Content for the Fermilab Dynamic Display System
A detailed document on adding content to the Dynamic Display system can be found here.

Simply, content for the Dynamic Display system, also called a Channel, is web pages. If you have a URL, you have content for the Dynamic Displays system. To add a web page to the system, start here.

You must be onsite or VPN'ed in to add content to the system

The channels in the system are sorted into "tabs" in the Channel Selector.
Hints for Good Content: A web page that looks good on the HDTVs in the Dynamic Display system will have the following characteristics:
  • No scroll bars
  • Makes full use of the entire screen (1920x1080 pixels)
  • Has dynamic content, that is, the stuff on the screen changes
  • Has a small amount of readable text
  • Has NO USER INTERACTION. The displays have no keyboard or mouse
Refreshing a channel
To have a web page reload automatically after 60 seconds, put this tag at the beginning of your HTML source file:

<META HTTP-EQUIV="refresh" CONTENT="60">

If you do not have control over the HTML directly, the system provides a way for you to refresh a page: Dwell Time: Each bit of content in the system has associated with it a "dwell time". This is an instruction to the Dynamic Display system for how long this content will last. For example, a YouTube video plays to the end and then stops. If you tell the system the correct length for this video, it will reload the video when it ends. Also, this adds a bit of robustness to the system: If the server for a web site goes down, the system will refresh this content after the dwell time expires. And, finally, if you have a static image that is update by the server from time to time (see, for example, this map from the Weather Channel), you will want to see the new content when it is available.


A widely used aspect of the content for the Dynamic Display system is the Experiment Portfolios. Anyone at Fermilab can upload images to a portfolio.
Tips for pleasing images in the Portfolio

The resolution of the images should be at least "1080p", which is 1920x1080 pixels. With the advent of 4K TVs, we recommend that images be 4K resolution (3840x2160 pixels). Bigger than this is a burden on the system.

Horizontal (landscape) images are substantially more pleasing to see in the Portfolio display web pages. If you must have a vertical (portrait) or a square image, it is recommended that you turn it into a horizontal image by adding bands to the left and the right of the image, like this:


Any of these programs can do this sort of manipulation (in order of preference of the author):
  1. FastStone Image Viewer
  2. irfanView
  3. Adobe PhotoShop ($$$), LightRoom ($$) or Elements ($)
  4. Corel PaintShot Pro ($)
  5. gimp


Adding a PowerPoint presentation:
A PowerPoint presentation may be added to the Dynamic Display system, with some limitations.
  • We have not found a way to guarantee that it will reliably auto-play the presentation. Thus, you have to have a clicker or a keyboard on the Display computer in order to show a presentation.
  • The PPT or PPTX file size limit is 20MB (about 20,971,000 bytes). This web page gives suggestions on making a small PowerPoint file (the link was first verified on Dec 19, 2018).

PowerPoint files are uploaded here

When you upload a PowerPoint file, a new Dynamic Displays channel is added to the system. In order to see that new channel on the Channel Selector, click on the refresh button on the Channel Selector, and then click "yes".


YouTube videos can be channels. Click here for instructions on creating a URL for a YouTube video.

Limitations: At this time, there are no facilities for:
  • Showing JNLP (Java Web Start) web pages
  • Displaying long documents.
  • Anything that requires user input at the display
  • A web page that requires a login