ScreenScape Connect FAQ

What is ‘ScreenScape Connect’?
What are the advantages of the Connect?
What problem does the Connect solve?
Who is the Connect designed for?
Where is the Connect NOT a fit?
How do I setup a Connect device?
What equipment comes standard with the Connect?
What additional equipment do I need?
The Connect needs a ‘HDMI’ TV… What’s HDMI? What’s MHL HDMI?
How do I operate the Connect?
How do I connect a keyboard to the device?
How do I add a new Wi-Fi connection?
How do I troubleshoot a Connect?

What is ‘ScreenScape Connect’?

Connect2

ScreenScape Connect is a tiny hardware device that plugs directly into a TV. It acts like a mini computer, completely replacing the traditional ‘PC Media Player’ box. It connects to the Internet, downloads everything it needs, and plays content like video, images, news and animations on the TV.

It’s digital signage on a stick.

 

What are the advantages of the Connect?

The Connect makes it easy to get started with digital signage. Installation is quick and painless.

Once installed, it removes the cost and complexity of owning and operating a digital sign. The Connect makes it cost effective for the ‘average’ business owner to get involved in digital signage.

 

What problem does the Connect solve?

‘Traditional’ digital signage is hard. Getting started often involves expensive media players, site surveys, specially installed commercial TV panels, dedicated wiring, dedicated networking, trained installation personnel and more. The result is a complex project with a high initial capital expenditure. Although they understand the benefits of digital signage, many business operators shy away from the idea of adding a large project to their already busy duties.

The Connect eliminates these pain points with a low price point (free with contract), simplified installation, low maintenance, and a form factor that’s designed to work with existing TV hardware.

 

Who is the Connect designed for?

mockup

The Connect is an excellent fit for small and medium sized businesses that are ‘priced out of the market’ by the cost and complexity of traditional digital signage. Many businesses already have a flat panel TV installed on premise. In most cases the TV is playing content that has no value to the business; it may even be playing competitors’ commercials.

The initial value of the Connect is to give these organizations a simple way to make that TV work harder for their business. And because the Connect works with the ScreenScape network, once connected they have opportunity to collaborate with corporate networks, local busineses, supplier networks, and advertising networks.

 

Where is the Connect NOT a fit?

not a fit

The Connect is NOT a wholesale replacement for all use cases of digital signage.

There are many scenarios where a traditional media player has desirable advantages. In particular, if additional software needs to be installed on the device alongside the player, a Windows PC could be a simpler fit. For example, an IT department may have policies that require Windows software like ‘LogMeIn’ to be installed on all devices on their network, or to have an approved version of their standard network monitoring software installed for compliance reasons. In these cases a Windows PC, as a known quantity with well established third party vendor solutions, is still a good choice. Contact ScreenScape directly if this fits your situation, we have Windows PC options available.

The term ‘digital signage’ covers a wide range of applications. For example, a large video wall in a mission control room might be called “digital signage”. In this type of scenario the design advantages of the Connect aren’t of great benefit (low cost, easy to install, tiny form factor); although more expensive, a traditional media player is likely still the best fit in such a case.

 

How do I setup a Connect device?

For a complete list of setup steps, refer to the in-box instructions provided with your Connect, or this online list.

 

What equipment comes standard with the Connect?

In addition to the device itself, the Connect will come delivered with several useful peripherals:
connect_cables_and_adapters

  • Micro-USB to standard-USB cable – Used for powering the device by USB, where MHL HDMI is not available.
  • HDMI extension cable – Used with TVs where there is limited space between the HDMI port and the wall. Also used as a signal filter for older TVs with non-standard HDMI port.
  • HDMI male-female adapter
  • Mini-USB to standard-USB adapter – Used for attaching some keyboard models (wireless and USB) to the device. Keyboards can be used for inputting Wi-Fi data, logging in to alternate ScreenScape accounts, etc.

 

What additional equipment do I need?

In addition to the standard equipment shipped with the Connect, you will need:
tv

  • a large format flat screen TV, with a standard HDMI port
  • a physical mount for the TV (a wall mount, ceiling pole mount, etc.)
  • a Wi-Fi router and Internet connection

You’ll also need a nearby power source for the Connect, which can be any of the following:

  • a TV with a powered MHL HDMI port
  • a powered USB port on the TV
  • a USB power adapter (like a phone charger) plugged into a wall outlet

 

The Connect needs a ‘HDMI’ TV… What’s HDMI? What’s MHL HDMI?

2-hdmi-port-on-tv
HDMI is a type of video connection on TVs. Most consumer TVs have at least 1 HDMI port, while many have 4 or more. You’ll recognize the HDMI port on the back of the TV by its distinctive flat-with-rounded-corners shape.
MHL HDMI is an industry standard for a mobile audio/video interface that allows consumers to connect mobile devices to high-definition televisions (HDTVs). For the Connect, MHL is the specification that allows the device to draw power directly from the television. No additional plugs or cords required.

 

How do I operate the Connect?

The Connect is designed to be ‘hands free’. Once the Connect is online, all interaction with the device can be accomplished over the Internet through ScreenScape.com. You can log in to ScreenScape through any browser, anywhere, and control the content that’s playing on your Connect.

However, there is a lightweight interface on the device for specific scenarios, where you may need to interact directly with the Connect. These include:

  • Setup – Connect to Wi-Fi Internet
  • Setup – Change accounts *Contact Support for further assistance

For each of these scenarios, a keyboard is required to directly interact with the device.

 

How do I connect a keyboard to the device?

For keyboard options available with the Connect, refer to this list.

 

How do I add a new Wi-Fi connection?

If the local Wi-Fi network changes, or if a Connect is moved to a new location, you will need to re-connect the device with new Wi-Fi information.
Wi-Fi

  1. Plug in the device to a TV and power it up
  2. Connect a keyboard (see Connect a keyboard instructions)
  3. Press the ESC or SPACE bar on the keyboard
  4. Press the Wi-Fi button on the Connect HOME screen (keyboard tab or mouse)
  5. Press the Add Wi-Fi Connection button on the Wi-Fi screen (keyboard tab or mouse)
  6. Select the new network, type the password. Press ‘Enter’ and the ‘Next’ button. (keyboard tab or mouse)

The device should connect to the indicated network, display the new network information on the screen and automatically reboot itself.

 

How do I troubleshoot a Connect?

The simplest way to troubleshoot a Connect device is to use ScreenScape’s built in software, known as Control.

To use Control, log in to the ScreenScape account that is assigned your device. (It’s the same account where your content is created and published to the device.) You’ll see a tab on the top level of the user interface called Control. Click on the tab, and you’ll see all of the devices assigned to this account, along with status info for the device(s). Status info includes details such as:

  • device specifications and network info
  • the last time the device was connected to the network
  • content currently downloaded to the device
  • CPU, Memory and Hard disk usage
  • Bandwidth consumption

[Note: Control features are only available with some account types.]