4 years ago5,000+ Views
So I finally bought an Android tv-box. I was thinking about buying one for a long time, but until recently felt that they were not quite ready. Only when a large verity of quad-core devices in the price range of ~$60 became available, I knew it was the right time. Technically, the one that I bought works very well. It is not the most advanced model in the price range, but it is good enough as a starter. It responds very fast to controls, especially when used with a remote control smartphone app ( which I will talk about in one of the next cards ), and plays HD media just OK. Streaming via Youtube, etc., works as expected too. So from a mere cost/effectiveness point of view, these devices are a real marvel, although much stronger devices are already on the market. But things get much less shiny when looking at Android boxes from a user experience point of view. The thing is that Android is not designed for couch potatoes. Maybe it is not exactly Android, but the combo of Android, mouse and keyboard based operation and the TV and couch state of mind. Normal operation of a TV with a cables or satellite receiver was designed to allow the user to keep his or her eyes on the screen while operating the remote control, not forcing the user to look at the remote or on a specific area of the screen. This is not the case with a tv-box. What works well for a smartphone or a tablet, where the content is very close to the face, and we actually touch it to operate, does not translate well to the TV realm. So in this cards collection, I would like to share with the readers, my quest for the proper user experience for an Android TV box, and for the best applications and settings for this experience. I will share my experiences and ideas, but would also ask you to share yours. Maybe we can turn this into a collective effort to unleash the full potential of what seem to me a very promising technology. So please stay tuned.
@orenshani7 Well, I got the laptop because I was in the market for a new computer. I don't use it just as a media center. It gives me way more options than an android box though. I can also play my Steam games on the big screen and I have an external hard drive that contains hundreds of my digital movies. I'd use a box if I needed a more basic device for just streaming. Not saying there's anything wrong with using a box. I've been using xbmc for a few years now and once I made the switch to the PC setup I don't think I could go back.
@maximus1349, the dual core devices were not good enough. T.he quad core devices that are now on the market are indeed the first worth using. There are already much stronger devices, with the newest generation of Intel Atom processors, that you can buy for about $100. Of course they are not as strong as your laptop but the question is, do you really need something that strong for a media player.
@orenshani7 No, just a dual core. My friend has one of the newer models with a quad core and it seems pretty decent. If I didn't have the PC I'd invest in a higher end android box. But I just don't think you can beat a PC for performance.
@maximus1349, did you have a quad core box?
@orenshani7 I just had a lot of issues with the Android box. HD video was slow and out of sync and xbmc took awhile to load up. Don't get me wrong, if a box is your only option they are a decent choice. But when you have a PC with 8 gigs of ram and a really fast processor it can't be beat. I also have a miracast set up on my second TV so I can do a wireless display to the other room.
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