FAQs: Station Mapping

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Station Mapping

Q: How do I map content to the video wall?

After creating and calibrating your video wall it will appear in the Control Center > Station Mapping screen. This screen provides the ability to map multiple displays to session containers via a drag and drop interface. The different types of Session Container available are:

Q: What kind of content can I play on a video wall?

Userful's Video Wall feature is very versatile. It supports a broad range of both static and interactive content including:

  • Video
  • Animation
  • Images
  • Websites
  • Tickers and crawls using RSS or text feeds
  • Calendars, clocks, and other widgets (using integrated Content Management Solutions)
  • WebGL, HTML5, Flash content

Q: How can I display a Powerpoint presentation on the video wall?

For non-interactive presentations:

  • Export your presentation as static jpeg images optimally sized for the video wall, then copy the files to a directory and set them in a directory-based playlist using the Signage Player session container, or
  • Export your presentation as a video file (there are various tools online that enable you to do this, including animations and sound), upload it to the Userful host and access it using the Signage Player session container

For interactive sessions:

Q: What are the supported video codecs and image formats for Signage Player?

Following content codecs and formats are supported:

  • Video Formats: AVI, ASF, MKV, MPG, MP4, OGV, MOV
  • Video Codecs: FLAC, AAC, H.264, H.265, DV, MPEG2, Theora, Vorbis, VPX, XviD
  • Image Formats: .gif, .pbm, .pgm, .png, .ppm, .qif, .qti, .tif, .tiff, .jpe, .jpg, .jpeg, .qtif, .webp

(Note: The file extension is case sensitive and only lowercase should be used.)

Q: Does your solution support 3D games?

There are several ways to run 3D games:

  • Web-based games that use WebGL can simply be run in a Chrome session container (be sure to enable GPU-assisted acceleration)
  • Native Linux 3D games running in a Linux Login session container
  • Capturing content using an external gaming PC as the source

Q: When should I turn on the Mirror Groups feature?

You should turn on the Mirror Group feature when you want to run the same content on multiple displays or video walls in perfect content synchronization. Please visit Mirror Groups section for more details.

Network Streamer

Q: Is Userful's Network Streamer an RTSP client or server?

Currently, Userful™ software appliance provides only RTSP client. If you want to output content from your RTSP server (e.g., webcam or internet streaming service) to your video wall, the Network Streamer container can do that.

Q: Does your solution handle real time camera data streams and resolutions?

We support Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) streams as well as several other streaming protocols and we have tested 1080p RTSP camera streams. We are happy to work with you if you require a specific streaming format or resolution.

Content Management Solution

Q: What types of integrated signage players can we run on the server (without any external media players or HDMI capture cards)?

Currently, we support browser-based content management solutions, including:

We are adding additional Content Management Systems all the time. If you have a specific CMS you would like to work with, please let us know.

Q: How do third party plugins work?

Our solution is integrated with a number of content management solutions that are separately licensed or free. Because our solution is built on top of CentOS 7.x (based on RHEL 7.x), skilled Linux administrators have the flexibility to install their own third party plugins and perform additional customization.

Q: Userful doesn’t list my content management system as a supported CMS? Can I still output content to the video wall?

Yes. Content Management System can be integrated with Userful™ using one or more of the options listed below (HDMI capture, Virtual Machine, Browser CMS, Native Plugin). The optimal approach depends on a handful of factors.

  1. HDMI capture: This approach efficiently offloads the content rendering workload to a separate media player device. Configure your media player and connect it to a capture port on the Userful host instead of connecting it to a display (typically via HDMI). Userful supports both 1080p and 4k multi-port capture cards. This approach adds the cost of the media player and capture card but offers enormous flexibility and creates little to no impact on Userful host system resources because all of the video processing is being done on the external media player.
  2. Network Streaming: This is similar to the HDMI capture approach, except it eliminates the need for a capture card in the Userful host. Instead of configuring the media player to output a network stream; configure your Userful host to receive this network stream. This typically adds some latency over HDMI capture (which is close to real-time) due to the network encoding and decoding, but saves cost on capture cards and eliminates the distance constraint between your media player and your Userful host.
  3. Build a Native Userful plug-in: Userful team can work with your content management system vendor to create a plugin for their CMS. Userful often provides the development work for this without charge (provided the CMS meets certain criteria and is keen to participate). The advantage of this approach is it is natively rendered so typically achieves good performance and it eliminates the need for an extra device as mentioned above.
  4. Manual setup: If your CMS has a browser-based player that works in Firefox or Chrome you can manually set this up and feed parameters such as MAC address as part of the URL.
  5. Virtual Machine: The CMS can run inside a virtual machine running on the Userful host. This is not ideal from a performance perspective but is possible.

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