MediaSignage support forum

community support => General discussion on the mediaCLOUD => Topic started by: warwickwater on October 22, 2012, 04:36:12 PM

Title: System install experience (positive!)
Post by: warwickwater on October 22, 2012, 04:36:12 PM
Have completed and put live another MS installation today - thought it might be useful to share some experiences with anyone/ everyone. Yours comments very much welcome.

The venue is an existing leisure centre, built around 30 years ago. It has 20+ large flat screen  TVs dotted around the building in bar and cafe areas, which until now had been playing the dreaded 'TV with the sound turned down'. The venue has its own remote computer played out audio channel, installed recently and through independent speakers. The cabling to the TVs is just an aerial distribution, so we had to use a composite video output (generated from the native HDMI 720p playout) from our playout PC (HP Microserver - cant beat them!) followed by an RF modulator. The picture quality is not great, but relative to what they are used to, its acceptable. Rewiring isnt an option, due to the age and construction of the building.

Our connection back to the Internet is just the buildings standard broadband. The PC is in a back office, location dictated by the TV cabling. We run Logmein on the playout PC, but all is stable so far. We have tried using the MS Studio 'stations' page as a kind of health dashboard, but after a while it fails to update - so we either have machines showing online that aren't, or vice versa. Logmein at least shows if the PC is still up. We also have an IP webcam in one area, that is a useful 'traffic monitor' to show advertisers how busy the venue is, and shows us that the screens are live and OK.

The content is re-purposed from printed materials - we take the venues quarterly marketing brochure in Illustrator format, and produce stills and animations from it without substantial redesign. There are additional 'channel branding' graphics that we use across all out screens (including non MS ones) that we intersperse. In addition, we have some third party ads that are played out from local businesses that ultimately will fund the installation (remember we didnt pay for the screens, and the content creation is quite trivial).

All working well to date  - the main issue is with readability of the content on poor quality screens - colour choices are critical and the amount of underscan on the screens varies. We aim to add some new screens soon that will be fed direct with HDMI at 720p, hopefully that may encourage some thoughts on upgrades elsewhere!

All in all very happy. The software is still quite limited in many respects (timed playout of ads being one obvious one) but it is stable and didn't require a big upfront investment. For speculative ad funded locations it is ideal, but we still use other software for locations where the customer is paying us (typically $3000) for a complete system with artwork design.

What would we like to see next? A status page for screens that works and can be relied on. Timelines with start and stop dates and times. Real full 'unbranding'.

Your thoughts and questions welcome!
Title: Re: System install experience (positive!)
Post by: admin on October 22, 2012, 08:09:55 PM
Thanks for the feedback, current development of the Ad engine should fulfill 100% of your Timeline expiration needs.
customized status screen page can be built using the Ad engine API (even if not using the Ad engine), or under the Enterprise studio you can view your entire network quickly using multi-selection of all businesses.

Regards,

Sean
Title: Re: System install experience (positive!)
Post by: warwickwater on October 24, 2012, 05:52:08 AM
Does the Enterprise studio 'station' screen work correctly- ie I can leave it on screen for a week and it will still auto update and show the status accurately? That and Ad engine will guarantee you one new Enterprise customer.

Where can I find the API documented? Is it live released and working? Do you know of anyone developing in it who might be open to a project (paid or collaborative)
Title: Re: System install experience (positive!)
Post by: admin on October 24, 2012, 08:35:34 PM
Yes it does, and look at http://www.monstersignage.com for Ad engine API.
SDK coming soon...