Catalyst Blog

News and information related to Catalyst products and services.

We've recently made some changes to our automated alerts functionality affecting which devices are targeted depending on your configuration. In the original configuration all devices were targeted by default with the ability to exclude specific devices. The new configuration tool has a toggle for selecting all devices, with the ability to target specific devices if necessary. We've also added the ability to create multiple sets of configurations. This allows or more fine grained control over which devices receive which alerts, as well as the ability to suspend alerts if necessary. 

Improved automated alerts tool allows for more than one configuration

If you are currently using the Automated Alerts functionality we suggest you review your configuration for accuracy. Please contact us with any questions or for assistance.

Revel Digital now has native support for the Geniatech APC390R, an Android based mini PC with the capability of accepting HDMI input for picture-in-picture functionality. This allows for seamless integration of an external video source, such as live TV, directly within your digital signage. Most any HDMI v2.0 audio/video device is compatible such as a DVD player, cable/set-top box, satellite dish, game console, camcorder, security camera, PC, etc.

Embed any live video source

The video is treated as any other type of content zone within the Revel Digital template designer which allows you to be as creative as you like with your content. A common use case for this type of functionality is framing the video with contextual information or advertising.

Geniatech APC390R with HDMI input

The process of adding the HDMI video to your digital signage is very simple. Just add a TV Tuner zone to any template, select HDMI as the input type, then position and size the zone as needed. Then get creative by embellishing with other content such as slideshows, marquees, date/time, gadgets, backgrounds, overlays, etc.

Add an HDMI TV zone to your template

In order to utilize the HDMI input it's necessary to install a special build of our Android player APK. For more information on downloading and installation please see our KB article here:

Continuing to improve on our collection of gadgets, we have just added three brand new options.

All of these are available now in the Gadget gallery!

Instagram App

Animated collage of Instagram posts with the ability to display from 1 to 6 images at once.

News App

Improved RSS/Atom based news feed app with over 50+ news source options.

Clock App

Basic Date/Time clock with up to 5 additional time zones displayed.

Have a suggestion? We are always happy to hear your feedback. Contact us here.

It's now possible to send commands to your devices via SMS text messaging. This is a simple and convenient method for instantly triggering new content without requiring access to the CMS. To ensure security, only originating phone numbers configured in your account will be allowed access. It's also possible to restrict sending to specific devices.

SMS to device command messaging

An important use for this feature would be for a time sensitive alert message requiring a method for instant activation. For example, the command 'fire activate', could be used to trigger a fire alarm template immediately when texted. Our Smart Scheduling capability provides complete flexibility in defining how commands are handled. A Smart Schedule can be defined to override any existing schedules so there is no impact on your current scheduling. Commands can also be utilized within template scripting for more advanced functionality.

Check out our KB article for help getting started:

Two new gadgets are now available for weather and calendar of events. Both gadgets are fully localized supporting 60+ locales. The new events gadget supports any iCal feed which is a standard format for sharing calendar data. Both Outlook and Google Calendar have support for exporting to iCal feeds. Please refer to our KB article for help with obtaining an iCal link for your calendar:

The new weather app displays current conditions along with daily and extended forecasts in rotation. New modern icons and the ability to style the gadget with custom Google Fonts provides a fresh alternative to our existing weather gadgets.

New weather app gadget with current and 3 day forecast
New weather app gadget with current and 3 day forecast

The new events calendar includes two different layouts to accommodate various template designs and screen sizes. As with the weather, this gadget also supports custom styling with Google Fonts. Automatic scrolling can be enabled with options for scroll speed and for limiting the number of events to display.

Large format layout

Tabular layout

Localization is enabled by default. Simply setting the language in either the device or account settings will determine the date and time formats displayed by both gadgets. Calendar dates and times will also take into consideration the device specific time zone, automatically adjusting based on the calendar time zone (if specified).

You will find the new gadgets in both the template editor, as well as the gadget creator in the media section of the CMS.

Amazon has announced a new set of Fire TV devices with upgrades to performance and a redesigned user interface. Fire Sticks are a great option for digital signage as they are cost effective, simple to install, and easy to conceal. This new generation of Fire devices should provide ample performance for most all digital signage applications. Revel Digital has a dedicated Fire TV app available on the Amazon App Store found in the Communications app category.

Next Gen Fire TV Stick

From the Amazon press release -
Best-Selling Fire TV Stick Now 50% More Powerful with HDR and Dolby Atmos Support—Just $39.99

The all-new Fire TV Stick features an enhanced 1.7 GHz quad-core processor that makes it 50% more powerful than the previous generation. The new Fire TV Stick delivers fast streaming in 1080p at 60fps with HDR compatibility. The dual-band, dual-antenna wifi supports 5 GHz networks for more stable streaming and fewer dropped connections. Fire TV Stick also features Dolby Atmos for immersive sound with compatible content and speakers, and an Alexa Voice Remote with dedicated power, volume, and mute buttons for easy control of TVs, soundbars, and A/V receivers. The all-new Fire TV Stick delivers improved performance while consuming 50% less power than the previous generation.

Fire TV Stick Lite—Affordable, Full-HD Streaming on Fire TV—Just $29.99

Fire TV Stick Lite is a new, even more affordable way to begin streaming in full-HD. Fire TV Stick Lite is 50% more powerful than the previous-generation Fire TV Stick and includes the most processing power of any streaming media player under $30. It features HDR support and comes with Alexa Voice Remote Lite, a new remote that allows you to use voice to find, launch, and control content.