Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Using RiseVision and Animoto for DIY digital signage

A couple of years ago we wrote a grant with the Walmart Community Foundation to purchase three large flat screen TVs for our commons area. The plan was to use the TVs as digital signage to celebrate student success, communicate important information, and promote upcoming events.

After trying a few options for displaying content on the screens, we are now using RiseVision.com as our platform. It requires a PC or signage player be connected to your screens, but it is easy to use and currently is completely free. In the future, there may be in-app purchases for storage of files or extra features. We currently have two PCs driving our three TVs.

Although RiseVision has many templates available and the ability to create custom screens from scratch, I've found that can be time consuming, especially if you are trying to keep fresh content on the TVs. But since RiseVision has the ability to stream video, I am trying a new solution.

Using Animoto, a video creation app available for PC or mobile device, I am quickly tossing together awesome videos that look great but take little time to create. Animoto will automatically create polished videos from the photos and video clips you select. In just a few steps, you can create a video start to finish.

Animoto also allows for text to be added in the video, and so I am including a few announcements within the video. Because of the convenience of Animoto, I hope to have a new video each week for our students to enjoy. I will also highlight a few building announcements in each of these.

I tested this new workflow today, and it worked great. The video I created uploaded to RiseVision and streamed perfectly in 720p. I would love 1080p but Animoto requires a PRO account for this feature.

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