GSS 100: An Easy Guide To Preparing Slide Show Images
The Extron GSS 100 is a unique, compact still store that lets you play back high resolution company logos, digital photos, presentation slides, and other text or graphic images in applications such as kiosks, digital signage, event staging, conference rooms and boardrooms, and houses of worship. With a compact form factor, operational reliability without system crashes, and inherent security from intrusion by hacking or viruses, the GSS 100 is an ideal alternative to a dedicated PC for serving up high resolution still images.
In order to use the GSS 100 to show high resolution images, you need to prepare BMP or JPEG format graphic files on a PC, and then upload them to the unit via the IP Link® Ethernet port. With its conventional RGBHV computer-video output, the GSS 100 can play back these images on a wide range of displays. Preparing images for presentation with the GSS 100 is quite simple and straightforward. All that's required is a network connection to the GSS 100 and your choice of software for creating graphics.
Create Your Graphics on a PC
A wide range of popular software applications may be used in preparing your graphics for the GSS 100, including Adobe® Photoshop®, Adobe Illustrator®, Microsoft® PowerPoint®, and even the Microsoft Paint software included with Windows®. When composing your presentation, you want to first consider the display on which the images will be shown. While the conventional 4x3 aspect ratio is still the most common, you should compose in the 16x9 aspect ratio format if you're going to be presenting on a widescreen projector or flat-panel display. If the display happens to be installed in a vertical orientation, such as for some digital signage applications, then you'll also have to take this into account. Another important factor in preparing your images for the GSS 100 is matching the resolution of the graphics to that of the display - more on this later.
BMP or JPEG?
Once you're satisfied with your artwork and are ready to create the graphic files to upload to the GSS 100, you will need to save or export the graphics to either a JPEG or BMP graphics format. The BMP format offers potentially the best image quality, as images are not compressed. JPEG format graphics, on the other hand, are generally compressed to reduce file size and typically require much less file storage than BMP files, but the images may exhibit some compression artifacts when displayed.
The GSS 100 will therefore store considerably more JPEG files than BMP files, but will take somewhat longer to serve up JPEG images, due to the necessity to decompress the image data. With 16 MB of internal image storage, the GSS 100 accommodates six XGA resolution (1024x768) BMP graphics files, or 100 or more XGA resolution JPEG images at typical rates of compression.
Choose Your Resolution Carefully
For the best results, the resolution of your images should be equal to the native resolution of the display. For example, if you're going to display images on a 1366x768 LCD flat panel, the graphic file should be formatted at the same resolution. Then, by setting the output of the GSS 100 to 1366x768, the image completely fills the screen and matches the display pixel for pixel. If the resolution of the graphic image differs from the display, either the image will be partially cropped or surrounded by a black border.
Uploading Your Files to the GSS 100
The GSS 100 features an IP Link Ethernet port, which enables control and monitoring over a LAN, WAN, or the Internet. This port is also used for uploading graphic files from the PC. To upload an image, simply access the Image Settings Web page from the IP Link embedded Web server, click on the "Add" button, browse through the folder and files on your PC, and then select the file to be uploaded. This Web page also lets you preview and delete images from the GSS 100.
When you need to upload several images at once, you can download the free IP Link File Manager software, available from www.extron.com, which lets you select multiple image files for upload as a batch process. IP Link File Manager is also ideal whenever you need to upload files to several GSS 100 units.
Set up the Presentation, then Forget It
With all of your images now loaded on the GSS 100, you can simply select an image for output, or display them as a slide show. It's just a matter of setting the duration of the images, and a cut or dissolve transition between them. In a presentation environment, the GSS 100 can output a single image or a slide show whenever an external pass-through RGBHV source, such as a laptop, is disconnected. The GSS 100 continually monitors this source and automatically switches to a stored image whenever sync is interrupted.
All configurations can be accomplished through the internal Web pages, directly from the front panel, or via RS-232 serial control. Using RS-232 or IP Link control, you can further customize your presentations by creating a script file to specify selected images for a slide show, as well as their sequence.