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140 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 226333 2-Jan-2018 15:35
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I'm considering upgrading my Pi 2B to an Android box, primarily for Kodi, but also might dabble with Plex and Netflix. I've seen lots of positive word on the H96 Max box, and wondered if anyone's had any first hand experience with it and can recommend it (or otherwise)? I've never played with any of these Android boxes before, so would be keen to know what people think of them in general, as well as this one specifically. I know there are a plethora of cheap boxes like this out there, but I figure at around the $200 mark, and with decent specs, this one should be well above average?

 

 

 

Thanks for any opinions/knowledge.  :)

 

 

 

 


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593 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1928094 2-Jan-2018 16:10
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Have not tried that box - but have tried others and they have all fallen short in one way or another eg. lack fw updates, over promise/under deliver, virtually zero support, get forgotten by the suppliers almost immediately, usually need a kb/mouse, don't do 4k smoothly, don't do hd audio, can be sluggish, etc etc. So based on this exp I really wouldn't bother with another generic Andorid based TV streamer again - ever.

 

And I would instead recommend Android TV based devices:

 

1. The Mi Box International Version is a low cost but pretty solid option - and similar price to the H96. 

 

2. But if you wanted the BEST streamer IMO - I would suggest the Shield - as it is bullet proof and powerful. Albeit it is dbl the cost - but this cost is well worth it for grunt, ease of use, functionality, features and reliability - IME.

 

 

 

So I definitely recommend looking at these as an alternate option to the H96.

 

PS: Also recommend looking at SPMC as opposed to Kodi, as it has been tailored for the Shield and works mint - incl allowing HD Audio (Atmos and DTS:X) and for your library to be included within voice search - which is cool  :)

 

 




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1928095 2-Jan-2018 16:16
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Thanks for the input. I've seen the Mi Box talked about quite a bit. I'll have a look more into that.  :)




140 posts

Master Geek
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Reply # 1928096 2-Jan-2018 16:20
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Oh, I see the Mi Box doesn't have ethernet.   :| 


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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1928097 2-Jan-2018 16:23
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Why around $200 mark? they're only around NZ$100 in China with free postage.

 

I've got a K1 Plus which has UHF and Sat tuners as well and it only cost me $98 2 yrs ago and works very well.

 

The H96 is Octo Core and 3gb RAM so it's got to be heaps better then my K1 Plus Quad Core 1gb RAM even without the tuners for similar price.

 

 


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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1928100 2-Jan-2018 16:27
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woodson:

 

Oh, I see the Mi Box doesn't have ethernet.   :| 

 

 

And it's only quad core with 2gb RAM.




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1928104 2-Jan-2018 16:39
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H96 Max listed at $181 on Banggood (the 4GB version)


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  Reply # 1928111 2-Jan-2018 17:09
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mi box + usb network adapter == win.

 

 

 

seriously do not bother with any other "android" tv box.  you need an "Android TV" box.  one that actually runs the leanback OS designed for remote by android.  too many cheap chinese boxes out there that will expect apps to be controlled via an airmouse etc.  complete garbage.

 

mi box is brilliant for its price.  proper "Android TV", runs plex, kodi (spmc aswell, better version for android), amazon, netflix, youtube, tvnz on demand (need to side load this, tvnz only released their android tv app for sony tvs, but you can easily sideload it on if you care about tvnz).

 

 

 

i cant stress enough how strongly I recommend avoiding just a box running regular android with a cheap remote and bad interface.  they may run netflix etc, but its the touch interface for them, so not really remote friendly.  

 

mi box is so cheap, good company behind it, and plays everything.  if you want something better go with a nvidia shield tv, but the price difference doesnt really make it worth while (it is faster though... but you would expect that).

 

i rate them

 

1. mi box (for price)
2. nvidia shield tv (would be 1, but price of mi box puts it 2)
3. amazon fire tv (interface isnt as nice as android tv, and is too amazon focused, android tv can run pretty much anything).
4. amazon fire tv stick


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1928119 2-Jan-2018 17:46
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Another vote for Mi Box. Features/reasons as above plus having a wireless remote (vs Infrared) allows you to hide the box away and you don't have to point it at the box. Also voice recognition via the remote, this makes searching a breeze and it really works well.




140 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 1928148 2-Jan-2018 18:41
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What about the lack of connectivity - only one usb port. Will it happily work with a usb hub attached? If so, and you then had a usb ethernet adaptor plugged into the usb hub, would there be any reduction in data speed (if that's the correct terminology)?


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  Reply # 1928149 2-Jan-2018 18:43
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The wifi on the mi box is fine for everything.





Richard rich.ms



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1928152 2-Jan-2018 18:54
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Wow, first time I've ever essentially had a recommendation for wifi over ethernet!   :)


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  Reply # 1928153 2-Jan-2018 19:03
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wifi fine for everything, no.  fine for netflix, youtube, amazon sure.  fine for playing back your 4k bluray rips in kodi, no.

 

yes you can get a usb hub with a wifi port as well.  i would search youtube for one with a review, theres a few out there.  i personally just bought the xiaomi one but thats just single usb to single ethernet and it works great.    i dont need any other usb devices on mine.


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1928156 2-Jan-2018 19:25
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+1 for the Mi Box.  I would actually recommend this over a Raspberry Pi (I have a few Raspberry Pis...they serve different needs) for streaming.  As others have said; having "Android TV" as the OS (vs Android on a TV box) is the big win here.  I also think its remote is pretty good - simple, minimalist and has a built in microphone.  Personally found it to be a bargain for the price.

 

I'm using it via Wifi and have had no issues.  I'm only ever doing 1080p (haven't yet found the necessary excuse to get a 4K TV authorised by the CFO yet).

 

Why do you think you'll need more than one USB?

 

Disclaimer: I do have a USB memory stick plugged into mine - but not really using it.  I could substitute for USB LAN connector and wouldn't miss the USB memory stick.  I think it'd be fine with a powered USB hub if you needed to (haven't tried obviously cause I have had no need).


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1928165 2-Jan-2018 19:55
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In terms of the MiBox connectivity - I have a dongle attached which provides several usb ports and ethernet - and this does the trick for me for a wired connection. (Note: The wifi is pretty good - but I have ethernet at the install location so prefer to use it.)

 

Also means I could attach an SD card as internal storage i.e. more games, apps and for my spmc database which is rather large AND external HDDs as well when I take it on holiday :)




140 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 1928354 3-Jan-2018 09:19
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nzkc:

 

+1 for the Mi Box.  I would actually recommend this over a Raspberry Pi (I have a few Raspberry Pis...they serve different needs) for streaming.  As others have said; having "Android TV" as the OS (vs Android on a TV box) is the big win here.  I also think its remote is pretty good - simple, minimalist and has a built in microphone.  Personally found it to be a bargain for the price.

 

I'm using it via Wifi and have had no issues.  I'm only ever doing 1080p (haven't yet found the necessary excuse to get a 4K TV authorised by the CFO yet).

 

Why do you think you'll need more than one USB?

 

Disclaimer: I do have a USB memory stick plugged into mine - but not really using it.  I could substitute for USB LAN connector and wouldn't miss the USB memory stick.  I think it'd be fine with a powered USB hub if you needed to (haven't tried obviously cause I have had no need).

 

 

 

 

Re. more usb ports - if I want to add a wireless keyboard as well as an ethernet usb adaptor


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