How to set up dashboard on a TV screen?
So you want to set up a dashboard on a TV screen at your office? That’s great! However, do pay attention to the hardware and the software you choose since there are big differences in how they perform in this task. You don’t want to see any downtime in the screen that is publicly displayed. The good news is that by following the steps below you can achieve a setup that will run 24/7 without any interruption.
Choosing the hardware
While you can use any hardware that runs a modern web browser, when it comes to reliability, we strongly recommend using the Asus Chromebit for powering your Screenful dashboard. It’s a small dongle size computer that runs Google ChromeOS. It can launch Screenful on full screen and rotate screens without any interruption.
Attach the Chromebit to the HDMI port of your screen:
Depending on how the HDMI port is located in your TV, you may need to use the included extension cable.
In our Samsung model, the ports are placed so that the dongle is parallel to the screen, making it easy to operate from the side of the screen. Here’s the Chromebit attached to the HDMI port of a Samsung TV:
You’ll also need a bluetooth keyboard for the initial setup. First pair your bluetooth keyboard with the Chromebit device. That may involve attaching a small receiver unit to the USB port of the device so that the keyboard can make connection. See the small extension at the top of the dongle in the picture above.
Any bluetooth compatible keyboard can be used such as this model from Logitech:
What we like about this model is that has a mouse pad in addition to keyboard. It’s a solid 2-in-1 solution which connected easily to Chromebit. You’ll find the mouse pad handy when setting up the dashboard. While you can do most of the configurations via your laptop, you’ll need a connected keyboard to complete the setup.
Regarding the screen, any full HD (1920 x 1080) capable screen can be used. The size of the display should be selected according to the size of the space. In an office environment, screens between 40-60 inches are typical.
Learn more about setting up hardware for your TV dashboard.
Select the dashboard views for rotation
Not every dashboard view is equally useful in a public dashboard. You can include or exclude screens from your dashboard in the dashboard settings. The screens are rotated so that each screen is shown a pre-defined time and then switched to the next. When it comes to the number of screens in rotation, less is more. Pick 2-4 views that contain interesting data that also changes often enough so that it stays interesting.
In general, your dashboards should contain some specific KPI:s that you want to monitor. The purpose a TV dashboard is drive people to pay attention to the things that matter the most!
Install the keep awake Chrome extension
Most TV:s are programmed to sleep after certain time of inactivity. That feature is not desired when running in TV mode as there is no interaction expected in the fist place, users that look at the information. In oder to avoid our display getting into sleep mode, we installed the Keep awake Chrome extension. Once installed, it will disable the power management feature s in Chrome OS for that the screen won’t go to sleep mode during inactivity.
Set dashboard to TV mode
For maximum contrast, it is advisable to use either Black or Dark blue colour theme in TV mode. You can change a colour theme, rotation effect, and the rotation interval under the Account ► Settings tab.
You can avoid having to log in as any specific user by constructing a public share link to your dashboard
To set a dashboard into TV mode, click the menu icon on the top right corner and select Switch to TV mode from the main menu.
TV mode is a special mode of UI that is optimised for viewing content in an big screen such as in an office TV. Screens will rotate once a minute by default and you can adjust the rotation interval at Account ► Settings tab under the main menu.
In this mode, excess UI elements are removed and the screen title and the board name are shown in a more visible font. That way, the UI will be more readable from a distance.
Set browser to full screen mode
The last step is to set your browser in the full screen mode so that the navigation bar is hidden and the content takes up the whole screen. In Chrome it can be found by clicking the three dots on the top right corner and then selecting the zoom effect from the drop down menu:
Once you’ve set the browser in the full screen mode, Screenful dashboard takes over the whole screen and screens start to rotate. You can adjust which screens are included in the rotation at the dashboard settings.
Constructing a share link
You can avoid having to log in as any specific user by constructing a public share link to your dashboard. It is a link that allows anyone to access the dashboard in a read-only mode without logging in.