How To Use Chrome Sign Builder for Digital Signage
Chrome Sign Builder is a digital signage application that allows you to schedule and display content across your managed Chrome device network. It makes it simple to show web content like images, YouTube videos, and Google Presentations. You configure Chrome Sign Builder by creating schedules and specifying the URLs of the content you want to show. Later you'll be able to change your content URLs and reconfigure the schedules and settings.
You should always schedule content so that your media player doesn't show a blank screen. For example, during the time between breakfast and lunch, a restaurant could display a message such as “We’re closed.”
There are two ways to avoid a blank screen when creating schedules. First, you can create a default schedule that displays 24/7, and additionally create schedules for specific time periods. In this example, the default event is “We’re closed.” If the breakfast menu is scheduled from 7 a.m. till 10:30 a.m., the menu would display instead. However, the ideal way to avoid a blank screen is to specify a default URL that displays whatever you want when nothing is scheduled. We recommend this instead of creating a default schedule because your content calendar will be less cluttered and easier to maintain.
Working with Chrome Sign Builder's content scheduler
First, download Chrome Sign Builder from the Chrome Web Store here. While you can download and install Chrome Sign Builder on the Chromebox or Chromebit where it will be deployed, the deployment process is simpler if you install it on a desktop computer.
When you launch Chrome Sign Builder, a schedule window and a preview window will display. The preview window is blank until you specify a URL for scheduled content.
Create a schedule for specific time slots
Select a time slot on the calendar. Similar to Google Calendar, you can select a thirty-minute time slot or drag your cursor across multiple hours or days. Enter the URL for the content you want to display. If you want to display just an image, upload the image to your Google Drive and then get its URL. Automatically reloading the URL refreshes the content displayed.
You can duplicate the schedule in the calendar by repeating it. For example, if you create a schedule for a breakfast menu to display from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Monday and repeat it daily, your schedule will be on the calendar every day of the week. You can also rename your schedule by selecting Edit settings in the drop-down next and editing the name.
Create a schedule that displays content all day for a set number of days
A conference agenda is a great example of when you’d want to show the same content constantly for a set time. A Google presentation could contain the agenda, and an admin could change the presentation as needed during the conference. Those changes would be displayed according to the refresh rate you set.
To do this, click in the all-day row under the day you want the content to start. After entering your URL, click Advanced to show the settings for automatically reloading the URL and the beginning and end dates of your event.
Create a schedule that displays content all day for an indefinite number of days
A retail business that wants to show hours of operation is an example of a “forever” schedule that displays content every day of every week for 24 hours a day. Click in the all-day row under the day you want to start displaying the hours of operation and select Show forever.
To change how often you want the media display screen to refresh, click Advanced and Automatically reload URL. You can edit the default refresh time of 10 seconds to whatever rate is most appropriate for your digital sign.
Set a default URL
Setting a default URL is a way to display content on the media player screen when nothing else is scheduled. This is important because it keeps your media player from displaying a blank screen. To set a default URL, select Edit settings in the drop-down and enter the default URL.
If you don’t have a default URL, you can click Reset URL, and Chrome Sign Builder will display a message saying that nothing has been scheduled to display. If you allow a white screen to display, it will be hard for you to tell if there's an issue with the media player or if there's simply nothing scheduled.
Export the schedule file
A schedule file contains the URLs for your content, settings such as screen orientation, and the schedules you created. You need to export the schedule file by clicking Export so you can upload it in the deployment process.
When you deploy Chrome Sign Builder to the org units where you want your digital sign to display, you will click UPLOAD CONFIGURATION FILE and select the schedule you exported. After the devices boot, the digital sign displays using the schedule, display URLs, and settings you have configured.
Delete a schedule
To delete a schedule, click on it in the calendar and click Remove, or select Delete schedule in the drop-down.
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