Cheapest way to show a browser on a TV long-term?

stevetcook

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Jan 13, 2013
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My workplace has a number of TVs around the office that are going to be used to show up-to-the-minute data about how departments are performing. This data will be shown on web pages that the TVs will display. I'm trying to find the cheapest way to display these web pages (full-on browser will be needed for advanced CSS features). Having a laptop/desktop per group of TVs is expensive and definitely overkill. Anyone know of a cheaper alternative? (Built-in Wi-Fi is preferable)
 

stevetcook

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Thank you. I've considered the Chromecast, but as far as I can tell there's no way to display a browser window without a computer running chrome "streaming" it to the Chromecast. Other options I've considered are the Apple TV & Vizio Co-Star, but I'm not sure how good their browsers are. Any experience with those?
 

g-unit1111

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I use an Apple TV but I've never really played with the browser. I just use it for iTunes and Netflix streaming.
 

hang-the-9

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You can get a full Android dongle that is more flexible than the Google device. Like this one http://dx.com/p/ug802-android-4-0-dual-core-network-multi-media-player-w-wi-fi-hdmi-tf-black-1gb-ram-4gb-153223?tc=USD&gclid=CPDU3v_ho7sCFVLxOgodzB4A6A http://www.amazon.com/SANOXY%C2%AE-Android-internet-adaptor-dongle/dp/B009F8HS4E

You will have to do some setting up of these things as I don't think you can connect to them via IP like you can a remote computer. Will be a lot cheaper than setting up a full multi-display center though with running video cables over distances to a multi-output computer.
 

stevetcook

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I really like the looks of these. Do you have any experience using them? I've actually used Vizio Co-Stars in the past for something like this, but over time they slow down drastically to where they become basically unresponsive, even after resetting them. They get a little better as they cool down, but quickly return to being slow within the day. So I wonder if anyone can say that these don't have the same issue. Thanks a ton for pointing me to them, either way :)
 

hang-the-9

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No, I have never used one. Keept meaning to get one to play with but all of my TVs either have a laptop or an XBOX360 attached to them or are just full computers so never felt the need to spend the money to play with something I won't really use. Did not even know Vizio made a media player box.
 

GorfTheFrog

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Hi stevetcook -

Let me answer this question a different way - what is the business value for displaying this information? In other words, how does displaying this info help the company make money?

The solution that is probably the easiest, most maintainable, and most replaceable when something goes awry, is a $200 kiosk PC running whatever is your standard OS and browser software. Everyone in your department will know how to mange and maintain it.

Some of the other solutions may be individually cheaper, but I suspect they will be more problematic to maintain over the long run.

If there is a strong business case for displaying this data, then it will be a good deal whether it's a $200 PC or a $500 PC. If the business case is weak, then it's a bad idea even if the incremental hardware cost is $0.

Hope this helps.
 

stevetcook

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I like your thinking, I'm going to research this now. Honestly, I don't have the numbers for how the data will help our company, I was just asked to make it happen :) Thanks!
 

GorfTheFrog

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Hi stevetcook -

Glad to help.

You may also come at the problem by asking questions such as:

o How do we expect our people to behave differently if this info is available?
o Will our people need any additional training to take action on this information?
o How will this impact our customers?
o If people modify their behaviors, what would be the best outcome that we could expect? (This question gets to how does the solution help us grow beyond where we are today.)
o Has there been one or more problems that we can point to that we want to avoid in the future (This question point to the magnitude of a cost problem that you're trying to avoid.)

If you can get really good answers to all of these questions, then consider running a pilot with a small group before you go "all-in" with the whole company.

Good Luck!
###
 

Recycled

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Oct 31, 2013
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I'm guess Your company uses those SFF (small form factor) office PCs that are so common.

I'm also guessing that Your company's IT department has upgraded or replaced a few dozen of them in the last year.

So where are the old ones?

The SFF PCs probably have DVI outputs. Do these TVs have DVI inputs?

If so, problem solved (except for the occasional need to plug in a keyboard for Windows-update-induced sillyness.)

--Andy
 
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