This article describes how to configure GLPlayer for ReachTV. This includes linking GLPlayer to existing sequences, LBar, HLS, VAST, and time points.
Installation and setup
- In the admin interface, click the Screens tab.
- Click the Options button () beside a screen item and select Edit from the pop-up menu to display the Screen dialog.
- On the Software tab, select latest glplayer software and click Save.
The puck will start playing the glplayer demo sequence.
- Click the same screen item's Options button () again and click Edit to display the Screen dialog and continue editing.
- On the Software tab, select Clear Data from the Command dropdown menu and click Save. This is important to maximize the data that glplayer can use for the cache.
- Click same screen item's Options button () a third time and click Connect to open the GLPlayer Admin page.
- On the top menu bar, click Playlist.
- On the Main Layer tab:
- Click the Create button beside Stacks Sequence.
- At the bottom of the tab, click the Apply and reset position button ().
GLPlayer will now display whatever sequence is configured for the screen in the admin interface.
- Click the Create button beside Stacks Sequence.
- Select the Layer 1 tab, then:
- From the Examples dropdown list, select ReachTV LBar.
- Click Create.
- Click Apply and reset position.
GLPlayer will now reposition the main content and display the LBar.
- On the top menu bar, click Settings.
- Select the Transitions tab.
- Click Clear all.
- Select Cross Warp and click Apply.
Unfortunately this is a limitation of the Minix x88i which appears to have stability issues with multiple transitions.
- Verify that playback looks good and there are no error messages.
Instant video playback and HLS
Unlike the standard player, which must download videos fully before starting playback, GLPlayer starts playing videos instantly. Live HLS video feeds can also be displayed.
To display a live video stream (HLS):
- On the Display tab of the Stack item dialog, select Link to streaming media.
- Provide the address to the .m3u8 file.
- Provide a Label and a Duration.
The duration is important for live streams, because the stream duration is not known when it starts. If undefined, the stream will typically use the default duration of 10 seconds.
VAST is configured the same way as for the standard player but it operates differently. The VAST is processed and video is primed 10 seconds before it is due to play (previously was downloaded fully 5 minutes in advance).
Time points can be used to "jump ahead" to positions in a sequence at specific times of day.
For example, if a time point of 13:00 is defined in the middle of a sequence, content after this time point will only be displayed when the time is 13:00 or later.
A timePoint value is added to a slot or a stack item in the data tab.
Time points only move the sequence position forward. Content after the time point is displayed if the time is after the configured value. If the time is before the time point, the sequence operates as normal. For this reason, if there is not enough content to display (or it fails to display) before the time point, the player will continue playing the content after the configured value.
This means that to use this functionality, 24 hours or more of content should be configured.
Time points do not interrupt videos currently playing. Jumping ahead will only occur after an item finishes playing.
Time Points in 24 hour sequences
To use time points effectively, it is recommended that you divide the main sequence into half-hourly slots.
Each slot should have a time point defined (0:00, 0:30, 1:00, 1:30 etc) and refer to an inner sequence.
Each inner sequence should contain 30 minutes or less of main content followed by filler content.
The filler content (which could also be a separate inner sequence) is required to ensure the total sequence duration is over half an hour.
Filler content will only play if the main content is less than 30 minutes or something fails to play and is skipped. This is extremely useful if there are dynamic items in the main content such as VAST adverts that may vary in length.
The time points ensure that playback jumps ahead to the next half hourly time to keep to the schedule defined.
Remember that each video plays to completion and is never cut short. This means if a 5 minute video starts playing at 11:59, it will not finish (and jump to next time point) until 12:04.
Time Point in short sequences
Time points allow out of order progression, so they can be useful to break out of a looping sequence and jump to a special item such as a live event at a specific date/time.
To do this, a condition and a timePoint in an item can be used.
For example, a one hour live event at 7pm each Friday could be configured by adding the following to an item:
condition = time.day() == "Friday" && time.hour() == 19
timePoint = 19:00
This item could be anywhere in the sequence. When the condition is true and the time equals (or is after) the time point, the item will display. Items after the special item will be played when the condition reverts to false or the current time is less than the time point.
When exploiting this functionality, make sure only one time point is active at a specific time using conditions.
Note: glplayer-2021-08-12.apk is required for conditional time points to function.
Only features essential to ReachTV have been implemented.
GLPlayer is not a complete replacement for the standard player. The following functionality is not available:
- No Interactivity - No events, triggers or actions.
- No sequence frames - Independent "layers" can be configured in glplayer admin.
- No zipped web pages - Use hosted web pages instead.
- No remote data source.
- No peer to peer data sharing.
- No multi-screen playback synchronisation.
- No GPS tracking.
(this list is not complete)