Lowest cost reliable hardware platform

Hello all,
We are looking to deploy 30 panels and therefore are looking for a good hardware platform.
Originally we followed the recommendation to use Minix and were utterly disappointed as the hardware not only had software issues (BIOS issue that causes blackscreen), but, we were denied support from Minix despite our device being only 40 days old. Essentially we want to shy away from Minix as they are not only not reliable, but not a trustworthy company and are looking for a hardware alternative.
The video performance needed is VERY low as we plan to output VGA resolution or less.
What is are your recommendations for a reliable and low cost device with:

  • WiFi connectivity
  • HDMI or DVI output
  • eMMC or SSD (not SD)

Some people suggest Raspberry Pi. Although it is a very cool platform to play with, it is not reliable enough as it does rely on SD and can crash at anytime.
I believe that some low cost Mini PC will probably be the best choice, but was not able to find a good option yet.

Looking forward to hearing thoughts and suggestions of the community.

Hopefully I’m not breaching TOS by posting a link, but I am using these Quantum Byte fanless PCs. $170 and running Windows 8.1. Free upgrade to Win10 if desired. They are running great with no issues so far. 21 displays will be deployed soon. Running with two right now.

Good luck!

I’m really suprised you’ve had issues. BIOS issues would suggest you’re talking about the Z64 (only because the non-intel devices don’t have a BIOS).

Have you updated it to the latest firmware available from their site?

What specifically is the issue you’re seeing with them?

With regard to another device, the only other manufacturer on the recommended list is DSDevices. They have an excellent record for customer service so perhaps they may be a better partner for you.

Please do be wary about buying cheap or unbranded Android devices. I have a whole drawer full here which we’ve tested and aren’t suitable. The issues with them range from poorly designed firmware that prevents basic things like video playback working, or overheating, or premature component failure.

Others on here have reported some success with the ODroid range of devices. We’re currently evaluating the C1+ however there are some issues with that which we’re working to resolve before I’d feel confident to recommend it.

Dear Alex,
Thank you very much for your follow up and your concern. I truly appreciate it. I just wish Minix demonstrated a fraction of your interest in solving our problem.
Here is a thread that shows that my issue is not an isolated one:

I understand the value of quality hardware and support, and that is why we chose Minix following your advice, however, they demonstrated to be as unreliable as any other nameless brand and since we plan to have a substantial number of units implemented (first step 30 then 100 more) we are looking for alternatives.
Given the high number of units we care about reliability and cost. And because performance is not really important we are looking for alternatives.
Thank you again for your concern. Your outstanding support is one of the reasons we chose Xibo.

How many Z64s have you got from the initial batch of 30 that have failed in this way?

I find it very strange Minix would refuse to replace it. Have they given a reason?

Maybe I should have been a bit more clear.
We are about to deploy 30 units, thus, we are searching for a good platform.
It was a one of one failure. I know this may not be statistically significant since every product will invariably have failures. However, they refused to even look into my claim because I bought from amazon.com and not from them directly.
The device was brand new and should have been under warranty. They just used some lame excuse to not have to do anything. This demonstrated their poor company values.
Too bad (for them) as they rule themselves out of future sales. And on top of it, I will make sure people will know about my experience with them.

Having that said, I’d like to keep this post to the real intent:
Find a good platform to deploy Xibo!

This is great news.
What type of issues are we talking about? I heard about some issues with local and public storage.

Are there any other users who can share their own experiences with the C1+?
Is there a “cake recipe” to deploy Xibo to these?

If the device is faulty then as you purchased from Amazon, Amazon should be replacing it. 40 days is well within what would be deemed to be a reasonable life expectancy for an item to be fit for sale and fit for purpose - at least in UK law.

As you say 1 device is a very small sample and I’m not therefore convinced slating Minix for not replacing an item you didn’t buy from them is particularly justified.

Anyhow to the C1+, it periodically looses HDMI sync so mid layout you get a black screen. The picture then comes back along with the TV on screen display showing which input is selected. So it would appear something makes the graphics output lock up momentarily. I certainly can’t recommend it on that basis.

With regard to other manufactureres, some people have said they get on well with Rikomagic. We did recommend them a long time ago but had a very significant number of units fail after around 3 months so no longer have them on our list. If you’re determined to choose something other than Minix then realistically you’re going to have to buy some, put them through hell for a few months and see which survive.

The device was not DOA. It stopped working due to a known issue as described on the link I sent:

Amazon is required within 30 days, not after. Then is the manufacturer’s responsibility to service the products.
As Minix refused to honor their warranty, now I have a Minix paperweight and there is nothing to dispute that fact.
Thus, I will not invest our time and money on a company that didn’t stand behind their product.

With respect, 2 other people on a forum plus you does not make a known issue

This is a little off topic but…
I’ve been using Minix X5 minis with full screen video 24/7/365 for over a year without any concerns at all. They have never let me down. I’ve recommended them to friends and bought one for myself.

I’m not aware of a single crash or hang or reboot or anything. I don’t have many and I bought them on eBay from the cheapest supplier I could find.


1 Like