New Thanksgiving Templates

We have prepared two Thanksgiving templates to use for American Thanksgiving. Along with these templates, we have added some Thanksgiving-inspired images to the asset library. Check out the video below to get a walk-through on how to use these templates and where to find these assets to start building some awesome Thanksgiving templates for your digital signage.

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Media editor improvements

Today we released several small-but-mighty improvements to the Media editor:

Hide

You can now hide layers while editing media. This can simplify the process of editing complicated media by getting layers out of the way temporarily. Or it can help in permanently hiding locked layers in Integrations, that otherwise can’t be removed.
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New Lower Thirds Assets for Digital Signage

 


In the television industry, a lower third is a graphic overlay for text, logos & other information. The ScreenScape team has designed some lower thirds and added them to the ScreenScape Asset Library. We have included several layout options that can be tailored to your unique needs. They can be used to display local time, current events, website information, social media information, PSA’s and so many more things. Watch the video in this post to help get your head around how to integrate these new assets into your screen-based signage.

We have also included a ready-to-use template in the template library to help you on your journey. Have a good day, and happy creating!
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New Athletics Templates for Campus Digital Signage and more

 

 

ScreenScape has just launced some new athletics-inspired templates. The subject matter in the example may say “sports” but like all ScreenScape templates, it’s the look and feel that really matters and that means you can easily customize them to say just about anything.  Our team has carefully prepared these templates to be easily editable by non-designers. These templates are especially handy for posting meeting schedules, team profiles, and company leader boards, but go ahead and use your own creativity. The possibilities are endless!
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Introducing the Embed App

An ‘embed’ is a code snippet provided by another web property, like an app or a web site. You’ll also often hear them referred to as ‘embed codes’, ‘widgets’ or ‘html widgets’. The purpose of an embed is to display ‘external’ information on a separate web site.

The Embed App is an integration available in the ScreenScape Media editor. The app adds a single layer to a media item. The layer (technically an iframe) shows the results of an embed code that’s added to the app settings. Usually that layer contains a mix of content – text, images, maybe even video – embedded by a third party web property.
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Embed App FAQ

What’s an “embed”?

An ‘embed’ is a code snippet provided by another web property, like an app or a web site. You’ll also often hear them referred to as ‘embed codes’, ‘widgets’ or ‘html widgets’.

The purpose of an embed is to display ‘external’ information on separate web site.

For example, if you’re a blogger and you wanted to reference a Tweet in an article, you’d “embed” the tweet into your blog post. You’d likely go to the tweet on Twitter, grab the embed code for that tweet, and copy/paste that code into your blog page. When someone views your page, the embed code calls Twitter and asks for the tweet referenced by the code. This is useful, since tweets are ‘live’ documents; the tweet, follows, mentions will have likely changed between the time the article was written and the time viewers are reading it.

Embed codes are used all over the Internet, to help people share information between apps and web sites. For example, the video below is embedded in this Help page using an Embed code provided by our video hosting service.

What is the Embed App?

The Embed App is an integration app available in the ScreenScape Media editor.

The app adds a single layer to a media item. The layer (technically an iframe) shows the results of an embed code that’s added to the app settings. Usually that layer contains a mix of content – text, images, maybe even video – embedded by a third party web property.

The Embed layer acts like a Web Page layer – it can be move and resized, but it’s monolithic in nature. You can’t do anything with the internal embedded content other than move it around as a block.

When should I use the Embed App?

Embeds are particularly useful for default formatting of external content. For example, an embedded Tweet automatically looks familiar – it uses the right brand colors, the right font, a familiar placement of elements, rounding of corners, etc.

Embeds are also very useful when the embed updates itself over time. For example, an embed that always shows the latest price of a NYSE stock can be very handy.

What are examples of what I can do with an embed?

Here’s a abbreviated list of what you might do with the Embed app:

  • Instagram Feed – Display Instagram images in your Media
  • Facebook Feed – Make your Facebook content work in your Media, or highlight specific Comments, Posts, Videos or Pages
  • Twitter Feed – Embed your Twitter feed or customer testimonials from Twitter, or highlight specific Tweets
  • Pinterest Feed – Integrate Pinterest account feeds, Boards or Pins
  • Pricing Tables – Display your prices in a simple and graphic way
  • Countdown Timers – Embed counters and timers to create dynamism and excitement in your media
  • Testimonials – Boost brand trust with bright client testimonials in your Media
  • Sliders – Shape custom photo, video, and banner sliders for your Media
  • Amazon Reviews – Display reviews on your Amazon products
  • Trustpilot Reviews – Uplevel social trust and attract more reviews
  • Facebook Reviews – Display your Facebook reviews
  • TripAdvisor Reviews – Increase your trustworthiness with TripAdvisor reviews
  • Google Reviews – Show your spotless reputation with Google reviews
  • Yelp Reviews – Prove your business positive image with Yelp reviews
  • Airbnb Reviews – Display your Airbnb reviews for higher credibility
  • Weather – Present the Weather in a variety of formats for any location
  • Financial – Show market summaries, tickers and symbol quotes
  • Clocks – Present the time in various formats
  • Event Calendars – Display upcoming events
  • Google Maps – Add Google Maps to your Media
  • Google Calendar – Embed Calendars for meeting rooms, schedules, team members and more
  • Google Sheets / Charts – Embed live charts into your Media
  • Vimeo Gallery – Embed Vimeo videos and channels in your Media
  • YouTube Gallery – Add YouTube channels and videos to your Media
  • Twitch channels – Embed live Twitch channels for a window on the latest online action
  • Photo Galleries – Embed external image collections into your Media

It’s important to note that the goal of many of these examples could be achieved in other ways. For example, YouTube has it’s own app, and also shares Webpage app- friendly URLs, vs a putting a YT embed code in the Embed app. The Embed app is just another tool in your toolbox. Each have pros and cons, there’s no one right way.

What are the limitations of the Embed App?

Most embeds are good for referencing a snippets of data, like a single tweet. They aren’t usually great for complicated tasks, like showing all tweets on a certain subject over time.

Most limitations of an embed is defined by the provider of the embed. As a consumer, you don’t have much control over what the embed can and can’t do. For example, if the font they use in their embed is too small to be legible on your display… tough luck.

Embeds are also meant to be public (think tweets and stock info), so they’re generally limited to public information. They aren’t useful for accessing data that’s protected and requires user authentication. If the data you want to display is protected, you’ll need to use a dedicated App that provides steps for user credentials.

Beware of embeds that: require user interaction; have tiny fonts; or have poor contrast. You’re making a digital sign after all. An embed with buttons that a user would have to click (like the Play button on a video) doesn’t fit your digital signage use case.

Finally, embeds with a ‘fixed’ resolution or ‘absolute’ resolution require special handling – check out the next question for details.

Why does my embed look different between Previews and my TV?

Many embeds you’ll find use a ‘fixed’ resolution (aka absolute resolution). Their height and width in pixels is explicitly declared in the embed’s code.
ScreenScape Media is ‘relative’. The size and position of layers is a percentage of the total screen area.
Getting fixed and relative elements to work together smoothly is often tricky. When you’re working across multiple screen resolutions (as you often are with digital signage) it can be a real challenge.

If you’re seeing positioning issues like the one shown above (your embed would be the red square), you’re likely dealing with an embed in a fixed resolution. Try going back to the provider to get a ‘relative’ or ‘responsive’ embed. If you’re feeling brave, you could also try editing the embed code itself to a percentage height and width. If neither of those work, the only solution is iterative testing – go back and forth between your editor and your TV until you get the embed positioned just right.

How do I find Embed codes?

Most of the popular social media apps out there have embeds – it’s one of the central ways that they gain popularity.

Exactly where to find it will depend on the app. Some sites, like Twitter, dedicate an entire section of their app to nothing but the generation of embeds. (For example, publish.twitter.com.) But in general look for a Share button, or a reference to a ‘widget’. Sometimes they simply call it an Embed.
Follow the apps instructions to copy the embed code.

Then go back to your ScreenScape editor, paste the code into your Embed App settings and Save.

Can I buy embed codes?

Yes. Usually vendors who sell embeds call them ‘widgets’. There are all kinds of them out there.
Vendors will often offer simpler widgets for free, and reserve their higher-end offerings for a fee. Some vendors you may find useful:

  • Weatherwidget – Sidebar and ‘lower thirds’ weather bars are available in varying styles and colors here.
  • ClockLink – If you’re looking for an alternative to our standard clock app, this is a good place to start.
  • Elfsight – Elfsight has more than two dozen widgets including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and many more. Be aware that with their free widgets you’re sometimes limited to a fixed number of views per month.
  • Snapwidget – Life Elfsight, they have many social widgets, with some free and others for a fee.

Can I modify embed codes?

Yes – embeds often have parameters you can tweak to change how they’ll behave on your display.

However, this is again limited by the options provided for by the third party web property – results may vary!