Frequently asked questions

Find out answers to frequently asked questions about A+K PADS 3.1 Standalone and Professional digital signage software packages.

Learn the answers to frequently asked questions

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What is the maximum number of viewers that can be connected to one A+K PADS server?

The maximum number of viewers that can be connected depends on various factors. Of course the hardware specifications play an important role. Another important aspect is the way in which the system is used. If only text and small images are displayed and there are not lots of changing presentations, then a number of viewers can be connected. This is in contrast with a situation in which a number of video and real-time data elements are displayed. It’s also important to know whether the server PC is only being used for A+K PADS. For large systems, the use of cluster technology is recommended for the server PC so that there is always the option to expand the hardware capacity.

Does A+K PADS support digital TV?

The integrated TV element supports both analogue and digital TV.

Can A+K PADS be played on Windows XP Embedded system?

Yes, A+K PADS Viewer can be played on Windows XP Embedded, Windows XP Home, Windows XP Professional and every version of Windows that supports the Microsoft .NET framework.

Can A+K PADS be shown in portrait mode?

Most plasma or LCD screens can be used to display information in portrait mode instead of in landscape mode. If your screen does not have this option, you can use special software for the purpose. An example of this ‘pivot software’ can be found at www.portrait.com. However, much of this software reads the information from the PC’s video buffer to display the pivot information. This means that, if you use a hardware-compatible mpeg decoder which writes direct to the screen without using the video, videos cannot be shown in portrait.

Can A+K PADS be used to drive a video wall?

Yes, several A+K PADS Viewers can be used to drive a complete video wall. In this mode, the video wall is seen as a single large screen. By using a presentation-in-page element, you can choose at any point to show a presentation on all screens or only on some of the screens.

Can A+K PADS be used for LED panels?

Yes. Although A+K PADS is primarily used with VGA screens, it can also be used to drive character-based LED panels. LED panels often have no support for VGA input and specific protocols are used to drive the panel. Because these protocols can differ depending on the manufacturer and panel type, a tailor-made interface is needed to put the A+K PADS presentation into commands that the panel understands.

The benefit of using A+K PADS to drive LED panels is that all the functionality such as information design, planning and broadcasting can be used. One of the most important benefits is that the database-linking capabilities can be used so that real-time data can be shown on the panel. It is often also possible to use special effects such as cutting and alternating.

What is A+K PADS Standalone?

A+K PADS Standalone consists of a few components which together form a simple yet powerful solution, meeting the market demand for digital signage in a small environment. A+K PADS Standalone is the entry-level product for situations where only a single screen needs to be driven. It combines a screen design application with the functionality to show presentations. Together with a PC and a screen (TFT, plasma or similar), this software offers a competitively priced, state-of-the-art solution for showing dynamic information in small environments.

What are the most important differences between A+K PADS Standalone and A+K PADS Professional?

A+K PADS Professional can be used for every digital signage system, whereas A+K PADS Standalone is meant for situations with just a single screen, and where no advanced scheduling is necessary. So, A+K PADS Standalone has no A+K PADS Manager (scheduler), A+K PADS Server (distribution) or A+K PADS Agent (analysis). It consists only of the A+K PADS Standalone Designer and A+K PADS Standalone Viewer applications, with the two linked directly to each other. This means that when the A+K PADS Standalone Designer is started up, the presentation currently being shown by the A+K PADS Standalone Viewer is opened. Once changes to the presentation have been saved, they are shown immediately in the A+K PADS Standalone Viewer.

Can a presentation be changed without it being immediately visible on the screen?

Yes. If you are using one PC with two screens attached, it’s possible to run the A+K PADS Standalone Designer on one screen and the A+K PADS Standalone Viewer on the other screen. This means you can start the Designer and make changes without them being visible on the screen. As soon as changes are saved, they are immediately transferred to the active presentation on the screen.

Can the A+K PADS Standalone Designer and Viewer be installed on separate PCs?

Yes. Although the Standalone version is really meant for use on one PC, it is possible to install it on two separate PCs on the same network, so that one PC can be used as Designer and the other as Viewer. Just remember that you are then responsible for ensuring that the files used (images, videos and so on) can be copied from the Designer PC to the Viewer PC in the same digital map file structure, unless you are using a shared network environment. The reason for this is that A+K PADS Professional’s automatic synchronisation is not part of the A+K PADS Standalone version.

Is A+K PADS Standalone supplied with a scheduler?

Yes, the product is supplied with the Playlist Editor tool. With this tool, it’s possible to input simple daily playlists. However, the capabilities of this tool are limited. The Manager element of A+K PADS Professional is the right tool for more advanced scheduling.

What options are there to upgrade A+K PADS Standalone to A+K PADS Professional?

A+K PADS Standalone can simply be migrated to A+K PADS Professional. The Standalone Viewer can be exchanged for a Professional Viewer. You then need to purchase an A+K PADS Professional Manager as well. Since both products are completely compatible, presentations created with A+K Standalone can be used in A+K PADS Professional with no problem.