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Old 22-03-2019, 10:50 AM   #1396
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No issue to install those apps. For these Chinese apps, Beelink GT1 Mini will be better than Mi Box S because of better HW spec and the Gigabit Ethernet. Also you get USB 3.0 port.

I am mostly interested in Chinese Entertainment (no interests in Netflix) and I have Chromecast 1st gen and Apple TV 3rd gen, so I will not buy Mi Box S myself.

It is actually not that hard to use once you get the box and try it out. Pretty similar to an Android phone.

Dangbei market or Shafa market have a lot of Chinese apps for Android TV boxes if you understand Mandarin. Just install one of them and you can try different VOD apps and live TV apps.

https://m.dangbei.com/
http://m.shafa.com/
Awesome. i'll refer back to this post when i have it. I foresee myself using only these chinese apps. I think CCTV5 has some live sports as well. So hopefully that works for me.

Ive used shafaguanjia before, and no issues with chinese, which is great in this climate.
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Old 22-03-2019, 11:01 AM   #1397
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Awesome. i'll refer back to this post when i have it. I foresee myself using only these chinese apps. I think CCTV5 has some live sports as well. So hopefully that works for me.

Ive used shafaguanjia before, and no issues with chinese, which is great in this climate.
CCTV 5 and CCTV 5+ work fine. They have quite some live sports.

Since you have used Shafa Market before, you will be fine with the Chinese apps.

Huawen TV is not available from either market but you can get it here to try out on your phone before you get the box. It is available in Apple App Store as well if you use iPhone. They have just got the pro version as well for Android with both live TV and VOD.
http://www.5itv.tv/
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Old 23-03-2019, 07:41 AM   #1398
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https://youtu.be/uzjC64FKzWo

The above is a good summary why Mi Box S is often recommended as the streaming device to go.

1) It is a streaming device which makes your TV smart or smarter than it is now. This is true for TVs like those Samsung Frozen OS based smart TV, LG Webos based smart TV and even Xiaomi TV running Patchwall Android based OS.

2) It runs official Google Certified Android TV OS which is easy to use.

3) Very good streaming support due to running Certified Android TV OS, Netflix 4K and YouTube 4K are supported.

4) Good voice remote with Google Assistant

5) Chromecast 4k function built-in. This is one of the best feature of Mi Box S. You can use apps like Netflix, YouTube, Starhub Go, SingTel TV Go, Singtel Cast, Toggle, HBO Go, Viu Premium, etc, on the phone (iOS or Android) and then cast to your TV with this function. Basically this covers most of the popular Streaming services here in Singapore. Take note you can still use your phone for other things after the shows started on the TV. You can run Netflix, YouTube, SingTel TV Go and SingTelCast on Mi Box S itself as well.

In terms of cost, typical cost in Lazada/Qoo10/Shopee is around S$70-90, depending on offer and coupon. Take note Chromecast Ultra (4k support) itself cost more than S$100. Even the cheaper Chromecast (1080p) costs more than S$50.

The main disadvantages of Mi Box S are the following.
1) The author mentions relatively weak CPU and occasionally lag or skip frame if you set the interface resolution as 4k. Still it is actually very good for streaming and even casual gaming due to good software optimization.

2) Relatively limited interface, only one USB 2.0 port and no Ethernet interface. Still take note the Dual Band AC WiFi works well.

3) Relatively small 8GB storage but you can add a fast USB Flash Drive to expand the storage

Nvidia Shield TV (usually S$200++) have all the advantages of Mi Box S and none of the disadvantages of Mi Box S.

Last edited by xiaofan; 18-05-2019 at 03:51 PM..
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Old 23-03-2019, 08:14 AM   #1399
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So Mi Box S is the top choice for sub-S$100. And Nvidia Shield TV is the way to go if you want the best performance and best gaming experiences for an Android TV Box (no point to compare with latest XBox, PlayStation or Switch or PC Gaming though).

Then why I still recommend other TV boxes sometimes?

1) If you need some special requirements, like Video Recording, then you may want to look at Zidoo. If you really want a hybrid box with DVB-T2 Tuner built-in, then you may want to look at Mecool Kiii Pro and Magicsee C400.

2) If you are not relying on streaming service like Netflix, or apps like Toggle, Starhub Go and Viu Premium which work best with Chromecast, then you can consider boxes with better hardware specifications (CPU, RAM, Storage, USB ports, Ethernet ports) than Mi Box S.

For example, you are using Kodi and other streaming apps (for examples various Chinese streaming apps for VOD and Live TV), then boxes like those with the S905X2 CPU (eg, Tanix TX5 Max and Beelink GT1 Mini) or S912 CPU (older Minix NEO U9-H is a popular example, Beelink GT1 Ultra and GT1-A, Tanix TX92 as well) may be a better choice.

S905X2 CPU is a better choice than S912 unless you want better gaming experiences.

3) If you really have budget constraint to below S$50, then you can consider low cost S905W based box like Tanix TX3 Mini 2GB/16GB and Tanix TX3 Max, around S$40-50. Some RK3328 device with better specifications may fall below S$50 as well.

Avoid RK3229 based box as well -- they are usable especially with 2GB/16GB configuration but not as good as S905W at similar price. Cheapest box with RK3229 and 1GB/8GB configuration actually can go as low as S$20 in Taobao and below S$30 in Lazada/Qoo10/Shopee. They are usable if you only need a few apps but you may have to tolerate sluggish performance from time to time. You may have to disable Google service to speed up.

Last edited by xiaofan; 23-03-2019 at 08:19 AM..
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Old 23-03-2019, 08:39 AM   #1400
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Update my previous post.

Depending on your needs you may consider the following streaming hardware options, from easy to more difficult. Option 8/9/10 can be easy to use but since I do not recommend them so they are put in the bottom.

For streaming I think Mi Box S should be a very good choice especially for new users. Then Nvidia Shield TV is another good choice if you are willing to pay for the performance. If for some reasons you do not like these two, you may want to consider Option 7, especially S905X2 boxes.

1) Starhub fibre TV or SingTel TV

2) Starhub Go Streaming Box, running operator version of Android TV OS, not yet support Netflix but support Chromecast.

3) Google Chromecast dongles, including the 4k option called Chromecast Ultra

4) Apple TV and Apple TV 4k which are good option for Apple users

5) Mi Box S or Nvidia Shield TV running official Android TV OS whch supports Netflix 4k and YouTube 4k. You can load other apps as well with some exceptions like Starhub Go. But you can use Starhub Go on the mobile and cast to TV. Take note that new TVBAnywhere+ app TV version apk is available for Mi Box S from its website.

6) Amazon Fire TV stick 4k or Amazon Fire TV Cube, which supports Netflix 4k as well, again you can side load other apps.

7) Other barebone Android TV boxes, say those from Zidoo, Minix, Beelink and Tanix. Or those generic boxes. No Netflix HD/4k support, no ChromeCast function.

Brand is one important factor in choosing the box. Android OS version and CPU/Memory/Storage/WiFi/Ethernet/etc are important factor as well.

Avoid 1GB memory boxes in this category for new purchases.

Last edited by xiaofan; 04-05-2019 at 05:12 PM..
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Old 23-03-2019, 08:40 AM   #1401
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8) Preloaded boxes like UnblockTech Ubox with relative comprehensive live TV app UBTV and they try to support it even though UBTV is ordered by high court to be blocked by local ISPs. Not recommended but I can see why people still go for it. EVpad is another popular brand in this category.

9) Other preloaded boxes sold at Sim Lim Square, other shopping centres or online market place or even Facebook, most if not all are problematic and do not expect good support. Avoid them.

10) Not HW boxes but just paid IPTV subscription. Not recommended in general but I can understand why people buy them.

Of course there are other alternatives like smart TV from Samsung (Tizen OS), LG (Web OS) and Sony/Sharp/Philips (Android TV OS), among which Android TV OS is the smartest with more apps.

Xiaomi TV is only recommended if you are only interested in mainland China content. But you can add a Mi Box S to address the Patchwall OS deficiency.

Then there are things like Roku box which is popular in US but may not be good for use here in Singapore.
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Last edited by xiaofan; 11-04-2019 at 10:18 PM..
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Old 23-03-2019, 08:49 AM   #1402
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Android TV box CPU

1) Most popular is Amlogic chips

S922X High end hex core, 4xA73 core +2xA53 core, upcoming, to compete with RK3399

S905X2, quad core A53, popular latest chip, mid end, USB 3.0 support and 4GB memory support. Eg: Beelink GT 1 Mini and Tanix TX5 Max. S905Y2 variant does not Ethernet

S912, mid end, 8 core A53, no USB 3.0 and up to 3GB memory. Eg: Minix NEO U9-H, Beelink GT1 Ultimate, Tanix TX92

S905X, mid end, quad core A53. Mi Box S (Android 8 ) uses S905X. Old Mi Box global version uses the same chip but comes with Android 6 and upgradable to Android 8. EVpad Plus has S905X CPU as well and with 2GB RAM and 16GB storage.

S905W, popular in low end, 4k 30fps support instead of 4k 60fps support in S905X, buy the 2GB RAM version and not the 1GB RAM version, usually comes with Android 7.1. Eg: Tanix TX3 Max and TX3 Mini

2) The other popular choice is Rockchip

RK3399 hex core 2xA72+2xA53, most powerful among the three vendors, performance only exceeded by the CPU used by Nvidia Shield TV. Overkill for TV box. Popular in Chromebook and high end maker boards

RK3328, popular mid end, quad core A53, performance similar to S905X, but with USB 3.0 support and 4GB memory support

RK3229, popular low end, quad core A7, performance below S905W, avoid them. Evpad Pro + and many preloaded box are using this chip.

RK3368 old mid-high end chip, 8 core A53

RK3288 old high end chip, quad core A17

3) Allwiner

H6, quad core A53, performance above S905X and RK3328 but below S912 and S905X2, USB 3.0 support. Usually comes with Android 7.x. Eg: Tanix TX6 (Android 7.1 and Android 9). Latest Ubox Pro 2 I950 comes with H6 CPU but RAM is only 1GB. Same for UBox Pro I900. EVpad 3 and 3Max use this CPU as well and with 2GB memory. EVpad 3S should be similar as well.

H5, quad core A53, seldom used
H3, quad core A7, Low end. Old Ubox Gen 2, 3 and 4. Evpad 2S+, Evpad Pro, Beelink X2, etc
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Last edited by xiaofan; 04-05-2019 at 02:31 PM..
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Old 23-03-2019, 11:00 AM   #1403
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https://youtu.be/uzjC64FKzWo

The above is a good summary why Mi Box S is often recommended as the streaming device to go.

1) It is a streaming device which makes your TV smart or smarter than it is now. This is true for TVs like those Samsung Frozen OS based smart TV, LG Webos based smart TV and even Xiaomi TV running Patchwall Android based OS.

2) It runs official Google Certified Android TV OS which is easy to use.

3) Very good streaming support due to running Certified Android TV OS, Netflix 4K and YouTube 4K are supported.

4) Good voice remote with Google Assistant

5) Chromecast 4k function built-in. This is one of the best feature of Mi Box S. You can use apps like Netflix, YouTube, Starhub Go, SingTel TV Go, Singtel Cast, Toggle, HBO Go, Viu Premium, etc, on the phone (iOS or Android) and then cast to your TV with this function. Basically this covers most of the popular Streaming services here in Singapore. Take note you can still use your phone for other things after the shows started on the TV. You can run Netflix, YouTube, SingTel TV Go and Singapore Cast on Mi Box S itself as well.

In terms of cost, typical cost in Lazada/Qoo10/Shopee is around S$70-90, depending on offer and coupon. Take note Chromecast Ultra (4k support) itself cost more than S$100. Even the cheaper Chromecast (1080p) costs more than S$50.

The main disadvantages of Mi Box S are the following.
1) The author mentions relatively weak CPU and occasionally lag or skip frame if you set the interface resolution as 4k. Still it is actually very good for streaming and even casual gaming due to good software optimization.

2) Relatively limited interface, only one USB 2.0 port and no Ethernet interface. Still take note the Dual Band AC WiFi works well.

3) Relatively small 8GB storage but you can add a fast USB Flash Drive to expand the storage

Nvidia Shield TV (usually S$200++) have all the advantages of Mi Box S and none of the disadvantages of Mi Box S.
wah thanks this is sik
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Old 23-03-2019, 01:26 PM   #1404
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http://www.starhub.com/personal/mobi...go-select.html

Yes Starhub Go Select should be okay. Starhub Go app supports Go Chromecast.

SingTel CAST Asian Plus is another choice if you are a SingTel customer. It supports Chromecast. You can actually install the app on the Mi Box S itself.
https://www.singtel.com/personal/pro...ast/asian-plus

Cheaper paid option is Youku TV 酷喵影视 VIP. It supports 1080p and a bit of 4k contents, RMB 399 per year or about S$80 per year but often there are promotions. For example RMB70 per quarter now. I am paying for normal Youku VIP which is good for mobile phone and tablet. It is pretty good if you understand Chinese. It got movies and dramas from mainland China, HK, Taiwan, Korea and US.
https://pd.youku.com/CIBN?screen=phone

Take note you can try Youku TV 酷喵影视 for free by using free VPN like Transocks. But once you pay for the VIP, no need to use VPN.

For live TV from China, you can use apps like 华文电视,超级直播,电视家,etc. They are free and you can install them on Mi Box S itself.
google for imahua

install tv version, can play from mibox directly

Thanks! Will try to look for these apk now
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Old 23-03-2019, 05:49 PM   #1405
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https://youtu.be/uzjC64FKzWo

The above is a good summary why Mi Box S is often recommended as the streaming device to go.

1) It is a streaming device which makes your TV smart or smarter than it is now. This is true for TVs like those Samsung Frozen OS based smart TV, LG Webos based smart TV and even Xiaomi TV running Patchwall Android based OS.

2) It runs official Google Certified Android TV OS which is easy to use.

3) Very good streaming support due to running Certified Android TV OS, Netflix 4K and YouTube 4K are supported.

4) Good voice remote with Google Assistant

5) Chromecast 4k function built-in. This is one of the best feature of Mi Box S. You can use apps like Netflix, YouTube, Starhub Go, SingTel TV Go, Singtel Cast, Toggle, HBO Go, Viu Premium, etc, on the phone (iOS or Android) and then cast to your TV with this function. Basically this covers most of the popular Streaming services here in Singapore. Take note you can still use your phone for other things after the shows started on the TV. You can run Netflix, YouTube, SingTel TV Go and Singapore Cast on Mi Box S itself as well.

In terms of cost, typical cost in Lazada/Qoo10/Shopee is around S$70-90, depending on offer and coupon. Take note Chromecast Ultra (4k support) itself cost more than S$100. Even the cheaper Chromecast (1080p) costs more than S$50.

The main disadvantages of Mi Box S are the following.
1) The author mentions relatively weak CPU and occasionally lag or skip frame if you set the interface resolution as 4k. Still it is actually very good for streaming and even casual gaming due to good software optimization.

2) Relatively limited interface, only one USB 2.0 port and no Ethernet interface. Still take note the Dual Band AC WiFi works well.

3) Relatively small 8GB storage but you can add a fast USB Flash Drive to expand the storage

Nvidia Shield TV (usually S$200++) have all the advantages of Mi Box S and none of the disadvantages of Mi Box S.
What if I am someone with a lot of downloaded shows on my pc and my phone. I rarely use streaming services but don't mind trying them out. Do i need this android box to be able to play those shows on my TV?
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Old 23-03-2019, 06:14 PM   #1406
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What if I am someone with a lot of downloaded shows on my pc and my phone. I rarely use streaming services but don't mind trying them out. Do i need this android box to be able to play those shows on my TV?
For local content or NAS content, many boxes are okay, Kodi is one such player for PC, Android phone and Android TV boxes.

S905X2 based box like Tanix TX5 Max or Beelink GT1 Mini will be a good one for this purpose because of the support of USB 3.0 and Gigabit Ethernet, 4k is not a problem.

Older Minix NEO U9-H is famous Kodi box but its price is on the high side.

Plex is another one.

I do not use Kodi or Plex myself so you may get better help from others. I only use apps to streaming from internet, not downloading anything.

https://kodi.tv/
https://www.plex.tv/
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Old 24-03-2019, 10:14 AM   #1407
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Previously I mentioned Zidoo X9S and higher end boxes from Zidoo with HDMI IN function for video recording. They also have SATA interface to add HDD/SSD.

Beelink SEA 1 is another such box.

All the above boxes are kind of niche product and they are all based on Realtek RTD1295/1296 CPU and run Android 6. A bit old but if you need such features you may take a look. These boxes are also very good for local media playing.

Beelink SEA 1 review in 2017, cost a bit above S$100 now on Lazada.
https://youtu.be/sFdFzwlzVvw

Beelink produces many TV boxes and Mini PCs.
http://www.bee-link.com/
https://www.gearbest.com/top-brands/brand/Beelink.html

Zidoo X9S HDMI IN review in 2017, cost around S$160 on Lazada
https://youtu.be/ORG3iMhk9FY

Zidoo Z9S, X10, Z10, X20 and X20 Pro are higher end models.
https://www.zidoo.tv/

Minix is another well know brand in TV box but seems to shift the focus to Mini PC. Minix NEO U9-H was one of the best TV box back in 2017 and it is still considered to be a pretty good box now.
http://minix.com.hk

Note: Gearbest link is for cost reference only. Often cheaper in Singapore online marketplace.
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Last edited by xiaofan; 24-03-2019 at 04:17 PM..
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Old 24-03-2019, 10:39 AM   #1408
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When it comes to Hybrid box with DVB-T2 tuner built-in, there are not many choices. Personally I think it is better to buy separate device but I understand that there are people who like multifunction device.

Magicsee is one such vendor with C300 and C400 model.
http://m.magicsees.com/m/
https://www.gearbest.com/top-brands/brand/MAGICSEE.html

Mecool (from.Vidostrong) is another vendor with models like Kiii Pro.
http://www.videostrong.com/index.html
https://www.gearbest.com/top-brands/brand/MECOOL.html

Both companies are also producing other TV boxes.

Mecool is kind of interesting to produce quite some non-certified Android TV OS device and tried to get around Netflix restrictions, I think it is not worth it, just buy official certified Android TV OS device like Mi Box S and Nvidia Shield TV for Netflix.

Note: Gearbest site is only for cost reference. Often cheaper in Singapore online market place.
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Last edited by xiaofan; 24-03-2019 at 09:59 PM..
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Old 24-03-2019, 10:58 AM   #1409
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Tanix is another brand producing lower cost box with relatively good quality, at least better than those no brand generic boxes.
http://www.tanix-box.com/
https://www.gearbest.com/top-brands/brand/Tanix.html


Popular generic boxes. You really do not know who are behind the boxes. Sometimes they will come with the trading company logo like Alfawise, Nexbox, Scishion, etc. Not recommended for new buyers because of a few things, build quality, lack of firmware upgrade, lack of support, potential poor design for thermal, potential poor components used especially WiFi.

I may be wrong as well here because you do not really know which one is the trading house and which one is the manufacturer.

H96 series, not bad based on my experiences with H96 Pro Plus S912 box and H96 Max Plus RK3328 box

X96 series, not as good as H96,

Alfawise
https://www.alfawise.com/collections/tv-box
https://www.gearbest.com/top-brands/brand/Alfawise.html

Nexbox
http://www.inexbox.com/

Scishion
http://www.scishiontvbox.com/
https://www.gearbest.com/top-brands/brand/SCISHION.html

Sunvell
http://www.sunvell.com/
https://www.gearbest.com/top-brands/brand/Sunvell.html


Note: Gearbest links are for cost reference only. It is often cheaper in Singapore online marketplace.
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Last edited by xiaofan; 24-03-2019 at 04:03 PM..
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Old 24-03-2019, 10:23 PM   #1410
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https://achillespen.com/google-adt-2...omplete-review

Google ADT-2 Development kit for Android TV OS.

Lon.TV review says there is stagnant in Google Android TV system and indeed this is true. In US it actually lags behind Roku and Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV in terms of streaming box. Then in the Smart TV market, leading supplier Samsung is using Tizen OS and LG is using its own Web OS.

Just from the ADT-2 HW specifications you can see it is still based on the old Amlogic S905X CPU, same as the 2016 Mi Box Global version and 2018 Mi Box S (they use S905X-H to be exact because of Dolby/DTS license).

And Nvidia Shield TV is still the king of Android TV boxes out there after so many years (2015 to now).

In local market, both Mi Box S and Nvidia are not officially launched in Singapore. Only Srarhub is using Android TV OS in its Go Streaming Box.

Of course there are Sony smart TV running Android TV OS in local market but they are not as popular as Samsung and LG.

Hopefully Android TV OS for both Smart TV and streaming TV box will catch up. It is said redesign is on the way.

Ref: https://www.flatpanelshd.com/news.ph...&id=1547633301

Ref: bad review about Mi Box S, which may be overboard considering the cost but then Roku and Amazon Fire Stick 4k are also pretty cheap in US. Some of the problems listed are with Mi Box S but some are related to Android TV OS and partner apps.

https://www.idgconnect.com/idgconnec...oid-tv-justice

Strong competition from Amazon Fire TV Stick 4k 2018 version at US$50.
https://www.techhive.com/article/330...e-problem.html

"For 4K HDR TV owners, the Fire TV Stick 4K also has the advantage of supporting both Dolby Vision and HDR10+."

Still I think Mi Box S is better in Singapore because the support of Chromecast function.
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Last edited by xiaofan; 24-03-2019 at 10:41 PM..
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