How do I use my Media Player's motion sensor to trigger decorations?

The AtmosFX Media Player’s motion sensor allows you to create movement-triggered special effects, great for startling your Halloween visitors or simply pausing your decorations until your next guest approaches. It’s important to know that the motion sensor unit is just a trigger that requires the Media Player to operate. Setting up the motion sensor is easy — follow the steps below to create these effects for yourself!

Before Getting Started: Which Decorations Work Best?

Any decoration will work, it just depends on what type of reaction you want to inspire.

AtmosFX has decorations called “Startle Scares” which are perfect for the motion sensor, because they feature sudden and dramatic appearances or transformations. For example, in Bone Chillers, scary skeletons jump into frame. Click here for a complete list of Startle Scare decorations from our catalog.

After your decoration finishes playing, the AtmosFX Media Player will reset to a blank, all-black frame, then it loads the beginning of the clip again. This frame lasts for barely a second, but if you’re anticipating your guests being present during the reset you may want to choose a Wall or Hollusion mode decoration like the ones in Phantasms. These decorations naturally start and end with an empty, black frame, which provides a moment of suspense for added spookiness.

The AtmosFX Motion Sensor is great for more than just startle scares, pranks, and other frightening displays — you can use it to make almost any scene interactive. For instance, you could play some Night Before Christmas decorations to make Santa appear just as the kids come downstairs. The Motion Sensor adds an entirely new element of fun to your displays.

Now it’s time to learn how the magic trick is performed. Here are some easy steps to set up your own motion sensor enhanced decorations.

Step 1: Connect your Media Player

Use the HDMI cable included with your AtmosFX Media Player to connect it to your Projector or TV. Next, connect your motion sensor to the port on the Media Player labeled “IR Sensor.” Finally, connect the included power cable to the Media Player, and turn on the Media Player.

Step 2: Enable Sensor Mode

Once the the Media Player main menu appears on the screen of your device, select “Digital Decorations” to enter the file navigator. Now press the “Sensor” button on your remote. A blue icon will appear in the top left corner of your display to indicate that sensor mode is enabled.

Step 3: Enable Repeat Mode

Press the “Repeat” button on your remote until you see the “Repeat 1” icon in the top right of your display. There are other repeat options for other display uses, but the motion sensor is programmed for the “Repeat 1” mode.

Step 4: Place your Motion Sensor

Effective placement of the Motion Sensor is equal parts strategy and artistry. The Motion Sensor is triggered whenever a person or object enters the sensor path. If your guest is standing in the sensor path when the decoration finishes, it will start playing again instead of pausing and waiting for a new trigger to occur. If you are playing a short decoration (like a startle scare), you may want to place the sensor in a spot where it can only be triggered once to ensure that the surprise won’t be spoiled for the next set of visitors.

Consider your other decorating props in your display when placing the motion sensor. - You may be able to hide the sensor under a table holding your candy bowl, or on the other side of a decorative tombstone.

Step 5: Choose a Decoration

Now that all the pieces are in place, go back to the Media Player remote and navigate the file menu to select your decoration. Hitting “OK” will show you a preview. When you’re ready to start, hit the “Play/Pause” button (⏯️) to begin the decoration.

The decoration will begin playing. When it finishes playing once, the decoration will return to the beginning, but will be paused until the motion sensor is triggered.

Step 6: Trigger the Sensor

Once a person moves within range of the sensor, the media player will trigger the decoration to play. As soon as the decoration has played entirely, it will loop back to the beginning and then pause again automatically. You can also hit “Play/Pause” at any time to pause the action, and the motion sensor will start playing the decoration from that point the next time it is triggered.

Step 7: Final Adjustments

Now that you’re all set, test out the motion sensor. Try triggering it from different directions and distances, imagining how your audience may interact with your display. You may need to adjust the height and angle of your motion sensor to perfect the effect.

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