Power ON/OFF for Xibo Players
Deciding whether to run your Digital Signage system 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or on another schedule is a critical decision when designing your signage network.
Xibo runs on a vast variety of different hardware and that hardware is connected to an equally vast variety of display panels/TVs, therefore there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” solution to powering on and off at the appropriate times.
The solution you choose will depend on how you have Xibo installed, whether you are running on a local network and which hardware/panels you have.
The purpose of this article is to explain the common options available within Xibo and not to prescribe a specific solution. The choice is yours!
Completely turning off the player hardware is a good choice if the attached panel will automatically go into standby when the hardware shuts down and automatically detect a signal when the hardware turns on again. If you do not have fixed on/off times and Wake on LAN isn’t available it would be better to turn the display panel (TV) on/off instead.
Wake-on-LAN (WOL) is a networking standard that allows a computer to be turned on or awakened by a network message.
The message is usually sent by a program executed on another computer on the same local area network. It is also possible to initiate the message from another network by using subnet directed broadcasts or a WOL gateway service. This usually means that WOL does not work over Internet Connections.
The Xibo CMS has WOL functionality which can be configured on each display - instructions for doing so can be found in the manual.
From Xibo 1.8 it is possible to define and schedule shell commands to be executed at specific times or on demand. For 1.7 and lower versions it is possible to add a shell command to a Layout and schedule the Layout. Shell Commands are supported on Android and Windows players as well as a fixed list for webOS:
In Windows the choice of scheduled command is important as if Wake On LAN is not available “sleep” mode will be required rather than a full shut down.
rundll32.exe powrprof.dll,SetSuspendState 0,1,0
Shutdown.exe -s -t 00
A real time clock(RTC) alarm is a feature that can be used to allow a computer to ‘wake up’ after shut down to execute tasks every day or on a certain day. It can sometimes be found in the ‘Power Management’ section of a motherboard’s BIOS setup.
On Windows devices this functionality is only useful if the player hardware is put into sleep mode - in Android some device firmwares support setting a RTC alarm using an intent.
With lower power hardware it may be desirable to turn the display panel on/off rather than the physical hardware. This is especially true if none of the “turn on” solutions from the above section are available.
Xibo 1.8 has the execution of RS232 commands as a core feature which can be configured using the Scheduled Commands feature. RS232 commands are configured in the same way as other shell commands, except they have a special
rs232| prefix and command string (this is explained in the manual).
The connected TV/Panel must have a RS232 connection and will have their own specific commands.
HDMI Consumer Electronics Control, is an HDMI feature many TVs and peripherals have. HDMI-CEC allows devices connected to your TV through HDMI ports to communicate back-and-forth with your TV. The devices can have some control over the TV, and the TV can have some control over the devices.
Manufacturer support for HDMI-CEC is often named something else and can have different levels of support for different devices (for example Samsung call it Anynet+).
At present HDMI-CEC is only available via shell commands.
The DSDevices DSCS9 offers a method to send CEC control signals to power the attached TV screen on/off. See the Android CEC Screen Power On/Off with DSDevices DSCS9 guide for further information.
On Windows a secondary piece of hardware is required - the USB-CEC adaptor from Pulse-8. This adaptor uses a library called libCEC which can be installed separately from the Pulse-8 website.
libCEC has a command line
tx command - a great introduction to this can be found here.
How to enable it on the panel?
This option will be found in your TV’s/device menu, options, or settings. Use the TV remote to option the settings menu and look for the option. You may also want to look at your TV’s instruction manual or just try performing a web search for the model of your TV and “Enable HDMI-CEC.”