Android TV Box

mankind66

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I got a 2gb\16gb s912 tv box
But i found it to be very slow to run apps.
The antutu is good at 55k
Have done factory reset but still slow.
Maybe the firmware or hardware are poor quality type as the set is not expensive.
May have to upgrade to a better tv box

Yes the thermal performance is very good for S905X2.

Performance wise also matches or surpasses S912 for general usage except Gaming where the G31 may not win over S912 T820MP3 GPU.

S905X2 beats S905X hands down on every front.

Ref:
https://hometheatrelife.com/amlogic-s905x2-vs-s912/
 

xiaofan

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I got a 2gb\16gb s912 tv box
But i found it to be very slow to run apps.
The antutu is good at 55k
Have done factory reset but still slow.
Maybe the firmware or hardware are poor quality type as the set is not expensive.
May have to upgrade to a better tv box

What is your S912 box? Usually they should be fine. When you say not expensive what is the price you pay for the box?

On the other hand, cheap boxes cut corners on the components used, like RAM and Flash. They can affect the performance of the boxes significantly as well. Cheap boxes often cut corners in WiFi as well so you may want to try Ethernet to see if that helps.

Specifically to S912, it may have thermal problem as well. So try to use a fan to cool it down to see if that helps.

One of the best S912 box is Minix NEO U9-H. There are also other boxes like Beelink GT1 Ultimate and GT1-A, Tanix TX92 and TX9 Pro. They should all be fine. I myself have a generic no brand H96 Pro Plus S912 3GB/32GB box I bought last year and it is not bad either with decent Wifi speed and Gigabit Ethernet.

On the other hand, new S905X2 box is better and likely cheaper so you do not want to buy S912 box now.
 

mankind66

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Thanks
Mine is tap pro which i bought for about $55 from gearbest.
My wifi and lan speedtest are high, normally above 500.
Only problem is running apps like toggle, takes very long to open, sometimes not opening, had to force stop and clear cache frequently.
Use cpu monitor and the temperature is around 65 degree C. Maximum is 72. Had deleted the app as it seems to make opening apps slower.

What is your S912 box? Usually they should be fine. When you say not expensive what is the price you pay for the box?

On the other hand, cheap boxes cut corners on the components used, like RAM and Flash. They can affect the performance of the boxes significantly as well. Cheap boxes often cut corners in WiFi as well so you may want to try Ethernet to see if that helps.

Specifically to S912, it may have thermal problem as well. So try to use a fan to cool it down to see if that helps.

One of the best S912 box is Minix NEO U9-H. There are also other boxes like Beelink GT1 Ultimate and GT1-A, Tanix TX92 and TX9 Pro. They should all be fine. I myself have a generic no brand H96 Pro Plus S912 3GB/32GB box I bought last year and it is not bad either with decent Wifi speed and Gigabit Ethernet.

On the other hand, new S905X2 box is better and likely cheaper so you do not want to buy S912 box now.
 
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xiaofan

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Thanks
Mine is tap pro which i bought for about $55 from gearbest.
My wifi and lan speedtest are high, normally above 500.
Only problem is running apps like toggle, takes very long to open, sometimes not opening, had to force stop and clear cache frequently.
Use cpu monitor and the temperature is around 65 degree C. Maximum is 72. Had deleted the app as it seems to make opening apps slower.

I see. This seems to be an old box. Still it should not run too slow.
https://m.gearbest.com/tv-box-mini-pc/pp_619860.html

Toggle may not run well with generic Android TV boxes. It is designed for Mobile phone and support Chromecast. So the better way is to use mobile phone and cast to TV using Chromecast dongles or Chromecast enabled device like Mi Box S.

That being said Toggle can run on my generic boxes even though there is a warning in the start. My boxes are rooted so the warning may be related to that. There are also reports of Toggle not loading on other generic boxes.

SingTel TV On the Go and SingTel Cast detect root and will not run on my boxes.

So depending on your needs you may want to consider buying a Chromecast dongle or Mi Box S if your main aim is to run apps like Toggle, Starhub Go, SingTel Cast, HBO Go, Netflix, etc. They all support Chromecast.

Mi Box S has Netflix app built-in with Netflix 4K support. You can also install SingTel TV Go and SingTel Cast on Mi Box S as well. For Toggle and Starting Go, you can use Mobile phone to cast to TV using Mi Box S built in Chromecast function.

Edit: there is also a report in this forum about the difficulty with Toggle casting using Mi Box S. So your best bet is actually Chromecast dongle with Toggle.

I have the old Chromecast 1st gen dongle I bought from SingTel shop at S$35 a few years ago and it still works well. It works well with Toggle as well. Having the Chromecast dongle is my main reason of not buying Mi Box S.
 
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windwaver

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Yes, I also find that Toggle works best on a mobile device and cast to TV. I can run toggle on my new TX5 Max but have a problem on my Starhub box.
 

xiaofan

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Yes, I also find that Toggle works best on a mobile device and cast to TV. I can run toggle on my new TX5 Max but have a problem on my Starhub box.

Starhub Go Screaming box runs Android TV OS so you can not install Toggle directly on the box, but it supports Chromecast, so you can cast Toggle to TV with the help of Starhub Go Streaming box.

How stable is the built-in Chromecast function of the Starhub Go Streaming box?

BTW, the HW specifications of Go Streaming box are so so compared to TX5 Max and that is why you feel TX5 Max runs more smooth than the Starhub box.
 

mankind66

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Watching tv program using toggle on tv box with my analog tv. I think it's more value for money than buying a dvb-t2 settop box as i can watch YouTube etc.
After factory reset, Google play store cannot download any apps at all, have disable it and use apkpure instead or use apk mirror if not available.

I see. This seems to be an old box. Still it should not run too slow.
https://m.gearbest.com/tv-box-mini-pc/pp_619860.html

Toggle may not run well with generic Android TV boxes. It is designed for Mobile phone and support Chromecast. So the better way is to use mobile phone and cast to TV using Chromecast dongles or Chromecast enabled device like Mi Box S.

That being said Toggle can run on my generic boxes even though there is a warning in the start. My boxes are rooted so the warning may be related to that. There are also reports of Toggle not loading on other generic boxes.

SingTel TV On the Go and SingTel Cast detect root and will not run on my boxes.

So depending on your needs you may want to consider buying a Chromecast dongle or Mi Box S if your main aim is to run apps like Toggle, Starhub Go, SingTel Cast, HBO Go, Netflix, etc. They all support Chromecast.

Mi Box S has Netflix app built-in with Netflix 4K support. You can also install SingTel TV Go and SingTel Cast on Mi Box S as well. For Toggle and Starting Go, you can use Mobile phone to cast to TV using Mi Box S built in Chromecast function.

Edit: there is also a report in this forum about the difficulty with Toggle casting using Mi Box S. So your best bet is actually Chromecast dongle with Toggle.

I have the old Chromecast 1st gen dongle I bought from SingTel shop at S$35 a few years ago and it still works well. It works well with Toggle as well. Having the Chromecast dongle is my main reason of not buying Mi Box S.
 

xiaofan

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https://s.lazada.sg/s.3m8A

Offer for Mi Box Global version at S$65.99. Normally it will run out fast. This Lazada shop will have this type of offer from time to time.

It has almost the same hardware specifications and same functions as Mi Box S (Android 8.1) which is selling at higher cost.

https://s.lazada.sg/s.3mIS

Mi Box Global can be upgraded to Android 8 and there are reports of problems with the upgrade. So better stick to Android 6 if you can.
 
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Great. Please share your experiences with this unit. I am actually interested to know it the remote and voice control are good or not. That seems to be one of the major HW differences between Beelink GT1 Mini and Tanix TX5 Max I have. The other major HW difference is size.

The FW is of course a bit different as well because of the different launcher used.

As mentioned before, the review is pretty positive. Hopefully you like it as well.
https://hometheatrelife.com/beelink-gt1-mini-review/

One of the missing features of these Android TV boxes is the switch to turn on / off root. Out of my 7 boxes 6 are rooted and can not be switched off. Only the junk China Mobile OTT box is not rooted but it runs old Android 4.4.2 and got no Google play services. Certain app like SingTel Cast and SingTel TV Go will detect rooted box and exit immediately.

It seems to me that Berlink GT1 Mini also miss this feature.

Hi Xiaofan,

I'm a pretty noob user. So i'm not sure how much a review i can help give.

But from a noob user pov.

1. Set up was easy, download apks, install, give permission, plug and play.
I used shafa guanjia mostly.
2. You need a mouse or equivalent to make life simpler. All i had was the remote initially but there was some bug as to switching to google pinyin input, selection issues, so you kinda need a mouse for this.
3. Voice search works, no added accessory needed but accuracy not as good as $1000 smartphones, so don't expect that level. No chinese recognition unfortunately.
4. Happy with the speed of processing and the magnitude of things you could run concurrently. At no period did the box lag, i had several downloads and several installations going on, albeit you could only see 1 thing at a time.

Yet to try out the network cable to see if connection speed increases, but so far for the chinese movies there was zero delay or freezing once it started playing within seconds(app dependent), and sports live stream(stalled twice, but app dependent too)

Purchased price: S$84 on lazada after DBS promo.
Lead time: about 7 days
 

tkdboi

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You can use Apple App Store in-app purchase if you have an iOS device.

If not you have to use WeChat Pay and Alipay and that is problematic now. You may have to ask your friend who has proper WeChat Wallet or Alipay Wallet for help. There are 3rd party service as well.

Also take note for TV box you need to pay for 酷喵VIP, not the normal Youku VIP.
ah.. damn unfortunately no iOS for me haha

Sent from HUAWEI LYA-L29 using GAGT
 

shank118

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Hi everyone. Hope you can help me out here. Not sure if I need an android box to achieve what I want to do. I'll be moving to a new place and will be getting a new LG 4K oled TV, which will have Dolby Vision, HDR and Atmos. I plan to use the Netflix app built in on the TV itself to watch 4k. It has the Amazon video app as well I think. I also have an old PC which will be in one of the rooms and I want to be able to play up to 4k Bluray remux files from there to the TV. Playing 4K UHD Bluray discs is also a preference.

Given all this, do I need a HTPC or an Android box is enough? Or can I get away with just hooking up an external HDD to the TV? Would the high def video and audio be able to be played on the TV and sound bar which is Atmos if I just use a HDD? Thanks!
 

xiaofan

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Hi Xiaofan,

I'm a pretty noob user. So i'm not sure how much a review i can help give.

But from a noob user pov.

1. Set up was easy, download apks, install, give permission, plug and play.
I used shafa guanjia mostly.
2. You need a mouse or equivalent to make life simpler. All i had was the remote initially but there was some bug as to switching to google pinyin input, selection issues, so you kinda need a mouse for this.
3. Voice search works, no added accessory needed but accuracy not as good as $1000 smartphones, so don't expect that level. No chinese recognition unfortunately.
4. Happy with the speed of processing and the magnitude of things you could run concurrently. At no period did the box lag, i had several downloads and several installations going on, albeit you could only see 1 thing at a time.

Yet to try out the network cable to see if connection speed increases, but so far for the chinese movies there was zero delay or freezing once it started playing within seconds(app dependent), and sports live stream(stalled twice, but app dependent too)

Purchased price: S$84 on lazada after DBS promo.
Lead time: about 7 days

Nice review. Thanks for the sharing. Good to know that the voice search works.
 

xiaofan

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Hi everyone. Hope you can help me out here. Not sure if I need an android box to achieve what I want to do. I'll be moving to a new place and will be getting a new LG 4K oled TV, which will have Dolby Vision, HDR and Atmos. I plan to use the Netflix app built in on the TV itself to watch 4k. It has the Amazon video app as well I think. I also have an old PC which will be in one of the rooms and I want to be able to play up to 4k Bluray remux files from there to the TV. Playing 4K UHD Bluray discs is also a preference.

Given all this, do I need a HTPC or an Android box is enough? Or can I get away with just hooking up an external HDD to the TV? Would the high def video and audio be able to be played on the TV and sound bar which is Atmos if I just use a HDD? Thanks!

https://sg.lgappstv.com/appspc/main/main/main.lge#
Not so sure if the LG Smart TV comes with good local media player, similar to Kodi or VLC. It runs Web OS so it is not as smart as Android TV OS. You can ask in the LG Smart TV related thread.

https://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/...8-oled-tvs-b8-c8-e8-w8-series-5772629-46.html

You seem to have high requirements for local media playing.

Mi Box S will not cut it as it does not support either Dolby Vision or Dolby Atmos. 4K HDR is okay and Dolby Digital 5.1.

Nvidia Shield TV may meet your requirements it does not support Dolby Vision, only HDR 10 and Dolby Atmos pass through with local media using Kodi. You can ask in the Nvidia Shield TV thread.

https://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/home-theatre-audiophiles-13/nvidia-shield-tv-5066924-74.html

Other generic brand boxes (from vendors like Beelink, Tanix, etc, or no brand) will support neither Dolby Vision nor Dolby Atmos. 4K HDR and Dolby Digital 5.1 are possible.

Apple TV 4k supports Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos on Netflix, but not for local media playing.

In the end you may need an HTPC.
 
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xiaofan

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https://sg.lgappstv.com/appspc/main/main/main.lge#
Not so sure if the LG Smart TV comes with good local media player, similar to Kodi or VLC. It runs Web OS so it is not as smart as Android TV OS. You can ask in the LG Smart TV related thread.

https://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/...8-oled-tvs-b8-c8-e8-w8-series-5772629-46.html

You seem to have high requirements for local media playing.

Mi Box S will not cut it as it does not support either Dolby Vision or Dolby Atmos. 4K HDR is okay and Dolby Digital 5.1.

Nvidia Shield TV may meet your requirements it does not support Dolby Vision, only HDR 10 and Dolby Atmos pass through with local media using Kodi. You can ask in the Nvidia Shield TV thread.

https://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/home-theatre-audiophiles-13/nvidia-shield-tv-5066924-74.html

Other generic brand boxes (from vendors like Beelink, Tanix, etc, or no brand) will support neither Dolby Vision nor Dolby Atmos. 4K HDR and Dolby Digital 5.1 are possible.

Apple TV 4k supports Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos on Netflix, but not for local media playing.

In the end you may need an HTPC.

Cheap Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K is another choice. It supports 4K HDR 10+ and Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos on Netflix, but no Dolby Vision using Kodi for local media player.

https://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=336151

In summary, you can check how good the video player of the LG Web OS apps before going to the Android TV box or Apple TV 4K route.

As for Android TV box, you can use Kodi effectively for many different types of format and 4K HDR plus DTS/DD5.1 pass through are in general no problems.

If you have higher requirements like Dolby Vision or Dolby Atmos support for local media playing, I am not so sure if there are such Android TV boxes available.
 
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xiaofan

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Cheap Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K is another choice. It supports 4K HDR 10+ and Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos on Netflix, but no Dolby Vision using Kodi for local media player.

https://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=336151

In summary, you can check how good the video player of the LG Web OS apps before going to the Android TV box or Apple TV 4K route.

As for Android TV box, you can use Kodi effectively for many different types of format and 4K HDR plus DTS/DD5.1 pass through are in general no problems.

If you have higher requirements like Dolby Vision or Dolby Atmos support for local media playing, I am not so sure if there are such Android TV boxes available.

BTW, do you mean physical blue ray UHD disks? Then that is a different category altogether.

XBox One S can be a good choice.
https://www.techradar.com/sg/news/video/the-best-4k-blu-ray-players-you-can-buy-right-now-1321481

Kodi is available for Xbox one.
 
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windwaver

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Starhub Go Screaming box runs Android TV OS so you can not install Toggle directly on the box, but it supports Chromecast, so you can cast Toggle to TV with the help of Starhub Go Streaming box.

How stable is the built-in Chromecast function of the Starhub Go Streaming box?

BTW, the HW specifications of Go Streaming box are so so compared to TX5 Max and that is why you feel TX5 Max runs more smooth than the Starhub box.

The chromecast function on the Starhub box is very good, much better than anycast. I wonder if I can flash another ROM for the Starhub box but I can't find anything so far.
 

xiaofan

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The chromecast function on the Starhub box is very good, much better than anycast. I wonder if I can flash another ROM for the Starhub box but I can't find anything so far.

I think custom ROM for the Starhub Go Streaming box will be tough. Just leave it as it is. Just treat it as a Mi Box S without Netflix. It is best for Starhub Go content consumption but you can certainly install other apps to make it even more useful. Its Chromecast function can be very useful as well -- for example, to use Netflix.

I will say you are almost covered with this combination of Starhub Go Streaming box and Tanix TX5 Max.
 

binbinpon

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A htpc with windows has the best compatibility with all media files... Depending on the age of the computers, most computers in the last 10 years should be able to play all sorts of 4k media (except for some atom cpu in netbooks)

So if you have an old pc, you can also install kodi and add add ons. Netflix can also be stream 4k. There are also many media apps on pc but less Chinese ones.. If u subscribe to the Chinese Web tvs like xiaofan mentioned, then it is no issue as u can watch on browser.
 

shank118

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Wow, thanks for all the detailed and researched replies, xiaofan. Definitely some useful information there and I appreciate the time and effort you have taken.

Some clarifications I need to make :

1. I have Bluray remux files on my old PC, both 4K and 1080p ones. I wish to be able to watch these on my TV, either by streaming them through the network(Ethernet), or having a physical device plugged to the TV (whether it be a HDD or media box).
Firstly, will a plugged in HDD be able to pass through the high-def video and audio embedded in these files to the TV and soundbar, so that I can get full 7.1 or Atmos sound,etc? If so, it would be the cheapest option but troublesome if I have to keep unplugging it, transferring files to it and then plugging it back in.
Secondly, will Plex work in this case? Have a Plex media server on my PC, use the Plex app on my TV to use it to direct play? That means, the TV and soundbar handle the decoding etc.

2. I also wish to be able to play the physical Bluray UHD discs. Do I have a better choice other than getting a Bluray player? (besides the Xbox One X/S) Meaning something that would be able to also help in number 1 above. I realise the Xbox One can do that, but I'd rather not have to use the interface. Would the HTPC be better in this regard, since if I have a Bluray drive it can play the discs, and also do everything else that I want?

3. One more thing I didn't mention earlier is that I wish to be able to play apps like HBO Go, Singtel Cast, Starhub Go etc as well. I'm under the impression not all boxes can handle this well. I haven't really decided on whether to subscribe to a full fledged cable tv package, and as such these apps would be more important if I don't actually do it. Between Nvidia Shield, Apple TV 4K, Amazon Fire Stick, Roku Ultra, which one would you recommend?

Also, are these Android media boxes, Apple TV etc of importance to me only if I want the apps on them, or do they offer me more functionality that I need in these situations? Since they offer a way to stream the files on my PC to my TV, through Kodi or Plex, then they seem to be a viable option. But I'm just wondering if they would be able to serve all the above needs or I would be better off with HTPC.

P.S. One thing I'm confused about. Even if I use these media boxes, and they don't have support for certain things like Dolby Vision etc, if I'm just streaming files from my PC, the TV and soundbar are the ones handling them right? The boxes are just passing through the information.
 
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xiaofan

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I am not into Home Theater stuff so you may want to ask in the other forum section.

Here are some of my comments.

1) You may want to get the LG TV first and play with it to see if you are able to achieve what you want. You can invest in an NAS if you do not want to plug in and out of the HDD.

Obviously you can not play physical Blu-ray UHD disks with the LG TV.

2) You may have to settle for HDR10 with an HTPC. It is said that there are no Dolby Vision support under Windows. It is very flexible with Kodi, Plex, etc. You can use the Blu-ray drive as well to play UHD disks.

Ref: good article, still seems to be relevant today.
https://www.anandtech.com/show/12171/a-budget-home-theater-pc-setup-4k-hdr-uhd-bluray-and-more/5

3) You can invest in an UHD Blu-ray player as well if you do not go for the HTPC option.

Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos support are present in some models.

4) Nvidia Shield TV can be a very relevant add on for the LG smart TV. You have to settle for HDR10 as well. It has good Kodi and Plex support as well. Dolby Atmos support is also there.

It supports Chromecast so you can use Toggle, HBO Go, Starhub Go, Singtel Cast, etc.

BTW LG TV has Toggle already.

5) Audio pass through HDMI/SPDIF may or may not work based on what I read. So even if your sound system support Atmos, you may not get it work.

As for Dolby Vision, I do not think that pass through would work at all. And HTPC does not support Dolby Vision anyway. Only Smart TV and UHD players and a few streaming device support Dolby Vision.

6) Info from Reddit for reference

https://www.reddit.com/r/htpc/comments/8sed0y/hdr_10_dolby_vision_dolby_atmos_dts_hd_what_am_i/
 
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