Screenly OSE -- Digital Signage for the Raspberry Pi


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by vpetersson » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:22 am
wpns wrote:OK, my mistake, I had them coded as images, and they should have been URLs. All fixed!


Ok, good.

wpns wrote:Images are 'cached' forever, URLs are updated every 5 times through the loop.


Ok, please open a bug-report about that with example URLs.
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by wpns » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:18 pm
[quote="vpetersson"][quote="wpns"]
[quote="wpns"]
Images are 'cached' forever, URLs are updated every 5 times through the loop.
[/quote]
Ok, please open a bug-report about that with example URLs.[/quote]
Is that a bug or a feature? I don't mind the way it works, now that I understand it.
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by vpetersson » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:22 pm
wpns wrote:Is that a bug or a feature? I don't mind the way it works, now that I understand it.


The loop (that it refreshes every 5th run) is by design.

The caching of objects isn't by design. That should probably be a setting, so that's what I want you to report. :)
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by jab7c » Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:56 pm
Hi, thank you for creating Screenly its great! I had a quick question. I have rotated the display 90 degrees to use for a front store marketing screen. This is causing large black borders on the top and bottom of the screen. I can fix these manually by dragging the borders, but I was wondering if there was an automated way of doing this just in case the pi ever loses power. Thanks!
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by vpetersson » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:33 am
jab7c wrote:Hi, thank you for creating Screenly its great! I had a quick question. I have rotated the display 90 degrees to use for a front store marketing screen. This is causing large black borders on the top and bottom of the screen. I can fix these manually by dragging the borders, but I was wondering if there was an automated way of doing this just in case the pi ever loses power. Thanks!


That's something I'm yet to look into. I certainly think there are cases where a rotated screen is better than a non-rotated one.

In theory, it shouldn't be too difficult, but it would require some changes in the code, as some of it is hard-coded to 1920x1080 (versus 1080x1920).

Please go a head and open an issue on Github and I'll see what I can do about it.
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by b0b_z » Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:20 pm
Good Morning All

I've been able to get this working to some degree...

The only problem is viewing the content via the HD out

I can view everything when I VNC into the Rpi and all is cycling properly

It's just when I hook the whole thing to a monitor and reboot it just displays a black screen

Any suggestions?

Thanks!
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by vpetersson » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:38 pm
b0b_z wrote:The only problem is viewing the content via the HD out

I can view everything when I VNC into the Rpi and all is cycling properly

It's just when I hook the whole thing to a monitor and reboot it just displays a black screen

Any suggestions?


Hmm, you could check the logs in /tmp. That said, since you mentioned VNC, I assume you've made other customizations to the system beyond the installation instructions. That makes it very difficult to troubleshoot.

I'd recommend that you do a fresh install and just follow the installation instructions.
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by wpns » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:40 pm
[quote="b0b_z"]
It's just when I hook the whole thing to a monitor and reboot it just displays a black screen
[/quote]

First, you must boot the RPi with the HD monitor connected and powered up.

Then you must do a startx command to start the X-Windows system. You can issue this from an ssh session, using:

startx &

so you can logout and the X session will continue to run.

If that doesn't help, let us know exactly what you are doing...
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by vpetersson » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:57 pm
wpns wrote:First, you must boot the RPi with the HD monitor connected and powered up.


Yep. That's true. I've had issues with monitors not being detected at boot occasionally.

wpns wrote:Then you must do a startx command to start the X-Windows system. You can issue this from an ssh session, using:

startx &


No, you don't need to manually run 'startx' by hand. Just enable 'Start desktop on boot?' in 'raspi-config'. A properly configure Screenly-node will not need a keyboard or mouse attached. It will automatically boot into Screenly without any user interaction.
Creator of Screenly (ScreenlyApp.com), the leading digital signage solution for the Raspberry Pi.
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by b0b_z » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:58 pm
As n00b as it sounds the startx & did the trick

It took a bit of time to get it to run and settle and now we've got video via the HD output

One other thing while I have you...

We are able to display web pages, and images but video is not showing up...

We've encoded the video in mp4 h264 and it does not display

What am I missing?

I am pointing to the local machine http://localmachine/video.mp4

It's working for the images

Thanks!
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by vpetersson » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:09 pm
b0b_z wrote:As n00b as it sounds the startx & did the trick


Like I wrote above. That isn't required. Just configure the machine to enable launch X at boot.

b0b_z wrote:We are able to display web pages, and images but video is not showing up...

We've encoded the video in mp4 h264 and it does not display

What am I missing?

I am pointing to the local machine http://localmachine/video.mp4

It's working for the images


Are the images served the same way?

Can I assume 'localmachine' is a different computer on the network? I'd strongly discourage you from running a webserver on the RasPi while running Screenly. The resources are already stretched as it is.

Where does it fail? Is it when you try to add the asset, or does it simply not show up? If the latter, it's probably a codec issue. Screenly is using omxplayer (https://github.com/huceke/omxplayer) to play videos, so if the codec isn't supported by it, there isn't much I can do on my end.
Creator of Screenly (ScreenlyApp.com), the leading digital signage solution for the Raspberry Pi.
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by b0b_z » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:13 pm
Yes...

The images and video are all served up that way...

The video simply does not play

It's not a fail upon setting a schedule...

Thanks
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by Clifor » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:13 pm
vpetersson wrote:
jab7c wrote:Hi, thank you for creating Screenly its great! I had a quick question. I have rotated the display 90 degrees to use for a front store marketing screen. This is causing large black borders on the top and bottom of the screen. I can fix these manually by dragging the borders, but I was wondering if there was an automated way of doing this just in case the pi ever loses power. Thanks!


That's something I'm yet to look into. I certainly think there are cases where a rotated screen is better than a non-rotated one.

In theory, it shouldn't be too difficult, but it would require some changes in the code, as some of it is hard-coded to 1920x1080 (versus 1080x1920).

Please go a head and open an issue on Github and I'll see what I can do about it.


I did that change some time ago and it worked without problems at least for web sites and pictures... We have never had the need of a vertical full HD video ;)
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by vpetersson » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:25 pm
b0b_z wrote:Yes...

The images and video are all served up that way...

The video simply does not play

It's not a fail upon setting a schedule...

Thanks


Then it is definitely a codec issue. Try re-encoding the videos slightly.

You should be able to use ffmpeg and do something like this (on Linux or Mac OSX):
Code: Select all
ffmpeg -loglevel panic -i my_file -s hd1080 -vcodec libx264 my_output_file.mp4
Creator of Screenly (ScreenlyApp.com), the leading digital signage solution for the Raspberry Pi.
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by vpetersson » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:28 pm
Clifor wrote:I did that change some time ago and it worked without problems at least for web sites and pictures... We have never had the need of a vertical full HD video ;)


Cool. I haven't had a chance to try it out yet. So you just flipped the resolution in viewer.py and rotated X11?
Creator of Screenly (ScreenlyApp.com), the leading digital signage solution for the Raspberry Pi.
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by b0b_z » Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:35 pm
vpetersson wrote:Like I wrote above. That isn't required. Just configure the machine to enable launch X at boot.


Here's our "issue" now...

If we use raspi-config and change the desktop to start on boot, screenly does not work

If we disable it and manually start with "startx &" it does work...

As to the video, we're trying different codecs to make it play

Any suggestions on the startx issue?

Thanks!
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by b0b_z » Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:38 pm
We're now on occasion getting the following error:

Error 500: Internal Server Error
Sorry, the requested URL 'http://192.168.1.89:8080/splash_page' caused an error:
Internal Server Error
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by vpetersson » Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:44 pm
b0b_z wrote:If we use raspi-config and change the desktop to start on boot, screenly does not work

Any suggestions on the startx issue?


Yes, do a fresh Raspbian installation and carefully follow the installation instructions from here:
https://github.com/wireload/screenly-ose

It seems like you've tinkered with the system and made some changes to X that will be easiest resolved with a fresh install. That should also hopefully resolve the other issue you were having with the splash-page.
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by b0b_z » Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:57 pm
Fair enough...

Which version of the OS should I use or works best for screenly?

8/8, 8/16 or other?

Thanks!
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by vpetersson » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:06 pm
b0b_z wrote:Which version of the OS should I use or works best for screenly?


The latest version of Raspbian “wheezy” (2012-08-16).
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by Clifor » Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:08 am
vpetersson wrote:
Clifor wrote:I did that change some time ago and it worked without problems at least for web sites and pictures... We have never had the need of a vertical full HD video ;)


Cool. I haven't had a chance to try it out yet. So you just flipped the resolution in viewer.py and rotated X11?


Exactly: Adding
Code: Select all
display_rotate=3
to your config.txt will do the trick and then changing resolution on viewer.py

Not sure if omxplayer will work though as I have only tested web sites and still pictures...
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by vpetersson » Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:05 pm
Clifor wrote:Exactly: Adding
Code: Select all
display_rotate=3
to your config.txt will do the trick and then changing resolution on viewer.py

Not sure if omxplayer will work though as I have only tested web sites and still pictures...


Thanks Clifor. I've pushed an update to Screenly that enables you to set the resolution in Screenly's config-file instead. I also added an FAQ-entry with your instructions. I wasn't able to get it to work at my test-screen at the office, but I still added it.
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by b0b_z » Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:40 pm
Local Host

PI runs localhost at 127.0.1.1 and Screenly at 127.0.0.1

Is there a reason for this...?

Can they be the same IF I wanted to host files locally?

Thanks!
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by vpetersson » Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:54 pm
b0b_z wrote:Local Host

PI runs localhost at 127.0.1.1 and Screenly at 127.0.0.1

Is there a reason for this...?

Can they be the same IF I wanted to host files locally?

Thanks!


127.0.0.1 is localhost. That's has pretty much been that way forever. That's the IP that the loopback-interface (lo0) binds by default. You could change this, but it would probably break some system services.

I checked on my of my nodes and it appears as Debian/Raspbian adds an entry in /etc/hosts for 127.0.1.1 that maps to the hostname (default 'raspberrypi'), so maybe you got them mixed up.

Generally speaking though, I'd strongly advise against serving content from the Raspberry Pi. If you were to fire up a web-server on the Raspberry Pi, it will most likely have severe negative impact on Screenly's performance. The resources are already stretched as it is. If you don't have a server on your network, just use Dropbox's public folder and serve it from there (or better yet get a cheap hosting service).

You could theoretically serve content from the Raspberry Pi. Screenly's admin interface binds on 127.0.0.1:8080, and HTTP is usually served on port 80, which is not being used by Screenly. Just install Nginx or Lighttpd and have it serve content from port 80 and you should be good, but again, I'd strongly advise against this.
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by b0b_z » Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:00 pm
I loaded apache and it's working fine

The problem is now the splash screen is looking for 127.0.0.1/splash_screen and it throws an error then the content begins serving fine from local

Just wondering how to address the splash screen error without breaking anything

Thanks!
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