Display Units

Display units in Broadsign Core are analogous to programming channels on a television broadcast network.

Their layout and scheduling availability is determined by their assigned day parts, and any player assigned to a display unit will display the content scheduled to it.

Following the broadcast network analogy, this is akin to many television sets showing the programming of the channel into which they are tuned.

The “Display Units” training video is part of the “Network Setup” playlist:

Note: If you are new to Broadsign Core, we suggest you start at the beginning of 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:

Display units contextual 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.
    • 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 Resources – Overview.

To add a display unit, use one of the following methods:

    • Go to the Network Setup ribbon, and then select the “Display” icon.

Add a display unit from the Network Setup ribbon

    • 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.

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.

Select Edit from the view bar

    • 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.

These are the sections and tabs of a display unit’s properties:

The General Section

The General section of display unit properties

External Id

An external, arbitrary identifier can be added to each display unit. The External Id can be any desired string. Broadsign 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. The Broadsign suite does not enforce any validation or uniqueness of the External Id.

Map Integration

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.

Assigned Players

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 to 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.

Log


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.

The Day Parts Section

The Day Parts section of display unit properties

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.

Enforcement

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.

The Preview Section

The Preview section of display unit properties

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 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.

The Controls Section

The Controls section of display unit properties

Time Spans

Device Control Operations scheduled via Broadsign 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 Time Spans 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.

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.

The Settings Section

The Settings section of display unit properties

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. See Criteria and Conditions.

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 Administrator options under Campaigns and Events. See Options.

Assigned Contacts

Contact resources can be assigned to display units in order to be able to receive notifications from all players assigned to the display unit.

Timezone

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 timezone, 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 Administrator will become a part of the activation procedure. Once the timezone has been entered in Broadsign 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.

If you change the time zone of the operating system on which you run Broadsign Player, you will need to restart the player.

Assigned Display Type

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.

Variables

The variables tab allows you to define arbitrary variables that will be injected into flash files when they play. For more information, see Flash Variables.

Mobile

You can configure a display unit to work with Broadsign Mobile. For more information, see Mobile Configuration.

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.

Display units will only appear on the map if you have geolocated them. See “Edit Display Unit Properties”, above.

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.

In map view, you will see the following icons:

Icon Description
Opens the Add Campaign Wizard. See Campaigns – 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.
Depending on criteria filtering, this button adjusts the map view to display all selected display units.
Opens the Filtering Criteria interface (see below).
Clustering

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).

Criteria Filtering

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 Network Setup – 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 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.

Note: When booking a campaign or event, Broadsign Administrator will automatically assign any criteria used on the map view. See Campaigns – Booking or Events.

For more information, see Criteria and Conditions.

To edit a display unit folder, from the contextual menu, select Edit Folder.

General

    • 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.
Contacts


Specify the contact information for your display unit folder. If you select display unit notification types for the contact, they will receive email notifications.

Settings


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”, above, will receive notification.

To configure “No Scheduled Campaign” notifications:
  1. 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”.

  1. Open the display unit folder properties and add the contact.
  2. 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 Administrator and select Deactivate All.

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:

  1. From the view bar, select Explorer view.
  2. In the list panel, hover your pointer over the panel header.
  3. Right-click, and the column selector menu will appear.
  4. Select as many column options as you want.


    • Id: Indicates the unique ID number of the resource. See Resources – Overview.
    • Active: Indicates whether the resource is in an “active” or “inactive” state. See Resources – Overview.
    • Folder Id: Indicates the unique ID number of the resource folder.
    • Domain Id: Indicates the unique ID number of the domain. See Domain Properties – 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 Resources – Players.
    • Enforce Day Parts: Indicates whether day part enforcement is enabled on this display unit. See Display Units – Edit Properties – 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 Screen Controls.
    • 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.

After you have created a display unit for your network, you can then move on to other basic steps: