Putting a twist on digital signage with portrait displays

We are all so used to TV screens being wider than they are taller. The TV is seen as a cinema screen in our homes, and when we use those same TVs for signage, we often place them in the same format – widescreen.

A screen in portrait format at Portsmouth College

Our brains have become conditioned to this way of seeing screens, so it draws our attention when we come across one in portrait orientation. As digital signage managers, we can use this fascination to our advantage and capture the attention of our audience with a portrait screen.

How do I install a screen on its side?

TV display screens all have a set of mounting screw holes on the reverse. All manufacturers use an identical layout for the holes. VESA is the name of the standard, and usually, you’ll see 200×200 VESA on a TV specification which means 200mm between each mounting hole. On smaller screens, they may be 100×100 VESA. Using a mounting plate and bracket, you can fix the screen in either landscape or portrait orientation. Most mounts available online will allow for rotation, but check before you purchase.

What about my digital signage software?

Any digital signage software worth considering will support screen rotation, meaning you can rotate the screen and have settings to adjust the display through the software.
In TrilbyTV, we support 90, 180 and 270 rotation, meaning you can rotate to suit the installation requirements of your particular setting.

Animation showing the selection of the rotation drop down menu

Making good looking portrait signage content

Getting the screen up on the wall and selecting suitable software is just the first part of the process. Making appropriate content for a screen on its side can look like a challenge. TrilbyTV makes it simple, and we’ve built the platform with portrait in mind.

TrilbyTV support

We made TrilbyTV smart with content regardless of the format you make it in and wherever you upload from.
With Slideshows, when you add content, we scale to fit the longest side. So if you add a collection of images taken on a phone in portrait mode, we will always display them as large as possible. Most phones don’t take photos in a widescreen format by default. If you set your phone to 16:9 (9:16 when you rotate), you’ll get adorable screen-filling images for your signage screens in a TrilbyTV slideshow. It’s the same with video captured in portrait mode.

Our Title Slides feature also makes content to suit portrait and landscape screens. The content will dynamically adjust so you can share to multiple displays. Web Content, Twitter feeds, and Instagram added via TrilbyTV will also fill a portrait screen and look beautiful.

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PowerPoint/Keynote/Google Slides

You can use your regular slide generation applications to make portrait content with some document preparation before you start.
In Keynote, choose a widescreen slide template to start, then from the Document inspector, choose Custom Slide Size and switch the numbers around to 1080 wide and 1920 high.
In PowerPoint, make a new presentation and switch to the Design ribbon. Click Slide Size and choose Page Set-up. Then set the width to 14.29cm and Height to 25.4cm.
In Google Slides, with a new slideshow, choose Page Set-up from the File menu. Pick Custom and enter 25.4 x 14.29 as the slide size.

The google Slides settings for creating a portrait format slide

For more ideas on creating Portrait content, check out our previous blog post on Tools to create Portrait content.

We hope this brief guide has interested you in installing a portrait screen and given you some ideas on making content with the tools you already have to hand. TrilbyTV makes it easy to get your portrait screen set up and content playing quickly. Book a demo and we can help you set this up.

*Top image taken by Chris Wood from Portsmouth College.

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