Controlling the Display Software

Before attempting to control a display cluster, ensure that the show has been successfully run from WATCHOUT production software (meaning that all media files have been transferred, etc). Then quit the WATCHOUT production software.

Authentication
Before you can give any command to the display software (with the exception of the “ping” command), you must specify the authentication level. To control WATCHOUT display software, you need authentication level 1:

authenticate 1

WATCHOUT responds with a Ready message. You can now send other commands.

Control Options

You can control the display cluster either using a file stored on the primary display computer in the cluster, or using commands sent via the network or through a serial port.

File-based Control
You can use a script file stored on the primary display computer’s hard disk to automatically perform most commands in this protocol when starting the display software. This can, for example, be used to set up a system that automatically loads and runs a show every time the computer is switched on. See "Startup Script" for more on how to set up a script on your display computer.

The example below shows the content of a command file that displays a message on the WATCHOUT screen, waits a few seconds, loads a show, waits for any other computers in the WATCHOUT display cluster to become ready, and then runs the show.

authenticate 1setLogoString "The show will begin shortly"
delay 5000
load "MyShow"
wait
run

See each individual command later in this appendix for details.

IMPORTANT: If using non-ASCII characters in the show name (for example; å, ö, ü, ß), your text editor must be able to save the text using the UTF-8 encoding. If you’re unsure about this, it’s usually easiest to rename the show to avoid non-ASCII characters.

NOTE: Any errors occurring while executing commands from such a command file are displayed in a console window. However, to see this window, you have to close the main WATCHOUT display window by pressing Ctrl-W. Keep this in mind if your command file doesn’t work as expected.

Network Control
To control a WATCHOUT display cluster via the network, connect to TCP/IP port number 3039 of one of the WATCHOUT display computers. The computer with which you initiate communication becomes the conductor of the cluster, and will automatically control the other cluster members, as specified by the presentation loaded using the “load” command.

Use a TELNET program to check the communication. Open the port specified above, then type “ping” and press Return. WATCHOUT will respond with a Ready message, stating its version number and some other details.

Serial Control
To control a WATCHOUT display cluster through a serial port, connect the controlling device to a serial port of one of the WATCHOUT display computers. This computer becomes the conductor of the cluster, and will automatically control the other cluster members, as specified by the presentation loaded using the “load” command.

No serial port is open by default. Use the serialPort command to open a serial port. Put this command into a text file, and use the file-based control feature to perform the serialPort command (see “Filebased Control”).

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