Repeat Signage V4 help

Control - video

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Video control

 

Supported file types

*.asf, *.asx, *.avi, *.m2ts, *.m1v, *.m2t, *.mod, *.mpm, *.mpe, *.mpeg, *.mpg, *.vob, *.wm, *.wmv

Supported file types with additional codecs packs *.3gp, *.3gpp, *.3g2, *.3gp2, *.divx, *.flv, *.hdmov, *.mkv, *.m2t, *.m2ts, *.m4v, *.mov, *.mts, *.mp4, *.mp4v, *.mpv4, *.ogm, *.ogv, *.pva, *.qt, *.tp, *.tpr, *.ts, *.webm

See notes below on codec packs.  These may not work on all systems even with codec packs installed.   We recommend using the Free make video converter to convert these files free to .wmv (Windows Media Video) files. 
Playlist support Yes
Scheduler support Hourly, daily and weekly scheduling
Scrolling support Yes
Rotation support No
File locations Files and folders on local or network drives (all editions), Internet websites, RepeatServer.com and FTP sites (Standard and above editions)
YouTube videos Repeat Signage Controls - Video control 2014


Description

Available in Standard and above editions only

The video control is used to play video files on screen along with the accompanying audio.  There is also the option to mute videos using the Audio tab on the control properties page.  Muting audio can be useful when you have several videos playing on the same page and the audio of each playing at the same time.  You could mute all the videos and then play a separate audio file using the audio control instead to give a nicer effect.

A video file is has a resolution, such as 640x480 pixels.  Try to make sure that when you size a video control that you do not make your control bigger otherwise you may get a poorer quality of image.   


The new Flash video control

HD video playback on screens other than the primary (on multiple monitor systems only) is NOT recommended with this control.  When evaluating Repeat Signage, please test with the computer and screen (or screens) you intend to use to display your digital signage content.  The new Flash video control gives a good alternative to the Video control and you can convert your videos to Flash free of charge using software such as Free Studio.  On playing videos across multiple screens, then the Flash video control is recommended.

The Flash video control also allows scheduling of video playlists on a hourly, daily or weekly basis.


Codec packs

When videos are created they use a piece of software called a codec to encode the video file.  You need to have the same codec on your machine in order to play that video file.  See the Wikipedia entry for more information on codecs.  You will need to download a codec pack from the Internet such as the K-Lite Codec Pack.  The free K-Lite Basic Code Pack should be sufficient for most video files. 

In Repeat Signage, when you browse for video files, then the file filter drop down can be changed from 'All supported files' to 'If video codecs installed' and this will display the additional video formats.   However, we recommend converting .mov and .mp4 files to .wmv (Windows Media Video) files using the free Free make video converter software.


Simple videos

On the designer screen menu, click on 'Insert' then 'Insert video'.  This will allow you to choose a video file.  You can then position and size your video control as required.  Double click the video control to view the properties.


Playing part of a video file

Insert a video control as above and then double click it to view the properties page.  The first tab is the 'Choose video' tab.  Look at the bottom of this tab for the 'Play time settings'.  Select 'Specify part of video to play' to display the 'Play settings' box.  You can manually type in from and to values but it is easier to click the 'Play video and get play times' button.  This buttons opens a screen that shows you how long the video file is and have options to play the video file and set start and end positions.  For more information on using this screen, press the F1 button when you are on it.  When you have finished, select the start and end times then press the OK button to return to the properties screen.  Then click on the OK button on this screen to play just part of your file in a loop. 


Playlists of videos

You can create a play list of videos.  Insert video as for 'Simple videos'  above.  Then double click the video control to display it's properties.  Put a tick in the 'Use play list instead' tick box.  This will take you to the Playlist  tab.  Your first video appears in the grid for you.  Use the 'Add' button to add other videos to the list.  Use 'Add blank' to add blank items which can be used to give a pause between playing your video files.  For example, you could insert a single video 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 video on and off the screen.

Note - look at the different tabs when adding/editing play list items.  You can use the 'Play type' tab to specify the start and end points of a video file rather than playing the whole thing.

 
Scrolling video files

Create a play list of videos (see above).  Open the control's properties by double clicking it and select the 'Scrolling tab'.  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.

NOTE - Whilst it is possible to scroll video files, your system may struggle to do so because of the high level of system resources needed to do so.

Also see Single, playlist, scrolling and advanced scrolling for visual examples of what is currently possible.


Scheduling the playing of video files

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. 

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.


Playing just the audio from video files

You can play just the audio from video files rather than displaying them on screen.  Use the Audio control to do this.  With the audio control, insert an audio control onto the screen, then when you browse for a file change the filter on the 'Select audio file' dialog screen from 'All audio files' to 'All video files' and then browse from a supported video file.


Playing video files from RepeatServer.com

You can create a free RepeatServer.com account and use this to upload video files to your online account.  When you insert a video file in your presentation you can choose to collect it from a website and point it at video files that you have uploaded.  You then get your presentation to monitor the online version for changes.  When it detects that you have uploaded a new version of the, then this is automatically downloaded and played whilst your presentation is running.   You can do this in the following way:

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 your video files on your hard disk (hold down your keyboard Ctrl key to select more than one at a time) and then click the 'Upload' button.

4.  On the RepeatServer.com menu, click on 'File' then 'Documents and files' list.

5.  Find the line in the grid for one of your video files that you just uploaded.  (You may have to use the page buttons if you can't see your file on the first page).

6.  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 files you have uploaded.  This needs to be visible before we can continue.

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

8.  Click the 'RepeatServer' option and a list of your files will be displayed, which will include any you have just added above.  Now select your file by clicking on it, then click on the 'OK' button.  

9.  Click on 'OK' to insert the control.  The next thing to do is to resize the control to an appropriate size.

10. 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, or 15 seconds, etc. 

To give this a test:

11.  Edit the video file and make some changes (or overwrite it with a different video file). 

12.  Log onto your RepeatServer.com account and upload the new version which will overwrite the original.

13.  Your presentation will update itself (even in the Repeat Signage designer) within 15 seconds.

You don't have to use RepeatServer.com as you could use your own website instead and use FTP software to upload and download files. 


Sources of video files

You could use either a camcorder or a digital camera to record videos for use in your presentations.  Also, you can record your computer screen using 'screen recorder' software if you want to demonstrate the use of software, etc.  Document cameras can also be used to record videos.  Document cameras are effectively video cameras mounted on stands that are used to display small objects such as books, jewellery, insects and small items under them and then capture still images or record videos.  These normally come with software and USB cables to record display and record the images on your computer.   Microscope attachments are available on some models.

Try a Google search on 'copyright free videos' to find footage that you may be able to use within your Repeat Signage presentations free of charge. 

If you already have a corporate video, then this can be converted into a file that can be played within Repeat Signage.

Microsoft HD video showcase - There are some nice HD videos on this page to download.  However, don't forget this is copyrighted material, so only use files from the Internet in your presentations for public display where you have permission from the copyright holder to use them. 

Downloading videos from youtube.com is possible using software such as Free Studio and Free make.


Troubleshooting video problems

Videos are the most troublesome files to play within Repeat Signage.  Please see our Troubleshooting video problems page.


Editing video files

Windows Vista and Windows 7 comes with Windows Movie maker or you can download Windows Live Movie MakerFree Studio is a completely free suite which includes tools for downloading videos from sites such as youtube.com, video conversion and video editing software.  There is even a tool in this suite for rotating video files, so that if you needed rotated or upside down video, you could convert your existing videos.


Taking video from a DVD and converting to video files for playing in Repeat Signage

Free Studio has a tool to take video from DVD's and convert to video files that will play in Repeat Signage.


Converting video from one format to another

Free Studio and Free make have tools for converting video files, from say .mp4 files to .wmv.  This can be very useful for compressing audio files so that they are as small as possible then sending them across the Internet.