CaptivCast™ Digital Signage Frequently Asked Questions

What is a CaptivCast™ digital signage media player?

A CaptivCast™ digital signage media player is a flexible, scalable and affordable digital advertising signage solution for hospitals and healthcare systems that lets you place messages and content in front of your diverse audiences at your facility.

How many players can I have on my CaptivCast™ digital signage network?

There is not a hard maximum number of players that can be part of a CaptivCast™ network. The only limit is the theoretical limit of the maximum amount of data that can be passed through the network infrastructure and your ability to live with slower migration of files through the network if you have a large number of players.

What types of media files are compatible with CaptivCast™ digital signage?

CaptivCast™ digital signage is designed to work with ISO standard image and video formats. Still image types: png, jpg, gif, and bmp; Video Types: mpg, mov, avi, wmv, asf; Animation Types: swf; Audio Types: mp3, wav.

What image resolution combinations are allowed for CaptivCast™ digital signage?

CaptivCast™ does not restrict any multimedia files to a particular resolution or aspect ratio. Obviously, the best resolution to use is that of the . For the most part, if you are using a 16:9 display ratio try to keep your images and videos at a 16:9 ratio. Likewise, a 4:3 ratio display will display multimedia files that are formatted to a 4:3 ratio the best. Does CaptivCast™ automatically resize my media for display?

What are the best image / video formats to use with CaptivCast™ digital signage?

The best image and video format is the format which displays your content in the best clarity on your Plasma or digital signage LCD displays. Large file sizes should be avoided due to latency in moving such files through the network, and therefore files larger than 200 MB should be avoided. You can use larger files but you must take into account the time that it takes to populate all players with the appropriate content.

Can I add music or a sound track to my CaptivCast™ digital signage slideshow?

Yes, any mp3 or wav file can be associated with a slideshow.

Does CaptivCast automatically resize my media for display?

Yes and No. When you add a media file to a loop you are given the chance to modify the display size parameters. Your choices are: Full Screen, Normal Size, Double Size, and Stretch. Full Screen tells the CaptivCast™ digital signage media player that you want to raise, or lower, the overall image resolution so that it maintains the media file’s current aspect ratio. The resolution is enlarged or reduced to fit the maximum vertical or horizontal pixel count for the display. Normal Size will attempt to use the media file’s current resolution as long as it fits within the display’s resolution, if not, the resolution is reduce so that it fits, while maintaining the correct aspect ratio. Double Size will attempt to double the media file’s properties and Stretch will stretch / skew the media file’s properties to match exactly that of the display.

How do slideshows work in CaptivCast™?

CaptivCast™ slideshow content is defined by a folder in the CaptivCast™ digital signage media library. You create a slideshow entry in a loop by selecting the folder that contains the images that you want to display. All images within the folder are eligible for display. The slideshow engine selects files in the order in which they were copied / placed in the folder. If time runs out for all images, the slideshow will save information indicating which slide in the folder is next. Therefore, the slideshow will play all images found within the folder over the course of the loop’s lifespan.

Do I need to worry about mixing landscape and portrait oriented media in my loops?

Your Plasma or LCD digital signage displays should be mounted with the orientation (horizontal or vertical) that best suits your digital signage strategy. To generate the best results all content should attempt to match the display orientation. If, for example, your display is mounted in a horizontal (landscape) fashion and you want to display a portrait static image, the image will only fill up the entire display if you ‘stretch’ the image in the player. The result will be a shorter fatter representation which will most likely be unacceptable.

Can I define the screen transitions used between loop entries?

Yes, image transitions are defined through the Transition Timer attribute. A Transition Timer attribute can be added prior to any (and all) media entries in a loop. The following transitions are provided at this time: Flicker free fade, standard image blend, transition group a, and transition group b. Each of the transition groups contain multiple transition strategies that are picked from the list at random prior to invoking a transition.

Do I need to worry about which codec my videos are using?

A “codec” is a software algorithm that compresses and decompresses video files so that they retain the greatest image resolution and clarity while attempting to make the files as small as possible from a storage perspective. If your video uses standard ISO codecs a suitable codec should already be present on the CaptivCast™ digital signage media player(s). Some codecs, however, such as the Sorensen 3 Video Codec is not provided. If your videos use this codec you will need to obtain a valid license based upon the codec manufacturer’s terms and apply the codec(s) to your CaptivCast™ digital signage media player(s).

What is a CaptivCast™ Loop?

A loop is a sequence of multimedia files and commands that serve as input to the CaptivCast™ digital signage media player. Loops are sometimes referred to as playlists. You can manage CaptivCast™ loops in the loop designer. There is no limit to the number of loops that you can have. One loop – the Default Loop – is the master loop and is the loop that plays when there are no schedules running.

What is a CaptivCast™ Schedule?

The CaptivCast™ Digital Signage Scheduler is responsible for playing specific content loops at a particular time. Each schedule is assigned a particular loop from the CaptivCast™ digital signage media library. Schedules are created by selecting a range of dates or a single date, such as Jan 1, 2008 – Dec 31, 2008, or, April 1, 2008 – April 1, 2008. Next, you can select specific days of the week for which the schedule will apply. Select all days or as few as one day of the week. Lastly, you’ll be selecting a time range in 5 minute increments – such as 11:45 am – 12:45 pm.

How does the CaptivCast™ Digital Signage Scheduler interact with the default loop?

Three options are provided that define the interaction of the scheduled loop with the default loop. The options are: Exclusive, Merged, Alternated. Exclusive schedules refer to a schedule that preempts the default loop. The node will only play the scheduled loop during the time range of the schedule. Alternated schedules refer to the nodes ability to play the default loop once, followed by the complete scheduled loop, and continuing to alternate default and schedule for the duration of the schedule. A Merged schedule plays one item from the default loop, followed by one item in the schedule, followed by the next item in the default loop, followed by the next item in the schedule. Thus, the two loops are merged together for the duration of the schedule.

Does the CaptivCast™ Digital Signage Scheduler interrupt the default loop on all players?

Schedules can be assigned to one or more player nodes which allows you to have schedules unique to specific players.

What is a CaptivCast™ Node?

A Node represents a CaptivCast™ digital signage media player interface. Each node, or player, can drive one or more plasma or LCD digital signage displays throughout your facility. Each display that is connected to a node will show the same audio and video content.

Can I assign specific user accounts to one or more CaptivCast™ nodes?

Yes, each login id can be assigned to one or more CaptivCast™ nodes. Multiple users can be assigned to a specific node as well.

Can I have multiple user accounts for my CaptivCast™ digital signage network?

Yes, accounts can be created for as many users as you desire. The CaptivCast™ Administration allows for dispersed authorship. Passwords are encrypted during transmission and cannot be viewed in clear text.

Does CaptivCast™ provide some form of secure access to the digital signage media player?

Yes, the remote manager interface is accessed through a web browser. Each user will be prompted for a login id and a password in order to access the manager interface.