Broadsign Player

Broadsign Player is the Broadsign Core application that plays content from a PC that is connected to a screen. It also reports incidents and proof-of-play statistics back to Broadsign Server.

On this page, we describe the installation and configuration options of the software for a digital signage network.

On other pages in the Broadsign Player section, you will find:

The first time you set up Broadsign Player or Broadsign Edge Server, it must be activated before it will appear within your domain.

Activating a system is a four-step process. You must complete all steps before you can activate a system:

  1. System Registration
  2. Licensing
  3. Initial System Connection
  4. Troubleshooting

We also provide additional information about prerequisites for, and troubleshooting of, product activation.

System Registration

The first step is to create a Registration, via Broadsign Administrator, for the players that you would like to activate.

There are currently three methods for creating registrations within Broadsign Administrator:

    • Importing a CSV file: You can create CSV files from most spreadsheet applications with the specifications found below.
[PRIMARY_MAC_ADRESS], [TYPE ("player" or "edge") ], [NAME], [SECONDARY_MAC_ADDRESS (Can be empty)], [TARGET_CONTAINER_ID (player or edge server's container id to be used once promoted. Can be 0.)], [REPLACEMENT_RESOURCE_ID (should be 0 unless this player or edge will replace another one)], [DISPLAY_UNIT_ID (for players. Can be 0)], [PUBLIC_KEY_FINGERPRINT (Can be empty)], [CONFIGURATION_ID (Can be 0)], [NOTES (Can be empty)], [HOSTNAME (For edge servers. Can be empty.)]

For a player, the term player must be used in the second field. If no term is specified in the second field, the registration will default to a Player registration.

Further tips:

    • None of the columns are case-sensitive.
    • Only the first column, the MAC Address, is mandatory.
    • The primary MAC Address must be in column 1. Any row that does not have five colons in column 1 is skipped.
    • Column 2 is the registration type. Can be either “player” or “edge”. If not specified, the type “player” is assumed.
    • Column 3 is the name. If not specified, we auto-generate a name (e.g.,“Player with MAC 11:11:11:11:11:11”). The registration name is carried over and used as the player or edge server name once it is promoted.
    • Columns 4 through 7 are all optional: secondary MAC Address, target folder id, replacement id, and target display unit id, respectively.

Specifying primary MAC Address, registration type and target folder id:

af:22:de:cd:11:99, player, , , 2955729

Specifying primary MAC Address and target Display Unit id (the Player will be added to the targeted Display Unit once it has completed its registration):

dd:ea:ff:cd:77:53, , , , , , 332321

Specifying primary MAC Address and type:

dd:ea:ff:cd:77:53, edge

System registration is required to ensure that only authorized systems connect to your domain. Broadsign Core uses network card MAC addresses, as well as various other hardware properties to identify players and edge servers.

When creating a new registration, if your system has two network adapters, both MAC addresses must be entered, even if a particular network adapter is not in use or disabled. Systems with only one network adapter need enter only one MAC address.

The player software can be used to determine your network card’s MAC address(es):

  1. Launch the player on the system to be registered.
  2. Press the Escape button to exit full screen mode.
  3. Go to Help > About.
      • Primary and secondary MAC addresses are listed towards the bottom of the About dialog.

Alternatively (or for edge servers), you may consult the operating system’s listing of network adapters:

    • For a system running a Microsoft Windows operating system, in a command prompt, type: ipconfig /all.
    • For a system running an Ubuntu operating system, in a shell, type: /sbin/ifconfig -a.

The physical address is a series of numbers and letters (hexadecimal) such as the following:

00-D0-97-92-A3-B6

Registrations may specify a container to place the player or edge server in once the registration process has completed. Player registrations may also specify a display unit with which to associate the player with. Finally, it is possible to specify that the player or edge server being registered is intended to replace another unit. Please note that as soon as a registration is created which specifies a replacement unit, the replacement unit will immediately be retired. As this is the case, it is recommended that replacement registrations only be used to replace systems that are not deployed in a production environment. For more information about registrations, see Registrations.

Licensing

Once a registration has been created for a system, the registration will be licensed by Broadsign during Broadsign’s regular business hours. Please note that this process may require up to two hours to occur.

Initial System Connection

The activation process also requires that the player or edge server application establish a connection to Broadsign Server. Once this occurs and the registration has been licensed, the registration will be promoted to either a player or an edge server (whichever was specified when creating the registration). It will appear in the appropriate section of Broadsign Administrator.

Troubleshooting

If you have completed all of these steps and are still unable to see your resource through Broadsign Administrator, please run through the list below to ensure that your system is able to establish a connection to Broadsign Server. Edit your registration and check the status. The status will confirm how many steps of the registration process have been completed and displays instructions detailing the next step required to activate the resource.

    • If the system contains multiple network cards, please ensure that you have provided all available MAC addresses from the system in your registration, and that these MAC addresses were entered correctly.
    • If a mistake was made when entering the MAC address, the registration should be canceled, and then a new one created.
    • Please ensure that the system on which the player is running is able to access the Server through ports 10799 and 10805. This can be verified by running the diagnostics report. For details about running the diagnostics report, see Network Setup – Register a Player.
To ensure the proper operation of Broadsign Player, you must configure certain networking settings.

As shown in the illustration below, the player needs to be able to access Broadsign Server through port 10799 and 10805.

Outgoing access through ports 21 and 80 are also required for the player application’s fault reporting feature and for troubleshooting purposes.

Note: Your setup does not require inbound access to the player.

Proxy Settings

To apply Proxy settings on the player to centralize outbound connections on your network:

  1. To view the Player’s Options menu, minimize the player window by pressing Esc.
  2. Go to Operation > Options.
After installing and configuring Broadsign Player, use the diagnostics report to ensure that the system has been configured properly.

Diagnostics Report

The Broadsign Player Diagnostics Report is a helpful utility for checking the most common problems found during Broadsign Player installation.

To generate the Diagnostics Report:

  1. To view the player’s Help menu, minimize the player window by pressing Esc.
  2. Go to: Help > Diagnostics Report.
      • The diagnostics report window will appear; after a moment, it will list the results of various tests.

A sample player diagnostics report

The first section of the report lists crucial information about the system, including:

  • Primary MAC Address
  • Secondary MAC address
  • Screen Resolution
  • Using Proxy: Whether or not a proxy is being used.

The second section of the report lists the results of all the tests performed. The tests cover the most frequently encountered issues in the field, and focus heavily on networking and firewall tests:

  • DNS: We check DNS to ensure the system can resolve hostnames.
  • Port 10799: A port test for control information.
  • Port 10805: A port test for content.
  • Port 21: A port test for database recovery.
  • Port 80: A port test for crash reporting.
  • Flash Plugin Version: On Windows systems, we check the installed versions of Flash for compatibility.
  • Internet Explorer Version: On Windows systems, we check the installed version of Internet Explorer for compatibility.
  • Player Registration: We verify the player’s registration status.

If any test fails, a detailed description of the failure appears in the report.

Should you not be able to resolve the issue by following the suggestions, you can copy and paste the report into an e-mail to Broadsign Services: services@broadsign.com. Doing so makes it easy to communicate the precise problem you are experiencing.