NEW: CORE 2 – Compact Digital Signage player with desktop CPU

News for the digital signage market: Almost three years after introducing the CORE series, spo-comm launches the successor CORE 2. Just like its predecessor, the Mini-PC is 4K capable and convinces with its excellent price/performance ratio. But new is though: the CPU is now freely selectable. From the Intel Pentium to the i7 processor, we got the right solution for every application.

From Pentium to i7: Coffee Lake in all variants

For the performance of the CORE 2 spo-comm counts on 8th generation Intel CPUs (Coffee Lake), which are extremely economical with a TDP of just 65 watts. Customers can choose between an Intel Pentium G5400 at 2 x 3.7 GHz processor, a Core i3-8100 at 4 x 3.6 GHz, a Core i5-8400 at 6 x 2.8 GHz (maximum 4.0 GHz) and the ultra-performant Core i7-8700 at 6 x 3.2 GHz (up to 4.6 GHz). This allows the Mini-PC to perfectly match to the performance needs of the particular application. Compared to its predecessor, a huge increase in performance can be seen. Benchmarks show, that even the Pentium processor performs better than the Intel Core i5 in the previous CORE.

Lots of storage in a small space

The ultra-compact industrial PC with dimensions of just 142 x 167 x 37 millimeters offers an enormous storage space. The CPU can be supported with a maximum of 32 GB of SO-DDR4 RAM. In addition, the CORE 2 offers space for up to two SSDs: One m.2 starting with 240 GB (maximum 960 GB) as well as a 2.5-inch SSD, which starts already with 120 GB of storage space. Like this, it is possible to save for example the operating system and data on different media.

Connections for multimedia solutions

The new CORE 2 has got all the connections a digital signage player needs. A DisplayPort and HDMI port allow the playback of content in 4K resolution (3840 x 2140 pixels) – thanks to one line-in and one line-out also with audio. Furthermore, there are three USB 3.1, one USB Type C and two USB 2.0 ports on the Mini-PC. Network connections are made possible by the LAN interface on the back panel or optional Wi-Fi. If you use the CORE 2 in public places, you can protect it against theft with the Kensington Lock. As operating systems, Windows 10 in the Home, Pro or IoT variant and Linux Ubuntu are available.

Technical data at a glance:

  • CPU: Intel® Pentium G5400, Intel Core i3-8100, i5-8400, i7-8700
  • Graphics: Intel® UHD630
  • Max. resolution: 3840 x 2160 @ 60Hz
  • Up to 2 independent displays
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 142 x 167 x 37 mm
  • 3x USB 3.1
  • 1x DP 1.2
  • 1x HDMI 1.4

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15 Dec 2017 Array ( [id] => 304 [title] => VGA, DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI – what’s the difference between these multimedia interfaces? [authorId] => [active] => 1 [shortDescription] => There are so many options on how to play various content from a mini-pc on a display. Graphic cards provide a numerous amount of connection possibilities (outputs), which in turn face other inputs on the displays. Often that’s the reason for the cable chaos behind the monitors. In this article we will discuss which interfaces for transferring graphic contents are available, what the difference between them is, and which standards they meet. [description] =>

The old hand: The analog VGA-interface

If we talked about an Indian tribe today the VGA interface would be our tribal leader. This interface is available on the market already since 1987 and although it’s slowly declining it’s still quite widespread.
VGA stands for Video Graphics Array and is a purely analog interface which changes analog signals into digital. Although this interface has been the standard for about 20 years it has many disadvantages. Originally the connector was designed for a maximum resolution of 640x480 px but nowadays even Full HD pictures can be played through modern calculation methods. Strong disturbance sources such as too long cables have strong negative effects on the picture quality, this is why the VGA interface was replaced by technically more complex interfaces over the years.

Benefit:

- Wide spread interface

Downsides:

- Maximum possible resolution 1920x1200 px

- Just analog, no digital signal transmission

- Sensitive to disturbing factors such as long cables

- Only transmission of images

 

First time digital: The DVI-interface

The successor of the VGA connector is the “Digital Video Interface”, shortly DVI. Using the DVI interface makes it possible for the first time to digitally exchange higher resolutions. This is possible thanks to the TMDS (”Transition-Minimized Differential Signaling”) standard, which eliminates electromagnetic interference that was usual for analog signals. Although the name of the connector doesn’t suggest it: with help of a DVI-A plug pure analog signals can be transmitted. If the standard DVI-D plug is applied, the signal is digital and the content can be displayed with a resolution up to 2560x1600 px and a frame rate of 100 Hz. Also the combination of analog and digital signals is possible with this interface: one needs a DVI-I plug for it. The amount of pins needed is higher, however the resolution remains congruent with the resolution of the DVI-D plug.

Benefits:

- Digital picture transfer

- Compatible with VGA and HDMI

Downsides:

- From todays view: “Only” up to two times 1920x1200 px transfer

- Like VGA: Only transmission of images

 

HDMI – Digital audio and image files up to 4K and 3D

The HDMI interface is the further development of the DVI connector and is surely the most well-known interface among the mentioned ones. HDMI, which stands for “High Definition Multimedia Interface” prevails especially in the home cinema and console field.
With help of just one HDMI cable digital image and audio files can be exchanged parallel between two devices. The HDMI 2.0 standard transfers up to 2160 signals at 60Hz for 4K-UHD materials and also supports a 1080 px resolutions with 48Hz for 3D materials (see also "What is the difference between Full HD, UHD and 4K?"). In its latest version the HDMI interface has three different plugs; the standard one is the HDMI type A. For applications with little space the type C or Mini-HDMI is suitable. For ultra-mobile applications with smallest space available the type D or micro-HDMI is perfect.

Benefits:

- “2 in 1”: Audio and image transmission

- Space saving

- Built-in copy protection (HDCP)

- Easy to plug in and out

Downside:

- Not as long-lasting as the DVI

 

The better HDMI? The DisplayPort

The DisplayPort interface is a license-free connector standard that’s able to transmit audio and image signals symmetrically just like the HDMI. The DisplayPort was standardized by the VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association) and was created to replace the VGA and DVI.  Just like DVI and HDMI the DisplayPort is also a digital interface, which is mostly used in the field of modern PC monitors and graphic cards. The data transmission process of the DisplayPort is better protected from the interface radiation, which makes a resolution up to 5K possible, which is 5120x2880 px at an image rate of 60 pps.

Benefits:

- License-free and therefor is less expensive in the end use

- Low susceptibility to failure due to transmission through micro bundles

- Possible cable length up to 15 meters

Downsides:

-Not known

##Explore all spo-comm Mini-PCs

Feel free to contact us, we will be happy to provide you with more detailed information!

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know-how
VGA, DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI – what’s the difference between these multimedia interfaces?
There are so many options on how to play various content from a mini-pc on a display. Graphic cards provide a numerous amount of connection possibilities (outputs), which in turn face other inputs on the displays. Often that’s the reason for the cable chaos behind the monitors. In this article we will discuss which interfaces for transferring graphic contents are available, what the difference between them is, and which standards they meet.
2 May 2019 Array ( [id] => 413 [title] => NEW: spo-book BOX E3940 – Digital signage on least small space [authorId] => [active] => 1 [shortDescription] => We present the official successor of the BOX E2930. The system is called BOX E3940 and – due to its dimensions of just 165 x 109 x 40 mm – it really lives up to the name Mini-PC. Next to its minimal volume of only 0.72 liters, it convinces, as usual for our BOX series, with a really low power consumption. [description] =>

4K digital signage due to Intel Dual-Core-CPU

The centerpiece of the BOX E3940 is a powerful Intel® Quad-Core E3940 CPU with 1.6 GHz (max. 1.8 GHz). In combination with an up to 8GB high DDR3-RAM, an M.2 SSD and the integrated graphics card Intel® HD Graphics 500, content in a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels (4K), can be played. With its two HDMI ports this is possible on two screens at a time.

Connector diversity for adjusted applications

Diverse connectors on least small space? That’s the BOX E3940. Next to four USB 3.0 ports, the front panel also holds an Audio Line-out, as well as two Antenna connectors. The front is also equipped with the power button and an SD card slot. For connecting external periphery the system has two LAN ports on its back. Also located on the back panel are the two HDMI ports and two COM ports, which make the BOX E3940 suitable for industrial applications.

Individual software for everyone: IoT and Ubuntu

The new BOX E3940 captivates the digital signage field with a small but nice selection of adjusted operating systems. Next to the Linux versions Ubuntu 17.10, 17.04 and 16.04, also Windows 10 (Professional) and Windows 10 IoT are possible.

Technical data at a glance:

•    CPU: Intel® E3940 4 x 1.6 GHz (max. 1.8 GHz)
•    Graphics: Intel® HD Graphics 500
•    Max. resolution: 3840 x 2160 @ 30Hz
•    2x HDMI: Up to 2 independent displays
•    Dimensions (W x D x H): 165 x 109 x 40 mm
•    Volume: 0.72 ltr
•    4x USB 3.0

##Configure your BOX E3940 here

##See all BOX models

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products
NEW: spo-book BOX E3940 – Digital signage on least small space
We present the official successor of the BOX E2930. The system is called BOX E3940 and – due to its dimensions of just 165 x 109 x 40 mm – it really lives up to the name Mini-PC. Next to its minimal volume of only 0.72 liters, it convinces, as usual for our BOX series, with a really low power consumption.
20 Feb 2019 Array ( [id] => 383 [title] => Multi-monitor – How to: Duplicated screen and extended desktop [authorId] => [active] => 1 [shortDescription] => In relation to some of our digital signage Mini-PCs the term “multi-monitor” is often mentioned. There are many different subitems behind this pretty complex topic which we want to present you in this new series. Today we want to show how to duplicate your screen and extend your desktop. [description] =>

Basically, it should be noted that a PC can only control as many monitors as it has multimedia interfaces. Depending on the type of interface, CPU and graphics card the resolution of the content can vary. Our spo-comm Mini-PCs are all equipped with at least two multimedia ports.

What is a duplicated screen?

A duplicated screen is literally just a screen that is doubled on to another monitor, which means that on both displays the same content is shown. But also the reflection on a TV or a projector is possible.

How To: To duplicate the screen the first step is connecting and setting up a second monitor. In case of a Windows-PC press the key combination “Windows” and “P” and then choose the option “Duplicate” (see picture 2, second selection from the left).

What is an extended desktop?

The difference between an extended desktop and the duplicated screen is that the former one doesn’t double the display. On each of the connected monitors a different content can be seen.

The biggest advantage of an extended desktop is that it creates more working space. On one of the displays can be worked actively and the other one can be used as a storage area – just to give an example. Also video walls that are used in the digital signage field count on the extended desktop. Because they are controlled by more powerful graphics card, you can find out more about this topic in one of the upcoming articles soon.

How To: As well as for the duplicated screen another display has to be connected. The key combination is also “Windows” and “P”. By selection the option “Extend” Windows creates a blank desktop on the second screen on which programs and tabs can be moved now.

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know-how
Multi-monitor – How to: Duplicated screen and extended desktop
In relation to some of our digital signage Mini-PCs the term “multi-monitor” is often mentioned. There are many different subitems behind this pretty complex topic which we want to present you in this new series. Today we want to show how to duplicate your screen and extend your desktop.