Insight & Article

How do I set up my device for a portrait screen?

How do I set up my device for a portrait screen?

By default, SignStix devices are set up for screens mounted in a landscape orientation. They can also be configured for use with screens mounted in a portrait orientation, but the steps for doing so vary depending on the type of device, and your situation.

There are two ways of rotating content into portrait mode:

1. Device-Level Rotation

Some SignStix devices (notably the M12S) have the ability to rotate the output of the entire device. This is known as 'device-level rotation'. It's the simplest option because both signage and video are rotated automatically - it's very much like rotating the content on a mobile phone, for example. However, video resolution is limited to 1080 x 1920.

2. Software Rotation with Pre-Rotated Video

This is where the SignStix Player software dynamically rotates the signage at playback time. Any video content needs to be rotated 'onto its side' in advance, so that the physical rotation of the screen then corrects it.

Which type of rotation should I use?

Choose 'Device-Level Rotation' for the following scenarios:

Scenario 1: You are using an M12S device with a single screen, and a video resolution of 1080 x 1920 is acceptable.
Scenario 2: You are using M12S devices to build a video wall from portrait screens. (The video resolution of each screen will be limited to 1080 x 1920.)

Choose 'Software Rotation with Pre-Rotated Video' in these scenarios:

Scenario 3: You are using an older SignStix device with a single screen. (Video walls built from portrait screens are not supported on older devices.)
Scenario 4: You are using an M12S device with a single 4K screen, and 4K portrait video resolution (2160 x 3840) is required.

The following sections describe these two approaches in more detail.

1. Device-Level Rotation

Device-level rotation is currently a setting on the device itself, which can be accessed as follows:

- Attach a USB mouse to the SignStix device.
- Right-click twice to escape from signage.
- Click the 'Settings' button on the white Controls page.
- At the top-right, click the 'three dots' menu.
- Choose 'Device Rotation 90'.
- If the content is now upside-down, choose 'Device Rotation 270' instead.

Once device-level rotation is set-up, the only thing to bear in mind is that you should deploy signs and videos with a suitable aspect ratio. For example, create signs which are 1080 x 1920 (not 1920 x 1080).

If device-level rotation is not available on your device, you will need to use Software Rotation, as described below.

2. Software Rotation


There is a setting in Device Admin which will cause the Player software to rotate the signage. This is called 'Screen Rotation' (though it's actually the signage that's being rotated).

- If the 'bottom edge' of the screen is mounted on the left (as in the diagram below), set it to 270 degrees.

- If the bottom edge of the screen is mounted on the right, set it to 90 degrees.

Now you can deploy signs which are 1080 x 1920 and they will occupy the full space of the portrait screen.


Unfortunately, the Player software is not currently able to rotate video dynamically.  So this needs to be done in advance. The aim is to produce a video which is rendered 'on its side'.  In this example, a portrait video with an aspect ratio of 9:16 has been rotated onto its side:

The physical rotation of the screen will then produce the desired effect.

There are two ways to produce the video on its side:

1. If you have control over the source video, you can render it on its side and upload it using 'Make Compatible' in the normal way.

2. Alternatively, when uploading your 'right way up' video to SignStix, use the 'Convert to Portrait' option to rotate it onto its side.

The 'Convert to Portrait' option assumes that the 'bottom edge' of the screen is mounted on the left (it rotates by 90 degrees anti-clockwise). 

If the bottom edge is on the right, please contact SignStix Support and we can enable an extra encode option to rotate in the opposite direction.

It's highly recommended that all portrait screens are mounted in the same orientation (e.g. bottom edge always on the left).  Otherwise you will need two sets of videos - one rotated to the left, the other rotated to the right.