CMS-Player-Layout-Schedule Relationship


I have the following scenario in mind and I want to confirm it.

  1. A Xibo CMS hosted on a local server
  2. A default Layout-X having for example 6 zones
  3. A group of 35 Android Players connected to the server each running the same Layout-X

Is it true that it is not possible to play different content at each player unless I have a separate layout for each player?!

My understanding is, the layout is a frame hosting zones which are independent of the schedule and players as well; the schedule is individually connected to a device from one side and a layout from the other.

Accordingly, I would imagine the schedule as a table having at least the following reference fields:

  1. Player ID
  2. Layout ID
  3. Zone ID
  4. Content ID

In addition to other properties pertaining to the content such as play dates, times … etc.

Am I correct?


Yes this can be achieved with each of your Players being assigned the same default Layout, which contains 6 Regions to hold content.

You would need to create Layouts which hold your content (in Regions) and then the Layout would be scheduled to the Displays you wish to show that particular content on.

Layouts are designed in the CMS and use Regions as placeholders for your content. Layouts are then Scheduled by creating Events to show on chosen Displays at defined times.

The User Manual covers the features and functionality of the CMS which can be used in conjunction with our free CMS hosted trial so that you can test this our for yourself.

We also have online training courses available here Xibo Signage Training. The Introduction to the Xibo CMS course may be of interest to you as this shows the desired workflow, when creating content.

Dear Natasha,

Thank you for your response.

With reference to my scenario, how many layout instances do I need in order to use as default for all devices while playing different content in each?

My assumption, based on my understanding of a digital signage basic feature, is ONLY ONE LAYOUT! Correct?

I am not sure I understand? If you need a default layout to have content only suitable for a singular player then you would need to create multiple layouts. If all your Players where to show exactly the same content then you would only need the one Layout.

The Layout and ALL of its contents would be shown on displays it is scheduled to. You cannot schedule Regions (zones) independently to the Layout.

Apologies if I have misunderstood!

I have tested a very simple application, compared to Xibo, wherein only one layout is used but there in the schedule where the idea; the CMS admin creates as many records as needed for any device entering the record details I mentioned in my first message:

For example, Device-1, 2,3 …35 will consume the same layout (Layout-1) such that:

  1. Running Layout-1, Device-01 will play Video-01 in Zone-1 show Image-05 in Zone-2
  2. Running Layout-1, Device-11 will play Video-72 in Zone-1 show Image-31 in Zone-2
  3. Running Layout-1, Device-24 will play Video-51 in Zone-1 show Image-13 in Zone-2
  4. Running Layout-1, Device-17 will play Video-90 in Zone-1 show Image-25 in Zone-2

In Xibo CMS, how many layout instances do I need to design? This is what I have been trying to understand.

You would need to create a Layout for each Device (35) as they all contain different images/video files.

You could speed things up by copying your initial design or by making a Template and then adding the different video/image files as needed for each player.

Are the players going to play alle the video’s or do you want to use completely different media that is based on the player (and location).

The simplest solution is to delay the startup of the players and you can work from 1 layout. Otherwise use what @natasha is suggesting, work from a layout and make each layout unique.

Randomize could be achieved with RSS feeds, maybe play with this option.

Now I got it!

With this situation I see it appropriate to raise this issue adding it to the Wish List

This feature, I do not know what impact it may have on the CMS core engine, will give each player total independence and high flexibility, being addressed individually.

Hi Vishal,

If you refer to the scenario I have depicted in my previous message you would notice that I stated clearly several cases of players running completely different content, even at different date-times, yet consuming the same layout.

In other words, I would like to have a schedule independent of, but related to, any layout. The conceived table may include records of different devices consuming different layouts, operating on different zones and running different content. This combination works under one principle, each player is consuming one selected default (active) layout which can be changed and and thereafter published to be the active layout.

A follow up comment:

I have seen a real example of this feature in an application used by a friend. Their company have several scattered players connected to a LAN.

Something very similar has been previously discussed here:

The feeling is this would add another complex level to scheduling and when it comes to troubleshooting as to why something is not being shown as expected, it would be very hard to unpick!

Hello Natasha,

Thank you and other responding members for your concern.

To my best knowledge, Xibo’s number one unmatched feat is running on multitude of operating systems; Windows, Android, WebOS, Linux and Tizen!

Yet, in my humble opinion, if there will be a one single feat that would cause a quality leap to Xibo CMS, it is detaching the schedule from the layout!

I strongly request Xibo development team to give this issue high consideration.

I cannot imagine creating 100 instances of a layout just in order to play different content at different times in any individual player. What if I have a customer who is willing to deploy even double this number or more.

One year before COVID-19 outbreak, a big university in Egypt contacted our team leader inquiring about our ability to assist them establishing a Content Broadcasting System to be deployed in 12 colleges as well as 5 university hospital. We estimated the number of players as large as 300! How hard it would have been if we had implemented Xibo CMS?!