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Video Mill - User's Guide
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Marquee Overview

What is a Marquee?

Figure 1. Marquee Announcement with Count Down Timer
Figure 1. Marquee Announcement with Count Down Timer

With Video Mill Marquees you can inform your audience of upcoming events with dates and times. Or using the Wall Clock or Count Down Timer function, you can indicate which video will be playing next and how soon (see Figure 1). They can be added to any Media Screen, a screen playing a video or a screen displaying a static image (jpg, png, bmp, etc). You can also create custom Marquees and save them as Favorites to swap in and out of any Media Item in seconds. The Marquee text lines (up to 12 available) can be changed in seconds to display new message. Then just click the Refresh button -- your count down timer will continue to tick. That's just the basics, the next section has a full list of features.

Figure 1 shows a simple Marquee with two lines of text. Line one announces the Next feature. Line 2 has a count down timer indicating time remaining until the next feature begins.

You can show or hide a Marquee with one button click at any time.

Global Marquee vs Individual Media Screen Marquees

You can use a Global Marquee that will apply to all Media Screens. Or you can configure a unique Marquees for each Media Screen. The latter approach is more labor intensive since you need to configure and manage separate Marquees for individual screens.

Marquee Basic Features

All of these features are essentially optional. Marquee in Figure 3 demonstrates some of the features mentioned here. Your Marquee can be as simple as one line of text -- a simple message to the audience. Or it can be extremely customized using any Font on your computer, millions of colors (foreground and background), and use literally any graphic image or photo.


Simple Marquees

Marquees can be used to pop-up a small message box in any corner of the screen (see Figure 1.) while a video continues to play. The Marquee in Figure 2, is very simple example. It has 2 lines of text. Line 2 is used for a Time of Day Clock. Once created you can save it as a Favorite Marquee and apply it any Media Item in a few mouse clicks. Then on show night, all you need to do is set the text of line 1 which shows the event name and make it visible in a corner of the screen. If you use the autosize attribute, the Marquee resizes itself automatically based on the font sizes used and the number of characters in the text. So changing the text and refreshing the Marquee can be done in seconds -- No tedious resizing is needed.

Figure 2. A Simple Marquee
Figure 2. A Simple Marquee

Custom Marquees for Digital Signage (Full Screen)

You may want to use Marquees for digital signage to announce event times, locations and other important information to event attendees. In this case, you can create a Marquee to fill the entire screen (ex. Figure 3.).

This example takes advantage of many of the Marquee formatting features. It uses four Text Lines (of the 12 available). All the Text Lines use Margin and Padding attributes for spacing. They also have their own colors and fonts applied.

Advantages of a Marquee Over a Static Image
    You could, of course, just use static image files (png, jpg, etc) as Digital Signage by creating a Media Item with the image file as the Media Filename. But there are advantages to using a Marquee:
  1. You can use a Count-down timer or wall clock provided by the Marquee.
  2. You can change the lines text at any time and refresh it to change event announcements throughout the day. A Count-down Timer will continue to run even as you swap in new event messages.

Marquee Features used in Figure 3 Sample
Figure 3. A Custom Marquee as Full Screen Signage
Figure 3. A Custom Marquee as Full Screen Signage

Scheduler Considerations for Marquees as Digital Signage

You may want to include a full screen Marquee as Digital Signage (see Figure 3 example) as part of a Scheduler Plan. For example, before a movie feature loads and plays, you may want a show a Marquee screen to announce information and have a count down timer for the show start. The catch is that if the Media Item's Media File is a static image (png, jpg, bmp, etc), it has no play time length like a video or audio file. And in general you want to set the Media Item UnLoad When Media Ends so the screen will close before the next one in the schedule loads. The solution is to set a Post Delay time on the Media Item for whatever amount of time you want the screen to stay showing. If you want the Marquee screen showing for 10 minutes, set the Post Delay to 10 minutes. Note that there is an additional few seconds that it takes for the Media Item to Load which is in addition to the Delay you specify.

Locating a Marquee on the Media Screen

Let's assume you want to screen a short video before the main attraction. You could size the Marquee (by setting appropriate font sizes*) to fit in the corner of the screen while the short video is playing. The size would be large enough to read from the back row but small enough that it doesn't take up too much screen real estate so the short video can be viewed. It's kind of like the small informational graphics that appear in television programming the corner of the screen. And you can hide the Marquee with one mouse click for a while even as the timer continues to count down, showing the Marquee at regular intervals.

Figure 4. Marquee Alignment Set to Bottom Right
Figure 4. Marquee Alignment Set to Bottom Right

Docking a Marquee to a Side of the Media Screen

You can also dock the Marquee to any of the four sides of the Screen -- useful when you have a long text string to display.

Figure 5. Marquee Docked to Bottom
Figure 5. Marquee Docked to Bottom

Marquee Fonts Sizes over High Definition (1080p) Media Screens

Here are some sample screen shots (resized smaller obviously to fit this page) to show the relative perspective of font sizes to an HD 1080p video full resolution screen. Figure 6. shows a Marquee displayed over a HD 1080p video with screen sized to natural video size (full 1080p resolution) with the top line font is set to font-size 36. Figure 7 shows a sample of font-size 120. You just have to consider how large a font is needed to be readable from the back row of the room.

You can set Extra Large Fonts simply by typing a desired size into the Font dialog Size textbox.

Figure 6. Marquee with Font-Size 36  on 1080p Video
Figure 6. Marquee with Font-Size 36 on 1080p Video
Figure 7. Marquee with Font-Size 120 on 1080p Video
Figure 7. Marquee with Font-Size 120 on 1080p Video

* Note: Screen shot images are reduced in size to fit the user's guide pages.