Digital signage file hosting


Repeat Signage digital signage software

Most digital signage software will allow you to do display presentations and most will allow you to insert RSS news feeds so that you can update the information displayed to visitors, staff, etc.   Repeat Signage digital signage software goes a step further and allows you to play all kinds of media such as pictures, videos, RTF files, text files and RSS feeds within presentations directly from any Internet website.  For example, the following image:


Repeat Signage digital signage software

is hosted on this website that has an Internet address of:

http://www.repeatserver.com/Images/RepeatSignageBox.jpg

If you click the above link then your browser will display the image on it's own.  In Repeat Signage, when you insert a picture control, then you can specify that that location of the picture is either local (on your hard disk or on a network drive) or on a website.  If you select on a website, then you can put in the location, such as http://www.repeatserver.com/Images/RepeatSignageBox.jpg and then when you click on OK to insert the picture, Repeat Signage will display your Internet based picture in the picture control.  You can then tell Repeat Signage to monitor this picture at a specified interval, such as every minute and Repeat Signage will check the current date/time stamp of the online image.  As soon as Repeat Signage detects that the image file's date/time stamp has changed, it will automatically play the latest version of that file.

In the background, Repeat Signage actually uses a caching system to download images from website into an area of the computer's hard disk.  When a new version of an image is detected, it downloads then plays the new version (on successful download and after testing it).  This is done so that if you turn on your digital signage computer and if for some reason the Internet connection is down, then Repeat Signage will play the last cached version until the Internet connection is restored, and it can then check for new versions.


Hosting Repeat Signage presentations and play lists on RepeatServer.com

Repeat Signage can do this with presentations and play lists as well.  You can play a presentation from a website and then Repeat Signage will download a new version when available and play the new version.   This facilitates the remote updating of digital signage screens.  For example, if your organisation was a large retail chain with shops in many cities around the world and your head office was in New York, you could work in the following way:

1.  Create a presentation to be displayed in UK shop Windows and upload it to RepeatServer.com.  The Internet address of the presentation would be something like:

http://www.repeatserver.com/Users/<YourName>/UKPresentation.rsp

Where <YourName> is the account name of your organisation when you sign up for a free RepeatServer.com account.  You could create different presentations for every shop, or city, or country, depending on your business model.  UK shop window presentations will be in UK pounds with British English spellings, US ones in dollars with US English spellings, and culture specific targeting, etc.

2.  In each shop, there could be a low cost 50" plasma screen in the shop window connected to a computer runnning Repeat Signage digital signage software.  You could specify that Repeat Signage plays your http://www.repeatserver.com/Users/<YourName>/UKPresentation.rsp presentation at start up and then monitors that presentation, say every 10 minutes. 

3.  At the head office in New York, your UKPresentation.rsp presentation could be updated every day, week, month, or just whenever you feel like it.  You would then need to log onto your online RepeatSignage.com account and upload the new version.

4.  All the computers playing and monitoring this presentation in shop windows in the UK, would then download and play the new presentation automatically.  Note - new versions of presentations are downloaded to a temporary location and tested prior to playing.

See RepeatSignageRepeatServerInternetExample.pdf for a diagram


Hosting images and text files on RepeatServer.com

The above shows how to do this with presentations.  However, you may have a different presentation for each shop but you may want a particular image displaying in every location.  This image could display the 'Offer of the Day'.  You can point an picture control within a Repeat Signage presentation at the same file but customise the rest of the presentation to your location.  For example, a presentation in a shop in London may be customised with British flag colours and a distinctly London design (images of Big Ben, The Tower of London, etc.) where as a presentation running in Edinburgh may have a more Scottish theme.   They can both use the same daily offer image if applicable.


Repeat Signage text labels

The Repeat Signage Text label control allows single lines of text to be displayed in your Repeat Signage presentations with lots of options for different text effects including using an image as the colour of the text.  RepeatServer.com allows you to create and edit text online which you can then point your Text label control at.  This text can then be updated at any time from anywhere in the world. 

You could use a plasma screen in the windows of several shops in different cities and include the display of a daily special offer message such as 'Today's Offer: two for the price of one on all biscuits'.  You will want to be able to update this text in all shop windows from anywhere by logging onto RepeatServer.com.  This is what you need to do:

1.  Log onto your RepeatServer.com account and create a new text label called 'TodaysOffer' with the current text being 'Today's Offer: two for the price of one on all biscuits'.  When added, make a note (or copy) of the text label's http address, which will look similar to this:

http://www.repeatserver.com/Users/YourCompany/TextLabel/TodaysOffer.txt

2.  Create a Repeat Signage presentation for your plasma screen shop window presentations. In the Repeat Signage designer, click on 'Insert' then 'Insert text label'. 

3.  The 'Insert text label' dialog box will ask you where you text is located, so click 'On a website'.   In the 'Page name' box, stick in the URL of your text label, such as:

http://www.repeatserver.com/Users/YourCompany/TextLabel/TodaysOffer.txt

4.  Click on 'OK' to add the text label control.  The next thing to do is to resize the control on the screen so that the label fits your text.

5. Double click your new text label control to see it's properties.  Click on the 'Refresh' tab.  By default, new controls that are collected from a website location will automatically check for changes every 15 minutes.  You can set this value appropriately.  If you need the presentation to update itself almost as soon as you make a change online, then set this value to check every minute, or 15 seconds, etc. 

6.  Give it a try.  Set the refresh about to every 15 seconds and save it, then on RepeatServer.com, update the text label using the 'Update' link next to your text label and click on 'Update' afterwards.  Your presentation will update itself (even in the Repeat Signage designer) within 15 seconds.


Repeat Signage text blocks

The Repeat Signage Text block control displays formatted blocks of text which allows the mixing of colours/fonts, etc, and is similar to a Microsoft Word word processing document.  RepeatServer.com allows you to create and edit text online which you can then point your Text block control at.  This text can then be updated at any time from anywhere in the world, which then updates presentations using that text.


Repeat Signage Flash Banner RSS feeds

A standard RSS feed doesn't contain pictures.   A Repeat Flash Banner RSS feed is a special sort of RSS feed designed to work with the Repeat Signage Flash Banner control which contains links to pictures and a transition effects to be shown when changing pictures.  You use this by uploading pictures to RepeatServer and then inserting their URL's (www addresses) into the RSS feed along with a title, description and selecting a transition (such as fade). 

A Flash Banner control showing a property with text over the top

The above picture shows single a item in a Flash Banner RSS feed which comprises an image, two pieces of text, and also a transition effect, such as fade, to the next image

The published Flash Banner RSS feed can then be pointed at inside a Repeat Signage presentation using Flash Banner control using it's address, such as:

http://www.repeatserver.com/Users/RepeatSamples/FlashBannerProperties.xml

and will display download and play including all the pictures.