Android TV Box

smallbb

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Bros. So many boxes in the market.
Non branded ones and branded ones.
I currently have a really old non brand box (T95Z 3gb ram and 16gb rom I think)
And looking to upgrade. Been looking at this HK1 and others.
Any tips or recommendations bros? Much appreciated.
 

xiaofan

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Bros. So many boxes in the market.
Non branded ones and branded ones.
I currently have a really old non brand box (T95Z 3gb ram and 16gb rom I think)
And looking to upgrade. Been looking at this HK1 and others.
Any tips or recommendations bros? Much appreciated.

Buy branded box in general. Mi Box S is a good choice. Or Minix NEO T5 if you do not need Netflix HD. Mecool KM3 and KM1 can be considered as well if you do not need Netflix HD.

Avoid unknown brand like HK1. Even if you want to buy no brand boxes for cost reasons, buy more popular ones with S905X3 CPU, like A95X F3 Air, X96 Max+, X96 Air, H96 Max X3, etc.

Freaktab can be a good resource for generic boxes.
https://forum.freaktab.com/forum/tv-player-support/amlogic-based-tv-players/s905x3
 
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xiaofan

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Long 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 S905X3 boxes.

https://youtu.be/uzjC64FKzWo

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

A) 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.

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

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

D) Good voice remote with Google Assistant

E) 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, 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.
a) 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.

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

c) 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.

Now we list down the options below.

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. They have built-in Chromecast 4K function as well.

You can load other apps as well with some exceptions like Starhub Go and Toggle. But you can use Starhub Go on the mobile and cast to TV. For Toggle, it works with Chromecast dongles but some users report issues casting with Mi Box S built-in Chromecast function.

6) Amazon Fire TV stick 4k or Amazon Fire TV Cube 2nd generation, 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.

Amlogic S905X2/S905X3 and the older 905X/905L are pretty good choice in the medium end and Amlogic S905W is good at low end. Choose 2GB/16GB version for the low end.

2GB/4GB memory and 16/32GB/64GB are common for the new S905X2/S905X3 boxes and they usually run Android 8.x or newer. They also have dual band wifi, USB 3.0 port and 100M or gigabit Ethernet. S905X2 boxes were the most popular platform in year 2019. S905X3 boxes are the most popular boxes in 2020.

S905Y2 is basically S905X2 minus Ethernet. It is more meant for TV sticks but boxes can use it too.

S912 boxes are okay but S905X2/S905X3 have similar raw performance and better connectivity.

S905X3 is now popular, it is not much upgrade from S905X2 other than the CPU, but the price is getting lower even than S905X2 so you can get them now.

RK3318/RK3328 boxes are not as good now that S905X2/S905X3 come out. Amlogic S922X and Rockchip RK3399 boxes have the highest raw performance after Nvidia Shield TV but may not be worth the money as a streaming box.

Avoid Allwinner H6/H616 boxes unless for the preloaded boxes in the next section because of thermal issues. Their performance is also not as good as S905X3.

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 China version is only recommended if you are only interested in mainland China content. There are Global version of Xiaomi TV as well but they may or may not have Netflix certification. So please make sure you contact the vendor for the details.

Then there are things like Roku box which is popular in US but may not be good for use in Singapore.

To summarize for year 2020.

Basically you can consider the following for sub S$100 boxes.
1) If you need Netflix or Chromecast, or SingTel Cast, SingTel TV Go, or TVB Anywhere+, get Mi Box S. Or if you want to pay, get Nvidia Shield TV 2019 non Pro (for streaming) or Pro (if you need gaming).

2) Consider Mi Box S again if you are first time buyer.

3) If you only need Netflix but not Chromecast, and you want to get a powerful box, get Amazon FireTV Cube 2nd Gen (2019 model). Amazon FireTV Stick 4K is also a good buy if you get the offer price of US$29 to US$39.

4) If you do not need Netflix, you can consider official Android TV OS boxes like Minix NEO T5 and Mecool KM3 and KM1.

5) If you do not need either Netflix or Chromecast, and you are an experienced user who know what you are doing, get new S905X3 boxes like the Beelink GT1 Mini 2.
 
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yusoffb01

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hi xiaofan. if i am buying my own, say A95X F3 Air, should i NOT use ny google account?
wanted to get the 4GB/64GB since eauyong said "can dual boot Android 9.0 eMMc and Coreelec through TF card upto 32GB." ... sometimes I'm interested to tinker out other use aside from YouTube, Netflix, or local HDD movies plugged in.

you can buy armbian compatible box. i bought the cheapest 64gb/4gb ram below $50
gJ9NwCW.png


https://forum.armbian.com/topic/12162-single-armbian-image-for-rk-aml-aw-aarch64-armv8/
 

xiaofan

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eyz

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very informative post!

btw, may I ask why is it that netflix cannot be used with those barebone box?

also, for chromecast, it only works with "approved" streaming apps, right?

normal streaming from browser will have to use mirroring to share phone screen on the tv, right?

and mirroring is available on most generic box, right?

Long 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 S905X3 boxes.

https://youtu.be/uzjC64FKzWo

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

A) 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.

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

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

D) Good voice remote with Google Assistant

E) 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, 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.
a) 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.

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

c) 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.

Now we list down the options below.

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. They have built-in Chromecast 4K function as well.

You can load other apps as well with some exceptions like Starhub Go and Toggle. But you can use Starhub Go on the mobile and cast to TV. For Toggle, it works with Chromecast dongles but some users report issues casting with Mi Box S built-in Chromecast function.

6) Amazon Fire TV stick 4k or Amazon Fire TV Cube 2nd generation, 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.

Amlogic S905X2/S905X3 and the older 905X/905L are pretty good choice in the medium end and Amlogic S905W is good at low end. Choose 2GB/16GB version for the low end.

2GB/4GB memory and 16/32GB/64GB are common for the new S905X2/S905X3 boxes and they usually run Android 8.x or newer. They also have dual band wifi, USB 3.0 port and 100M or gigabit Ethernet. S905X2 boxes were the most popular platform in year 2019. S905X3 boxes are the most popular boxes in 2020.

S905Y2 is basically S905X2 minus Ethernet. It is more meant for TV sticks but boxes can use it too.

S912 boxes are okay but S905X2/S905X3 have similar raw performance and better connectivity.

S905X3 is now popular, it is not much upgrade from S905X2 other than the CPU, but the price is getting lower even than S905X2 so you can get them now.

RK3318/RK3328 boxes are not as good now that S905X2/S905X3 come out. Amlogic S922X and Rockchip RK3399 boxes have the highest raw performance after Nvidia Shield TV but may not be worth the money as a streaming box.

Avoid Allwinner H6/H616 boxes unless for the preloaded boxes in the next section because of thermal issues. Their performance is also not as good as S905X3.

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 China version is only recommended if you are only interested in mainland China content. There are Global version of Xiaomi TV as well but they may or may not have Netflix certification. So please make sure you contact the vendor for the details.

Then there are things like Roku box which is popular in US but may not be good for use in Singapore.

To summarize for year 2020.

Basically you can consider the following for sub S$100 boxes.
1) If you need Netflix or Chromecast, or SingTel Cast, SingTel TV Go, or TVB Anywhere+, get Mi Box S. Or if you want to pay, get Nvidia Shield TV 2019 non Pro (for streaming) or Pro (if you need gaming).

2) Consider Mi Box S again if you are first time buyer.

3) If you only need Netflix but not Chromecast, and you want to get a powerful box, get Amazon FireTV Cube 2nd Gen (2019 model). Amazon FireTV Stick 4K is also a good buy if you get the offer price of US$29 to US$39.

4) If you do not need Netflix, you can consider official Android TV OS boxes like Minix NEO T5 and Mecool KM3 and KM1.

5) If you do not need either Netflix or Chromecast, and you are an experienced user who know what you are doing, get new S905X3 boxes like the Beelink GT1 Mini 2.
 

xiaofan

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very informative post!

btw, may I ask why is it that netflix cannot be used with those barebone box?

also, for chromecast, it only works with "approved" streaming apps, right?

normal streaming from browser will have to use mirroring to share phone screen on the tv, right?

and mirroring is available on most generic box, right?

Netflix can be used but only up to 480p without Netflix certification. Some hacks are available to get 720p or even 1080p but YMMV.

Google Cast (Chromecast) function is very useful, but yes only selected apps are working.

There are apps you can install to cast websites using Chromecast function.

In general do not use mirroring or Miracast for streaming. Use Chromecast (if the box supported it) or DLNA Cast or Apple Airplay.

You can install apps like HappyCast for DLNA Cast and AirPlay.
 

xiaofan

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is it fast enough to replace a desktop pc? for watching 4k youtube with 4k monitor, web browsing , and simple office apps.

4k YouTube is very difficult under the alternative Armbian Linux system. Even 1080p can be a problem. Usually the graphics driver is the problem, especially with main line kernel. But the focus is not really for 4k or even 1080p media playing. For that you need to look into specialized Linux distribution like Libre Electric or Core Electric.

Simple Office work (eg: using LibreOffice) and Web Browsing can be pretty smooth under Armbian.

Music playing is also no problem.

I was using it to test out open source projects which I am involved in, to see how they work under Arm Linux. Building programs using GCC and associated programs are also pretty smooth. But I have not tried to build large apps.
 

boonkang

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btw, may I ask why is it that netflix cannot be used with those barebone box?

Barebone Android TV boxes are usually produced by small companies.

Neflix doesn't want to do business w/ small companies. Why? Go ask Netflix.

So Android TV boxes from small companies will likely never be Netflix certified.

Usually, non-Netflix certified Android TV boxes can still install & run the Netflix app.

Just that you can't watch Netflix shows in HD/FHD/4K etc, on such non-Netflix certified Android TV boxes (see Bro Xiaofan's previous post)

Netflix doesn't even want to talk to companies like Minix -- who is actually one of the better known Android TV box maker.

Many TV boxes from Minix are good/above average quality Android TV boxes but are not Netflix certified due to the above.

Yes, some Android TV boxes are Netflix certified -- but only those from bigger companies (like Xiaomi Mi Box S, Nvidia Shield, Amazon Fire TV etc.)
 
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yusoffb01

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is it fast enough to replace a desktop pc? for watching 4k youtube with 4k monitor, web browsing , and simple office apps.

if you use as android then u can use as 4k youtube and desktop replacement.

if use in linux only 720p youtube
 

boonkang

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also, for chromecast, it only works with "approved" streaming apps, right?

normal streaming from browser will have to use mirroring to share phone screen on the tv, right?

and mirroring is available on most generic box, right?

There are apps you can install to cast websites using Chromecast function.

If your TV (or TV box) has bulit-in Chromecast -- you don't need phone mirroring to TV.

See the list of apps below (near end of this post).

(a) Install one of those apps listed below on your phone/tablet.
(All the listed apps below have ability to send video to Chromecast.)

(b) Start the app.
(c) On the app, visit the Web site / Web page which got the video/show you want to watch on your TV.
(d) The app will be able to detect the video(s) on the Web page.
(e) Then use the app's Chromecast function to cast the video you want to watch to the TV.

Now enjoy watching the video on your TV :D

Over the years, I've found various Web sites w/ many different types of shows to watch -- sometimes you can even select/choose resolution like 720p/1080p etc, for the video on the Web page.

Some Web sites even have LIVE TV / LIVE sports to watch :D

Majority of the time (not all the time), I can successfully Chromecast most videos (even LIVE TV / LIVE sports) found on Web sites to the TV to watch :)

Sometimes I lazy to Chromecast, I just simply start the browser on my Android TV (or TV box) & go to the Web site directly to watch.

Using just one browser app on my Android TV (or TV box) -- I can visit many different Web sites to watch different types of shows.
Thus I no need to install too many apps on my Android TV / TV box.

In fact, the browser is one of the most used apps on my Android TV / TV box.
(Don't tell Gregory this -- he doesn't like people to install browser on Android TV / TV box :) )

The only problem is: Many Web sites are full of ads. You need to know how to reduce / block ads when visiting Web sites.

***
As promised, some known apps that can Chromecast videos on Web sites to TV / TV box:

(1) Web Video Cast (available for both Android & iOS)
http://www.webvideocaster.com
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.instantbits.cast.webvideo
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/web-video-cast-browser-to-tv/id1400866497

(2) WebCast TV for Chromecast (available for iOS)
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/webcast-browser-supports-chromecast-ad-block/id1248564076

(3) Cast to TV (available for Android)
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=cast.video.screenmirroring.casttotv

(4) Chrome browser (available for both Android & iOS)
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.android.chrome
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/google-chrome/id535886823

Above is not an exhaustive list.

There are many apps similar to the above. Too many to list here :)
 
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gregory_choo

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very informative post!

btw, may I ask why is it that netflix cannot be used with those barebone box?

also, for chromecast, it only works with "approved" streaming apps, right?

normal streaming from browser will have to use mirroring to share phone screen on the tv, right?

and mirroring is available on most generic box, right?


I put up a post regarding casting of internet streaming video from handphone to tv box earlier.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/tvboxapps/permalink/2048083435335401/

it is not a public group so you have to join the group before you can read the post.
 

gregory_choo

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.....
..
The only problem is: Many Web sites are full of ads. You need to know how to reduce / block ads when visiting Web sites.

***
As promised, some known apps that can Chromecast videos on Web sites to TV / TV box:

(1) Web Video Cast (available for both Android & iOS)
http://www.webvideocaster.com
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.instantbits.cast.webvideo
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/web-video-cast-browser-to-tv/id1400866497

(2) WebCast TV for Chromecast (available for iOS)
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/webcast-browser-supports-chromecast-ad-block/id1248564076

(3) Cast to TV (available for Android)
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=cast.video.screenmirroring.casttotv

(4) Chrome browser (available for both Android & iOS)
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.android.chrome
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/google-chrome/id535886823

Above is not an exhaustive list.

There are many apps similar to the above. Too many to list here :)

To add:

quickcast is a good app to do all above, it is a browser by itself, it blocks all advertisement and popup, it can chromecast or dlna cast to tv box.

it is able to cast much more videos than chrome browser.

however, do not use the later versions, because they come with ads (i.e sucessful free apps). use earlier version, it has the same features , but not ads.

you can use mibox to receive, or any other boxes with happycastTV installed.

happycastTV can receive DLNAcast and airplay, it is very efficient, I have installed one copy on a 8 yearold box with android 4.2, and it happily playing 1080p casted video smoothly.
 
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eyz

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thanks! got that!

Netflix can be used but only up to 480p without Netflix certification. Some hacks are available to get 720p or even 1080p but YMMV.

Google Cast (Chromecast) function is very useful, but yes only selected apps are working.

There are apps you can install to cast websites using Chromecast function.

In general do not use mirroring or Miracast for streaming. Use Chromecast (if the box supported it) or DLNA Cast or Apple Airplay.

You can install apps like HappyCast for DLNA Cast and AirPlay.
 

eyz

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thanks, I have a better understanding now! didn't know apps will be able to recognize device type.

Barebone Android TV boxes are usually produced by small companies.

Neflix doesn't want to do business w/ small companies. Why? Go ask Netflix.

So Android TV boxes from small companies will likely never be Netflix certified.

Usually, non-Netflix certified Android TV boxes can still install & run the Netflix app.

Just that you can't watch Netflix shows in HD/FHD/4K etc, on such non-Netflix certified Android TV boxes (see Bro Xiaofan's previous post)

Netflix doesn't even want to talk to companies like Minix -- who is actually one of the better known Android TV box maker.

Many TV boxes from Minix are good/above average quality Android TV boxes but are not Netflix certified due to the above.

Yes, some Android TV boxes are Netflix certified -- but only those from bigger companies (like Xiaomi Mi Box S, Nvidia Shield, Amazon Fire TV etc.)
 

eyz

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thanks for the list!

yes, sometimes just wanna watch some streaming from website

browser
If your TV (or TV box) has bulit-in Chromecast -- you don't need phone mirroring to TV.

See the list of apps below (near end of this post).

(a) Install one of those apps listed below on your phone/tablet.
(All the listed apps below have ability to send video to Chromecast.)

(b) Start the app.
(c) On the app, visit the Web site / Web page which got the video/show you want to watch on your TV.
(d) The app will be able to detect the video(s) on the Web page.
(e) Then use the app's Chromecast function to cast the video you want to watch to the TV.

Now enjoy watching the video on your TV :D

Over the years, I've found various Web sites w/ many different types of shows to watch -- sometimes you can even select/choose resolution like 720p/1080p etc, for the video on the Web page.

Some Web sites even have LIVE TV / LIVE sports to watch :D

Majority of the time (not all the time), I can successfully Chromecast most videos (even LIVE TV / LIVE sports) found on Web sites to the TV to watch :)

Sometimes I lazy to Chromecast, I just simply start the browser on my Android TV (or TV box) & go to the Web site directly to watch.

Using just one browser app on my Android TV (or TV box) -- I can visit many different Web sites to watch different types of shows.
Thus I no need to install too many apps on my Android TV / TV box.

In fact, the browser is one of the most used apps on my Android TV / TV box.
(Don't tell Gregory this -- he doesn't like people to install browser on Android TV / TV box :) )

The only problem is: Many Web sites are full of ads. You need to know how to reduce / block ads when visiting Web sites.

***
As promised, some known apps that can Chromecast videos on Web sites to TV / TV box:

(1) Web Video Cast (available for both Android & iOS)
http://www.webvideocaster.com
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.instantbits.cast.webvideo
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/web-video-cast-browser-to-tv/id1400866497

(2) WebCast TV for Chromecast (available for iOS)
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/webcast-browser-supports-chromecast-ad-block/id1248564076

(3) Cast to TV (available for Android)
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=cast.video.screenmirroring.casttotv

(4) Chrome browser (available for both Android & iOS)
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.android.chrome
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/google-chrome/id535886823

Above is not an exhaustive list.

There are many apps similar to the above. Too many to list here :)
 

abyzab

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4k YouTube is very difficult under the alternative Armbian Linux system. Even 1080p can be a problem. Usually the graphics driver is the problem, especially with main line kernel. But the focus is not really for 4k or even 1080p media playing. For that you need to look into specialized Linux distribution like Libre Electric or Core Electric.

Simple Office work (eg: using LibreOffice) and Web Browsing can be pretty smooth under Armbian.

Music playing is also no problem.

I was using it to test out open source projects which I am involved in, to see how they work under Arm Linux. Building programs using GCC and associated programs are also pretty smooth. But I have not tried to build large apps.
I'm quite disappointed that even Raspberry Pi4B not very smooth with YouTube at 1080P because of the graphics driver.

I wanted to install a PC in the bedroom, small form factor and quiet. PC with that are very expensive or weak.
I want one that install Linux without hustle of tinkering with this and that limitations, like my cheap 5400G Pc. It runs everything well except games which I don't like to play anyway.

These cheap TV boxes now have enough ram and raw power and graphics driver is surprisingly the last hurdle because the chipsets vendors intentionally kept the GPU support proprietary.
 

gregory_choo

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I'm quite disappointed that even Raspberry Pi4B not very smooth with YouTube at 1080P because of the graphics driver.

I wanted to install a PC in the bedroom, small form factor and quiet. PC with that are very expensive or weak.
I want one that install Linux without hustle of tinkering with this and that limitations, like my cheap 5400G Pc. It runs everything well except games which I don't like to play anyway.

These cheap TV boxes now have enough ram and raw power and graphics driver is surprisingly the last hurdle because the chipsets vendors intentionally kept the GPU support proprietary.

one way is to dual boot.

native android os for media application for 4k youtube...etc.

linux on sdcard for other desktop uses.
 
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