Meeting Room 817 – The Software Saga

In our previous post, we introduced the hardware pieces required to manage all of the screens in our meeting room 817 as well as some important pre-installation planning tips to ensure seamless integration. Today we will focus on the software side of things, explaining how we can maximize the use of the screens in the room for all of our different scenarios.

Seeing as the primary use of the room is for meetings and presentations, we’ll begin by looking at the software requirements for our 2×2 video wall. In order to configure the four panels as a single screen, we have used the S3 Screen Toys utility which is include with the driver package for the VIA uH8 graphics card in our VIA MW Series Video Wall Controller. For our desktop environment on the wall we have installed Windows 7 as our operating system and added Microsoft Office for sharing Power Point presentations, Excel files and Word Documents in the room.

This setup works well as a stand-alone system but what if someone wants to project their laptop on the wall? For this we have installed our own video conferencing platform, SM@RT Vidi, which includes our SM@RT Viewer application. This allows us to utilize the capture-in capabilities of the VIA uH8 graphics card through either HDMI or VGA. Additionally users can install the app on their own device to wirelessly share content between their computer and the wall.

Of course the primary role of SM@RT Vidi is for secure video conferencing between our headquarters and branch offices. This allows us to use the wall to display the various video streams from each office as well as associated files in the virtual meeting. The SM@RT Viewer application allows anyone who is in the meeting to join their computer in the virtual and share content on the video walls across all locations. In order to simplify the management of the virtual meetings we have included a VIA Viega tablet with the SM@RT Vidi app. This provides a touch interface to quickly manage meeting setup, switch between which computer is being shared, as well as, scale the various windows on the video wall for maximum viewing.

One of the main goals of the remodel is to create a more immersive and engaging environment. This brings us to our three digital signage displays which allow us to easily keep content fresh and up-to-date in the room. To make management of the signage content as easy as possible we have created a server-client relationship between the VIA MW Series Video Wall Controller and the VIA Video Wall Mini player the three screens are powered by. With the VIA MagicView™ Content Management Software (CMS) installed on our VIA MW Series system, we have created a digital signage server with a user-friendly drag and drop interface to store content, quickly design layouts and schedule playback. On the VIA Video Wall Mini media player we have installed the client side of the VIA MagicView™ software for playback. One of the key benefits of this setup is that it allows us to remotely manage the CMS from other computers on our network, keeping the room free for meetings.

This provides a quick look at understanding how important the relationship is between the hardware and software for a fully functioning room. In our next piece we will be taking a closer look at the digital signage system and specifically the content side of the story.

VIA Smart Cities