The way that we achieve media playback in portrait orientation can be vastly different across our supported media player platforms.
This article is intended to give an overview of the key differences between the approaches, the differences in portrait support across the media player types and will ultimately make recommendations about which approaches should be used for the best results dependent on the media player platform being used.
Native portrait video playback vs pre-rotated portrait video playback
Two different methods can be used to render videos in portrait orientation:
- Native portrait video playback
- Pre-rotated portrait video playback
In this section, we will cover the difference between the two methods as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Native portrait video playback
When we use the term native portrait video playback we are referring to a media player’s ability to render correctly a video that is encoded in portrait orientation (such as 1080x1920).
To be able to render a video encoded this way the media player must be able to rotate the video during the rendering process and it is important to understand that not all of our players can do this.
The diagram below shows the key steps required to render a video encoded in a portrait orientation correctly.
The key benefit to this approach is really for content creators as it is more natural to encode the content in the orientation that it will ultimately be displayed. The extra rotation step in the rendering pipeline does add additional overhead, which could negatively impact playback performance but generally, most media players that support native video portrait playback have been optimised to ensure that this is not noticeable.
Pre-rotated Video Playback
The alternative method is to pre-rotate videos during the encoding process. This approach works universally as there is no requirement for the media player to support video rotation. In this case, the media player is simply playing a landscape video but the display itself has been physically rotated.
The diagram below shows how this works.
The key advantages to this method are:
- It works universally across all of our supported media player platforms
- There is no performance overhead as a result of requiring the device to apply the rotation
The big disadvantage to this approach is that it generally adds additional steps in the content creation pipeline to pre-rotate the videos before they are published to the media players.
Which method should I use?
If your media playback device supports native portrait video playback then it is generally recommended to take advantage of it because it can save significant time in content creation and preparation.
If your media playback device does not support native portrait video playback then you will need to pre-rotate your videos. You may also choose to do this if you create content to display across multiple device types where one or more support native portrait video playback but one or more do not. This ensures you can maintain one consistent content creation workflow and output content that renders correctly across your entire estate of players.
Which media players support native portrait video playback?
Most but not all Signagelive media players support native portrait video playback. Note that the way this is configured is different for each device.
The following table lists the Signagelive media player types that support native portrait video playback with links to the relevant articles for configuring each.
|Media Player||Help Center Article||Notes|
|SSSP E Range||Link||Not supported on C and D range displays|
|SSSP Tizen (all generations)||Link||You should use the native portrait app when you want to embed interactive widgets and/or webpages|
|LG webOS 3.0+||Link||Not supported on webOS 1 and webOS 2 displays|
|BrightSign 3 and 4 series||Link||When content is below FHD resolution|
|BrightSign 5 series|
|Philips||Link||Although supported, playback performance is poor due to hardware and software limitations. We strongly recommend using the standard client using prerotated content.|
|Electron (Windows & Mac)||
Link (Mac OS)
Which media players require pre-rotated videos
The following media players do not support native portrait video playback and require videos to be pre-rotated to display in portrait orientation:
- LG webOS 1 and 2 displays
- SSSP C and D series displays
- Amazon devices
- Brightsign 3 and 4 series, when content is above FHD resolution