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News Feed Image for ActionTiles

    These image generators are now available directly from the ActionTiles cloud. Links below have been updated accordingly.  


    ActionTiles is a great interface for managing and controlling SmartThings. Having previously created a webpage that delivered a calendar image for use in ActionTiles I thought I’d have a go at creating some more ‘dynamic’ images.  Below are details for a News Feed image.  The dynamic image can be found at

    Although it has a php extension the page returns a PNG image.

    Parameters / Customizing the look

    Users can pass formatting options as URL parameters to override the default format.  For example:

    Colors are entered as hex values (without the # symbol – using a # symbol will cause formatting requests to be ignored). The above sets the background color to black, the body color (the headlines) to white and the title (feed name) color to green.  The full list of parameters is shown below.

    • backgroundColor – the background color of the image.
    • titleColor – the color of the title containing the feed name.
    • bodyColor – the color of the news feed headlines.
    • static – (valid values – true or false) by default the image will ‘page’ through an extended forecast.  If you wish to have the image fix on the first ‘page’ of the forecast use static=true. False is default.
    • speed – the number of seconds to display each page.  Will only work if static is not set to true.
    • src – the news source to display.  Current valid values are:
      • CNN
      • FOX (Fox News)
      • NYT (New York Times)
      • RTRS (Reuters News)
      • BBCNEWS (BBC News)
      • ESPN (ESPN Top News)
      • ESPNNFL (ESPN NFL News)
      • ESPNNBA (ESPN NBA News)
      • ESPNMLB (ESPN MLB News)
      • ESPNNHL (ESPN NHL News)
      • BBCSPORT (BBC Sports News)
      • BBCSOCCER (BBC UK Soccer News)
      • Your custom source using the steps below

    Using a Custom Feeds Source

    This feature is still in development and is slightly clunky but should work for most RSS feeds.  Get the URL for the feed you want to use and visit  Then enter the RSS Feed URL in the top box and hit Encode.  You’ll get a string of characters in the bottom box that you can copy and use as the src variable in your call to this news page.  For example:

    Used in the call to the news image creator you would have a URL like:

    Adding To ActionTiles

    Once you have determined the exact formatting that you wish to use, copy the URL including parameters and then:

    1. Go to (you must have an account and be logged in to view this page)
    2. Click on the Plus symbol in the bottom-right-hand corner of the screen to add new media.
    3. Select ‘This Media is a still image or GIF’
    4. Enter the URL in the URL field.
    5. Enter a refresh rate, if desired.  We recommend every hour which would be a value of 3600 seconds.  We strongly request that you don’t refresh more regularly than every 900 seconds.