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# Synchronized TV Screens (video wall) example: MultiSync

This example came from BrightSign, but in an unworkable state. The demo is supposed to process UDP input to select a video. All of that was missing from the project. So, what you have here is a cannibalized example that will synchronize 3 screens, each of which will cycle through two videos. The videos are split feeds, displaying either the top or bottom of a the number 1 or 2. At some point, I will try to implement the UDP functionality to choose the desired video.

Our specific needs were to have synchronized partial videos played across 3 screens - a video wall. This functionality requires the beta version ( or newer.

These instructions work on a Mac except for the BrightAuthor notes which reflect running in a Windows 7 VM on my Mac. My Windows 7 VM shares my user folder on the Mac, and is how I save and publish files from BrightAuthor. No files are saved in the VM.

## You will first need to clone the brightsign repository from github.


Note: BrightSign refers to Web Server hosted projects as 'Simple File Networking'. This was confusing to me at first. 

## Repository Folders

- examples: contains the MultiSync example. This was cobbled together from assets contained in the BrightSign SelectorWall example.
- setup: contains SD card images for the 3 brightsign units (Simple File Networking mode) and one image for Standalone mode.
- publish: contains the published presentations for the 3 BrightSign units when using Simple File Networking mode.

## Web Server

This example uses as the base folder for published presentations (projects). This URL does NOT redirect to https like the rest of the server urls. It also points to the second disk (/data) instead of /www.

You will need credentials to upload to this server.

## BrightAuthor

Everything related to projects and unit setup is done in BrightAuthor (minimum version

This application is half baked and not very intuitive. Detailed map around the land mines below.

## Setting up the BrightSign units

The players require an SDXC card to configure the network mode.

In all cases, you will first need to insert an SD card containing the setup files for the player. You can used the existing setup files in ./setup/left (right/center) IF you are publishing to (right/center). You can use the existing setup files in ./setup/local if you are using a player in standalone mode. After you insert the SD Card, you will need to power cycle the player to read the setup files.

In Standalone mode, you will see a message on the screen that it is safe to remove the SD card after it has been loaded. You then need to erase the SD Card and copy a local presentation to the SD Card and then insert the card and power cycle the unit.

In Simple File Networking mode, you will leave the SD Card in the player.

To use the existing setup files, insert an SD Card (formatted FAT, volume label BRIGHT SIGN) into your Mac. 

    $ cd ./setup
    $ ./load {local|left|center|right|demo}

To use an existing standalone example (recommended for initial testing). This contains a video file too large for the repository. Download the follow file, unzip it, and copy the files in that folder to the demo folder under setup:

    # Load standalone setup files. Insert an SD Card into your Mac
    $ cd ./setup
    $ ./load local

    # Remove SD Card and insert into player. 
    # Power cycle player
    # Wait for 'safe to remove SD card' message
    # Remove SD Card from Player
    # Insert SD Card into your Mac
    $ ./load demo
    # Remove SD Card and insert into player. 
    # Power cycle player

After about 20 seconds, you should see the "Landscape Timescape" demo playing on the TV. This presentation was pre-published and downloaded from BrightSign - no authoring was necessary. When working with Simple File Networking projects, you will always have to publish them yourself as the web server url is baked into the published files.

## Creating your own setup files

If you need to modify the setup files (eg. different web server publishing point url), use the following procedure.

    - Run BrightAuthor in a Windows VM.
    - Select Tools->Setup BrightSign Unit

The only fields you need to worry about are:

    - Name
    - Use name only
    - Network Connection Priority - Wired
    - Time Zone
    - Radio Box for networking mode.

    - Diagnostic Web Server is optional. I didn't find it very useful.

    - Standalone (nothing else required)
    - Simple File Networking (url for web folder). This should be a base folder AND a unit specific subfolder. This is where the player will check for the schedule and assets for that player. This must match the URL where the project is ultimately published to. Example:

What I did was to create 4 separate setups - Simple File Networking (left, center, right), and one for standalone (local). When I created the setup files for each of these, I saved them to ./setup in the repository folder on my Mac. When you are ready to copy the files to the SD Card:

    - Format the SD Cards to FAT (using disk utility on the Mac, this will become FAT32)
    - Set the volume label to be 'BRIGHT SIGN'. This is arbitrary, but the load script that I wrote depends on it being 'BRIGHT SIGN'

When ready, click Create Setup Files. Save them to a shared folder on your Mac (I used ./setup/left (right/center/local)). You could write directly to the SD Card, but by saving the files to a folder you can reload the SD cards without having to use BrightAuthor each time.

## Creating the projects

Here is where it becomes interesting and very tedious. BrightAuthor is evolving rather clumsily. As they say at BrightSign, 'it is like several apps in one'. Indeed.

The first thing you will notice is that there are 4 tabs: Create, Edit, Publish and Manage.

What is not obvious is that you can work with two types of projects in BrightAuthor - Presentations (aka Projects) and BrightWalls. File extensions are .bpf and .bvw

Even less obvious is that when you select Create, you are creating a BrightWall. When you select Edit, you are creating/selecting a Presentation. Clicking back and forth is like switching between applications - there is NO relationship between the two. Very confusing.

Do not use the Create Tab. Select Edit instead.

Use Publish when you are done setting up the presentation. Be sure to check the 'Simple File Networking Parameters' and the 'Publish to' fields each time before you publish. (See Gotchas below).

I have not used the Manage tab. It is not needed for this example.

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Ok, you have just selected the 'Edit' tab. This puts you automatically into a new presentation or the last open presentation. But there is a bug here, which is that it inherits default attributes you cannot change. So, be sure to NOT begin working on this "new" presentation, and instead select File->New Presentation. This will give you a dialog to set the properties of the presentation. Be sure to set portrait/landscape correctly here, as you will not be able to change it later without editing the project file.
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For our MultiSync example, we will have two types of projects - master and slave. The video tutorials explain how to clone the first slave into other slaves and then use "Replace Media Files" to give the new slave different content as part of the video wall. I instead chose to start over each time. 

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I'm not going to explain each step for creating the projects as there is a pretty [good video](
) on how to do it. It moves fast, so you'll have to pause it several times.
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##Gotchas and Good To Knows

Publishing your presentation - the 'Simple File Networking Parameters' and the 'Publish to' are not persisted with each project, you MUST set these fields before publishing if you have recently switched from another project. The fields retain the last used values.

When you create a new presentation (project) you are able to select portrait or landscape. There is no way to change this later via the GUI. You would need to exit the project and edit the .bpf file.

When setting up the playlist, in order to use synchronization events, you must select the interactive radio button on the upper right.

When adding things like synchronize and end of media events, you click the icon on the top to select the event, then click the video below (that you earlier added to the playlist). Then, click near the BOTTOM of the video and drag to the video you are transitioning to. Weird UI feedback (lack thereof). You can see this in action in the MultiSync video referenced above, although if you don't watch carefully, you'll miss it.

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See the [email transcript](BrightSign Support 4K setup for synchronized streaming playback.pdf) in this folder from a support ticket with BrightSign. Lots of information in it.
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