Thanks to its well-designed interface, TV Tools is very easy to use. This manual should help you only in using TV Tools. However, if you need to work with programmes other than TV Tools, you should consult the user manuals of these applications
Nevertheless here are some useful general tips :
Caution : Never switch off your PC directly. You should first quit all programmes you have started and then leave the system using the "shutdown" function in the start menu of the taskbar.
The layout of the pages should respect criteria, such as non-saturated colours, not too much colour contrast and association of colours. Example: Yellow text on white background may be difficult to read on a TV. In the same way, avoid using a red highly saturated colour, which risks dribbling on the screen.
Make sure that, while you compose your layout, your PC screen is as close as 50 centimetres away from you. On the other side however, spectators will in general place their TV 3 meters away. Consequently, too small characters (below a character size of 18 points) or images with tiny little details are thus proscribed.
Pages should last long enough to be read, but not too long as this would weary the spectator. The duration should be adapted to the text content. The duration should be short if there is little text (between 2 to 5 seconds for a simple title) and should last longer for higher text volume (10, 20, 30 seconds). To obtain a good balance for the display duration, you should read the text in a low voice and possibly time it.
Images (background and textures) should be checked on a TV set rather than on your PC screen, which is often misleading on the final result according to the following two criteria :
No clear and contrasted images: Scintillation problem du to the video interlaces. A TV set displays the even lines first and then the odd lines of an image - doing so 50 times a second. If the image has too much contrast, you can see an undesirable scintillation effect.
No text or important details on the border of the screen. A TV set does not display the whole image you see on the PC screen of the TV Tools designer. The borders of the image are always slightly truncated. As a reference mark, use the Overscan grid from the toolbar.
Generally you should always check the playout of your designs in the designer before transmitting them to the player. If you notice that a design always hangs on the same page, erase this page and recheck the functionality of the design. After this you can recreate that faulty page and check if the elements used on that page are still present on your disk and have the right format.
Strictly respect the formats the different types of files, used in your design, should be saved in. For example : Use images in RVB, not in CMJN. For background boxes use jpeg images in "standard" mode, not in "optimised mode".
Make sure you save the different files in the correct folders of TV Tools. Images in the "images" folder, backgrounds in the "fonds" folders, videos in the "videos" folder (Note : in general most stations use a separate disk for videos), etc...
Should your system hang, first reboot your computer. If your player hangs during a transfer, restart the workstations and start the transfer of the schedule again. This simple procedure often resolves minor problems.
For reasons of clarity and easiness, your designs should not contain too many pages. Use a logical way to split up your designs by themes and common contents.
Check the display settings of your graphics card (click right mouse button on your windows desktop - select properties - in Display Properties select settings). For a general use of TV Tools you should use 16 or 32 bits colours and a minimum screen resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels. If you start TV Tools with display settings of 800 x 600 pixels, you will only see part of the main designer screen. This should alert you.
Make a backup copy of your schedule or schedules which are small files (a few kb) anyway. Do the same with your main designs.
Before sending your schedule to the player, check that the player is activated. Even when there is no "schedule" file on the player, it will display a 'mire'.
Name your schedule file as stipulated in the manual under the following formats: schedule.ghr (for the default schedule), monday.ghr (for example for a day of the week), 01/01/08 (for a date). Any other formula will not be recognised by the player