Insight & Article

How do I deploy video to a sign?

How do I deploy video to a sign?

Background


There are two main stages in deploying video to a sign.

To get things started, you need to add a video box to your sign. This will determine exactly where on the sign the video will appear, e.g. your video in the middle, surrounded by text and branding. 

For now, you don't need to worry about the actual content of the video itself, as this will be determined right at the end, once you are ready to deploy. As well as deploying the sign, you will also be deploying a 'playlist' containing one or more videos. These are the videos that will then play within the video box on your sign. 

This separation between the sign and the video playlist means that you have more flexibility with your digital content. Because they are separate, it means that you can easily deploy different videos without having to make any changes to the sign itself. 

Adding a Video Box in Creator


Open your sign in Creator:

  1. Click the ‘Video Tool’ button in the Tools panel at the top left.
  2. This adds a half-width video box that you can drag to the desired location.
  3. To change the size of the video box, click the ‘Video Size’ drop-down menu in the ‘Tool Options’ panel. You can choose standard sizes such as quarter-size and full-screen. Alternatively if you choose ‘Custom’, you can drag the triangle symbol at the bottom-right of the video box to make it an arbitrary size.

When choosing the size, note that the aspect ratio (the ratio between the width and height) of the video box should match the aspect ratio of the videos that you intend to deploy. Otherwise the video will appear ‘stretched’ by the signage device to fill the video box.

You may also need to set the ‘Video Plane’. This determines whether the video box will appear behind (‘Back Plane’) or in front (‘Front Plane’) of other layers in your sign.

By default, the Video Plane is set to the Back, meaning that the video will appear behind any signage objects that protrude into the video area.   Change this to the Front Plane if you would like the entire video box visible on the sign at all times.

Note that you can only have one video box on a sign, and animations cannot be applied to a video box.


Uploading Video in Director


Before you can create a playlist, you need to upload your video file(s) to your SignStix account. SignStix can encode your video to ensure maximum compatibility across a wide range of devices. 

Log into SignStix Director:

  1. Click on ‘Video Encode’ in the menu at the top left.
  2. Click ‘Browse’ and navigate to your video file.
  3. Click ‘Select an Encode’.
  4. In almost all cases, you will want to select the 'Make Compatible' profile.
  5. Click the ‘Upload’ button.
  6. You will see a progress bar showing how much of the file has been uploaded.

Once the file has been uploaded, the encoding you chose (if any) will be applied. You should see a tick in both the 'Uploaded' and 'Encoded' boxes. 

  1. Now click on ‘Library’ in the menu at the top left.
  2. Locate your video file in the resulting list (note that it will have acquired a ‘.mp4′ file name extension if you chose ‘Make Compatible’).
  3. Click the down-arrow next to the file name.
  4. This allows you to preview the video.
  5. If you are happy with the results, click the ‘Approve’ button. Video files must be approved before they can be added to playlists and deployed.


Adding a Playlist in Director


Your uploaded and approved video file can now be added to a playlist, ready for deploying.

  1. Click on ‘Playlists’ in the menu at the top left.
  2. Click the ‘Add’ button (which looks like a target with a green plus symbol).
  3. Enter a name for the new playlist e.g. ‘Videos1′.
  4. This creates an empty playlist.
  5. Locate your video file in the list at the bottom left.
  6. Click on the file to add it to the end of your playlist.
  7. Add further files if you wish.


Deploying Signage and Video


  1. As described in Deploying a Sign, click on ‘Deployment’ and navigate within the relevant campaign to the zone containing your screen.
  2. Click on the zone to expand it.
  3. Click the ‘Signs’ button on the left, and choose the sign that you added a video box to earlier.
  4. Click the ‘Playlists’ button the left, and choose your ‘Videos1′ playlist.
  5. Click the ‘Deploy Content’ button at the top right.
  6. This will deploy both the sign and the playlist to the zone.

Note that video files can be very large and, depending on network bandwidth, it may take a few minutes for a signage device to download the video and start playing it.

Get to grips with deploying a video to your sign with our new Video Tutorial.