AOpen Chrome Mini Products for Digital Signage

AOpen Chrome Mini Products for Digital Signage

AOpen’s new Chrome OS based Chromebox Mini and Chromebase Mini have a lot to offer for the digital signage and kiosk industry. These two products are AOpen’s first commercial Chrome devices targeted to a lower cost market. From a user standpoint, here are some thoughts, specifications, and how we plan on utilizing these two new devices released in 2017.

AOpen Chromebase Mini

AOpen’s latest addition to their Commercial Chromebase line of products, features a great looking 10.1” touch screen. The very first thing we noticed about this device was the weight, at 2.7 lbs this is not a tablet! The Chromebase mini is built for a commercial environment, an all metal enclosure makes it an admirable alternative to a cheap tablet for a high traffic, high use environment. Another feature differencing the Chromebase mini from a cheap tablet is the lack of an accessible power button to limit tampering with the device. We see this device being used for retail end-cap displays, conference room displays, calendar/scheduling displays, wayfinding, and many more use cases.

The touch screen features 1280x800 resolution and supports up to 10 point multi touch. Overall the screen looks great and is a big win for this device. The Chromebase Mini shares most hardware specs with the Chromebox Mini and has similar processing power. Standard VESA mounting patterns on the back of the device make finding a mounting solution extremely easy. The HDMI output on the device is great to see for multiple monitor displays. The MSRP of this device is $349 USD, and its ruggedness makes it perfect for commercial use, or affordable enough for consumer use.

Our praises:

  • Build quality, durability
  • Touch screen

Our gripes:

  • Non-standard 1280x800 screen resolution
  • Accessing the I/O ports can be cumbersome

Specs:

  • Panel: 10.1” 1280 x 800 250nits AHVA
  • Touch: 10 point multi-touch; pinch to zoom
  • CPU: Quad-Core Cortex-A17, up to 1.8GHz
  • DRAM: LPDDR3 Dual Channel 4GB
  • Storage: EMMC 5.0 16GB
  • FHD Webcam (2MP)
  • Built-in Dual Digital MIC and Stereo Speaker
  • WIFI+ BT4.0: 802.11 b/g/n/ac + BT4.0 x 1

AOpen Chromebox Mini

AOpen’s latest offering in their line of commercial grade Chromeboxes, is the aptly named Chromebox Mini. Just under 6 inches on its longest side and under 1 inch thick, the device undoubtedly has one of the best form factors we have seen in a Chromebox. The Chromebox Mini comes with WiFi antennas which can be rotated to your desired angle, this inherently increases the footprint of the device but in tight environments, the built in ethernet connection can be used instead. The processing power of the Chromebox mini seems to be on par with similarly priced devices, although hardware specs are noticeably cut down from the rest of AOpen’s commercial Chromeboxes. Built in video output is limited to just one HDMI port. The Chromebox Mini also has a connection for a external power switch in the situation where the power button won’t be easily accessible.

The Chromebox Mini’s form factor and other features make it a great choice for someone looking for a powerful box for a traditional screen/player combo. The form factor of the device makes it easy to mount in existing enclosures and new installations. The MSRP of $189 USD makes it an attractive option for lots of digital signage customers.

Our praises:

  • Great form factor, easy mounting capability
  • Price: Just $189.00 USD MSRP
  • External power switch connector

Our gripes:

  • No mounting tabs or brackets out of box
  • Limited to 1 video output

Specs:

  • Fanless/non venting hole design
  • CPU:Quad-Core Cortex-A17, up to 1.8GHz
  • DRAM: LPDDR3 Dual Channel 4GB
  • Storage: EMMC 5.0 16GB
  • WIFI+ BT4.0: 802.11 b/g/n/ac + BT4.0 x 1
  • Dimensions: 5.75 x 3.8 x 0.94 in

QUESTIONS? We are here to help. 319-294-6671 or e-mail us directly at info@arreya.com

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Video Wall and Multiple Screen

Video Wall and Multiple Screen

Multiple Screen Signage and Digital Display Walls

Signage Success Guide

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

There is no one size fits all answer when it comes to multiple screen signage displays. If you’re starting from scratch with brand new screens, you can make your digital signage management a seamless process by purchasing the right equipment and hardware.

When it comes to multiple screen displays, there are several scenarios to consider when you are implementing digital signage.

A Complete Plan for Success

Arreya software is an easy fit for multiple display projects. It can be sized to fit any configuration all within 1 channel. Where multi-screen installations go wrong is with the hardware. To implement a multi-screen digital display, thoroughly thought out hardware should be planned prior to purchase.  problems arise when screens have been purchased and installed without prior thought to configuration, orientation, interactivity or even dynamic content.

Not all hardware is created equal when it comes to multiple screen displays. While sometimes it’s as easy as  purchasing an extra piece of hardware, others can take hours or weeks  of troubleshooting only to come up with imperfect results.

Once you know what capabilities your screens will need and how many will be in the display, you can test Arreya software with a free 30 day trial.  Arreya offers you the capability to span as many screens as you need, as long as the screens can be set in a configuration that allows them to share data.

Shop for hardware that fits all your needed criteria. Buy and test all hardware prior to installation. Since Arreya is agnostic, it works with most hardware. As a Chrome Partner, Arreya recommends Chrome devices because they provide easy integration for most displays, even if you’re seeking touchscreen capabilities.

The Latest and GreatestDigital Signage with Multiple Screens

If you are starting from scratch with digital signage, Arreya is a great fit. Our technical support team can assist you in finding the best hardware for the exact scenario you are hoping to create, and even test it so you know it will work.

  • Multi-screen display side by side with portrait positioning
  • Multi-screen display side by side with landscape positioning
  • Multi-screen stacked on top with landscape positioning
  • Multi-screen stacked on top with portrait positioning
  • Five or more screens tiled on one wall
  • Double Screens with the bottom tablet being a touchscreen that controls the larger screen

Any of these scenarios can become complex if you don’t research the capabilities of the screens that you are buying before you make the purchase. A commercial grade TV screen or computer monitor will more likely provide options to sync up the display with ease, but make sure the ones you buy are meant for 24/7 commercial installations.

Save Money

Displays not functioning correctly or completely dark can affect your sales or visitor experience. Time is money – especially when you are paying a company for tech support or trouble shooting. Purchasing the wrong hardware for your digital signage display may result in adding extra hardware that costs extra money, and may cause more technical problems.

Well planned multi-screen displays can save money, time and the end result will be an amazing dynamic experience for your audience.

At Arreya, we are happy to help you find the best digital signage hardware for the display you are planning, even if you choose to shop prices for the hardware and purchase it from a different supplier. In the end, we want you to have the best possible experience with our software.

If you have hardware already, and want to use Arreya Digital Signage Software, our technical support team are available to speak with you about possibilities.

Correct Hardware = Simple Signage

Correct Hardware = Simple Signage

Make Digital Signage Easy With the Optimum Equipment

What comes first? The chicken or the egg? The same might be asked of selecting digital signage hardware and software, and deciding how it will be used.

Are you tempted to buy the cheapest screen at your nearby big box store?

STOP!

Think about the Difference – Commercial vs. Consumer

The difference between commercial screens and consumer televisions are broad, and different screens are manufactured for different uses and conditions. If you use hardware in a scenario that it is not built for, your warranty will be void, and the manufacturer can deny replacement or repayment. Commercial screens typically include a 3-5 year warranty with onsite replacement, but if you get the consumer special you will likely pay extra for a limited warranty.

Buying the wrong screen for your kiosk or video wall may lead to technical support issues that are billed hourly, or require an extra piece of hardware adding up the costs to your digital signage project

5 Considerations When Choosing Digital Signage Hardware

Will Your Signage be Placed in a Hot or Cold Climate?

Consumer televisions and computer screens are not manufactured to withstand heat or extreme cold. Hardware that is not rated for the climate that you put it in will have a shorter lifespan. Many commercial screens are manufactured for outdoor climates or to withstand sun, and they often have a management system that monitors the system to make sure it doesn’t overheat.

Are You Placing Your Screens in a High Traffic Area?

Most consumer grade smart TVs have buttons and logos in visible areas. If you don’t want visitors turning off your signage or touching screens that are not meant to be touchscreens, you will want to have them secured. Commercial screens will have controls on the back, and offer the ability to disengage the buttons so only the display manager will be able to turn it on or change the volume.  They are meant for 24/7 usage and are more robust for continual use.

Are You Planning to Use Screens in Portrait Mode?

Some screens are not manufactured to be hung or used in portrait mode. If they are not meant for that use and the screen seems to have defects or stops working, the manufacturer’s warranty will be void. If you want to use your display in portrait mode, it is best to purchase a commercial screen with portrait capabilities.

If you are planning to have multiple screens in portrait mode, having screens that can be set to “talk to each other” for this purpose will save you time and money in troubleshooting and extra hardware.

Will Your Signage Be Integrated with a Touchscreen Display?

It it is the screen will need to have touch capabilities. Depending on where the screen is located and the conditions it will be used, the actual touch technology may be important. If your visitors will possibly be using your kiosk as they come out of the cold, you may want a screen that will recognize touch even if they are wearing gloves. However, if the display will be in direct sunlight, some technologies will have a shorter life or may not work as well on a sunny day. If you need certain touch capabilities, do your research on touchscreen technology.

Does Your Company Already Use G-Suite?

If G-Suite is already a part of your company’s workflow, Chrome devices are a natural fit for digital signage equipment. Chrome devices lock monitors into kiosk mode to keep visitors from bringing up websites and any unwanted content.  As a Chrome Partner, Arreya software will integrate with your workflow and your Chrome devices for seamless remote digital signage design and management.  If you already have equipment it may be possible to use a Chromebit or Chromebox to retrofit your older hardware to new digital signage software.

At Arreya, we try to make digital signage easy and affordable for the end user. If you have questions about which equipment to purchase or how to make your current hardware work with Arreya, contact us.