Product review: Navori's new Android-based pico player for digital signage
What is it?
Swiss digital signage solution provider Navori SA has introduced its new QL StiX 2400 series Android-based digital signage media players — which it says are a plug-and-play solution with the power of a PC for a fraction of the cost in a pint-sized package.
"The intent is to move towards mass market and to enable people without a technical background to plug and play a solution that will work," Navori President and CEO Jérôme Moeri said in a recent interview.
The new QL StiX are Android-based players using Rockchip ARM processors similar to those used in mobile devices, Moeri said. The Rockchip components provide roughly the same quality and power of a PC with no limitations versus Windows-based platforms except the inability to power multiple screens, he said.
"It's pretty much the same quality and power of a computer," Moeri said. "It comes from mobile technologies, so it's basically a mobile without the screen inside."
And it's going to get better, he said. This product comes with a dual-core CPU, but within the next five months Navori will be rolling out a quad-core player "exactly the same as mobile technologies, so this new generation ... will be more powerful than a computer."
"So this type of product, we believe, is the future in digital signage," Moeri said, adding that some screen manufacturers already are embedding this type of component inside the screen for smart TVs powered by Google. "So it's really a trend, and we believe that within the next two years the majority of digital signage players will be Android based and would use this technology."
More interesting specs?
The player measures 3.54 by 1.58 by 0.39 inches and weighs roughly an ounce, with an MTBF of 30,000 hours. Moeri also said the QL StiX are the only Android product that can be sold for both self-hosted- and SaaS-use models. It's also compliant with Windows-based networks, the company says.
According to Navori:
- QL Player Android version plays natively content created with Navori designer, 10 formats of video (up to 1080p), images, Flash 11, HTML and streaming, IP-TV
- Multi-layer with transparency, multi-zone (templates)
- Interactive content compliant
- Datafeed manager: RSS XML
- Real-time monitoring with alerts, events and notifications through dashboard and email
- Detailed playback reporting
- Wi-Fi on-board, optional RJ45 ethernet connector.
The operating system is Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and the player comes with a dual-core 1Ghz CPU and 1 GB of RAM; 8Gb of built-in storage up to an optional 16 GB; networking via Wi-Fi 802.11b/n 10/100Mbps with internal antenna and Ethernet RJ45; a Mali 400 quad-core GPU; and (USB2 x2), (HDMI 1.4 type A female), (Micro SD card x1), (Mini USB charger) ports.
Final pricing is yet to be determined, Moeri said in a follow-up email.
Android-based players from a wide variety of solution providers are hitting the market in a big way these days, so Moeri may be onto something when he says they're the future of digital signage.
The bottom line?
These are smartphone-sized media players with plug-and-play capabilities at a less-than-smartphone price point. Pretty interesting stuff.
Watch a promo video from Navori about the QL StiX below:
Read more about digital signage hardware.