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Formatting SD-Cards

Hi there.

I just bought two new XT243 players. I use Firmware 6.2.38. And I work on a Mac.

I know, my question was discussed already elsewhere, but I still didn't get a definite answer to my question.

Can I format a SD-Card Mac OS Extended (Journaled), so I can save files larger then 4 GB on it? Or do I need to format it as NTFS. I'm working on a Mac.

I don't get it to work. If I enter a Mac OS Extended Card all I see is the "BrightSign Splash Screen" and an X in the middle of the screen. 

There are people out there who seem to know their business who claim, that it's possible to format the cards as Mac OS Extended, ie:  http://www.zachpoff.com/software/brightsign-video-sync-scripts/

Thanks very much for clarifying.

21 comments

  • 0
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    Shaun

    Gian, If memory serves HFS+ formatted cards are supported but there can be no logging or anything as such setup on the player. There is a Reg Clean script on the forum somewhere if you have setup the player in any fashion. Start by putting a straight 1920x1080 image file in the root of the SD card and go from there.

    For the best support use Ext.3 or Ext.4 you can use 3rd party software to enableit on macOS.

    Ideally the BS players should support ExFat for true system support across Linux, Windows and Mac. Alas!

  • 0
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    Gian

    Hi Shaun. Thanks a lot for your answer. I'm not so sure if I understand everything right.

    HFS+ is the same as Mac OS Extended (Journaled), right?

    What do you mean by "no logging or anything as such setup"? That I cannot work with scripts, if it's HFS+ formatted? I'm talking about simple looping or synching scripts, like Zach Poff's script in my original message.

    Well, anyway. It does not work on my BS. I tried it with a 1920x1080 jpg, as you suggested. And I tried it with a H.264, 1920 × 1080 (1888 × 1062), 16,7 Mill., AAC, Stereo (L R), 44.100 kHz, 25fps, .mov-file.

    I also always do the reset like that:

    1. Hold the SVC and Reset buttons.
    2. Apply power to the player
    3. Wait for the red Err LED to flash rapidly.
    4. Release the SVC and Reset buttons.

    Doesn't help me with my Mac OS Extended (Journaled) formatted SD-Card.

    Formatting EXt.3 or Ext.4 (Linux, right?) seems a bit too complicated for me and especially for the people I'm sharing my two BS players with and to whom I promised it'll be easy to use these devices to simply plug and play and loop a video (and maybe sometimes synch two videos on two players) in art exhibitions, I'm afraid.

    Thanks you anyway.

  • 0
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    Brandon

    NTFS and HFS are mined read-only.
    exFAT is currently not supported at all.

    http://support.brightsign.biz/entries/20403507-what-file-system-can-i-use-with-the-brightsign

    You can format as FAT32 in Windows with this utility
    http://www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/index.htm?guiformat.htm

  • 0
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    Gian

    Hi.

    I'm really sorry. But, I don't get it.

    As HFS+ is the same as Mac OS Extended. And as the link you posted clearly states that BS is supporting HFS+ (only read, yes)

    So, why again is my BS not working when the Card is HFS+ formatted?

    Are you telling me that the BS always needs to write something on the card while trying to play a video? In that case supporting HFS+ read only should be changed to no support of HFS+ whatsoever.

    By the way the file that I'm testing with works totally fine when the card is FAT formatted.

  • 0
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    Brandon

    Yes HFS+ is the same as Mac OS X Extended
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/HFS_Plus

    Not sure why the scripts you're trying aren't working without looking at the scripts.

    What's the duration of your video? The XT can use H.265 which will give you significantly better compression so you can bring down the bit rate.

    You should be able to just put the video on the card by itself and it will auto play.

  • 0
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    Gian

    I didn't even try with larger then 4GB files, yet. Cause copying that kind of files all the time takes too much time.

    I only copied a file as mentioned above on to the card. Without any scripts! It's just 30 seconds long.

    If the card is FAT formatted it works, if the card is HFS+ formatted the thing happens that i described in my original post.

    Any thoughts?

  • 0
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    Brandon

    Probably the player is configured in a mode that tries to write to the card.
    Clear the player settings _with_the_script_ from this article _on_a_FAT32_card
    http://support.brightsign.biz/hc/en-us/articles/218065977-How-do-I-restore-reset-a-unit-to-Factory-Default-settings-

  • 0
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    Gian

    As mentioned I do the Control Button Reset all the time. But – and that might be the problem – the Control button reset only works with firmware 6.2.39 or newer. On mine there's only 6.2.38. My bad!

    Though, up to now I only used BS's Loop any video Script and Zach's Synch script that I linked to in the first post.

    I don't have the players with me right now. I'll do the Firmware update and the reset as soon as I have the players again. It'll be next Tuesday though. I'll report back again. Thanks for the help up to now.

  • 0
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    Gian

    I'm back again. I loaded the newest firmware 6.2.63.2 (yes, for XTx43 and XDx33 players) to my players.

    The players play my test file when the card is exFat formatted without a problem (Before playing I do the reset like i mentioned in my older posts: 1. Hold the SVC and Reset buttons, 2. Apply power to the player, 3. Wait for the red Err LED to flash rapidly, 4. Release the SVC and Reset buttons. Which should work now, as I did the Firmware Update, right?). Because I do my test without a script, I have to press and hold the SVC button while being on the "BrightSign device setup page". Then the file starts playing in a loop.

    Now, when the card is HFS+ formatted, it's still not working!!!!

    After the manual reset (like above) The "BrightSign device setup page" shows up, but slightly different then the one above (without the possibility to press and hold the SVC button). After the two minutes the screen goes to the "BrightSign Splash Screen". And that's it.

    What now?

     

  • 0
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    Gian

    Anyone, please? Some answers or ideas what I or my BS's do wrong would be much appreciated...

  • 0
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    Gian

    Really, nobody?

  • 0
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    ^UD\_$

    Gian,

     

    Typically the player may attempt to write to the SD card, things like logs for example.

    When you are using a files system like HFS+, the player can only read from it. Although you are only trying to play media from the card, there are other background processes that may require writing to the card.

    Is there a reason why you wouldn't use FAT formatted card?

    Sounds like you are using a Mac, which is capable of writing to FAT formatted SD cards.

     

  • 0
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    Gian

    Thanks.

    Yes, there is a reason. As you suspected, we're working on Mac's.

    And I want to be able to show videos that are bigger then 4GB.

    Hence the HFS+ formatting.

    And I want to avoid formatting it as NTFS, cause to be able to do so, i would need third party software which costs. As I'm sharing this device, I cannot ask all my partners to buy extra software.

  • 0
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    Gian

    Brandon (BrightSign Support) claimed that BS supports NTFS and HFS, but read-only. Ok. I get it. But what does a read-only-support mean anyway, if BS always tries to write stuff on my Cards?

  • 0
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    ^UD\_$

    Just realized SD card can be formatted from the diagnostics web pages.

     

    If all you are trying to do is, play a loop of a relatively large file, it does make sense to avoid BrightAuthor, because publishing large videos takes long time to process.

    In your situation, I would try the following:

    + If content allows, break it down to shorter pieces, and play them in sequence. Each piece should be smaller than 4GB, so you can use FAT format. Working with smaller pieces of the complete video, makes sense for other production reasons too.

    or

    + If player model supports H.265, encode in h.265 which yields significantly smaller files. 

     

    Here is a possible workflow, based on Ext3 partitioning of the SD card.

    You would use your Mac to upload video files to the player, that would write to Ext3 partition, which supports files larger than 4GB.

    Here goes:

    Configure your player so the diagnostics web server is enabled.

     

    Insert a blank SD card, and boot up the player.

    Point your web browser to the player's IP address, and use the diagnostics tab to format the inserted SD card.

    Format an SD card to Ext3 .

     

    Use the SD tab in the, to upload your video(s).

    Once the video is uploaded, which should take a while with large files, use the control tab, to reboot the player.

    Your videos should now play in a loop.

     

    Everything mentioned above about H.265, and chopping your content to smaller chunks, is still recommended.

     

    I hope that helped

     

     

     

     

  • 0
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    Gian

    I'm not sure what you're trying to say here.

    Let's say i would manage to format the card via diagnostics web page as NTFS.

    Which seems to involve BrightAuthor, which of course only works on a PC (http://support.brightsign.biz/hc/en-us/articles/218065987-Network-diagnostics).

    I guess I would still not be able to save date on the card as on a mac such a card would be read-only without 3rd party software.

     

  • 0
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    ^UD\_$

    I just confirmed that this works.

    Notice that it is not NTFS formatted, but rather Ext3, which is the Linux native format.

    The player is capable of writing to Ext3, so this solution is agnostic to the computer that you are using. It can be either windows or Mac.

    BrightAuthor is not required at all here, besides the part where you create setup files, to enable the diagnostic web server (DWS).

    If your player is already enabled with DWS, then BA is not required from now on for this project.

    A player with Gigabit Ethernet, is recommended for that kind or workflow, since you are dealing with large files.

    If you'd rather write to the SD card directly on a Mac, you'd need 3rd party tools, to allow the Mac to write to Ext3. I was trying to save that headache, and create a solution that works out of the box, without any additional purchases.

  • 0
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    Shaun

    Check with Support. There is a note in the new FW release saying exfat is supported. Assuming it's read write support you will be able to format on a Mac and away you go.

  • 0
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    Brandon

    Gian, when logging is enabled the player needs to write to the card. When using Simple File Networking, Local File Networking, or BrightSign Network, the player needs to write the published content to the card.

  • 0
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    Gian

    Hi everybody.

    It looks like that now that BS supports exfat, everything is finally much easier.

    I tested the exfat formatted cards with files bigger then 4gb without any script --> it works.

    I tested it with BS's loop script --> it works.

    I tested synching two players via zach poff's script (see above) --> it works.

    All tests were made with a 5,35 gb file, h264 (mpeg-4 avc part 10), .mov, 1920x1080, 25fps, aac, 48000khz, stereo, cbr 18mbit/s.

    Thanks to everybody for the support.

  • 0
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    Shaun

    Excellent news! And about time!! Unfortunately it doesn't look like it's been added to the other units which is a pain but still progress!!

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