Chromebox Questions

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  • Updated 4 years ago
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Hey everyone, we've been evaluating chromeboxes - and like many, we have some unanswered questions about using them properly. I figured that if we come together, we may find answers to all of these, and be better off as a whole.
So here's the questions that are on my mind about using chromeboxes - feel free to chime in if you have answers/opinions! Thanks much!

- Can you control the screen resolution through mgmt console? Have you ever had resolution size issues when used with different TV brands?
- Have you ever had TV resolution issues when using permanent kiosk mode?
- Have you ever had the need to remote-control the chromeboxes? How did you handle it?
- Has permanent kiosk mode every presented difficulties with support?
- When using Rise, can you powerwash a chromebox, reload the player, and reset the ID all from mgmt console? Or do you need to bring it in house?
- Have you ever had issues with keyboard and mouse compatibility?
- Do any of them use Chromeboxes with Video extenders?
- Chromeboxes have a built-in shut down when TV's are turned off. Does this happen often? Does this present staff inconveniences at all?
- If network settings change and a chromebox is disconnected - what can you do in management console?
- How well does mgmt console work for a digital signage operator? Multiple client networks, different usage scenarios, etc.
- Can management console be used to send a browser refresh to a chromebox?
- Has anyone seen differences between HP and Asus boxes? (We actually called HP, spent 2 hours on the phone with support, and they literally had NO idea what they even were!)

Thanks everyone, hopefully we can all benefit together!
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Alex, Champion

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Posted 4 years ago

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rcruse

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Using a 1920x1080 presentation, the Chromebox matched the display on a Samsung TV just fine. But when we plugged it into a LG TV, the bottom and the right of the screen were cut off. This is due to the overscan of the LGs vs. the Samsungs, I suppose. The fix for the LGs was to change the aspect ratio from 16:9 (although technically correct) to "Just Scan". This may work for other overscanning TV brands also.

Concerning mouse/keyboards, I've been using a Dell USB mouse and keyboard well. I couldn't get the Chromebox to pair up with my Apple Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, though.

The rest of the things you asked about are over my head ;)
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Joseph Mayberry

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in regards to the built-in shutdown when the TV is turned off. Yes, this happens very consistently and can cause serious user issues as any authentications will need to be reentered for the content that uses them to be displayed correctly. It is possible that the mgmt console offers options that fix this (I am not using an enrolled device), but I was able to find a fix using developers mode.

If you boot your box in dev mode (there are instructions for doing this all over the net) you can open the console with ctrl+alt+t. From here you'll need to enter the following commands:
-shell
-sudo set_power_policy -ac_idle_action do_nothing -lid_closed_action do_nothing



I have yet to test this over an extended period of time, going to leave the TV off and the box on over the weekend to see what happens. But thus far it has kept the box up even when the TV is off.

Haven't bumped into any issues with keyboard/mouse compatibility. Dev boot screen doesn't recognize wireless, so you have to let it time out on its own. And some older wireless devices have serious lag if you aren't close to the device.

You can refresh the player through rise vision (from the displays tab).

My devices aren't enrolled, nor set to kiosk, so I can't comment on the rest.
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Matt Blumberg

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Hi Alex,

Comments inline below:

- Can you control the screen resolution through mgmt console? Have you ever had resolution size issues when used with different TV brands? 
You cannot control resolution but the Chromebox should default to the max supported resolution the display can support. Are you seeing cases where this does not happen?

- Have you ever had the need to remote-control the chromeboxes? How did you handle it? 
Yes, we have heard this feedback. Advanced device monitoring and health reporting is something we are currently working on. 

- Has permanent kiosk mode every presented difficulties with support? 
If a Chrome Device is used without a Chrome Management license, you are not entitled to Google Enterprise Support. You would also not have access to the 200+ Management Console policies that would enable cloud based management of the device.

- When using Rise, can you powerwash a chromebox, reload the player, and reset the ID all from mgmt console? Or do you need to bring it in house? 
Not specific to Rise, if a device is wiped back to factory defaults via 'dev mode wipe' or 'powerwash' you would need to re-enroll it back into the domain it was in previously if Forced Re-enrollment is enabled: https://support.google.com/chrome/a/answer/1360534?hl=en

- Have you ever had issues with keyboard and mouse compatibility? 
Chrome should work with all USB HID Compliant input devices.

- Do any of them use Chromeboxes with Video extenders? 
Chromebox outputs HDMI or Displayport- no specific extenders should/should not work. It would be similar to any other device you are connecting to.

- Chromeboxes have a built-in shut down when TV's are turned off. Does this happen often? Does this present staff inconveniences at all? 
Chrome Kiosk Apps can control power management of the device. If the app is set to 'keep away' there should not be an issue where the device/screen goto sleep.

- If network settings change and a Chromebox is disconnected - what can you do in management console? 
You obviously cannot deploy changes to policy while the device is offline but you can pre-configure wifi/wired networks so it will be ready to connect to alternate networks if available.  Having said that, if the Chrome App is configured to work offline (and cache content) signage will work without issue if there are hiccups in internet connectivity.


- Can management console be used to send a browser refresh to a chromebox? 
Kiosk Apps such as Rise have control over how often the content refreshes.   

- Has anyone seen differences between HP and Asus boxes? (We actually called HP, spent 2 hours on the phone with support, and they literally had NO idea what they even were!) 
We (Google) Have regular calls with HP regarding digital signage on the Chrome platform. I assume you spoke with HP Tech Support who may not be able to provide support for custom chrome applications such as Rise.  If you have Chrome Management Console License(s) you can open a support case directly with Google to troubleshoot device issues.