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424 posts

Ultimate Geek


# 251711 8-Jul-2019 10:09
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Hi All,

 

I have an older Samsung smart TV that i can not install the three now app on, as we do not have an aerial we stream live TV. We are not big TV fans however there are a few mediaworks shows that we would like to view on a bigger screen together. I have looked at a chrome cast but I know we can do better for less $ with an Android TV box off Ali Express. 

 

As this is just for TV, is a unit with 2GB Ram ample or would I want to go for a 4GB one?

 

Any brands you guys can recommend,  and also ones to avoid?


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  # 2271721 8-Jul-2019 10:34
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What about the Android TV box from DishTV? (called the SmartVU X)  Not as cheap, of course, as some o/s sourced box, but I'd go for this over those type anyway as it's designed for NZ, comes with 'live' NZ FtA TV (internet, not terrestrial or satellite - so would work for you given the lack of aerial), NZ warranty/CGA etc...  

 

https://www.dishtv.co.nz/SV10


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  # 2271759 8-Jul-2019 11:22
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A lot of Android STB on AliExpress are not Android TV boxes but run a modified version of mobile Android. You can run more apps but you can get some weird results.

There are only 3 devices I'd consider. NVIDIA Shield is the best device but expensive. Xiaomi Mibox S is a decent device that has good support but limited RAM and processor. The fire TV stick is a really good cheap device but runs Amazon's heavily modified version of Android.




 
 
 
 


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Ultimate Geek


  # 2271764 8-Jul-2019 11:28
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Also depends if you care about Netflix et al in HD (Widevine certification) and if you need Android TV or a box that runs android (there's pros and cons of both).

 

Based on your post, the smartvu X is probably your best bet. 


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  # 2272019 8-Jul-2019 18:34
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chromecast is just hassle free and can you really beat the quality for about $55?


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  # 2272029 8-Jul-2019 19:15
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Jase2985:

 

chromecast is just hassle free and can you really beat the quality for about $55?

 

 

Personally, I don't call the requirement to use a phone, tablet etc to control the device as 'hassle-free' - even if there's some CEC-based support for using the TV remote for some commands I'd be surprised if it can be used completely independently of another device. 

 

I read that the SmartVu X has ChromeCast built in - is that standard for Android TV-based devices? 

 

 


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  # 2272042 8-Jul-2019 19:39
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jonathan18:

 

Personally, I don't call the requirement to use a phone, tablet etc to control the device as 'hassle-free'

 

I read that the SmartVu X has ChromeCast built in - is that standard for Android TV-based devices? 

 

 

no different to having to pull a remote out and select what you want to watch, in fact anyone with a smart device can do it, you are not limited to one device.

 

and no its not standard for android tv devices. nvidia shield and smartvu are some of the exceptions.

 

 


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Ultimate Geek


  # 2272046 8-Jul-2019 20:03
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Jase2985:

 

jonathan18:

 

Personally, I don't call the requirement to use a phone, tablet etc to control the device as 'hassle-free'

 

I read that the SmartVu X has ChromeCast built in - is that standard for Android TV-based devices? 

 

 

no different to having to pull a remote out and select what you want to watch, in fact anyone with a smart device can do it, you are not limited to one device.

 

and no its not standard for android tv devices. nvidia shield and smartvu are some of the exceptions.

 

 

As is the Mi Box.  I have an earlier non "S" version and it has chromecast support (one of the reasons I picked it).  So you actually listed the common devices that do have it. But no....its not standard for Android TV.

 

As almost everyone has a smart phone these days I'd probably recommend a chromecast over most things.  Its just one of those "it just works" devices.  My only experience of Android TV is with my Mi Box and whilst I like it a hell of a lot I'd say the Chromecast just has better support - especially with apps.

 

So if you do want an Android TV box (and the Mi Box is perfectly fine for everything I've thrown at it....admittedly only 1080p....) make sure you pick one that has Chromecast support to fill in the gaps for Android  TV support.


 
 
 
 


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  # 2272049 8-Jul-2019 20:09
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Many of my AV devices can still work with a phone app as well, so I still have the choice, not something one has with a Chromecast. Not that I bother using these apps as I like a physical remote. It's really a matter of horses for courses... That's why I said 'personally...'!

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Ultimate Geek


  # 2272050 8-Jul-2019 20:13
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I have a Shield as my main streamer and it is awesome.

 

I have a MiBox as 2nd streamer and it is great value - incl 4k playback - and can be got for $91 NZD landed right now from BG. 

 

 


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  # 2272066 8-Jul-2019 21:03
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I also suggest you not rule out the Chromecast so quickly. I got three Chromecast Ultras on sale for about $90 each last year. A bit better specced than that standard Chromecast (they will do 4K and h.265), and able to be connected to wired ethernet instead of just using WiFi which is a big plus for video streaming. They cope with the NZ TV on demand, as well as Netflix and Plex etc, just fine.

 

If you really want an android TV box, then the nVidia Shield is the gold standard. You might also want to consider an Apple TV.


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  # 2272603 9-Jul-2019 19:53
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JimmyH:

 

I also suggest you not rule out the Chromecast so quickly. I got three Chromecast Ultras on sale for about $90 each last year. A bit better specced than that standard Chromecast (they will do 4K and h.265), and able to be connected to wired ethernet instead of just using WiFi which is a big plus for video streaming. They cope with the NZ TV on demand, as well as Netflix and Plex etc, just fine.

 

If you really want an android TV box, then the nVidia Shield is the gold standard. You might also want to consider an Apple TV.

 

 

 

 

Really couldn't recommend a chromecast for $90 when a Mi Box does all that (as it is a chromecast) and much more - and incls a proper remote - for $1 more.


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  # 2272661 9-Jul-2019 22:29
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driller2000:

 

JimmyH:

 

I also suggest you not rule out the Chromecast so quickly. I got three Chromecast Ultras on sale for about $90 each last year. A bit better specced than that standard Chromecast (they will do 4K and h.265), and able to be connected to wired ethernet instead of just using WiFi which is a big plus for video streaming. They cope with the NZ TV on demand, as well as Netflix and Plex etc, just fine.

 

If you really want an android TV box, then the nVidia Shield is the gold standard. You might also want to consider an Apple TV.

 

 

 

 

Really couldn't recommend a chromecast for $90 when a Mi Box does all that (as it is a chromecast) and much more - and incls a proper remote - for $1 more.

 

 

 

 

Agree. The chromecast is ok, but is build into things like the smartvu. The smart vu was under $100 recently at the warehouse, and is a pretty decent device I have found, especially as it does freeview live channels over the internet. Not perfect, and the freeview software is a buggy, but it is what it is and maybe it will improve with updates. It is good for peope whose freeview reception pixilates in the evening or when it rains. I have also found that the chromecast built into it is more reliable and faster than the standalone chromecast. Maybe that is due to the processor in it. 


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