HDMI media sticks have been around for a few years now – ranging from dodgy stuff that comes over by sea from Shenzhen to more credible offers like the Dell Cloud Connect stick (ARM/Android) and the Asus Chromebit (ARM/ChromeOS).
Media sticks are often frowned upon for an enterprise installation for a myriad of reasons. Security, theft, performance and failure rates are the most common complaints around media sticks in a digital signage environment. In April, Seneca will be launch the Seneca HDS, the first media stick purpose built for digital signage. The Seneca HDS negates these challenges with purposeful design and feature sets. Features like a solid state, fanless design, Kensington lock and NIC port position this media stick well for enterprise installations.
Media players are more applicable in scenarios where greater horsepower is required. Specifically where high resolution (UHD, 4K) content is present, the player to display ratio is increased beyond 1:1, content is being stored locally, or all of the above. The benefit of having additional headroom ensures your solution will perform better for a longer duration of time. Media players also allow for more storage where media sticks are limited.
The network/LAN jack is great, as is the lock set-up – as these sticks are VERY easy to pull out and steal.
Seneca has done this before. Two or three years ago the company took Intel’s NUC reference design and re-worked it, coming up with a much more commercial-grade variation with a metal enclosure and built-in power supply.