As the first prosecution is currently under way it looks like the sale of ‘Fully Loaded’ KODi equipped TV boxes in the UK may soon be restricted if not banned altogether, so now might be the time to buy whilst you still can.
Priced at just under £62 at one time this would have been judged as a budget or mid range streamer but today with prices in freefall as specs rise it has to be viewed as a high end device.
Inside the box along with the unit itself was a UK power adaptor, medium sized remote control, HDMI cable, and a User Guide. The User Guide is better printed than most and easy to read but is very basic and tells you how to connect the device up and that is about it. It makes no mention of KODI or how to configure it. I enclose a scanned copy of it on the end of my unboxing video, switch to full screen and pause as needed to read it.
This TV Box is essentially an Android phone without the mobile phone capabilities and optimised for use as a media player. The core of this and similar devices is the remarkable Kodi media playing application. This device comes with the current beta version, KODI 17.0.
This is a well made and well equipped box with a full range of ports. It has four USB ports, Optical, AV, TF card slot, HDMI, Ethernet, power ports. There are a load of high end features to be found such as an Amlogic S912 Octa core chipset, Android 6 , 4K support, 2 GB RAM, 16Gb storage.Unlike some high end boxes it has both Gigabit LAN and dual band wifi. I can think of no hardware feature that it lacks except the bundling of an external keypad into the pack..
Configuring the device was pretty easy with all the essential apps pre installed. The only real task is to connect to your home network and it has both wifi and Ethernet options available. If you are familiar with Android then this is very simple, non Android users may find this more difficult. Once on the network you should then login to your Google account, that way apps can be easily installed from the Google Play store, Gmail and YouTube will be auto configured at the same time.
One great thing about this device is thanks to the USB ports third party memory sticks, keyboards and mice can be used to make navigating the User Interface faster and easier, although the built in pop-up keyboard and full sized remote control with dedicated keys will suffice for most users. Many TV boxes in this price range now come with a separate remote keypad but that is not included here. It does have Bluetooth 4 and so suitably equipped keyboards and mice can be connected wirelessly and without occupying a USB port.
There are a variety of applications pre installed, some useful and some not, but with time you may discover that like me you find that everything want can be done from Kodi. Kod is an immensely powerful and, for novices, worryingly complicated media portal, with a host of plug-ins and remote repositories available. When correctly setup the user will have access to a host of live streaming channels, video repositories, radio stations, live networked TV. Without leaving Kodi I can view memory card files, files on all of my three NAS devices, Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime, live streaming TV including all the major UK channels. Kodi will also index and download subtitles, synopsis, song lyrics and images for all you home media files so when you browse your library this information is presented to you. A look on Youtube will find a host of guides to getting the best from KODI.
This unit comes with comes with a generous 2GB RAM and has 16GB storage, double the norm for these units. It supports both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz wifi but for superior results it is always best to go for an Ethernet cable connection.I must also say that in use I have found very little difference between any TV boxes once KODI is installed and running. This one works very well, has an attractive onscreen menu system and seems stable and fast in use.
This Is probably the best specified Android TV Box I have ever used and all the boxes are ticked. The only drawback is the very basic User Guide but even that is at least well printed and easy to read and better that those supplied with most rival boxes. I would also question the wisdom of including a beta build of KODI as it may prove to be buggy with sustained use. How much of a difference in performance there is from lesser boxes is more subjective, it is very fast and snappy in use but most TV boxes are fine once KODI is running.
Good build quality
Dual band wifi
SD card slot
Poor User Guide
Can be complicated to configure for non Android users
Kodi can be challenging for new users
No handset batteries supplied
No remote keyboard
Beta KODI version used
More info and purchase