Direct Sources
Direct Sources are video streams that feed content directly into Userful, which then decodes, scales, transforms and re-encodes the content, and distributes it to your displays or wall.
Direct Sources also include Scaling Options. This allows you to zoom, crop, or stretch content to fit your canvas if the aspect ratio of the content does not perfectly match your displays or Zones. This is in contrast to Interactive Sources, which automatically scale themselves to fit.
Zoom will zoom in content until there are no black pixels displayed. This may crop out part of your content, but will fill the canvas without distorting the image.
Scale will display all your content and will not distort the image, but will include black bars if the content does not fit the aspect ratio perfectly.
Stretch will allow your content to fill the canvas perfectly, but may distort content in the process.

Signage Player

The Signage Player source allows users to upload image and video content directly to the Userful server, and create playlists.
Signage Player is the best source to deliver quality image and video content to Userful-powered displays, both in terms of efficiency and quality. It can decode and play content at up to 8K 60FPS with minimal or no compression, switch playlists instantly, and requires no external input to run.

Compatibility

Signage Player in On-Premise is compatible with the following formats:
Audio Codecs .Mp3, .FLAC, .AAC Video Codecs H.263, H.264, H.265, MPEG, Theora, Vorbis, VPX, XviD, VP8, VP9 Video Containers .AVI, .ASF, .MKV, .MPG, .MP4, .OGV, .MOV, .WebM Image Formats .gif, .pbm, .pgm, .png, .ppm, .qif, .qti, .tif, .tiff, .jpe, .jpg, .jpeg, .qtif, .webp
Creating a Signage Player Source
Creating a Signage Player source
    1.
    Click New Source
    . From the drop-down menu select Signage Player and give it a name
      1.
      Click Add Files to add content already stored on the server
      2.
      Click Add Dir to add a directory of content already stored on the server (helpful for larger playlists)
      3.
      Click Upload to upload new content from your computer, then Add Files to add those files to the playlist once the upload is finished
    2.
    Use the arrow keys to the left of the content list to arrange files in the desired play order
    3.
    Select the Scaling option (default: Zoom full-screen)
    4.
    Enter the Slideshow Interval in seconds for static images. Videos will play in uninterrupted sequence
    5.
    Enable Audio if required, it is disabled by default
    6.
    Enable Forward & Store only if you are using uClients
    7.
    Click OK to complete the process

Forward & Store

Userful 10.6 introduced the Forward & Store functionality for Signage Player and uClients.
In older versions, with Zero Clients, and in 10.6 with the feature disabled, content is continually decoded, re-encoded, and streamed to the displays in real time.
With Forward & Store enabled, content is decoded, cropped, re-encoded for each individual Display, and then downloaded to that Display's internal storage, where it is then played locally, maintaining synchronization with timing from the server.
This allows playback of video content from the local devices themselves, very similar to Signage Player in Cloud, and greatly reduces network bandwidth required for playing Signage Player content.
Starting a new Forward & Store type Source can cause some initial stuttering and slow playback as the GPU works on the file for the first time. Playback should smooth out after the first loop.
Forward & Store does not work with Zero Clients.

Forward & Store Compatibility

Image and video content that is sent directly to a display using Forward & Store (a display not in a Video Wall Zone) must be compatible with the following formats:
Video Codecs H.263, H.264, H.265, MPEG, VP8, VP9 Video Containers MKV, MPG, MP4, WebM Image Formats APNG, AVIF, GIF, JPEG, PNG, SVG, WebP
If Forward & Store is used with a Video Wall Zone, then all of the file formats supported in Signage Player are supported as well, as they are transcoded by the server.

Blackmagic DeckLink Capture

Userful Servers that have Blackmagic HDMI or SDI capture cards manage feeds from those cards using the Blackmagic DeckLink source.
If you are unboxing and installing your own Blackmagic Capture cards, please see this page on initial configuration steps that must be performed.
For troubleshooting steps, see Troubleshooting Blackmagic Capture.

Supported Capture Cards

The following models of Blackmagic DeckLink Capture Cards are currently supported and supplied by Userful.
Model
Input
Connector Type
Number of Inputs
Max Resolution
Color Space
HDMI, SDI
HDMI A Female, BNC
1
1080p (Full HD) @ 60fps / 2160p (UHD) @ 30fps
RGB, YUV
Duo 2
SDI
BNC
4
1080p (Full HD) @ 60fps
RGB, YUV
Quad 2
SDI
DIN 1.0 / 2.3
8
1080p (Full HD) @ 60fps
RGB, YUV
HDMI
HDMI
4
4K @ 60 FPS
RGB, YUV

Legacy Capture Cards

The following models of Blackmagic DeckLink Capture Cards are no longer actively tested or supported by Userful, or are no longer commercially available, but should remain functional.
These cards are not recommended for new Userful deployments.
Model
Input
Connector Type
Number of Inputs
Max Resolution
Color Space
HDMI, SDI
HDMI, BNC
1
1080p @ 30 FPS, 1080i @ 60 FPS
RGB, YUV
HDMI, Composite/Component
HDMI, included analog breakout
1
2160p @ 30 FPS, 1080p @ 60 FPS
YUV, RGB @ 4K
Duo
SDI
SDI
2
1080p @ 60 FPS
RGB, YUV
Quad
SDI
DIN 1.0 / 2.3
4
1080p @ 60 FPS
RGB, YUV

Blackmagic Port Mappings

Userful Pro+ and Enterprise servers have multiple capture ports. Use these diagrams to help you understand which port is which.
The number inside the circle is the capture source # in UCC. The io# is the corresponding number in the Input list.
These diagrams assume you are looking at the back of a server that is oriented upwards, or in a standing position.
Pro+ Server Capture Configuration
Enterprise Server Capture Configuration
On new Userful-shipped servers, Blackmagic sources are already configured. This step happens automatically when Userful is installed and started for the first time on a new server with compatible Blackmagic capture cards already installed. If cards are added after installation, then sources must be created manually.
    1.
    Click New Source
    . From the drop-down menu select Blackmagic DeckLink Capture and give it a name
    2.
    Select the Input device from the drop-down menu. If you are using a multi-port card, see further information below for information on how to determine port numbers
    3.
    Select the Mode from the drop-down list - Automatic is recommended
    4.
    Select the Connection type from the drop-down menu - Automatic is recommended
    5.
    Select a scaling option
    6.
    Enable audio if required
    7.
    It is recommended to keep Xclient enabled, especially if you are using many DeckLink Capture sources
    8.
    Enter the number of pixels to be cropped from left, right, top and bottom of the captured external device. This is useful if the feed from the device itself includes black bars that you want to remove
    9.
    Click OK to complete the process
Map a Display or Zone to the Source and click Apply.

xClient

The xClient option, enabled by default, creates a separate back-end process for each Blackmagic capture stream, running each inside a windowed app. This option improves stability and scalability of Blackmagic capture sources, allowing more consecutive sources to be run (up to 24 1080p60 with the right hardware configuration). There should be no visible impact or change to the user experience.
xClient adds additional elements to the stream, so audio support may not function in certain use cases.
If your system is managing more than 4 1080p or 2 4K video capture or RTSP feeds, or if your current system is not experiencing unwanted behaviour, we recommend leaving xClient enabled.
If you are experiencing issues with audio or general reliability, disable xClient and contact Support.

Connecting to Blackmagic Capture Cards

Found in Standard PCs, these cards can accept up to 4K 60FPS video from one of the two connectors at a time. See the full specifications of this card here.
Configuring this card for HDMI input should be done with these settings:
Optimal settings for HDMI capture
For SDI capture, just select 1: SDI from the Connection menu.
Found in older Professional+ PCs, these cards are usually installed two at a time for a total of 8 ports. Each port can intake 1080p 60FPS video, for a total of 4 1080p60 streams, or 8 streams in a normally-configured server. See the full specifications of this card here.
A normally-configured source for the Duo 2 looks like this:
Where the Duo 2 cards get tricky is in port numbering. It is not sequential, and numbering begins at 0. The Input field looks like this:
The list number denotes the port as it relates to the position on the card: 0 is the first port, 1 is the second, etc.
The io number corresponds to individual ports on the cards.
io numbers in the circles. List numbers below
Note that the port marked with an "X" is a reference port, and is not used.
The first input should be connected to the port marked 0/0 above, and be set to io0 in the Source controls.
The second input should be connected to the port marked 2/1 above, and be set to io2 in the Source controls.
The third input should be connected to the port marked 1/2 above, and be set to io1 in the Source controls.
The fourth input should be connected to the port marked 3/3 above, and be set to io3 in the Source controls.
Note that an installed second card continues the numbering scheme, though retains the same io numbering as the first, and the same reference (X) port is not in use.
io numbers in the circles. List numbers below
Found in Enterprise PCs, these cards are usually installed two at a time for a total of 16 ports. Each port can intake 1080p 60FPS video, for a total of 8 1080p60 streams, or 16 streams in a normally-configured server. See the full specifications of this card here.
A normally-configured source for the Quad 2 looks like this:
Like the Duo2, the Quad2's ports are not numbered sequentially, and numbering begins at 0. The Input field will look like this:
The list number denotes the port as it relates to the position on the card: 0 is the first port, 1 is the second, etc.
The io number corresponds to individual ports on the cards.
io numbers in the circles. List numbers below
Note that the port marked with an "X" is a reference port, and is not used.
The first input should be connected to the port marked 0/0 above, and be set to io0 in the Source controls.
The second input should be connected to the port marked 2/1 above, and be set to io2 in the Source controls.
The third input should be connected to the port marked 1/2 above, and be set to io1 in the Source controls.
And so on.
An installed second or third card will continue the list numbering scheme, though retains the same io numbering as the first card, and the same reference (X) port is not in use.
io numbers in circles. List numbers below.
Found in current Professional+ PCs, these cards are usually installed two at a time for a total of 8 ports. Each port can intake 4K 60FPS video, for a total of 4 4K60 streams, or 8 streams in a normally-configured server. See the full specifications of this card here.
A normally-configured source for the Quad HDMI looks like this:
[Add this image later]
Unlike the Duo2 or Quad2, the port numbering of the Quad HDMI card is very easy and intuitive. Map each Source to its respective position on the card as below.
If you have all connections set up and working, but are not seeing any signal on your displays, go to:

Network Stream Sources

Userful contains three types of Network Stream Sources.
    RTP Streamer allows you to access MP2T video streams distributed with RTP. More stream types may be added in future releases.
    RTSP Streamer is a dedicated RTSP streaming source. When configuring a new Userful system to receive RTSP streams, this source type should be used first.
    Network Streamer allows you to access authenticated RTSP or HTTP video streams. This source type was developed before the dedicated RTSP Streamer source, and remains for legacy support.
Creating an RTSP Streamer Source
    1.
    Click New Source
    . From the drop-down menu select RTSP Streamer and give it a name.
    2.
    Provide the media URL or IP address of the stream
    3.
    Set the Buffer rate (default 2000 is usually fine)
    4.
    Provide user credentials, if necessary
    5.
    Select the Scaling option
    6.
    Enable Audio if required
    7.
    It is recommended to use Xclient, especially if you are using multiple RTSP sources
    8.
    Enable short_header if you are experiencing difficulties acquiring streams from lower-end RTSP webcams or other devices. This can help capture streams from devices with less sophisticated RTSP servers built in
    9.
    Click OK to complete the process

xClient

The xClient option, enabled by default, creates a separate back-end process for each RTSP stream, running each inside a windowed app. This option improves stability and scalability of RTSP capture sources, allowing more consecutive sources to be run.
xClient adds additional elements to the stream, so audio support may not function in certain use cases.
If your system is managing more than 4 1080p or 2 4K video capture or RTSP feeds, or if your current system is not experiencing unwanted behaviour, we recommend leaving xClient enabled.
If you are experiencing issues with audio or general reliability, disable xClient and contact Support.
Creating a Network Streamer Source (for HTTP streams)
    1.
    Click New Source
    . From the drop-down menu select Network Streamer and give it a name.
    2.
    Select protocol from the drop-down list. It is recommended that this source only be used for HTTP streams.
    3.
    Provide the media URL you want to stream. ( e.g., use only server_name/file_path instead of the complete URL rtsp://server_name/file_path)
    4.
    Set the Buffer size (defaut is usually fine)
    5.
    Provide user credentials if necessary
    6.
    Select the Scaling option. (default: Zoom full-screen)
    7.
    Change Audio settings as per the requirement
    8.
    Click OK to complete the process
Creating an RTP Streamer Source
Note: This source currently only works with MP2T video payloads.
    1.
    Click New Source
    . From the drop-down menu select RTP Streamer and give it a name.
    2.
    Set the IP and Port of the stream origin
    3.
    As the only payload supported is 33 (MP2T), no selection is needed here
    4.
    Provide user credentials if necessary
    5.
    Select the Scaling option. (default: Zoom full-screen)
    6.
    Change Audio settings as per the requirement
    7.
    Click OK to complete the process

Video Capture

Userful supports video capture devices that advertise V4L (Video4Linux) compatibility. These are most commonly USB HDMI capture dongles.
Note that while V4L compatibility exists in Userful, due to the open-ended nature of the market we cannot guarantee support for all devices. It is recommended to use certified Blackmagic DeckLink capture cards to perform media capture.
Creating a Video Capture Source
    1.
    Click New Source
    . From the drop-down menu select Video Capture and give it a name.
    2.
    Select the primary input Device from the drop-down menu. If you are using more than one device, some trial-and-error may be required to find the one you want
    3.
    Select the Scaling option
    4.
    Enable audio if required
    5.
    Enter the number of pixels to be cropped from left, right, top and bottom of the captured external device. This is useful if the feed from the device itself includes black bars that you want to remove.
    6.
    Click OK to complete the process
Last modified 26d ago