Synchronizing Playback

DCMedia offers two options for synchronized playback of content:

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:

1. Click the Zone Properties button in the playlist editor:

2. 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.  

For correct playback each zone set to synchronize needs to match the others in the following ways:

  1. The quantity of assets to play back in each zone must match;
  2. Each asset set to play at the same time in the synchronized zones must play for the same amount of time.

Player synchronization across a network

Network Synchronization uses a network protocol to ensure that all DC Media players on a local area network are synchronized. To use this option:

1. Click the Zone Properties button in the playlist editor:

2. Select Network Sync from the Synced drop down list:

Network synchronization works by having a controller player (selected automatically by DCMedia) that sends an instruction to each network synced player to start playing that asset.

The asset is matched by name, so players can have different 

The controller player will instruct each player to play the next asset by sending the asset name to each player. 

It is important to ensure that the content being synchronized to play back at the same time has the same duration for all players.

If the assets in the playlists of the snchronized players have the same name you won't need to do any more work to get the network synchronization working.

If the assets need to have different names then you will need to use a special naming convention to ensure that synchronized playback works.

DCMedia will look for an underscore in the asset name and will ignore anything after the underscore for the purpose of working out which asset to play back.


You want to synchronize two players to playback two assets in sync with each other, but the two assets are different for the two players.

If you name the assets in the following way, DCMedia will be able to synchronize their playback even though they have different names:


asset1_some pic.jpg

asset2_some movie.mp4


asset1_some other movie.mp4

asset2_some other pic.jpg

In this example, asset1_some pic.jpg and asset1_some other movie.mp4 will play together, followed by asset2_some movie.mp4 and asset2_some other pic.jpg.

Configuring the players for network synchronization

Network synchronization will generally work automatically, without needing per-player configuration.

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:


add the following section:

master=<ip address of the master PC>