Station Help
Friday November 15, 2019

Station Management

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Introduction to Stations

After you've finished building a Campaign you are ready to assign it to a remote LWS Player.

- Desktop version

- Web version

- Embedded version

- Mobile version

The LWS Players are developed using an open source framework called FLEX which is available through the publicly available Apache repository. The LWS Players runtime is powered by common web technologies including HTML5, Adobe AIR, Adobe Flash, JavaScript, C++ and Java.

Regardless of which version of the player/operating system you are using, when you make a change to your presentation, whenever you decide to push the update; that change will propagate to all Players. LWS Signage uses the "build once and run everywhere" ideology.

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Desktop Version

The LWS Player Desktop version is our dedicated player. Designed to run on a dedicated computer and always connected to one or more physical screens. The LWS Player Desktop version caches all content so it can run offline or when the internet connection is lost. The LWS Player Desktop version is remotely managed from the Signage Manager. Some of the remote commands include live snapshots, play, stop push new updates, and software revision control. The LWS Player Desktop version is a highly optimized media player.

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Web and Embedded Versions

The LWS Player Web and Embedded versions are lighter versions of the Player. They don't have remote control capability and they are used to preview the presentation, share the presentation with others, or to embed it on to your own website.

For the Web and Embedded Players, the only requirement is you that you need to have Adobe Flash installed.

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Mobile Version

The LWS Player mobile version is similar to the LWS Player Desktop version. It was designed as a dedicated playback player that can run with or without internet connectivity with full remote control capabilities.

The LWS Player mobile version is supported on both Apple iOS as well as Android devices.

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Stations

From the Stations you'll control all dedicated players (Desktop and Mobile).

To access and control each remote Desktop/Mobile player you have installed, you need to click on the Stations tab from the main navigation menu.

After you access the Stations area (by clicking on the Stations button from the main Navigation menu), you'll notice it has three sections:

1. Campaigns (on the left side of the interface)

2. Stations (on the center side of the interface)

3. Properties panel (on the right side of the interface)

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Campaigns Area

In the Campaigns area, you'll see listed a directory of the Campaigns you created. You'll associate a Campaign with a Station using the Station's properties panel.

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Stations Area

In the Stations area, you'll see all your Stations listed; meaning the Computers on which you have installed LWS Player (Desktop and Mobile). You can remotely manage the players from this area.

To control the listed players in the Stations section, you'll use the toolbar located on the top of the Stations panel.

Below the toolbar we discussed earlier, is where all your Stations are listed; along with several Statistics for each Station. The Statistics are organized in columns.

These are all the columns in the Stations area. You can click on any column title to change the sort order.

The arrow indicates all the Stations will be listed in an ascending or descending order based on the respective column title.

Tip: You can click and drag a column's size using your mouse. This applies to all columns found in any section of the Signage Manager.

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Play

To start playing a selected Station, select it in the Stations panel and click on the Play button .

After you click on the Play button, a new dialog box appears on your Screen.

In the dialog box you can choose to save changes to server and to update station(s) with changes.

The save changes to server option refers to any change you made to your Campaigns since you last saved. If you enable this option it will save all the changes to the server before the Player starts playing your Campaigns.

The update station/s with changes refers to applying the changes you saved using the first option (to the selected Station). If enabled, this option will update the selected station and all other Stations using the Campaign you've applied changes to.

In the dialog box, you have the option to click on the PLAY button and the Player will start playing immediately, or to click CANCEL and abort the operation.

You'll notice after you choose to play a particular Station, its status will change from Ready to Playing.

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Stop

To stop playing a certain Station, first select it in the Stations panel and then click on the STOP button .

After you click on the Stop button, a dialog box appears on your screen.

You can click YES to Stop the Station from playing, or NO to cancel the operation. If you click YES, the status of the selected station will immediately change from Playing to Ready.

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Ping

Ping will retrieve the latest statistics from the Player and verify it is alive.

If you click on the ping button you'll notice the Peak memory and other Player statistics will update.

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Snapshot

If you click on the Capture button , the server will request a real time snapshot from the Station. The station will reply with an image of the current playback state.

You'll notice the system took a picture of whatever was playing on the Station at that particular moment. You have the option to set a quality of the preview. Higher quality snapshots result in a longer delay between previews.

Set a zoom level for the LIVE capture.

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Music Volume

The Music feature allows you to control the volume of the LWS Player.

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Check New Version

The Check New Version feature allows you to propagate the latest releases builds to the LWS Player. The latest software revision will automatically download and install on the remote LWS Player with no user interaction.

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Restart Player

The Restart Player feature will restart the Signage Controller.

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Reboot Player

The reboot feature will physically reboot the computer where you have installed the LWS Player Desktop version. If you select a Station and click on the reboot button .

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Export Data

The Export Player data allows you to export the current campaign bound to a station and all its associated data to a folder. You can later import the data locally on the computer where running the LWS Player using a USB drive. This manual update is sometimes referred to as SneakerNet as you need to walk (i.e.: sneakers) to the physical station to perform an action.

This method is mostly used to update your LWS Player offline when no internet connection is present at the location.

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Clear Caching

When you click on the Clear Player Caching button , a new dialog box appears.

You can click on YES to CLEAR the caching data remotely or you can choose NO to CANCEL the operation.

Clear caching allows you to remove the local data used by a particular remote Player and forces it to download the current content from the server. This is useful if the Signage Controller is not playing the correct content.

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Deleting a Station

To DELETE a station, you select it in the Stations directory and click on the Delete button .

When you click on the delete button, a dialog box will appear on your screen.

If you choose YES, the selected station will be permanently DELETED. If you choose NO, you CANCEL the operation.

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Station Connection

In the Connection field, you can check if a Station is connected to the server and if it can be managed from the Signage Manager. The connection is indicated by one of three colors:

- Red, indicates no connection.

- Green, indicates the Station is connected using a Socket.

- Yellow, indicates the Station is connected using HTTP pooling.

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Station Controller

In the Controller field, you can check if the Signage Manager of a particular Station is running or not.

If the Signage Controller is not running, the status will say not running and you will not be able to take advantage of some features like remote snapshot and computer reboot. In this case, you need to check if the LWS Player Desktop version and the Signage Controller installed correctly on the computer connected to your Screens.

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Station Name

In the Station field, you'll find the name of the Station.

You can change the name of any Station at any time directly from the Signage Manager.

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Station OS

The OS column indicates what Operating System of the selected Station. In the image below, the selected Station uses Windows 7 as the Operating System.

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Station Version

The Version field indicates the version of the LWS Player.

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Station Air Version

The AIR Version field indicates the LWS Player Adobe Integrated runtime version. The AIR version is controlled by the Signage Manager, but you are always safe installing the latest version from Adobe; if you wish to do so.

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Station Last Update

The Last Update field displays the last time the LWS Player was updated. Check out this field to know precisely when you updated the selected Station with the latest changes.

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Station Last Status

In the Last Status field, you can check the latest status of a Station. In this column you'll see the last even the LWS Player reported back to the server. Remember that if a Player is currently off, the last status will indicate the last reported even prior to losing connection to the server.

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Station Started

In the Started column, you can see when the Signage Controller first started.

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Station Running

In the Running column, you can check how long a particular Signage Controller has been running. In the image below, the first field indicates the Signage Controller is not running. The second field indicates around 2 hours and 11 minutes passed since the Signage Controller associated with the selected Station began working.

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Station Current Memory

The “Current memory” shows the current volatile memory available on the selected Station.

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Station Peak Memory

The “Peak memory” field shows the latest amount of memory used by the LWS Player on the selected Station.

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Stations Property Panel

When you select a Station in the Stations directory, you'll access its properties panel. In this section, we'll discuss each station's property in detail.

The properties panel of a Station has two main tabs:

-1. Station

-2. Location

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Station Properties

Under the Station tab, there are six categories:

-1. General

-2. Performance

-3. Notifications

-4. Station Mode

-5. Reboot Conditions

-6. Power Saving

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General Station Properties

When you click on the General tab (under Station in the properties panel), you'll gain access the following settings:

- 1. Name

- 2. Campaign

- 3. Output

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Station Name

To change the name of a Station, first you select it in the Stations directory and type the new name in the Name field located in the properties panel of the selected Station, press enter to complete the process.

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Station Campaign

To show your Signage Presentation on a particular Station, you'll select a Campaign that will be played by the LWS Player installed at the location. To re-assign a Campaign, first select the Station and choose a Campaign from the dropdown list.

You can switch between the available Campaigns at any time and assign different Campaigns to the same Station whenever you want. Remember to click File > save and restart player with changes if you wish to apply the changes immediately.

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Station Output

In the Campaigns Help, we discussed creating more than one Output within the same Campaign. If you create more than one Output within a Campaign, you need to choose one from the Output dropdown list to assign it to the selected Campaign.

You can only assign one Output at a time to a select station.

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Notifications

The send notification feature allows you to receive an email every time a Station goes down.

To use the send notification feature, you first set up a default email address that will be used by the system to send emails.

Go to File in the main top menu of the Signage Manager interface and choose Setting.

In this window you'll set the email address where you want to receive notifications.

Enter the email address in the email field.

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Station Mode

In Test station mode: All your applications and open widows will keep running. This feature is recommended when testing the LWS Player on your own PC.

In Real station mode: All running applications and opened windows will be closed as well as hiding the Task Manager. This option is recommended for dedicated LWS Player operation; i.e. you'll only use the computer for playing your Signage Presentation.

To change the Station mode of a particular Station, you select the Station in the Station directory and click on the Station Mode tab and choose either Test Station mode or Real Station mode.

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Reboot Conditions

When you select a Station from the Stations directory and click on the Reboot conditions tab, you'll have access to several settings which allow you to control and schedule the rebooting of the selected Station.

These settings are:

- 1. Reboot Exceed Memory

In the reboot exceed memory section you can program the selected Station (hardware) or the LWS Player Desktop version (software), to reboot if a certain memory threshold is exceeded.

- 2. Reboot Every Day

Using the reboot every day option, you can program either the LWS Player Desktop version (software) or the Station (hardware) for a daily reboot.

- 3. Reboot on Error

Using the reboot on error option, you can program either the LWS Player Desktop version or the Station which runs the Player to reboot every time an error occurs.

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Power Saving

If you click on the Power Saving tab, you'll gain access to a section of the properties panel where you can control when Stations and Monitors turns ON or OFF To save energy.

To schedule a monitor or station to turn ON or OFF at a particular day and at a certain time, follow the next steps.

STEP 1: Select one of the two available options, either the Monitor or the Station.

STEP 2: If you select the Station in Step 1, you can choose each day of the week and at what time the selected Station turns OFF. A Station cannot be turned ON remotely from the Signage Manager, but it can be physically set to turn ON if the BIOS of the computer support it.

If you select the Monitor in Step 1, you can set a day and time the monitor of the selected Station will turn ON or OFF (go into standby mode).

EXAMPLE 1: Schedule a Station to turn OFF

Select the day and the time you want the selected Station to turn OFF. We'll set the selected Station to turn OFF every day at 19:00 hours.

EXAMPLE 2: Schedule a Monitor to turn ON or OFF

Select the day and the time you want the Monitor of the selected Station to turn ON or OFF.

In our example, we will set the monitor to turn ON every weekday at 10:00 AM and on weekends at 11:00 AM. We'll also set the monitor to turn OFF every weekday at 19:00 hours and on weekends at 21:00 hours.

This is what the configuration should look:

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Location

If you click on the Location tab in the properties panel of a selected Station, you can associate a location to that particular Station. This feature is useful when you're planning to allow advertisers to play ads on your Station.

Let's say, for example, you have a Station located in Los Angeles, USA. To save the location and associate it with your Station, you enter the address or zip code in the Location field.

Next, click on the right arrow key or press ENTER on your keyboard to search for the map of LA. If you typed the correct data, you'll immediately see (just below the Location field), a map of the city and surrounding area.

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Location Map Controls

After you've entered an address or zip code in the Location field, you can control the map of that location in several ways.

There are three different types of representation you can choose from:

1. Map

2. Satellite

3. Hybrid (map and satellite)

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Remote Update

There are several ways to update the remote LWS Player.

1. THE SAVE DIALOG

The easiest way to update all your remote Players is through the SAVE dialog. Click on FILE and then choose SAVE (upload) from the main Menu of the Signage Manager user interface.

After you choose SAVE, a new dialog box appears.

In this dialog box, you can enable the Restart stations with changes option. Enabling this option, will synchronize all Stations and update them with the latest changes you made inside the Signage Manager. Every single Station, every single LWS Player Desktop version installed anywhere in the world and is connected to the Signage Manager, will reboot and play with the latest changes you made to your Signage Presentations.

If you leave this option disabled, the system will save the changes to the server but it will not propagate them to your Stations; until the next player reboot.

Using the SAVE dialog is efficient if you have a smaller network. If you have a larger deployment, it can be hard to manage all the LWS Player and update every single one of them with the SAVE dialog.

2. THE UPDATE BUTTON

Another option is to save the changes using the SAVE dialog, but leaving the Restart stations with changes option disabled.

This way, we are saving the entire configuration to the server but we are not updating each Player installed on location. If you want to apply the latest changes only to a specific player, select it and click on the update feature from the Stations toolbar.

You can choose YES to update/synchronize the selected Station, or you can choose NO and CANCEL the operation.

You can also select multiple Stations by holding down the Ctrl key on Windows and select each Station with your mouse to apply the latest changes only to the selected Stations.

Another option is holding down the Shift key on Windows and with the left mouse you can select a series of Players from the Station's directory. Use the Ctrl key to select or deselect Stations.

Once you selected the Stations, you can click on any of the available buttons in the Stations toolbar and the operation you choose will affect only the selected Stations.

One import thing to remember is to always SAVE the changes to the server before updating the selected Player or Players.

Let's say for example we make a change to a particular Campaign.

Next we go back to Stations, select one or more Stations and click on the update button.

Choose YES on the Sync Station dialog.

Even if we clicked on YES, the updates are not going to be reflected on the selected Players because we never saved the changes. Anytime you change something in the Signage Manager you must remember to choose SAVE (upload) from the File menu to first save the changes to the Server.

Only after you've saved the changes to the server can you select one or more Stations and click on the Update button to update the Stations.

3. THE PLAY BUTTON

Another way to update the remote Players is to select them and click on the Play button.

You have two options:

-1. Save Changes to Server

-2. Update Station/s with Changes

If you enable the Save changes to server option, the system will save whatever changes you have made to your presentation to the server.

It will do this before it instructs the selected Player/s to restart.

You may sometimes notice this option is not available.

This is because you didn't make any new changes to the presentation. If you go back and make any change to the Presentation, after you click on the Play button, you'll notice the option becomes available.

If you enable the Update station/s with changes option, the system will tell each remote LWS Player to contact the server and see if there are any changes made, before it starts playing.

If the option is disabled, the system will simply instruct all the selected Players to start playing.

4. Closing the LWS Player on location

Another option you can use is to update the LWS Player by physically closing it.

If you close the LWS Player Desktop version, the Signage Controller will restart it. As soon as it comes back on, it will contact the server again and it will stream down the latest changes. If for some reason the internet is not available, the Player will load the cached content.

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Web and Embedded Players

The LWS Player Web and Embedded versions are lighter versions of the player. They don't have remote control capability and they are used mostly either to preview the presentation or to embed it on to your own website.

Remember regardless of which player version you are using, the LWS Player Desktop version, Web player, embedded or even mobile; when you make a change to your Signage Presentation, that change will propagate to all the Players.

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Web Players

Unlike the LWS Player Desktop version, the LWS Player Web version doesn't need require an installation. To work, the LWS Player Web version needs to run in a Web browser and Adobe Flash must be installed on the computer that will run the Player. Also, make sure window popup is enabled to open the Web Player.

You can use the Web Player to preview the Signage Presentation while you are working on it.

1. Using the main Navigation menu of the Signage Manager.

In the main navigation menu of the Signage Manager, located on the top left side of the user interface, you'll find the Player button.

When you click on the Player button, a drop down menu will appear. The dropdown menu contains two options:

- Player Preview

- Install AIR Player

If you click on the Install LWS Player Desktop version button, it will take you to our download page.

If you click on the Player Preview button, a new window dialog will appear:

When you make changes to any part of your Signage Presentation, after you click on the Player Preview button, you have the option to enable the "save changes to server" option. Enabling this option will have your latest changes saved on to the server, before the Web Player is launched.

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Web Campaign

To preview a Presentation you first select a Campaign. If you created multiple Campaigns, you'll see a dropdown list containing all your Campaigns.

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Web Campaign Screen

After you selected a Campaign, you also need to select a Campaign-Screen or Output associated for that Campaign. If you created more than one Campaign-Screens, you'll have it available in the dropdown list.

After you selected a Campaign and a Campaign-Screen, you may click on the Play button. You also have the option to cancel the operation by clicking on the Cancel button.

After you click on the Play button, a new dialog box will appear.

If you enable the Restart station with changes option, the system will restart all of your remote Players and update them automatically with the latest changes you've made to your Presentation. Next, the default Web Browser will launch and the LWS Player Web version will load.

After the Web Player has finished loading, your Signage Presentation will start playing inside your Web Browser.

1. Click on the dedicated button located in the middle of the Screen to enter Full Screen mode. In Full Screen mode, the Web Player will occupy the whole screen.

While you are playing your Signage Presentation in Full Screen mode, you can press the Escape key on your keyboard to exit Full Screen mode.

2. Click on the Preview in External Browser button

To preview a presentation using the Web Player, you can also use the Preview in External Browser button located in the Outputs area of the Campaign section. If you click on this button, your default browser will launch and play the selected Campaign associated with the Output screen.

3. Using an automatically generated web link

Another option is the LWS Player Web version with generated link. Any person with access to the link can view your presentation; the same Presentation that's running at the physical Output Screens is now available on the Web. It can be accessed at any time using any flash powered Web Browser.

You have three options to generate the link for your Web Player:

- The first option is to run the Player using the main navigation menu or the Preview in External Browser option, as we discussed earlier, and simply copy the link from the Web Browser.

- The second option is to use the LWS Player button from the Outputs area of the Campaign section of the Signage Manager.

If you click on LWS Player button, you'll get a dropdown menu; choose LWS Player Web and a new window will appear.

This is the Preview URL window. It allows you to Copy the URL to your clipboard and play your Signage Presentation. You can send this URL to anyone. Whenever you update this particular Campaign, it will automatically propagate and Play the latest version of the Presentation.

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Embedded Version

We covered the LWS Player Desktop version and the LWS Player Web version. The LWS Player Embedded version is designed to be embedded inside an HTML website.

You'll access the LWS Player embedded version by selecting a Campaign and clicking on the LWS Player button from the Outputs area.

After you click on the LWS Player button, you choose the LWS Player embedded. When you do so, a new window will appear.

This is an HTML snippet. You can copy the code to your clipboard, paste it into your website, and have the same Signage Manager presentation playing embedded inside an Adobe Flash powered browser.

Notice the HTML code has Width and Height parameters. These are not available options for the Web Player, because using the Web Player will allow you to play your Signage Presentation in Full Screen, or at the full width and height of your desktop area.

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Width and Height of Embedded Version

Using the embedded version, allows you to play your Signage Presentations inside an embedded webpage or an HTML page, so you need to define the Width and Height for the Signage Presentation.

Let's say you want the embedded Presentation to have a size of 800 x 400 pixels.

Assuming you have already build an HD Screen of 1920 x 1080 pixels for your Campaign, you can follow the next steps to setup a Screen and assign it to that Campaign to be played within the LWS Player embedded version.

Step 1:

In the Screens area of the Signage Manager, add a new Screen and set the resolution to 800 x 400 pixels.

Step 2:

Add a Screen Division and draw a configuration which will be played by the Embedded Player.

Step 3:

Switch back to the Campaign section, select a Campaign and a Timeline and add a new Output to the existing Campaign.

When the Output Wizard opens, choose the embedded screen we've created earlier.

At this point, we've created a second Output which has been added to the Campaign on to the selected Timeline. We will rename the two Outputs to HD and Embedded to keep things well organized.

Tip: When you are working with the Signage Manager, try to keep things organized. Assign proper names to the components, use folders and subfolders, make sure you manage the entire workflow.

Step 4:

Assign the Channels associated with the Embedded Output.

At this point, we have two Outputs named HD and Embedded. The HD Output is set to a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and the Embedded Output is 800 x 400 pixels.

Step 5:

Select the Embedded Output by clicking on its corresponding tab in the Outputs area and then click on the LWS Player button .

Step 6:

Select the LWS Player Embedded option.

Step 7:

Now you can copy the HTML code from the snippet and paste it onto a Webpage.

The presentation we've set in the above example will play at a resolution of 800 x 600 pixels, which will correspond to the resolution we have in the HTML code. Of course, you can set a different resolution in the HTML code, but it should match the resolution of the Output Screen you've set in the Signage Manager to avoid content skewing.

Step 8:

We will use the Notepad application to demonstrate how to use the HTML code of the Embedded Player.

Open Notepad.exe paste the HTML code from the Embedded Player snippet, then save the file with any type of name. Make sure you add the .html extension.

Step 9:After you've saved the HTML file, you can open it and watch the Signage Presentation embedded on the basic Web page we've created in our example.

You can use the embedded version of the LWS Player on more complex websites. In our example we created a simple, basic webpage using Notepad, just to demonstrate how you can use the embedded player. You should definitely take advantage of the embedded version; it is a very useful and quick way to enrich your website. You can actually create banners and dynamic content that you can put on your website.

The LWS Player Embedded version can even be used with touch screens or mouse / keyboard inputs to present interactive UI to an end user; resembling Kiosk functionality. Remember to enable Kiosk mode at the campaign and resource level to enable user interaction.

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