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Below is a list of abbreviations, technologies and concepts commonly referred to in the field of Digital Signage.


Digital Signage Software

DISE Digital Signage Suite is a unified design and distribution environment that combines the latest versions of DISE professional digital signage software, DISE Composer, DISE Bridge and DISE Replay with additional add-ons.


DISE is an acronym for Display Evolution.


DISE Pro allows for setups with multiple players and distribution through DISE Bridge.

DISE Cloud

DISE Cloud also covers statistics, monitoring, installation and control of players, managed in a web interface.

DISE Composer

DISE Composer is a powerful and easy to use timeline based editor for digital media and digital signage applications. With Composer you create DISE movies that can be played directly from the application, by a separate player or sent to remote players.

DISE Replay

DISE Replay delivers reliable playback of broadcast quality graphics in any display application such as digital signage or cable TV playout. DISE movies created in DISE Composer or Display Schemes assembled in DISE Bridge are dynamically played in real time.

DISE Bridge

DISE Bridge takes care of the work of distributing content to your local or remote digital signage players. With DISE Bridge you can create and schedule multilayered playlists, so called channels. Content is distributed using FTP over Internet, or LAN.

DISE Probe

DISE Probe is located on your player and is responsible of downloading content and ensuring that the content located on the player is kept up to date.

DISE Probe can download content from a network (or local) path or from an FTP server, before downloading the files it will compare the files with the files located on disk to make sure that it will not download files that has been downloaded on an earlier occasion.

DISE Server

In a DISE Cloud system, DISE Server takes care of all communication with players, as well as providing a web interface.

DISE Broadcaster

Encode and stream the graphic signal over UDP/RTP multicast.

Synchronized Playback, NoBorders

DISE NoBorders is a feature of the DISE system providing excellent broadcast quality synchronized play out of presentations utilizing multiple player computers and creating large multi screen canvases. This enables content to be designed for multi screen play out in better than HD resolution without limits including multi screen effects.

Screen Technologies


Liquid Crystal Display. One of the most common technology for digital signage purposes. LCD screens has excellent performance and are quite cheap to purchase.

Info.png Read more: LCD television - Wikipedia


Plasma display panel (PDP) is the main competitor of the LCD screens. Plasma displays equals LCD displays in quality and performance. There are however some differences between the technologies. Recent events shows that the market is moving more toward the LCD screens instead.

Info.png Read more: Plasma display - Wikipedia


Projectors display the image through a lens system on to a screen.

  • DLP - Digital Light Processing. Single chip systems use a rotating color wheel and a light source which produces the image. The use of a color wheel (specially on the older projectors) can produce a irritating rainbow effect on the screen. Three-chip systems which use one chip per color does not suffer from this problem.
  • LCD - Liquid Crystal Display. The light goes through a transparent LCD panel which in turn gets projected on to the screen.
  • CRT - Catode Ray Tube. Works like a normal CRT TV but instead the image gets projected on to a large screen.
  • Back Projection - This technology can use any of the above projection systems (and now even LASERs). Instead of the image being projected on to a screen it is projected from behind the screen which is of a white translucent plastic material.


Catode Ray Tube. Older technology used for television, computer and informational displays.

Info.png Read more: Cathode ray tube - Wikipedia


Light Emitting Diode. Used in large outdoor display systems for video and informational purposes.

Video connectors

To extend the cables defined here beyond its limits it is possible to use special cable extenders.


Digital Visual Interface. Used for connecting display equipment such as LCD panels and projectors. DVI can have both digital and analog video signals.

Variants of DVI:

DVI-D Digital only (compatible with HDMI)
DVI-A Analog only (compatible with VGA)
DVI-I Both digital and analog
M1-DA Digital, analog and USB

DVI-D has two modes. Single Link and Dual Link. In Dual Link mode it is possible to use higher resolutions.

Lightbulb.png Note: A DVI-I connector will not fit in to a DVI-D socket.

The official maximum cable length is 5 meters (16 feet). However in reality the maximum length depends on the quality of the equipment used. For example the quality of the cable, the transmit power of the graphics card and the ability of the display equipment to detect the signals. Normally cables of 9 to 10 meters can be used. For longer distances consider using a powered DVI extender or use VGA or HDMI.


Video Graphics Array. Used for connecting analog computer display equipment. Nowadays mostly replaced by DVI.

The maximum cable length depends on the resolution and refresh rate used. Higher resolutions is more demanding in terms of cable and equipment quality. Normally you should avoid lengths above 15 meters. If the image is blurry and has shadows try a shorter or more high quality cable.


High Definition Multimedia Interface. Digital autio and video interface. Normally used with consumer grade equipment.

The maximum cable length is not defined in the standard but high quality (category 2) cables of 15 meters (49 feet) should not be a problem. For longer lengths it is possible to use active HDMI cables for cable lengths of up to 30 meters (98 feet).


A digital display interface created by Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA). It supports more colors (16 bit per channel) than DVI/HDMI and apart from RGB also supports YCbCr video.


Unified Display Interface. A digital display interface based on DVI. Mainly used as a low-cost alternative to DVI/HDMI. Right now UDI seems to be a dead format.


Normal standard definition (PAL: 720x576, NTSC: 720x480).

In the Digital Signage area, normally used to transmit video into a analog CCTV network.

The maximum cable length is not defined in the standards but it professional equipment is used and the cables and connectors are correctly terminated (75 Ohm), cable lengths of over 100 meters should not be a problem. With consumer electronics however things can be more of a challenge. In those cases you have to try different lengths to see what works. Normally keep the cable lengths under 10 meters.


Serial Digital Interface. Digital video transmission format mainly used in professional video broadcast equipment.

SDI cables can be up to 300 m if high quality equipment are used.


FTP Server

A computer connected to the internet which stores all the content files during distribution. Using an FTP server is the most common way to distribute files, but it is not necessary if all your players are connected within the same network.

Info.png Read more: File Transfer Protocol - Wikipedia


Transmission Control Protocol. One of the most common IP protocols used today. Data transferred with TCP is guaranteed to be correct (no bytes lost and all data in correct order).

Info.png Read more: Transmission Control Protocol - Wikipedia


User Datagram Protocol. UDP is a lightweight data transfer protocol which does not require the communicating parts to "connect" to each other prior to sending data. Because of the simple nature of the protocol no checks are performed to ensure that the data is correct or in the right order.

Info.png Read more: User Datagram Protocol - Wikipedia


Data packets that are broadcasted on the network is sent to all computers/devices within the same subnet. Normally this is done by sending UDP packets to the broadcast address. Ex: is the network is


Multicast is similar to broadcast but instead of only sending data to all computers in the same subnet it is possible to send data to multiple subnets. For this to work all network equipment (routers, switches) in the network must support multicast and be correctly set up.

A network device can subscribe to a multicast stream by sending IGMP messages on to the network.

Serial communication

There are many types of serial communication standards. The most common variants are RS-232, RS-423 and RS-485.

Serial connections together with digital signage is mostly about detecting hardware signals from screens and other external equipment such as emergency signals, vehicle status and control panels.

Application Protocols


File Transfer Protocol. A common protocol to transfer files between computers on a network.

Info.png Read more: File Transfer Protocol - Wikipedia


Hypertext Transfer Protocol. This is the protocol used to transfer web pages on the Internet. It can also be used for many other purposes such as SOAP, file transfers, WebDav, etc. HTTPS is a secure version of the protocol where the data transfer is encrypted and verified by a server certificate.

Info.png Read more: Hypertext Transfer Protocol - Wikipedia


Microsoft Media Server. A common protocol to stream media over a network.

Info.png Read more: Microsoft_Media_Server - Wikipedia

Computer Graphics

Capture device

Hardware that might be installed in the players to receive video, for example from a camera or a live TV broadcast.


A multimedia framework used in Microsoft Windows. It can be used for most multimedia record and playback purposes.

Info.png Read more: Direct Show - Wikipedia


A multimedia application programming interface used in Microsoft Windows. It allows the use of accelerated graphics and audio in the Windows enviroment.

Info.png Read more: DirectX - Wikipedia


A part of the DirectX API by Microsoft which is responsible for 3D and 2D accelerated graphics.

Info.png Read more: Direct3D - Wikipedia

Alpha channels

An alpha channel can be used to composite an image on to another image. The alpha channel describes what parts of the image that should be transparent.

Info.png Read more: Alpha channel - Wikipedia


A color space (color model) taking human perception into account.

Info.png Read more: YUV - Wikipedia

Aspect ratio

The proportion between the width and height of an image or screen.

Info.png Read more: Aspect_ratio_(image) - Wikipedia


A smooth blend between colors.

Info.png Read more: Image gradient - Wikipedia



Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. Defines a group of techniques mostly used in interactive web pages.

Info.png Read more: AJAX - Wikipedia


The latest revision to the HTML language, addressing the need for native support for content such as video. This is particularly useful for a signage player - DISE HTML5 Player is a native HTML5 player with support for DISE Movies, images, videos, movements, transitions and more!


Really Simple Syndication. A web feed format used to publish news, weather information and other frequently updated data sources.

Info.png Read more: RSS - Wikipedia

Info.png Read more: Creating an RSS News Ticker

SOAP, Web Services

Simple Object Access Protocol. A protocol for exchanging information between computer systems. It uses XML as the message format and normally uses HTTP as the transfer protocol.

Info.png Read more: SOAP - Wikipedia


Extensible Markup Language. A markup language that is distantly related to HTML. XML can be used to define a collection of data. For example data from a database a news feed or other kinds of information.



A popular open source relational database system.

Info.png Read more: MySQL - Wikipedia

MSSQL, Microsoft SQL Server

A relational database server from Microsoft.

Info.png Read more: MSSQL - Wikipedia


A high performance and free open source relational database system.

Info.png Read more: PostgreSQL - Wikipedia


Small and embeddable SQL database.

Info.png Read more: SQLite - Wikipedia


Open Database Connectivity. Standard application programming interface for connecting to different database systems.

Info.png Read more: ODBC - Wikipedia

Media file formats

MP3, MP2

MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3/2. Lossy audio encoding formats.

Info.png Read more: MP3 - Wikipedia

Mp3 is typically used for digital music. MP2 is seldom seen, but is used in DAB radio and DVB television transmissions.

Ogg, Vorbis, Theora

Free technologies developed by Xiph.Org Foundation.

  • Theora - The video codec is call Theora. It is a derivate from the VP3 codec by On2 Technologies. It can be used in any suitable container but is generally contained using Ogg. The video quality is compareable to Mpeg4 or WMV.
  • Vorbis - The audio format is called Vorbis and is a Mp3 replcaement. The audio quality is normally equal or better than Mp3 or WMV at the same bitrate.
  • Ogg - The container format used to house Vorbis audio and Theora video.


Media technologies from Microsoft.

  • Windows Media Video - Video codec based on Mpeg-4. There are several versions of the codec (WMV7, WMV8, WMV9, VC-1). Newer versions have more features and better image quality.

Info.png Read more: Windows Media Video - Wikipedia

  • Windows Media Audio - Audio codec. Comparable to Mp3 and Vorbis.

Info.png Read more: Windows Media Audio - Wikipedia

  • Windows Metafile Format - Graphics file format that may contain both vector and bitmap graphics.

Info.png Read more: Windows Metafile - Wikipedia

  • Advanced Streaming Format - The container format that is used to house WMA and WMV data.

Info.png Read more: Advanced Systems Format - Wikipedia

QuickTime, QT, MOV

QuickTime is a multimedia framework developed by Apple. It can handle many types of media (video, audio, images).

There are several different audio, image and video codecs available in the software. The video quality is normally very high.

Info.png Read more: Quicktime - Wikipedia


Video Object. VOB is a container format used on DVD-disks and is based on the MPEG2 program stream format. All players which can play MPEG2 files should be able to play VOB files. Yo may have to rename the files to .mpg.

Info.png Read more: VOB - Wikipedia


Video standard with quality comparable to VHS.

Info.png Read more: MPEG-1 - Wikipedia


Video standard with high quality at higher bit rates. Widely used for DVD-Video and digital television broadcasts.

Info.png Read more: MPEG-2 - Wikipedia

MPEG 4, H.264

Collection of video standards with high quality at medium to low bit rates. Widely used for all kinds of high quality computer video graphics.

Info.png Read more: MPEG-4 - Wikipedia


  • JPEG - The most common format for digital images. The file sizes are usually smaller than most other formats (depending on the image content).
  • M-JPEG - Moving JPEG. Video format where all the individual frames are compressed with JPEG.

JPEG 2000

Conceived as a modern replacement of JPEG. But is not so common so far.

Info.png Read more: JPEG 2000 - Wikipedia


Portable Network Graphics. A lossless bitmap format that is very common on the Internet. It was created as a free (and better) replacement for GIF. PNG support 32 bit graphics (with alpha channel).

Info.png Read more: PNG - Wikipedia


Graphics Interchange Format. An older lossless bitmap format. Limited to 8 bit graphics.

Info.png Read more: GIF - Wikipedia


Windows and OS/2 file format used for lossless bitmap graphics. Supports up to 32 bits per pixel.

Info.png Read more: BMP - Wikipedia


The native file format for Photoshop.

TGA / Targa

Older bitmap graphics format. Supports 32 bit graphics.

Info.png Read more: TGA - Wikipedia


Tagged Image File Format. Common bitmap format for lossless storing of graphics and photographs. Supports 32 bit graphics.

Info.png Read more: TIFF - Wikipedia


Lossless Microsoft audio file format. Mainly used for short sound effects and high quality audio recordings.

Info.png Read more: WAV - Wikipedia

DISE-specific terms


An optional functionality in DISE Server, for instance hardware monitoring/control or ad campaigns. Add-ons are licensed per network.


A container for DISE Movies that DISE Replay can display simultaneously with, but independently from, other channels.

Channels may be layered on top of each other and scheduled to play only in certain conditions.


Everything that is going to be played on the displays. Video files, images, texts etc.

Data Connection

Many objects can be connected to external data sources. This is done with the help of Data connections. The data connection specifies where the required data is and how it is going to be formatted. A common example of a data connection is to connect the Ticker to a live RSS news feed.


All the files that are needed in order to display a DISE Movie, for example videos, flash files, images etc.

The file extension for a dependencies file is ".dependencies".


A distribution point which may be located on an FTP server or a shared network folder. A destination is defined in DISE Bridge.

It acts as a source of data for one or more players.

DISE Movie

When you create content in the Composer, you will end up with one or more DISE movies. A DISE Movie is a top-level container which consists of one or more scenes.

The file extension for a DISE Movie is ".disemovie".

Display Scheme

A description of how DISE Replay should display content. It includes definitions of channels, scheduling, and multi-screen setup.

The file extension for display schemes is ".displayscheme".

Dynamic Content

Content that change during playback. This can be “live” web pages, Images retrieved from Internet during display, or something as easy as the current date and time. See also #Data Connection.

External scene

An external scene is a scene that resides in an own file, instead of in the DISE Movie. External scenes are useful if you want to show the same scene several times in a movie. If you make that scene external, you will only need to change the scene once, and it will be changed in all the places it appears.

File Browser

A tool located on a tab to the left in both Composer and Bridge. It allows you to browse through your files on the hard drive and easily select and use them with drag-and-drop.


A file structure to help organize your files. You don’t need to use the library, but it is a good help, especially if you are managing several projects from the same computer. The library can be found on a tab to the left in the Composer.


Often used as the name for the computer at a central location, where DISE Composer and/or DISE Bridge are installed. A manager is required DISE Pro but optional in DISE Cloud.


In a DISE NoBorders system, one of the players is appointed master and sends out a synchronization message that the other players pick up on.


Movements can be added to any object. There are many types of movements, such as rotations and zooms, in and out movements etc. Movements can be combined to create very complex movement patterns for your objects

An object may have single or multiple movements, that may be saved to a file and later drag-and-dropped onto other objects.

The file extension for preset movements is ".disemoves".


A network is a section of a DISE Server with its own users, players, playlists, and content. Networks may be used to make compartments for different customers on the same server.

Object Properties

Some of the properties for objects in DISE can be set on any object. Timing, angle, position and transparency for example. All these "common" properties are collected on an easy-to-use palette called Object Properties.


The individual items on a scene. Each object can have a multitude of different properties. Examples of objects are Videos, Images, Texts, Web Pages, Flash and Shapes.

Output Device

The hardware where you want to display your content. DISE lets you specify almost anything you want. You can select which graphics card, which output and which resolution you want


An object may follow a path (a sequence of points), that may be saved to a file and later drag-and-dropped onto other objects.

The file extension for preset paths is ".disepath".


Most often used for a device that displays output on screens. It can be a PC, in which case DISE Probe and DISE Replay are typically installed, or an Xpress device. In DISE Server, and in its web interface, a player is a representation of a physical device, loosely connected, and can found in the Players section.


A sequence of images, videos or DISE Movies. In DISE Pro, playlist are managed via DISE Bridge. In DISE Cloud, playlist are created in the DISE Server web interface.


Many of the objects in DISE have their own dialogs with preview windows. In the preview you can directly see how the different settings will affect your object.


Settings, objects or groups of objects with complex settings can be saved as presets in the library. When you want to use them again, just locate them in the library and drag them onto the scene.

The file extension for presets is ".disepreset".


If you manage more than one display network, you can divide your work into different projects. Each project can have its own library and settings. A project may be connected to a network on DISE Server.

Remote Control

A means to control the behaviour of DISE products by sending multicast messages.


Some of the more complex content in DISE requires its own engines to run in the background so that playback will be as smooth as possible. Content that is processed by these engines is called resources and there are currently four types: Video, Image, Web and Flash.


A DISE Movie is divided into sections called Scenes. Each scene has its own timeline and objects. The scene contains information about objects' properties and times. Scenes may be ordered, scheduled and imported/exported.

The file extension for exported scenes is ".disescene".


A set of rules that define when the content should be displayed. The most common is date and/or time, but more complex scheduling is also possible, for example scheduling on location and with file logic.


DISE Server is the central administration point for a DISE Cloud system, accessible via a web interface. Server may be installed locally or be offered as a hosted solution.


In a DISE NoBorders system, a player is a slave when relying on the synchronization message sent out by the master player.


Feature that makes sure no player in a distributed system falls behind. Synchronization is a vital part in a DISE NoBorders system. Achieved by relaying network messages from an appointed master player to slave players.


Create a new DISE Movie from a predefined stencil, with editable fields.


In between scenes in a DISE Movie there can be effects called transitions. DISE is capable of playing the transitions at the same time as something is playing on the scenes. It is for example possible to play a movie on scene 1 and another movie on scene 2 and make a transition between them while both the movies are playing.

The file extension for transitions is ".disetransition".


A scrolling text. The ticker is often used to display news or other dynamic information on top of more common information


A special tool located at the bottom in the Composer, which lets you specify timing of the objects in an easy way.

Time lock

The timing of objects can be locked to each other. You can for example specify that one object should start 5 seconds before another ends. Time locks are very powerful when the content is dynamic so you don’t know the exact timing at the time you edit the DISE Movie.


A common name for a miniature. DISE often uses thumbnails to illustrate which object, scene or DISE Movie that are selected. A thumbnail often gives better information that a filename or text.

Video stream

A video stream is a video that is distributed "live" over the network, in opposite of videos that are saved as files on your hard drive.