Cinema Pre-show

Broadsign Cinema Pre-Show is based on both our campaigns and conditions functionalities. You will need to be familiar with each before setting up a Cinema Pre-Show.


You create conditions and campaigns in the Broadsign Administrator. Then, the Broadsign Player uses a showtimes.xml file to activate specific pieces of content for playback on the screen.

There are five steps in the creation of a Cinema Pre-Show: some steps require action on your part, while others have the Broadsign Player doing the work.

Based on the conditions set from the local showtimes.xml file, the Broadsign Player will:

    • generate its playlist with relevant content ahead of time;
    • calculate the total length of content to play; and,
    • start the loop so that it finishes at the predetermined time the movie will start.

In order to fully automate the Pre-Show process, the existing system must produce a control file to provide the relevant information to the BSP. You can configure the parsed .xml tags based on your needs. Broadsign Player synchronizes the configuration file to the player from either a local or remote HTTP or FTP location.

If you would like to include the JNIOR device in your Broadsign Cinema integration, see JNIOR Integration.

If you would like to include Post-Show content in your Broadsign Cinema integration, see Broadsign Cinema Post-Show.


You need to configure the Broadsign player for it to be able to interpret the cinema management XML file.

When you enable manual_play_mode, the playlist will only include content for which conditions are met. When disabled, the Player will play all scheduled content i.e., the Pre-Show content will appear in conjunction with the regular content.

Note: bsp.monitor_showtime/type must be “vista”.

To configure the Broadsign Player:
  1. Open up your local configuration file, according to your OS. For more detailed information, see Local Configurations.
  2. Enter the following parameters:
      • bsp.messenger/manual_play_mode=1
      • bsp.monitor_showtime/enabled=1
      • bsp.monitor_showtime/file_path=share/bsp/sync/showtimes.xml
      • bsp.monitor_showtime/type=vista
      • bsp.monitor_showtime/tags=code;title;rating;vip;mediaClass;marketLanguage;distributorCode

For more detailed information about these settings, see Pre-Show Configuration Parameters (below).


Using the program of your choice, create an XML file called “showtimes”.

Use this sample as a guide:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<schedule lastUpdate="2015-04-30T15:25:01-0400">
<scheduleDay day="2015-04-30-0400">
    title="VIP19+ MAD MAX: FURY ROAD"
    titleMedium="VIP19+ MAD MAX: FU"
    titleShort="MAD MX"
    performanceType="Sand Eater Film Presentation"

To allow the players to use the correct information from the showtimes.xml for their auditorium, we must assign the relevant number to the display unit.

To assign the display unit to an auditorium number:
  1. Open the properties dialogue box for your display unit.
  2. Go to General > General.
  3. In the External ID field, enter the value for auditoriumNumber from your showtimes.xml file. In our example, the value is “12”.
  4. Click Apply or OK.

Assign the display unit to an auditorium number


At this stage, you need to schedule a conditional campaign to your display unit. While creating and scheduling campaigns, you will assign conditions to their various bundles. Create all of the required conditions in the Criteria and Conditions resource. Ensure that they match the parameters in the showtime.xml file.

The loop policy plays a factor when the Pre-Show begins to play. Take the following into account:

    • If the duration of the conditional campaign is longer than that of the loop policy, then the loop policy takes precedence. The player works backwards to accommodate the loop policy duration: it keeps the items from the end of the conditional campaign, but removes items from the beginning. In this way, the player respects the duration of the loop policy.
    • If the duration of the conditional campaign is shorter than that of the loop policy, then the player will base the Pre-Show start time on the length of the conditional campaign.

For more information about conditions, see Criteria and Conditions.

To schedule a conditional Campaign:
  1. Ensure that you have selected “Conditions” under Edit > Options > Campaigns & Events > Wizard Options. See Campaigns – Options.
  2. Create criteria resources, as needed, e.g., “MAD MAX: FU”, “English”.
  3. Book a campaign.
  4. On the Conditions page of the Add Campaign Wizard, add your conditions. Using the sample XML file, we could sort conditions using the following Boolean operators:
      • All required (AND): “English”
      • At least one required (OR): “VIP19+ MAD MAX: FU”; “THE AVENGERS: AGE OF”
      • Except when (NOT): “vip”
        Since “vip” is Boolean, and we used the NOT exception, the condition is “vip”=”false”.

    The Conditions page would look like this (conditions are case-insensitive, i.e., Broadsign treats upper- and lower-case letters as the same):

    Schedule a conditional campaign to a display unit


Initiating the Pre-show Process

Once you have assigned the Conditional Campaigns and the XML file to the Player, to initiate the Pre-Show process, Broadsign generates the following:

    • display_unit_external_id.txt: Generated containing the External ID as defined in Assign the Display Unit to an Auditorium.
    • next_showtime.txt: Generated five minutes before the Pre-Show starts, and contains the timestamp of when the Pre-Show begins. If it already exists, Broadsign updates next_showtime.txt with the next Pre-Show timestamp as specified by the showtimes.xml file. For more information, see Create the showtimes.xml file.
Partial Playlists

There are a few conditions under which the Broadsign Player will generate a partial Playlist: if an incident interrupts the Pre-Show (e.g., power outage, hardware issues), or the Player starts during the Pre-Show playback.

During a partial playlist, the Player displays the next scheduled content at the appropriate time, to accommodate the specified showtime. For example, imagine a conditional playlist containing three five-minute Ad Copies (A1; A2; A3):

    • The Pre-Show will begin fifteen minutes before showtime.
    • If, after the interruption, you restarted the Player during playback of A2, the Player will generate a new next_showtime.txt. It will contain a timestamp set for five minutes before showtime.
    • Once the Pre-Show begins, A3 will play for the remainder of the Pre-Show scheduling.

Parameter Description Value
When enabled, the playlist will only include content for which conditions are met. When disabled, all scheduled content will be played; thus, the Pre-Show content will play in conjunction with the regular content. 1
Set to true to enable pre-show functionality. 1
The Player will look at this location, on the local file system, for the showtimes.xml file. See Monitor Sync. share/bsp/sync/
Mandatory setting vista
Optional and customizable; configured based on which tags your POS system uses. The Broadsign Player uses these conditions to determine which content should be in the Pre-Show. code (or any variable you want); title; rating; vip; Boolean (True or False); mediaClass; marketLanguage; distributorCode


Once you have configured your Broadsign Cinema Pre-show, you are ready to configure the following: