Day Parts

Day parts are blocks of time within a display unit with a defined set of playback characteristics. All players associated to the display unit will use these day parts.

Day part characteristics include frame layout and hours of operation.

The “Display Units” training video, in which we cover “day parts”, is part of the “Network Setup” playlist:

Display Units: Describes how to create, configure and clone display units. You can find day parts, in particular, starting at 4:42.

Create day parts in the Day Parts tab in the Settings group of the display unit Properties dialog.

There are two methods that can be used to define a site’s opening hours: the opening hours tab in the Day Part and display unit editors or by using multiple Day Parts with different start and end times. The method you should choose depends on characteristics and requirements of your network. The table below provides some recommendations.

Opening Hours Recommendations
Method Requirement
Opening Hours You sell Campaigns that will play all day and do not need to target specific hours of the day.
Opening Hours Your sites change their hours frequently.
Multiple Day Parts You have different frame layouts at different times of the day.
Multiple Day Parts You price the various parts of the day differently.
Campaigns outside opening hours

In essence, the start and end times of a Day Part constitute the maximum bookable airtime for that Day Part. Opening hours represent an additional mask on the available airtime within the limits of the Day Part’s start and end time range. When a reservation is booked, the start and end times of a Day Part are taken into account, but the opening hours are not.

For example, consider a Campaign that runs from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM each day and a site that opens only at 9:00 AM. If you use multiple Day Parts to define that site’s opening hours, the Campaign will not be booked to that site because it falls outside the boundary of the maximum bookable time. If during the course of the Campaign, the site changes its opening hours to now open at 8:00 AM, the site will not automatically be included in the existing Campaign and it will need to be added manually.

However, if you use a single all-day Day Part with the actual opening hours defined within it, the Campaign will be booked to that site because it falls within its maximum bookable time.

However, seeing as the Campaign runs from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM, the estimated repetitions for that site will be 0 because it is not open while the Campaign is in effect.

If the site changes its opening hours to 8:00 AM during the course of the Campaign, it will automatically be included in the Campaign and the estimated repetitions will be updated to reflect the fact that it will now play for one hour.

The opening hours can be defined from the Day Part editor’s opening hours tab, or directly from the display unit editor by selecting the appropriate Day Part. Generally, opening hours are best defined within an all-day Day Part. Areas in purple indicate that the Player will display content during those times and areas in white indicate that the Player will not display anything if turned on during that period. By right-clicking on the view, you can access the context menu which allows you to create, remove or edit a block of time. You can also change the size of a block by grabbing its upper or lower bound and dragging it. Multiple blocks of time can be selected with the Control of Shift key.

Opening hours

The maximum time range of a Day Part can be edited in the Range tab of the Day Part Properties dialog. Day parts can also have specific days of the week where they are in effect over their date range in the Days tab of the Day Part Properties dialog. This makes it possible to define the site’s opening hours using multiple Day Parts in order to have different frame layouts at various times of the day, or to associate different criteria or impressions values to each Day Part.

Multiple day parts

Simple Screen Control 

With the DPMS standards, it is now possible to make use of soft power controls on your screens so they suspend/resume according to the defined opening hours. In the Day Parts properties, where the opening hours are defined, the “Suspend/Resume screen(s) according to opening hours” checkbox indicates whether the opening hours schedule should also be used to put the attached screens into suspend mode (stand-by).

Once enabled, this setting will be effective on all connected monitors of a given player, not just the primary. It then sends a suspend command at the end of a Day Part and exits the suspend state 30 seconds before the opening hour begins. No further configurations are required.

    • The Simple Screen Control is different from hard power control as it only controls the screen’s low power state. It does not allow the screen to be turned on or off, therefore when the screen is turned off the control will not power it back on.
    • Due to its unidirectional nature, the Simple Screen Control feature does not allow for a query of the screen’s power state (assert power) nor for the interpretation of return codes, so no incidents will be returned if the controls fail to execute.
    • If controlling the hard power or if a higher level of complexity with error handling are required, please refer to the section on Device Monitoring using RS-232 screen controls.
Day Part Transition

In the case where multiple Day Parts are specified, the switch from one Day Part to the other is smoothly achieved. Rather than immediate abrupt transition, the next Day Part is queued up until the spot currently playing reaches completion.

Day Part Weights and Blocking Day Parts

It is possible to set multiple Day Parts to be in effect at the same time on a given day. This makes it possible to have a Day Part that defines standard characteristics over a long period of time, and to be able to preempt it for exceptional cases. For example, a drugstore could be open normally from 9:00AM to 9:00PM every day, but close at 5:00PM on Christmas Eve and all of Christmas Day.

The Broadsign Administrator handles this type of situation by using Day Part Weights and Blocking Day Parts. Day Part Weights make it possible to assign priority levels to different Day Parts, so that the Broadsign Player will know which one to use if they overlap at any point in time.

Blocking Day Parts make it possible to “black out” certain times so that no content can be scheduled during that time block. They take precedence over any Day Part that they overlap, regardless of its weight.

For the example of the drugstore given above, the corresponding display unit would have three Day Parts: one that runs all year long every year, and has a start time of 9:00AM and an end time of 9:00PM; one that runs on Christmas Eve every year with a start time of 9:00AM and an end time of 5:00PM, with a higher weight than the first one, so that it takes precedence on that day; and, finally, a Blocking Day Part that runs on Christmas Day every year. If a Day Part with a higher weight intersects only part of a Day Part with a lower weight, the Day Part with a lower weight is suppressed completely, not just for the intersecting period.

Day parts can have their weight edited or be set as Blocking Day Parts in the Weight tab of the Day Part Properties dialog.

Frames

In order for a Day Part to be able to display content when it is in effect, a Frame layout must be defined for it. These frames are targeted and booked by Campaigns to display content. Creating and manipulating frames is performed in the Frames tab of the Day Part Properties dialog.

Editing frames

Multiple frames can be arranged in the same Day Part to independently display different content at the same time. For instance, a movie theater may split the screen into two frames, one of which loops ads and movie trailers while the other shows the showtimes schedule and prices.

A frame’s geometry can be set in Pixels or Percentage. Percentage geometry is simplest and allows the frame’s actual dimensions on screen to scale to different desktop resolutions of the Player displaying it. Pixel geometry is used when additional precision is required, however, for it to display correctly, the resolution of the Player must match the display type’s resolution. X and Y indicate the position of the top left corner of the frame. Z indicates the depth of the frame, with lower Z-ordered frames appearing beneath higher Z-order frames. Red sections indicate errors where frames of the same z-order are overlapping.

Impressions

The Impressions tab is where you can set the number of impressions per hour that will be measured during this Day Part. Impressions per hour are using in conjunction with media packages that allow you to define CPM based pricing. By default the domain impressions will be used but if this screen has a unique value you can override the domain settings and input any specific value that has been measured at the display unit’s site.

Clone Day Part

In the display unit Editor’s Day Parts tab, you have the option of cloning a Day Part. Cloning a Day Part will effectively copy all of its properties, frames and scheduling to a new Day Part. Use cloning if you wish to add a new Day Part that will be automatically included in all Campaigns that targeted the previous Day Part.