Infocast Pricing, Networking

My current favorite hardware platform for Transit Appliances is the Insignia Infocast (8″). At some point I need to do a post on the characteristics of this device that make it so friendly for this application… but that’s for another day.

On Wednesday, Best Buy’s web site was showing the pricing as $129.99 (down from $169.99). Black Friday ads today show it at $99.99!

Also, in the process of setting up an Infocast at the Portland Building (home of many of the City of Portland’s bureaus) I found that the list of Ethernet USB Adapters for the Chumby apparently also applies to the Infocast, so in situations where WiFi is not convenient, there are other options.

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10 Responses to Infocast Pricing, Networking

  1. mattwigway says:

    I was just wondering if you’ve considered some of the new flat-screen TVs with inbuilt web browsers as appliances.

  2. Chris Smith says:

    I haven’t, but I think there would be a couple of critical questions:

    1) Is it more cost effective to take a lower-end monitor or TV and couple it with a low-cost PC where we can control the operating system?

    2) A key part of the appliance concept is to be able to “just turn it on”. Can the Internet TVs be set to launch on power-on to a specific web address?

  3. mattwigway says:

    I think you may be right, that an internet TV is overkill and that the appliance perhaps should be just a box with tv-out. I did a quick Google and found http://www.norhtec.com/products/mcjrmx/index.html. It is $175 for a unit with TV-out and WiFi (ethernet also) , plus say $8 for an SD card which could be preflashed with the software. Total under $200. Something to think about. I haven’t used these products, so I don’t know how reliable they are.

  4. Chris Smith says:

    Perhaps you’d like to lead a project to build one for us?

  5. mattwigway says:

    Unfortunately, I don’t have one of these devices. But I thought that, since it’s a standard PC, we might as well create a Live CD/USB distro that it can boot. In that vein, I did a remaster of Damn Small Linux and created a preliminary 50MB ISO that boots directly into the Infocast page, finding the MAC from ifconfig using sed. It requires only a 486 with 16MB RAM (according to the creators of Damn Small Linux). I’ve tried on my brother’s PIII-850MHz as well as the P4-2GHz I have connected to my TV, and it seems to work well.

  6. Chris Smith says:

    Excellent! Can I download it from somewhere? I’d be happy to repost it here. I imagine some folks will find it very useful once we have our configuration app up.

  7. mattwigway says:

    I sent you an email with some information and the download link!

  8. dwainedibbly says:

    None in stock locally, but available online. Mrs Dibbly reminded me about 2 $10 gift cards and a $20 reward zone certificate, so that got the price down to $66 including shipping. Not bad!

    I’ll be contacting you for a config file soon. Let me know if you need a tester for the configuration generating tool that you have mentioned is in development.

  9. dwainedibbly says:

    FYI, I was showing a co-worker the 8″ infocast on bestbuy.com yesterday. The price was down to $67! This sounds like a “blow-out” price to me, so if anyone wants one, they probably ought to jump ASAP.

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