Serving SWF Files

You may also choose to serve Flash (SWF) files. Such a file can dynamically generate and update text, graphics and other image elements, and can interact with various data sources. SWF files are produced using Adobe Flash Professional. By combining high quality text and graphics rendering with a powerful, network-aware programming language, Flash allows you to create custom solutions with very little effort.

In order to serve SWF files, you must install the Adobe Flash Player on the Image Server computer. This is available as a free download:

NOTE: When displaying SWF files that reside locally on the Image Server computer, you may need to grant additional rights to those files in order to access network resources. To do so, go to Control Panel, Flash Player. Click the Advanced tab, then Trusted Location Settings. Click the “Add...” button and add the folder(s) con­taining SWF files to be served by the Image Server.

Sourcing Flash Content

There are many websites dedicated to providing Flash examples and tutorials. This is a great source for simple flash content, such as live clocks, stock tickers, news readers, etc. In many cases, such content can simply be dropped into your Image Server folder and used as-is.

IMPORTANT: Since you’re going to run the SWF files on your local computer, with a relaxed security sandbox based on the “trusted location settings” set above, only use SWF files from sources you trust.

NOTE: Keep in mind that such content may be copyrighted. Always check its license before including it in your presentations.

Flash Example: A News Reader

To develop custom solutions, you need to be familiar with Flash Professional and its ActionScript programming language, which is used to create live data. The example below shows a complete news reader for displaying the latest news from CNN:

var rssXML:XML; // RSS feed data is loaded herevar rssLoader:URLLoader = new URLLoader();var rssURL:URLRequest = new URLRequest(“”);var timer : Timer = new Timer(10000); // Updating image regularlyrssLoader.addEventListener(Event.COMPLETE, rssLoaded);rssLoader.load(rssURL);function rssLoaded(evt:Event):void { var firstCall : Boolean = !rssXML; rssXML = XML(; if (firstCall) { updateDisplay(null); // Draw first time rigt away timer.addEventListener(TimerEvent.TIMER, updateDisplay); timer.start(); // Display other news every 10 seconds }}function updateDisplay(evt : TimerEvent) : void { var itemCount : uint =; if (itemCount) { // Has something to display var pick : uint = Math.random() * (itemCount-1); displayField.htmlText =[pick].description; }}

Displaying Local Server Files

Put the local files that are to be served into a folder on the computer running the WATCHOUT Image Server appli­cation. By default, this folder is assumed to be found inside the WATCHOUT program folder. Add a command line parameter when starting the Image Server application to put the image folder elsewhere (see “Alternate File Location”).

You can test a file manually using the Open command in the Image Server application. This will display the image on screen if it is compatible with the Image Server application.

To display an image in your WATCHOUT presentation, add it as a media item to the Media window of your WATCHOUT presentation (see “Add Dynamic Image”), then drag it onto stage. The image should now be requested from the Dynamic Image Server, and displayed on screen.

NOTE: You can also preview dynamic images in the production software, if specified in the dynamic media item.
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