All I wanted was a huge TV hanging above our workspace displaying the build server status page. Too much to ask from the enormous IT market in 2015? Apparently.
We bought a 50” Panasonic LED TV (thankfully, with a generous corporate discount). The facilities folks eventually hung it on the wall and provided a quad power outlet and a network drop for whatever device we were going to tuck up there.
I thought we would just plug in a Chromecast and browse to our build status page. Haha, you have to be kidding me! You can’t just run a browser. Neither can the Amazon Fire TV Stick, Roku, or Apple TV. The Amazon Fire TV supports a browser, but only if you enable developer side-loading and want to run Mozilla Firefox unsupported.
Don’t forget, you might need to authenticate to your wifi network via captive portal. The Amazon Fire TV has that feature now and some of the other boxes will be getting support later.
You need a third-device “casting” to the dongle full-time!
- Chromecast (or similar)
- The device that’s actually doing the work :(
There are a variety of reasons not to do that…
- Don’t want to remember to login to see the dashboard
- Don’t want to leave a desktop session live and running all day (security)
- Don’t want a reboot for Windows updates to take down the dashboard
The “set-top” box category of devices are letting us down. So, we’re looking for some kind of full-blown PC in a mini-box. Maybe the Asus Chromebox? Nope, it’s running ChromeOS, which can’t be authorized to connect to the corporate network.
The guest network doesn’t have permission to access the dashboard without a firewall rule exception request.
So, now we have a $1000 black rectangle hanging on the wall. I’ll let you know what ends up working.
Update: We had to lease a Windows PC from corporate IT and get a service credential with interactive desktop access so we could put the box on the network and hit the internal sites. The corporate network requires domain authentication and/or some kind of device registration that requires meeting some arcane security measures.