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Configuration & System Standards

Educational Web Services provides support for the installation and setup of the FWI software. Imaging and preparation of the PC platform is the responsibility of the client. The information below is to provide suggested configuration standards to ensure your Player is ready for the signage software.

Hardware Recommendations

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Default Player Software & Settings

  • Frameworks
    • .NET (Latest Version)
  • Platforms
    • Windows Media Player
    • Flash Player
    • Quicktime
    • Java
  • Software
    • Windows
    • FWI Content Manager
    • VNC (remote management)
    • VLC Player
    • Acrobat Reader
    • MS Word
    • MS Excel
    • MS Powerpoint
  • Settings
    • No Desktop Background
    • Hide Desktop Icons
    • No Screen Saver
    • Turn off all power save modes
    • Auto-hide Taskbar
    • Set Player As Auto-Start Service

Remote Access

RealVNC is a remote access tool for logging into your player. Download Instructions(pdf)


Signage player setup

From wiki.fourwindsinteractive.com

Introduction

The purpose of this document is to provide details on setting up a Windows machine to function as a Four Winds Interactive Signage Player.

When setting up a new Signage Player, It is recommended that you print a copy of the “Signage Player Machine Setup Checklist” (the Checklist) located near the end of this document. The printed copy can serve as a step-by-step checklist and serve as valuable documentation of the machine’s configuration.

We recommend that you configure a single Player PC and then use an imaging tool like ImageX to deploy this configuration to the remaining Player PCs.

Hardware and OS requirements

Minimum required:

Recommended:

Licensing

For information about licensing your Content Players, click here.


Setting up a new, out-of-the-box machine with its OS pre-loaded

When powering up a new computer with XP Professional, Vista or Windows 7 pre-loaded, an "OOBE" or "mini-setup" wizard is typically launched. This usually consists of a EULA, a product key dialog, the machine name, the administrator password, an initial user account, network connection information, and Windows activation.

Machine Name

Specify the Machine Name when prompted. If the Machine Name is not available at setup time, the recommended name is SIGNAGEnn where nn is a unique, sequential number.

Administrator Password

Consult your IT staff for instructions on how to configure the administrator password. If there is no policy in place, ensure that the administrator password is something that you can remember, or store it in a password database product like Password Safe or KeePass.

Local User ID and Password

The initial machine setup will prompt you for a User ID and Password. If not available at setup time, the recommended User ID is “fourwinds” and the recommended password is fourwinds. You can revise these values at any time using the Control Panel. By default, this user will have administrative rights.

Network connection - TCP/IP configuration

If configuring a new machine, you may wish to assign it a static IP Address. Whether the machine uses a static IP Address or not, the machine’s actual IP Address is valuable information that should be recorded to assist in network troubleshooting.

In XP, launch the Network Connections manager by selecting Start-->Control Panel-->Network Connections. Highlight either “Local Area Connection” (if working with a wired network) or “Wireless Connection” (if working with a wireless network), right-click and select “Properties”. In the “Connection Properties” dialog, highlight “Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)”, and select the “Properties” button. You will be presented with the “Internet Protocol Properties” dialog.

In Windows 7, launch the Network Connections by selecting Start-->Control Panel-->Network and Sharing Connections-->Change Adapter settings. Right-click and select Properties on the adapter you wish to setup. Select the proper TCP/IP properties and then select properties.

Setting up a previously used machine

When an existing machine is used, or when working from a standard loadset or image, the Machine Name, Administrator password, and all User Names, have already been specified. Note: You must be logged in as a user that has Administrative rights.

Machine Name

This value can be obtained by right-clicking on "My Computer," selecting “Properties," and then selecting the “Computer Name” tab. The Machine Name can be revised by clicking the “Change” button.

Administrator Password

You can revise this value at any time using the Control Panel.

Local User ID and Password

If running on a domain, the Local User ID and Password will probably not be used, since a domain user will be logging into the machine to run the signage.

If running on a workgroup, set these values at any time using the Control Panel.


Other configuration steps

Get/set domain or workgroup name

Select “Start” and right-click on “My Computer” and select “Properties”. You will be presented with the “System Properties” dialog. In Windows 7, under the “Computer name, Domain and Workgroup settings” section, select “Change Settings.”

In the “Member of” group box, if you wish to join a Domain, select the “Domain” radio button and type in the domain name where indicated. If you wish to join a Workgroup, select the “Workgroup” radio button and type in the workgroup name where indicated.

If unavailable at setup time, choose “Workgroup” and assign a workgroup name like “SIGNAGE”.

Note: if you are not logged on as a domain administrator, the ability to join a Domain may be limited or restricted. If that’s the case, you will need someone from the IT department to join the machine to the domain.

After joining the domain or workgroup, you will be prompted to re-boot the machine.

Allow file sharing

Signage is updated by way of deployment from the Content Manager machine. Deployment copies files from anywhere on the network to the Signage Player machine. In order to have files deployed to the Signage Player machine, file sharing must be activated.

XP (3.7 and below only)

To configure your computer for file sharing, select Start>Control Panel>Network Connections. In the Network Connections dialog, right-click on “Local Area Connection” then select the “Properties” button. In the Connection Properties dialog, click on the “General” tab. Check that “File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks” is listed and make sure that its checkbox is checked. If it is not listed, click the “Install” button, click once on “Service”, click “Add”, select “File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks” and click “OK” to add the service.

Windows 7

To configure your computer for file sharing, open the Network Connections by selecting Start>Control Panel>Network and Sharing Connections>Change Adapter settings>Right click and select properties on the adapter you wish to setup. Check that “File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks” is listed and make sure that its checkbox is checked. If it is not listed, click the “Install” button, click once on “Service”, click “Add”, select “File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks” and click “OK” to add the service.

Remove the Windows Welcome screen

Since signage typically runs in a public area, you want to minimize the amount of operating system elements that are exposed on the screen when the machine restarts.

XP

To remove the Windows Welcome screen, select Start->Control Panel->User Accounts->Change the way users log on or off” and uncheck “Use the Welcome screen”

Windows 7

  1. In the run menu type netplwiz; the User Accounts window will open.
  2. Uncheck the option saying ”Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer ”
  3. Select Apply
  4. A window will open allowing you to enter the credentials to log in to Windows 7.
  5. Select OK on both of the open windows
  6. Going forward you will not be prompted to enter your credentials.

Turn off screen saver and sleep/hibernate mode

Since signage runs continuously with no keyboard or mouse input, the screen saver normally would be activated and the machine would enter hibernation after a period of time has elapsed. This would cause the signage to stop being visible.

XP

To turn off the screen saver, select Start>Control Panel>Display. Select the Screen Saver tab and in the Screen saver dropdown list and select “(none)”.

To turn off the Hibernate mode, select the “Power…” button and select “Always On” from the Power Schemes dropdown list, set all values in the “Settings for Always On power scheme” group to “Never” and select the “Apply” button.

Windows 7

To turn off the screen saver, select Start>Control Panel>Display. Select Personalize>Screen Saver>select “None” from the dropdown.

To turn off the Sleep mode, select Start>Control Panel>Power Options>Select “Create a power plan”, High performance and select never for all options.

Set black background color and remove desktop icons

Since signage typically runs in a public area, you want to minimize the amount of operating system related material that shows on the screen when the machine restarts.

XP

To set the background color to black, select Start>Control Panel>Display. Select Personalize>Screen Saver>select “None” from the dropdown. Select the Desktop tab. In the Background dropdown list, select “(none)”. Then select the color black from the “Color” dropdown. Remove all desktop icons by right-clicking the icon and selecting “Delete”.

Windows 7

To set the background color to black, select Start>Control Panel>Display. Select Personalize>Desktop Screensaver>select “Solid Colors” from the dropdown. From the color selections, select the black square.

Remove all desktop icons by right-clicking the icon and selecting “Delete”.

To hide the Recycle Bin icon click Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Personalization and then select "Change Desktop Icons" from the side panel. You are able to uncheck "Recycle Bin" and it will disappear from your desktop.

Turn off Windows alerts

The little bubbles that pop up from time to time are annoying and shouldn’t appear on the signage if you are running in the default desktop using a windows mode.

XP

To turn off Windows Alerts, select Start>Control Panel>Security Center>Resources>Change the way Security Center alerts me and then uncheck all three items.

Windows 7

To turn off Windows Alerts, right-click on the system tray and select “Customize notification icons” & select the proper options for those items listed.

For more granular control, you can go to the Action Center (by clicking Control Panel>Action Center) and select “Change Action Center Settings”. This allows you to disable specific types of messages, including messages about Windows Update, Internet security settings, User Account Control, Windows Backup, and more.

Turn off automatic program updates

From time to time certain software is configured to use the Internet to check for Program Updates. Sometimes, the installation of program updates requires a re-boot and notifies us via a popup window or a bubble that you really don’t want to be shown on our signage. Note: this option may not exist if InstallShield hasn’t been used to install any software yet.

To turn off automatic program updates, select Start>Control Panel>Program Updates and select the “Change Update Settings…” button. Then select the “Turn off automatic update notifications” option.

Validate date, time and time zone

Validate the current date, time and time zone by selecting Start>Control Panel>Date and Time. Adjust values as required and select the “Apply” button.

Allow Remote Desktop or another remote access solution

Most Signage Player machines are physically located in inconvenient or inaccessible locations. Remote Desktop allows an administrator to connect and control the Signage Player machine from anywhere on the network.

This value can be set by right-clicking on “Start>My Computer”, select “Properties”, select the “Remote” tab and check “Allow users to connect remotely to this computer”.

Install Microsoft Office

If you wish to display Excel, PowerPoint or Word content or use Excel as a live data source, Microsoft Office needs to be installed. When installing, select all defaults.

NOTE: Supported Microsoft Office versions are 2003, 2007 & 2010.

Run Windows Update

Note: Make sure to install the latest Windows Media Player and all related updates.

Whether working with a new computer or a previously used machine, Microsoft Windows Update should be run at this point. Remember that you previously turned off Automatic Updates, so this is our best opportunity to manually update our machine before it is physically installed.

Note: Ensure the .NET Framework 4.0 and any updates or service packs are installed.

Launch Internet Explorer and select “Tools-->Windows Update”. Select the “Custom” button and install all High Priority updates. Note: this may take several hours depending on the release version of Windows installed.

Note that installation of an update may spawn the need for new updates, so repeat the Windows Update process until there are no new updates reported.

Install Office Primary Interop Assemblies

Office Primary Interop Assemblies allow our software to integrate with the native Microsoft Office viewing components.

For Office 2003, install the PIA’s from: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=3c9a983a-ac14-4125-8ba0-d36d67e0f4ad&displaylang=en

For Office 2007, install the PIA’s from:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=59DAEBAA-BED4-4282-A28C-B864D8BFA513&displaylang=en

For Office 2010, install the PIA’s from:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/confirmation.aspx?FamilyID=938fe8ad-583b-4bd7-a345-23250dc15855

Install the latest Flash Player

If you wish to display Flash content, the Flash Player needs to be installed.

Launch Internet Explorer and navigate to: http://www.adobe.com/ and select “Get Flash Player” from the Downloads tab. When prompted, be sure to un-check the Google Toolbar and any other extraneous add-ons they try to push on you.

Install the latest Adobe Reader

If you wish to display Adobe PDF content, the Adobe Reader needs to be installed.

Launch Internet Explorer and navigate to: http://www.adobe.com/ and select “Get Adobe Reader” from the Downloads tab. When prompted, be sure to un-check the Google Toolbar and any other extraneous add-ons they try to push on you.

Install the K-Lite Codec Pack

Windows Media Player includes video codecs for most video file types, but not all (most notably, .AVI files). We recommend installing the K-Lite Codec Pack to provide codecs for the missing Windows Media Player codecs.

  1. Launch a web browser, and navigate to http://www.free-codecs.com/download/K_Lite_Codec_Pack.htm.
  2. Click Download K-Lite Codec Pack.
  3. Select the [K-Lite Codec Pack x.x.x FULL] version.
  4. When prompted, uncheck the option to install the Media Player Classic application.
  5. When the Setup - K-Lite Codec Pack window displays, uncheck the first three boxes, and ensure to check No thanks. I don't want to install these free offers.
    K-lite uncheck.jpg
  6. Click Next.
  7. Accept the remaining default options.

Install the latest QuickTime Player

If you wish to display QuickTime content, the QuickTime Player needs to be installed.

Launch Internet Explorer and navigate to: http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/. Be sure to un-check the automatic updates option and un-check the three newsletter options.

Install LogMeIn and add the computer to the list

If you need to contact FWi for support, we recommend installing LogMeIn to assist in diagnosing and troubleshooting problems.

Launch Internet Explorer and navigate to: http://www.logmein.com

Log into the application with Email: <sitename>@support.fourwindsinteractive.com and Password: “ “. When the list of computers is presented, select the “Add Computer” link. When prompted, install the free version of LogMeIn. Assign this system the PC Access Code: “ “.

Install FWi Content Player application

To properly install Content Player, visit the Installation Parameters page.

Run and verify Content Player

To verify that Content Player installed successfully, it needs to be run one time.

Select Start>All Programs>Four Winds Interactive>Content Player. You will receive a message box that states “Content Player is installed and ready to play content”. Select “Quit”.

Setup Auto-Logon (XP only)

For instructions on this task concerning Windows 7, please see the section above on removing the Windows welcome screen.

In the event of a power failure or a re-boot after an error occurs, you would prefer that the signage start up immediately rather than having the machine display a Logon dialog. You can accomplish this via Registry settings.

Note: If available, there is a utility called “TweakUI” that will do this for you. To download TweakUI, navigate to:

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/powertoys/xppowertoys.mspx

Select the TweakUI.exe link on the right side of the page.

If you're not using TweakUI, Select Start>Run and type in “regedit”. This will launch the registry editor. Navigate to:

  \HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

On the right panel of the registry editor, locate the setting named “AutoAdminLogon”. Double-click it and replace the “0” with a “1”.

Locate the settings named “DefaultDomainName” and “DefaultUserName” and verify they are correct. If not correct, double-click and change to the correct user values (note, if not on a domain, use the computer name).

From the menu, select Edit>New String Value. Type in “DefaultPassword” and press enter. Press enter again to bring up the string editor and type in the password to use during autologin. Exit the registry editor.

Re-boot the machine and verify that the signage user gets logged in automatically.

Setup Content Player to start automatically[edit]

To have Content Player launch whenever the machine starts up, you need to add Content Player to the Startup program group.

Select Start>All Programs>Four Winds Interactive. Within this menu, hold down the “Ctrl” key and drag the Content Player menu item until you hover on the “Startup” group in the All Programs menu (keep the Ctrl key down and continue your drag/drop). As you hover over it, a sub-menu of startup programs will unfold. Drop the Content Player menu item into this sub-menu.

Re-boot the machine and verify that Content Player starts up automatically.

4dot3.png New with software version 4.3:

Set up player computer to automatically power up[edit]

In the case where there is a power failure, you want the Players to automatically power up when power is restored, rather than having to manually push the power-on button on each physical player machine.

To set this you must access the BIOS Setup during the boot process. Please consult your owner’s guide or IT staff for all brands of computers.

Set up a scheduled task to reboot the player machine[edit]

FWi makes every effort to ensure there are no memory leaks in our software. The third-party software that has been loaded, however, is not in our control. To re-capture system resources and prevent the dreaded “Out of Memory” message, you want to automatically re-boot the Player Computer daily at a convenient time where users rarely will be viewing the signage.

XP

Select “Start>Control Panel>Scheduled Tasks”. Double-click on “Add Scheduled Task”. You will be presented with the Scheduled Task Wizard. Select “Next >”, then select “Browse”. Browse and select “c:\windows\system32\shutdown.exe”. Select the “Daily” option and select “Next >”. Enter the desired time of day to re-boot the machine (usually around 2:00 AM), check the “Every Day” option, and then select “Next >”. Enter the credentials for the local administrator account and then select “Next >”. '

Select the “Open advanced properties for this task” option and select “Finish >”. Modify the “Run” text by adding a few parameters to the end of the command. It should be set to:

“C:\windows\system32\shutdown.exe –r -f -t 10”

Then check the “Run only if logged on” option, and select “OK”.

Windows 7

Select “Start>Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Tasks Scheduler”. Select Action>New Basic Task. Within the Wizard:

  1. Give the task a name and description, select Next.
  2. Select Daily, Select Next.
  3. Enter the desired time of day to re-boot the machine (usually around 2:00 AM), select Next.
  4. Select Start a program, select Next.
  5. Select Browse. Browse and select “c:\windows\system32\shutdown.exe”.
  6. Add the arguments: –r -f -t 10 .
  7. Select Finish.

Add optional custom fonts (optional)[edit]

It is possible to use fonts in the content that doesn’t come pre-installed with the Operating System or Office. In this case, you need to install the custom fonts.

To install the fonts, select Start-->Control Panel-->Fonts and copy/paste the fonts from the location the new .font is currently located to the fonts folder.

Install anti-virus software (optional)[edit]

Anti-virus software is not included in the Four Winds license agreement. If you wish to install Anti-Virus software, you must install it per your IT department’s normal methods.

Set display orientation and resolution[edit]

This step depends on the video card that is installed. Typically these items are changed by right-clicking within the desktop and selecting the video card’s utility program. If working with a Vertical screen, set the desktop orientation to vertical by rotating the output 90 or 270 degrees depending on how the LCD is mounted.

Next, select the screen resolution option and set the correct resolution (typically 1360x768 or 1920x1080 for horizontal and the inverse for vertical).

Install iRotate (XP only)[edit]

iRotate can be installed to facilitate rotating the video display settings from horizontal to portrait layout.

www.softpedia.com/get/Tweak/Video-Tweak/iRotate.shtml

Signage player setup checklist

The following page illustrates a Checklist that can be used as a guide to setting up a Signage Player machine.

By following the Checklist, and filling out the appropriate items, the Checklist can be used as a handy reference to the machine parameters and status, and can be filed as a permanent addition to the machine documentation. A copy should be retained for reference by FWi Support.

  1. Machine Name
  2. Machine Serial Number
  3. Machine Physical Location
  4. Physical Location of Signage/Kiosk(s)
  5. Administrator’s Password
  6. Local User Id and Password
  7. IP Address Information:
  8. IP Address
  9. Subnet Mask
  10. Default Gateway
  11. Preferred DNS Server
  12. Alternate DNS Server
  13. Network Card MAC Address:
  14. Domain or Workgroup Name
  15. Allow File Sharing
  16. Remove the Welcome Screen
  17. Turn off Screen Saver and Hibernate Mode
  18. Set Black Background and Remove Desktop Icons
  19. Turn off Windows Alerts
  20. Turn off Automatic Program Updates
  21. Validate Date, Time, and Time Zone
  22. Allow Remote Desktop
  23. Install Microsoft Office
  24. Apply all Windows Updates
  25. Install Office Primary Interop Assemblies
  26. Install the latest Flash Player
  27. Install the latest Adobe Reader
  28. Install the latest QuickTime Player
  29. Install the K-Lite Codec Pack
  30. Install LogMeIn and Add Computer to the List
  31. Install Content Player
  32. Run and Verify Content Player Installation (shared Signage Folder exists)
  33. Setup Auto-Logon
  34. Setup Content Player to start automatically
  35. Setup Player Machine to Automatically Power Up
  36. Setup a Scheduled Task to Re-Boot Daily
  37. Install Custom Fonts (optional)
  38. Install Anti-Virus Software (optional)
  39. Set Display Orientation and Resolution

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