TinyGreenPC Debuts Raspberry Pi Digital Signage Player
July 23, 2014 by Dave Haynes
TinyGreenPC has has been doing teeny solid-state micro PCs for a few years now, but the London, UK-based firm has announced a new digital signage player based on an the Raspberry Pi-ARM micro PC.
The new player is a commercial-grade version of the hyper-popular Raspberry Pi, based on a partnership with Silver Curve and already set to support the SignageLive, and InStore Media content management systems. The units cost roughly $475 USD, so they are 10X the cost of the $45 Pi board. Why the big price delta? The base Pi needs storage, case and other accessories to make it useful as a player, the Aperture graphics engine software is layered in, there is a 10-minute built-in UPS (backup power supply) and the two companies crazily add margin on the things and make money from the effort.
That UPS means player does not have to wait for power to come back in the case of a brown-out or black-out, and then if it doesn’t, it does a nice clean shutdown. This means you don’t get corrupted files on disk.
TheSilver Curve partnership means the little Pi has been optimized with that company’s Aperture graphics engine, allowing it to easily do multiple zones, multiple layers, smooth animation and cinematic effects such as depth of field.
TinyGreenPC says it is offering the Raspberry Pi based player fully cased as a Stand Alone Media Player or an OPS Media Player. Both can receive content via Ethernet or (optional) WiFi and render it to an attached screen of up to 1920 x 1080p (Full HD) resolution. The Stand Alone player is equipped with HDMI, RS-232, Ethernet, GPIO and USB 2.0 Interfaces.
All Pi Media Players models are available to purchase from an online store.
As mentioned in the post, Signagelive are working with AndersDX and Silver Curve to support their new standalone and OPS devices.
For those interested, we are happy to provide free Signagelive trial licences to resellers and end users that want to give the Raspberry Pi powered players a try with our CMS.
Signagelive licences for the Anders Pi Players cost £240 or $360 MSRP per annum with trade discounts available.
Having first hand experience with RaspberryPI production deployments the biggest issue we have seen so far has been the reliability of the SDCard, even with the most expensive brand names we have seen them fail(complete system hang) at the Operating system level on standard Raspbian minimal configuration.
RaspberryPi has recently released onboard flash rom version which certainly goes a distance to addressing this (i sure hope this player is not using SDcard but from the specs it appears to be, the new version is a 4Gb flash as far as i am aware).
RaspberryPi is also very limited in CPU and external peripheral support is far more limited due to addon drivers to Linux kernel and native calls not made available to similar Arm hardware such as Android based solutions where by the SDK has all of this ready for the developer.