There are many options for digital signage players on the market. Many of them are built by combining digital signage player software into off-the-shelf devices such as the Google Chromecast.
This may seem like a good idea and it is certainly easier for the digital signage company in question, however is it the best solution for customers and the end-user?
The simple answer is no. Very early on in our product development, Hawkr tested lots of hardware options including Chromecast, Here’s the reasons chose to not use Chromecast for our own solution:
- Chromecast is a consumer product and NOT a commercial digital signage player – it sounds obvious but Chromecast is designed and built for simple internet browsing, consumer based media playback and TV mirroring. Not 24/7 efficient and high performance playback that you would expect from a bespoke digital signage player.
- Inefficient and heavy use of CPU (processing capacity) leading to reliability issues. Chromecast has a host of built in applications irrelevant to digital signage including the operating system and browser. The Hawkr Player only has the necessary operating system functions and applications required for high performance media playback and reliability. Just ask any of our clients.
- Chromecast controlled by Google – increased risk of hardware discontinued. If Google decides to cease production of Chromecast, it could trigger expensive network updates and internal software disruption.
- Chromecast’s OS exists within the Google Device Management Control ecosystem. This means that the digital signage company must pay Google a monthly fee to control and manage devices – this cost is passed onto the end-user and also results in the digital signage company being at the mercy of Google’s updates – this can only impact negatively on performance as a result of software updates. We can all relate to when new versions of Windows and MacOS affects our applications whenever there is an update.
- Future software features limited by Google – there is a lack of control due to being constrained within the Google’s ecosystem, so any feature updates are always more complex and difficult to implement.
- Chromecast requires a constant internet connection to function. As a device that is designed to have constant connection to the internet, offline playback of media is inflexible and not suitable for commercial environments.
We are not saying that the Chromecast is not a great device, however, our Hawkr Digital Signage Player is a much more sophisticated, bespoke hardware solution to the needs of our customers and end-users within a business environment.