Best/Most Reliable Player for Xibo? (good Jan 2017 options)


#1

New to Xibo and looking to buy the most reliable 4k Android hardware player possible. It’s unfortunate that the hardware list hasn’t been updated because a list from Dec 2015 is not really viable.

I searched and saw a few threads on this already. This thread on the Minix U1 is from Feb 2016 and OP speaks highly of that player. Would you guys recommend? At ~$100/ea the price is nice. Also, since it’s almost a year later, is there a better player out there?

We’ll be running a restaurant digital menu board across three monitors. Need it to be super professional so maybe I should go Windows with three HDMI outputs? Then I could expand all the screens into one and do cool sync’d timed animation transitions (or display one super-wide video) across all three monitors, right? I found the i-base digital media players, which look to be just bare-bone PCs with multiple HDMI outputs… anyone used these? Couldn’t find pricing on this model so any help is appreciated, or recommendation to go Windows-based multiple-monitor outputs.

Once last question: I doubt there are any Android-based players with 3 HDMI outputs, right? I like Android because don’t the boot up pretty much instantly and just immediately run the Xibo app (so if the power resets for example, we’re back up with no user intervention really, fast)? Would you all recommend Android over Windows for the reliability-factor?

Sorry for all the questions but after a week+ of searching I found Xibo and I want to make the right choice on the super-critical player choice!


#2

Hi, my friend, I’m sorry for my English, because I’m Brazilian.
I have been using xibo for over 2 years and it is my ideal solution for digital signage.
I used j22 player, but recently I changed to MXQ. They are very stable and can connect over the ethernet network.
I’ve created a solution for restaurants based on xml (feed rss, or ticket), where my client can easily change the images of the menu board, without needing knowledge of Xibo.


#3

hi @kxmidia
i just saw your post and i´m trying to do exactly what you did, i tried with php scripts and datasets but the clients always sais that it is too dificult, could you explain how you did it ?

thanks in advance


#4

The MINIX players are good but they violate the GPL, as such I cannot recommend them. If you (ever) want to change anything about the boxes, you’re SOL as they won’t release the source code to compile your own Android (and subsequent low-level utilities such as HDMI control).

I am highly recommending the lineup from HardKernel (a recent O-DROID), they have the same processor and memory as the MINIX U1, a bit cheaper although they do not come with on-board WiFi.


#5

It was last updated in May! The article was originally published in December 2015.

Our firm recommendation is the devices listed there. The Z64 is older now granted, but is still available. The J18 is a current model and is very much available.

The U1 is used by some here with varying levels of success. If you want something that’s been extensively tested, then the devices on the list are the best things to go for.

Your comments about Windows Players with 3 HDMI outputs are correct - you can indeed span a single Player instance over all three monitors and show a single layout across all three. Windows will limit some of the features available in the Player however.

I’m not aware of any 3 output HDMI Android devices personally.


#6

Thanks for the detailed reply Alex.

I just want a rock-solid player that we’re not going to have issues with (because this is a professional restaurant we’ll be installing in). I want to run a sequence of videos so that the menus can have backgrounds with motions in them, so my concern with older players is that they will play video jittery. I would love to have 4K video (since we’re going to have 4K displays), so would need newer equipment for the 4K video.

I’m leaning toward a recommendation in another thread of the Beelink GT1 player. It does 4k and has great specs. Have you ever used this before? They actually have a newer player called the BEELINK GT1 Ultimate but that seems to be on preorder until February so we won’t be able to use that cause we need a solution now.


#7

We’ve not tested a player yet where 4K H265 video works properly - which is why there isn’t one in the recommended hardware list.

There is a 4K capable unit available from DSDevices (which is advertised on their site) but this currently has the same issue.


#8

Oh, I see, so I guess 4k doesn’t work yet? Any idea on when whatever the issue is could be fixed (I know that’s a “loaded question”, sorry, haha). :grinning:

Also, I was thinking a nice Windows system with multiple outputs but then I read that Windows does not loop timelines. I would need it looped because I’m going to have the menu board videos repeat constantly.


#9

The problem isn’t with Xibo for Android - it’s in the firmware available for these series of devices. We have no direct control over that.

I’m not sure what you mean by “doesn’t loop timelines”. If you schedule one layout, Xibo will show the same thing over and over again until your schedule ends. If you’re going with the Windows Player, you can try it all at no cost to be sure it works as you expect.


#10

Gotcha Alex, I’ll do some research/testing and get back with you.

How fast a Windows system would I need to run all three monitors with three video output so that 4k video isn’t jerky. I assume an i5 would work, but wondering if i3 could be passable as long as the video card was strong and could do the rendering? Would be cool cause then we could create one video that spans all three screens and do some cool synced animations across the screens! Any recommendations on that?

On the looping thing, I clicked “preview” and it only played a layout once. Maybe that’s just with the preview and not on actual installation. I just assumed that was the case when I saw this notice when editing the timeline object (click here to view example).


#11

The Preview does only loop once. It shows you one iteration of the layout, and then stops.

The loop option on a region is there for a tiny number of use cases that need it. In most scenarios, it shouldn’t be ticked anyway. Have a look at the FAQ on this and you’ll understand how the system works a bit better.

I can’t advise on 3x 4K videos as it’s not a configuration I’ve attempted personally. I’d imagine perhaps even and i5 might struggle, depending on how much hardware acceleration is possible with whatever graphics card you use for that.


#12

I’m finally implementing the Xibo solution in a few weeks so need to order my hardware. What is the best device to run three monitors (could be three individually rock-solid Xibo devices, or just one that runs three displays) that you all recommend? I’m looking for a piece of hardware that has been tested working by all in here and never has a hiccup. Price isn’t the concern, it’s reliability. Thanks for the input guys!


#13

I found these units that have really good reviews. I can’t figure out if the U9 is newer? Anyone used these before?

The Minix Neo U1 with Android Lollipop 5.1.1 ($109 USD)

or the Minix Neo U9-H with Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 ($140 USD)