Repeat Signage V4 help

Control - Flash video (flv)

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Flash video control

 

Supported file types .flv (Use the Flash control for .swf 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 - Flash Video control 2014

Description

Flash flv video files are seen everyday when you surf the Internet as this is a very common format for displaying videos including on youtube.   It has the advantage of having a very small file size compared to videos stored in other formats, so is ideal for transferring over the Internet when updating remote Repeat Signage players.   Flash video is also processor and memory friendly so allows you to use less powerful computers, so run multiple videos files on different screens (Standard and above editions).

February 2015 - We have added a "HTML5 PLAYER 01" option.  This uses HTML5 to display MP4 video files.  Because we are using HTML5 this will only work with Internet Explorer 9 and above, so is unfortunately not available to Windows XP users. 

You can display YouTube videos with the Flash Video control.  However, you have to download them first.  See Playing YouTube videos in Repeat Digital Signage Software for more information and other ways of displaying YouTube video with Repeat Signage.


IMPORTANT - LIMITATIONS OF THIS CONTROL

You can play complete Flash flv files one after the other in playlists.  However, you cannot specify specific start or end times for the videos, so you will have to use other software to prepare you Flash flv files for use with Repeat Signage.  You can choose to mute or un-mute videos but these apply to the entire current playlist, and you cannot mute or unmute particular videos.

On the plus side, you can create a play list of Flash video files to schedule for particular times of the hour, day or week.


Single and playlists of Flash video files

On the designer screen menu, click on 'Insert' then 'Insert Flash'.  This will allow you to add Flash videos files using the Add button.  You can add just one or as many as you like and each will play until complete and then go to the next one.  At the end of the play list it will automatically play all the files again in a loop.  After adding this control to the screen, you can then position and size your Flash control as required.  Double click the Flash control to view the properties.


Scheduling the playing of Flash video files (Standard and above editions only)

The information above shows you how to create a play list that just loops files.  However, you can also schedule playlists of video files on a hourly, daily or weekly basis.  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.


Playing Flash video files from RepeatServer.com or another website

You can create a free RepeatServer.com account and use this to upload Flash video files to your online account.  When you insert a Flash video file in your presentation you can choose to collect it from a website and point it at Flash 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 Flash 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 Flash 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 Flash 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 Flash video file and make some changes (or overwrite it with a different Flash 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. 


Converting other video formats to Flash flv video files

There are many free and paid for video conversion software packages on the Internet.  We recommend the free Free make video converter.  Below is a tutorial for converting a video file to Flash flv format.  We used version 3.1.1 (September 2012) to do this, but the software may change over time:

STEP 1 - Download and install Free make video converter from http://www.freemake.com/free_video_converter/

STEP 2 - If you haven't got a video file that you would like to try to convert, then please download the following sample video file.  As a note, we created a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation and then exported it in Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 to a .wmv (Windows Media Video format) video file:

http://www.repeatserver.com/Users/RepeatSamples/Video/WindyridgeCanteenMonday.wmv

When you click on this link, what happens is that Windows Media Player will download and play this file.  You can then push the Alt key on your keyboard to display the File menu.  Then click on 'File' then 'Save as' to save the file to your hard disk.

STEP 3 - Convert WindyridgeCanteenMonday.wmv or your own video file with Free make video converter:

- Open Free make video converter (On Windows 7, Start => All programs >= Freemake >= Freemake video converter)
- Click on the '+ Video' button in the top left corner of the screen
- Select your video and then click on 'Open' to load the video onto the screen
- Note- You can use the scissors icon to edit the video so that you could cut out parts you don't want to display in Repeat Signage - See below for full instructions
- Now click on the 'Convert' menu at the top of the screen and choose 'To FLV....'
- Click on the 'Convert' button

You can now use your new flv file with this control.  You will notice that the file size of the flv file is a lot smaller that the original.  The original WindyridgeCanteenMonday.wmv, if you used our sample, was 4Mb in size.  The converted flv file will be around 1.7Mb.  This makes it quicker to transfer over the Internet if you are updating remote Repeat Signage players.


Editing videos so that only the part of the video you want is played

To edit videos so that you remove parts you don't need then follow the instructions in 'Converting other video formats to Flash flv video above' but use the STEP 3 below instead:

- Open Free make video converter (On Windows 7, Start => All programs >= Freemake >= Freemake video converter)
- Click on the '+ Video' button in the top left corner of the screen
- Select your video and then click on 'Open' to load the video onto the screen
- In the top right quarter of the screen is a scissors icon. Click on this
- Your video is displayed and you can play it. What you have to do is to find your start point that you want to display in Repeat Signage, and click on the Pause button to stop there
- You now need to delete the video frames before this. To do this, click on the blue 'end selection' button' (hover your mouse over the blue buttons to find this)
- You should see that at the beginning of the timeline has a blue section from the beginning to your start point.
- Click on the blue cut button (scissors icon)
- This should now have deleted the start of the video
- Now play the video until you find your finish point and click on the Pause button. We are now going to delete everything after this point. So click on the first blue button (Start selection)
- Now drag the timeline circle to the end of the video
- Click on the 'Selection end' blue button
- Click on the blue cut button (scissors icon).
- This should now have deleted the end of the video
- Click on OK to return to the main screen
- Now click on the 'Convert' menu at the top of the screen and choose 'To FLV....'
- Click on the 'Convert' button


Converting Microsoft PowerPoint presentations to Flash video files

You will need to have Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 installed, either the full or the 60-day evaluation from www.microsoft.com.  To convert a PowerPoint file to a Flash flv file:

STEP 1 - Install PowerPoint 2010 installed, either the full or the 60-day evaluation from www.microsoft.com

STEP 2 - Open a PowerPoint presentation you want to convert.  An example one is available from:

http://www.repeatserver.com/Users/RepeatSamples/Data/WindyridgeCanteenMonday.pptx

When you click on the above link, you should see an open or save as dialog box.  Save this file to your hard disk and then open it in Microsoft PowerPoint 2010.

STEP 3 - Export the PowerPoint file as a wmv (Windows Media Video format) video file by doing the following:

- Click on the 'File' menu in the top left corner of the screen
- Click on 'Save and send'
- Click on 'Create a video'
- Select 'Computer and HD display' from the top drop down list in the middle of the screen
- Select 'Use Recorded Timings and Narrations' from the second dropdown list
- Change 'Seconds to spend on each slide' to '05.00' (seconds) - You can experiment with values here
- Click on the 'Create video' button
- Select and name and a location for your new video file and then click on 'Save'

Microsoft PowerPoint will now convert this to a video.  It can take a while and you need to look at the bottom right of the PowerPoint screen which will show you the progress on the status bar.  When finished the status bar will just go grey again.

STEP 4 - You now have a wmv (Windows Media Video format) video file.  In order to convert this to a Flash flv video file to play with this control, then please follow the 'Converting other video formats to Flash flv video files' section above.


Playing YouTube videos in Repeat Signage

See Playing YouTube videos in Repeat Signage.