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BA preview feature ?



Hi All, I am new to the forum, apolgies if I may ask something not releated to the forum or discussed already I am a bit concern about a feature that I cannot see in BA that would allow a user to preview the project, as if the project would run, in my case, on an HD1010 for example. If I understood correctly from other discussions brightsign does not consider this option to be one of the features to have. Well if I may express my point of view it should be one of the top features, products like Spinetix do have it. Now I understand that could be complicated to add, from a commercial point of view is more interesting to sell another box for this, but in the short term as other competitors show up, I don't think is the way to go. For example why not consider: A) A specific box, may be with very basic limited options just to run the preview, for a reasonable price 1 B) Why not consider this feature like an add-on that a user would have to pay a certain amount to activate 1 Talking from an installer/seller point of view it does make a great deal of difference especially where the monitor/s are not close to the PC running BA or even worst are connected remotely to another site I think option A for brightsign could be an easy and quick solution to the problem, still making some profit for it and not to risk to loose market-share. Thank you for your answer Regards, triotech

63 comments

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    RokuLyndon


    THis feature has been requested before, but we have many other customer requests higher on the feature list. I don't have any eta on this kind of functionality.
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    Rjunke



    I asked about a "preview mode" in BrightAuthor well over a year ago and I know its been asked about for years by others.  I find it incredible that BrightAuthor is virtually the only authoring tool that does not have a preview mode.  For me, this is a huge negative, especially for clients that that want to develop and test their own signs without the expense of buying an appliance solely for the purpose of previewing their work while it is being developed.  Simply amazing that this is not higher up on the "priority list" for BrightSign.


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    RokuLyndon


    I know this is something that comes up from time to time. All feature requests are logged, but the highest volume requests are the ones that get serviced first.

    Our features are customer driven. We add what customers big and small request. Requests come in for specific projects. Or, customers might just have general fixes or features they would like to see added. We have a long list of features we're working on implementing, with new additions coming in regularly both for specific projects and in general, and preview is not in top 10  requested features. I personally get more questions asking about MacOS support than I do about preview in BrightAuthor.

    I agree it would be nice to have, but it has not been a high priority request item from our customers, but it still remains on our features list.
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    Scott Higdon


    I have been searching through the forums, and think my question is similar to this, but I am not sure on the phrasing.

    I want to be able to know if the BS HD210 unit is updating properly. I am getting calls at times that the customer's ad is not showing at a location that I am positive has had the updated playlist published. However, there does not seem to be a way for me to check unless I go to the physical location, which is 2 hours away.

    Did I just miss it somewhere on the forum?

    Thanks,
    Scott
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    RokuLyndon



    How are your units getting their updates? If you're using brightsign network, you can see the currently playing project under manage status. You can also setup units upload playback logs to your brightsign network account, so you can see a log of what's played, and when. You can access this info at http://www.brightsignetwork.com


    If your'e using a web server for updates, you can still have the unit post logs to the server, but you have to have a log handler on your web server to handle the incoming posts.

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    Scott Higdon


    Thank you - I am not using the brightsign network. I am using a web server and pushing the updates through FTP. I will see about getting a log handler...

    Scott
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    Mkeen


    Hi Lyndon,

    I'd like to go on record as wanting to see the preview function.  I've already purchased a dedicated unit for development (through your discounted demo offer) which plays on a TV in my office, but it does me no good when I need to remote in from home at night or on a weekend.  It should also be noted that some content services you recommend like screenfeed.com charge licensing fees based on the number of players in service.  It would be a hardship to have to pay extra license fees for developing content on a non-public display.

    I know you keep a tally on what people are requesting, but perhaps you might want to think about actually polling users on their desires with regard to future features.

    Hope this helps.

    Michael Keen
    Director of IT
    Southern Vermont College
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    Jerry White

    Just want o go on record as well. I would like to see some sort of a preview feature in the software. If you are using a non-networked unit for the most part it is fine. But on a networked unit, you should be able to preview the layout of the presentation before you publish. Please add this feature.

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    KarolisGr

    I completely agree with the things mentioned above. Having a networked device with no preview makes it kind of pointless.

    I've just bought a couple of XD230's and really expected to do everything from home. However, seems that driving to look at the screens will be a must.

  • -1
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    Andresh

    How is this going so far? 

    the preview feature would be something that must have been included since first stages. I'm really looking forward to it. Several of our customer think it's something critical not having this already implemented.

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    JRB Technical

    I would also like to put in a vote for a preview feature.

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    Roy Barrow

    This software is VERY inadequate without the ability to preview.  This needs to be the TOP priority not just a feature request....

     

     

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    Tjaz Jelovcan

    Must agree on this request. It should be a priority for developers to make kind of a preview for basic users who prepare content. We've just bought 10 units for public display around our University campus and we're using server folder publishing feature. It's pretty expensive workaround to have an extra player and FullHD monitor just for preview.

    Hope to get an update on this soon.

    Tjaz, IT Dep, University of Ljubljana

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    Lyndon

    The BrightSign feature set is primarily driven by user demand. Preview has been a lower priority item because we get very few requests for it. I'll add this thread to the feature request. 

    We look at forums posts. We take into consideration email and phone contacts, high volume customers and projects, and we do a large number of trade shows and take input from those as well. And, you may be correct that as more and more customers do network deployments this feature may become a higher priority for our customers. 

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    Scott Higdon

    This last comment about the feature is not a high priority because of demand seems a bit strange. I have been reading this for over two years, we often assume as users, that the team at Brightsign is taking our comments to heart and not waiting for it to reach a certain level of comments. If I see multiple users comment on a feature that is needed such as preview, I don't think I need to chime in to raise the priority, but rather believe your company will evaluate the need. If you are just basing the improvements on the number of comments, I am sure we can flood the forums with specific items, but assume that would not benefit us that are subscribed to this group. Please move this to a higher priority because it is an important feature that is lacking and not because of the number of comments.

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    Lyndon

    Scott, This isn't about forum comments specifically. We get input from users, vars, resellers, large and small on what's important to them. Any time a feature is requested, it's added into our queue. It then gets prioritized. We discuss new feature requests and have regular review of what's been requested and is still open. Feature priorities change and we are constantly evaluating what we should work on next. 

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    Jerry White

    Where is the feature request link? Because then we could really see how high of a priority it is. If you're new to the open market, maybe take some suggestions. Here are a few. 1. Don't argue with the guys who bought the stuff or they won't buy any more stuff. 2. If you're going to make a network product, then maybe you should look at the intended use of a networked device. Maybe remote access should be considered. Why would I push something to a remote device without being sure of it's result? Why would I buy another monitor and another device just to see what I'm pushing when it should already be a feature to preview it. I'm going to go and post a review on spiceworks about this product. We'll see if maybe they listen to the features it doesn't have!

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    KarolisGr
    Completely agree with Jerry. I bought a networked device to have it networked. That means, to able to work the content remotely in all possible ways. Buying one more device to have it stationed at home for preview is complete nonsense, or is this the way you make money?
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    Mkeen

    It's clear simply from monitoring this board (and the one that preceded it) that there is a strong demand for this functionality.  For Brightsign to claim otherwise is disingenuous. One has to wonder how many units have not been sold because of this.  At the same time I can imagine that it might be almost impossible to replicate the full functionality of a Brightsign unit on a PC because of differences in the hardware. (Just for example, how would you simulate an interactive touch screen, a video wall with several monitors, or a vertical orientation?) On the other hand, it might be nice to at least be able to preview one zone of the screen at a time.

    Here's some food for thought. I've noticed that many of the new digital billboards seen alongside interstate highways are equipped with a video camera on a long boom pole trained back at the billboard.  It might be easier to set up a similar surveillance camera to monitor your Brightsigns than wait for a software solution from the manufacturer.  You can find lots of IP cameras on Ebay for less than $50.

    I hope this is helpful.

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    Jerry White

    I see what your saying but I don't want to replicate touch screen, resolution, or orientation. I just care about a preview to see what my presentation will look like once it's published. As far as touch screen, it would be quite impossible to test functionality anyway without being at the spot of install. Resolution would depend also on the monitor so I don't expect this either. Orientation shouldn't be that difficult of a preview challenge nor should the preview itself. I want to make sure that the feed I put at the bottom shows up correctly or at all. I want to make sure I can see the video playing. Especially since I can't place a video on top of an image. Oh maybe that should be another FEATURE REQUEST!!!

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    Roy Barrow

    I am beginning to 2nd guess my decision to sign on with Brightsign as a reseller based on 2 things - the lack of a preview feature and the response from the company to this request.

    How about a word processor that you can tell what you are going to get until you print it out? 

    The correct response to these requests is to give us a commitment to escalate this to a top priority.  No one says you have to have this tomorrow...it may take a little time...but this is a real issue.

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    Lyndon

    Roy, I have forwarded everyone's  input to our program manager. We take customer and partner feedback seriously. I'm sorry if I gave any other impression.

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    Roy Barrow

    Fair enough...  that it has been escalated is about all the feedback we can ask for at this point.

     

    Thanks!

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    Michael

    Preview would definitely be a nice feature, but that said, we've deployed 20+ BrightSign units in the past year and a half, primarily interactive units with touch screens, and it really hasn't been a deal breaker. We've also done more straight forward digital signage with them as well. We have 2 test units in our office (XD and HD), and various displays (touch and non-touch). It's simply a matter of networking the unit and publishing your project to the unit to test it. Then when it's ready, you push it out to wherever it needs to go. Really not a big deal, plus you see EXACTLY how it's going to behave.

    I was really turned off by the lack of preview early on, but it hasn't been an issue. The BrightSign is small enough I've also thrown it in my bag, taken it home and worked on projects on my laptop hooked up to my home TV or extra computer monitor.

    I understand the concern when publishing remotely, but generally we fully test the project within our environment here before installing client-side. Then it's just a simple matter of a phone call to the client "is it working, send me a screen shot on your iPhone" and we're done. If you even need to go that far.

    If you are going to be a BrightSign developer or re-seller, or if you are deploying them in a large scale, it's simply a matter of investing in a unit for development/testing. Hook it up to a $150 22" TV to preview if you need to. Plus, you always have a unit available in case you need a backup, or for client demo, for loan, whatever.

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    pete colquitt

    I am a realtively new user to Brightsign, however have used many other DS products for years now. I was surprised to find there is no preview feature, I guess this can be explained by the recent network additions. 

    I hope that the preview feature is being taken very seriously as I can't say I have come across another professional signage solution that doesn't have this feature or at least the option to remotely access your device to view content in real time. I understand the difficulties in this method because of the OS used, so surely a preview would be the best way to develop your product.

     

    That said, Brightsign is a fantastic product and has proved its reliability to me already, but as a trainer, I have noticed a nearly 100% request for a preview from every Brightsign user i have visited so far. 

     

    I would urge you to consider a preview feature as a hugely important request.

     

     

    many thanks,

     

    Pete

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    Knielsen

    Add me to the list of people incredulous that preview is a feature only considerable based on number of requests. Having to have a test unit in order to see how things will look live reeks (whether true or not) of forced sales. As far as the feature being under-requested and therefore low on the list, I wonder how any graphic software package didn't have a preview from the get-go. Seems like oversight to me.

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    Andresh

    How is this going so far by the way? Any chance to see this feature by this year? Lots of our customer have been begging for this.

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    Prashant Gagneja

    Please add the preview feature! It would be nice to see how the presentation will look like on the actual display before publishing the content and running back and forth to make minot adjustments.

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    Jerry White

    http://community.spiceworks.com/product/BrightSign--HD1020?source=Selector_1

     

    The lack of a preview feature makes this unit less desirable then it could be. Even more frustrating this link shows the lack of customer support/feedback that keeps users coming back for more. http://support.brightsign.biz/entries/21152097. There are several other issues with these devices that have intense work arounds none-the-less. For instance, it's not physically possible to put video over a static picture. You have to create a png file and cut a transparent hole in it. Then the video will play through the transparency. Quite the task without a preview feature.

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    Monica Knutson

    The preview feature is the most common request we get from our customers when we're training them on using BrightAuthor and the BrightSign Network.  Since the BrightSigns use XML type formatting to lay out the zones and such, perhaps it would be a good direction to go to have a proprietary "BrightSign Preview App" on Windows and Mac - or on the BSN - to be able to view it in that format?

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