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Zones Feature in Digital Signage


Zones are used for dividing a screen into multiple areas with independent digital signage content.

Before digging into custom zones, aspect ratio, and how-to’s, let’s look at what digital signage zones is and how you can or cannot use them. Zones in Digital Signage are zones on your TV playing independently from each other. So, for example, you could have one zone with static content, one zone with news, and one zone with advertisements. The content itself is more or less up to you. In short, you can have multiple zones on your TV playing their own content independently from each other.

We have pre-made zone layouts, but if you have something different in mind, you can always set up your zones yourself. So let’s get to it!

Layouts and how to create one

Working with zones is actually super easy. We've added a handful of layouts that will work for most projects where you want to divide the content on your screens.

Go to Playlists -> Create playlist

Give the playlist a name, pick your screen aspect ratio (Most will be 16:9 or 9:16), then pick one of the layouts, and finally click Create.

You'll find that we've created the master playlist as well as the zones you need. For example, if you picked the second layout you'll find a master playlist, a zone 1, and a zone 2.

Master Playlist

The master playlist is the playlist you will be publishing to your screen(s).

  • The master playlist should be your BASE playlist in the group you're using
  • The master playlist only has one slide
  • The master playlist's slide duration is set to infinity
  • The master playlist is the playlist where you add background music if needed


The zones are where you add your content.

  • Zones can have multiple slides
  • Zone slide durations can be whatever you want
  • Zone are independent of each other

This is the most basic stuff you need to know about layouts, the master playlist, and zones, but we strongly recommend you watch the video further up in this article.

Custom Zones in General

Custom zones are used when none of our layouts fit your idea. Before we can talk about custom zones we need to address aspect ratio and our playlist-in-playlist feature.

Aspect ratio

Aspect ratio (AR) describes the proportional relationship between screen width and height (width divided by height). So a square would have an aspect ratio of 1:1, which is the same as 2:2 or 100:100. Most TV screens today are in 16:9 and so is the FullHD resolution 1920×1080, because:

16 / 9 = 1.7777…
1920 / 1080 = 1.7777…

Playlist in Playlist

When you create a zoned playlist from one of our presets, behind the scenes the system creates a playlist for each zone (with appropriate aspect ratios) and then creates a final ‘master’ playlist with one slide that includes all these individual zones.

Creating digital signage zones

If you're not into technical reading, check out the video: Zone Dimensions

When splitting the display area into sections, we must ensure that all these sections combined fill 100% of the screen. I recommend first drawing your zone layout on paper, ideally a grid paper as it reduces the possibility of making a mistake. In this example, I am going to create a playlist with 4 zones for a TV with a 1920:1080 resolution (Equal to a 16:9 aspect ratio).

Zone Dimensions - Example

Calculating the size of your zones can be done in multiple ways. The one I usually use I base on centimeters, so the resolution of the TV is 1920 x 1080, then I draw up a box measuring 192 mm x 108 mm and add my zones. When I’m satisfied with the size of my zones I simply measure the zone in mm, so in this case, I have the following zones.

The TV is 192 mm x 108 mm equals 1920:1080
The zone of the left is 40 mm x 90 mm equals 400:900
The zone in center is 112 mm x 90 mm equals 1120:900
The zone on the right is 40 mm x 90 mm equals 400:900
The zone in the buttom is 192 mm x 18 mm equals 1920:180

Now let’s create individual zones, you can set your custom size in the “Advanced” section when creating a playlist (Format xxxx:xxxx)

Zone Dimensions - Set the Aspect Ratio

When done, I have a total of 5 playlists. I’ve changed the background color for each of the zones for illustrative purposes.

Zone Dimensions - Playlist Overview

Now let’s configure the master playlist:

  1. Set the duration of the first slide in the playlist to ‘forever’ (master playlist should only contain 1 slide)
  2. [optional] Set slide background color to black
  3. Add individual zone playlists to the first slide using the playlist in a playlist plugin. If your measurements were correct, they should nicely fill up the entire screen:
Zone Dimensions - Adding a Playlist

When creating a group for your screen, you only need to set the master playlist as the base playlist.

  • Time zone – by default the plugin will display time in its local time zone configured by the operating system. If you want to display time in another region, you can change it. You’ll find region names on this page.
  • Seconds hand – hides or shows seconds.
  • Hour numbers – hides or shows hour numbers on the face.
  • Background color – change the face background color.
  • Border color – change the color of the border.
  • Hand color – change sets the hand color.
  • Numbers color – change the color of numbers on the face.
  • Hand length – change the length of the hands, this can be useful when changing the font of clock numbers, some fonts can take up more space than others.
  • Numbers font – change the font of numbers on the clock face.
  • Gradient border – toggles border for a gradient style.

How do I calculate the different zones?

Creating individual zones that fill up the content exactly can be difficult to grasp at first, but this video shows you how to figure out zone dimensions, check out the article: Zone Dimensions

My sub-playlists are not nicely formatted.

When you create all zones one by one manually rather than using a pre-made layout, the system does not know which playlist is a child of which (and also you can include the same playlist in several other playlists). Therefore the sub-playlists will not be formatted nicely as in the screenshot above, but do not worry – the formatting is only eye candy, and all functionality still remains the same.

Can digital signage zones have transparent backgrounds?

Absolutely, check out the article: Transparent Background

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