Android TV Box

xiaofan

Arch-Supremacy Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
10,595
Reaction score
347
Hi, so Singtel TV Go and Singtel Cast can work on any Android box (both TV and mobile OS) provided it is not rooted?

The generic Android boxes I have all come rooted and there are no ways to hide the root. So I do not have experiences with non-rooted box or rooted box which can hide the root. In fact if you install those root manager apps, the boxes I have will brick and you have to reflash the firmware.

That being said there are some Android TV boxes which are not rooted.

Mecool KM8 is one such box which claims to be Google Certified. It runs Android TV OS and does support Chromecast but not Netflix. I do not quite trust this one so I do not normally mention it. From various website it seems to me it is true that this box may have gone through some types of Google certification and has the Google Widevine L1 DRM for YouTube 4K but the firmware is buggy and it is not the same as Mi Box S which is fully certified by Google and Netflix.

https://hometheatrelife.com/mecool-km8-review/

Mecool KM9 uses latest S905X2 and runs unofficial Android TV OS which does not support Chromecast.

https://hometheatrelife.com/mecool-km9-review/

Both are running Android TV OS and not rooted. So you can not install Starhub TV Go and Toggle. But you might be able to install SingTel TV Go and SingTel Cast. YMMV.

Mecool has another two popular Android TV OS device, M8S Pro L S912 based mid-end box and M8S Pro W S905W based low end box. I believe both are rooted and both do not support Chromecast.

There are reports that M8S Pro L may run Netflix up to 1080p but there are also reports that it does not work. I think it is better just to consider Netflix HD as not working on this types of non-Netflix-Certified device as Netflix is actively enforcing copyright protection against VPN and non-certified device.

https://hometheatrelife.com/mecool-m8s-pro-l-review/
 
Last edited:

xiaofan

Arch-Supremacy Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
10,595
Reaction score
347
Hi xiaofan, i saw in lazada. The Beelink GT1 got 2 models: 2Gb Ram, 32Gb storage or 4Gb Ram, 64Gb storage.

I think there are three configurations, 2GB/32GB, 4GB/32GB and 4GB/64GB.

32GB storage are more than enough for TV boxes, in fact 16GB should be enough for most people.

For RAM 2GB is the minimum requirement for new purchase. 4GB is good to have. So I will go for the 4GB/32GB configuration myself.

FYI I just got two Tanix boxes from Taobao, hand itchy again...

Tanix TX5 Max S905X2 box is pretty good, Android 8.1, 4GB RAM, 32GB Storage, Gigabit Ethernet, fast dual band Wifi. Performance is very good, very fast and very smooth even compared to my previous best box the S912 3GB/32GB based H96 Pro Plus which has also Gigabit Ethernet and dual band wifi but lacks USB 3.0.

Tanix Alice UI is nothing special but I think Tanix does put some efforts to optimize the performance whereas unknown box vendors do not.

The other box is Tanix TX6 with Allwinner H6 CPU running Android 9, the first of the TV boxes running Android 9 for Allwinner CPUs. Android 9 is not recommended as of now since there are quite a bit of app compatibility issues, just for a quick test I already found two apps not working well including one of my favorite app for Chinese live TV -- CJZB 超级直播 where the built-in channels are not working. Moreover I have encountered thermal issues with it as well. Not recommended.

Beelink support is hopefully better than Tanix as it is more known vendor. Still it is a tough fight between Beelink GT1 Mini and Tanix TX5 Max. I usually go for cheaper one myself... And I like the external Antenna in Tanix TX5 Max.

Tanix Facebook does have quite some negative comments on firmware upgrade support or older box. But that is pretty common for low cost boxes. Not so sure how good Beelink is in this aspect.
 
Last edited:

CatLuVer

High Supremacy Member
Deluxe Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2002
Messages
42,721
Reaction score
143
I think there are three configurations, 2GB/32GB, 4GB/32GB and 4GB/64GB.

32GB storage are more than enough for TV boxes, in fact 16GB should be enough for most people.

For RAM 2GB is the minimum requirement for new purchase. 4GB is good to have. So I will go for the 4GB/32GB configuration myself.

FYI I just got two Tanix boxes from Taobao, hand itchy again...

Tanix TX5 Max S905X2 box is pretty good, Android 8.1, 4GB RAM, 32GB Storage, Gigabit Ethernet, fast dual band Wifi. Performance is very good, very fast and very smooth even compared to my previous best box the S912 3GB/32GB based H96 Pro Plus which has also Gigabit Ethernet and dual band wifi but lacks USB 3.0.

Tanix Alice UI is nothing special but I think Tanix does put some efforts to optimize the performance whereas unknown box vendors do not.

The other box is Tanix TX6 with Allwinner H6 CPU running Android 9, the first of the TV boxes running Android 9 for Allwinner CPUs. Android 9 is not recommended as of now since there are quite a bit of app compatibility issues, just for a quick test I already found two apps not working well including one of my favorite app for Chinese live TV -- CJZB 超级直播 where the built-in channels are not working.

Beelink support is hopefully better than Tanix as it is more known vendor. Still it is a tough fight between Beelink GT1 Mini and Tanix TX5 Max. I usually go for cheaper one myself... And I like the external Antenna in Tanix TX5 Max.

Tanix Facebook does have quite some negative comments on firmware upgrade support or older box. But that is pretty common for low cost boxes. Not so sure how good Beelink is in this aspect.

Thanks. Earlier i ordered Beeling GT1 Mini 4Gb/ 32GB box from lazada. Hope its good :o
 

xiaofan

Arch-Supremacy Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
10,595
Reaction score
347
Thanks. Earlier i ordered Beeling GT1 Mini 4Gb/ 32GB box from lazada. Hope its good :o

Haha good choice for the 4GB/32GB configuration.

https://hometheatrelife.com/beelink-gt1-mini-review/

I actually like the more stylish remote and "old style" interface of Beelink GT1 Mini than the Tanix TX5's generic remote and "more modern" Alice UI.

If one does not need either Chromecast (for apps like Starhub Go or Toggle or Viu Premium) or Netflix HD/4k, then these new generation of S905X2 boxes running Android 8.1 should be pretty good choices, they will run apps like Kodi very well. I will recommend the 4G RAM version.

Among them so far three boxes look good to me, Beelink GT1 Mini, Tanix TX5 Max and to a lesser extent Mecool KM9. Of course the other generic boxes may be a bit cheaper(H96 Max X2, T95Q, X96 Max, etc), but I think I am impressed by the Tanix TX5 Max after 4 generic boxes.
 

xiaofan

Arch-Supremacy Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
10,595
Reaction score
347
If you have no intention to play games, you can hardly feel the difference between 2GB and 4GB RAM.

Not sure about this. I tend to think it is better to pay a bit more for the 4GB version.

For some generic S905X2 boxes, 2GB version also comes with lower spec wifi and Ethernet than the 4GB version so the differences are greater.

In any case, my four 3/4GB boxes (H96 Pro Plus S912 3GB/32GB, H96 Max RK3328 4GB/64GB, Tanix TX5 Max S905X2 4GB/32GB and Tanix TX6 H6 4GB/32GB) are much faster than the 2GB boxes (X96 Mini S905W 2GB/16GB and R69 RK3229 2GB/16GB).

Of course CPU plays a part, since S905W and RK3229 are lower end CPU compared RK3228/H6 and of course even lower than S912/S905X2.

Still technically S905W is not that slower than RK3328 but the speed difference is quite obvious. The RK3328 box is the slowest among the 4 mid-end boxes I have but still pretty faster than the two low end boxes. So I think the 4GB RAM it has does help a bit in the performance. I do not play games, just normal streaming apps. And the difference in normal operation in the default launcher is already quite obvious.

I run them all on the same 1080p monitor so the output resolution is set at the same 1080p. X96 Mini and even the lousy R69 can be usable. It is just once you are used to faster box you can feel the occasional sluggish of the two boxes.
 

windwaver

High Supremacy Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2000
Messages
26,396
Reaction score
164
Yes that is true in terms of Android OS support for streaming purpose.

Amlogic for TV boxes are still the best in this aspect. Even the latest Android TV OS streaming development kit from Google (ADT-2) uses S905X.

https://sites.google.com/view/droid-tv/streaming-gaming/google-adt-2

Mi Box S and Mi Box Global version use S905X CPU as well.

That being said my experiences with RK3328 based H96 Max Plus is pretty okay. My experiences with RK3229 based R69 box is pretty negative but that is meant for very low end. RK3399 boxes are simply too expensive to be worth the money.

Avoid Allwinner in general unless you like Ubox and EVpad. H6 is not bad but the boxes are limited.

I trust you.

I think I'm just going to stick to buying Amlogic boxes.

The 2/16GB X96 Mini is going for about $50, good price? If not, a 3/32GB Beelink GT1 Ultimate is going to cost $115~$120. I just feel that 2GB RAM is little tight (don't game, just watch VOD).
 

gregory_choo

Supremacy Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2007
Messages
6,312
Reaction score
43
Not sure about this. I tend to think it is better to pay a bit more for the 4GB version.

For some generic S905X2 boxes, 2GB version also comes with lower spec wifi and Ethernet than the 4GB version so the differences are greater.

In any case, my four 3/4GB boxes (H96 Pro Plus S912 3GB/32GB, H96 Max RK3328 4GB/64GB, Tanix TX5 Max S905X2 4GB/32GB and Tanix TX6 H6 4GB/32GB) are much faster than the 2GB boxes (X96 Mini S905W 2GB/16GB and R69 RK3229 2GB/16GB).

Of course CPU plays a part, since S905W and RK3229 are lower end CPU compared RK3228/H6 and of course even lower than S912/S905X2.

Still technically S905W is not that slower than RK3328 but the speed difference is quite obvious. .

In terms of antutu overall benchmarks, 3228 is 40% better than 905w.

However, most people judge the speed of the box by navigating menu on launcher, opening/closing or switching of apps - this can be represented by UX score under antutu score.

In terms of UX, 3228 is 70% better than S905W - this explain why you feel that your 4GB 3228 is significantly faster than 2G s905w box - faster not due to additional 2GB RAM.

How much RAM is sufficient? As long as you have sufficient free RAM to load another app, then you won't feel that the box is slow. Normally video apps are small, 300-500MB is considered very massive, so if our tv box has more than 600MB free RAM than it should be sufficient - 2BG Box normally has more than 900MB free RAM.

Talking about TV boxes only. Gaming has a separate set of considerations.
 

xiaofan

Arch-Supremacy Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
10,595
Reaction score
347
In terms of antutu overall benchmarks, 3228 is 40% better than 905w.

However, most people judge the speed of the box by navigating menu on launcher, opening/closing or switching of apps - this can be represented by UX score under antutu score.

In terms of UX, 3228 is 70% better than S905W - this explain why you feel that your 4GB 3228 is significantly faster than 2G s905w box - faster not due to additional 2GB RAM.

How much RAM is sufficient? As long as you have sufficient free RAM to load another app, then you won't feel that the box is slow. Normally video apps are small, 300-500MB is considered very massive, so if our tv box has more than 600MB free RAM than it should be sufficient - 2BG Box normally has more than 900MB free RAM.

Talking about TV boxes only. Gaming has a separate set of considerations.

Very good analysis. Thanks. This makes sense.
 

xiaofan

Arch-Supremacy Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
10,595
Reaction score
347
I trust you.

I think I'm just going to stick to buying Amlogic boxes.

The 2/16GB X96 Mini is going for about $50, good price? If not, a 3/32GB Beelink GT1 Ultimate is going to cost $115~$120. I just feel that 2GB RAM is little tight (don't game, just watch VOD).

S$50 for X96 Mini is a bad price. It should be below S$40. Better buy Tanix TX3 Max at about S$45 or TX3 Mini at about S$40.

https://s.lazada.sg/s.WdWz
TX3 Max 2GB/16GB - S$45

Beelink is a higher end model and they treat the GT1 Ultimate and the new GT1-A as the higher end model so the cost is higher. It is even higher cost than the GT1 Mini S905X2 box.

X96 Mini should not be compared to any Beelink box. Rather it should be compared to other S905W based boxes like the two Tanix boxes I mentioned.

S905W is the current lowest end CPU from Amlogic. S912 and S905X2 are the more medium end offering.

If you look into the cost difference of 2GB RAM vs 4GB, then you need to compare Apple to Apple, for example Beelink GT 1 Mini 2GB/32GB version be 4GB/32GB version.

Just a quick one from Lazada. The 2GB RAM vs 4GB cost difference is S$14. The 32GB Storage vs 64GB storage cost difference is S$10.

https://s.lazada.sg/s.Wayg
Beelink GT1 Mini
2GB/32GB - S$78
4GB/32GB - S$92
4GB/64GB - S$102

In comparison, Tanix TX5 Max is cheaper. But Beelink is a more established brand so it is normal.

https://s.lazada.sg/s.Wddw
4GB/32GB - S$71

For those who do not mind Android 9.0, Tanix TX6 H6 is a decent box at around S$55 now.
https://s.lazada.sg/s.WZSz

4GB/32GB - S$55.5
 
Last edited:

i-Movies

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2009
Messages
1,499
Reaction score
2
got a ubox pro2... it connects to wi-fi 2.4Ghz only... lo..., who would have thought that there is still device not support 5Ghz nowadays...
 

xiaofan

Arch-Supremacy Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
10,595
Reaction score
347
got a ubox pro2... it connects to wi-fi 2.4Ghz only... lo..., who would have thought that there is still device not support 5Ghz nowadays...

Haha, actually 2.4GHz single band wifi is still very common, nothing really wrong about it. Just bought a Huawei Nova 3i 4GB/128GB mobile phone for my father in law at S$348. And it actually has only single band 2.4 GHz wifi. Still he liked the Huawei brand more than Xiaomi and he also liked the camera. So it is still okay. I actually was looking Mi 8 Lite at S$369 with better Snapdragon 660 CPU and 6GB/128GB configuration.

The major issue with Ubox Pro 2 is actually the 1GB RAM. They charge a high price for the box yet so stringy on the RAM. This does limit the potential of the powerful H6 CPU.

For reference, Tanix H6 based TV box TX6 running Android 9.0 costs around S$56 with 4GB/32Gconfiguration. Not that I recommended the TX6 (not recommended due to Android 9.0) but just want to say Ubox Pro 2 is underpowered in Hardware especially RAM. Same for Ubox Pro. Of course the value is mainly the live TV and not HW. Still they should have put 2GB RAM like EVpad 3S/3 /3Max.
 

gregory_choo

Supremacy Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2007
Messages
6,312
Reaction score
43
got a ubox pro2... it connects to wi-fi 2.4Ghz only... lo..., who would have thought that there is still device not support 5Ghz nowadays...

you need only 5-10Mbps for ubtv and ubvod.

2.4GHz can give you 50Mbps easily
 

xiaofan

Arch-Supremacy Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
10,595
Reaction score
347
https://androidtvbox.eu/beelink-gt1-king-powered-by-new-amlogic-s922x-coming-soon/

New Beelink GT1-K Amlogic S922x hex core CPU with ARM Mali G52MP4 GPU.

This may compete well with the few RK3399 boxes out there.

Will I buy S922X box or RK3399 box? No. It will not be cheap and it will not make any real differences for streaming applications compared to the S905X2 boxes out there. Android 9.0 is also having some compatibility issues.

Gaming may be a niche for the S922X box and RK3399 box.

Magicsee N6 Max RK3399 box costs around S$131-140 in Lazada for the 4GB/32GB Android 7.1 configuration. I guess the Beelink GT1-K will cost above S$150 for the 4GB/64GB configuration when available, more like S$180 or more because of the added HDD interface.
 
Last edited:

windwaver

High Supremacy Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2000
Messages
26,396
Reaction score
164
Thanks Xiaofan, I just bought a 4/32GB TX5 Max for $56.36.
 

mac_t13

Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2000
Messages
191
Reaction score
0
I have a smart mini tv box (no brand) given by a friend. My Panasonic tv is not a smart tv. After installed the box, i can access chrome, youtube but just cannot access google play. At the sign in page, No matter how I click, just nothing happen. I tried adding account from the setting, also cannot. Anyone can help? Thank you.
 

xiaofan

Arch-Supremacy Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
10,595
Reaction score
347
The link Xiaofan provided; I trust him a great deal.

Hmm, the Lazada link for Tanix TX6 is at S$56, but for Tanix TX5 Max it is higher at S$71. If you really get Tanix TX5 Max at S$56, that is a very good deal and cheaper than what I paid to Taobao.

If you get the Tanix TX6 4GB/32GB for S$56, I think it is still a good buy since I only encountered two incompatible apps so far for Android 9.0. TX6 itself is still a good box. Edit on 30 March 3019 : TX6 is not recommended now due to thermal issues encountered.

Need to mention again that I am not good at finding lobangs myself. The Lazada link is just for reference only. It is said Lazada is pretty okay but you still need to take a look at the reviews.
 
Last edited:

windwaver

High Supremacy Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2000
Messages
26,396
Reaction score
164
That's cheap. Where did you buy it from?
There's a cheaper one for $53.08 in Lazada (same model and specs). I cancelled mine but was too late for the deal. Lol, so end up not buying anything.
 
Important Forum Advisory Note
This forum is moderated by volunteer moderators who will react only to members' feedback on posts. Moderators are not employees or representatives of HWZ. Forum members and moderators are responsible for their own posts.

Please refer to our Terms of Service for more information.
Top