Digital Signage with PowerPoint Playlists

Let’s dive into the world of digital signage with PowerPoint playlists and presentations. Earlier our topic was about setting up digital signage playlists with images and videos. Now, it is time to talk more about using PowerPoint presentations in your digital signage playlists, because using PowerPoint has many advantages.

  • Most likely you already have Microsoft PowerPoint on your system
  • Easy to learn like MS Word and Excel
  • Everyone can create presentations
  • Many sites offer free and paid templates that you can use for powerful presentations
  • Very quick creation of your slides, no specialists needed
  • Easy to change or edit your running slideshows
  • Presentations can have dynamic content thanks to add-ons

Set up a Playlist with PowerPoint

Use digital signage software to create a playlist. A playlist is a set of one or multiple presentations that you show on a monitor. This monitor could be an information screen at the entrance of your building, office or factory. Or a monitor in a shop showing promotions. To create a playlist with presentations in our digital signage iPoint product, you can use the scheduler application. Start the application and log on to the server. Then click the Playlists tab.

powerpoint playlists create a new playlist
When you have clicked to open the Playlists tab, then you see 2 options to choose from; audio playlists and video playlists. A PowerPoint presentation displays its slides, so this is cataloged as video and not audio. Right click the Video playlists item and choose New playlist from the popup menu.
choose to create a new playlist

Give this new playlist a name and click OK to confirm.

name the playlist

This opens a new document. At the properties at the right, you can choose to add files or folders to this playlist. With files you can add individual files to it. With folders, you just add one or more folders to it, and all multimedia files of those folders, will be included in the playlist. Here we leave the selection to Files.

add files or folder to the playlist
Click the Add button to add some PowerPoint presentations to the playlist.
click add to add files

Browse your computer or network and select one or multiple presentations. You can perfectly create a playlist with one presentation only, or use multiple presentation together. Finally hit the Open button to add the files to the playlist.

browse and select files
The selected PowerPoint presentations are now added to the playlist definition. Hit the Save icon or button to save the playlist.
save playlist

Assign PowerPoint Playlist to Player

Our first PowerPoint presentations playlist is ready and we can start assigning this playlist to digital signage players. In the middle pane of the scheduler application, you will see a list of your players connected to the iPoint server. Select one player or computer and hit that blue icon there. This will open the player’s playlist assignments.

click assignments button of digital signage player
That clicking opens a calendar view on the digital signage player’s playlist schedule. Click the New document icon at the top and choose Video playlist from the list.
add new video playlist
A playlist assignment form is presented to you, with all its properties.
assignment properties
You see what player you are assigning it to.
assign to this player
Select a playlist from the playlist list.
select a playlist
Choose a priority for this assignment.
assignment priority
Set the allocation period of the playlist. Choose an end date like 2199 or 9999 for an infinitive allocation.
set a data range
Set it to play all day or set the start and end time.
set time period
And check the days of the week. With this, you can perfectly exclude weekend-days.
include days of the week

Hit OK to close and the playlist assignment will be added to the calendar. The green bar visible below, is drawn for the allocation period. Green here is the color that corresponds to the medium priority. A higher priority would result in a red bar on the calendar.

The playlist assignment with the highest priority is played back on the digital signage player. The others are ignored for now, as long as there is a playlist assignment with a higher priority present. Such a playlist with a higher priority, overrules all others with a lower priority.

overview of playlist assignments

Overview and playback

The player will be notified that a new playlist on its schedule. The player program will analyze the playlist and will start downloading the PowerPoint presentation files. Whenever the first presentation is copied and ready for playback, then the player will start showing that slideshow on your television or computer screen. In the scheduler application, you can see that the name of the player is colored green. This means that the player is correctly connected to the server and is alive. It will also display what is shown on the remote player here as a thumbnail with regular refreshes. You can spot almost immediately when something is going wrong.

player thumbnail in the scheduler application

Supported PowerPoint presentations

All normal PowerPoint file extensions are supported like ppt, pps, pptx, ppsx, pptm etc. You can choose to use the full Microsoft PowerPoint application or the free PowerPoint Viewer. When you use automation add-ons for PowerPoint like DataPoint, Dynamic NEWS or Dynamic WEATHER etc, then this works with the full Microsoft PowerPoint application only. Next to these PowerPoint presentations, iPoint also supports images and video files, or a mix of it in one playlist.

Use PowerPoint playlists on your digital signage players

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Use DataPoint to link presentations to various data sources
Great Digital Signage software for playlists with images, videos and PowerPoint presentations
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