Rise Vision


During the Fall 2013 semester, members from various units within the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) undertook a research project to identify a digital signage solution.

Our team’s vision was to identify a product that:

  • Is easy to learn and use
  • Has enterprise level support options
  • Can be installed on a variety of hardware/operating system (OS) platforms (including low powered Raspberry Pi devices)
  • Has rich support for a variety of media formats and features
  • Is cost effective to deploy

Our team, after researching and testing various systems, unanimously decided on a product provided by Rise Vision. The Rise Vision product met our team’s vision on all fronts and also provides some advanced features (detailed later).

Upon moving into Davis Hall in the Spring of 2012, SEAS end users were handed a digital signage solution based on Visix. While there are many positive qualities to this service, it failed to fully implement our vision of what a digital signage service should offer.

Overview of Functions and Features

Rise provides granular control over the periodic scheduling of content on multiple displays. Content can be broken down into sub sections each with their own playlists.

Supported Media

Rise Vision can render many types of media including most video and picture formats, videos from YouTube, embedded web pages, etc…

Rise also provides an advanced plugin functionality know as a “gadgets”. These gadgets provide functionality such as Twitter and RSS feeds, maps, clocks, etc…

Premium gadgets are available at cost for things like financial tickers and charts, headline news feeds, sports scores and weather.

Users have the ability to program their own custom gadgets.

Advanced Features

In addition to the media types already mentioned Rise Vision provide support and an Application Programming Interface (API) for user to create their own gadgets. Some of these advanced gadgets provide functionality.

Architecture Overview

Hosting of the management software is provided for free by Rise Vision. This is advantageous because it is one less service that needs to be internally hosted and managed by SEAS technical staff.

A media distribution server is currently implemented as a virtual machine (VM) running on Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) infrastructure to provide hosting and staging of the actual media files (pictures, videos, etc…) that channel players will display. With this configuration, SEAS intellectual property and materials are only stored on SEAS managed servers, subject to SEAS internal security, privacy and disaster recovery policies. This model also provides greater speed as both the channel player and media server components are on the same internal SEAS networks; inaccessible to the outside world.

While physical deployments for each display added to the SEAS digital signage system may vary (based mainly on physical structural constraints) we should strive to have each channel player attached to a firewalled network. The University provided network for supervisory control and data acquisition devices (SCADA) is inadequate for this need, as the channel players need to be able to talk to the outside world. Currently the Davis Hall channel players will be connected to a special CSE network meant for “management devices” such as printer interfaces, monitoring and control mechanisms and Internet based cameras.

Supported Clients

The Rise client software is essentially an html-5 compliant web browser using native OS browser plugins to render digital media. There is no need for additional plugins or .net constructs. This gives end users a lot of flexibility to one’s choice of platform.>

Native player software clients are available for Windows and Linux OSs. Chrome and Raspberry Pi versions are available in beta versions. Because of the availability of a Linux client, user community support has also extended the client to work with Apple hardware.

Windows and Linux clients can run on commodity hardware such a Dell or HP. This is advantageous in that SEAS can purchase UB2020 model Dell PCs, complete with support, and install its own tried and true OS images.

Rise Vision has a value added partner, Rise Display, which sells pre-configured channel player hardware and support contracts. The pre-configured channel players include a 90 day warranty and support.

Licensing and Cost Models

The baseline software cost for moving to Rise Display is $0.00. It is free to add new displays to the system and begin creating presentations.

Costs for additional (not required) software features are then incremental. This include things like:

  • Priority support (per display, per month) - $20.00
  • Priority support (flat rate) - $200.00 per month for all displays covered under the SEAS account.
  • Hourly support (per hour) - $150.00.
  • Premium media “Gadgets” (per display, per month) -$2.00 - $10.00 depending on gadget.

Hardware costs will vary depending on the specifications of the channel player hardware and display selection. There is no reason for the channel player hardware to exceed what a typical desktop computer would cost. Care should be given to select a display that can handle the rigors of an academic environment with a high duty cycle. In most cases, consumer grade display models are inadequate in terms of parts used and warranty protections.

Deployment cost estimates should also take into account any cabling that needs to be purchased or facilities related fees such as installation of wall mounts, power receptacles and/or networking connections.

Customer Support

Rise Vision’s value added partner, Rise Display, provides support. This is a common arrangement for Open Source platforms that slowly become commercialized. This way, the core of the product can remain free, but developers and support staff can generate some revenue for things like advanced functionality and extended support.

Priority support is available at cost. This entitles licensees access to the Rise Display help desk for questions and remote support assistance. Support hours are 8:30am and 6pm Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, holidays excluded. Premium Care extends the warranty on all Rise provided hardware up to 3 years.

Hourly support is also available on an as needed basis but priority in the queue is given to Priority Support customers first.

Questions can also be asked for free on the Rise user community forum; however, there is no guarantee on a response time.


  1. http://www.risevision.com/


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