Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.


32 posts

Geek
+1 received by user: 1


Topic # 160359 3-Jan-2015 22:27
Send private message

Hi

I wondered if anyone had a view on the use of the android media servers running Kodi; specially the Droidplayer from the UK

http://droidplayer.co.uk/

The dual CPU seems a nice hardware spec and looks like a mature Kodi deployment on it.  Albeit skewed to the UK, but there are worse things to watch than the BBC, and also I imagine I could work out how to add NZ on Demand TV.    I can play music, and also stream movies, and it looks much easier to use that a raspberry pi which looks quite scary.  It seems to come with a great remote control called Yatse which looks as though it can search for music without the TV being on, on one's phone

There's a  cheaper one from the USA called the Matricon but the spec is not as nice and it has somewhat mixed reviews.

Is there anyone in New Zealand selling configuring an equivalent box?

It seems a nice solution without any proprietary restrictions - what do other people think?



View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic
 1 | 2
2536 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 1197


  Reply # 1207973 4-Jan-2015 11:26
Send private message

There are a bunch of them now from various manufacturers, and they are all pretty similar. I think they are all based on pretty much the same reference design from the CPU manufacturer. I have the Minix-X8H, which seems analogous to a couple on the page that you link to. Based on my (limited to date) testing of the Minix, they appear to work fine. Fairly snappy and responsive.

If you can, pick a unit with at least the Cortex A9r4 processor (which, I recall, enables Dolby DTS decoding in hardware) and the Mali-450 GPU (for future-proofing, as it's 4K capable).

My only reservation about the higher-end of the Droidplayer's you link to is that while it states that it has a cortex A9 quad core processor and a Mali-5450 GPU (which are fine), it doesn't state whether it's the version of the Cortex that does Dolby DTS - which you may, or may not, want to check up on. I wouldn't touch the lower-end dual core models. For only a small saving, they look quite a bit less powerful.



32 posts

Geek
+1 received by user: 1


  Reply # 1208146 4-Jan-2015 20:48
Send private message

Hi, I had a look at the Minix unit online.  It got really good reviews.  The only thing that I picked up was that one person commented that it was not possible to have both an HDMI plug and an optical port plug connected at the same time because they are too close together - that would be a big problem for me as a I have an older non-HDMI receiver and it's quite decent, so I do use the optical port.  What do you think? 

The Droidplayer has quite a nice layout - they put the optical out next to a USB port, and they have four of these.  So I could use the optical out.  But I wonder form the Amazon comments whether they have ironed all the bugs out yet. 

All of these units appear to have a slightly rough reputation for reliability.  May I ask if you purchased yours here in NZ or went overseas for it?  If you bought it in the states, how did you manage the power supply issue? 

It's interesting that none of the major manufacturers seem to have gotten into this, and I cannot find anyone commercially selling these units in NZ

3343 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 1089

Trusted
Vocus

  Reply # 1208163 4-Jan-2015 20:56
Send private message

I just got one of these: http://www.geekbuying.com/item/Tronsmart-Vega-S89-H-Amlogic-S802-H-Quad-Core-Android-TV-BOX-2G-16G-2-4G-5G-WIFI-Bluetooth-XBMC-Support-Dolby-and-DTS-326822.html

a
nd loaded the Finless 2.1 ROM on : http://www.freaktab.com/showthread.php?21062-NEW-Beelink-S82-S82H-M8-MXIII-amp-Tronsmart-S89-S89H-Finless-2-1-ROM

A
nd am using it with Plex, Hulu, Netflix.  Works very well, snappy little box.  I'd recommend an airmouse (I have an older version of http://www.dx.com/p/mele-f10-fly-mouse-3-in-1-2-4ghz-wireless-air-mouse-keyboard-remote-control-black-128312#.VKjxriuUfoE )

It's a powerful little box.  Have been playing some games on it as well.  Performance wise it's up with high-end handsets.

It should run XBMC/KODI very well, but since I set up a Plex server I haven't really looked back.

After many various problems with my last TV stick (which finally kicked the bucket) I'd keep away from rockchip sets.

As for power, etc, you just need a decent travel adapter.  The power supply supplied (at least from geekbuying) seems to be good quality.

2536 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 1197


  Reply # 1208202 4-Jan-2015 22:23
Send private message

Pete99999: Hi, I had a look at the Minix unit online.  It got really good reviews.  The only thing that I picked up was that one person commented that it was not possible to have both an HDMI plug and an optical port plug connected at the same time because they are too close together - that would be a big problem for me as a I have an older non-HDMI receiver and it's quite decent, so I do use the optical port.  What do you think? 

The Droidplayer has quite a nice layout - they put the optical out next to a USB port, and they have four of these.  So I could use the optical out.  But I wonder form the Amazon comments whether they have ironed all the bugs out yet. 

All of these units appear to have a slightly rough reputation for reliability.  May I ask if you purchased yours here in NZ or went overseas for it?  If you bought it in the states, how did you manage the power supply issue? 

It's interesting that none of the major manufacturers seem to have gotten into this, and I cannot find anyone commercially selling these units in NZ


I don't currently have anything that takes an optical input, so I can't comment on that.

Mine was drop-shipped from Hong Kong, and came with the correct power adapter and everything else it needed to work, right out of the box. Due to a promotion at the time, it came with the free airmouse as well. I used expansys.co.nz, which is a front for the HK shipper - and they priced it in $NZ, billed me in $NZ, and ensured the correct power adapter.

Despite having it for around 6 months I haven't yet found much time to have a serious play, I hope to do so in a couple of weeks. But what I have tried (connects to network, connects to TV, picks up the various DLNA servers on the network, and plays what I tell it to) seems to work just fine. I mostly just use the XBMC app on it. As for reliability, I have had no issues so far.

Currently, once I finish re-doing the primary set-up (budget & time constraints), and my computer setup (ditto), I will likely buy a second unit, and have one in the living room and one in the bedroom. What I would really like to try first is using something like Ember Media Manager to scrape metadata onto the NAS, and see how the Minix handles that.




32 posts

Geek
+1 received by user: 1


  Reply # 1208777 5-Jan-2015 20:36
Send private message

Hi
Thanks for that detail about the Minix.  

Had a look on Trademe (still keen on a local supplier).  Ran across this item running a dedicated linux distro OpenElec just for Kodi.  Looked quite compelling, great Trademe Stats (100%).

Has anybody had any experience with them?  It's dual core but it seems as though OpenElec is so lean that that this may not be relevant.

And I really do want a good simple Kodi box - I don't care about the other items

http://www.nzhometheatre.com/#!streamx/c1a17

2536 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 1197


  Reply # 1208859 5-Jan-2015 23:02
Send private message

While I don't claim to be an expert, it looks a tad underpowered to me. For instance:

 

  • What looks like an older CPU, with only two cores instead of 4
  • Only clocked at 1.5GHz, where others are clocked at 2.0GHz
  • The Mali 400 GPU instead of the newer (and much more powerful) Mali 450 GPU
  • 1GB of RAM (newer units, including the Minix, have 2GB)
  • Doesn't appear to have Dolby DTS support
  • Doesn't support hard drives larger than 2TB, or SD cards greater than 32.
  • A tiny 4GB of internal flash storage.
While I'm all for budget solutions, this one looks too underpowered to have much of a future to me, and not worth the saving. The sort of unit that you will be wanting to replace with a better one almost as soon as you get it.

Also, I note the huge range of content that they claim it can access out of the box. While nice, it doesn't exactly look legit.

Personally, I wouldn't touch it.

616 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 39


  Reply # 1209001 6-Jan-2015 10:10
Send private message

That's probably the best box you'll find locally. It uses the AMLogic 8726 SoC which is a little long in the tooth these days. The newer boxes are using the AMLogic S802, 805 or 812. The 8726  is however a proven workhorse and should be fine for most Kodi usecases. Kodi isn't exactly demanding in terms of CPU and RAM requirements, after all it does run well on the Raspberry Pi which has much worse specs.

Depending on your IT prowess you can get boxes with these newer chipsets off eBay or Alixexpress and flash them yourself.

The SteaMX is likely  using the OpenELEC images developed by Codesnake, take a look at this forum and pick one of the newer boxes and flash it yourself.
http://forum.xda-developers.com/android/development/rom-openelec-amlogic-based-tv-boxes-t2832289

14109 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 2527

Trusted
Subscriber

  Reply # 1209053 6-Jan-2015 11:04
Send private message

I use a Raspberry Pi, which works well, with the database running on MySQL on my PC. It has no optical output so probably won't suit you, but I just want to put the power required into context - you don't need much.




AWS Certified Solution Architect Professional, Sysop Administrator Associate, and Developer Associate
TOGAF certified enterprise architect
Professional photographer




32 posts

Geek
+1 received by user: 1


  Reply # 1209499 6-Jan-2015 20:32
Send private message

Panicnz,

It looks like there are only two boxes certified
http://androidtvsolutions.com/mx-android-tv/

http://matricom.net/install-openelec-xbmc-g-box-mx2/

I had a quick look for somebody selling them pre-configured but could not find anyone. There'sa  nice how-to for the matricom though

Did you do it yourself?



32 posts

Geek
+1 received by user: 1


  Reply # 1209500 6-Jan-2015 20:32
Send private message

Panicnz,

It looks like there are only two boxes certified
http://androidtvsolutions.com/mx-android-tv/

http://matricom.net/install-openelec-xbmc-g-box-mx2/

I had a quick look for somebody selling them pre-configured but could not find anyone. There'sa  nice how-to for the matricom though

Did you do it yourself?



32 posts

Geek
+1 received by user: 1


  Reply # 1210749 8-Jan-2015 18:51
Send private message

People

Well I have spent more time on the internet than I really shouold have but have come to the conclusion that the lowest risk option is to get the MiniX NEO X8-H 4K Ultra-HD Android TV Box.  Expansys have a reasonable price, they will take care of the power adapter and provide returns if necessary and the price is only trivially more than buying direct.   The specs seem excellent and the reviews are very good.  There's no OpenElec distro for it but hopefully that will come, and there are lots of reports that the Kodi that comes with it has been adapted to the hardware and uses hardware decoding.


I looked a the Matricon box but its quite scary - it seems a bit hard-core for me, and Expansys don't have it anyway

629 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 217


  Reply # 1210772 8-Jan-2015 19:38
Send private message

Pete99999: People

Well I have spent more time on the internet than I really shouold have but have come to the conclusion that the lowest risk option is to get the MiniX NEO X8-H 4K Ultra-HD Android TV Box.  Expansys have a reasonable price, they will take care of the power adapter and provide returns if necessary and the price is only trivially more than buying direct.   The specs seem excellent and the reviews are very good.  There's no OpenElec distro for it but hopefully that will come, and there are lots of reports that the Kodi that comes with it has been adapted to the hardware and uses hardware decoding.


I looked a the Matricon box but its quite scary - it seems a bit hard-core for me, and Expansys don't have it anyway


Yeah have done the exact same thing over the last couple of weeks and have come to the same conclusion re the MiniX X8-H (plus version) being the one i would choose.

Now I just need one of my XBMC clients to expire before i can justify the purchase : /






32 posts

Geek
+1 received by user: 1


  Reply # 1210790 8-Jan-2015 20:23
Send private message

Expansys have it at $192 for just the box and a  bare-bones IR remote.  Since I want to control Kodi using Yatse and intend to run it as basically a Kodi server, that works out quite well for me.  I've also looked at the various Youtube videos and it looks as though an awful lot comes configured out of the box and I have had confirmation that it is possible to have both the SP/DIF optical and the HDMI plugged in at the same time

I also looked at the Asus Chromebox with the OpenElec distro which apparently works very well but it does not have a separate optical out and I really do not want to replace my reciever.  Also it a bit dearer again - close to $300 and not obviously available in NZ.  Particularly for something like this I would like to deal with somebody who is prepared to take it back if it all turns to custard.  It's quite surprising that none of the major Taiwanese manufacturers like ASUS do a TV box - it would seem to be a natural for them and I would buy an ASUS tv box in a flash, I've had great experiences with their gear.

529 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 120

Trusted
Subscriber

  Reply # 1211363 9-Jan-2015 19:28
Send private message

Many of the available boxes tend to have slower wired connections advertised than wireless. Being reliant on a wired connection makes me reluctant to get the minix

245 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 30


  Reply # 1211391 9-Jan-2015 20:37
Send private message

FYI


Here's a little write up I did for a Android box back in April,

http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumId=97&topicId=143303


It's specs are a bit old, but it is fine for what I need,

Good Points,

Is stable, low power, streams fine, is basically a Android phone on your TV screen without the phone bit.

Plays youtube faultlessly, have Xpossed installed, so no adds or popups at all in app.

It turns on and off instantly, you can turn it off in say... XBMC and turn it back on next day/week and picks up from the exact screen.

XBMC is awesome, has the odd addon proble update, mainly istream, using gotham 13.2, will upgrade to Kodi soon.

I use it every day, great little box for $40 off Trademe, currently watching, Star trek (1966), The Big Bang Theory, Space 1999.

Bad Points,

You may have problems using browser to display video properly, a lot of web site detect it's android and think it's a phone and want's you install/pay for their app.

TVNZ app won't work, says it's rooted and root cloak does nothing, TV3 app says it is using an external monitor and DRM (what ever it is) copy right and won't work.

Can't think off anything else bad really.

I also have a cheap HTPC, that I use for what Android box has probs with like the previously mentioned apps, the last time the HTPC was used was to stream the Bathhurst car race..... Android box is used every day almost.

My 2cents,

PS, get a small wireless mouse and keyboard for it.





Desktop AMD Ryzen 1600/RX-580/24GB Ram/29" UHD monitor, 1 laptop with Linux Mint, Galaxy S7, Moto G, raspberry PI with Kodi plus other gadgets.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 1 | 2
View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic

Twitter »

Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:



Geekzone Live »

Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.



Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.