At AskNicely we love TV dashboards and this guide is the easiest way to get your TV dashboard up and running. The coolest part of this guide is that you can also add other web dashboards to this solution with very little effort using a dashboard looper.
- A TV with an HDMI port
- An ASUS Chromebit which plugs into the HDMI Port
- Logitech K400 wireless keyboard with trackpad
You can purchase the Chromebit and Logitech keyboard from our Amazon shopping list here.
We do not recommend using a Smart TV, there are far too many limitations with how the browser displays content, embedding external websites in an iFrame so the content can be looped. We also encountered lots of issues when smart TVs went to sleep and would not load the dashboard when they woke.
UNBOXING & SETUP YOUR CHROMEBIT
The Chromebit is a microcomputer that plugs into the HDMI port of your TV.
It runs Google's Chrome OS which makes running TV dashboards a breeze.
The Chromebit comes with a flexible rubber HDMI extender, I attached this and connected the power cable.
Lastly take the small USB dongle that come with your keyboard and plug that into the end of your Chromebit, then turn your keyboard on (power switch is around the back).
Now lets get your Chromebit up and running.
- Plugin your Chromebit to HDMI 1 on your TV.
- Grab the TV remote and select HDMI 1.
CHROME OS SETUP
You should see the Chromebit booting now, the first screen searches for a keyboard and mouse. If you haven't got two green ticks on this screen, simply hit a key on your board and now it should work. (see image below).
During your setup the system may do several things.
- It will want to connect to your Wi-Fi so it can access the internet.
- It most likely will want to update it's firmware, click yes.
- You will also need to sign into your Google account or create a new one to use for ChromeOS.
ChromeOS should now be up and running and you can see the a few icons in the task bar bottom left. From here we need to add a special Chrome extension to your browser, this will allow us to embed both the AskNicely TV dashboard and dashboards from other websites. If you don't install this extension you will simply see a blank white page : (
- On the TV, open up the Chrome browser and head over to Google WebStore https://chrome.google.com/webstore and search for "AskNicely"
- Install the AskNicely Dashboard Assistant by clicking the "Add to Chrome" button top right.
RUNNING THE ASKNICELY DASHBOARD
We are nearly there, lets get the AskNicely dashboard up and running.
- On your TV, in Chrome, login to your AskNicely account.
- On the dashboard page, hit the TV button top right to launch the TV version.
3. Full Screen - Hit the 3 dots (top right) > then the square shaped icon
Here is a photo of our test dashboard up and running.
Congratulations, you are now setup. Lastly take out your phone and take a photo, and send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
ADVANCED - ADD MORE DASHBOARDS
Now your TV dashboard is up and running, wouldn't it be great if you could loop through your other dashboards?
Setup is simple.
- Head over to http://dashplay.io/
- Hit the 'Create a Display' button.
- This will create a unique URL for you, make sure you bookmark it.
On this page enter the AskNicely TV dash URL. The TV dash URL should look like this.
https://YOUR_DOMAIN.asknice.ly/tv (make sure it ends in /tv)
The reason we use a link like this, is so our TV customisation settings will stick.
You can customise the settings on the TV dashboard by hitting the small ⌄ icon to change what is displayed. These settings are saved in a cookie, so if you come back to this page in Chrome it will remember your settings.