Are Chromeboxes no longer being manufactured?

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    Blake Freeman

    Hey Robert,

     

    Just in case you haven't heard, we are pursuing Chrome OS development. Check out the announcement here.

     

  • Avatar
    Darius Aleksas

    Robert, what do you mean by saying: "will we be forced to look for another platform for digital signage?" Do you want to drop RV altogether because they stopped supporting Chrome OS? Why do not you just get supported OS players, for example, Windows 10? There are decent players for the price of a Chromebox: https://www.amazon.com/Byte3-Fanless-Win-Pro-Mini/dp/B076CC93FP/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1517349928&sr=8-1&keywords=azzule+byte+3

  • Avatar
    Robert Cruse

    Darius,

    Thanks for responding. By platform, I meant OS, rather than digital signage company.*

    What I meant is that we'd be forced to abandon the Chromeboxes and Chrome OS for another OS, such as Windows or Ubuntu.

    We've stayed with Chromeboxes over these years for performance issues as well. In a side by side comparison with our older Chromeboxes (1.7 GHz Celeron, 2 GB RAM), a PC mini with Windows didn't run the Windows RV player as well, despite the PC having a better processor and more RAM. The Windows box had too many load lags, often became stuck on screens, the transitions/scrolling were not smooth, etc. And they weren't as easy to lockdown as putting the Chromebox in kiosk mode.

    Chromeboxes are basically media players anyway, so digital signage played to that strength. The Windows box kept trying to do too may things besides run the signage app, oftentimes disrupting the signage display. I've heard that you can install watchdog programs for Windows to keep it from doing all it's many functions that would interrupt with signage playback, but that just seem ridiculous.

    I now have Ubuntu installed on the same PC mini I had done the Windows testing, and it performs better than Windows. But due to font substitution (I suppose) the text and formatting on my presentations using Ubuntu are off, so I'd need to redo my presentations. No that big a deal, I suppose. But with the Windows and Ubuntu options, their use seems more like 'settling', rather than getting the performance and stability I've become used to with these Chromeboxes. Of course, YMMV.

    But if this is the way the wind is blowing, I'll guess we have no choice but to go to mini PCs and install Ubuntu on them. The plus side though, is we'll get screenshots now.

    Thanks,

    Robert Cruse

    *(There's always been a push back against RV here, since it's a free or 'freemium' service, and therefore not to be taken seriously, according to my detractors. But I've successfully fought to keep RV here at ACC for over three years now anyway. Thank goodness. However that is a different story.)

  • Avatar
    Darius Aleksas

    Robert, only basic RV is free and premium content/services are paid. Not too many of them now, but I've heard more exciting premium features are coming our way. As a power user, you might find this interesting: https://store.risevision.com/products/?cat=Plans&cid=77d65575-178b-499c-a476-eb66c5424a89

    Personally, I do not care if it is freemium or not. HTML framework behind Rise Vision is dope! And I am loving it!

    Not sure which windows devices you were testing... stick type perhaps? I would never recommend those as stable players. Bump it up a bit to NUC Celeron or even better Pentium and it works flawlessly. This Azulle player I posted a link above also looks very promising for basic digital signs. Windows 10 occasionally can be a b*tch with those mandatory updates. But our Windows 7 Enterprise on NUC Celeron has been an absolute darling thru the years now.

     

  • Avatar
    Mats Hulldin

    Hi Robert,

    Chromeboxes are still being manufactured and are still working just fine as signage players. There is also the Chromebit that I have been using for simpler signage solutions. That to is working just fine.

    The community player that is still available (since RV droped official support for chrome OS) works just fine. It's a shame they decided to drop Chrome OS. Like you said in your post. It really works great and I have never had any of the issues I have had with other OS players.

    Here are som links to devices I have tried and that are working.

    http://www.aopen.com/eu/all-chrome-devices (I have tried the Chromebox Mini and the Chromebase mini)
    https://www.asus.com/us/Chrome-Devices/Chromebit-CS10/

    I hope that can set you on the right path...

    /Mats

  • Avatar
    LUIS REYES

    Hello, if you still want to go with Chrome, may try this site: https://shop.promevo.com/chromeboxes.html

    LRG

  • Avatar
    Robert Cruse

    I appreciate the links. You can find SOME Chromeboxes being sold out there, but those I've found were manufactured in 2014 at the latest, and the companies that originally made them haven't made any since 2014 (eg. Asus).

    These old Chromebox models' processors are slow, and 2 GB RAM (occasionally you find 4 GB) is not forward thinking enough for today's even more media rich content. These Chromeboxes are mostly discontinued models, sold on third party sites.

    I'd like to find someone who is still making them, and still updating the specs, so they could be comparable to today's' other available media players. It wouldn't seem judicious to me to buy "new" media players that are already 4 years old and behind the rest of the available recent players in processing power and RAM. I need media players that are more up to date for today's media needs, and would more likely to be useful in 4 years from now, not already 4 years old when we buy them 'new'.

  • Avatar
    JR Kuchta

    Hi Robert, 

    After reading your post I became curious and found this article on ASUS producing a new Chromebox, so they'll be around!  https://www.engadget.com/2018/01/08/asus-chromebox-3-ces-2018/

    Also, as Blake mentioned, we are hard at work to bring Chrome OS back to Rise Vision.  It shouldn't be too much longer now.  For more info and to be notified upon release, see this blog post:

    https://www.risevision.com/blog/coming-soon-chrome-os

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