Commands

The commands functionality in Xibo is used to configure a set of predefined commands which can have a different command string per player. This is particularly useful if the network of players is mixed between Windows/Android or even if the players are slightly different hardware or connected to different displays.

A command record is created with a name, description and unique command code. The command string is then entered on a display settings profile. All displays with that profile will then use the command string whenever they are asked to execute a particular command.

This 2-stage approach means that the same commands can be scheduled across multiple player types (be they different operating systems, have difference LCD panels connected, etc).

Commands also provide easy access to functionality such as RS232, Android Intents, etc.

Configuring a command

Commands are configured in 2 steps:

  1. Create the Command
  2. Configure the Command string per Display Profile

This allows a generic command to be created which can be used in a schedule, executed via XMR or used in a Layout. The command can be used across different types of players as the command string is created in the Display Settings Profile.

For example, imagine a mixed network of Windows and Android players and a command called "Reboot". The command string for reboot on windows is shutdown /r now, on android it is reboot.

The same can also be useful with a non-mixed network - imagine a network of Windows players with different monitors connected over HDMI/RS232. A single command called "Monitor On" can be created and the different brands of monitor can be represented by different display settings profiles, and each can have a different command string to turn the monitor on/off.

Step 1 is done on the Commands page.

Commands

The usual CMS functionality to add/edit and delete commands is provided.

Step 2 is done on the Display Profile Edit form under the Commands tab:

Display Profile Edit Commands Tab

For each command a command and validation can be specified.

Command

The command string represents the final executed command and can be a direct call to the shell or can have a helper specified. See below.

Validation

The validation string is used as a comparison to the command output and if it matches then the command is considered a success. This string can be a regular expression.

Scheduling

Commands can be scheduled using the standard Schedule Page by selecting the command event type when adding/editing a schedule.

Scheduled commands are executed once on the Player and only require a From Date. The command can be executed up to 10 seconds after the from date selected.

Use on Shell Commands

Commands can be selected when adding a Shell Command Widget to a Layout. Shell Commands with a Command as their source act in the same fashion as normal shell commands. They should usually be used in a region on their own so they are executed only once each time the Layout is shown.

Helpers

Command Helpers are prefixes that can be added to the command string in order to take a more advanced action. Commands without a prefix are executed in the shell of the operating system which runs the Player. cmd.exe on Windows and shell on Android.

RS232

RS232 commands can be executed on Players by using the rs232 prefix in the command string. The format of the command is rs232|<connection string>|<command>.

The connection string should be provided in the following format on Windows:

<COM#>,<Baud Rate>,<Data Bits>,<Parity|None,Odd,Even,Mark,Space>,<StopBits|None,One,Two,OnePointFive>,<Handshake|None,XOnXOff,RequestToSend,RequestToSendXOnXOff>

The connection string should be provided in the following format on Android:

<DeviceName>,<Baud Rate>,<Data Bits>,<Parity>,<StopBits>,<FlowControl>

Each setting is represented by a corresponding number:

DATA_BITS_5 = 5;
DATA_BITS_6 = 6;
DATA_BITS_7 = 7;
DATA_BITS_8 = 8;
PARITY_NONE = 0;
PARITY_ODD = 1;
PARITY_EVEN = 2;
PARITY_MARK = 3;
PARITY_SPACE = 4;
STOP_BITS_1 = 1;
STOP_BITS_15 = 3;
STOP_BITS_2 = 2;
FLOW_CONTROL_OFF = 0;
FLOW_CONTROL_RTS_CTS = 1;
FLOW_CONTROL_DSR_DTR = 2;
FLOW_CONTROL_XON_XOFF = 3;

The command itself is a string which gets sent over RS232 using the connection details.

Android Intents

Android display profiles can use the intent helper to specify an intent that should be called when the command executes. The format of the command is intent|<type|activity,service,broadcast>|<activity>|[<extras>].

Commands containing an intent helper are ignored in the Windows Player.

HDMI-CEC

HDMI-CEC is a bus that is implemented on nearly all new large screen TVs that have HDMI connectors. This bus (which is physically connected within normal HDMI cables) supports control signals that can perform power-on, power off, volume adjust, selection of video source and many of the features that are accessible via the TV's remote control. It can also control most other hardware on the HDMI bus.

Xibo doesn't provide a direct interface to HDMI-CEC as there are many different manufacturer specifications, however it is possible to control HDMI-CEC via a batch file.