Can you believe it’s December already?! This year is really flying by quickly and before you know it Christmas will be here!  That’s right, in 25 days it will be Christmas Day, and we can all open our presents, spend time with family, and eat too much!

If you’re like me, then you don’t have all your Christmas shopping finished yet, and probably won’t have everything wrapped until the night before! There’s nothing quite like wrapping presents just so they can be ripped open a little while later on Christmas Eve!

One thing you can do to stay on top of your Christmas shopping schedule is to set up reminders on your smartphone or mark your calendar to keep track of how many shopping days are left until the big day! Did you know that you can do the same, exact thing on your Daktronics display?!

Countdown to Christmas

Venus Control Suite now gives you the ability to create Countdowns/Countups. You can use this feature to set up countdowns on your display to keep people informed when events like concerts and games will occur.  You can also use it to show how much time is left until a holiday, like Christmas, for example.

Creating countdowns/countups has never been easier! Just follow the instructions below to set up your Countdown to Christmas!

  1. Log into Venus Control Suite.
  2. Click on the Data Tab.
    Data Tab
  3. Select Countdown from the Add New dropdown menu.
    Add Countdown
  4. Configure the countdown.
    1. Enter a relevant title or name for the countdown.
    2. Select the date and time of the event, in this case, Christmas.
    3. Select a time zone for the event.
    4. Select a direction for the count, either up or down.
  5. Select the desired increments (days, hours, minutes, etc.) by check marking the box next to each increment you want to use.
  6. Select the desired formats for each and what the value should do once it reaches zero (0).
    Define Increments
  7. Click Save.

Way to go! Now all we have to do is create a presentation for our countdown to appear on, and then schedule it out to our display.  Keep reading to learn more.

A few weeks ago, we posted about the new building blocks our Creative Services team put together to help you create customized content for your display.  We talked about using the graphic elements found in the Worship, Business and Healthcare packages, but we left out the Holiday elements so we could use them later for a special occasion.  You guessed it, this post is that special occasion!

  1. Log into Venus Control Suite.
  2. Click on Media to enter your Media Library.
  3. Click on Add Media and upload your building blocks (backgrounds and graphic elements).
  4. Click on the arrow next to the blue Upload button, and choose New Web Presentation to launch the Web Compositor.
  5. Click on Add Media and import one of your new backgrounds. For our example, we chose “Emerald Silk.”
  6. Click on Add Media and import one of your new graphic elements. For our example, we chose the “Ornament Red Swirl.”
  7. Click on Add Text to add in your message. For our example, we used two text boxes so we could justify the first part of the message to the right and the second part of the message to the bottom.
    Days til Christmas

Now we just need to import the countdown that we created into our presentation. Continue reading and follow the instructions below to get that set up.

  1. Click on Add Dynamic Data Field and choose your source. In this case, you will choose whatever you named your Countdown.
    Add Data
  2. Next, you will choose your field(s). These will be the increments (days, hours, minutes, etc.) that you established earlier when creating the Countdown.
    Select Data Source
  3. Once you have your field(s) imported into the Web Presentation, you can go to the Typography dropdown and select your Font Options. For our example, we chose the “Cherry Cream Soda” font, applied a font color of “White” and applied a 2-pixel “Black” outline.
  4. Click the blue Save button.

Finally, we have reached the last step! You guessed it, we are now going to schedule our Christmas Countdown out to our display for all to see!  One final set of directions to follow are below.

  1. Click on Playlists in the Main Menu.
  2. Click on Add New.
  3. Configure your Playlist for when you want it to start and end. In this case you will choose today’s date and have it end on Christmas!
  4. Click on Add Displays, put a checkmark next to your display and click Confirm.
  5. Click on Add Media Files, add your Christmas Countdown and click the blue Save button.

You did it! You just scheduled a countdown to Christmas for your display!  Now everyone passing by will see how many days they have to wait to open all their gifts.  Plus, you’ll have a daily reminder of how long you have to finish your Christmas shopping!

We hope you find this post helpful. Be sure to click on the orange “Receive Email Updates” button on the right side of the page to subscribe.

Thanks for reading!

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