Display units in Broadsign Control are analogous to programming channels on a television broadcast network.
Continuing with the broadcast network analogy, this is akin to many televisions showing the programming of the channel into which they are tuned.
The "Display Units" training video is part of the "Network Setup" playlist:
- 1 of 5: Loop Policy
- 2 of 5: Criteria
- 3 of 5: Display Types
- 4 of 5: Register a Player
- 5 of 5: Display Units (below)
Note: If you are new to Broadsign Control, we suggest you start with the Network Setup playlist.
Display Units: Describes how to create, configure and clone display units.
If you select "Display Units" from the resource tabs on the left, then right-click anywhere in the work area, you will see this menu:
- Add Display Unit: Opens the Add Display Unit Wizard.
- Edit Display Unit: Opens the Display Unit Properties dialogue box.
- Deactivate Display Units: Deactivates any selected display units.
- Clone Display Unit: Clone the selected display unit, copying all of its settings.
- Add Player to Display Unit: Assign a registered player from your network to a display unit.
- Add Display Unit Folder: Opens the "Add a folder" dialogue box.
- Edit Folder: Opens the Display Unit Folder Properties dialog box.
- Deactivate All: Deactivates all folders that are nested within the selected folder.
- Import Addresses: Opens the Import Display Unit Addresses wizard. You can bulk import geographical data which can, in turn, appear in Broadsign Direct or Broadsign Reach.
- Export Addresses: Opens the Export Display Unit Addresses wizard. You can bulk export geographical data in a CSV file to a path of your choice.
- Reserve Campaign to Display Unit Folder
- Reserve Campaign to Display Unit: Opens the Add Campaign Wizard, which will book a campaign to the selected display unit.
- Reserve Event to Display Unit Folder
- Reserve Event to Display Unit: Opens the Add Event Wizard, which will book an event to the selected display unit.
- Campaign Calendar: Generates the Campaign Calendar report. See Campaign Calendar Report.
- Download Report: Generates the Download report. See Download Report.
- Incident Report: Generates the Incident report. See Incident Report.
- Loop Snapshot Report: Generates the Loop Snapshot report. See Loop Snapshot Report.
For general information about adding, editing and deactivating resources, see Overview - Resources.
To add a display unit, use one of the following methods:
Go to the Network Setup ribbon, and then select the "Display" icon.
- From the resource tabs on the left, select "Display Units". Then, right-click anywhere in the work area. From the contextual menu, select Add Display Unit.
By default, the Add Display Unit Wizard contains the following pages:
- Welcome: Name the display unit.
- Display Unit Type: Select a display unit type. You must select a display type before you can advance through the wizard. See Display Types.
- Criteria Selection: Assign criteria to the display unit (optional). See Criteria and Conditions.
- Loop Policy: A default day part and frame will be created for the display unit; select the loop policy to use for the default frame. You must select a loop policy before you can finish creating the display unit. See Day Parts, Frames and Loop Policies.
Display Unit Location: Allows you to pinpoint and view the exact location of your display unit. Then, you can book campaigns using Map View. See Display Units in Map View.
To edit a display unit, use one of the following methods:
From the list panel, select a display unit. Then, from the view bar, select Edit.
- From the list panel, double-click on a display unit.
From map view, click on a marker or marker cluster. Hover over a display unit, and select Edit.
Display Unit Properties contain the following sections:
- The General Section
- The Day Parts Section
- The Preview Section
- The Controls Section
- The Settings Section
An external, arbitrary identifier can be added to each display unit. The External Id can be any desired string. Broadsign Control Player will then write out the external id in the player’s share directory in a file named display_unit_external_id.txt. This file can then be read by third-party applications or flash content that requires a unique action for each player based on this identifier. Broadsign Control does not enforce any validation or uniqueness of the External Id.
A zip or postal code and a full address can be assigned to a display unit. This is useful in order to enable intelligent server-side logic to customize the documents fetched by the player’s HTML product or Monitor Sync. Moreover, pressing the Geolocate button will use the address field to determine the display unit’s latitudinal/longitudinal coordinates and present its location on a map. See View Bar.
All players assigned to a display unit will display their content on the corresponding player systems. The players assigned to a display unit can be viewed, added to, or removed from the Players tab of the display unit properties dialog, or from the “Add Player to Display Unit...” option in the display unit contextual menu.
Keep in mind that, if a player is already associated with a display unit, it cannot be associated to another without being disassociated from the first display unit.
When a player is associated to a display unit, the player will not perceive the change until it has polled once and retrieved the new setting from Broadsign Server.
You can manually log any changes made to this particular display unit resource. To add a log entry, click Add. You can configure the type of change you are logging, and toggle the "Acknowledged" option on or off.
Assigned Day Parts
A display unit contains a collection of day part resources, which can be visualized in two ways. The Day Parts tab in the Day Parts group of the display unit Properties dialog shows a list of each day part, along with their effective date ranges, time ranges, and their day part weight. The Day Part Calendar tab in the Day Parts group of the Display Unit Properties dialog shows a calendar view where the day parts in effect for each day are listed. New day parts can be added, edited, or removed in either of these two views.
For more details, see Day Parts.
If you want to make sure that your players in a particular display unit are online and polling during their defined day parts, you can check the “Enforce Day Parts” checkbox in the Enforcement tab. If a player is set to enforce its day parts, Broadsign Server will notify you via an “Offline During Business Hours” incident and move the player’s network status from Offline to MIA if the player does not come online when it should. Typically, day part enforcement should be used in cases where the player is not constantly online, but rather powered on and off by on-site personnel. Should they neglect to turn the player on when they should, day part enforcement will ensure that Broadsign Server will report an incident and change the player’s status to MIA to alert you of the issue.
Display Unit Preview
This allows the user to see how the player will display all of the campaigns. When the user clicks the Play button in the Preview page, Broadsign Control Administrator will download the files from Broadsign Server if it does not already have them, and then display them. The download progress is shown via a Progress bar in the Preview area.
The display unit preview applies the Loop Transformation Strategy that is set in the loop policy. See Loop Transformation Tab.
Device Control Operations scheduled via Broadsign Control Administrator to a display unit make it possible to remotely communicate with the display devices used by all player systems assigned to it. These operations are programmed using Device Control Time Spans.
Device Control TimeSpans are periods of time where Device Control Operations are sent to one or more display devices. They can be assigned to a display unit resource in the Device Control tab in the Controls group of the display unit Properties dialog.
Note: Not all player systems will necessarily perform the device control commands programmed into the display unit resource; they are ignored if the player is not configured to perform remote Device Control.
See Device Control.
Criteria and Conditions
Criteria resources can be assigned to display units in order to be able to tag them for targeting purposes during the campaign targeting process. Likewise, conditions can be directly assigned to a display unit in this tab’s lower section. A condition is enabled and disabled on any associated players according to the condition’s schedule.
Note: Criteria of type “All” can be used as both a display unit criteria and a condition; therefore, it can appear in both sections.
If you add or remove criteria from a display unit, you may be prompted to add or remove the display unit from any campaigns affected by the criteria change. This prompt can be enabled and disabled in Broadsign Control Administrator options under Campaigns and Events. See Options.
Contact resources can be assigned to display units in order to be able to receive notifications from all players assigned to the display unit.
The features contained in the Timezone tab of the Settings dialog are especially useful when involved in complex deployments of large amounts of players in a network that covers multiple time zones. In these sorts of cases, it frees you from having to install an Operating System image specific to each time zone, having to keep track of a separate inventory for each time zone, and ensuring that a player destined for one timezone is not shipped to another by mistake; essentially, it allows you to run an entire network of players with a common, generic configuration spanning multiple time zones, which will simplify your installation and deployment considerably compared to the alternative.
By using the player timezone features contained in the Timezone tab, you only have to install one operating system image on all of the players set to be deployed, and set their clocks to UTC/GMT. Once they have been installed on-site, setting the player timezone in Broadsign Control Administrator will become a part of the activation procedure. Once the timezone has been entered in Broadsign Control Administrator, the player will apply it to all time-related calculations and operations that it carries out, whether those involve scheduling, network control, device control, or any similar operation.
Note: If you change the time zone of the operating system on which you run Broadsign Control Player, you will need to restart the player.
Assigned Display Types
When a display unit resource is created, a corresponding display type is assigned to it. The assigned display type specifies the resolution of the display area to be used when creating the frame layout for the display unit's day part. See Display Types.
The variables tab allows you to define arbitrary variables that will be injected into flash files when they play. For more information, see Content Variables.
Broadsign provides the ability to see your network's display units in a map view. You can track your network visually while making adjustments through the interface. Also, you can use geofencing features to set geographical areas around clusters of display units.
Display units will only appear on the map if you have geolocated them. See Map Integration.
Note: The display units that appear in map view depend on the resource you select in explorer view. For example, if you select a single display unit, that is all that will appear on the map. However, if you select the display unit root folder, all display units in your network will appear.
On the geofencing map, you will see the following icons:
|Zoom in and out on the map.|
The selection tool. Used to navigate across the map, and select items on it.
Note: When you select an item, its colour will change from grey to blue.
|Creates a circular geofencing object.|
|Creates a polygonal geofencing object.|
|Creates a square/rectangular geofencing object.|
|Deletes all selected objects.|
|Deletes all geofencing objects for the condition.|
|Zooms the map in our out, as needed, to include all geofencing objects in the view.|
Additional icons include:
Opens the Add Campaign Wizard. See Campaign Booking.
Also, we show you how to book a campaign from map view in the "Intro to Campaigns" video.
|Opens the Add Event Wizard. See Events.|
|Displays the total number of display units remaining after criteria are applied. See Criteria and Conditions.|
|Opens the Filtering Criteria interface (see below).|
Note: By default, all display units in map view are selected. Once you select a specific unit or units, you automatically deselect the others.
Broadsign provides two features to help you select display units in map view:
- Selection/deselection option
When you click on a display unit or display unit cluster (see below), you can select specific units.
If you select one of the geofencing tools, you can enclose groups of display units to select them.
Broadsign also uses goefencing to enable its geotargeting feature. For more information, see Geotargeting.
Broadsign takes advantage of Google's marker clustering feature. If you have a number of display unit markers in a tight area, depending on zoom level, the map will cluster the markers.
You can click on a cluster to see a complete list of its display units. Then, by hovering over a particular display unit, you can select either Show (which shows the display unit in explorer view) or Edit (which opens the display unit's properties).
If you click on the Filter icon, the Filtering Criteria interface appears. You can apply criteria to all display units that you selected for the view. The available criteria are those which you already created for your network. See Add Criteria.
- Matching All Of: The selected display units must contain all of the selected criteria. (Corresponds to the logical operator "AND".)
- Matching Any Of: The selected display units must contain at least one of the selected criteria. (Corresponds to the logical operator "OR".)
- Doesn't Match: If the display units match any of the criteria in this column, Broadsign Control Administrator will not select them. (Corresponds to the logical operator "NOT".)
If you filter out a display unit using criteria, it will appear grayed-out.
For more information, see Criteria and Conditions.
Broadsign enables you to bulk import or export display unit addresses in Broadsign Control Administrator.
You will need to import .csv files containing the following information:
- Display Unit ID
- Display Unit Name
- Folder Name
- External ID
- Location Code
- Address (in Google format)
Ensure that your .csv files are in the following format:
[Display Unit ID#], [Display Unit Name], [Folder Name], [External ID#], [Location Code], [Address], [Latitude], [Longitude]
Here is a sample CSV file:
4527458, JFK Terminal 1, Folder Name?, 6080, Location Code?, "705 Rue Sainte-Catherine, Montreal, QC H3B 4G5", 45.5027544, -73.5714715
To bulk import display unit addresses:
Note: The process for exporting display unit addresses is basically the same. From the contextual menu, select "Export Addresses".
- Select a display unit from your domain.
In the Work Area, right-click anywhere. The contextual menu appears. From the menu, select Import Addresses.
The Import Display Unit Addresses wizard opens. To import your CSV file, click Select CSV File.
Windows File Explorer opens. Navigate to the location of your CSV file.
Click Open. On the Import Display Unit addresses page, click Next. The Import Results page appears, along with a status of the import.
In this example, of the five display units we tried to update, all but one were successful. For more details, click OK.
To edit a display unit folder, from the contextual menu, select Edit Folder.
- Resource ID: The ID number of the resource.
- Name: The name of the resource. You can edit the name.
- Active: Deselect Active to deactivate the resource.
When a display unit contains a player that is without an active campaign (during opening hours), you can opt to receive an email notification. The email you provide under "Contacts" will receive notification (see The Contacts Tab).
To configure "No Scheduled Campaign" notifications:
Configure a contact with the "No Scheduled Campaign" notification. See Edit a Contact.
Note: You will need to scroll down to the bottom of the list of notifications to find "No Scheduled Campaign".
- Open the display unit folder properties and add the contact.
- Configure the notification settings.
Here are a few features unique to display units:
Display Unit Cloning
In cases where a network requires complex day parting or a complex frame layout, display unit cloning is a feature that allows a user to create some template display units to save time. These templates can easily be copied to create new display units that are ready for use. In order to clone a display unit, a user must right-click on an existing display unit and select Clone Display Unit. The user must then enter a name for the new display unit, the number of times they wish to clone and whether or not to clone all the scheduling as well.
Deactivating Multiple Display Units
To delete multiple display units at once you must create a folder in the display units content pane and drag all the undesired display units into it. Right-click on the folder in the folder panel of Broadsign Control Administrator and select Deactivate All.
Note: When deactivating a Display Unit, you must gather and deactivate all active Day_part(s) tied to the Display Unit, then deactivate the Display Unit. Otherwise, the API call will not be successful.
Warning: The "Deactivate All" action will also deactivate all the associations between the targeted resources and other resources in your network.
In the list panel of explorer view, each resource has a column selector menu. With this menu, you can configure the list panel to display information you want.
To access a resource's column selector menu:
- From the view bar, select Explorer view.
- In the list panel, hover your pointer over the panel header.
- Right-click, and the column selector menu will appear.
Select as many column options as you want.
- Id: Indicates the unique ID number of the resource. See Overview - Resources.
- Active: Indicates whether the resource is in an "active" or "inactive" state. See Overview - Resources.
- Folder Id: Indicates the unique ID number of the resource folder.
- Domain Id: Indicates the unique ID number of the domain. See The General Section.
- Display Type Id: Indicates the unique ID of the display type associated with this display unit. See Display Types.
- Timezone: The timezone in which the display unit resides.
- Player Screen Count: The number of players associated with this display unit. See Players (Resource).
- Enforce Day Parts: Indicates whether day part enforcement is enabled on this display unit. See The Day Parts Section.
- Zip/Postal Code: The zip code or postal code in which the display unit resides.
- Address: The physical address at which the display unit resides.
- External Id: Indicates the external ID assigned to the display unit, if applicable. You can use external IDs in an external Content Management (CMS) or Revision Control System (RCS) selector. See Import RCS Selector Program.
- Simple Screen Controls: Indicates the screen controls associated with the display unit, if applicable. See Device Control.
- Latitude/Longitude Coordinates: The latitude and longitude coordinates at which the display unit resides.
- Broadsign Creator Player Id: Indicates the unique ID of the player you have dedicated to preview the Broadsign Creator loop, if applicable. See Broadsign Creator.