OmniDisplay User Reference Guide
4K Resolution Display 3600px x 1080px, OmniTicker 55px height attached, bottom edge features: promotional slide playlist, BBC TV, date, times, vertical rotation message bars, financial indices, and broadcast message box.
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User Reference Guide
August 2019
OmniDisplay

Introduction

OmniDisplay is an intuitive, easy to use communications platform that enables a user to extract, aggregate, compose and stream live real-time information from multiple external and internal sources to any video display. OmniDisplay auto-installs OmniRSS (an RSS Feed Manager). This provides the capability to source data from available RSS data feeds. OmniRSS User Guide provides details on its use and connectivity. OmniDisplay auto-installs OmniTicker too OmniTicker User Guide

System Requirements

OmniDisplay is a Windows 10 application; it uses the Windows Extended Desktop to create

OmniDisplay Virtual Displays (OVDs). OVDs can be published to any physical display that accepts a

video output; Smart TVs, video monitors, LED displays and LED tickers. The Minimum disk space

required is 20MB.

Windows 10 desktop hardware is required, favouring high-end processors and 4K resolutions with

power and connectivity being increased as the number of displays to be supported increases.

OVDs are connected to physical displays either via an HDMI port, or through the use of Video

Controller software and hardware. OmniDisplay has been tested with Matrox Powerstream software

and controllers.

Installing OmniDisplay

OmniDisplay is provided through a secure download. On installation, OmniDisplay is placed into the specified folder and the application is run by selecting it from the Start bar menu. When started for the first time, a sub-folder is created in the documents directory (OmniApps\OmniDisplay), and a further sub-folder is created (Graphics). These folders maintain user configurations, display definitions and media items (text, images and video) which have been imported into OmniDisplay layouts. The default location for all OmniDisplay layout files is Documents/OmniApps/OmniDisplay. Alternatively, when an OmniDisplay layout is created it can be stored in a location of the user’s choice, alongside any media items associated with that layout. This is covered later in this document.
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During initialisation and subsequent usage any significant events are recorded in a log. The message log is viewed to track the progress of the application installation and initialisation with successful events and errors being recorded. When the application is first used, this message log window will resemble that shown above. Actual messages may vary depending on the particular system configuration.

Supported Media Options

A comprehensive range of multimedia options are supported and include: Internal data imported from Excel and Application Frames External data extracted from RSS feeds Images, Graphics and Text from on-premise files Pre-recorded video from on-premise files External URL sourced video and live web pages
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Standard 1920x1080 Layout featuring TV Channels, Video Playlists, Welcome Playlists,

Vertically Rotating Message Bars and a Scrolling Ticker.

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Tool Bar Navigation

File Top Row Tool Bar New Display Layout Defines the size parameters for a new Display Open Content File Opens a file previously saved file from the OmniDisplay folder Save Content Save current content and layout if previously saved Save As Save current content and layout with a new name Remove Layout Removes the Display from the list of active Displays Publish Saves current content and layout to a user named folder Schedule Set up a schedule (Load various files at different times). Playlist Set up a Playlist (Load various files at defined intervals). Run OmniTicker Activates OmniTicker to run alongside OmniDisplay Edit Top Row Tool Bar Undo Undoes the last editing action Redo Resets the last editing action to the prior status Cut Deletes current selection after copying it to the clipboard. Copy Copies the current selection to the clipboard Paste Creates new selection from clipboard contents. Paste Link Create a DDE link or links from selection in Excel. Bring Forward Brings selected object one layer forward Send Back Sends selected object one layer back Bring to Front Brings selected object to the front Send to Back Sends selected object to the back New Item Creates a Text, DDE, RMP or Graphic object Delete Permanently deletes and Item or group of Items Select All Selects all objects in the layout Search/Replace Identifies/Replace ‘Service’ & ‘Topic’ from a Feed Handler Item Properties Identifies the object properties Tools Top Row Tool Bar Layout Properties Establishes the width and height of the layout in pixels Comms Properties Only used when setting up a serial connection, default ‘None’ Environment Options General, Display, DDE & RMP Cache settings Refresh Display Trans-Lux ONLY - refreshes physically connected Display Clear/Refresh Board Trans-Lux ONLY - clears/refreshes connected Display Clear/Refresh All Boards Trans-Lux ONLY - clears/refreshes ALL connected Displays Feed Handler Connect Connection settings for local host (defaults set) World Clocks Identifies world time zones from Windows registry Clean Graphics Folder Removes all graphics objects not in use by active Displays View Top Row Tab View Status Bar Identifies object source when mouse hovers over the object DDE Link Status Identifies status of links with Excel spreadsheet Message Log Maintains log of programme actions Help About Identifies the current programme release level
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Edit Top Row Buttons Cut Deletes current selection after copying it to the clipboard. Copy Copies the current selection to the clipboard. Paste Creates new selection from clipboard contents. Undo Undoes last action (up to 100 levels). Redo Undoes last ‘undo’. Colour Set the colour of the selection’s text. Edit Bottom Row Buttons Text Create a single line static text object. DDE Create a DDE link. Paste link Create a DDE link or links from selection in Excel. E Create an Item using data from OmniRSS. Clock Create a time or date Item. World clock Create a world clock Item Graphic Create a graphic / media Item Colours Text Set ALL Text to a chosen colour. Backg Set the Background colour. Display Bold Emboldens all characters on the published display. Hide editor Minimises editor to the task tray. Double click icon to restore. Publish Opens Display Management Dashboard Display Name User defined physical Target Display Virtual Display File name given to the OmniDisplay Layout Display No Display number for Extended Desktop X & Y Coordinates for the Target Display Lock XY Checked locks X&Y coordinates on Target Visible Checked makes Layout visible on Target
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Right-Click Functions

On Right-Click replicates editing functions available from the main menu, but adds four specific additional functions: Align Restore aspect Background Zoom Align provides various options for aligning multiple media objects, horizontally and vertically. Media objects include video, TV channels, text fields and numerical tables. Restore aspect returns a resized object to its original proportion. It can be used for all objects, but is relevant to video and graphic images. Background provides an option to create a watermark background image. A JPEG image can be selected from source to act as a watermark. To avoid distortion the image should be the same size as the layout (e.g. a layout of 1080 x 1920 pixels requires an image of 1080 x 1920 pixels. The image replaces the background colour selected from the main menu. Clear background removes the watermark image and returns the background to the colour previously selected.
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OmniDisplay has a ‘Transparent background’ option where the published image will appear as a transparent overlay. This can be used where the published layout is being projected on to a background, or where a desktop background image is being used. The transparent layout will appear on top (front layer) of the surface the layout is being published to. Zoom allows the layout editor to change the visible size of the layout; Zoom does not affect the actual layout size.

Default Locations, Cloud Store & Connection

The default path for OmniDisplay layouts files is: Documents/OmniApps/OmniDisplay/ (file name). ‘Publish content to’ provides the user with the option to save the layout file (and any content graphics) to another local or cloud- based folder/ location of their choice. For example, the cloud-based folder could be stored on One Drive, Dropbox or to any other hosted location. This location is stored alongside the content within an OmniDisplay layout.
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OmniDisplay Connection Settings

From the Tools tab within OmniDisplay select ‘fetch feed handler’. This will show the default connection settings as ‘localhost’ and Port 5004 for information purposes only; they will match OmniRSS settings. OmniDisplay and OmniRSS and designed to run from the same PC with both installed at the same time.

Environment Options

Show Item Positions will highlight objects on the grid allowing the user to see the object boundaries. Show scrolling regions similarly highlights any DDE and RMP objects that where a scroll feature is used to highlight when values change.

Display placement grid provides a visible grid of dots or lines in

the user’s preferred colour. This provides a user with guides to line-

up and resize objects on a layout.

Additional Options - General

Select all touched objects determines how a selection is made; this can include items partly within the selection rectangle, or only those completely surrounded by the selection rectangle. Where objects overlap each other, a user can opt to select just the top one, or the whole stack. A user can opt for a warning if placing objects on top of each other. ‘Ignore duplicate incoming’ data (checked) will allow a duplicate item to be sent to the display or flash. Where incoming data is the same; ‘Ignore non-printable characters’ will cause any ASCII codes that can not be displayed on the display to be ignored. Get most recent data from feed handlers’ retrieves the latest data from the OmniRSS program when creating a new item. Additional Options allow a user to place or move items, through snap to grid, snap to another item’s position for easy alignment, or not to snap to anything. Snap distance options are 4 or 8 pixels. DDE and RMP Cache have options to respectively identify to a user when an Excel item is unavailable / disconnected. The same applies when an RMP item is unavailable either as a local or remote item. The values default to those shown opposite, but can be changed to a user’s preference.
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Display Layout Editor

Any object on the display layout editor can be moved by selecting the object and dragging it with the mouse to the chosen coordinates. Additionally, graphical display objects can be resized by dragging the bottom right hand corner of the object. Multiple objects may be selected by dragging a rectangle on the display editor; all touched objects will be selected. Any selections can be moved and graphical displays scaled up or down. Text based items can be layered; the options opposite provide for items to be moved back and forward. Restore aspect applies to video and graphic items and restores the item to its original height and width ratio.

Using the Layout Editor

Static text

Static text is a single line text object, used for titles, headings and messages. Simply enter text in the value field and select a colour. For video all displays, a user can choose a font style and size. The text item is then dragged to its position on the display editor. The Static text option has a Playlist function, whereby for each line of text vertically revolves in a predetermined sequence to allow, for example, welcome messages to scroll within the same display area. Various scroll effects and sequences are available in time intervals.
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Layout Content Editor

Multi-line Text

This option is available through the add ‘Media’ item dropdown menu. It provides a simple text editor (.txt format) allowing a user to create a box of text with the font and colour of choice which will wrap-around in the box provided. Multi-line text objects can be entered directly into the application in the box provided or loaded from a ‘.txt file; the competed text should be saved. Different text based messages can be incorporated into Playlists, scheduled to run in a user’s chosen sequences and times. A text box can be sized to accommodate the desired height and width that best suits the display.

Excel & Excel Integration

A DDE object is a live link to an Excel spreadsheet. The simplest way is copy a cell or range of cells and use right click ‘Paste Link’. This brings across the the cells formatting, fonts and alignments. Resizing cells thereafter is best achieved by resizing the target cells through select and drag to size, or through the table of parameters. Additional format options can include conditional colour formatting based on changes from previous values, changes within a range of values and time. The examples show the colour of the object according to a range of values, whether the value is positive or negative, whether it has changed from it previous value or changed since a particular time.
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External Sourced Data

Externally sourced data can be accessed through a proprietary RSS Feed Manager (OmniRSS) ) using a Record Management Protocol (RMP).The ‘E’ button shows a dialog box with three source levels: “Service”, “Topic”, and “Item” with options for formatting and prefix text. OmniDisplay has one standard Service, RSS, and a reserve (unused) “WWW” tab in the dropdown menu. “Topic” refers to an RSS feed that has been captured by OmniRSS, “Item” refers to the item number from the list. Item numbers start at “00” upwards with the most recent RSS items first. Line items can be added to a Playlist, where that playlist can be a composite aggregation of data items from different sources.

Creating a Clock

Two types of clock are available: A Local Clock which takes its time and date from the host Windows desktop and world clocks that take their time from the Windows registry of time differences. For a Local Clock select the icon from the editing menu and select the date and time in the required formats. To create a world clock select the world clock icon to access the ‘Service’. Clicking the icon provides a pop-up window of time zones; required time zones will be added to the dropdown list and are selected through the Topic menu.
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Live Screen Capture

Live off Screen (Web page/ video)

This media type uses any data sources accessible from a URL; includes live video such as Sky News, Bloomberg or the BBC (if in the UK). The URL is entered into the dialogue box as shown opposite. The portion of the web page to be shown on the display is captured using the source rectangle over the browser window which appears when when the ‘Go’ button is activated. The rectangle can be adjusted by dragging its borders to fit the desired target image. Source width and height adjusters can also be used. Each item can be resized using the display editor to fit the desired size on the display; this will automatically re-scale the source rectangle to fit the user’s preferred size on the display. Restore aspect can be used to ensure an image or video is in the same perspective as its original source.

Live of Screen (Application Frame)

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Application Frame Excel Export
Live Webcam
This media type sources data from any open window on the desktop. It works on the same principles of selecting an area to the displayed as identified by the source rectangle whose X and Y coordinates are adjusted in the panel. In the example above, the open application window is Excel and the graph within that spreadsheet is selected for display as an Application Frame. Whenever there is a change in source data this is immediately reflected in the display. The combination of Excel integration and Application Frames creates a real-time image for management reporting. An Application Frame can be a selection from any open window. For example, if a user wants to display a data selection such as a management dashboard from another application, this can be selected and resized on the layout as required.

Device Capture

OmniDisplay can support the integration of devices such as a webcams and video cameras. The layout image above has a live webcam from the host desktop; this could be used to provide, for example, periodic broadcasts to employees alongside other company information. External devices would require integration with OmniDisplay which can be developed as customer or generic extensions to the application.

Local Playlists

Playlists can be created for vertically rotating message-bars, static graphics, (images), multi-line text (text boxes) and videos. For message-bars data can be a mixture of alpha numeric text and internal/external data sourced from RSS feeds managed by OmniRSS, including Twitter. Vertically rotating message bar provide the opportunity to create a user defined list of data items to be displayed. In the example above, RSS feeds have been selected from multiple sources. The user defines the interval or length of time each data item appears, the time taken to scroll and any scroll effect; the latter has various options that can be used for visual impact.
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Message-bars static images videos Message-bar Playlist

Layout Playlists & Schedules

Layout Playlists and Schedules are groups of virtual displays (files) that can be published at user defined intervals. Ensure files that are to be included in schedules and playlists are placed in the Documents/   OmniApps . They will not otherwise show as being available for selection. All Playlists and Schedules are standard OmniDisplay layouts that are grouped together. A user can set the time each virtual display layout will be published to a physical display and the sequence in which they will appear. Playlists can be reviewed and changed at any time, provided the playlist is paused. This is achieved through the toggle button in the main menu; ONLY when paused Similarly, schedule are can be set up for loading different layouts to the same display, or a Playlist of files can be displayed in rotation. In the example above two files are selected, each to run for one minute, although they can be set individually. can a Playlist be edited. Scheduled files have a start date and time. They can be set individually to run daily from a start date.

Publishing Virtual Displays

The Publish button brings up the Display Management Dashboard. This lists all the Virtual Displays that are available to publish to physical displays. For ease of reference, the Display Name is user defined, whereas the Virtual Display is selected from the dropdown menu, which lists displays that are open and available. These include standard layout displays, layout playlists and layout schedules (playlists and schedules identified by their icons).
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Toggle Playlist ON /PAUSED  Playlist EDIT Schedule EDIT
Display No: This is the display number identified from Windows Extended Desktop. For example a second monitor would be 2 and a third and forth, 3 and 4. X & Y: For a standard video display these are usually be set to (0,0). Where the virtual display is required to appear on a display larger than the virtual display size in pixels, the X and Y coordinates would be specified by the user and will need to be set such the virtual display appears in the correct position on the the target display. Lock XY: Ensures each time OmniDisplay restarts the virtual display will appear in the correct place on the target physical display. Visible: A user can opt to the make a particular virtual display not visible on the target display. This could be a user is editing the virtual display or has chosen the publish a different virtual ticker to that physical ticker or display

Alphanumeric Trans-Lux Displays

OmniDisplay continues to support Trans-Lux alphanumeric Datawalls (and Trans-Lux Tickers - see OmniDisplay User Guide for Tickers). These displays are supported for those customers who have a retained interest and use for these displays. Default settings exist for brightness row address, brightness and flash count. Display width (characters) and height (rows) for the target display (Datawall) are set by the user to match the target display. Trans-Lux Datawalls are serially connected. Within the Tools menu, Comms Properties are specific to Trans-Lux Datawalls; the target Datawall is matched to each physical display through the Comm port, which automatically shows ports available on the host desktop.+ For existing customers using Trans-Lux DataWalls or Trans-Lux Tickers, further information is available by contacting support at support@initiostar.co.uk
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