Digital Signage

What is Digital Signage?

FWi-Logo Digital Signage is an electronic display of information on a screen. After a long assessment of several digital signs, we are pleased to adopt one of the best digital signs, the FourWinds Interactive for USD.

FourWinds Interactive has powerful features we can communicate information to the community around us such as the events, wayfinding, maps, stock ticker, public safety, HR or wellness and sport and more.

If you currently have one of the digital signs previously installed at USD, you need to know that we have decommissioned the old Cisco digital signs and we have sent you emails regarding this transition. Please feel free to contact us to discuss your needs and switch from Cisco signs to FourWinds Interactive.

A television displaying digital signage.

What is Ensemble?

The Ensemble video server is the new USD hosted solution for managing and Ensemble Support
streaming multimedia content. This new enterprise solution will be 
replacing the old Helix streaming server previously used over the past 15 years as the campus solution for streaming video. Ensemble Video offers power and simplicity with an intuitive interface for delivering rich media content that can be embedded on a web site, published as a link, or securely embedded inside Blackboard.

*Licensing or storage fees may apply.

Why do I want Ensemble?

Ensemble allows you to...

  • Manage your video in one central location
  • Add video inside your Blackboard course
  • Publish a single video or a video playlist that includes multiple videos
  • Have students upload video coursework to your account for grading\
  • Publish secure non-downloadable streaming video
  • Add multimedia /PDF attachments to your videos
  • Include chapter markers and annotations for interactive viewing
  • Compress large video files into web optimized and mobile ready format

How do I get an Ensemble account (individual/department)?

To use Ensemble, fill out the request form, review and sign the Ensemble Terms of Service Agreement to acknowledge that you have read and agree with the terms of use. You are responsible for complying with all copyright policies and must agree to the terms and conditions set forth when uploading materials.

Getting Started for Organizational and Departmental Users

This information applies to the individual who is acting as a liaison on behalf of a School or a department.

Watch the Advanced USD Ensemble Video Management Tutorial

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Ensemble Help and Information

Support is available to all faculty and staff of USD. Support hours are Monday-Friday, 9am – 5pm.


What types of files can be placed on the streaming server?
You can upload in any audio or video file and the Ensemble video server will convert the file to a web ready format.

How should my video files be prepared in order to upload them to the streamer?

Each account has 5 GB of storage capacity. However you can upload larger files and through the optimization process, Ensemble compresses your final file size. By default, Ensemble creates your videos in widescreen and optimizes them for playback on desktop and mobile devices. If your file is larger than 20 gigs, you have the following options.

  1. Contact Instructional Media Services for assistance by filling out this Video Conversion Request Form
  2. You can encode the video on your own to a high quality compressed file. Just download this free software called Handbrake and use the following settings.
    • Picture Settings: 1280X720p
      Video Tab: 7000 kbps, 2 Pass Encoding, Turbo First Pass, Constant Frame Rate, Web Optimized 
      Audio Tab: 192 kbps, Stereo, 48k

How long should I expect the upload process to take?
We highly recommend uploading using the on-campus network so your video can be uploaded in a few minutes. Otherwise, your video could take much longer to upload. When uploading your video, make sure the progress bar reaches 100% before selecting "Save & Continue" below the media.

Who will be able to access my materials on the streaming server?
You can restrict access to only have the viewed be viewed inside a Blackboard account, or you can send out a link to the video. The links are not searchable and URL’s do not contain stream titles so it would be rare for somebody to come across the link.

How can I add streaming media to my Blackboard class?
Once your video is published, just click on the video in the Media Library and you will be given the html code to publish inside your Blackboard course. You can also select multiple videos inside a playlist so you can send one link to multiple videos.

Who can I contact if I need more help or require training with Ensemble?
Please email and provide as many details as possible in your email.

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  • Digital Signage Benefits
  • Why the change?
  • Why we have decided to switch the signage technology at USD?
  • How Does it Impact You?
  • How Do I Get More Information?
  • Licensing and Cost
  • Links to external support/instructions
  • Estimates for your budgetary purpose