Broadsign provides a series of training videos to help you set up, and maintain, a digital signage network.
By following the steps in the videos of this playlist, you will download and install Broadsign Control Administrator and Broadsign Control Player, become familiar with the Broadsign Control Administrator interface, and get a piece of content onto a screen.
We discuss our training videos and playlist. Then, we review our two main products — Broadsign Control Administrator and Broadsign Control Player — and how to download and install them.
Introduction and Installation
We log in to Broadsign Control Administrator. Then we tour the six main areas of its interface: the work area; the resource tabs; the ribbons; the view bar; the search/help icons and menus; and the dashboard.
Touring the Broadsign Control Administrator Workspace
By following the steps in this tutorial, you will be able to get a single piece of content onto your screen in about five minutes.
By following the steps in the videos of this playlist, you will complete the initial set up of a digital signage network.
Unlike a manual playlist-based system, Broadsign uses a rules-based approach. It allows each player (see Broadsign Control Player) to create its own playlist. A loop policy is a collection of rules that allows the player to create its own playlist.
Display types profile the display characteristics of the screen hardware in use on the network. When you create a display unit (see Display Units), it must have a display type assigned to it. The display type indicates the maximum display resolution allowed by the hardware, as well as its orientation.
Player resources in Broadsign Control Administrator represent PCs running Broadsign Control Player. They communicate with Broadsign Server to receive their scheduling information and display proper content (see Ad Copies).
Registering a Player
Broadsign uses the term "display unit" to refer to an individual screen on your network. Display units bring together several settings required for each screen.
By following the steps in the videos of this playlist, you will be able to schedule content to your screens.
Broadsign uses campaigns to schedule content. They can target one or many screens at once, and each campaign can have its own schedule of when it will play.
By default, each campaign will represent one play in the loop policy you have (see Loop Policies). Rules are then given to the software so that the players can automatically generate their own playlists (see Broadsign Control Player). This reduces workload and increases accuracy.
Broadsign refers to each piece of content as an ad copy. We support a wide range of standard industry formats. For a complete list, see Content Formats.
Broadsign uses a rules-based approach to allow the players to generate their own playlist. You can achieve this by assigning categories to each campaign that you schedule.
Campaigns are the core mechanism with which Broadsign targets and schedules content to your display units. Rather than define playlists manually, each player dynamically builds its own playlist based on the campaigns targeted to it.
A campaign is a collection of all the information relevant to one of the content pieces in your loop. Campaigns contain, among other things:
- You will configure each campaign to have its own schedule. For more information, see Schedules.
- One or more ad copies can reside in the campaign, for the player to display on your screens. See Upload an Ad Copy.
- The overall length of time a campaign requires to play its content.
- Meta Information
- Assigning categories to a campaign allows the player to generate its own playlist intelligently. See Create Categories.
Customers are organizations that wish to display an advertisement on your network.
They represent a source of content you can book and schedule to Broadsign Control Players. For easier management, the customer resource can collect the ad copies and campaigns of a client in one location.
With the customer resource, you can also:
- set a locale for language and country
- set tax rates for certain reports
- set default categories for campaigns
Events are special campaigns.
You can schedule an event, outside of a regular playback loop, to appear at a predefined time. Events can also repeat daily, weekly, monthly or yearly.
Example: Imagine that you have a New Year's Eve countdown video. You want it to start just before midnight and conclude a few minutes after midnight. You could schedule the countdown as an event. It will preempt any existing content. When the countdown video interrupts existing content, how the interruption is handled depends on how much of the existing content has already played. If the existing content has played less than 75% of its scheduled duration, the regular loop will restart from the beginning of the interrupted loop slot. However, if the existing content has played more than 75% of its scheduled duration, it will proceed to the next piece of content in the interrupted loop, ensuring a smoother transition.
By following the steps in the videos of this playlist, you will become familiar with the tools required to monitor and maintain a digital signage network.
In Broadsign Control Administrator, you can create multiple users with varying levels of access. Then, you can place users into groups to manage them.
User groups serve two purposes:
- assign privileges to each of the resources in the software
- provide access to specific folders in the domain
Note: We recommend that you add privileges to a group, instead of an individual user. Then, add users to the groups with the relevant privileges. Each user can be a member of multiple groups.
Users and User Groups
Broadsign provides a contact book in Broadsign Control Administrator for two purposes:
- Collect contact information for all users (and relevant external connections) in a central location.
- Send monitoring notifications to the relevant email addresses.
Once you enter a name in your contact book, you can assign it to the top level of your domain or to selected resources, depending on that contact's responsibilities.
Note: A contact differs from a user. A user is a resource that has access to Broadsign Control Administrator in some way. Contacts exist for notification purposes, and can exist within our without your own organization. For example, an installer that specializes in player set-up in the field may never log on to Broadsign Control Administrator, but they could be in your contact book to receive certain notifications.
Scoping occurs when you restrict users' access to only network areas they need to perform their tasks. Privileges, which we covered in Add Users and User Groups, configure what a user can do. Scoping configures where they can do it.
The most important part of running a successful digital signage network is ensuring that it remains operational. That way, your content displays as planned.
Broadsign offers several methods for monitoring your network:
- the dashboard
- email notifications
- HTML reports
Knowing what your network is doing, at any point in time, is vital to its success. Reporting in Broadsign Control Administrator allows the network operator to manage their domain as efficiently as possible. The available reports cover several aspects of managing a digital signage network from the content being scheduled, to the players connected to the displays.
We provide a training video that outlines the use of reports in Broadsign Control Administrator.
The reports covered in this video are:
For more information in our online documentation about reports, see Monitoring and Reports.