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How do you do....it? Thread, TVs to be used as information displays in Technical; Hello guys and gals, I have been asked to look into buying 5 displays to display information to prospective students ...
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    TVs to be used as information displays

    Hello guys and gals,

    I have been asked to look into buying 5 displays to display information to prospective students at open days (at a university).

    I have seen that some of you guys use Xibo and to me it looks a pretty good solution (especially the centrally managed idea).

    I have unfortunately been told that we are to use USB Drives with JPEG "Slides" on to create a looping presentation.

    What TVs do you use for your information displays?

    And just in case any of you have any good ideas that will help me convince them to fund a centrally managed system, do any of you have any suggestions on ultra small form factor PCs? (Preferably cheap)

    I also quite like the idea of Internet enabled TVs. Has anyone tried these TVs to display a webpage? Or even know if they can be used for that purpose?

    Any help/suggestions are much appreciated.

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    morganw's Avatar
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    I would have thought that Xibo or Concerto would be the best way to do it? I wouldn't have thought a USB stick is a good way to organise the content though, and couldn't someone steal it if it's plugged in at the location? I was looking at Concerto as the viewer is web based so you could use a PXE boot on a low power PC, or a local linux install to autostart a web browser whereas with Xibo you need a PC Windows install to run the viewer. Maybe a TV with a web browser would have the necessary support for the viewer to run as well.

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    iMash (18th April 2011)

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    mhundley's Avatar
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    I have set up a basic display whch I have yet to put into action, however testing has proven the concept.

    I have an install of Xibo running in a Hyper-V client, this install uses WAMP with an additional database for notices.

    To access this additional database I use some simple php code and mysql queries which allow the system to use today's date and display any current/upcoming events to parents or visitors.

    The system is set to use BBC's Newsround rss feed for child friendly news and using a JQuery slideshow webpage which can be loaded into a region in Xibo, the slideshow looks to a set location which you specify in the code and is generated each time the page is reloaded, this means that each time your Xibo region/slide refreshes the slideshow is updated.

    For the teachers to manage things easily I have installed Gallery3 which is a php based gallery software, you can create a named gallery and tell staff to put images they want displayed into this gallery, in addition for the events I have written a php page which allows staff to add events to the database, the events are added as unconfirmed by default, this will not show up in the display, a simple link is added for the teacher to confirm the event.

    If confirmed the event will appear next time the events page is refreshed.

    Its been a long day and I haven't explained this very well, if you want more info or advice please let me know and I will see if I can be of any help.

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    Thanks morganw.

    I am installing Concerto in a VM as I type. I will give it a try.

    I agree that the USB idea is flawed, but I can see why the person who asked me wants to do it that way. Its easy for them to implement initially. I would like the idea to be scalable especially as these 5 displays are a test to see if they are appropriate and whether they could be used for other purposes.

    I don't think the security of the USB devices will be of much importance to the idea as they can easily be secured to stop opportunist theft (a chain similar to those that secure bank pens) and will be the cheapest we can buy so not really worth actually damaging to steal.

    Unfortunately with the timescale I have been given to get this implemented initially we are going to have to go with USB but I would like to get a more permanent, scalable, centrally managed system in place.

    mhundley: Thanks,

    I liked the feel of xibo when I first installed it on a VM. But did notice the downside of needing a windows machine to run the client. Although if I can source a small enough/cheap enough small form factor PC to connect to the display then I might still go with it. I like your idea for teachers/academics to be able to update the content themselves so I might ask for more info once I have done a bit more research if thats ok?
    Last edited by iMash; 18th April 2011 at 10:24 PM. Reason: Noticed another reply

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    Quote Originally Posted by morganw View Post
    or a local linux install to autostart a web browser whereas with Xibo you need a PC Windows install to run the viewer.
    Wrong - there is now a linux client (in trial)

    Also I run multiple displays around the school using XIBO - I use old dc7700 USF these for the clients

    But many people have used Acer Revo's http://www.revouser.com/wp-content/u...spirerevo2.jpg

    I've used various different solutions which to be honest aren't as good as xibo is.
    Last edited by glennda; 18th April 2011 at 10:48 PM.

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    iMash (18th April 2011)

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    mhundley's Avatar
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    Feel free to PM me if you want more info, as I said above it is just a couple of quick and dirty pages but it seems to work quite nicely.

    However having looked at Concerto, I will be looking at installing it myself to see what it can do.

    If you are wanting to only set one screen up, you can set Xibo up with both a Wamp server and the display client on the same machine.
    Last edited by mhundley; 18th April 2011 at 10:45 PM.

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    iMash (18th April 2011)

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    glennda - Thanks, those Acer Revos are pretty much exactly what I'm looking for. Our suppliers have them at £205 inc VAT. Lets hope thats an acceptable cost for the dept. I also have to agree that after taking a quick look at Concerto I'd say that Xibo looks more polished and friendly, theres no doubting that its a good application. And with a linux based client would be almost ideal (with a bit of tweaking) for what we want.

    I have only just discovered Wamp server. How have I not seen this before. Its ideal, I can run it on hyper-v happily :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by morganw View Post
    whereas with Xibo you need a PC Windows install to run the viewer. Maybe a TV with a web browser would have the necessary support for the viewer to run as well.
    IIRC xibo can be run from inside a browser but its a tad slower or something.

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    Bev
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    I use a Powerpoint presentation, and some free software called 'ShowPoint', after looking at numerous complicated solutions this was really easy and cheap. i am sure i picked it up from a thread on here.

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