Initial Cortex and Ad Serving Setup

Getting Started

This article explains how to set up the cortex software on a device and deliver a programmatic campaign through the Vistar ad server. Let's get started by ensuring the following requirements and prerequisites are met. 

Hardware and software requirements
  • Minimum memory: 2 GB (4+ recommended). Minimum storage: 10 GB.
  • Supported operating systems: Win 7/10, Linux x64 (any distribution), ChromeOS 71, or WebOS Signage 3.0/3.2 (supported WebOS models: 43SM5KE-BJ, 43SM5KD-BH, 43SM5C-BF)
Prerequisites

If you do not have access to the trafficking dashboard, Fleet, or both, please reach out to support@vistarmedia.com.

Staging Trafficking Dashboard Setup

In order to deliver content from the ad server, you must complete the following steps in the staging trafficking dashboard:

1. Set up a new venue
  1. Log into the staging trafficking dashboard.
  2. To add a new venue, click Networks in the side navigation bar, then select the network from the Networks table.
  3. Click Add Venue and enter your venue's information.
    If you don't have your own data, you can use the below mock inputs to get started:
    • Venue ID: TestVenue
    • Name: TestVenue
    • Venue Type: Outdoor|Urban Panels
    • Screens: 1
    • Impressions per spot: 1
    • Latitude: 40.7128
    • Longitude: -74.0060
    • Activation Date: 01/01/2022
    • Exchange enabled: Checked
    • Direct enabled: Checked
  4. Click Save. The venue is added to the network and appears in the Venues table.
2. Create a test order
  1. To create a new order, click Ad Serving, then click +Order and enter the following information:
    • Schedule type: Flexible
    • Name: Test Order
    • Advertiser: Choose any available advertiser in the dashboard
  2. Click Save. The order detail view appears. 
  3. To create a new line item, click +Line Item and enter the following information:
    • Line item name: Test Line Item
    • Priority: House
    • Goal: 100,000,000,000 impressions
    • CPM: $0.00
  4. Click Next: Add Targeting, then click Save.
  5. To reserve the order, click Ad Serving in the side navigation bar, then select the order name in the table with a status of Open.
  6. Click Reserve in the top-right corner. The Confirm Reservation modal appears. Click Reserve to confirm.
  7. Click Review & Book to book the order. The Review & Book modal appears. Click Book. The status of the order updates to Booked.
  8. Click Launch in the top-right corner. The Launch Confirmation modal appears. Click Yes, Launch. The order detail view appears.
  9. To upload a creative, click the Creatives tab, then click Add Creatives. Click Next, then click Browse Files to upload an image, video, or SWF file.
    • Choose a creative with a resolution that matches your test venue. For static creatives, enter 15 for Duration.
    • Choose 401(K)s for Category.
  10. Click Add Creatives. Select the checkbox next to one or more creatives, then click Associate with… The Pick Line Items modal appears.
  11. Select the checkbox next to Test Line Item and click Save. 
  12. To activate your line item, click the Line Items tab and select the checkbox next to Test Line Item. Click the Actions drop-down list and click Activate.
    • Click Confirm to close any warnings.
  13. Click on Test Line Item. Uncheck Even Pace, then click Save.

Fleet Setup

In order to connect the Cortex software on a device to the Vistar ad server, you must use the UAS application. Complete the following steps to enable campaign delivery:

3. Create a network and strategy
  1. Log into the Fleet Dashboard.
  2. To create a new network in Fleet, click Networks, then click New in the side navigation bar.
  3. Enter the network name in the Network field. Use the identical network name that is in the trafficking dashboard. Click Create
  4. To create a new strategy and add an application, click Strategies in the side navigation bar, then click New.
  5. Enter a name in the Strategy Name field. Click +Add to Strategy in the Main Loop section.
  6. Click the Applications tab, then click +Add next to Vistar Media UAS.
  7. Click Close to exit the modal, then click Save.
  8. Click Networks, then click your network's name. Click ⚙Configure, then click Update parameters.
  9. Click Vistar Media UAS. Enter the API Key and Network ID.
  10. In the bottom-right, click Update.  
4. Install Cortex
  1. Install Cortex on a Windows, Linux, ChromeOS, or LG WebOS TV device. 
    • After you successfully install the Cortex player, a registration code appears on your device. The six letter code displayed at the center of your device screen is the registration code for this player.
  2. To manually register the device, click Devices in the side navigation bar, then click New. Enter the following information:
    • Registration code: The six letter code displayed at the center of your device screen.
    • Network: Click the network drop-down list and select your network.
    • Device name: Enter the venue name you used when creating a venue in the trafficking dashboard.
  3. Click Register. A message appears to confirm that your device was registered and is now included in the device list in Fleet. Your device screen indicates that the player is now registered.

Now that the device is registered, you need to set device level parameters and deploy a strategy to the device. The UAS app connects your device to the Vistar ad server so the Venue ID set as the device parameter must exactly match the venue ID in the staging trafficking dashboard.

5. Set device parameters and deploy strategy
  1. Click Devices. Click the Name of your device.
  2. Click ⚙Configure, then click Update parameters.
  3. Enter the Venue ID.
  4. If your device is not 1920x1080, update Height and Width. Enable Override default application value and enter your height and width values.
  5. In the bottom-right, click Update.
  6. To deploy a strategy, click Strategies in the side navigation bar, then click Deploy. The Deploy Strategy view appears. Enter the following information:
    • Strategy: Click the drop-down list and select your strategy.
    • Target Devices: Click the drop-down list and select your test device.
    • Start Date: Deploy Now checked. 
    • End Date: Keep Running Indefinitely checked.
  7. Click Deploy. Your device is now scheduled to deploy immediately. 

The test campaign starts delivering. 🎉

If there are issues with delivery, please go through troubleshooting below.

Troubleshooting

My test campaign is not delivering.

Check if the test order in the trafficking dashboard is active. Check if the test creative is associated with the line item.

Go to the device in Fleet and view the events. Refer to the events overview page to troubleshoot the issue.

My screen is black.
  • Check if network level parameters are correct. 
  • Check if device level parameters are correct.
    • Device level height and width match the height and width of the test creative.
    • Mime types includes the test creative's mime type (for example, image/jpeg).
  • Check if the test strategy has the Vistar Media UAS application added to the Main Loop.
  • Check if the test strategy is deployed to the test device.
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