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779 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 109688 25-Sep-2012 10:51 Send private message

http://www.firstin.co.nz/products/android-4.0-tv-stick-8622

This seems like a good plan to be able to get internet on my PC. Has anyone had a play with this type of gadget before?
It plugs into an HDMI port on the telly, and has a microUSB port to power it, and a standard one to plug a keyboard/mouse into. Sounds ideal, Ice-Cream Sandwich is new enough to run a decent browser to watch the on-demand replays and youtubey type stuff.

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  Reply # 691008 25-Sep-2012 10:54 Send private message

They work OK, but you're paying around a 30 - 40% premium buying it in NZ vs buying from Asia online.

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  Reply # 691014 25-Sep-2012 11:05 Send private message

It's Android, so presumably you can download a Netflix app (given an approproiate VPN etc) which means you cna access Netflix on any TV, not just a smart TV.

That's the only thing I use my Apple Tv for right now, and this is cheaper, so sounds pretty sweet to me

ETA:  also,  it looks like it has a USB port as well as the micro USB for power, so does that mean I could plug in an external hard drive and use an appropriate andrpoid app to play whatever media I want?  that sounds even sweeter

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 691015 25-Sep-2012 11:05 Send private message

I'm wanting a new TV but can't decide if I want to wait for googleTV in an LG or Samsung or buy a cheap TV with one of these sticks.

It would be awesome to have the whole house syncing with my Google account.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 691017 25-Sep-2012 11:09 Send private message

BlueShift: Sounds ideal, Ice-Cream Sandwich is new enough to run a decent browser to watch the on-demand replays and youtubey type stuff.


I'd say the in demand performance on this is going to be less than ideal on this. My Samsung galaxy tab 10.1 struggles with OnDemand and it is running twice the specs.

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  Reply # 691037 25-Sep-2012 11:46

They certainly look like an appealing device. Cant say how well they would work of course.

I have a Panasonic plasma from several years ago - no 'smarts' or internet features of course.
Have a new Samsung LED as well - with all the built in annoying features.

At some point Samsung wont provide updates and the apps wont work etc etc. At least something like this (potentially) can be just plugged in/replaced/updated independently of the TV - so this sort of device gets a thumbs up from me.

I personally would prefer that the TV and rapidly developing software driven features be kept separate.

How legit are firstin?




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Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it it himself - A. H. Weiler



779 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 691063 25-Sep-2012 12:13 Send private message

robjg63: They certainly look like an appealing device. Cant say how well they would work of course.

I have a Panasonic plasma from several years ago - no 'smarts' or internet features of course.
Have a new Samsung LED as well - with all the built in annoying features.

At some point Samsung wont provide updates and the apps wont work etc etc. At least something like this (potentially) can be just plugged in/replaced/updated independently of the TV - so this sort of device gets a thumbs up from me.

I personally would prefer that the TV and rapidly developing software driven features be kept separate.

How legit are firstin?

FirstIn are legit enough, they're related to GrabOne, kind of. Some of the kit they sell, you need to read the fine print - some stuff is reconditioned warranty returns for instance. But, by & large they are good vendors and will warranty stuff as required by CGA.

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  Reply # 691064 25-Sep-2012 12:14 Send private message

robjg63: They certainly look like an appealing device. Cant say how well they would work of course.

I have a Panasonic plasma from several years ago - no 'smarts' or internet features of course.
Have a new Samsung LED as well - with all the built in annoying features.

At some point Samsung wont provide updates and the apps wont work etc etc. At least something like this (potentially) can be just plugged in/replaced/updated independently of the TV - so this sort of device gets a thumbs up from me.

I personally would prefer that the TV and rapidly developing software driven features be kept separate.

How legit are firstin?


Pretty good.  have bough the odd item off them..

Thanx for your comments about this device..




Regards,

Old3eyes

174 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 691085 25-Sep-2012 12:57 Send private message

My first thought was, can I install the plex (client) android app on this through play store. And of course, playback quality.

Anyone used an Android device like this before?



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  Reply # 691213 25-Sep-2012 15:46 Send private message

It's FirstIn, so it'll be a old\obsolete product and/or from a no-name manufacturer and you'll need to wait a couple of weeks until it ships.

Here's a near identical "brand name" unit:

http://www.kogan.com/au/buy/agora-smart-tv-hdmi-dongle/%20

A friend in Oz got one and reckons it's pretty good. Comes with an IR remote control "keyboard". It also has a more TV-friendly launcher rather than just the AOSP launcher, although odds are you can shoehorn whatever you want into it.

Here's virtually the same thing on DealXtreme:

http://dx.com/p/android-4-0-mini-pc-google-tv-player-w-wifi-allwinner-a10-cortex-a8-tf-hdmi-white-4gb-137012?item=150

http://dx.com/p/c77-mini-android-4-0-network-media-player-w-wi-fi-hdmi-micro-usb-usb-black-8gb-144940?item=199



Looks like most of these things don't have the juice to handle 1080p h.264 video - they've presumably got pretty basic GPU's in them.




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  Reply # 691236 25-Sep-2012 16:31

I suspect that all of these tiny no-name sticks are probably not bad add-ons for your non smart TV.

They would give you web browsing, email etc etc. But I cant really see that they would be up to the job of being great HD video playback/upscaling media players.

But at <$100 NZD you probably shouldnt really expect that.

If anyone actually has one then a review would be great!

They are all 'no branders' and the chances of ever getting android updates for them is probably zero. Likewise - who would know exactly what codecs they would support. But <$100! Thats not a bad way of internet enabling a TV. We were paying 3 or 4 times that for crapping freeview HD boxes a few years ago - and they werent half as smart - and even the brand name ones konked out pretty quick.





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Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it it himself - A. H. Weiler



779 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 691238 25-Sep-2012 16:34 Send private message

robjg63: I suspect that all of these tiny no-name sticks are probably not bad add-ons for your non smart TV.

They would give you web browsing, email etc etc. But I cant really see that they would be up to the job of being great HD video playback/upscaling media players.

But at <$100 NZD you probably shouldnt really expect that.

If anyone actually has one then a review would be great!

They are all 'no branders' and the chances of ever getting android updates for them is probably zero. Likewise - who would know exactly what codecs they would support. But <$100! Thats not a bad way of internet enabling a TV. We were paying 3 or 4 times that for crapping freeview HD boxes a few years ago - and they werent half as smart - and even the brand name ones konked out pretty quick.



That's pretty much the way I was thinking. I wasn't expecting to use it as a media server, just to get a bit of internet content on the telly without having to plug in a lappie.
I was hoping someone had actually laid hands on one and could confirm that the TVNZ & TV3 on-demand stuff would work on them. I'd assume youtube would be a given.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 691243 25-Sep-2012 16:44 Send private message

Looks like a boon to an old TV (or even new one) with a raft of features.

It does look like there is a MicroUSB power connection and a USB 2.0 connection available.

Having the ability to plug in a Logitech Unifiying adapter for keyboard and mouse makes life that much easier.

I have an FV-1 Android TV with 1GHz processor and PowerVR SGX540 GPU so I have some limited experience with similar setups.

Having a 1GHz processor is not the sharpest tool when many applications rely on the CPU only and don't do Hardware Acceleration handoff for the display.

The Mali-400 may not be dual-core in which case it could be quite underwhelming and may impact adversely when if comes to Hardware Acceleration.

The 2.4GHz WiFi may not provide a strong signal over distance and thus reduce stability when streaming data.

Movies are watched at maximum screen resolution on a 40" HDTV and this impacts performance when in fact you have the specs of a low end phone.

I saw an Antutu benchmark for a similar 1GHz CPU, Mali-400 GPU Android 'stick' and it scored less than an old Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10i.

http://www.cnx-software.com/2012/07/24/40-cx-01-mini-pc-unboxing-and-review/

The Mail-400 GPU in the benchmark above is stronger than the Adreno 200 in an X10i

Some times the Google Play Store gets 'confused' with the 'role' of these devices and thus degrades access to many applications. One of the draw backs is that it has no GPS and no SIM card.

Without these features many apps can't be installed... Hello New Zealand MetSevice weather app.

However, if you understand the limitation of these devices and are not looking for leading edge graphics/performance/Google Market support, then these devices provide a wide degree of functionality.

I use my FV-1 Android TV daily and it's great for watching YouTube, IMdb, email, and one finger games.
Using handbrake(PC) to convert movies  to 'Android High' mkv make them quite watch-able via an FV-1 Android TV on a 40" Sony Bravia HDTV.

Remember this is NOT a Samsung Galaxy S II (two) and the price reflects that.

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Master Geek


  Reply # 693329 29-Sep-2012 10:08 Send private message


645 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 693371 29-Sep-2012 12:19 Send private message

I've just ordered an MK802 Android mini PC which looks like this of Ebay (scroll down to see more pictures). At about $63NZ it seems like a good deal. Will let you know how well it works next week when it arrives. Has anyone else ordered one of these?

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 693376 29-Sep-2012 12:42 Send private message


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