Stacks is an advanced digital signage platform for building dynamic sequences of multimedia.
Multiple display candidates are stacked vertically and dynamically chosen by evaluating user defined conditions.
Conditions can incorporate date and time, geographic location and custom data.
Administration of large numbers of sequences is simplified by creating shared base sequences.
This allows a user to be granted the ability to only modify a subset of items displayed on a screen.
By using the stacking concept and powerful multi-user access controls, complicated dynamic sequences
can be constructed for showing worldwide, national, regional and local advertising on an unlimited number of screens.
Enhanced stacking logic
Control when items display using custom conditions and dynamic data. It is now possible to write conditions to specifically target an audience. For example, show an advert for a womens coat when more women than men are looking at the screen, the temperature is below 15 degrees and its a Saturday.
Sequence stacking allows collaborative control of a common base sequence. Control which slots in a base sequence can be overridden by another user. Build complex stacked sequences merging international, national, regional, local and screen specific content. Each layer controlled by different users.
Slots can contain inner sequences controlled by another user. Grant a user access to a specific slot in a sequence. Ideal for advertisers.
Multiple images and videos can be positioned and displayed at the same time.
Access control lists
Grant one or more users or groups access to specific screens, sequences, library items or other users and groups.
Immediate data updates
DS Loader maintains an open UDP port which means changes can be sent to devices instantly.
Immediate software updates
New player software and custom player implementations can be sent instantly to DS Loader. (A rooted device is no longer required).
Multiple screens on the local network can be synchronised to play slots at the same time. Video walls can be configured using shared base sequences for timing.
Players download images and videos from players on the local network when available (peer 2 peer).
Data integrity checking
All data is digitally signed and verified to prevent corruption and man in the middle attacks.
HD and 4K support
1080p HD video and ultra high definition 4K video capability (on supported devices).
All conditional logic is evaluated locally on the device. This means schedules and geolocation data evaluation does not require an Internet connection. Multimedia is also stored locally for perfect playback with no buffering delays.
Proof of play reports
A record can be created for every item that is displayed on a screen. Each device automatically synchronises records with the server when a connection is available.
As well as supporting HTML5 interactive content, custom events can be defined to trigger actions such as playing another sequence or collecting an email address.
HTML5 widgets can be added to display rich, dynamic content to screens.
Barcodes and NFC
Barcodes and NFC Tags can be configured to display custom content to the user.
Media can be e-mailed directly to a sequence.
Servers in Europe, America and Asia use asynchronous replication with eventual consistency to provide low latency connections, scalability and resilience worldwide.
Secure connections using the latest encryption standards.
The admin interface is used to manage multimedia, sequences, screens, users, groups and cloud configurations.
The functionality available to a user is configurable.
Click the sign in with password button to sign in to the administration interface.
An email address and password is required to sign in to the admin interface.
If you do not know your email address or password you must contact your digital signage manager or reseller.
Click the new sequence button to create a new sequence.
The general tab allows a Label to be specified for the sequence. Labels are used throughout the system for searching and referencing items in the future.
The populated by media RSS feed option periodically synchronises items from a media RSS source. This is typically used to pull live news items from sources such as BlueFox or ScreenFeed.
The populated by e-mail option enables the platform to receive media e-mailed to a special address and adds the media to the sequence.
The maximum number of stacks in the sequence can be specified. This is not configurable if a maximum has been set by a base sequence.
The playback tab is used to modify how a sequence transitions between items.
Transition animations can be configured to provide visually pleasing movement between items in a sequence.
Multiple devices playing the same sequence can be synchronised. See Playback Synchronisation for more information.
The base tab is used to select an optional base sequence. The base sequence provides default items and restrictions for the sequence. An administrator may require a specific base to be used to control how your digital signage device operates.
The access tab is used to grant additional users and user groups to access the sequence.
The data tab is used to add custom data to the sequence. The data may be used in condition evaluation or to store any additional information required.
(It is common for a sequence to be automatically created and to have a specific base sequence configured by an Administrator when you first sign in. Click edit to modify this sequence)
Click the stack heading to view options for configuring how the stack operates.
The Top option disables stacking above. When the sequence is used as a base, this option prevents the upper sequence from overriding items in this sequence stack or lower. Effectively, this guarantees your items are displayed and can not be replaced by the upper sequence.
The maximum duration limits the duration of items in the stack. If an item exceeds the duration, it will not be displayed. If the item refers to another sequence, the sequence will only show enough items to consume the duration. It will auto-progress next time the sequence displays.
Stack Item Dialog
Click the add button in a slot to add a new item to a sequence. The item editor will be displayed.
The general tab allows a Label to be specified for the item. The label is useful for reporting and indexing purposes. The Duration option controls how long an image or web page displays before progressing to the next item. If a video is uploaded and this field is not modified, it will be populated by the length of the video.
The display tab is where the multimedia to be displayed is defined. There are 3 display types:
- Single item – Display a single item consuming the full area of the sequence.
- Inner sequence – Display multiple items one after another from another sequence.
- Multiple items at the same time – Position and display multiple items and sequences on the screen at once.
Display a single Item
The Library button allows an item from the library to be selected to display in the sequence. The library functionality is not enabled for all users.
The Upload button allows a local file to be selected for upload. A new item will be added to the list below and will read “Pending”. When the “Save” button is pressed the file will be uploaded and associated with the item. Multiple images and videos can be added with different resolutions. The player will select the best batch for the screen.
The Internet button shows a text field that can be used to specify the address of a Web page, Image or video. There are 4 types supported.
- A web page – A web page (HTML) to be displayed by the web browser on the device.
- Static media – An image or video on a server to be downloaded once and displayed.
- Dynamic media – An image or video on an external server to be periodically checked for updates and displayed.
- Custom – This option is reserved for advanced purposes such as mapping local HDMI or RTSP streams internally.
Make sure you press Add to add the new address to the list of resources.
The Build button presents a list of tools for building content. Examples include Weather and Text RSS feeds. This list is dynamic, expect more options soon.
Display multiple items at the same time.
Use the library and sequence buttons to add items. Drag to position and resize them. Click numbered buttons to edit and remove each item.
Items can overlap. The numbers represent order of drawing to the screen. To raise an item to the top, click the center icon.
Display an inner sequence
Select the sequence to display. Remember the inner sequence will only display for the duration configured by the item. If the inner sequence
is longer it will automatically progress by one item each cycle of the outer sequence.
The condition tab is used to control when this item is displayed. The Start Date and End Date fields allow a specific date range to be quickly specified.
The reports tab provides the option to enable the collection of playback data. The playback data is useful for proof of play providing a complete report of what displays on each screen.
The events tab is used to define what happens when the screen is touched, a key is pressed or a condition is true.
An event consists of two parts; a trigger and an action.
When the trigger occurs, the action is performed. Actions include displaying a web page, playing another sequence, collecting data
(such as an email address) or adding advanced data.
A trigger can occur at any time while the item is displaying and the action will interrupt the playback of the active item.
The data tab is used to add custom data to the item. The data may be used in condition evaluation or to store any additional information required.
Test Data Dialog
The test data dialog allows you to set data to be used when evaluating advanced conditions. For example the
can be set to test whether the item will display at a particular time or GPS location. This is also useful for testing expressions using custom data.
Click the new screen button to create a new screen.
When adding a new screen, the general tab displays software download links. When the software is installed on a device, a MAC address will
be displayed. This MAC address must be entered into the MAC address field in the interface to associate the device with the screen entry in the
A meaningful label can be assigned to the screen to help find it in the future.
The display tab is used to control what is displayed on the screen. The drop down list will contain all the sequences you have created. Select
a sequence to start playback on the screen. When instant updates are available the next and previous control buttons will become available. Pressing
these buttons will instantly change the item displayed on screen making it possible to remotely control the sequence.
For sequence playback, a player must be selected under the player tab.
The player tab controls the software used to display the sequence on the screen. Custom player implementations are available to
provide advanced functionality such as using cameras for audience analytics and additional data collection.
Commands can be sent to a device to perform maintenance and debugging:
|Send log||Send log information to the server to help debug problems. (DS Loader v6+)|
|Send screenshot||Send a screenshot of what is currently on the screen to the server. Please note, videos may be displayed as black when they are using hardware acceleration. (DS Loader v6+)|
|Clear data||Delete all downloaded images and videos stored on the device.|
|Restart app||Stop the app and start again.|
|Stop app||Stop the app and do not restart.|
|Reboot device||Shutdown and restart the whole operating system. Only works on rooted devices.|
|Upgrade DS Loader||Upgrade the loader software responsible for loading the player. Only works on rooted devices.|
The location tab displays the current geographic location of the screen. If the device has GPS support, the location will be
automatically updated. If no GPS device is available, the IP address will give a rough location. A location can also be manually specified.
The access tab is used to grant additional users and user groups to access the screen.
The data tab is used to add custom data to the screen. The data may be used in condition evaluation or controlling advanced player settings.
Access to the platform requires an email address and a password. These credentials and other user related data is defined in a user item.
Administration interface features can be selectively shown and hidden to reduce complexity and simplify tasks.
For example, a user may only be responsible for adding content to a sequence and
only have the sequences tab visible. Another user may manage the screens and only need to screens tab visible.
Each user only sees the items they create unless they are granted access to other items. All items (including users) can
be shared with other users using the access tab when editing items.
It is recommended that specific users are created to control API operations.
Click the new user button to create a new user.
The general tab allows a name, email and password to be specified. The email must be unique and is used when
granting group access to objects in the system.
The location tab allows an address to be specified for the user. The search box allows an address to be found using google maps.
An address can also specified by dragging the red marker or manually typing the address fields.
The advanced tab allows features to be enabled and a base sequence to be set. These options can only be enabled by another user
with the features enabled already. The base sequence option restricts the sequences that can be displayed on the screen.
The auto setup tab speeds up the process of configuring the end user by automatically creating a sequence and screen for the end user.
The access tab is used to grant additional users and user groups to access to this user. If another user has access to a user they
will be able to masquerade as the user and see all item that user has access to.
The data tab is used to add custom data to the user.
A group is useful for granting one or more users access to many items in a single operation. For example, newly registered users
can be automatically added to a group. A special user can be given access to the group and act as an administrator for all the users.
Groups can be used for sharing items. For example, multiple library items can be added to a group then access to the group
can be given to multiple users to form a shared library. Screens and sequences can also be grouped and managed by multiple users.
Click the new group button to create a new group.
The general tab allows a label and a name to be defined for a group. The name must be unique and is used when
granting group access to objects in the system.
The members tab lists all items assigned to a group. Everything in this list will be accessible to the users
on the access tab.
The access tab is used to grant additional users and user groups to access to all the members in this group.
The data tab is used to add custom data to the group.
The library makes it easy to reuse images and videos. An item can be uploaded into the library once
and added to many sequences quickly and easily. Each item in the library can be shared with multiple users
or groups of users and can act a template supporting modifications such as adding custom text.
Click the new item button to create a new item for the library.
The library dialog provides a similar set of options to the stack item dialog. Please refer to the stack item dialog section.
The domain name and path used to access the digital signage platform selects a cloud config. The cloud config controls branding, customisations
and advanced settings. For example, the domain demo.example.com may allow anonymous registrations and assign users to the user group
demo which has a sequence with restrictions imposed by a shared base sequence. The welcome logo, color scheme and favicon may all be customised
and different default player applications, languages and timezones configured.
- Favicon.css – Favicon generator
- Bootswatch – Free themes for Bootstrap
- Bootstrap Magic – Theme creator
Reports provide access to data collected by the platform. This data includes user actions, proof of play and other collected data.
Reports can be displayed in the administration interface or downloaded as a CSV for viewing in a spreadsheet application.
All actions performed in the administration interface create user action records. The records form a comprehensive
audit trail listing the changes made to screens, sequences, users and other items. It also includes failed
sign in attempts and other important information. A user action record contains the following data:
- Action time
- Action description
- Object type
The snapshot makes it possible revert to earlier revisions of an object. It also makes it possible to restore deleted objects.
To revert changes or restore a deleted object. Edit the record and click save.
A summary of users and groups including counts of accessible items and storage used. This report is built using
the configured access controls and will show duplicates where items are shared between users and groups.
To collect data for display reports an item in a sequence must have the collect playback data option enabled. When
the item is displayed on a screen a display report record is created. A display report record contains the following
- Display time
An item in a sequence can be assigned a custom ID. This will be included in the CSV file.
The platform provides the ability to collect additional data from users. For example, an event can be created that allows
a viewer to touch an advert and register interest for a product. Data collected can include email addresses, phone
numbers or other text data. A collected data record contains the following data:
- Collection time
- Data collected
When a user is allowed to interact with a web page, each new web address visited will also be added to the collected data.
The collected data for each record is limited to 100 characters. If a web address or other data exceeds this length only the
first 100 characters will be available.