Brightsign has fallen behind

I wish I wasn't writing this.

Our company briefly trialled a brightsign media player recently.  It worked really well and could handle full HD video without any problems, which was impressive.   Most of us figured that Brightsign was the perfect solution for our company to provide to our customers.

We submitted a proposal to a customer last week who is wanting to install over 150 players.   We put together a package including the players and Brightsign Network.

However, over the past few days we have been looking into Brightsign more, and feel that we've made a bad choice.   Although the media players are robust, there are certain parts of Brightsign Author that need some attention from the developers, and Brightsign has some catching up to do to compete with other digital signage providers :

  • BrightAuthor doesn't have any form of preview feature.  Looking though the forums, this has been requested many times, and several years since the first request, it still hasn't been implimented.  It's like driving blind !
  • Creating layouts in portrait orientation is difficult.  I believe this is the only digital signage software where you have to physically turn your head 90 degrees in order to create layouts vertically.  And even if you've got content that is designed for portrait display, you then have to manually rotate it before uploading to BrightAuthor. Terrible.
  • Scheduled content can't overlap.  If you have a morning playlist, and an afternoon playlist, but you want them to both overlap and both play during lunchtime, you can't do it.  You manually have to create a 3rd playlist with the content from the other 2, and then schedule it in between them both.  Boy, what a hassle !

These are just a few things which don't work well and require 'work arounds'.  As it stands, we would be embarrased to supply Brightsign to our customer, and are actively trialling other solutions, which so far have been much better. 

Our prediction is that in 5 years time, Brightsign wil have caught up with where other software products are now - would have finally implimented the requests of it's users, and will include into Brightsign features like weather, QR codes, scrolling text, animations, etc ...

... the only thing is that all of the competition would've moved much further ahead and have even more superior products than Brightsign by then.

Very disappointing Brightsign.   Perhaps take some of your marketing / tradeshow budget and put it into the development budget.  Afterall, is there really much point in pushing people to buy your product, when your product has fallen behind all of the competition ? 


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    Hi Tom,

    The preview mode has been added to our list of feature requests. That functionality may become available in the future.

    You don't need to turn your head 90 degrees in order to create layouts vertically. When you create a new presentation you can set the Monitor orientation to Portrait. The portrait layout in BrightAuthor is so people can see a portrait view, and it also automatically rotates any text fields and date and time, but not video or image content.

    It's not difficult to create a third presentation that contains the contents from the other two. When you publish a third project the contents are already on the server, so you just need to upload a presentation file and change a schedule. Or you can switch between the projects at a specific time and date or at regular intervals on a recurring schedule. The time/clock event and switch to presentation command can be used for this purpose.

    If you're trying to display a webpage, then you'll need a XD player as the HD range does not support displaying HTML content. If the weather content is available as a MRSS feed then you can use a HD player.

    Scrolling text and animations can be done using HTML, which is supported on the XD players.

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    JRB Technical

    BrightSign Support:

    If you go to edit the Layout, and you have set a Portrait presentation, even thought the layout "preview" on the side shows portrait, the zone editor is in Landscape, and not in Portrait, so if you want to make any modifications to the zone layout, you have to think rotated 90 degrees.

    Portrait should be Portrait in every view, period.

    Creating Digital Signage presentations in Portrait is nothing new, people have been doing this for quite a while now.

    No  one wants to work on a project and try and have to think about things rotated 90 degrees out from what you are working in.

    I can create and work in true portrait view 1080x1920 in Adobe After Effects, render it to an AVI video file, encode that to a MP4 video file, and play it back in VLC; all in True Portrait with out rotating anything along the way.  Why would I want to work with this sideways in BrightAuthor at any point?  

    Anything I do for a Portrait Project should be in Portrait visually for every aspect along the way, including all aspects of BrightAuthor.


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    Tom Molton

    Yes, thanks John. I completely agree. It would be so weird trying to create zones when designing a template in portrait mode. I've only been playing with the software, but can't help but have to turn my head 90 degrees to estimate zone sizing. This seems like one of the most basic things that should've been sorted out a long time ago. It's crazy ! 

    In regards to not being able to overlap presentations in a schedule, I see that there is a work-around - by simply creating a third presentation. However, now you not only have 2 presentations to manage, you now have a third !?!  So if you want to change something in the morning presentation, then you also have to change it in the lunchtime presentation. That certainly takes a lot longer than the 4-5 seconds to drag and drop 2 presentations so that they overlap - as with other software products !

    Anyway, as my last post predicts, these things will be eventually sorted out within the next few years.


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    Brian Jones

    Just out of curiosity, what SOC player model/system have you found that you consider superior to brightsign?

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    Marcos Gutierrez

    I read this while trying to do portrait mode. I had seen the portrait mode option and assumed it would be a true portrait mode setting. It is incredibly misleading and extremely disappointing to actually try to use and still see the layout in landscape mode. What is the point of putting that portrait mode option in there if it doesn't do it. Sure, it can do the clocks and texts in portrait mode but I would think the graphics would be the first place to start. Please fix this ASAP

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    The ability to rotate videos is coming in firmware soon, 4.8.x release. It won't be in brightauthor initially, but can be enabled via plugin. 

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    Preview is now available in BrightAuthor 3.8, and the 4.8 firmware supporting rotate, seek, scrolling ticker and fade is currently in beta and can be used in BrightAuthor 3.8 via a plugin.


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    Kenneth May

    I ran into this post while seaching for the ability to overlapping presentations / schedules.  It seems like its still not capable.  Does anyone have any good workarounds or solutions for this?

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    @Kenneth May

    Schedule Interrupts have been implemented for quite a while.

    Friendly reminder, the community forum is intended for user-to-user discussion.  It is not regularly monitored. For troubleshooting problems and to ensure a timely answer from a BrightSign representative, please submit a support ticket

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