BrightSign Raises the Bar on Digital Signage Display Software with New Version of BrightAuthor6 min read
Adds Twitter Feeds, Local Networking, New Presentation Creation Tools and New Device Support -All Easy, All Free with BrightSign Players
Known worldwide for combining innovation with affordability, digital signage leader BrightSign® announced today Version 2.3 of its BrightAuthor software, a powerful PC application included free of charge with BrightSign’s broad line of solid-state digital signage controllers. Available now, BrightAuthor v2.3 delivers an impressive host of new capabilities that enable users to quickly display live content in a BrightSign presentation, network units and manage them with added flexibility. The new capabilities also include tools that simplify the process of building complex presentations, easy insertion of playlists and support for a wide range of new devices.
Twitter and Dynamic Content Feeds
BrightAuthor v2.3 has expanded its standard RSS text feed support with 3 new features that allow for live and timely content to be displayed. First and foremost is the new support of Twitter feeds. Twitter feeds can be directly displayed within a ticker zone, allowing timely messages to be displayed without republishing. For example, users can simply Tweet a welcome message for a visitor and it will promptly appear on the BrightSign display.
In addition, the new Live Text feature provides the foundation to tap into a log or database to display pertinent information. This feature can assist integrators with deployment by showing unit statistics and instructing end users with directional commands at certain points in a presentation. When linked to a database, Live Texts can instantly update a wait list for any number of applications from restaurants to salons, pharmacies and more.
Dynamic Playlists also create new possibilities for media RSS dynamic signage involving content such as news, weather, specials and more delivered as videos and images as opposed to texts. The Dynamic Playlists reside on the BrightSign Network where it acts as a pool of content to playback within a presentation. They can be accessed at various points within a primary published playlist and can be updated independently without republishing the primary presentation.
Local Area Networking Support
With BrightAuthor v2.3, a new and free networking solution is now available to BrightSign users. The Local Area Networking option is designed to enable users with a small network to send basic content updates and get unit status using a local area network.
By adding this new option, users can now choose from three network solutions. Simple File Networking is a free networking solution designed to enable users with a small network to send basic content updates over the Internet.
BrightSign Network is an affordable, highly secure networking solution that frees users from the complexities and cost of hosting and maintaining their own network. The all-inclusive option is scalable from networks with one to hundreds of players.
Diagnostic Web Server Support
BrightAuthor v2.3 can now be used to enable/disable the Diagnostic Web Server feature available with BrightSign Firmware v3.7. This useful new feature provides a remote look at a particular networked unit. It offers file browsing, uploading, downloading, deletion, etc. of the SD card content. In addition to network diagnostics, the application can be used for DNS lookup, pings and network settings. It can also be used to retrieve system, diagnostic, or playback logs as well as enable/disable script debugging.
Enhanced Presentation Creation Tools
Taking interactivity to a new level, BrightAuthor now provides users with the Interactive Menu tool which simplifies the creation of DVD-style presentations and enables the development of navigation-based interactive playlists without scripting. This new tool makes playback of many pieces of content very easy. Users simply drag and drop the content selection assets as well as cursors onto a background image to create the layout, and assign interactive button triggers to navigate and initiate playback when desired. An added benefit with Interactive Menus is that content development is greatly reduced since the layout is designed within BrightAuthor instead of creating content for each possible view of the DVD-style presentation desired.
Another new presentation creation tool in BrightAuthor is Media Lists. This new tool is ideal for inserting advertisements into retail presentations for cross promotions or branding. Video, images or audio assets can be pooled from a contained playlist for easy playback at defined points in a presentation. Users have the option of shuffling the playback of the content in the list or playing them in a certain order. Images of up to 16MB (uncompressed) can also be stored in Cache for faster loading.
New Device Support
When creating a new BrightAuthor project, users can now select the BrightSign TD1012 all-in-one portable tabletop display and choose from built-in portrait layouts. The software automatically sets the correct video resolution, display orientation and more which takes the guess work out of creating presentations for these free standing displays.
BrightAuthor v2.3 also adds support for BrightSign’s new USB Capacitive Touch Button Pad accessories (4 button and 11 button) which are compatible with BrightSign’s HD810, HD1010 and HD1010w interactive sign controllers. With BrightAuthor support, programming and customizing button interactivity and LED controls is fast and easy, making the complete solution ideal for applications such as retail product demonstrations, museum exhibits and trade show displays.
New Advanced Commands
In addition to supporting full HD at 1080p resolutions, BrightAuthor v2.3 software now supports 3D video playback for the top-over-bottom and side-by-side 3D formats.
With BrightAuthor’s support for BrightControl, major display states such as power on/off, volume up/down/on/off, pause, user-defined commands and all other standard Consumer Electronics Controls (CEC) available can be conveniently added to presentations for management without user intervention. This feature saves on integration time and costs because the commands are passed through the existing HDMI cable an eliminates the need for an additional RS-232.
Also under the heading of Advanced Commands is the new Audio Mute feature for enabling and disabling Analog, Digital and HDMI audio.
Dependable Ease of Use
BrightAuthor makes creating, publishing, updating and managing compelling digital signage displays so easy, even a novice can use it successfully. While this latest version of BrightAuthor has added an plethora of new capabilities and tools, the primary user friendly and visual-based interface and features are still firmly intact including the templates, wizards and customization tools that have made BrightAuthor so popular with both non-technical users and experienced users. The guides make it easy to create full-screen and multi-zone playlists for looping displays without manually configuring coordinates and image sizes. Content can be easily enhanced with features such as day-parting/scheduling, interactivity, synchronization and simple networking. Publishing the content is also simplified because the software automatically creates the playlist file and bundles it with the selected content, ready to drop onto an SD card for playback or delivered over a network.
Designed to run on a standard Windows PC with Windows XP or Vista or Windows 7, plus Microsoft .Net Framework 3.5 or later, BrightAuthor v2.3 is currently in public beta and is available free of charge to all BrightSign users at http://brightsign.biz/support. With this application, presentations can be deployed to BrightSign HD110, HD210, HD210w (wireless), HD410, HD810, HD1010, HD1010w (wireless) models and BrightSign’s new portable tabletop tower, the TD1012.
BrightSign video players and kiosk controllers are available from the BrightSign Store with prices ranging from US$284.99 for the HD110 digital sign player to US$649.99 for the HD1010 advanced networked digital sign and kiosk controller. To help users learn the basics about BrightSign, BrightSign now offers an online Quick Start Kit, BrightSign demos and a Tutorial page. The kit includes the latest version of BrightAuthor, a Quick Start Guide and sample BrightAuthor project files for full screen, zones and interactive presentations.
BrightSign, LLC, based in Saratoga, California, develops products and software for digital signage. BrightSign solid-state digital sign controllers set new standards for both stand-alone and networked digital signage applications with their superior video quality, reliability, affordability, ease of use and interactivity. Online information about BrightSign units is available at www.brightsign.biz. For sales inquiries, please contact sales [at] brightsign.biz or call 408-852-9263 in the USA and +44-1223-911842 internationally.
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