Repeat Signage V4 help

Control - Video (MP4)

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Repeat Signage digital signage software


MP4 video control

 

Supported file types .MP4 (You will need to convert other formats to MP4)
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

Description

Repeat Signage only supports MP4 video.   This is the format used when you take a video on most mobile phones and is used throughout the internet as it compresses videos and keeps the files small.   MP4 format 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).

In previous versions of Repeat Signage, we also supported MP4 FLV videos, but Adobe MP4 has been removed from Windows at the start of 2021, so is no longer available.

You can convert your videos to MP4 for free.  We have tested the two services:

1.  https://www.freeconvert.com/flv-to-mp4 - This is a quick, free online converter.  Just visit the website, browse and select a MP4 file on your computer (they also support other video formats.  Your file then gets uploads (1Gb size limit) and then you can download as soon as it has been converted.

2.  VCL media player - This is completely free open source software designed for playing DVD's and video.  This also has a 'Convert / Save' open on its 'Media' menu.  This allows you to add your video file and then save it as an MP4 file.

You can display YouTube videos with the MP4 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 MP4 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 your MP4 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 MP4 files to schedule for particular times of the hour, day or week.


Single and playlists of MP4 video files

On the designer screen menu, click on 'Insert' then 'Insert Video'.  This will allow you to add MP4 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 Video control as required.  Double click the Video control to view the properties.


Scheduling the playing of MP4 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 MP4 video files from RepeatServer.com or another website

You can create a free RepeatServer.com account and use this to upload MP4 video files to your online account.  When you insert a MP4 video file in your presentation you can choose to collect it from a website and point it at MP4 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 MP4 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 MP4 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 MP4 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 its 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 MP4 video file and make some changes (or overwrite it with a different MP4 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 Microsoft PowerPoint presentations to MP4 video files

You will need to have Microsoft PowerPoint 2019 (comes with an Office 365 subscription) installed, either the full or the 60-day evaluation from www.microsoft.com.  To convert a PowerPoint file to a MP4 flv file:

STEP 1 - Install PowerPoint 2019, 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:

https://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 2019.

STEP 3 - Export the PowerPoint file directly to a MP4 video file by doing the following:

- Click on the 'File' menu in the top left corner of the screen
- Click on 'Export'
- 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'.  This defaults to an MP4 file.


Playing YouTube videos in Repeat Signage


See Playing YouTube videos in Repeat Signage.