Do you want to run multiple screens with digital signage players at one location? The Garlic — Digital Signage Proxy allows you to use your internet connection in an efficient and resource-saving way. Read here how it works. You can also download the software and try it out.
What does a Proxy do?
A proxy server acts as a network cache and accepts requests from a web browser. The proxy software checks if the request had already been made in the past. If it has, the proxy responds to it itself. Otherwise, it forwards the request to the web server, receives the result and stores it. Internet providers often use their proxies to save traffic. In addition, proxy servers increase security because they hide the Internet addresses of the requestors from the receiving web server.
When do you need a Digital Signage Proxy?
Multiple media players share one Internet connection.
You update content only at certain times, but your players do not support this.
You require more control over the downloaded content.
You want to prevent devices from connecting directly to the Internet for security reasons.
You use a transfer protocol that your players do not support, e.g. FTPS, SFTP.
Software Development based on Practical Experience
In November 2018, we received a request with the following requirement profile: The inquiring company planned to operate dozens of media players in consumer electronics retailer and supermarkets with a weak internet connection. The devices should play identical as well as different content. As a solution, the open-source software Garlic-Proxy arose.
How does a Digital Signage Proxy work?
The principle is relatively simple. The media players do not connect to the digital signage CMS on the Internet as usual, but instead to the proxy server on the intranet. The Garlic proxy connects to the CMS on a time-controlled basis and retrieves the necessary content. Once downloaded, the intranet players update themselves based on what the proxy prepares for them.
By the way, this procedure is called reverse proxy. There is no difference for device and content management.
Features of Garlic-Proxy
Compatible to all current SMIL-Player
Automatic integrating media players
Media player transparently managed on CMS
Centralized time-controlled download and distribution to the internal network
The Garlic proxy is compatible with all current SMIL players (as of December 2021).
Automatic Media Player Integration
As soon as a media player logs in to the Garlic proxy, it is automatically included. In this case, you connect the players using the proxy's address as the content URL. The devices update by default depending on the set time. The registration to the CMS as well as the downloads from the Internet are handled by the proxy software.
Transparent Management with CMS
Since the Garlic proxy works transparently, the CMS does not register any differences. You use the internal inaccessible players normally in your device and content management. Just as if they were directly connected. Our software acts as an intermediate interface to your intranet.
Central Scheduled Downloads
You decide at what times, and how often, your digital signage content updates. Would you prefer to update at night, in the evening, at noon, or at multiple times of the day? Furthermore, downloads from the Internet take place centrally in one place. This simplifies control and administration with firewalls, port forwarding and packet filters.
Are you using the same files with different names for logistical or security reasons? With our SmilControl-CMS or other compatible CMS ,this is no problem. The software recognizes the files reliably and downloads them only once. A standard proxy can't differentiate in this case — the Garlic-Proxy can! This helps to save massive bandwidth and resources.
Do you want to refresh a screen immediately without waiting for the automatism? The Garlic proxy has a web GUI that lets you request the operation manually.
Download and System Requirements
You download the Garlic-Proxy as typical open-source software from Github. All you need to operate it is a web server that executes PHP scripts. You do not need a database.
Since the hardware requirements are low, even an inexpensive mini-computer like the Raspberry Pi can serve dozens of digital signage players. If you want further information or professional support, contact us.
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