Insight & Article

How do I change the settings on my signage device?

How do I change the settings on my signage device?

There are a number of settings available on a signage device. These can be accessed from the Device Admin page in Director. You need to have Device Viewer and Device Manager permissions to change settings. 

In general they should be left at their defaults.  However, if you need to customise the behaviour of a device, the settings and their purpose are listed in the toggles below.

This can be a ‘familiar name’ for the device, used mainly to distinguish it from other devices. It can be helpful if the description indicates the precise physical location of the device e.g. ‘Far left screen’, ‘Reception top’, ‘Canteen till’.k.
The site where the device lives.
The zone where the device lives. The site and zone determine which signage the device will play.
For legacy players, this is the amount of time (in seconds) that the device will wait between asking the SignStix<sup>®</sup> server whether there is new signage to play.  In general this should be set to 60 seconds, but it can be set shorter for demonstration purposes.

For players at version 2.7 (Python) or higher, this setting is not used as the player adjusts this interval dynamically in response to its environment.  For example, the player uses a short interval when its configuration or signage is being changed (to provide good responsiveness), and a longer interval when there is less activity.

This is a feature that tries to maintain the device’s network connection. The device will attempt to keep its ethernet connection active if an ethernet adaptor is plugged in. Otherwise it will attempt to keep its WiFi connection active.In general, this feature should be enabled. It should be disabled in the case where a device has a built-in ethernet interface and you want to use a WiFi connection.

When this is enabled, the Player will restart itself once every 24 hours. This is recommended for freeing any system resources.
Assuming scheduled restarts are enabled, this is the time of day when the Player will be restarted. By default it is set to 4am.
This can be used to rotate the signage to match the orientation of the screen.It is only relevant when the screen has been mounted on its side in a portrait orientation.
The Player will try to display a sign as large as it can while preserving the aspect ratio. If the aspect ratio of the sign differs from that of the screen then there will be black areas at the sides or at the top and bottom.Enabling this option will force the signage to appear at the top left, regardless of the aspect ratio.
This puts a cap on the number of frames that the Player will attempt to generate each second.Reducing the rate will reduce the operating temperature of the device (which may be important depending on its installation environment), at the expense of animation quality.
When enabled, the various status messages that the Player generates are overlaid onto the signage. This is only relevant for SignStix<sup>®</sup> engineers.
When enabled, the most recent error and warning message will be saved to the device storage. This is only relevant for SignStix engineers. In general, this option should be disabled to reduce wear on the storage.
When enabled, a green progress bar at the bottom of the screen indicates how far a signage download has progressed. The bar moves in steps as each file finishes downloading, so it is normal for it to seem to pause at various points.
When enabled, a small red square will appear at the top right of the screen when an error (such as network failure) occurs. This is only relevant for SignStix engineers.
When enabled, certain statistics are displayed at the top right of the signage e.g. device ID, current frame-rate, internal temperature. This is usually only relevant for SignStix engineers.
When enabled, this makes the player periodically broadcast its IP address, for a local third-party system to detect. In general it should be disabled.
This is the port on which the Player will broadcast its IP address (if the Broadcast option, above, is enabled).
Text overlays allow certain pieces of text information to appear on top of the signage. This option determines the source for that text information:

  • None – the default.
  • QMatic – produces till numbers from a local source
  • QMatic queue management system.
  • Key Press – produces characters from a connected keyboard.
  • Demo – produces random text information as a demonstration of text overlays.
Currently this is only relevant for QMatic integration. The URL of the local QMatic system should be entered here.
This prefix is added to the front of any text produced. For example, if the text from QMatic is ’5′ and the prefix is ‘Till’, then the overall text produced will be ‘Till 5′.
This suffix is appended to any text produced. For example, if the text from QMatic is ’5′ and the suffix is ‘Please’, then the overall text produced will be ’5 Please’.
This determines where a text overlay will appear on the screen. It is only relevant when the text is short and does not occupy the full width of the screen.
This is the number of seconds that a text overlay will be shown before it fades out.
When enabled, the device will generate (via its HDMI output) the spoken audio equivalent of the text overlay displayed.
This prefix is added to the spoken version of any text produced.
The devices in a video wall need to synchronise with each other so that they show the correct content at the right time. This setting is the method used to achieve that synchronisation.

  • None – no synchronisation.
  • NTP – the device will synchronise using the current time as queried from an NTP (Network Time Protocol) server. See also the NTP Server setting.
  • NetMaster – this device will broadcast timing information to the other devices. In this mode there must be exactly one master device in the video wall, and all the other devices must be slaves.  See also the Synchronisation Tag setting.
  • NetSlave – this device will listen for timing information from the master device.
This is only relevant when signage devices are being synchronised with each other using a master-slave approach e.g. in a video wall.

In general, the master and slave devices need to be in the same zone.  This allows the devices to synchronise with each other and play (their portion of) the same content.

However, it is also possible to synchronise a group of devices in different zones playing different content, providing that the content assigned to those zones has exactly the same duration.  This means that the number of frames in the corresponding signs must be the same, and the durations of any videos involved must be the same.  This scenario is known as ‘cross-zone synchronisation’.

As an example, suppose  that:

  • One video wall is in Zone A playing Sequence 1.
  • Another video wall is in Zone B playing Sequence 2.
  • Sequence 1 contains Sign Q and Sign R.
  • Sequence 2 contains Sign Q and Sign T.

As long as Signs R and T have the same duration, the walls can be synchronised with each other as follows:

  1. Choose one device (it doesn’t matter which) and give it a Synchronisation Method of ‘Net Master’ (in Device Admin > Settings).
  2. Set the Synchronisation Tag of this master device to be ‘group1′, for example.
  3. Set the Synchronisation Method of all the other devices (across both video walls) to be ‘Net Slave’.
  4. Set the Synchronisation Tag of each slave to be the same as the master’s tag e.g. ‘group1′.

The master and slave devices with the same Synchronisation Tag will now act like a group and synchronise with each other, regardless of the zone they are in.

Please note that:

  • The choice of tag is not important but it must be exactly the same for each device that you want to be part of that group.
  • For a given synchronisation tag, there must only be one Net Master with that tag (otherwise the slaves in the group will not know which master to synchronise with).
  • Further walls can be added to the same synchronisation group by making their devices Net Slaves and giving them the same tag.
  • To set up a second group of synchronised walls, repeat the procedure above but choose a different tag for the devices involved.
This is only relevant in the case of a video wall where the synchronisation method is set to ‘NTP’.The device will attempt to query standard NTP (Network Time Protocol) servers to find out the current time. If access to those servers is blocked by your IT department, the choice of NTP server can be overridden here.
When enabled, this device is treated as a single panel within a larger video wall.Each device is given its own width, height and position in terms of the coordinates of the wall. The units for these coordinates (e.g. cm, metres, inches) are not important, providing they are used consistently in the settings.
The left coordinate of this panel within the wall.
The top coordinate of this panel within the wall.
The width of this panel.
The height of this panel.
The width of the overall wall.
The height of the overall wall.
When enabled, third-party tools can potentially update the images within a sign dynamically. Usually this should be disabled.