Post your hardware recommendations and stories here!

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Hi Community,

To begin building a community-focused public knowledge base, we have decided to start a thread about hardware recommendations when working on Rise Vision displays. Feel free to join in and share your setup here for the other Community members. Links, photos, technical specs and stories of your setup are encouraged!
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HSuarez

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Posted 3 years ago

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HSuarez

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Resources and links exclusively around digital signage and hardware: Digital Signage Today: Hardware 

http://www.digitalsignagetoday.com/topics/hardware/whitepapers/

Digital Signage Connection: Getting started with hardware



http://www.digitalsignageconnection.com/getting-started/hardware


Whitepaper from Userful about the Video Wall: 

http://www.mediafxgroup.com/sites/all/themes/mfxg/preview/userful/unvw-whitepaper.pdf (we offer Useful Video Walls in our Store here)

Hardware manufacturers also offer resources, case studies and more, here are a couple:

Aopen resources
http://www.aopen.com/us/digital-signage

Intel NUC usage samples
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/nuc/usage-examples.html

Digital Signage Step-by-Step guide from Intel

http://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/guides/digital-signage-step-by-step-guide.pdf

Dell brochure on digital signage

http://www.dell.com/downloads/us/biz/dell_digital_signage_family_brochure_updated.pdf

Dell's comprehensive resource on digital signage

http://www.dell.com/content/topics/global.aspx/sitelets/solutions/industry_application/pub_solutions/dell_digital_signage?c=us&l=en



If you have any resources for new and advanced users please share here!
(Edited)
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HSuarez

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To kick off, here’s a story from a few months ago, this was taken care off by one of the Rise Vision team members here... We had an retail store approach us regarding an issue involving the videos that they have for their Displays. Initially, we thought that it could possibly be an encoding or file format issue. Now imagine converting hours of video footage from one file format to another!

After a few exchanges and after some major file format conversions, the Displays were still not playing video as it should be. Not to mention that the compression that these videos reached to the point that they were not happy with the terrible quality of videos.

Here at Rise Vision, when we come across these queries one of the first steps that we do is to replicate the issue. Now, we use the NUCs that you can find in Store 

We then asked the user what their hardware specs are for their Displays and for their testing:

It turned out it was something along the lines of..
1.7 GHz Intel I-3- 4030U processors..

Now it turns out that they also bought another box, one with more horsepower (Intel® N2930, 1.83 GHz Turbo 2.16 GHz Quad Core) and this one faced far less issues in running the content.

You can probably guess what the moral of this story is :-) Check and make sure that your hardware requirements is more than enough for the level of content you are planning to play on your signage.
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Darius - PRODO.us, Champion

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Our Intel compute stick with even weaker Atom processor is playing videos without any problem from all of our presentations.
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William Oneal, Champion

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Something to add to this. Usually it's not video compression that matters the most. It's the encoding and the size of the video. Most people think they need the best quality video. For example 1080p is what everyone thinks they need to use. In most cases this is not true.
Here is why?
A 1080p video size is 1920x1080. So if your doing video full screen on a 1920x1080p display then this is the correct video type to use.
Now let's say you use a placeholder that's a smaller size. Say 1280x720. Then you need to use a 720p video or encode the video with that size setting.
The smaller you go with the placeholder the smaller the video needs to be. The only thing you need to do is keep video in a standard sizes. Most common are 1080p 720p 480p.
This will not harm video quality and it will draw less resources it you do it correctly. Sizes will be lower as well.

Encoding is the last thing. Not all video sources encode the same way. You might say well it's a MP4 or webm. It should just work. That might not be true. There are all kinds of bit rates and other stylings that both MP4 and webm can be done in. I usually always do the same encoding for all videos. That way it doesn't cause issues over the long haul. When I get a video I always re-encode it just for the sake of it. Yes time consuming but worth it.
There is a lot to video if you just look at all the things that go with it. I'm not an expert but I do know how to take a low resource machine and make it look like its a higher grade machine.

Anyway hope this helps people out.
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HSuarez

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William, thanks for posting!! Although I think this might be more in the Community Video Thread
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HSuarez

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Also..what are your thoughts from running on Android and Raspberry Pi? 
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William Oneal, Champion

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Android can run video. I would limit the amount used but it runs well once it's setup right. Plus ram size on android matters. 1gb is ok but 2gb makes a big difference.

The pi I can say video will always be an issue until someone makes the right gpu driver. Windows and Linux are working on it but it's a ways off. I blame Broadcom for that though. They had a chip that was really worthless and it found a home on the pi. Broadcom didn't really develop the gpu at all so they sold the chip cheaply to ones who wanted it. Now it's popular and it's up to a few to make a driver. It will happen eventually.

My thoughts on the future of pi and other boards will be Windows iot. I think in the future some and including rise need to pay attention to Windows iot. It's early but Microsoft is setting themselves up to run the table with it. I say this because look at Windows iot enterprise/pro that they just announced and released. Works like Windows but small footprint to run the apps you want. Kiosk and digital signage is one of the targets.
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William Oneal, Champion

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I forgot to add that in android I have been using Rikomagic Mk12 and Mk05. We are looking for newer boxes with 5.1 on them or 6.0. The pi2 is in testing with our Windows iot app. I will test this on a dragonboard 410c since it has hardware acceleration when the pi 2 doesn't.
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HSuarez

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Have you considered Arduino?
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RV News

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Our setup

Computer: Intel NUC 5i3RYH
Ram: 2x4GB DDR3L 1600MHz, Kingston (KVR16LS11/4)
SSD: Samsung EVO 850 120GB
OS: Windows 10 Home edition 64-bit 
Other: Rise Player
Auto start and shut down



Screen: Samsung RM40D (40" or 48") 1920x1080



Presentation: 15-20 min long
Images: 80-90 jpg (compression 80%)
Videos: Webm
Widgets: Image, Video, RSS, Weather, Html
Sub presentations
(Edited)
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Darius - PRODO.us, Champion

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This screen is really good. We have one just like that and we will be buying more of these in the future.
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Robert Schoneman, Champion

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Screens
We use two different types of displays, depending on application.

For applications where the digital signage content is delivered to the displays as modulated HD QAM channels we're using LG "commercial lite" displays: http://www.lg.com/us/commercial/led-tvs/lg-55LX341C. These displays are connected to a control system and change channels between a feed of the event on stage and the promo video digital signage player channel. They're not daylight visible but they look great and are super easy to manage/control/etc. 

For applications where the signage player is local and the displays run on a self-schedule we use NEC's E, X and P series displays (depending on what's needed). These displays have an internal timer and schedule function which is nice and they're rated for 24hr operation. The quality of the display panel is excellent but they come at a cost! 

Players
We're using a combination of players as our needs changed over time. They're divided into three generations: 
  • First Generation: NEC displays with embedded OPS computers. These initially ran WES7 but we found keeping them up to date was troublesome so we switched them over to Ubuntu 14.04 using the Chrome App Player. They're very expensive for what they do but it keeps the footprint down. We won't be buying any more of these due to reliability, service and cost concerns. 
  • Second Generation: Intel NUCs from Rise Vision running Ubuntu 14.04 and the Rise Player. These are VERY out of date on the software side but have proven to be quite reliable and just run and run and run. 24/7 for about a year and a half. They're slated for replacement with Chromeboxes but that's low priority. They're great little machines though! 
  • Third Generation: Chromeboxes. Also testing Chromebit but no ETA on deployment there yet. Both are enrolled as managed devices in a domain and locked to Chrome v45. 

Modulated Distribution and Control
If anyone would like more information on the modulated video and control side, I'm happy to offer that. It might be a bit off-topic though so I won't if there's no interest. 
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Robert Schoneman, Champion

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The Rise Vision player and Chrome is what was massively out of date. We just decommissioned these and they were as follows:

They weren't receiving updates, as configured from Rise Display. We could have updated them but the time to do the updates and such was more time consuming than just replacing them with managed Chrome devices. Also we had another home for the NUCs. We're aware that Rise isn't furthering development on the CAP but it has been 100% stable for us and our needs are quite simple.
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Steve Gregory, Champion

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Thanks!  I will be sure to check these versions when I set up the new boxes.
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Darius - PRODO.us, Champion

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Robert, what about Ubuntu, are you still using these? Would you recommend them?
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Robert Schoneman, Champion

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We have NEC displays with embedded computers that still run Ubuntu w/ CAP and they've been stable. Ubuntu is a fine platform. We're a Chrome shop but lots of people love Ubuntu. 
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Darius - PRODO.us, Champion

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We will give it a shot and see how it does.
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Ashleigh

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I see glorified triumph before me. 
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Thierry Masson, Champion

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Is there a installation guide for dummies somewhere.
Even if we plan to roll-out RiseVision on Chromeboxes for internal communication, I'm looking also PI2 for specific case like providing a signage portable workstation on botth during business fairs.
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HSuarez

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Thierry
Looks like we missed this comment, but see this Riseberry thread https://community.risevision.com/rise...
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Shea, Official Rep

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Hey guys, 

I stumbled across this today. It's a $15 computer comparable to the Raspberry Pi, any thoughts on whether it would be good for digital signage? 

Shea

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pine64/pine-a64-first-15-64-bit-single-board-super-comput
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William Oneal, Champion

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It's an interesting board and one I'm interested in seeing. With android 5.1 and Mali 400 graphics, I would say yes this board can do digital signage. Now getting video will depend on OS. Mali has great android drivers but I don't know about Linux. Plus support is key here. I bought a board a few years ago and after one year they brought out a new board. The board I have is useless now because the manufacture stopped supporting it. I can still get images for the board but they are 2 years old and not updated.

As far as boards go it's a wait and see. Also Right now, Im paying attention to Windows iot. It's a bit early but this year could be a strong year for Windows iot. They still have several things to do but they are working on it.
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Shea, Official Rep

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Thanks for the input William!

Ya I agree with you on the support problem, especially with small crowdfunded projects. You never know if the project will be seen to fruition once it is funded. I've heard of a few successful Kickstarter projects that had massive delays and poor communication/support. And like you said I think with boards it's wait and see. But I believe that Pi and Windows IoT has big potential in a lot of different applications.

I'm going to get the one that comes with Android so I can run your player on it. I'm really curious to see how it handles video, HTML animations, etc.. I'll report back in a month or so with what I find. 

Shea
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HSuarez

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With the cheaper Raspberry Pi, I more or less only see them as hardware more suited for the prototyping stage with projects (ie someone prototyping a Kickstarter project) without having to go through and get into PCB design and printing etc.  It's good that the price point is low enough to get more people involved with Raspberry Pi type projects.
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HSuarez

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Our new Create A Display page has hardware considerations for a few scenarios.  If you don't see the updated version, make sure to clear cache!
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Darius - PRODO.us, Champion

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Robert,

Price difference between Celeron, which is enough for the most of digital signage players and the cheapest i3 is nearly $100. Difference between Pentium (good enough for gaming with AAA games!!!) and cheapest i3 is ~$50. And i5... for what?! Perhaps only for multiple live streamings?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007671%20600436886&IsNodeId=1...
(Edited)
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RV News

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A great place to start!

Many users seem to have problems with setting the correct resolution in Windows. Perhaps you should add a description on how Windows should be set.
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Robb, Official Rep

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Great point! We'll publish a post on this very subject in the new year.
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Thierry Masson, Champion

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I confirm that we are preparing a major roll-out for internal communication worldwide based on Celeron-ChromeBoxes. Our validation tests have shown that is it sufficient to support one single Full HD stream with low demanding CPU gadgets. Even with two Full HD streams, it may work but it is really the limit.
Another point is about memory. 4GB memory is the low limit under which you should never go under with video streaming.
Furthermore, we have decided to limit our video bit rate to 1.400Kbps which is, for us, the best ratio performance/visual quality. The more the  it rate is the more memory demanding is. For instance, a video encoded in 13.000Kbps can not play correctly on a Chromebox with 4MBram on Celeron neither on I3 nor on I5. 
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Great points Theirry! Thank you!
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Darius - PRODO.us, Champion

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I noticed all the system recommendations are only for Intel processor PCs. Is there anything wrong in particular with AMD?
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Darius,

Not at all, especially if you find a chipset that works well for you. The majority of our testing has been on Intel, and they have worked out great for us, hence the recommendation.

Thanks!
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Graeme

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Reaching out to the community - I'm trying to source out the best solution for a small (<20"), wall-mounted (VESA compatible) that is able to run an interactive presentation (mostly text/images). I was originally thinking of a intel NUC+small touchscreen but maybe others have some good use-cases?
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HSuarez

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The use cases that I know of are on the Windows NUC (see Store https://store.risevision.com/products...). You can also do touch screens on ChromeOS. It would be interesting to hear what other users have to say regarding their touchscreen setup.
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Wendi Borden, Champion

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I was thinking the other day a Chromebase would be a pretty nice small display. All in one, clean install. Maybe worth condidering. Not sure if the size would work for you :) I'm pretty sure their stands are removable. Our Chromebit has been holding up pretty well in our testing also. NUCS have been great for us here with our other signage solution, but I have just begun testing with RV.
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Wendi Borden, Champion

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I will definitely look into these today - thanks Robert!
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Wendi Borden, Champion

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Just wanted to say the Chrome Book Inventory add-on is wonderful, thanks Robert! Any specific places you follow to keep up with Google and these little tricks? I try to poke around when I can, but like all of us time is limited. We're becoming more and more involved with Google, and I see lots of Chrome in our future. Any tips on where to start or keep up to date would be most welcomed. :)
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Google's dreams of Chrome World Domination are unfolding most currently in the education sector. They're shifting almost 2mil ChromeOS devices into the Education sector EVERY QUARTER. It goes without saying, that's where a lot of the reporting on management and use cases is going. New Visions' CloudLab has some nice scripts and add-ons (as you probably saw). 

If your Devs are crafty, there's a package called GAM (https://github.com/jay0lee/GAM/wiki) that allows you to use the CLI to manage your Google Domain (or other Google things). You'll have to enable APIs and such and there's a learning curve but it should allow you to get reports on devices, manage users, OU's and such. I haven't used it because our needs aren't that advanced... yours are! :) 
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Wendi Borden, Champion

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You know it! That's crazy to think about isn't it.. I found it really funny one evening talking to my mother, who is not tech savvy whatsoever (as in, will wait for me to "fix" her computer when the TV switches input sources), knew what I meant when I was ordering Chrome Management Licenses. She works for a school and makes the purchases, even though she does just pass them along to the IT guys. *lol* I did poke around their site a bit.. Not sure at this point what I maybe able to use, but that's great info.

I can't remember exactly what I was doing.. but some time back, when Stephen was beginning work on our Customer Facing Admin Tool, I wanted to learn a bit about the OAuth authentication myself. I found some info and ended up with my own crude javascript file that authenticates me in Google Admin and retrieves whatever info I request through their API. I was able to pull in my Chrome Devices - it was pretty neat. We may actually build out some of that functionality on our end to tie the two together. We'll see.. we really are a tiny dev team (read that as me, Stephen, and one other dev who's temporarily on our project) *lol*

I was curious if you have any other good forums to point me to.. just to keep up with the direction of Chrome in general. I'm kind of just getting my feet into the Google arena, so I'm curious where people keep up with what's going on, what's coming, etc. There's a huge wealth of information, so trying to weed out and get some recommendations. :) Thanks a ton for your help!
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Mylife614 .

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Looking at Testing one of the new "stick" Pc's that have hit the market. I have a mix of NUCs and Mainly Chromeboxes currently deployed. Wanting to see if the Sticks Could provide an additional small form factor, cost effective solution along with rise....
Has anyone tested side by side the: Asus Chromebit and the Newer release Intel Compute Stick with windows 10?
What would you recommend? I hope to eventually grab one of each and give a go, but I figure I would ask if anyone has had experience with both in recent weeks?

Cheers, 
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Darius - PRODO.us, Champion

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They play videos fine... but there was this one presentation where I had a small looping video (HTML Widget) and Spreadsheet Widget and that put too much pressure on the device which resulted in crashed App (only on content update), but the app was restarting just fine. Just something to keep in mind. 
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Jeff Lee

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Tried two sticks, Azulle Access (Z3735E) + Lenovo Stick 300 (Z3735F). Neither reports the resolution correctly. both show as 720 instead of 1080 .  Both are 32bit windows 10 on 64 bit device. Because of design (uses IA-32 shell) can't install 64 bit Linux, so I can't try that possible option. Will try to update or change any bios or video drivers to see if that helps. 

Android M8C w/AMLS812 Cortex-A9 works very well on same TVs using Scott's. 
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HSuarez

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We don't have an installer for x32 Linux only x64 (also the official supported version with be Ubuntu 14.04 LTS).
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Jeff Lee

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Left  the Azulle Access plugged in, now it reports the correct resolution and works fine now. Don't have any idea why.  The Azulle has the benefit of an ethernet port besides wifi.
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Jeff, having an Ethernet port is nice, but, pretty much necessary for the stick type PCs, USB hubs come with these. Therefore, this should not be at the top of priority list IMO
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Christopher Brannon

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Using a Lenovo Q180 for two displays here.  Have to stick to Windows 7 on these machines.  If I migrate to Windows 10, the latest RV player crashes the OS.  Appears to be an issue with the video driver, as far as I can tell.  I've tried 3 versions of the AMD Catalyst driver, but no luck.  All three crash.  Why do I suspect the video driver under Windows 10?  Because, if I use the generic driver that Windows 10 supplies, it doesn't crash.  However, it also doesn't give me the full resolution of the display.  I also found, if I installed the AMD Radeon Catalyst driver, it gives me the resolution, but when the player comes up, it is much larger than the display.  I have to zoom out to get the player to fit.  It fits perfectly at 100% under Windows 7.  Either the Windows 10 AMD driver has a bug that isn't reporting resolution correctly, or something in the player isn't reading the display settings correctly.  Either way, the result is a crash.  No way around this at this time.
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Greg Lock

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Any recommendations on use of the Minnowboard Max?
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HSuarez

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Not one of our supported hardware but it looks like it can do Windows IoT and one of our champions is seeking out Minnowboard Max users to beta test their app https://community.risevision.com/rise_vision_inc/topics/rpi2-and-rpi3-window-iot

Did you finally follow through with Minnowboard Max or another device?
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Greg Lock

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Thank you for your response. I have not committed to any hardware yet, just awaiting further feedback to make the best decision. Thanks
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Greg Lock

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So from all your valuable experience, would anyone suggest the Intel NUC with Ubuntu? Which exact NUC would be recommended as their are quite a few to choose from?

Thanks,
Regards,
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Media Manager

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I tried a Raspberry Pi B, but found it limiting because it was stuck at a certain version, didn't support the latest Flash, and there was no audio.

Some time later, I had a 1U server running Windows Server 2008 R2 take a dump. I replaced it and took the server an put Ubuntu 14.04 on it for the express purpose of running Rise Vision.  When I say server, it was only one insofar as it is in a 1U case and has a server motherboard: Supermicro PDSBM. Other than than, it has a measly Celeron 430 @1.80Ghz and 3GB of RAM. I put an old 60GB OCZ Agility SSD in it as well.

I'm running presentations at 640x480 with videos at 640x360. This build runs smoothly at this resolution.
(Edited)
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Wendi Borden, Champion

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Curious if anyone has had any experience with the Philips D-Line Android SoC devices? Looks like they were unveiled earlier this year. Maybe William will have some input :)

http://www.sixteen-nine.net/2016/02/18/closer-look-at-philips-new-android-soc-display-series/
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William Oneal, Champion

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I have known about it but I haven't got one to test on. If I did get one, the app would probably be a bit different in terms of how things work. I will have to do some research on it to see. I also wonder what supplier ships those models. I also know they range from 32-65 inch.
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Wendi Borden, Champion

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The only thing I came up with in my search was a 42" for $1800. My experience with the Philips monitors was always crazy.. finding suppliers was a headache. Guess that's the problem when we just want to order one monitor one time to test out :/ I'm also a little concerned with an all-in-one unit. I like the ability to just swap out a box if something goes wrong *lol* It's pretty sleek to look at though!
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William Oneal, Champion

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I have seen the 42 inch model as well, but they did present it at CES this year with the 32-65 inch models. Also the models were getting android 5.1 which could be the reason we havent seen them just yet. It might be fall before we see anything. Who knows :)
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Jeremy Donovan

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We are a charity and would like rise vission on win IOT for raberry PI 3?  We favour this to tie in with our existing infrastructure.  We have one in for testing and would love to be a guinee pig?
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Robb, Official Rep

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Jeremy,

We'd love to hear how it works out! You shouldn't have any issues running the Windows installer on your device, which you can get from https://help.risevision.com/user/create-a-display.
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DtheGreek

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Anyone know of an Android box with an always on feature?   We currently configure our NUC PCs to automatically power up once power is restored and were hoping to find an Android box that can do the same.  Thanks
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Wendi Borden, Champion

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I believe most Android boxes auto-power on, except the ones with dedicated power buttons (if I'm not mistaken). All the PQLabs A200 and A300 boxes we have (we don't have the A300 model with a power button) will power on immediately once the cable is connected. I haven't used Rise Vision on those, but I'd venture to guess other Android boxes are the same deal.
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Jeremy Klammer

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Hey all! There is a lot of info on here - thanks so much to everyone for their info.

TABLETS?

Does anyone have a suggestion on running RV on a tablet? It only needs to show a few videos, nothing crazy. 
I run other displays on Chrome and PC devices that run on a HDTV. Those work great. But this specific application needs to be on a tablet.

Thoughts?
 
Cheers
Jeremy