Content Integrity: How Hiperwall’s latest features keep your video wall’s content where you want it
Content integrity is critical to a successful video wall system. Whether its news feeds or video streams, or any number of complex data sources, you want to be in complete control of where and how it is presented. Hiperwall’s Co-Founder and Chief Scientist, Dr Stephen Jenks, explores the many content integrity benefits and features of Hiperwall’s latest video wall software.
Hiperwall video wall software makes it easy and convenient to show your content when you want it and how you want it, whether in a control room, collaborative space, corporate communications system, or even impactful digital signage. From the start, Hiperwall software has made saving and reloading content and layouts fast and easy, and the company has added more of these features as we developed new versions. As we added simultaneous multi-user control, both through our HiperFailSafe active-active fault tolerance approach and via HiperOperator, we had to address content integrity with even more powerful features. Content integrity means critical content, including live dashboards, surveillance video streams, or news feeds, are visible and in the right location, as specified by the Hiperwall user. Our new HiperZones feature is the latest and most powerful way to ensure content integrity. This article explores the many content integrity benefits and features of Hiperwall’s latest video wall software.
Environments are likely the most frequently used feature on Hiperwall-powered video wall systems because Environments make loading large collections of content quick and easy. The need to save and restore content, while preserving layout, properties (transparency, rotation, etc.), and layering is critical for spatial content integrity, meaning content is where it should be. The exact state of your video wall content and layout can easily be restored at any time though the use of Environments. Informative layouts of news feeds, grids of video camera streams, and arrangements of dashboards and social media monitoring can all be saved and restored with just a few clicks. Environments have existed since the first release of Hiperwall software, and it was later enhanced to support individual access control through HiperAccess. For 2022, we’ve taken things several steps further, and updated Environments to support our new HiperZones feature - more on this later.
HiperFailSafe Fault Tolerance
Hiperwall video wall software can have two HiperControllers running together in “active-active” fault tolerance mode with HiperFailSafe. This means content stays current on the video wall even in the presence of a controller failure. If one controller disconnects, the other controller will take over for it. Most sources will continue to update with no interruption, though remote sources will take a few seconds to recover. This powerful feature allows simultaneous control of the system from each of the two controllers, but the ability to survive cable disconnects, hardware failure, and computer restarts is a critical component of content integrity. HiperFailSafe is the foundation of the Hiperwall Premium Suite and can be added to other Hiperwall licenses.
Hiperwall video wall software is highly interactive (the “Hi” part of the name stands for “Highly interactive”), but many customers have content collections that only change occasionally throughout the day. Scheduler is perfect in these cases, because it provides hands-off management of video wall content, thus providing temporal content integrity (content is present when it is needed). At scheduled times, designated Environments will be shown on the video wall until they are replaced by the next scheduled Environments. Usage scenarios like corporate communications or signage obviously benefit from Scheduler, but control rooms and security centres can take advantage of scheduler to step through feeds and sources automatically at defined times. The addition of HiperZones has made Scheduler more useful and powerful than ever, because each video wall zone has different content that can be scheduled independently, helping to maintain content integrity in specific areas of the video wall.
HiperAccess is a powerful, yet easy-to-use access control system that manages permissions to open and close each type of content, trigger system actions, and much more. Each authenticated user is a member of one or more groups that define exactly which permissions the members of that group have. Each action that a user takes is checked, logged, and if permitted, performed, whether the user is logged in via the HiperController, HiperOperator, or even HiperInterface - the web services-style network control interface. With Hiperwall 8.0, the HiperController is locked when no user is logged in, so content integrity is protected from accidental or even malicious changes at unattended control stations.
HiperAccess typically works by managing permissions for each type of content, but a special capability was added to manage access to individual Environments by name, which makes it possible to limit access to specific content to appropriate users. This capability was added at the request of a customer to meet their needs but is so useful that we provide it for all current HiperAccess customers.
HiperAccess provides admins with tools to manage who can do what to the video wall system and provides logging to track what actions were permitted or denied. It is a powerful tool to support content integrity of a Hiperwall video wall.
Because of the highly interactive nature of the HiperController, it was possible to accidentally clear the video wall by pressing the Clear button. To mitigate that possibility, we added the ability to lock the Clear button with a click. When the button is locked, it cannot be used to clear content, but it can easily be unlocked if needed.
Content integrity is more than just content layout but includes making sure critical content is shown on the video wall. HiperFailSafe Content is a tool to help guarantee content is available. A HiperFailSafe Content item groups together different sources for a critical content item, such as a news feed or monitoring application, ideally coming from different source computers. These items are ordered by priority, with the highest priority item available being shown. This means if one source for the item fails or is disconnected, the next one in the list will be shown. This makes it easy to make sure the most important content items are shown in their designated positions as long as any source for them is available. This powerful feature was introduced in Hiperwall version 7.1 and, because of its importance, is available to all users of Hiperwall 7.1 and later.
Hiperwall video wall systems have supported huge, high-resolution walls from the start, with our first wall managing 200 million pixels. Hiperwall systems also support multiple video walls and satellite displays that enable mixed use scenarios (control room, executive briefing room, and corporate communications) in a single system. HiperZones enhances content integrity management for both these scenarios and many more.
HiperZones creates multiple virtual video walls from a single large video wall or multiple video walls. HiperZones, by default, makes each distinct video wall or satellite display a separate zone of control. It also allows each video wall to be split into independent zones. Each zone can be controlled by a different user, and actions in one zone do not interfere with content in other zones. If a user clears the content in their zone, it does not affect content in any other zone. If a user zooms into a billion pixel image, it only appears in that zone and does not cover news feeds or critical dashboards in any other zone.
With HiperZones, individual zones are controlled by users logged into the HiperController, HiperOperator, and HiperInterface. If a user can access multiple zones, it is extremely easy to switch to control another zone and to move content between zones or open content in an assigned zone. It is also possible for authorized users to override the zones by putting content like presentations or videos on special wall zones that are in front of the other zones. This is important for emergency situations or VIP visits where content must fill the wall.
Environments have also been enhanced for HiperZones. An Environment now fills a specific zone with content without interfering with content in any other zone. This enables the Scheduler to manage each zone independently by loading an Environment specific to each zone at the assigned times. It also makes it possible to have some zones controlled by the Scheduler while other zones are managed interactively by users logged into HiperOperator, for example.
HiperZones, along with all the other features discussed here, are designed to help Hiperwall customers manage the integrity of their content. Together they help prevent accidental deletion or covering of content, make loading and restoring content easy, support alternate paths for content to be delivered, and provide logging and access control so administrators can know what is happening on the system. Content integrity is critical to a successful video wall system, and Hiperwall video wall software helps provide it.
Each of the Hiperwall features and capabilities discussed above provides protection for content integrity, ranging from small effects, like the clear button lock, to fundamental improvements in how the system can be used, as with HiperZones and HiperFailSafe fault tolerance. Many of these features were added as a direct response to customer feedback, while others were built in anticipation of customer needs. Each has been made easy to use and manage, and all work together as part of a powerful, responsive suite of video wall control software that scales from small collaboration spaces and corporate communications to multi-site enterprise-scale command and control. Hiperwall video wall control software helps you present what you want to show, where you want it shown. These content integrity features help keep your content showing in the face of many challenging conditions, and they are all easy to use seamlessly work together to meet your needs.