Xibo guide for digital signage
This guide provides the steps needed to convert and display a completed Powerpoint presentation on the libraries' digital signage installations. For information regarding the design and creation of such a presentation, please see the Digital signage presentation design guidelines. That page also includes links to download the production-ready templates, with the correct aspect ratios and orientations for the various displays in the libraries.
The Xibo software requires the presentation to be in video format to display correctly in all situations. This means that the prepared Powerpoint presentation needs to be converted before uploading it to Xibo. Luckily this functionality is already available in recent versions of Powerpoint. To convert your existing presentation, do the following:
Open your presentation (the file usually ends in .ppt or .pptx), and then click on the "File" menu in the top left corner, as shown below:
Then choose "Save As", and select "Browse":
Now choose a location to save the file, give it an appropriate name and select "MPEG-4 Video" as the file type in the dropdown list. Now press save.
Naming your presentations carefully is important since the Xibo server is shared between all the University libraries. As such, the following naming convention is recommended to reduce confusion:
where <type> can refer to any term used to differentiate presentations. For example:
where JSG refers to the J.S. Gericke Library, and LC refers to the Learning Commons.
Powerpoint will display a progress bar at the bottom of the window indicating the progress of the conversion process. This may take a minute, depending on the size/length of your presentation. The screenshot below shows an example of this progress indicator.
Once the conversion process is complete, you may proceed to the next section.
Login to Xibo
Navigate to it-digitalsignage.stb.sun.ac.za and enter your credentials, as shown in the screenshot below:
Please see #Questions below if you have forgotten your password.
Upload a new presentation
To upload a new presentation, #Login to Xibo and open the Media menu on the left hand side, as seen in the screenshot:
Then click 'Add Media' in the top right:
The upload form will display as shown below:
Now click "Add Files", and choose your converted presentation (the file should end in .mp4, and follow the <library>_<type>_<date>.mp4 naming convention discussed earlier). Once you have chosen the file, click on "Start Upload", and wait for the process to complete. This can take a few minutes depending on the size/length of your presentation. Once the progress bar has filled and the filename displays underneath the buttons, you can click "Done" to complete the upload.
If you have uploaded the wrong file, search through the list of files to find yours (you may need to page through the items) and click on the triangle on the far right of the item, then click Delete.
After completing the upload, you are now ready to proceed to the next section.
Change the live presentation
After uploading your converted presentation, it is now available to use on a display (or group of displays). To change the playing presentation, click on "Layouts" in the sidebar, as shown below:
This will present a list of the layouts that are currently available, as shown below:
To change the current presentation, click on the corresponding triangle in the far right of the layout and select the design option:
This will launch the layout editor. A large gray rectangle representing a preview of the layout appears in the center of the screen. To change the current presentation, hover of the preview, and click on the triangle that appears in the top right corner, as shown below:
Choose the "Edit Timeline" option. This launches the Region Timeline form, where you can choose the media to display. Click on the "Library" option at the top of the list, as shown in the list below:
The menu also displays a Powerpoint option - which would let us bypass the extra step of converting the presentation to video, but unfortunately this option is poorly supported and prone to crashing, requiring a reset of the display. It is also not supported on newer, Android-based displays, such as the one in use at the Tygerberg library. Because of these drawbacks it is important to always convert your presentation to video prior to uploading it to Xibo.
The library browser will display a list of items which can be added to the timeline. Page through the contents to find your presentation and click on the plus sign, as shown below:
Then press save.
If your timeline already contained an older, already playing presentation, you can now remove it by pressing the delete button on the item, as shown in the example below:
After removing the old presentation, you can now click "Save Order" in the bottom right.