Android TV Box

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Zidoo is kind of high end brand in Android TV boxes and the boxes with dual HDMI can record from different source.

As for hybrid TV box you do not have many choices. Mecool KIII Pro is one of them and Magicsee C400 is another one. S912 box will have good enough performance, similar to S905X2, but with better gaming performance because of better GPU in S912. S905X2 has better connectivity in terms of USB 3.

If you only need video recording for over the air TV, then you can go with the Mecool Kiii Pro, or use an normal Android TV box but add a cheap DVB-T2 box here.
https://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/house-displays-226/cheap-dvb-t2-stb-prc-5890904.html

Hi xiaofan,how will the Mi S box compare to the Beelink gt 1 4/32 in terms of performance?

Will the Beelink be more challenging to use?
 

RockStar9238

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Can someone recommend a box that is able to watch 4k shows??

Quite new to this android box.

Me too. I also want to get one.
I bought 1 from Sim lim square but cannot watch channel 5.
What is the streaming for is it need to purchase separately.
 

xiaofan

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Can someone recommend a box that is able to watch 4k shows??

Quite new to this android box.

For new users, just buy Mi Box S as the first box, no issue with Netflix 4k and YouTube 4k. It also supports Chromecast 4k so that you can cast to TV from apps like Toggle, SingTel Cast, SingTel TV Go, HBO Go and Starhub Go. It costs around S$70-90 from Lazada/Shopee/Qoo10.

Or if you are willing to spend the money for best performance available, get Nvidia Shield TV. It normally costs around US$169/189 from Amazon depending on the bundled remote and game controller. But there could be offer price from time to time as well.
 

xiaofan

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Hi xiaofan,how will the Mi S box compare to the Beelink gt 1 4/32 in terms of performance?

Will the Beelink be more challenging to use?

Beelink GT1 Mini box will have better hardware specifications than Mi Box S.

On the other hand, Mi Box S runs the official Android TV OS and therefore has the advantage of supporting Netflix 4K and Chromecast 4k. So if you need these two feature, you can forget about all Android TV boxes except Mi Box S and Nvidia Shield TV.

If you do not need the two feature, then you can consider boxes like Beelink GT1 Mini.

You seem to worry about performance and ease of use, in that case, you may want to consider Nvidia Shield TV which is the king of all Android TV box. It has all the features of Mi Box S like Netflix 4K and Chromecast 4k, it also beats the performance of all Android TV boxes out there and probably all the smart TV out there as well. Just need to spend a bit more, usually US$169/189 from Amazon.
 
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FakPinoyPride

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For new users, just buy Mi Box S as the first box, no issue with Netflix 4k and YouTube 4k. It also supports Chromecast 4k so that you can cast to TV from apps like Toggle, SingTel Cast, SingTel TV Go, HBO Go and Starhub Go. It costs around S$70-90 from Lazada/Shopee/Qoo10.

Or if you are willing to spend the money for best performance available, get Nvidia Shield TV. It normally costs around US$169/189 from Amazon depending on the bundled remote and game controller. But there could be offer price from time to time as well.

Thanks for the quick run through. So i just went to google and learn about Chromecast. Apparently, it is a dongle for me to connect to the TV so i can stream from my mobile phone right? If so, what exactly does the Mi Box S do? Am i missing something here?

Sorry for the newbie question haha.
 

xiaofan

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Thanks for the quick run through. So i just went to google and learn about Chromecast. Apparently, it is a dongle for me to connect to the TV so i can stream from my mobile phone right? If so, what exactly does the Mi Box S do? Am i missing something here?

Sorry for the newbie question haha.

https://www.android.com/tv/

Official Android TV OS device like Mi Box S and Nvidia Shield TV has Chromecast function built-in.
 

storm913

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Hi, got a mibox s for my dad. Currently only Netflix and YouTube installed. Any suggestions for Chinese channels / movies / dramas or variety shows with easy navigation? Don't mind if it's paid sub like Netflix.

I saw the starhub select (Asian shows), can I just subscribe to the $9.90/month and let my parents cast from their phone to the box?
 

gregory_choo

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Hi, got a mibox s for my dad. Currently only Netflix and YouTube installed. Any suggestions for Chinese channels / movies / dramas or variety shows with easy navigation? Don't mind if it's paid sub like Netflix.

I saw the starhub select (Asian shows), can I just subscribe to the $9.90/month and let my parents cast from their phone to the box?

google for imahua

install tv version, can play from mibox directly
 

xiaofan

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Hi, got a mibox s for my dad. Currently only Netflix and YouTube installed. Any suggestions for Chinese channels / movies / dramas or variety shows with easy navigation? Don't mind if it's paid sub like Netflix.

I saw the starhub select (Asian shows), can I just subscribe to the $9.90/month and let my parents cast from their phone to the box?

http://www.starhub.com/personal/mobile/mobile-tv/no-data-charges-stream-shows/starhub-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/products-services/lifestyle-services/cast/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.
 
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http://www.starhub.com/personal/mobile/mobile-tv/no-data-charges-stream-shows/starhub-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/products-services/lifestyle-services/cast/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.

Can the Beelink install these apps too?
 

xiaofan

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Can the Beelink install these apps too?

For sure you can install Youku.

But not so sure about SingTel Cast (also SingTel TV Go), they detect rooted box and refuse to run on m generic boxes. So Beelink Box may have the same problem.

For Starhub Go and Toggle, better to use hand phone and then cast to TV. So you should get Mi Box S because of the support of Chromecast.

All in all, it seems to me you should buy Mi Box S or even better Nvidia Shield TV and forget about all other boxes.

Generic boxes including branded box like Zidoo, Minix, Beelink and Tanix, are meant for more experienced users who knows what they want. First time buyers will be better off buying Mi Box S and Nvidia Shield TV.
 
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For sure you can install Youku.

But not so sure about SingTel Cast (also SingTel TV Go), they detect rooted box and refuse to run on m generic boxes. So Beelink Box may have the same problem.

For Starhub Go and Toggle, better to use hand phone and then cast to TV. So you should get Mi Box S because of the support of Chromecast.

All in all, it seems to me you should buy Mi Box S or even better Nvidia Shield TV and forget about all other boxes.

Generic boxes including branded box like Zidoo, Minix, Beelink and Tanix, are meant for more experienced users who knows what they want. First time buyers will be better off buying Mi Box S and Nvidia Shield TV.

sorry. Shouldn't have quoted your entire post. I was actually referring to

"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."

I just placed down the order for the beelink. I like that it had a lan port. Looks like i'll have a steeper learning curve. But really appreciative of your insights thus far :)
 

xiaofan

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sorry. Shouldn't have quoted your entire post. I was actually referring to

"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."

I just placed down the order for the beelink. I like that it had a lan port. Looks like i'll have a steeper learning curve. But really appreciative of your insights thus far :)

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/

I am not familiar with other apps but I am very familiar with Chinese Entertainment apps. The following thread can be of some references even though it is for iPhone. You will get much more choices for Android.

https://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/...phone-chinese-entertainment-apps-5929935.html
 
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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.
 

xiaofan

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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/
 

xiaofan

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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.
 
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xiaofan

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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.
 
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xiaofan

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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.
 
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xiaofan

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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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