Configuring Broadsign Player

This page guides you through the configuration of Broadsign Player settings.

Broadsign Player is highly configurable.

By default, the installation package will create the original configuration. This configuration is replaced when Broadsign Player is upgraded. The original provides reasonable default settings for all Broadsign components.

Should the original configuration need to be changed, the user may make these change using either the local or remote configuration branches. Settings from the original configuration branch are superseded by those from the local branch which in turn are superseded by those from the remote branch.

The local configuration branch can only be altered by user intervention directly on the Player machine. The remote branch is configurable by Broadsign Administrator.

For technical assistance, contact Broadsign Services via email at services@broadsign.com.

The local configuration of Broadsign Player specifies the configuration settings of the software on that particular machine.

Original Configuration

The “original” configurations of a Windows player will reside within the system’s registry and may be found in the following registry path:

[HKLM]\SOFTWARE\broadsign\OrganizationDefaults\bsp\configuration\original

Performing registry modifications directly on a system should be done with care. It is highly recommended that backups of the registry be taken before modifying any settings. Incorrect changes could prevent the system from operating normally.

We have documented a configuration running a 32-bit version of Windows. If you are running a 64-bit version, the registry path will be slightly different. Windows creates a folder called “Wow6432Node”, and the registry path becomes:

[HKLM]\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\broadsign\OrganizationDefaults\bsp\configuration\original
Setting Local Configurations

The following are steps required to setup a “local” configuration on a Windows system.

  1. Within the following registry path, create a “local” key.
[HKLM]\SOFTWARE\broadsign\OrganizationDefaults\bsp\configuration
  1. Within the “local” registry path, create a “services” key.
  2. Replicate the key of interest found in the “original services” configuration in the “local services” configuration and set its value to the desired value.
  3. Modify the use_branch value within the following registry path so that its value is set to local.
[HKLM]\SOFTWARE\broadsign\OrganizationDefaults\bsp\configuration

Once the changes have been performed, Broadsign Player must be restarted so that the changes will take affect.

The following demonstrates how the registry will be organized once the bsp.filesink value from the “original” section has been replicated in the “local” section.

Local Registry Screenshot

The local configuration of player specifies the configuration settings of the software on that particular machine.

Original Configuration

The “original” configuration of an Ubuntu Broadsign will reside within the Broadsign.conf file located in the following directory:

/etc/xdg/
Setting a Local Configuration

The following steps are required to setup a “local” configuration on an Ubuntu system.

  1. Locate the “local” configuration file named Broadsign.conf within the following path:
/home/bsp/.config/
    Broadsign Player must have been started at least once prior to making these changes as the local file is only created upon the first startup of the application.

    1. In the “original” configuration file (/etc/xdg/Broadsign.conf) locate the configuration to be modified and copy the line into the “local” configuration file.
    2. Replace all instances of “original” within the paths to “local” for the new configurations added to the “local” file.
    3. Enter the following line at the end of the “local” configuration file:
    configuration\use_branch=local

    Once the changes have been performed, the player must be restarted so that the changes will take affect.

Disk Monitor

The Disk Monitor service automatically manages the disk space used by Broadsign Player’s document root folder.

When Broadsign Player downloads content to play, it is stored in the document root folder. As more and more content is scheduled and then removed from Broadsign Player’s playlist, this folder grow. The disk monitor service counteracts this growth by removing files that Broadsign Player no longer require. The disk monitor will only perform this task once the size of the document folder has exceeded a configurable threshold. A remote configuration profile allows the user to configure this threshold from the “Settings –> Disk” tab of the Configuration Profile Properties. The threshold can be controlled in two ways:

  • Specific Cache Size (GB)
    This option allows the user to input a maximum size for the document root folder. If the content in the folder exceeds this size it is removed. See the details section below for more information.
  • Auto Managed
    This option instructs Broadsign Player to keep at least 15% of the hard drive free. For example, on a 100GB drive, when less than 15 GB of free space is available, the auto-managed option would start to delete least recently used ad copies in order to maintain 15GB remains free at all times.

The Disk Monitor will check the document root periodically to see if any files need to be removed. If it determines that action is needed, file are removed in two steps.

First, the least recently accessed files that Broadsign Player does not consider to be currently playing content are removed. If this first pass has not created sufficient space, a second pass is made removing any files starting from the least recently accessed until sufficient space is made available.

Network Configuration

Broadsign Player uses its network connection in many ways. For certain installations, customizing the specifics of this behavior can be required.

Poll Frequency

This remote configuration profile option can be found in the “Settings –> Core” tab of the Configuration Profile Settings in Broadsign Administrator. This configuration option controls how frequency the player communicates with Broadsign Server to receive updates. The minimum frequency the player allows is 20 minutes.

Respect Network Controls

Broadsign Player uses the network connection for many reasons. In some cases it can be desirable to disallow access to the network for some features. For instance, a store would configure Broadsign Player not to use a dial-up phone line connection that is shared with the cash register during opening hours. To disable network access, a player first has to be configured with a Network Control Time Span indicating when it should be allowed to access the network. By default, the player will obey this restriction. If the Respect Network Controls option is disabled, the player will use the network even during blacked out times. The Respect Network Controls option can be configured for the following networking features:

  • Polling
    If network access is denied for polling, Broadsign Player will not communicate with Broadsign Server during the disallowed period.
  • Downloading Content
    If network access is denied for content downloads, Broadsign Player will not download new content during the disallowed period.
  • Ticker Content
    If network access for the ticker product is denied, the ticker will play the most recent data.
  • Synchronization Monitor
    If network access is denied for the synchronization monitor, Broadsign Player’s last synchronized file will remain in use.
Fallback to Primary Server Cluster

This remote configuration profile option can be found in the “Settings –> Network” tab of the Configuration Profile Settings in Broadsign Administrator. When enabled this option allows Broadsign Player to download new content from Broadsign Server even when an edge server is assigned to the player.

If this option is disabled, the player will be forced to retrieve new content using only the edge server. This option can be used to control the bandwidth used by the player when communicating with Broadsign Server.

Fix Clock Skew

This remote configuration profile option can be found in the “Settings –> Clock” tab of the Configuration Profile Settings in Broadsign Administrator. When enabled, this allows the Broadsign Player to synchronize its internal clock with the Broadsign Server to an accuracy better than 1 second. This does not change the Player’s Operating System time.

Use Throttling

This Remote Configuration Profile option can be found in the “Settings –> Core” tab of the Configuration Profile Editor in the Broadsign Administrator. The option controls the maximum speed at which the Player can download its content from either the Broadsign Server or an Edge Server assigned to the Player.

Host Name

This configuration parameter cannot be set using a Remote Configuration Profile. Please refer to the “Configuration –> Local Configurations” section of the manual for details about how to set this option.

The host_name is a semi-colon delimited list of network addresses or host names that represent the Broadsign Servers that the Player can communicate with. This option is configured on the bsp.connnector_adapter_factory service. For example, in Unix the following lines would set the host_name: parameter correctly:

configuration\use_branch=local
configuration\local\services\bsp.connector_adaptor_factory\host_name="192.168.0.1;bss.yourdomain.com"

The first line is required to tell the Broadsign Player to consider using the local configuration branch. The second line sets the host_name parameter to a list of 2 possible Broadsign Servers.

Synchronization Monitor

The File Synchronization Monitor (monitor_sync) provides a mechanism for periodically updating a local file from a remote source. This is commonly used to synchronize external data needed for some dynamic Flash content. For example, a Flash application might show the local weather conditions using a file updated once every hour by the Synchronization Monitor.

Usage

The File Synchronization Monitor can be applied to a Broadsign Player using the Remote Configuration Profiles within the Administrator or by modifying the local configuration branch. Please consult the appropriate section below for either method.

Configuration using a Remote Configuration Profile

Once a player is assigned to a Remote Configuration Profile, the Synchronization Monitor settings can be fully configured without needing any user intervention. For more information, see Configuration Profiles – Players – Monitor Sync Section.

The files to be copied by the Synchronization Monitor can be configured in the URLs tab of the Configuration Profile dialog. It is important to remember that the “bsp” user will need read and write access to whichever directory files are synchronized to. If the folder permissions are not set correctly the Synchronization Monitor will not work.

For advanced users who already have an existing urls.xml file, the Advanced mode allows this file to be copied directly into the dialog for use by the associated Players.

In some cases, the file to be synchronized needs to be customized for a specific Player. Instead of requiring one remote Configuration Profile for each Player, the Synchronization Monitor supports 3 variables that can be used to identify the Player and synchronize the correct file.

  • Resource Id
    This variable contains the unique identifier of the Player resource as seen from the Broadsign Administrator.
  • Location Code and Address
    These variables contain the ZIP/Postal Code and the Address fields configured on the Player’s Display Unit.
System Monitors

It is important for the Broadsign Player to perform its tasks within the limits imposed by the system’s hardware and other software that is installed. The system monitors keep track of system resources and take action to resolve any problems that occur.

CPU Monitor

This Remote Configuration Profile option can be found in the “Resource Monitors –> CPU” tab of the Configuration Profile Editor in the Broadsign Administrator. The CPU monitor will report an incident if the Broadsign Player detects that CPU exceeds a configurable threshold. This behavior is controlled by 4 parameters:

  • High CPU Threshold (%)
    This is the CPU usage in percentage that is considered too high. Exceeding this threshold alone will not trigger an incident. The excessive CPU usage needs to be prolonged.
  • High CPU Period (Seconds)
    This is the length of time that CPU usage has to exceed the High CPU Threshold for an incident to be reported.
  • Rotation Frequency (Seconds)
    The Rotation Frequency defines the interval at which the Broadsign Player should check the CPU usage of the system. This value should be less than the High CPU Period.
  • Log Frequency (Seconds)
    The Log Frequency controls how often a entry should be made to the Broadsign Player’s log indicating the current CPU usage. This is useful for tracking CPU usage during the course of playback.
Memory Monitor

The Memory Monitor can be enabled from a Remote Configuration Profile option found in the “Resource Monitors –> Memory” tab of the Configuration Profile Editor in the Broadsign Administrator. When enabled, the Memory Monitor will restart the Player machine if either the Player’s memory usage is too high, or the system’s memory usage is too high. An unexpected shutdown incident will be reported if this occurs.