Userful™ 8.6: Release Notes

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Copyright © 2018 Userful Corporation. All rights reserved.
(Updated 2018.01.30)


Introduction

Userful™ is a converged software appliance (operating system and application software bundled together for easy deployment and maintenance) for AV & IT professionals that lets you centrally control large numbers of displays, content sources and desktops from your web browser.

Userful's appliance enables an ordinary PC to do extraordinary things, like driving a whole building of desktops, digital signage, touch screens, virtual machines and video walls all from a single Userful host over a standard Ethernet network. From high-performance video walls, to virtual desktops, to Power-over-Ethernet touch screens -- it's never been easier.

Features

  • Stable, versatile Linux-base operating system (CentOS 7.2)
  • Unified browser-accessible Control Center
  • Media playback
  • Ability to preset video wall zones
  • GPU-Assisted Decoding of video playback and interactive content
  • GPU-Assisted Acceleration for 3D rendering – vastly improved performance for dynamic content (HTML5, WebGL, and Flash)
  • Intuitive browser-based Layout Manager with the bezel correction ability
  • Integrated color calibration for color correcting video wall displays
  • Support for Artistic Video Wall layouts that can be configured using a free layout of display position and rotation (including an intuitive browser-based drag and drop GUI for positioning and any degree rotating displays)
  • Support for wide range of interactive video walls including Cloud desktop, Linux Desktop and touch screen Kiosks
  • Integrated various Content Management System (CMS) to create and schedule the signage content (Dynamic HTML5 pages, presentations, tickers, widgets (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, and RSS feeds)
  • Support Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) to broadcast security camera or conference feeds on video wall
  • Support for variety of Capture Cards (Blackmagic Design and YUAN line of capture cards)
  • Support for much broader range of PC hardware and touch screens

What's New

Userful™ 8.6 comes with exciting new features and improvements, including:

New Hardware Support

Support for Intel® Skylake (6th generation) CPUs & GPUs

Initial Setup

Enabled post-install configuration via a “First boot” Initial Setup GUI that can be accessed from any station, streamlining installation and facilitating appliance distribution

Direct Sync Support

  • Added Direct Sync feature under Nvidia Offload Support for:
  • Performance improvements
  • Synchronization (improvements to video wall synchronization)

Video Wall Enhancements

  • Substantially reduced time required for calibration & station mapping/remapping
  • Added GUI option to set zone name under Video Wall Zone Settings
  • Seamless switching of content and zones, switch content sources, video wall zones and session containers
  • (reduced switching time from many seconds down to a fraction of a second)

Limited User Access

  • Access to station mapping but not to admin level functions

Control Center Improvements

  • Added feature to Power off all displays on idle stations between the specified time
  • Added option to "Set Root Password" via Control Center > System Operations
  • Added option to "Create Staff User" via Control Center > System Operations
  • Added tooltips for video wall zone settings
  • Added Thai and Ukranian translations
  • Improved Diagnostics & Warnings notifications

Core Enhancements

  • Upgraded base OS to CentOS 7.2 architecture
  • Upgraded kernel to version 4.4
  • Updated VirtualBox to version 5.0.18

Improved Failover Process

  • Automated live video wall failover allows 2 PC's to automatically back one another up


Miscellaneous new features, GUI improvements and bug fixes. For a comprehensive list see the changelog.

License Agreement

This product includes commercial software that is licensed, not sold and is governed by an End User License Agreement (EULA). By installing, copying or using this software you acknowledge that you have read and understand this Agreement, and agree to be bound by this EULA's terms and conditions. The EULA terms can be viewed online or from the file included in your download.

Trial Version

Userful™ will operate as a trial version until you purchase an appropriate license for your system. You may purchase the license from your Userful representative or from Userful.com – see the Licensing Guide for details.

Limitations of Trial Version: The Userful™ trial software is fully functional, but will display a brief license reminder on all attached displays every 10 minutes or so. Customers who are considering buying the software and are presently evaluating it, can do so in the trial mode. Such customers will receive limited technical support lasting up to 30 days after which an appropriate license should be purchased. For more details, check our licensing guide.

Language Support

All features of Userful™ 8.6 are translated in following languages:

  • English (en)
  • French (fr)
  • Italian (it)
  • German (de)
  • Spanish (es)
  • Brazilian Portuguese (pt_BR)
  • Russian (ru)
  • Turkish (tr)
  • Japanese (ja)
  • Traditional Chinese (zh_TW)
  • Simplified Chinese (zh_CN)
  • Korean (ko)
  • Romanian (ro)
  • Persian (fa)
  • Ukranian (uk_UA)
  • Thai (th_TH)


The language selected must be specifically "Brazilian Portuguese"; if simply "Portuguese" is selected as a system or session language, then all Userful user interface strings will be in English.

Known Issues

Following are the known issues with this release of Userful™ 8.6.

  • Stations mapped to Linux Desktop playing youtube videos may have playback issues (13412)
Workaround: Disabling "Use Hardware Acceleration when available" option under web browser settings fixes the problem
  • DVD Player session container fails with Nvidia Offload support (13387)
Workaround: Disable Nvidia Offload support when using DVD Player session container
  • Switching zones between different session containers with Direct Sync enabled may restart the existing video wall (13384)
  • Broadcast alerts and Show Station ID will not function when Direct Sync is enabled (13370)
  • Mapping a GPU accelerated video wall to Web Browser session container with "Direct Sync" feature enabled may not work (13364)
  • Atrust m321 zero client devices does not work when Direct Sync is enabled (13355)
Workaround: Disable the "Direct Sync" feature when using these devices
  • Audio does not start cleanly on displays playing Signage and RTSP content (13305)
  • Avoid opening Control Center via multiple browser windows (13294)
  • Manage Licensing > Backup License option does not work with Stand-alone Userful Control Center (13266)
Workaround: Use web browser (chrome or firefox) to open Control Center
  • Network zero clients playing video with sound may freeze after few hours (13258)
  • Control Center may not reflect correct network settings when system is configured using DHCP (12950)
  • Webcams connected to Network zero-client for video capturing are not supported (12939)
  • Stations mapped to Video Capture session container may take some time to start (12895)
  • GPU-Accelerated video walls do not support mirroring (12828)
  • Lowering the display resolution of 1080p monitor to 640x480 may cause black screen (12562)
  • Plugin/out of USB hub from a Atrust m321 zero-client device do not wake station from DPMS sleep (12181)
  • Extended Support value does not show up in the "Manage Licensing" dialog in Control Center (12116)
Workaround: Contact your Userful representative to confirm the status of your extended support license
  • Using Blackmagic Design DeckLink Duo HDMI Capture card, transitions between HDMI capture sources can result in a flicker of 0.5 to 1.0 seconds (11918)
  • Same user logged in on multiple stations cannot output sound correctly (11672)
  • DisplayLink, TN-750 and TN-502 devices are not supported with video wall solution (11668) (11654)
Workaround: Use an SMSC-based zero-client for video demanding applications
  • The Show Station ID feature may not work on stations running a Linux Desktop which has been locked by the screensaver (11589)
Workaround: Unlock or disable the screensaver, then press Show Station IDs button in Control Center
  • SMSC networked zero clients connected to fast ethernet switch may get a black screen when changing session containers (12005)
Workaround: Use a Gigabit Switch on all zero-clients and Userful host network connections
  • When Duplicate IP address are detected in the network, the warning message displayed in Control Center is cramped (11150)
  • Blackmagic session container lists down resolutions not supported by the hardware (10870)
Workaround: Confirm that your HDMI source media supports the resolution and frame-rate the HDMI Capture session is configured to use.
  • HDMI audio is not supported for Blackmagic DeckLink capture cards (10896)
  • Images larger than 10800 x 8552 pixels may not display correctly (10769)
  • Atrust m321 zero-client device doesn't properly support DVI->HDMI or DVI->VGA converters (10744)
Workaround: Use DVI monitors only on the Atrust m321
  • Once an Artistic Layout video wall is created and saved, you cannot switch it back to a Grid Layout
Workaround: Delete the Artistic Layout configuration and create a new video wall
  • Mapping a GPU-Accelerated Video Wall to supported session containers disables onboard station