Userful™ 9.0: Release Notes

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

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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.

What's New in v9.0

Userful™ 9.0 comes with exciting new features and improvements, including:

Userful REST API

Userful REST API allows administrators and system integrators to have more control over the operation of their video walls and digital signage. This API open ups endless possibilities to programmatically interact and control the Userful system. Visit http://api.userful.com to learn more.

Remote Control Settings (interactive features)

  • Created a new Remote Control Settings section under Control Center > Settings to include three key features Source Switcher, Preset Switcher and Interactive Viewer.
  • Source Switcher allow users to launch and switch sources on displays and video walls using a single-click, from any web browser using any device including smartphones and tablets.
  • Preset Switcher allow users to launch various saved presets (i.e. display mapping configuration) to quickly change the content playing on the displays and video walls using a single-click, from any web browser using any device including smartphones and tablets.
  • Interactive Viewer allow users to remotely interact with the dynamic content (e.g. Web Browser, Linux Desktop) being played on video wall and stand alone displays using keyboard and mouse of a different computer.

Core Video Wall Enhancements

  • Optimized switching of content and zones to reduce the switching time
  • Added UI option “Show Welcome Screen” to allow users to launch the sources manually, when associated displays start
  • Added UI option to rotate individual stand alone displays under Display Settings dialog window
  • Added UI option to perform scheduled reboot to improve system stability
  • Enabled Direct Sync feature by default to enhance system performance
  • Enhanced VDI Setup diagnostic message to appear only when Virtual Machine source is present under mapping screen
  • Enhanced the setup options on UCC first-run welcome screen to enable smooth setup
  • Updated sample media content

Control Center UI improvements

  • Updated UI along with new naming conventions to provide a fresh look and improve usability
  • Added Retest button to all diagnostic test under Control Center > Support > System Diagnostics
  • Added UI option to select the connection type while creating Blackmagic DeckLink Capture source
  • Simplified the main menu moving Broadcast Alerts and Zero-Client Configuration to Control Center > Settings

Core Enhancements

  • Introduced improved and simplified more responsive look and feel with improved accessibility on small screens (e.g., smart phones).
  • Significant performance improvements to Userful's core video wall engine
  • Added support for tablet and mobile browsers
  • Upgraded base OS to CentOS 7.3 architecture (dramatically faster boot time, scalability and stability improvements)
  • Upgraded Google Chrome and Firefox to latest stable versions
  • Upgraded RiseVision package to version 0.0.13
  • Upgraded Signagelive plugin
  • Updated translation strings for Control Center UI
  • General stability improvements


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

Key Features

  • Stable, versatile Linux-base operating system (CentOS 7.3)
  • 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 for Streaming Protocols (RTP/RTSP) to broadcast security camera or conference feeds, or for delivering content over IP network on video wall
  • Support for variety of Capture Cards (Blackmagic Design and YUAN line of capture cards)
  • Support for broad range of PC hardware and touch screens


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™ 9.0 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™ 9.0

  • Switching overlapped video wall zones through Source Switcher may not update the content on displays (14708)
Workaround: Avoid switching between overlapped video wall zones through Source Switcher
  • All the displays except Control Display that are part of video wall may show white screen on the backup host after failover (14706)
Workaround: Restart the backup host or create the failover group before creating video wall on the primary host
  • Userful™ recommends to capture no more than 10 concurrent external sources using Blackmagic capture card(s) from one system (14617)
  • If two overlapped video wall zones share the same control display, the video wall playback may encounter problem (14319)
Workaround: Select different control displays for the overlapped video wall zones
  • Capturing a PC with color space set to RGB may show artifacts mostly visible with text on the display (14308)
Workaround: Change the color space of the PC
  • Depending on system load and network, minor stuttering can be seen during the first 3 seconds of playing a video (14250)
  • Switching of video wall zones to different sources 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 display, which is the control display 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 source (e.g. Signage Player), the last played zone will get the sound output
Workaround: Control display 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 Control Center notifies that the DHCP is fully offline and then enable the DHCP server
  • Transitioning from Video Capture source to Signage Player source may result in loss of audio while using Source Switcher or Preset Switcher (14163)
  • Playing signage content over stand-alone 1080p display may result in video stuttering (14077)
Workaround: Lower the bit-rate 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 display playing signage content with Direct Sync disabled restarts all other displays under same source (14034)
  • Mapping multiple displays to Video Capture source may cause kernel panic (13933)
Workaround: Enable "Mirror Groups" when you map multiple displays to Video Capture source
  • Color Calibrating a video wall may not work if Direct Sync is enabled (13506)
  • Switching zones between different sources with Direct Sync enabled may restart the existing video wall (13384)
  • Displays 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 source fails with Nvidia Offload support (13387)
Workaround: Disable Nvidia Offload support when using DVD Player source
  • Broadcast alerts and Show ID's will not function when Direct Sync is enabled (13370)
  • Transitioning from Video Capture source to other source may result in loss of audio (13305)
Workaround: Assign the video wall or display to a different Signage Player source and then assign it back to the intended source
  • 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 display 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 displays cannot output sound correctly (11672)
Workaround: Use "AutoLogin" source 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 ID's feature may not work on displays running a Linux Desktop which has been locked by the screensaver (11589)
Workaround: Unlock or disable the screensaver, then press Show ID's button in Control Center
  • SMSC network zero clients connected to fast ethernet switch may get a black screen when changing sources (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
  • Once an Artistic Layout video wall is created and saved, you cannot switch it back to a Grid Layout (10883)
Workaround: Delete the Artistic Layout configuration and create a new video wall
  • Blackmagic source 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
  • Mapping a GPU-Accelerated Video Wall to supported sources disables onboard display (10598)