Resource Group Functions

Each Resource Group in Userful Control Center has a number of toggle functions associated. Most of these are off by default.

On-Premise Functions

Resource Group Functions in On-Premise

Function

Description

1

Default Mapping

Newly paired displays or created zones will be assigned to this Resource Group

2

Show Welcome Screen

Instead of running the first source in the list, the display or zone will show a Welcome Screen where a user must select a source to start. Used mostly for Public Computing and interactive kiosks

3

Tile Mode

Converts the Welcome Screen into a more touch-friendly tiled arrangement, with customization options for branding and color. Used mostly for Public Computing and interactive kiosks

4

Control Center

Enables or disables a link to the Userful Control Center on the Welcome Screen

5

Rotate Sources

When this option is enabled and more than one source exists in the Resource Group, a Zone that is stopped and started will then play the next source down the list

6

Mirror Group

Enables a Mirror Group.

Tile Welcome Screen Configuration

A great way to customize and brighten the look of a Welcome Screen for public kiosks, the Tile Welcome Screen can have colors, logos and text customized to your needs.

Customizing the Welcome Screen will also set the same colors for the Source Switcher.

You can create a Welcome Screen with only one Source, though 4 or more are recommended. Click the icon to enable a Welcome Screen .

Next, click to open the Welcome Screen Configuration window.

Tile Mode turns the Tile Welcome Screen On or Off

The Header is the very top section of the image below, and you can upload a custom image file to serve as your company logo in the top-left corner of the screen, and also set text, along with background and text colors for the title in the top-right corner.

The Sources by default use white text over a color palette selected from a default set of colors. You can select a color for the text, and then add one or more HTML Color Codes to create your own palette.

For example, this is a list of Color Codes that would create arrangements like the screen below:

#c000f5,#0008f5,#ff0000,#01b70d

Enable Date and Time to show a clock on the screen, and Language Selector to allow users to switch the interfaces and their logged-in sections to their own language.

Finally you can alter the Background Color to fit your theme.

Click on any source icon to launch the selected source on the display or video wall.

Each source/plugin can have its own set of icons that can be placed in the directory path /usr/share/userful-plugin-<plugin-name>/icons. root privileges are required throughout this procedure. Changes will not take effect until the Userful server is rebooted.

The source icons can be changed by clicking on the existing icon while configuring the source in Mapping.

Changing the Source Icon

Mirror Groups

A Mirror Group is a single tool that has multiple benefits.

Synchronization

The primary function is to enable perfect synchronization of content across multiple displays and/or Zones. Mapping multiple displays or Zones to a source without a Mirror Group has a few different side effects based on the type of Source.

  • Interactive Sources will start multiple instances of their respective applications

  • Direct Sources will attempt to play the same content files or streams multiple times. At best this results in out-of-sync playback, at worst it can cause black screens, instability and crashes

  • Mapping more than one display or Zone to a Blackmagic DeckLink Capture Source will cause playback problems and black screens

Mapping multiple displays or Zones to a source with a Mirror Group changes this behavior.

  • Interactive Sources will all display the same single instance of the application

  • Direct Sources will play a single synchronized set of content over all displays and Zones

  • Blackmagic DeckLink Capture Sources will display in synchronization across all displays and Zones

Scaling

Mirror Groups also allow you to play the same content across multiple individual displays and Zones of varying size and aspect ratio at the same time.

In this example, we’ve captured content being mirrored across three Zones. Zone-2 and Zone-3 are single 16:9 displays, and Zone-1 is a tall aspect ratio where content is being stretched to fit. All three zones are still playing the content in perfect synchronization.

Management

Using Interactive Sources without a Mirror Group means that managing the application session on every screen must be done individually, with Interactive Viewer sessions started and used on every display or Zone.

When a Mirror Group is used, only one instance of the Source application is started, and every display receives that instance. Instead of accessing Interactive Viewer through the individual Display or Zone, it is run from the Mirror Group’s control panel.

Creating a Mirror Group

Start by mapping two or more displays or Zones to the source you want to use. You may receive a warning to create a Mirror Group to improve performance. This warning appears any time you assign more than one display or Zone to a Direct Source, but not an Interactive one.

Click the icon on the right to open the Mirror Group Configuration window.

Creating a Mirror Group for a Blackmagic Capture source
  • Select On to enable a Mirror Group

  • Edit the default name of the Mirror Group if required

  • Select a Control Display from the drop-down. This should be the display or Zone that is least likely to be removed from the Mirror Group, stopped, or turned off. Virtual Displays cannot be Control Displays

  • Set the Frame Rate for the group

  • Select the Sound Output from the drop-down menu. Audio will only route through the Control Display

  • Click OK to complete the process, and Apply to start the Mirror Group

Cloud Functions

Cloud servers have only the first two functions described above.

Resource Group functions in Cloud

Function

Description

1

Default Mapping

Newly paired displays or created zones will be assigned to this Resource Group

2

Show Welcome Screen

Instead of running the first source in the list, the display or zone will show a Welcome Screen where a user must select a source to start. Used mostly for Public Computing and interactive kiosks