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FAQ: Can I get our school notices on a large screen display?

News Articles and Daily Notices entered into Ultranet can be viewed in three different ways: the most common view is the default on-screen browser view, which is what you see on the "News Centre" page; secondly, you have the PDF/print view for notices, just in case a hard-copy is required to distribute; finally, the third option is to view the notices/articles on a large-screen display (e.g. LCD/Plasma screen, data projector, etc.).

This last option presents the information from the News Centre in a larger format suited for 16:9 or 4:3 TV-type displays, and automatically scrolls through the content.

What you need to set this up

The following components will be required to utilise the large screen News Centre display:

  • A LCD/Plasma screen display with PC input (e.g. RGB, HDMI)

  • A computer with compatible display output and internet connectivity

  • Appropriate video cable to hook both devices up

Note: The scrolling display page renders within a web browser, so it is preferable to choose a browser that supports full-screen display mode.

Obtaining the default section feed URL

Each news section has a unique URL for displaying its articles and/or notices. By default, the URL specifies to display articles on the left, and notices on the right.

To obtain the default URL for a particular section:

  1. Sign in as an administrator and navigate to the News Centre page.

  2. Click on the Page Tools menu and select the "Configuration" option.

    Configuration.png

  3. In the resulting window, select the section from the list along the top.

    SectionSelect.png

  4. Once selected, its "Section ID" details are displayed directly below. The Section ID will appear as an encrypted set of characters and symbols.

    NewsCentreURL.png

    Three URL options are provided by default: Articles and Notices, Notices Only and Articles Only. Clicking on any of these will open the link in a new tab/window, where you can preview the output. If it matches your desired output, copy the URL from the address bar and use that on the computer attached to the LCD/Plasma display.

Customising the URL to adjust display

The URL format for the large screen display follows a consistent, decipherable format. For example, in the following sample URL:

http://tauira.ultranet.school.nz/NewsCentre/LargeScreen/AbcDE123x0/AbcDE123x1/

  • The initial path ("tauira.ultranet.school.nz/NewsCentre/LargeScreen/") just specifies the school, module and component.

  • The next series of characters ("AbcDE123x0/") are basically specifying the left-side of the display, in this case calling up Section ID "AbcDE123", and the type of information to display ("x0" meaning articles).

  • The final series of characters ("AbcDE123x1/") follow the previous set, and are specifying the right-side of the display. So again, it is calling up Section ID "AbcDE123", but this time showing notices ("x1" means notices).

Working off these basic formatting rules, you could therefore easily choose to display articles from two different sections on the same screen. For example:

http://tauira.ultranet.school.nz/NewsCentre/LargeScreen/AbcDE123x0/fgHiJ456x0/

Or you could have just the notices only from a single section displaying by chopping off the second display parameter. For example:

http://tauira.ultranet.school.nz/NewsCentre/LargeScreen/789kLMnOx1/

Note: Section IDs for each section are displayed in the "Configuration" panel (as described above).

Adjusting advanced display settings

Deeper configuration of the News Centre display screen is available should you wish to fine-tune it. To access this:

  1. Sign in as an administrator and navigate to Administration > Module Management > Configure Modules.

    ConfigureModules.png

  2. Scroll down to the "News Centre" section, where you can edit and adjust three global parameters:

    • "Clean HTML" - Should you have issues with HTML formatted content causing the large screen display to render oddly, set this parameter to "True".

    • "Display format" - This adjusts the aspect ratio/orientation of the data to be displayed, depending on the screen size and format of your display. "4:3" is the standard for data projectors, whereas most widescreen TV displays are "16:9". You can flip these to "3:4" or "9:16" if the display is mounted vertically rather than horizontally.

    • "Scroll interval" - This controls the rate at which articles/notices int he display scroll in seconds. You can set this to a lower rate if you feel it is too slow, or to a higher rate if it is scrolling too fast.

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