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Raspberry PI Digital Signage SoftwareRaspberry Pi

Setup Raspberry Pi

We prepared a Raspberry Pi (Models 3 and 4) image to speed up your Play Digital Signage setup.

What we’ve done:

  • Based on raspbian.
  • Configured firewall to block all incoming requests.
  • Disabled screen saver.
  • Installed player software (If you only want player software, you can download latest ARMv7l AppImage).

Raspberry PI 4 installation guide

  1. Download the image
    1. For 16GB or larger SD card download this image.
    2. For 8GB SD card download this image.
  2. Unpack the zip archive.
  3. Write the .img file to SD card using etcher.
  4. Insert SD card to Raspberry and power on.
  5. Once device is booted, it will auto-launch PlaySignage player. Press “Exit” on the top right corner.
  6. Connect to the Internet (top-right corner).
  7. Open Menu (top-left corner) -> Preferences -> Raspberry PI Configuration.
    1. System tab: default password is raspberry, we recommend changing it!
    2. Localisation tab: set correct locale and time zone.
  8. Launch the player application from the desktop.

Raspberry PI 3 installation guide

  1. Download the image from here.
  2. Unpack the zip archive.
  3. Write the .img file to SD card using etcher.
  4. Insert SD card and turn the device on.
  5. Once the device starts up, it will launch PlaySignage Chrome player. Press “Exit” on the top right corner.
  6. Connect to the Internet.
  7. Set correct time and time zone.
  8. The default user is “pi” and password “raspberry“. Move cursor to top to show the top task-bar and launch terminal. Change the default password by issuing command “passwd”.
  9. We have released an update to the player software, so let’s update the extension:
    1. Launch Chromium and navigate to chrome://extensions (you can find the bookmark on bookmarks tab as well).
    2. Press the button “Update extensions now”.
    3. If there’s an update, it will be downloaded and installed in next few minutes.
    4. You don’t need to do this every time we publish an update, just it may take up to 8 hours for Chromium to update extensions automatically, we just sped up the process.
  10. Close chromium and launch the player app from desktop shortcut.

Our recommendations

In our tests the device heats up quite fast, especially in an enclosure. When the device runs hot, it can damage the components and will cause performance to degrade. We recommend installing a heat-sink on the chip, you can get one on ebay or nearby electronics equipment store.

If you are not using official power supply, make sure that the adapter is powerful enough:

  • At least 2 amperes for model 3 (ideally 2.5 amperes) devices
  • At least 3 amperes for model 4 devices

Limitations

Raspberry is likely the most affordable option to run our players on an open-source software. However, being a low-end device, it has certain drawbacks:

  • Most slide transition effects lag, so we don’t recommend adding them.
  • Element animations lag, however they are meant for more powerful players to begin with.
  • The SD card is prone to wear out, unlike devices with built-in storage, the SD card has limited write cycles it can perform. We recommend choosing a high class (quality) SD card to minimize the issues down the road.

FAQ

The resolution is incorrect.

Raspberry PI will try to automatically set resolution, however sometimes it fails to detect most optimal resolution. You can manually set resolution in Menu -> Preferences -> Display Settings.

If you can’t find desired resolution option there, you will find more display configuration options in Menu -> Preferences -> Raspberry PI Configuration -> Display -> Resolution.

The picture does not fit in my screen.

By default we have disabled overscan, if the picture does not fit your display, try enabling it: Menu -> Preferences -> Raspberry PI Configuration -> Display -> Overscan set to “Enable”.

Why can’t I use 4K resolution?

There are some known hardware acceleration issues with videocore drivers and HTML5 canvas support which our is built on. We’ve disabled the driver in favor of stability, however it’s also possible to run Raspbian with the driver and disable hardware acceleration:

  • Enable VideoCore driver in /boot/config.txt file, uncomment following line dtoverlay=vc4-fkms-v3d
  • Run PlaySignage application with disabled hardware acceleration: ./PlaySignage*-armv7l.AppImage --disable-hardware-acceleration

How can I enable ssh?

We’ve disabled SSH access for obvious security reasons when distributing an image that has a default password. If you do want to enable ssh for remote maintenance, here’s how:

  1. execute passwd command to change the password – default password is ‘raspberry‘ and the whole world knows it
  2. Enable port 22 in firewall: sudo ufw allow ssh
  3. Enable SSH service: sudo systemctl enable ssh
  4. Start SSH service: sudo systemctl start ssh

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