The information is set-up in various hierarchical levels, starting with the most simple up to the most complex level. Four levels are defined :
- Level 1 : the various medias elements used for the design (images, animations, videos, text..) referred to as "Boxes".
- Level 2 : these boxes, just like the text and the images of a book, are placed on "Pages".
- Level 3 : the pages are then gathered in chapters called "Designs".
- Level 4 : finally, the various chapters are gathered in the order you wish to diffuse them, using a synopsis or a list called: "Schedule". This schedule is in turn uploaded to the PC-Players that will play it.
Level 1 : boxes
This is the basic level of TV Tools: each box contains a specific type of file and each file has its own attributes set by the user. The following 7 types exist :
The background box : contains a basic image (full size of the workspace) on which all other boxes will be superimposed. This picture MUST be in RGB, never use YMCK for any kind of format. We advice to use JPEG standard (not progressive or web).
The Text box : contains the text with its attributes, such as font size, colour and layout.
The image box : contains an image of any size and of the following formats: bmp, jpg, or tga and png for routed images.
The sound box : contains a sound sample or a complete piece of music in "wav", "mp3" or "aif" format.
The video box : contains a digitized video sequence of the following formats: AVI, native DV, Windows Media Video (extension wmv), QuickTime (extension mov), Divx, MPEG 1, MPEG 2 or MPEG 4.
The animation box : allows to play graphical animations (example: animated logo…) of the gif, avi, tga, QuickTime, Flash (swf), URL, PowerPoint and VLC formats.
- The container box : allows databases such as Excel, rss feed, csv, xml, access, exchange calendar, connexion chain, Google calendar, iCalendar and much more to be used within the designs.
Level 2 : Pages
A page is made up of several boxes placed on a full screen background image. Each page complies with a time limit : you can choose at what point a box will appear and with what kind of effect. The total display time of a page is the sum of the time attributed to each box. Each box has a sequence number and a pausing time in order to regulate the order of appearance.
Each box has either a numerical order of display or a start and finish time for the effect : this allows you to adjust the appearance, the length of time on screen and the disappearance of each one and thus give rhythm to the sequence of the page. A page can be very simple and last only a very short moment (example : a background and a text which is posted).
It can also be very complex and last much longer : a background image with several image boxes and text boxes combined with different special effects, and maybe some video sequences following each other. Note that a page only has one background image. On the other hand, you can combine an unlimited number of types of box on this background image.
Level 3 : Designs
The complexity of a page is only limited by the readability of the layout. Just like somebody could write a whole book on only one page, by writing very small and tightened, a page could contain dozens of superimposed boxes.
As for the chapters of a book, to support the comprehension and the clarity of the message, the designs in general contain a succession of pages dealing with the same topic or subtopics : for example the designs "weather", "sport", "news", "reports", "horoscope", "magazine", "diary", etc.
Level 4 : the schedule
A schedule is a list of designs following each other. The schedule is the most complex level : just like a traditional TV programme, it displays a sequence of designs played to the public. A schedule allows two types of playouts :
- Mode one time : the scheduler plays the designs only once in the listed order.
Loop mode : the designs are played in a continuous loop. Arrived at the end of the last design of the list, the scheduler instantaneously will charge the beginning of the first design and will perpetuate a loop which will be played endlessly until the next time constraint (if it exists). The playing of designs in loop mode allows for continued playout with a restricted number of designs.
Time constraints :
In each one of these two modes, you can allot time constraints. You can thus compose the playout of each one of your designs at the time of your choice. This scheduling not only makes it possible to arrange bulks of specialized designs with well defined schedules (e.g. designs on daily life in the morning, do-it-yourself programmes in the afternoon, shows and cultural events in the evening) and to diffuse particular designs.
For example : News flashes at every hour or why not of a group of several designs at various hours of the day.