You can use Appspace to manage content and scheduling for digital signage display screens controlled by your organisational unit.

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Overview

Appspace is used to manage content on digital signage display screens across UQ.

Each digital signage display is connected to a digital media player, which communicates with Appspace to retrieve content and scheduling information.

The digital media players are grouped into networks that are managed by particular UQ organisational units through Appspace.

Appspace content managers are able to control the content assigned to the digital media players in their network by adding content to the channels assigned to the players. Channels are a collection of media content, which can include still images, videos, web pages and live video streams. Content managers can schedule these content items to display over a specific date period and make other changes to keep their channels up to date.

Each network also contains a library, which allows content managers to store and share media content with other networks at UQ.

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Getting access to Appspace

You'll need to request access to be an Appspace content manager to be able to:

  • manage content on digital signage displays
  • monitor the status of digital media players.

You can request Appspace access (staff login required) for your organisational unit's network.

Once you have access, you can log in to Appspace.

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Creating images and video content

Formats and dimensions for images and video

If you're creating images and videos to be used within Appspace, make sure you use these required formats and dimensions. If your content exceeds these dimensions, it won't appear on your digital signage display and may cause other display and sync issues.

Images:

  • Image formats: JPG or PNG
  • Landscape dimensions: 1920px (width) x 1080px (height)
  • Portrait dimensions: 1080px (width) x 1920px (height)

Videos:

  • Video formats: MP4 (H.264)
  • Audio formats: AAC or MP3
  • Max bitrate: 8 Mbps
  • Landscape dimensions: 1920px (width) x 1080px (height)
  • Portrait dimensions: 1080px (width) x 1920px (height)

How to create image content using Microsoft PowerPoint

If you’re not familiar with more specialised software like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, you can use Microsoft PowerPoint to create image content items for your channels.

Watch the video to learn how to create and export still image content using PowerPoint.

Watch: Content creation with Microsoft PowerPoint

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Managing channels and content

Adding images and videos to an existing channel

Identifying the correct channel to update

Your Appspace network may contain several channels, so it's important to check you're making changes to the correct channel before you start. To do this:

  1. Select the 'Devices' icon on the left menu bar.
  2. Identify the digital media player you wish to update, then take note of the channel assigned to that player.
  3. Make sure the required changes will be appropriate for every digital media player assigned to that channel. If your changes are only required for one of the digital media players, you may need to consider creating a new channel and assign it to the required digital media player.

Uploading images and videos to a channel

  1. Ensure your content items adhere to the file format and resolution requirements.
  2. Select the 'Channels' icon on the left menu bar.
  3. Select the channel you wish to update.
  4. Click '+ADD'. If the channel is empty, click '+ADD CONTENT'.
  5. Select 'Upload Media'.
  6. Click 'Browse' to choose the content item on your computer, or drag and drop it on to the page.
  7. Click 'Save'.

Any changes you make to a channel may take up to 15 minutes to sync with the digital media players assigned to that channel. It may take longer if large videos have been uploaded to the channel.

Adding a website to an existing channel

  1. Select the 'Channels' icon on the left menu bar.
  2. Select the channel you wish to update.
  3. Click '+ADD'. If the channel is empty, click '+ADD CONTENT'.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the list, then select 'Web (Legacy)'.
  5. Enter a title for the content at the top left of the page.
  6. Select the 'Website' option.
  7. Enter the web address required into the 'Website URL' field.
  8. Click 'Save'.
  9. See 'Changing the playout duration of a content item' if you'd like to extend the playout duration of your website, so it's visible on screen for longer.

Adding library content to an existing channel

  1. Select the 'Channels' icon on the left menu bar.
  2. Select the channel you wish to update.
  3. Click '+ADD'. If the channel is empty, click '+ADD CONTENT'.
  4. Select the 'Browse Library' tab at the top of the page.
  5. Use the library folder structure to locate and select any content items you wish to add to your channel, then click 'ADD'.

Changing the playout duration of a content item

  1. Identify the content item you wish to update within your channel, then click on the item's current duration.
  2. Click inside the 'Content Duration' field, then use the arrows to set a new playout duration (up to 1 day).
  3. Click 'Save'.

Scheduling a content item

  1. Identify the content item you wish to update within your channel, then click on the item's current duration.
  2. Click inside the 'Schedule' field to open two calendars.
  3. Use the left calendar to select a date and time for your content item to start.
  4. Use the right calendar to select a date and time for your content item to stop.
  5. Click 'APPLY'.

Once the schedule for a content item has expired, it will appear with a red calendar icon next to the content item's playout duration. When the content item is no longer required, you can delete it from your channel.

Changing the order of content within a channel

When a new content item is uploaded to a channel, it will automatically appear at the top of the channel's playlist. To adjust the order of the channel's playlist, use the drag icon to click and drag the content item to a new position within the list.

Deleting and disabling content items

To delete a content item, select the item's corresponding '...' icon, then select 'Delete'.

Instead of deleting a content item, you may prefer to disable it temporarily if you wish to reuse the content item again.

To disable a content item, select the item's corresponding '...​' icon, then select 'Disable'.

Disabled content items will appear greyed-out within your playlist and will not show on digital media players to which the channel has been assigned.

Creating a new channel

  1. Select the 'Channels' icon on the left menu bar.
  2. Click '+CREATE'.
  3. Enter a name for the new channel, then click 'CREATE'.
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Managing digital media players

Assigning a channel to a digital media player

  1. Select the 'Devices' icon on the left menu bar to see a list of all the digital media players within your network.
  2. Tick the device you wish to update. You can tick multiple devices if they are all to be assigned to the same channel.
  3. Select the 'Assign Channel' icon above the list of devices.
  4. Select 'Administrators can select a single channel'.
  5. Select the required channel from the list of channels, then click 'Save'.

The sync status of the digital media player(s) will change to 'Out of Sync' whenever a new channel is assigned, or whenever a change is made to the assigned channel. It may take 15 minutes for the change to sync, but sometimes longer if the channel contains a large amount of content. 

The sync status will change to 'In Sync' when all changes have synced to the digital media player.

Monitoring and troubleshooting digital media players within your network

The 'Devices' page within Appspace can be used to monitor the status of all the digital media players within your network. This page shows the sync and online statuses of each device.

A digital media player is showing 'Offline'

Information Technology Services (ITS) monitors the status of every digital signage display at UQ and works to resolve issues with offline devices. If a digital media player within your network is offline, submit an IT request.

A digital media player is showing 'Out of Sync'

It's normal for an online digital media player to show as 'Out of Sync' if there have been changes to the channel assigned to the device in the past 30 minutes. If the device continues to show 'Out of Sync' after this time, it's likely a content item within the assigned channel is not in a compatible file format for the digital media player, or a content item exceeds the resolution requirements. Check your content item meets the format and dimension requirements.

Submit an IT request if you are unable to identify the issue.

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Using the Appspace library

Your network's library can be used to store and organise your content, as well as share content with your content managers in other Appspace networks. Any content you upload to a channel will be automatically added to your network's library. To access your library, select the 'Library' icon from on left menu bar.

Creating a new library folder

  1. Select the 'Library' icon on the left menu bar.
  2. Select the existing parent folder where you want your new folder created.
  3. Click the small arrow within the '+CREATE' button, then select 'Folder'.
  4. Type the name of the new folder, the press Enter.

Adding content to a library folder

  1. Select the 'Library' icon on the left menu bar.
  2. Select the folder where you want your content to be added.
  3. Select 'Upload Media'.
  4. Click 'Browse' to choose the content item on your computer, or drag and drop it on to the page.
  5. Click 'Save'.

Sharing your library folder with other specific Appspace networks

If you have content you believe would be appropriate for other organisational units to share on digital signage displays within their own network, the easiest way to share is to create a dedicated folder for sharing within your network. Make sure the folder has an appropriate title, e.g. 'HASS Shared'. If you wish to share content with all other networks, see 'Sharing content via the 'UQ Shared' folder' below.

  1. Within your Library, right-click the folder you wish to share, then select 'Share with Others'.
  2. In the search field, type the name of the user groups you want to share the folder with.
  3. Choose whether the user group should view only, or be able to edit the folder.
  4. Click 'Save'.

Sharing content with networks via the 'UQ Shared' folder

The 'UQ Shared' folder is shared with all UQ Appspace networks and allows content managers to share content that may be appropriate for any organisational unit to use, such as event flyers or public service announcements.

When adding images or videos to this folder, it is important that these content items adhere to the file format and resolution requirements. Content that exceeds the requirements will cause display and sync issues for any digital media player. It's your responsibility to ensure that your content meets these requirements.

To add a content item to the 'UQ Shared' folder:

  1. Select the 'Library' icon on the left menu bar.
  2. Within your Library, expand the 'Common Library' folder, then select the folder 'UQ Shared'.
  3. Select 'Upload Media'.
  4. Click 'Browse' to choose the content item on your computer, or drag and drop it on to the page.
  5. Click 'Save'.
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Working with advanced channels

There are two main types of channels in Appspace: playlist channels and advanced channels.

The guides on this page are primarily for working with playlist channels. We strongly recommend using playlist channels. They're significantly easier to manage than advanced channels, and will usually provide all the functionality you need to display, manage and schedule content.

We recommend using advanced channels only if you need the extra functionality they provide. Advanced channels allow you to arrange and display multiple playlist channels simultaneously. They're most commonly used for purposes like system monitoring, where dynamic content from different sources needs to be visible at the same time.

If you'd like to know more about creating and managing content for advanced channels, submit an IT request. You can also see the user guides for advanced channels on the Appspace website.

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Managing multiple networks

Some users may be given access to more than one Appspace network.

If you have access to multiple networks, each time you log in to Appspace you'll start in your default network. This is the first network you were added to when your access to Appspace was originally set up.

You'll need to switch between your networks to manage content for each one.

To switch between networks, log in to Appspace and then:

  1. Select the name of the current network at the top right of the interface.
  2. Select the required network from the list of networks available to you.
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