Oct 2015 - Chromebox yes or no

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I need to by some boxes and it seems that based on the Rise Video I just watched that Chromebox is the best solution for the money.  Cost is a huge factor for us .. can we still purchase Chromeboxes for Rise Displyas
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Steven Sousa

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Posted 3 years ago

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Ray Durkin

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Hi,

I'm sorry, but no, chromeboxes are not available in the Rise Vision store. 
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rcruse

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Steven,

These are the Chromebox models we purchased for our campuses:

http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/chromebox-3010/pd

These are much more affordable than the ones on the RV store anyway. And you can install the RV app on a Chromebox and put it into kiosk mode in only a few minutes. We saved LOTS of money on Chromeboxes this way.

Take that extra money you're saving  by buying your own Chromeboxes and buy some of those ''premium" widgets from the RV store instead (or even more Chromeboxes!) ...

Robert
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Wendi Borden, Champion

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A few things to note.. Rise Vision is only currently supporting Managed Chrome devices that are locked to Chrome 44 or earlier. So you will need to order the $50 management console. Also, the Chrome App is not available in the Web Store right now due to some development issues that are being investigated (https://community.risevision.com/rise_vision_inc/topics/chrome-application-player-on-hold-due-to-iss...) If you already had it you should be fine, or you may be able to get a direct link.

Honestly the price of an i3 NUC is pretty comparable when you have to add in the management console. I'm a little scared with all of the posts about Chromebox issues, so I'm personally looking into some NUC Ubuntu boxes instead.
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rcruse

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I know what you mean. We're continuing to use Chromeboxes however, as they've been more robust and stable than a Windows box in kiosk mode, based on our previous testing before purchasing our CBoxes from Dell.  Despite RV's recent issues, more and more signage companies (not less) are now supporting these inexpensive yet decent media players.

And note these recent issues with RV and Chromeboxes wasn't a problem with the Chromeboxes themselves, but a case where RV's code had a conflict with the Chrome OS.'

We're not using Chrome management either. We'd like to, but our school won't allow the purchase. But honestly, up until this recent issue, there hasn't been need for more remote mangement that isn't already built into the RV Devices 'portal.'

And from the post I've read about this RV and Chrome OS issue,  many Chromeboxes users were affected this latest issue, regardless if there devices were managed, or remained at v. 44 anyway.
So Chrome management wouldn't have necessarily helped anyway ...
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Wendi Borden, Champion

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I do find the Chromebox very easy to use and I love the Kiosk mode. We're fairly new to RV, so I'm glad to see there is some confidence in Chromebox. I'm glad you are still having a good experience :)

We have about 5 test devices at the moment, 2 are managed. I have not noticed major problems with either. However, we aren't installed in the field yet so the recent issues made me worry I should explore the alternatives.

Are all of your boxes local in your building? What do you find are the hardest aspects of managing your signage network?
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Matt B

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We have been using our chrome boxes for little over a year now, and they have been fantastic little machines for digital signs, till recently where they will lock up. As for your question We have them within different buildings in different counties, and have just found the hardest part of management of them has been making sure which box is actually up and running as we have received many false positives saying the box was down or up. The other main issue is when they need a hard reset onto them they get sent back to us, but I really do not feel that is a negative. 
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rcruse

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We have 40 CBoxes spread across 4 campuses and three cities. 5 of them are located at my current home campus.

I'd have to agree with Matt B. Red and green hearts that indicate if the CBox has 'checked in' or not in a predetermined frame of time is not particularly useful.

But even when our CBoxes had a red heart, we've rarely had one actually go down. They will usually continue to operate normally. They just might not get new updates until they 'check in' again.

On the occasion where a CBox has actually gone down, a tech assistant from that campus will just reach behind the TV and power cycle the CBox, and that always restored the CBox to a green heart status. (Our media techs do routine 'walking checks' of our campuses, and alert me if they see a CBox unit down.)

I've read that Chrome device management allows you to capture a 'screen shot' of what's currently playing on each of the Chromebox units. If true, it is the only current way I know of that would allow us to see what our remote Chromebox units are playing on their TV displays.

Robert
(Edited)
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Wendi Borden, Champion

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Thank you both for your feedback! We currently have about 130 units across the US running the signage solution we coded in-house. The heartbeat to report up/down is pretty difficult to pull off. I think that RV has about as good a solution as we currently use. Chrome Management does offer the Screen Shot feature. I'm curious how people are going about remotely managing these boxes. I'd really love a dashboard to show all the boxes in my company (and sub-companies) so I can get an at-a-glance outlook of what all boxes are up and down. We've used the API's and can code up the status indications, but I'm interested if there is a good solution to get periodic screenshots. I know the number one issue we run into is networking.. sites will change routers, move the units, etc. I'm hoping the ease of use on the Chromebox will help in remotely troubleshooting those problems. I'm glad the Chromebox reliability has been pretty decent. Our users are good enough to reboot systems and simple troubleshooting, so manually rebooting every once and again if there are problems wouldn't be too bad.