Userful™ 8.8: Release Notes

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Copyright © 2017 Userful Corporation. All rights reserved.
(Updated 2017.03.30)


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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
  • Session Launcher
  • 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 Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP) for delivering content over IP network.
  • 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™ 8.8 comes with exciting new features and improvements, including:

New Hardware Support

  • Certified Intel® Core™ i3 "Skylake" PCs for small video wall deployments. Please see our list of certified PCs for more details
  • Added support for new Blackmagic DeckLink capture cards. Please see our list of supported capture cards for more details

Preset Settings

Session Management

  • Added Session Management allowing administrators to define various settings related to use of a particular session (including login method, usage agreement, inactivity logout and session length).

Video Wall Enhancements

  • Added Intel® GPU Offload for 6th generation Core™ i3 PCs for the low-cost video wall deployments
  • Added UI option to edit Rotation Offset while configuring artistic video walls
  • Added experimental support for 100 displays from one Userful host, please contact your Userful sales representative for more details
  • Added functionality to play zones with overlapping stations simultaneously

Control Center UI improvements

  • Restructured Display scaling and Nvidia Offload Card options under Control Center > System Operations > Performance Settings
  • Added Nepali (ne) language support
  • Updated non-English language translations
  • Improved UI to include Zone names on the top of video wall icon under Station Mapping
  • Added GUI option to crop the captured external device under Blackmagic DeckLink Capture and Video Capture session container

Core Enhancements

  • Optimized switching of content and zones (reduced switching time from many seconds down to a fraction of a second)
  • Added Direct Sync support for non-Nvidia systems
  • Updated Blackmagic DeckLink driver to support the latest Blackmagic DeckLink capture cards.
  • General stability improvements

Session Containers


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™ 8.8 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)
  • Nepali (ne)


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 the release of Userful™ 8.8.1

  • All input ports might not work while using multiple Blackmagic Decklink Quad 2 Capture cards in a system (14456)
  • If two overlapped video wall zones share the same control station, the video wall playback may encounter problem (14319)
Workaround: Select different control stations for the overlapped zones
  • Capturing a PC with color space set to RGB may show artifacts mostly visible with text on the display (14308)
  • Direct Sync feature without Nvidia Offload is not supported with Blackmagic DeckLink Capture session container (14232)
Workaround: Disable Direct Sync or enable Nvidia Offload Support and Direct Sync before using Blackmagic DeckLink session container
  • Switching of video wall zones to different session containers may lead to system instability with Entry-Level Appliance (14196)
Workaround: Entry-Level Appliance is recommended only for smaller deployments playing signage content
  • If the last played video wall zone contains a station, which is the control station of other zones:
  • Playing/Stopping the last played video wall zone will restart the content playback on the previous played zone (14189)
  • Playing non-Interactive session container (e.g. Signage Player), the last played zone will get the sound output
Workaround: Control station of a video wall zone should not be the part of the other video wall zone
  • Changing static IP address of a NIC that has a DHCP server assigned to it, does not update the DHCP settings (14169)
Workaround: Disable the DHCP server when changing IP address, wait until the UCC acknowledges that DHCP is fully offline and then enable the DHCP server
  • Changing the DHCP settings under Control Center > System Operations > Network Settings takes several seconds to take effect (14167)
  • Transitioning from Video Capture session container to Signage Player session container may result in loss of audio while using Preset Settings feature (14163)
  • Playing signage content over stand-alone 1080p display may result in video stuttering (14077)
Workaround: Lower the bitrate of the video
  • Stopping the last played overlapped video wall zone with Direct Sync disabled may result in white screen on the overlapped portion (14058)
  • Resetting a station playing signage content with Direct Sync disabled restarts all other stations playing the same signage content (14034)
  • Mapping multiple stations to Video Capture session container may cause kernel panic (13933)
Workaround: Enable "Mirror Groups" when you map multiple stations to Video Capture session container
  • Switching zones between different session containers with Direct Sync enabled may restart the existing video wall (13384)
  • Stations mapped to Linux Desktop playing youtube videos may have playback issues (13412)
Workaround: Disable "Use Hardware Acceleration when available" option under Web Browser settings
  • DVD Player session container fails with Nvidia Offload support (13387)
Workaround: Disable Nvidia Offload support when using DVD Player session container
  • Broadcast alerts and Show Station ID will not function when Direct Sync is enabled (13370)
  • Transitioning from Video Capture session container to other session containers may result in loss of audio (13305)
Workaround: Assign the video wall or display to a different Signage Player session container and then assign it back to the intended session container
  • 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 access Control Center
  • 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)
  • 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 an 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)
  • The Same user logged in on multiple stations cannot output sound correctly (11672)
Workaround: Use "AutoLogin" session container for multiple sessions
  • 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 network zero clients connected to fast ethernet switch may get a black screen when changing session containers (12005)
Workaround: Use a Gigabit Switch for the zero clients and the Userful host
  • When Duplicate IP address are detected in the network, the warning message displayed in Control Center is cramped (11150)
Workaround: This is a cosmetic issue and would not affect any functionality
  • 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.
  • Images larger than 10800 x 8552 pixels may not display correctly (10769)
Workaround: Increase the slideshow time interval based upon the time required to load the image file
  • Atrust m321 zero-client device doesn't properly support DVI->HDMI or DVI->VGA converters (10744)
Workaround: Use DVI monitors with Atrust m321 zero client device
  • 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