Everywhere you look in schools, you see Google; millions of students rely on Google’s suite of tools (including Google Docs, Sheets and Slides), over 25 million have Chromebooks, 30 million use Google Classroom, and more than 80 million are using G Suite for Education. It’s no wonder why so many schools have started to adopt Chrome OS for their digital signage. If you are considering using Chrome OS for digital signage, then the obvious question is: what is the best media player for Chrome OS. The answer? It depends.
We’ll cover the pros and cons of different devices below so you can make the right choice. When you are ready to get started, click the link below to start your free digital signage account, and start creating your digital signage today!
Will the Chrome App Work with…
When people think media players, they often think about Chromecast, Fire TV Stick, and the Roku Streaming Stick. These are, after all, what sits behind hundreds of millions of TVs and is used to display images and videos on TV screens. These are not, however, Chrome devices, and not ideal for digital signage.
While Chromecast does use a very stripped down version of Chrome, most sub-$40 HDMI sticks that you see in retail stores are running a modified version of Android OS. They have very little memory, and, while great for streaming, is not ideal for running something more memory intensive like digital signage.
Best Chrome OS Media Players for Digital Signage
There are a lot of Chrome OS media players perfect for digital signage, but before you buy one, make sure you understand your needs. Will you be running something with a lot of videos? Widgets? Is the room far away from your router and you need a stronger wireless antenna? You may be drawn to the cheapest solution, but the cheapest is not necessarily the best.
The table below shows four popular choices, but it can be frustrating because so many of the devices have the same base specs.
The cheapest solution, the Asus Chromebit, isn’t a bad option. It’s small, hides nicely behind any TV, and packs a pretty powerful performance punch. If your school is simply looking to loop full screen text and images this is a great option.
Memory is important when you are creating more robust digital signage--your using Widgets, videos, Sheets, etc. Does that mean the Chromebit won’t work? No! It will work. It just won’t work well. You might experience freezes and slower performance.
The next three choices look almost identical in terms of specs--in fact, the most significant difference aside from the aesthetics is the price. So what’s the difference?
The ASUS Chromebox 3 has been called the most user-friendly Chromebox; like most other Chromebox media players, it can be upgraded to a Intel® Core™ i7 with 8 GB of RAM; storage on this device, however, is not expandable--32 GB is the only size.
If size is important to you, then the Acer Chromebox CX13 is sleek and compact.
Finally, the HP Chromebox G2 is a reliable device that’s storage can be expanded to 64 GB.
Do you really need an i7 processor with 8 GB of ram and 64 GB of storage? For most digital signage, no. But one question you should consider is the future. Will your school be upgrading to a 4K display soon, for example? 4K graphics require a lot more power. The i7 will also help prepare you for any forthcoming widget that we release, which may need a little more power.
We’re here to help! If you still have questions about what’s right for you, feel free to contact us.
If you're looking for ways to get a little bit creative, and really push your media players performance, then here are a few ideas: