Chromebit for Digital Signage: What are the Pros and Cons?
Chromebit is one of the cheapest ways of getting up and running with digital signage. But it comes with a few hidden gotchas.
If you’re thinking about using Asus’ Google Chromebit—or any other ChromeOS device—to run your digital signage, it’s essential to understand both the benefits and drawbacks before committing to any kind of purchase. Because simply put, Chromebit isn’t for every business that wants to adopt digital signage.
With that said, here is everything you need to know about Chromebit—from its capabilities all the way down to how to get it up and running.
A big caveat about using ChromeOS for digital signage
Before choosing aChromeOSdeviceto power your digital signage, it’s important to know all of the costs involved—i.e. the prices associated with using Google devices to power your digital signs. In short, Google requires you to buy an enterprise license for each ChromeOS device you use to manage your screens remotely.
So not only will you need to pay the up-front cost for your ChromeOS device ($85 for a Chromebit), but you will also need to pay an annual device licensing fee of $50. Or if you’re so inclined, you can choose a perpetual device license for $150—or $50 for education customers.
For some companies, this can be a burdensome start-up cost—particularly for small and mid-sized businesses looking forentry-level digital signage hardware. So if you’re trying to install a digital signage system at a minimum cost, considering other devices such as the Nvidia Shield is probably a good idea.
Chromebit vs. Chromebox vs. Chromecast
Chromeboxes, Chromebit, and Chromecast are all similar in that they are relatively portable devices that run Google’s ChromeOS. But that’s about as far as their similarities go, however, especially when it comes to internal hardware.
Chromeboxes are the most powerful out of the three thanks to their relatively robust internal processor, which is pretty much on par with traditional PCs in terms of RAM, storage, and performance. They’re basically small, plug-and-play desktop computers. All you need is the device, a screen, and a wireless mouse and keyboard to get it up and going.
Chromebit, on the other hand, is the literal definition of “portable device”. It’s essentially a pocket-sized computer that can plug right into any screen’s HDMI port. And it’s small shape and size isn’t just a gimmick either. The Chromebit is powerful enough to stream media and run apps without any significant hiccups.
Finally, Chromecasts are similarly small devices that allow users to stream content from their mobile phone or personal computer to their television or other media player through web-based apps. These are essentially streaming devices designed for the mass market rather than digital signage installations.
The advantages of using Chromebit
• Great for businesses that want to deploy screens at scale. Chrome Device Management allows users to automatically provision multiple displays to their digital signage network with ease.
• Once set up, Chromebit digital signage is simple to run.
• Inexpensive to deploy at scale.
The disadvantages of using Chromebit
• Can be super complicated to initially set-up.
• Limited support for ChromeOS users outside the US.
Our recommended hardware choice
For this relatively low price range for digital signage, we recommend the Nvidia Shield. First off, it is extremely cost-effective. More than that though, it has exceptional processing power and better storage capabilities than both the Amazon Fire Stick and Chromebit.
How to use Chromebit for digital signage
1. Create an account with TelemetryTV
TelemetryTV is a cloud-based digital signage solution with dozens of features and apps. It’s an incredibly convenient new system that utilizes state of the art technology to make managing your digital signage solutions simple and highly effective. Start your 14-day free trial today.
2. Connect a device
This is where the process of setting up a Chromebit for digital signage gets a bit tricky. For more information, visit our Chromebit digital signage help guide.
3. Create content
Once you’ve got your Chromebit, media player app, and screen(s) up and running, it’s time to start pumping out high-quality content that’ll wow your customers.
Chromebit definitely isn’t the most intuitive digital signage solution to set-up. Nor is it the cheapest or most powerful option on the market at this price range. But for businesses who want to remotely manage multiple screens with ease and at a fair cost, you could do a whole lot worse than the Chromebit or any other ChromeOS device.