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HTML Templates

Table of contents

  1. What is an HTML Template?
  2. Basics
  3. Directory Structure
  4. index.html
  5. SDKs
    1. The basic SDK
    2. The React SDK
  6. Local development: dsplay-data.js
  7. Testing on a device
  8. Packing
  9. Deploying
  10. Migrating your template to run properly on DSPLAY app version 3.x

What is an HTML Template?

An HTML template is the piece of software responsible for rendering the content of your media in your screen.

In DSPLAY, most of media types can have its layout and presentation customized. You can change colors, fonts, images, add your brand, and totally redefine the way a media will be displayed.

The following checked media types allow customization through custom HTML templates:

  • COVID-19
    • COVID-19 Vaccination
    • COVID-19 Cases
  • From your local files
    • Video
    • Audio
    • Image
  • Social Networks
    • Twitter
    • Instagram
    • Facebook
  • Dynamic Content
    • News (RSS)
    • Weather Forecast
    • Web Site
    • Digital Clock
    • World Clocks (analog)
    • Horizontal Information Bar
  • Google
    • YouTube
    • Google Presentation
    • Google Spreadsheet
    • Google Document
    • Google Calendar
  • Brazil
    • Brazilian Lottery
    • BCB Exchange Rates
  • Util
    • Wi-Fi Access
  • Custom
    • Message
    • JSON Service

Message and JSON Service media types are too generic and because of that they don’t have a default template. So these kind of media can only be created by using a custom template.


All templates in DSPLAY are just simple HTML apps. They can be built using any tool that outputs a static HTML5 application.

Your Template can include:

  • HTML 5
  • CSS 3
  • JavaScript
  • Images
  • Fonts
  • Audio
  • Video
  • Plugin (e.g. Flash, Applet)

Directory Structure

The only requirement regarding the project structure is that you must have an index.html in the root of your project, and a file called dsplay-data.js located anywhere in the project folder. The rest of the structure is up to you.

A sample project structure can be something like:

|-- my-template
|   |-- index.html  <-- must be on the root
|   |
|   |-- scripts
|   |   |-- dsplay-data.js  <-- can be located anywhere in the template structure
|   |   |-- app.js
|   |
|   |-- images
|   |-- styles


This file is your template entrypoint, and it must be located at the root of your project.

A very simple index.html can look like the following:

<!doctype html>
    <meta charset="utf-8">
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="styles/main.css">
    <div id="root"></div>
    <script src="scripts/dsplay-data.js"></script>
    <script src="scripts/app.js"></script>

This is actually the only file required in a DSPLAY HTML template. It’s possible, although not recommended, to have a template with only the index.html file.


DSPLAY has some SDK libraries that helps you to create templates easily. Those libraries allow you to mock app data and test your templates locally.

The basic SDK

This is where the magic happens.

@dsplay/template-utils is a pure javascript library that handles the interaction between DSPLAY app and your template. Through this interface your template can get data from DSPLAY app and also send some commands to the app (e.g. completion or error).

The library will automatically detect the environment where your template is running and will get data from the right place. When running on your web browser, [test] data will come from the dsplay-data.js file. When running on the DSPLAY Player Android app it will get [real] data from the app.

You can use this SDK in any template, built with vanilla javascript, jQuery or any other framework.

The React SDK

Built on top of the basic SDK, @dsplay/react-template-utils provides the same funcionality plus some useful React components and hooks to make you life easier.

If you are building your template with React, we recommend using this SDK.

Local development: dsplay-data.js

In order to make easier to test your template in your web browser during development time. You must have a file called dsplay-data.js, located anywhere and “imported” in your index.html (usually before the other scripts files).

This file must contain 3 variables of object type, like this:

var dsplay_config = {};
var dsplay_media = {};
var dsplay_template = {};

During template development, dsplay-data.js will be just a mock with your test data.

The following pages show in detail the fields of dsplay-data.js objects:

Testing on a device

The easiest way to check how your template renders in the real devices (or Android emulator) is serving your HTML through some static HTTP server (e.g. serve, apache, etc). So you can create a Web Site media item on the Web Manager pointing to your local address (IP).

In this way, you will be able to see how your template behaves on real devices.

Ideally, your device should have an ADB connection with your PC. This helps debugging and managing the native browser limitations.


To upload your template to the DSPLAY Web Manager you must pack all your files in a .zip file.

IMPORTANT: When zipping your template, the index.html file must be located in the root of the .zip file, not inside any folder.

Most boilerplates have a script to pack your template.


To deploy your template, just create (or edit) a template in the Web Manager.

  1. Choose the media type your template applies for;
  2. Give your template a name;
  3. Choose your .zip file;
  4. Check the responsive option (it will be default soon);
  5. If your template define custom variables, you must register them clicking at the ‘Add’ button in ‘Template Vars’ region;
  6. Confirm by clicking ‘Create’.

Done! Your template is available for use.

Migrating your template to run properly on DSPLAY app version 3.x

Follow this guide to see what changes you need to do to make your template compatible with the new DSPLAY app

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