A sign for the digital age...
The digital signage system which Calvin College began using in 2009 is the Redpost system.
RedPost provides Corktop, a web-based application, to create signs (called posters), group them into playlists, and display them onto one or more media players/viewing screens as scheduled. The files are housed on RedPost servers and the media players update every 60 seconds. The media players are very small pc’s running Wicker, a version of Linux, although any pc can be used as a media player. The media player outputs a signal to one or more flat screens or projectors.
RedPost media players use a USB flash drive or a hard drive for file storage. They have a network jack, wireless antenna, several USB ports, and a DVI/HDMI connection for output.
The output signal is a webpage running Firefox in fullscreen mode, without visible menus.
- Display local and outside web pages, png & jpg images, mp4 and Flash video, pdf documents, RSS feeds, Flickr photos, weather forecast, etc.
- Create Posters with the built-in design tool or create them with PowerPoint or other graphics software and save as a png graphics file.
- Individual Posters can be scheduled to play continuously or just for specific times and days.
- EMS (Emergency Message System) capability to display emergency messages on all signs or any subgroup within 1 minute of being triggered.
- Message crawl at bottom of screen to display additional messaging, weather, stock ticker, etc.
- Touchscreen mode to allow user interactivity. In response to user input, such as pressing on a touchscreen or mouseclick, the screen displays a specified webpage. The user can continue browsing from that page. After a specified length of time with no user activity, the sign returns to its playlist.
Ongoing costs are less than $15 per media player per month, which is inexpensive compared to most digital signage systems.
We are also able to control the display screen with a Linux program which allows commands be sent on a schedule to an infra-red emitter attached to the display screen. This can be used to turn the display on in morning and off in evening, select the input, set the volume level, etc. to ensure the screen is on and off when desired and prevents the public from changing channels, turning volume up, etc.
Contact Randy Nieuwsma, AV Department, for more information.
NOTICE: Each person who uses a Windows computer to export graphic files from Powerpoint to make RedPost signs needs to increase the resolution of the files which Powerpoint exports. Press this button to download a small program which will change the resolution of the Windows computer. When you are asked, Open it with your browser, then double-click it to run it. It must be run by each person, while logged-in, who needs the higher export resolution. You may delete the file after you run it.
The file's name is: PowerPoint Export Res for RedPost.bat
(Mac users don't need to make this change.)