A. Purchase the Raspberry Pi and associated parts
The following are the suggested components needed to assemble the piSignage Player
- Raspberry Pi 2 Single Board Computer (recommended although models B+ or B will also work) sold by RS components, Element14, amazon and others
- Raspberry Pi 2 Case
- USB Power Supply with Micro USB Cable (buy the once which are designed for Pi and have 1-2.5A capacity)
- Class 10, 8GB microSD card
- Good quality HDMI cable
- LAN cable or Pi compatible USB wi-fi adapter
Many vendors sell these components as a kit like amazon
piSignage Player provides HDMI interface with selectable 1080p(Full HD) or 720p output mode. CEC is also supported by Pi for TV on/off control. Identify a suitable TV which supports these specifications and suits your needs.
C. Get the piSignage Software
Player software can be installed in 2 ways.
- Download the image from piSignage Repository and prepare the SD card. Instructions are available at the repository.
Contact us to order a pre-loaded SD card and we will ship it to you.
- If you have Rasbian OS already installed, download the software from piSignage Repository and run install script. Instructions are available at the repository.
D. Configure the Wi-fi,Network and Server(if needed)
piSignage Player tries to obtain DHCP address when connected to Network through LAN cable and uses pisignage.com as the default server to communicate. Settings can be changed for the player using Chrome Browser and opening the URL http://playerIPaddress:8000.
To configure Wi-fi, Static IP or a different server connect a keyboard to the Player and press Ctrl-N or F6.
- To configure a different server other than pisignage.com, use the "Config Server" option. It configures the media server also to the same server
- For use cases where media server is different from config server, use the media server to configure the same after configuring the Config server.
Player is ready to use! You can upload files and schedule content either using the server(recommended) or locally pointing Chrome browser to URL http://playerIPaddress:8000.
Credentials for browser to connect to Player are "pi" and "pi"
E. Buy the Player license
piSignage player requires license file which is tied to the CPU id of Raspberry Pi. If the license file is not available a ticker text is shown or appended to your ticker message saying "Powered by piSignage".
If the player is connected to pisignage.com the license file is automatically generated and downloaded each time you register a player(provided licenses are available/purchased already). Alternatively you can download the license file anytime from pisignage.com/subscriptions and copy to your local server.
F. Create an account at pisignage.com (or prepare your local server)
Follow these easy steps to get started at pisignage.com
1. Signup for free at pisignage.com/signup.
2. Register the piSignage players using their ids using "Register a Player" button in the "Register & Monitor" tab.
3. Player details will appear on the screen and status will be green if player is able to communicate with the server.
4. You can create groups and assign players to them for easy managing.
An open-sourced version of the server is available at github repository. This needs node.js and mongodb to install. The instructions for installation are available at the repository. There is no signup needed and players will automatically show up.
How to operate piSignage Network
Once you have the basic setup ready(if not done already, please read Getting Started to do so), operating piSignage network consists of the following steps.
Non-mp4 video files are automatically converted to mp4 files in the server. For direct-upload to players mp4 formatted video files are needed.
You can delete the uploaded files or rename them in the "EDIT" mode available in the top toolbar.
Create a playlist (you can add more playlists in EDIT mode) and assign the assets(files and links) to the playlist. You can select a layout for the playlist to suit your needs. Depending on the layout selected there are upto 3 zones (main, side and bottom). Main zone file is always needed. If needed add the "side" and "bottom" files as well. If no side or bottom file is selected the previous zone file will continue to display.
You can select duration for non-video files and video files will continue to play till end. mp3 Audio files can be added and they will continue to play till next video or audio file is encountered in the playlist. This way audio files can be used for background music.
Drag the files to rearrange the order. Ticker can be added for every playlist or disabled using Ticker button at the toolbar.
Other than regular Playlists which can be scheduled play always or at certain times (group wise), advertisement playlists can be created. The content of these are inserted at programmed intervals in between the main playlist.
3.Deploy to Groups
Groups can be created (in EDIT mode) under Group & Deploy tab. Players are assigned to a group. At least one playlist is needed to be assigned to the group. Additional playlists(upto 4) can be added and scheduled for different times of the day or for a duration. If advertisement need to be inserted, create a advertisement playlist and add it to the group.
Landscape or portrait mode and the resolution can be configured per group. This overrides the mode selected at the player level.
4.Monitor the players
Player details like IP address, version, location, last synced & reported time can be monitored. This screen is refreshed automatically. Player software can be upgraded to the latest.