your feed in the list.  This is so that you can go in and change items, or one of your colleagues can, or both of you, but then the presentations using these feeds don't get updated until you are ready to publish the new version.

11.  Back to Repeat Signage.  Go to the main screen and select the 'RepeatServer.com' tab.  If you haven't already linked your Repeat Server account to Repeat Signage, then you will need to follow the instructions on screen.  When this has been done, then please click on the 'Refresh' button to display all your Repeat Server files, which should include all the pictures you have uploaded and also the Repeat Flash Banner RSS feed you have just created.  This needs to be visible before we can continue.

12.  Create a Repeat Signage presentation on your computer or open an existing one. In the Repeat Signage designer, click on 'Insert' then 'Insert Flash banner'. 

13.  Then select 'Collect playlist from an XML text file', then select the 'RSS feed location' tab.

14.  Click the 'RepeatServer' option and a list of your Flash RSS feeds will be displayed, which will include the one you just added above.  Now select this feed by clicking on it, then click on the 'OK' button.  

IMPORTANT NOTE - It may take 10-20 seconds the first time you do this.  This is because Repeat Signage has to download all your picture files to the 'system cache' in order to play them.

Your Flash Banner control will now be on screen and playing your playlist.  You can resize this as required.

15. Double click your new control to see it's properties.  Click on the 'Refresh' tab.  By default, new controls that are collected from a website location will automatically check for changes every 15 minutes.  You can set this value appropriately.  If you need the presentation to update itself almost as soon as you make a change online, then set this value to check every minute. 

To give this a test:

16.  Log onto your RepeatServer.com account and edit your feed.  You can upload more pictures if required.  When you have finished changing it, then click on the 'Publish' option.

17.  Your presentation will update itself (even in the Repeat Signage designer) within the refresh time.  If this is still 15 minutes, then you may need to wait a little while before you see your Flash banner control update itself.

The Repeat Software support team are happy to help if you have any problems.  Contact us at support@repeatsoftware.com.


Example RepeatServer.com Flash RSS feed

The address below is an example Flash RSS feed which contains details on 5 houses for sale:

http://www.repeatserver.com/Users/RepeatSamples/FlashBannerProperties.xml

To test the above:

1.  Create a Repeat Signage presentation on your computer or open an existing one. In the Repeat Signage designer, click on 'Insert' then 'Insert Flash banner'. 

2.  Then select 'Collect playlist from an XML text file', then select the 'RSS feed location' tab.

3.  Click the 'Website' option and then paste the link below into the website name box:

http://www.repeatserver.com/Users/RepeatSamples/FlashBannerProperties.xml

4.  Click the 'OK' button.

It will add the control to the screen.  It will take around 10-15 seconds, depending on your Internet connection as it has to download the xml file plus 5 pictures to your system cache first.  You will then see each property displayed one after the other.

5.  Resize the control to make it larger, or even full screen.


Displaying Microsoft Excel spreadsheet pages with the Flash Banner control

See Microsoft Excel and OpenOffice Calc spreadsheets in Repeat Signage digital signage software.


PDF and Word document compatibility

See our PDF file compatibility page if you have any issues with displaying PDF files and our Microsoft Word and OpenOffice Writer documents in Repeat Digital Signage software if you have any problems with Word documents.


Repeat Pictures (.rpic files) - Creating pictures and adverts to use with the Flash Banner control

Repeat Pictures are a picture format that allows you to use pictures, PDF files, documents (MS Word and OpenOffice Writer), text files, RTF files, shapes, as well as manually entered text to create images.  You design still images and then save the file which has a .rpic extension.  See Repeat Pictures for more information.  You can display .rpic fles with this Flash banner control.

There are a number of templates included to help get you started, and we will be adding more in 2015:




Creating menus with Repeat Pictures and the Spreadsheet control

The new Spreadsheet control can be used to easily add grids of information into pictures, which you can then play with the Flash banner control.  This is available in all editions of Repeat Signage.  The menu example below is made up of a combination of a large picture and a spreadsheet grid:

Example drinks menu

Here is a walk through of how to use our menu templates and display with the Flash banner control:

1.  From the main Repeat Signage screen, click on 'Create' and then 'Create Repeat Picture'.

2.  Click on the 'Menus' group which will show you a number of menu templates.  Select 'Menu01-16to9' and click on 'Next'.

3.  Select the number of pixels to make your picture.  For example, if you are going to use the Flash banner control full screen on a True HD display screen, then you would select 1920x1080 pixels.   Then click on 'Create'.

4.  The template is displayed on screen in the Repeat Picture editor:



You can change the picture by double clicking it and selecting another one.  You can change the menu by double clicking it.  This is a 'Built-in spreadsheet' and you can then use the 'Edit spreadsheet' button to display the spreadsheet full screen and you can chance as required.  It uses a familiar spreadsheet layout, and rows, columns and cells can all be individually customised.

5.  When finished editing, then from the menu, click on 'File' then 'Save' and save your new picture.  We are calling ours 'MyMenu01'.  This will have a .rpic file extension such as 'MyMenu01.rpic'.  

6.  From the menu menu, click on the 'Presentations' tab and the 'Create new presentation'. 

7.  Select 'Screen on this computer' and click on the 'Next' button.  (Note - If you were creating a presentation for a True HD screen, you would have used the 'Screen on another computer' button and then chosen 1920x1080 instead).

8.  Click on 'Create' to create a new blank presentation.

9.  Your new presentation will open in the Repeat Signage designer.  From the menu, click on 'Insert' then 'Flash Banner (Pictures with text)'.

10.  The screen displays a play list.  Click on the 'Add' button and then use the 'Browse' button and select your menu file.  We called ours MyMenu.rpic. 

11.  Click on 'OK' to add your file to the list.   Now at the moment we just have a single menu file. 

12.  Click on 'OK' to add the Flash banner control to the screen.

13.  Now right click your new Flash banner control and select 'Size' then 'Full screen' from the menu to make the control full screen.  If your computer has a wide screen monitor, then this will look great.  If your computer has a normal shaped screen then our widescreen template will look a little squashed.  It's a case of matching template and screen shapes.  You can always go back later and use a non-widescreen template instead.

14.  You can now save your finished presentation from the File menu.

If you are using the Flash Banner control, you need to create some more menu files, or adverts, using the Repeat Picture system.  You can also double click the Flash Banner control in the designer if you want to change the transitions between  pictures and also the default time between pictures.  There are 50 transition effects, such as fade, with the Flash Banner control. 

If you are just displaying a single menu within a presentation, and you don't want it moving, then you could display your MyMenu01.rpic file with our Picture control instead, so that if just stays put on screen.  You can also use the Spreadsheet control to just display the menu grid within the presentation directly if required. 

Another menu template example:




Repeat Icons

You can use any of our Repeat Icons to help you create simple signs with this control.  Repeat Icons allows you to build up a picture/slide to play with this control by combining text and icons.  There are also thousands of additional icons available.




Remote update using FTP sites and linking to existing applications

You can link this control with existing computer systems if required.  For example, your IT Department could create XML files in the same format as our Repeat Flash Banner RSS feed file from an existing bespoke application.  If the pictures files are placed in the same folder as the .XML file, then Repeat Signage will read and play these files, and update itself every time the .XML file changes.  These files can be located on either local/network drives, on websites, or on an FTP site.


Unicode support for Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Greek and other characters

From version 2.5.8, Repeat Signage now supports Unicode characters such as Chinese characters.  The only restriction is that you cannot use then within the actual file name.  See Unicode support in Repeat digital signage software for more details.