Today we've received a novelty from Google, their super compact device, which is able to turn your TV into a smart one and, accordingly, use it as a Digital Signage.
Well, what immediately catches the eye among the characteristics declared is support of 4K and HDR videos, plus 2GB of RAM, all fit in a miniature device the size of a matchbox. Also, the device is sold with pre-installed Android 10 already in the basic kit, which is still a novelty for this kind of TV set-top boxes.
What is in the box?
As usual, let's start from taking a look at what's inside the box. To be honest, it is not poor completed for such a cheap device. There are a full-fledged USB-C power supply and a small, well-made and nicely held remote, even already with 2 batteries available, which is quite rare in sets of such devices, so that's a nice surprise. Google went in the direction of a non-detachable flexible short HDMI cable, which actually makes it possible to connect and completely hide the device behind any TV.
Ok, now let's connect the device and configure it to work with Look Digital Signage Software as usual.
With Android 10 Google has made some changes in the interface and settings of the device. The authorization process in the Google service also became different and now it is necessarily required when using the device. In all other respects, everything is very similar and familiar to those who have already used Android TV before.
Well, if Google claims such characteristics of the device, we will try to load it in accordance to them. For this purpose, we'll assign a layout, which we have already used before for testing more expensive TV boxes. It includes several inbuilt apps, which get data from the third-party sources and a playlist with several 4K videos. The device is not very suitable for use with playlists, that include a large number of files, since part of the already quite a small storage of 8 GB is occupied by the system itself.
Let's look at the result… And everything really works fine. You can see small errors, unlike Nvidia devices, for example, but still it is very good result.
Again, there are several disadvantages of this device, similar to the previous models. And the main one is the inability to use it in vertical mode for portrait mounting of your screens. Also, Android 10 made changes into the process of applications' auto-start and now it needs to be developed additionally by producers of all platforms, which use this function. And for Digital Signage, it seems to be the most relevant thing.
Overall, I would say, that the device is mostly suitable for a small Digital Signage projects, maybe at the start of a business. The main advantage of this option is that you do not need to spend a significant budget in order to turn your existing TVs without any operating system into remotely managed Digital Signage. At the same time, for the large-scale deployments with more complicated scenarios I would recommend to use something more powerful and reliable.