There are two options for synchronized playback using DC Media:


1. Synchronized zones on the same player

2. Player synchronization across a network


Synchronized zones on the same player


You can synchronized playback across all zones by setting the playlist sync mode to Zone sync. To do this in the CMS, click the Zone Properties button in the playlist editor:


and then select Zone Sync from the Synced drop down list:



This will ensure that each zone plays through the asset list in step with the other zones.  Please note: this feature requires equal length content in each zone, otherwise you will experience black zones whilst the longest item of content plays to it's end.



Player synchronization across a network


Network Sync uses a network protocol to ensure that all DC Media players on a local area network are synchronized. To use this option, click the Zone Properties button in the playlist editor:



and then select Network Sync from the Synced drop down list:



Save the changes and approve the playlist, the players will download the latest playlist and begin playback in a synchronized fashion (please configure the players as per the section below).



Configuring the players for network sync


The players will follow a controller player who will direct playback across the network. By default, the controller player is automatically elected by all players however if you encounter problems with players not synchronizing, please configure the controller manually. To do this, edit the player configuration file on each player:


c:\users\public\documents\dcmedia\dcmediaplayer.ini


add the following section:


[sync]
autoconfig=0
master=<ip address of the master PC>

e.g.

[sync]
autoconfig=0
master=10.172.24.210


Content requirements for network sync


The controller player will instruct each player to play the next asset by sending the asset filename to each player. The slave players will either play content matching the filename or content matching a sequence ID pattern. For example, if the playlist on the controller contains 3 files:


coke.mp4

pepsi.mp4

drpepper.mp4


then all the players must have the same filenames (even though the content may be different) in order to play in sync. The alternative is to use a sequence ID pattern in the asset filename by adding _seq_ to each asset filename. For example, a video that is divided into 4 synchronized segments featuring an airliner flying across all 4 displays can have the following file name's:


eagle_seq_1.mp4

eagle_seq_2.mp4

eagle_seq_3.mp4

eagle_seq_4.mp4


the filenames will only be compared up to the _seq_ indicator and in the example above, this will ensure that a match is found.  In this example the four players will have the following 4 playlists:


player 1:

eagle_seq_1.mp4

othercontent_seq_1.mp4


player 2:

eagle_seq_2.mp4

othercontent_seq_2.mp4


player 3:

eagle_seq_3.mp4

othercontent_seq_3.mp4


player 4:

eagle_seq_4.mp4

othercontent_seq_4.mp4


in the example above, eagle will play in sync followed by othercontent played in sync.