Repeat Signage V4 help

Control - RightMove and Expert Agent feed player

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RightMove and Expert Agent feed player control

 

Supported file types .blm (V3 and V3a RightMove data feed files) and Expert Agent .xml feed files
Playlist support Yes
Scheduler support Hourly, daily and weekly scheduling
Scrolling support Yes
Rotation support No
Transitions 50 transition effects
File locations Files on local or network drives (all editions), Internet websites and FTP sites
YouTube videos Repeat Signage UK Estate Agent Edition 2014 digital signage software

Second property with text  Interior pictures - 4 in a sqare pattern

Description

If you are an estate agent in the UK, you will usually be using one of the commercially available estate agent software systems to manage your properties and clients, for example, RealCube. In order to publish your properties to RightMove, then your software will allow the export of your properties for sale (and to let) in a format that RightMove can read automatically along with pictures of the properties.  RightMove use their own file format which is a BLM file.  A BLM file contains a list of properties with details such as address, number of rooms, price, etc, and a list of the names of picture files.  The picture files have to be in the same folder as the .BLM file in order for this control to play them.

The Repeat Signage RightMove feed player control is based on our Flash Banner control and allows the playing of RightMove V3 and V3a data feed files (.blm). The BLM file and pictures can be in a folder on your local or network drive, or on an FTP site (which is a folder on your website). 

For more information on the BLM file format, then please visit: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/adf.html.

In Repeat Signage V4, we added our Advanced Template system, which allows the complete customisation of the way a property record is displayed.  For example:



November 2015 - We have added support for Expert Agent cloud based estate agency software feeds.  If you are an Expert Agent customer, then you would need to contact them to set up FTP account so that you can download your property information.  Repeat Signage can collect automatically from their FTP site and display your property information. 

IMPORTANT NOTE - This control is only available in the 'Repeat Signage V4 for UK Estate Agents' version of Repeat Signage.  If you are trialing this software, then on the main Repeat Signage screen, you need to select the 'UK ESTATE AGENTS TRIAL EDITION' from the 'Select trial version' drop down list.

The starting point is to create a new Repeat Signage presentation and then on the designer screen's menu, click on 'Insert' then 'Insert RightMove feed (BLM file) player:

Where is your BLM file dialog box

You need to select your BLM file's location, whether it is on a local or network drive, on a website or on an FTP site.  As soon as you select a file, then a new 'Open BLM' button appears:

Open BLM box

Note - When you install Repeat Signage, there is a sample BLM file under your sample RSS feeds folder, so browse then select BLMExample01\Repeat20130709082306.BLM.  This contains 12 properties and in the same folder are 60 pictures to go with this sample file, 12 main property pictures plus 48 interior pictures.

Clicking the 'Open BLM' button allows you to view the properties that are currently contained within this BLM file:

The contents of a BLM file

The screen above starts with the 'Property records' tab and shows you the properties contained within the BLM file.  If you maximize this screen you will be able to see and scroll though all the information contained within the BLM file.  The properties tab has a number of filtering options.  For example, you can specify properties to display within a certain price range.

When you are on this screen then press the 'F1' key on your keyboard to get help for this tab.  Each tab has it's own help page.  It will give you information on all the options.  One thing to point out is the 'Select specific properties' tick box, which displays tick boxes against all the properties and allows you to select specific ones. 

If we clicked the 'OK' button to return to the previous screen and then 'OK' again then our new control will be placed on the designer screen and will start playing.  (The first time is a little slow as we have to collect all the pictures first).   What happens by default is that each property is displayed, for example:

First property with text

and then it transitions to the next property:



and then the next property is displayed:

Second property with text

The next tab on the 'Open BLM' screen is the 'Title/description' tab which allows you to customise how the property text is displayed using a template:

Title and description template

Then the 'Display options' tab which allows you to specify transition, such as fade, between property images:



The 'More filtering' tab allows addition filtering such as by postal code, or town.  The 'Interior pictures' tab:

Interior pictures tab

Allows you to optionally display interior pictures after the main property image has been displayed:

Interior pictures - 4 in a sqare pattern

and has a number of options available.

The final tab is 'Sold properties':




and this allows you to optionally put a message on properties that are marked as SSTC (Sold Subject To Contract), for example:

Property picture with SOLD box in the top right corner

There are a large number of options on all screens which allow you to change the font colours, fonts, background colours, etc, of all text displayed.


Advanced Templates



You can completely customise the display of your property information by using our Advanced Templates.



This system is very flexibly but requires an understanding of database to set up.   We are happy to help you set up templates for use with the system.   Support is always free of charge.

Property pictures

For Rightmove BLM files these have to be in the same folder as the BLM file.  When add a RightMove feed player control to a presentation, select your BLM and click on OK, then Repeat Signage will display a progress form that shows it downloading all the picture files from the same folder into it's system cache:

Progress bar downloading property images to the system cache 

The same happens with Expert Agent feeds, but the picture files are automatically collected from the Expert Agent website and are not stored in the same FTP folder.

The system cache is an area on your hard disk that Repeat uses to store all the files it's playing.  This means if your BLM file is on a website (which is ideal if you have multiple branches and want to be able to update branch screens remotely) and your Internet connection goes down, then the screen will continue to play.  Even if you restart the computer and the Internet connection is still down, it will continue to display the last BLM file available.


The technical bit with Rightmove files

When BLM files are published, they have a filename in the format:

Repeat20130707202257.BLM

which is:

Repeat - The name of the estate agent's branch.

2013 - The year

07
- The month, in this case July

07 - The day

20 - The hour in 24 hour format, in this case 8pm

22 - Minutes

57 - Seconds

So Repeat20130707202257.BLM is a feed published by an estate agent's branch called 'Repeat' on 07 July 2013 at 8.22pm. 

What Repeat Signage does by default, when you point it at a particular BLM file, is to look in the same folder for other BLM files, from the same branch, and then use the latest one automatically.  Repeat Signage also looks for new BLM files every 10 minutes by default.


Customising the speed the property pictures are displayed

After you have create your new RightMove feed player control, then double click it to display the properties:



Change the tab to 'Banner general' by clicking it to see the speed options:



and you can decide on where the text appears.  You press the F1 key on your keyboard to display help for this tab.  The other tabs, such as 'Header font' and 'Colours' allow the changing of fonts and colours used.


Single Flash banners

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 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 BLM files

You can display a playlist of BLM files with this control, which means you could display properties from different branches in rotation, or display the same BLM file but with different filters.  For example, display general properties for 5 minutes and then display specify featured properties for say 2 minutes.   To do this:

1.  On the designer screen menu, click on 'Insert' then 'Insert RightMove feed (BLM) file'.  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 BLM 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 control to view the properties.

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

6.  Use the 'Add' button to add other BLM files to the list.  Each BLM file can be customised separately using the 'Open BLM' button.

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 BLM files

1.  Follow the instructions for 'Playlist of BLM 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 BLM 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.  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.