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Why won't my Layout display?

The Basics

The CMS requires all layouts to contain something to show.

For a layout to be valid to play back on the Player, it must meet the following criteria:

  • Must have at least one region on the layout
  • All regions on the layout must have at least one valid media item on it

If the layout doesn’t meet that specification, then the Player won’t attempt to run the layout and so the layout will be missing from your Display. If you only have that layout set to play (eg if it’s the Default Layout), then the splash screen will play as there’s nothing else to show.

If the layout is the only layout currently scheduled, the Player will show the Default Layout instead of your scheduled content.

If the layout is one of many currently scheduled, it will be removed from the Players playlist and the other layouts will continue to show in rotation.

Check your Module Installation

Sometimes a layout may fail to show because some files that are associated with the layout aren’t available on the CMS. One place such files may come from is from addon Modules installed on your CMS. You can check they’ve been installed correctly by visiting the Modules page in the CMS and clicking the Verify All link at the top right of the page. Give your Players sufficient time to download the updates and then see if the problem is resolved.

Check the Client information Screen

Pressing i on the keyboard on your Player machine (or select Status from the menu if you’re using the Android Player) will bring up the clients hidden information screen which shows the status of the client, if files are downloaded etc. Check through the log messages and see if any of them match these common issues below:

  • FileAgent - Run|Downloaded file failed MD5 check
    This means that we downloaded a file from the CMS but it was corrupt in some way. The most frequent cause for this is:

    • Incorrect setting for File download mode (SENDFILE_MODE) on the General tab in the CMS settings. Ensure that’s set to Off unless you’re sure your webserver supports that and has been configured specifically for that as well.
    • Files in the Library folder on the CMS being deleted or modifed directly (rather than through the CMS interface). Ensure you never manually delete or change files in the CMS Library folder directly.
  • ScheduleManager - LoadNewSchedule|Layout invalid: 10
    This means that the Player has tried to load layout ID 10, but that it considers it to be invalid. That could be because the layout is indeed invalid (see the definition at the top of the article) or because some media items or associated files are missing. Check the download status of all files shown on the status screen and identify any issue with files that have failed to download.
  • RequiredFilesAgentThread|Exception in Run: Unable to connect to the remote server
    This means the Player was unable to connect to your CMS. That could be because:

    • Your CMS is offline or unavailable
    • Incorrect proxy settings, username or password if you’re connected to your CMS via a proxy server
    • Incorrect CMS address or CMS key entered in the client settings
How do I loop content in a region?

When building a layout, a common question is how the duration of media items affect the playback of the layout.  Here are the general rules the layout will follow:

  • The playback duration of a region is determined by the cumulative duration of the items in that region’s playlist.  For example, a ticker of 10 seconds, a photo of 5 seconds, and a video of 30 seconds would cause a region to last for 45 seconds before completing.
  • Presently, a region will display its playlist, and once complete, will not repeat its content until the layout begins again.
  • The layout will run for the duration of the longest running region, and then loop, or proceed to the next scheduled layout in a campaign.

Note: Region looping is scheduled to be added for Windows players in the near future.  For android players, a region loop will still only last as long as the duration of the layout itself.

Common Example:

  • You have one region with a playlist containing 3 images with a duration of 10 seconds each.
  • You have a second region with a playlist containing a 60 second video.
  • To make region one continue to play content while region two finishes playing, simply add the sequence of pictures twice in the playlist.
How do I manage storage space on the Compusigns Media Controller?

Media Files, Layouts and other meta data is downloaded from the CMS onto each Compusigns Media Controller to allow local playback in the most efficient way and to allow for offline usage. The Media Controller will automatically manage the files stored on the local library and automatically remove files that are no longer needed.

Library Location

Files are stored according to 2 settings:

  • Use Public Storage?
  • Storage Options

If use public storage is unchecked then the files will be stored on the internal device storage, if checked they will be stored on the internal device public storage (if available). If checked it is also recommended to explicitly specify a storage location using the storage options.

In all cases the files will be in a folder that looks like /data/data/com.signage.?????/.

Rules for keeping or deleting a file

The CMS informs the Compusigns Media Controller exactly which files it needs for the next N days of playback (where N days is defined in the CMS settings). All of the files in this list will be kept in the library. Once a file is removed from this list it will remain in the library for 30 days and then be deleted automatically.

You can change this “N” parameter in Settings -> General -> Send files in advance?. The setting is expressed in seconds and should be adjusted carefully as it directly affects the size of the local player library and the amount of work the CMS has to do with each collection interval. We recommend keeping the default setting unless there is a specific reason to change it.

Running out of storage
Since version 1.6/1.7 R38, the Compusigns Media Controller will aggressively delete files that are no longer contained in the list of required files if the total free storage on the device is below 10%. The Media Controller will also decline to download new files if there is not enough storage on the device to fully store the downloaded file.

The percentage of used disk space is based on the storage for the Library Location.

How do I get Proof of Play Statistics?


Compusigns Media Controllers are capable of sending proof of play statistics to the CMS, which can help you analyze them later on, see exactly how many times any given layout and media files were displayed on your players.

On Statistics page in the CMS, under ‘proof of play’ you can filter your results according to:
– Date (from/to) – show statistics only from specified date
– Display – show statistics only for specific display
– Media – show statistics for specific media file

In the CMS version 1.7.7 and above, you have an option to enable or disable statistics reporting for the Compusigns Media Controllers version 1.7 R60 and above.

You can adjust this setting on display settings page -> edit display profile -> Enable stats reporting?

How does it work?

You have two options, either reporting is on or off:

When it’s on
The Media Controller will collect proof of plays statistics and send up to 100 completed records each collection interval.

When it’s off
The Media Controller doesn’t collect proof of play statistics.

When it was on and then turned off

The Media Controller will send any remaining completed collected proof of play statistics next collection interval.

What does completed records mean?
The Media Controller will send only completed records, for example:

If a layout runs for 2 hours, then there will be no proof of play statistics regarding layout as a whole until it was fully displayed, but it can collect and send media statistics if they were fully displayed. After 2 hours it will also send proof of play that whole layout was displayed.

How can I display multiple Timezones?

If you’d like to show a clock for a different timezone, you can use the “Offset” feature in the clock module to change the displayed time.


The above setting will show the time 1 hour before the default time in the CMS.