Transparency on android player and more

Hi Xibo community and developers,

We are a small marine station trying to move away from a overly expensive crapy digital signage system to the so far so good xibo system with an on site server (all by ourselves ;)). We are re-using the android stick that were provided with the previous system, installed the trial version and ran some tests. Xibo is incredible! :+1:. Installation of ther server was easy and the wokflow is much easier than the previous system, really like the campaign. We have only some minor problems:

  • I don’t know how to set transparent region suitable for the android client. On the screenshot and preview, the regions are transparent but when it is rendered on the display, through the android client, they are not. Same for the weather module. I set its appearance to “5 day with current day in big circle”, the big circle do not appear and the bg is all white. Again, the flip clock is all white (adobe flash is installed) and html5 clocks have their background white. Is it a bug? Is it fixable?

  • Perhaps related: png images, I think with an alpha channel, appear very blurred on the display, not on the preview. Any tricks? We want to use a big png as background with our university logo and colors, and regions containing png showing figures from our research, but it is very bad rendered. I will try with jpg in the mean time, see if it is better.

Small wish, but they are easily worked around:

  • Overlapping regions, it would allow to add dynamic annotations or “animations” on a figure
  • Support for libreoffice impress, there is an android viewer available. it would be good to ask other research staff to produce their own content.
  • Possibility to add a layout on other layout during schedule to allow “flash news ribbon” on the bottom of the screen when needed, BBC style.

Really enjoying xibo, and because the translation to japanese is not complete, I will recover my launchpad account and start working on it.



Forgot something:

  • When we edit a scheduled event, for example to add a display, the start and end date are reset and we need to set them back. little bit annoying as it makes a lot of unnecessary click.

Hi Sylvain,

We are glad that you are enjoying Xibo!

I don’t know if you already did some reading, but I can tell you that with our next big release 1.8 version a lot of things will change, some important features will be added. Currently it’s in alpha2, you can have a look at the overview here. and on related news.
It’s a dev preview, so we of course don’t recommend it in a production environment but if you are curious feel free to have a look :smile:

That being said, feature requests are always welcome, perhaps when we will solve your problems, we will move this topic (or parts of it) to the features section of this site.

As for the problem itself.

Since you installed Xibo CMS/Xibo for Android fairly recently, I assume it’s 1.7.5(CMS) 1.7 R58 (Xibo for Android), correct?

Could you please tell me more about this device? (model, android version etc,)

I think the best way to proceed would be if you could send me your layout. You can export it to a .zip from Layouts page in CMS and then upload it to dropbox/similar and share the download link. Here or via pm :smile:

Then I will check how are thing looking on my device and see what we can do to improve your experience.

Also we really appreciate community contributions, so we are very glad that you intend to make Japanese translation better!

Thanks Peter!

1.8 looks very promising. i am not a coder so I cannot help with the code but will for sure help with the translation.

I am back home now so I don’t have access to the server, I will send you the exported layout tomorrow.

For the device, looking through the forum i think I found why html5 is bugging: I remember it is running android 4.0.4 (not sure of the last 4)… so quite old and it is locked. I will send you all the info I can find on the device and ask the previous company if we can upgrade android but it looks very customized. Anyway we could work around by using background color matching the background, the clock “text” module, and high dpi jpg.

Sorry for not being able to bring more info now, i will be back to you tomorrow


Hi Sylvain,

No problem and you might be right that it is related to Android version (or some custom firmware).

You might be interested in our list of recommended Android hardware for a future reference.

As for dpi, we normally recommend no more than 96dpi, but that can be a subject of tests on specific device to make sure if it fine or not.

And tomorrow we will do some testing with your layout and see how is it looking on my minix neo z64.

Hi Peter,

Sorry for the delay. We tried to get more information about the device from the previous company but they were not very cooperative, which I can understand as it was after we told them that we were stopping to buy their service.

Here is what we could grab. The device is a Comtrend OTD-1314 (ARM device, “hdmi stick”) running android 4.0.4. From the android system, it is running kernel version 3.0.8-tcc. I send you a photo of the screen, sorry for the low quality and the japanese. The device is also announced to support 1080, but it seems, through xibo, that it is just upscaling to 1080 and the output is really 720. By adjusting the layout to 720 directly we could gain some quality.

Regarding the recommended hardware, we are quite short on budget this year, but we will consider upgrading to better device in the future.

I attach 2 layouts. the first one “sylvain” and another one “calendar”. There are only to test the possibilty of xibo, nothing finals so please do not laugh about the design. (I am building the infrastructure, another colleagues, who has a better sense, will do the design :stuck_out_tongue: ). The problems:

Layout sylvain: it appears perfectly on the preview, but on the display, the background png and in general png figures are all blurred. We could solve this by changing the resolution of the images and using jpg. Also the title has a transparent background, but it appears with a white background on the display (workaround adjust both background colors). Video is runing fine.

Layout calendar: I also attached a photo of the display, sorry for the low quality I didn’t have a good camera close by. As you can see we tested on the top to add a clock. The background of the text region appears white, but if we add a text background it is fine (left clock). Now we add a background to the full html page so that it fits (right clock). There is a google calendar, we changed it now to workaround the problem, but we have the same problem with all embedded webpages. If there is any transparency, the page appears all blurred. The weather widget also do not display well, it is all white on the display and the letters are blurred. By modifying the css and removing all transparency we could obtain a better result.

Overall, I think everything is related to the fact that the html rendering engine of the device do not handle well the transparency (or more exactely do not render it at all…). I cannot see any simple way to solve this. We asked if we could upgrade the android version but got a “not supported” answer. I am not sure if it is feasible, but it would be nice if the android apps came with its own html rendered (webkit, gecko…) to override the provided html engine of the device. Any plan for this?

Anyway, we will move to xibo and we will purchase the licence for the android devices (only 4). Even with this transparency problem, we will gain a better workflow and reduce the cost by a factor of 10, which will allow to invest, I hope, some fund in acquiring better devices. Moreover it is nice to know that it supports a free software.



PS the link to the different files: (link expires at the end of the month).

Just for info Xibo for Android minimum requirement is Android 4.1. We’ve left it so that you can run it on 4.0 as it’s functional there but there are some features that plain won’t work on 4.0 I’m afraid.

The blurring on webpages is because the content is being upscaled. You’d need to install a full 1080p firmware (if the CPU/graphics in the device were capable) to get a crisp image.

Yeah, as we already discussed, android version could be the main problem here.


I’ll have a look at your layouts and try to display them on my android device to see if everything is ok and then I’ll get back to you :smile:

I wish we could upgrade the system… I will try to ask the maker if they don’t have an upgrade available, again, or ask directly comtrend… If it do not go well. we will wait one year and buy new devices, the minix are not that expensive, than we will need a way to hide them…

Thanks Peter but do not worry, I understand that you cannot support all devices and android versions that there are in the wild.

Do you know any other limitations that we will have by running on 4.0.4, obvious one at least so that we don’t spend hours trying to fix the unfixable?

We don’t test on 4.0.4 any more so I’ve no idea what will and won’t work I’m afraid.

Peter’s going to test your layouts to make sure they work OK here and will get back to you.

Thanks anyway, we will test through trial and error.

By the way by settings the display resolution to 720 and android to 720p, the quality is much better. Of course text is not that crisps but enough to read. Also we first had a problem with japanese fonts looking stranged, we added some japanese free fonts and it was much better. It will be very nice if you include more UTF8 with CJK support fonts in future release of the CMS. I think it is already plan to add more fonts just think about CJK please.

Please take your time, as I will go back home now, it is soon 21:00, and I will be away until Tuesday. So really no hurry. I will still be able to check the message but i will not have access to the server and displays.

Please add your thoughts to the feature thread on that so they aren’t missed. Thanks

Done, with a suggestion:

Thanks. I’ve added a response. In general we encourage the comments/discussion on the Community site rather than in GitHub directly - in which case the Features thread for that feature is the best place to discuss:


I’ve scheduled your layouts on my minix device and as expected everything looks good.
So I think we can say that the transparency issues are directly connected to the old Android version.

The work around that you suggested should let you make it look acceptable, but since it’s not quite as it should be and it requires additional work, we of course would recommend to update your devices a little bit.

As for feature requests, as Alex has said, if we don’t have one already please feel free to create a new one, we will consider them for a future development.

Side note: If you’d encounter new problems (that may or may not be connected to android version) feel free to create a new support topic about it on this site or to contact us (Spring Signage) directly via support ticket.

Ok sorry, I am new to the community. I will post in the feature thread.

Yes… old version is never good, I would prefer to update the devices, I will see with the director of the station. But we convinced him to move to xibo so that it will save money and it will be easier for us. If we ask him to invest in new device I am not sure he will be very happy :wink:

Thanks anyway and you can close this thread, I don’t know how to do it.

Well in a long run you will save money either way ( you won’t have to change devices every month :wink:)
Anyway, I am glad that we at least know what’s causing the problems.

I’ll close this topic now.