The Mile-High View
A typical Concerto network will include a content server and some physical displays. For this deployment overview, we focus on the Concerto Content Server (1) and the computers which power the front end displays (2). A successful deployment will include these two elements.
Concerto Content Server
The Content Server must have the Concerto base software installed and configured properly so that it may control all client units on the network and distribute uploaded messages. Here's how you get started with your Content Server:
Download and install the server-side code.
The server-side code for Concerto comes in two flavors, which you can download here. The package with CAS (Central Authentication System) runs the Concerto Network at RPI. You'll only want the CAS version if your organization happens to run it. For all other environments, we've developed a version without CAS, with its own database-driven user system. Within the download package (once extracted to your webserver) is an install directory; within that directory is a file named INSTALL. That file contains detailed instructions to install and configure your Concerto Content Server. You can view those instructions here.
Client Display Machines
Once your Content Server is configured, you're going to want to use the Concerto client firmware with one or more client-side computers.
What kind of client computers should I use?
While any computer and operating system capable of displaying the Concerto web application can be used, we recommend a setup similiar to the following for a computer dedicated to displaying Concerto content.
|Small Form Factor PC||Jetway JBC360F33W||$279.00|
|2GB RAM||Kingston HyperX 2GB 200-Pin DDR2 SO-DIMM||$33.99|
|4GB CF Card||Transcend 4GB Compact Flash Card||$13.99|
Last Updated 2012-11-25.
What are the options for setting up the client machines?
For maximum efficiency, our client computers have the Concerto client firmware installed on CompactFlash cards instead of hard drives. We have some installation instructions for experimenting with installing the firmware on your own units in our Help area, but we also have another option - the Concerto Player Live CD.
What displays would you recommend for use with Concerto?
Depending on the location and application of a Concerto installation, anything from an old CRT monitor to a fancy projector may work well. In terms of display build quality, aesthetic appeal, and ability to be controlled via serial port, we prefer and recommend Sharp Professional LCD displays such as the LB-T422U. If 24/7 operation is required, Sharp offers the PN-Exx1 series, for example the PN-E421.
We have found that Plasma displays make poor choices for digital signage applications, due to the static nature of signage content and the propensity of plasma screens to burn-in.
Installing Concerto requires some basic server administration experience. You'll need to have installed and be familiar with the setup of:
- A *nix OS
- PHP 5.2+, along with the GD, MySQL, and Curl libraries
- A web server with URL rewriting capabilities (such as mod_rewrite under Apache)
- MySQL 4.1+
- Cron (and crontab access)