Q: What is Dynamic Digital Signage?
A: Dynamic Digital Signage is a digital display connected to a network that can be updated easily and remotely at any time. Ads, marketing messages and important information can be displayed in private or public settings such as retail stores and other small businesses, healthcare and transportation facilities, corporate buildings, education and any other relevant venue.
Q: Who can use NoviSign?
A: Any municipality, organization or small business owner can use NoviSign. Our digital signage system is simply the most efficient way to keep people informed, advertise new products and deals and strengthen brand awareness in a physical location. Whether you have one or several screens in a single location or multiple screens at multiple locations, NoviSign keeps it simple and easy to manage.
Q: What type of media can I present on the sign?
A: You can use a variety of digital media formats. NoviSign supports JPG, GIF, or PNG images; videos files (MP4 and FLV), and SWF animation files.
Q: Is NoviSign a software or hardware company?
A: NoviSign focuses on developing a cloud-based (SaaS) software platform for digital signage broadcasting. You can use any off-the-shelf hardware to display your signage.
Q: Do you have any recommended hardware?
A: Yes, we do. Click here to see the updated recommended hardware list.
Q: What type of video media do you play?
A: SWF and FLV files are optimized to be displayed on Adobe Air (Windows and Mac). MP4 files (with AVC encoding) are optimized for Android. You can use a freeware (such as ConverterLite) to convert your SWF/FLV files to MP4 files (or vice versa) easily.
Q: What is the difference between a screen and a player?
A: A screen displays Digital Signage content. A player is a hardware device that uses the NoviSign Player Software component that displays the content on the screen and can be easily updated and altered by using the NoviSign SaaS solution. A player is actually a broadcast channel, controlled by the user. The player can be attached to several screens, presenting the SAME content.
Q: How often do I need to log in to the player?
A: NoviSign Player has to be installed on the player hardware (Android device, PC) and assigned with a unique ‘screen key’ as a ‘one-time event’! From the moment the player contains a screen key (and connectivity to the network is stable) the player will reflect any changes in the assigned playlist (managed by NoviSign SaaS from anywhere) and will display after 60 seconds.
Q: What is the Groups tab in the Studio?
A: You can create a group of players to play the same content for a while. You need to create a group, add some player and choose a playlist. From the other side, you need to modify each player which is a member in the group by removing its selected playlist and change its “Apply Playlist from…” option from “Playlist” to “Player Group”.
Q: How to display an Excel sheet or Google spreadsheet?
A: This technical post will explain you how to do it.
Q: What if some of the images are blur on the playlist when I watch it on the screen?
A: Try to change the images file type from PNG to JPG. If it doesn’t help change the Android screen scale settings to maximum.
Q: I have a playlist of one slide. It is a video simple creative. After playing it once, it seems to freeze and what I see is the last frame of the video. What went wrong?
A: It’s a known bug. Add the same video creative again to the playlist, so you’ll have it twice. Now you do not have a single video and the phenomenon won’t occur.
Q: The YouTube widget throws an error on the screen or just shows a black widget. What shall I do?
A: In the creative composer when creating the blended creative, make sure that there is no overlapping between the YouTube widget and any other widget. If that doesn’t help, check that you have the latest updates of the YouTube application on your Android device. Also check that the Wi-Fi works, as if there is no internet available, probably the YouTube movie won’t play. Also, in case of Android player, check that you have the latest YouTube application.
Q: Using the Air player, sometimes I get a black screen while the sound keeps playing. What went wrong?
A: Download and install the newest Adobe Air version. This will do.
Q: I would like to have a sound track to my creative. There is no sound widget, so how do I do it?
A: You need to upload your sound theme as M4A (with AVC encoding) file. When you add this into a blended creative (it behaves as a video), hide it behind another element on the canvas. Download and install the newest Adobe Air version. This will do.
Q: The video on my playing device is playing in “slow motion” like if it gets stuck. What is wrong?
A: Probably the video resolution is higher than your player’s resolution. You need to reduce the video’s resolution to be not higher than the player’s resolution.
Q: I get a black square with a “Could not play video (-38,0)” error in it instead of a video, in my Android player. What went wrong?
A: The device needs a different video transition definition than the default (Auto/Performance). Access the settings of the Android application and change the “Video To Video Transition” setting (under the “Display” settings) to something else (such as “High Compatibility) until it works. If nothing works, set it to “Disable”. Also make sure that you’re using MP4 videos and not any other format.
Q: When I have 2 MP4 videos (or MP4 video + YouTube) on the same blended creative, running in parallel, they do not play well (one is black square and the other one shows both video running one on top of the other). Please explain.
A: This is a firmware bug. Usually it appears in a new firmware (from 2014) of Minix TV boxes. The workaround is to use MP4 + FLV (Minix can play FLV video files) or FLV + YouTube or MP4 + FLV + FLV.
Q: The app gets frozen on Minix Neo X7. What shall I do?
A: To prevent it, you’ll need to go to “Settings” (of the Android, not the app’s), Click “Display” and uncheck the “Auto hide systembar” checkbox. Clearing the app’s cache (“Settings” -> “Apps” -> “NoviSign” -> “Clear Cache”) will solve it ad hoc, but preventing it is better.
Q: I either have a problem to upload my SWF file or to save a blended creative with this SWF file. What is the problem?
A: Make sure that your SWF file is basic and without any interactive effects. If you have interactive effects it won’t work.
Q: My playlist doesn’t get updated, even though I have just updated it in the Studio. What to do?
A: Check the internet. If your Wi-Fi doesn’t work on your player device or you do not have internet from any reason, the playlist will not get updated.
Q: When I try to upload a file, I get “Error: IO failed (Error #2038)”. What shall I do?
A: Close the “Upload media” window and then close the “Choose media” window. Try again. If you got it again, it means that you’re trying to upload more than your bandwidth will let you. Don’t upload more than 6 or 7 files together. Another limitation is the total size of all the files you’re trying to upload together. For instance (this is not accurate and depends in several environmental variables), if your internet upload speed is 0.5MB, then the limit will be 14MB; if your internet upload speed is 1MB internet upload speed, then the limit will be 50 MB and so on.
Q: What is the default length for a blended creative?
A: The default length for a blended creative is the longest movie or slideshow within. If you have a YouTube widget, it doesn’t take it into account.
Q: When I try to upload any file on Macbook, I get “Error: IO failed (Error #2038)”. My upload speed is at least 0.5MB. What shall I do?
A: You’re probably using the Safari browser. Instead, use the Chrome browser.
Q: I created a poll and connected it to a poll widget in a blended creative. However, when I try to run this by clicking the player’s link from my account the page looks like the poll widget with a link to the poll, but I do not see the poll itself. What went wrong?
A: Nothing is wrong. The poll will work only when launched from the application, not from the link which you have in your account.
Q: I exported a creative from one account to an NVC file and when I imported it to another account I got an error. Why ?
A: Currently you can export only one creative at a time. If you select more than one creative for export, when you import the NVC file you’ll get an error. Also, the import option works only on Chrome. Last thing: if your creative is shared with another user, first you need to unshare it before exporting it.
Q: After importing a creative to my account, it doesn’t work well. What went wrong ?
A: It is a known bug. Edit the blended creative and make a slight change (i.e. delete a letter in a text/label widget and then add it again) and save the creative. Now it will work fine.
Q: When I try to log in to my account I get a “session timeout” message and being thrown out. What shall I do?
A: Probably you’re using an unsupported browser, such as Internet Explorer 11. Instead use Chrome browser. Alternatively you can try to clear the browser’s cache and cookies.
Q: How do caching and offline work?
A: The player application downloads almost all the content to the player device. In Android, first it downloads all the creatives and then it starts playing, while in Air (Windows) it starts playing immediately and downloads the creatives during the first round which takes more time than the usual (only in the second round works smooth). All the creatives are cached in the player device and can work offline, except The YouTube, FTP, web page, polls and game widgets. The web page widget can keep running on Android player offline as long as there is only 1 slide and the reload property of it is set to off. If you want your Android player to work offline you can change its settings (in the settings page, set the “Work Offline” to “on”). For how to configure your Android app in the best way click here.
Q: How do I clear the player cache in Windows operating system?
A: Close the player and delete all the files from the following folder: C:\Users\<current username>\Novisign\cache or C:\Documents and Settings\<current username>\Novisign\cache.
Also, you need to delete all the creative/playlist files (have a long name with hexadecimal characters) from the Windows internet cache folder which is located at –
C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5
C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files
C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files
Q: The web page widget and the polls widget are not really visible in the preview. In the preview I get a huge icon that represents either of those widgets and in the upper part of it has a clickable link to the web page or the poll. Am I doing something wrong?
A: No. The web page widget and the polls widget work only in the Android player and in the Air player (Windows/Mac). They neither work in the link player (browser) nor in the preview of the creative composer. You’ll have to test it either on your computer or on your Android device to see what you’re going to get.
Q: I put a web page widget on my blended creative and on my machine it looks like it shows only part of the website page. What do I need to fix?
A: Make sure that your web page widget covers at least 2/3 of the canvas. If that is not enough, cover the whole canvas. If you want to show only part of the web page in that widget, you can change the X/Y offset and the zoom of the widget. The offset is the X/Y coordinate of the top left corner of the web page which will start from the top left corner of the widget itself. It allows you to show a specific part of the website page.
Q: The FTP widget doesn’t work in Android. Why ?
A: Currently, this widget works only in the Air (Windows) version.
Q: How do I upgrade my Android NoviSign app from remote?
A: Follow this post.
A: First thing, make sure you have the font you want installed on the machine with the Studio and on the machine you’re going to broadcast to; Second, in the creative composer after you highlighted the relevant text, instead of selecting predefined font from list, just type the font name in font family box and press the Enter key.
Q: How do I get more fonts in Android player?
A: Check the instructions in the following post: http://www.novisign.com/tech/fonts-android-digital-signage/ .
Q: How do I rotate my screen in Android, for displaying my signage as in vertical portrait orientation?
A: Your Android device should support rotation in order to do that. Some devices already come from the factory when they support rotation (such as Shuttle DSA2LS). Some do not. For those which do not come with support rotation built-in, there might be a possibility to flash them with customized firmware that will support the rotation. You can do it with Minix Neo X7 (recommended), with Minix Neo X7 mini (with this one there is a bug: it doesn’t rotate videos, so you need to rotate and crop them before uploading them to the Studion, using a video convertor such as Any Video Converter) or with the Tronsmart MK908 and MK808. Last thing: when you prepare your blended creative in the creative composer, make sure you use a portrait type blank template. Here is a nice article about screen rotation.
Q: How can I make my window resizable in Windows?
A: When using the player link, add “&debug=true” between the question mark and the string text which follows it. Now you’ll be able to resize the windows. When using the installed application, on the application desktop shortcut, right click, choose “Properties” and in the Target field where you have the full path of the application (“…Player.exe”) add “- nofullscr”, so it will look like “…Player.exe” – nofullscr Now you get a non full screen window, but this one is not resizable.
Q: The Air (Windows) app doesn’t have a restarter service like the Android native app (for better stability and prevention from getting stuck). Is there any way in Windows to get this feature?
A: Yes, there is. You can download a restarter app, such as Knas.
1. Go to http://www.knas.se/Applications/Restarter/Download.aspx and download the exe installer file.
2. Follow the installation step by step. You might need to install .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 (http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/download/details.aspx?id=22) in case of 0135 error.
3. Start the NoviSign player app and exit the full screen.
4. Start the Knas app. Select the NoviSign app from the running processes list, set a reasonable time for “Monitor Interval” (less than 60 is not recommended, but 20 seconds seems to work fine) and the “Kill if unresponsive for intervals” to 2.
5. Press the “Save Settings” and then press the “Start” to start the monitor.
6. Save a shortcut on the desktop.
7. Add shortcut to the Windows start menu (for the Knas) and remove the autostart of NoviSign player app.
8. Make sure that the checkbox “Skip this screen on app startup” in the NoviSign app is checked.
Q: How can I control the settings in the Air player?
A: You can use the command line parameters.
Right click the NoviSign player shortcut which is on your desktop, click “Properties” and in the “Shortcut” tab in the “Target” field, after the command line that looks similar to this “C:\Program Files (x86)\Novisign Player\Novisign Player.exe” add the parameters.
The parameters are:
[screen key] – Player key which you want to play. You can use a dash to omit this.
[startdelayseconds] – Number of seconds to wait before playing.
updateInterval – Playlist update interval (the interval that the player checks the server for updates) in minutes (minimum 2, maximum 720).
initialUpdateDelay – Delay first playlist update (how long till the player will check the server for updates in the first time only) in minutes (minimum 0, maximum 720). Notice that the player has to play 1 round manually before using this parameter, in order to have the playlist in its cache).
suppressNetworkErrors – Disables the “check network connectivity” popups which might appear when there is network problem while trying to fetch a playlist.
nofullscr – Will open the player in a window.
“C:\Program Files (x86)\Novisign Player\Novisign Player.exe” 782f4821-7084-4230-8a3b-f9ff0d2fc71f updateInterval 5 suppressNetworkErrors
This will play the screen key 782f4821-7084-4230-8a3b-f9ff0d2fc71f, will check the server for updates every 5 minutes and will prevent network problem popups.
Q: How to run the player key from a browser, but not from the player link which I have on the Players page ?
A: Create an Html file (any name with the .html extension) with the following content:
<title>NoviSign Web Player</title>
<body><div style=”margin:0;0;0;0;”><iframe src=”http://app.novisign.com/Player/NPlayer.html?screenkey=b760048a-9a9f-44cb-a3fe-b1665a6f7578&embed=1&bgcolor=FFFFFF” frameBorder=”0″ width=”1024″ height=”768″/>
You’ll have to modify the file by changing the player key, the width and height (the value of the “width” and “height” tag properties) by trial and error. Maybe you’d like to change the background color (the hexadecimal color value of the “bgcolor” tag property). The “embed=1″ means that the controls will be hidden and the auto-play will run. Double click this file from the PC which you want to play and it will start playing.
Q: How can I embed a playlist inside a web page or internet site?
A: In your web page you need to insert the following iframe tag. Please notice that the polls widget, web page widget and the game widget will not work in this iframe.
<iframe src=”http://app.novisign.com/Player/NPlayer.html?screenkey=xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxx&embed=1&bgcolor=ffffff” height=”450″ width=”800″ frameborder=”0″></iframe>
xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxx should be replaced with your screen key.
ffffff is the background color and can be replaced with any hexadecimal color code.
height and width represents the rectangle dimensions in pixels. You can change it.
Frameborder is the thickness of the border of the iframe. Zero means no border.