Catalyst Blog

News and information related to Catalyst products and services.

We have recently switched weather data providers which may affect your weather gadgets. If you notice weather is not displaying properly you may need to adjust the location property in your weather gadget. In some instances it may be necessary to add a comma between city, state, country, etc. For example, 'Fargo ND' will not return results, but 'Fargo, ND' will with the comma inserted between city and state. We hope this change will provide more accurate and reliable weather data.
Our new update window configuration tool allows admins to easily configure day parts for content updates. Devices in your account will update only when they are within the configured day/hour selections. Now content managers can make changes and not worry about devices refreshing during business hours. The new configuration is available in the Account section:

Highlight the hours allowed for content updates

We are happy to announce general availability of our 4K video support. With an increasing number of displays supporting 4K, along with ever improving player hardware performance, we are providing the option of enabling 4K video on any device in your account. There are a few things to keep in mind when deciding to make the 4K transition.

  • 4K video is big! By that we mean the file size is much larger than even a 1080p video. 4K, or UHD, video is 4x the pixel resolution of a standard 1080p video. That combined with a higher bitrate can inflate the file size substantially. Keep this in mind if storage space is limited on your player hardware.
  • GPU support for HEVC video decoding is necessary. Ensure your player is capable of decoding HEVC video in hardware. In most cases this will be specified in the tech specs or marketing materials for your player. Windows 10 has support for HEVC, but more recent updates now require the installation of an HEVC package from the Microsoft Store. More information is available here:
  • Size matters. Some would argue there is no reason to utilize 4K video for displays under 50". The increase in pixels is only visibly beneficial once you get past the 50" threshold. That said, most 4K displays also incorporate other technology to improve the display quality including local dimming and HDR, so there are usually other benefits to utilizing high-end displays.
Enabling 4K for your Revel Digital device is simple. First, your device must be on either the Enterprise or Enterprise Plus service level, then just toggle the 4K button. From that point on, all video will be provided in it's original resolution up to 4K as well as in HEVC format.

Enabling 4K video support on your Revel Digital player

More information is available in our associated KB article:

Hot off the press, a new stock quote gadget! We have tuned up our existing stock gadget and added a new one with a different display format. This is a 'large format' gadget for boldly displaying a single quote at a time. Multiple stock symbols can be configured which the gadget will then rotate through. We have also added an optional back panel with drop shadow to simplify adding a background.

Stock Quote Panel
As with our other gadgets, this one is freely available in the template editor. Just add a Gadget zone and select it from the Gadget chooser dialog.

Two new gadgets are now available, one designed specifically for meeting room signage, and the other a minimalistic weather gadget. Both are free to use and available now in the template editor.

The new weather gadget displays a high/low temperature along with a condition icon in a compact format, great for signage with limited screen space.

Mini weather gadget

The new meeting room gadget is designed to be used as a room status indicator with current and upcoming reservation details. Similar to our Google Calendar gadget, the meeting room gadget uses Google Calendar as the source of event details. Configuration of the meeting room gadget is simple, just configure with your Calendar ID and room/location name. The gadget takes care of the rest displaying current room reservation (if ongoing), along with the the date/time of the next scheduled reservation. More information on this gadget is available here:

Meeting room gadget

Actual Revel Digital alert notification
Automated alerting has always been a feature provided by the Revel Digital platform, but was restricted to emergency alerts from the NWS (National Weather Service) or EAS (Emergency Alert System). We have expanded on this to now allow monitoring for alerts from any CAP provider. CAP stands for Common Alerting Protocol which is a standard data format developed by FEMA for disseminating emergency information. Not only does the NWS and EAS now conform to this protocol, but any 3rd party is free to implement services utilizing the same protocol as well. This means services such as Blackboard Connect are able to provide emergency alert feeds which can then monitored by other services such as Revel Digital.

See our KB article for more information on configuring your digital signage to monitor CAP feeds.