Recommended TV Box?

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Recommended TV Box?

Unread post by leecarver » Mon Jun 05, 2017 4:34 pm

After getting rid of television service, I'm probably going to be in the market for an Android TV box in the coming weeks/months. I know several of you use these for crunching and figured at least one of you might be able to give some recommendations on brands/models. This will be going up in my kids' playroom since the TV is not connected to anything. I'd like it to connect wirelessly with my router and be able to stream Netflix, Hulu, and/or Amazon Prime. When not in use, I'd like to fiddle with it and see if I can add crunching to it.

So - any thoughts?


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CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4 GHz, MSI Z87-G45 mobo, 16 GB DDR3, GTX 770 2GB EVGA, Windows 10
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Re: Recommended TV Box?

Unread post by Alez » Tue Jun 06, 2017 2:42 am

Hi Lee,
First moved thread to this forum as it has lots of TV boxes in it :o :lol:

OK, being cheeky aside, from my experience of my wee crunching boxes

Don't use mine for TV so can't comment on that. Guess it depends on whether you wish to simply stream ( Kodi etc ) or whether you want a package ( Now TV etc. )
With a package you're stuck with the box they sell.
If you want your own, which to stream to is what you want, then the internet is your oyster and there are many to choose from. I have bought lots off this company http://www.geekbuying.com/category/TV-Boxes-505/ never had an issue with their stock or service. Really recommend. Alternatively obviously Amazon.co.uk etc.

2 issues I have found with the boxes in general

There ability to pick up WIFI varies enormously. If you don't have a strong signal upstairs get one with an external antenna. If for watching TV , the streaming signal ( speed and stability ) is far more important than the crunching power. Doesn't matter how fast the box is, if the signal is crap then it will spend all it's time buffering.

If you are using to crunch then almost invariablly you will kill the psu. They are almost always 5v 2 amp. Replace them with a 2.5 or even better 3 amp psu and they will last forever. I've killed every original psu I've ever had on every single droid box. Also if it has a chinese made 2 pin to 3 pin adaptor, throw it straight in the bin and buy an eu marked shaver adaptor from Tesco's Asda etc. etc. They are generally poorly fitting and a complete fire hazard Certainly don't put them in the kids room.

Adding crunching to it is a simple stop at play store ( OTHER BETTER SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE like aptoid etc ) Install nativeBOINC ( android 4 or below ) or BOINC ( android 5 or above ) and off you go. Nothing to set up, mess with etc. Simples or simply give us a shout on here and one of us will walk you through the various options you can set. Surely that shield tablet of yours is crunching ? :think:

For crunching 4 core RK3188 Cortex A9 based boxes are dirt cheap, bullet proof but not as fast and generally have android 4 or such on them.
8 core boxes you would think are faster generally but they also tend to have less memory per core so in the long term they are much the same. ( The difference between fast cortex chip and a slow one is nothing like as marked as between fast and slow cpu's ) An Cortex A53 is actually slower than a cortex A9, but it has 8 cores versus 4 so the amount of memory becomes critical.

Can't think of a single Boinc project that supports 64 bit yet.

Personally I think the RK3288 (Cortex A17) based boxes are the best compromise between power and price.

2 of my original gang of six cortex a9's are still crunching 24/7 , 365 days a year after 4 years racking up god only knows how many hours on WUProp for almost no lecky bill.

There are threads on here about the various chipsets. In particular read this thread which compares the various chipsets and their relative power.
Remember what I said about memory. Most boxes have 1 or 2 GB and 1GB memory for 4 cores on a slower chipset will still outcrunch a faster chipset with 1 GB memory for 8 cores or you have to restrict the number of cores and hence you paid more to use 4 cores.
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Re: Recommended TV Box?

Unread post by leecarver » Mon Jun 12, 2017 1:14 pm

Hrm... I'll have to do some research it seems.

Right now, this is what I'm looking at: https://www.amazon.com/GooBang-Doo-Andr ... bathome-20
Hardware:
CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4 GHz, MSI Z87-G45 mobo, 16 GB DDR3, GTX 770 2GB EVGA, Windows 10
Tablet: NVIDIA Shield Tablet, Stock
Phone: LG G5, Stock

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Re: Recommended TV Box?

Unread post by Dirk Broer » Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:21 pm

I think I will comment on some remarks:

RK3288, that's a quad core ARM Cortex-A17 SOC -the same SOC that also powers the ASUS Tinker Board.
The ARM Cortex-A17 is the most powerful 32-bits ARM Cortex core and much more powerful that a ARM Cortex-A53 64-bit core.

RK3188, that's a quad core ARM Cortex-A9 SOC. More powerful per core than the ARM Cortex-A5, A7, or A8 32-bit cores, and also more powerful per core than the ARM Cortex-A53 64-bit core.
An Cortex A53 is actually slower than a cortex A9, but it has 8 cores versus 4 so the amount of memory becomes critical.
That holds true for eight core Cortex-A53 SOCs like the RK3368 or the Amlogic S912, but e.g. a Raspberry Pi 3 has a quad core Cortex-A53 SOC, just like Amlogic S905 Android TVs.
An ARM Cortex-A9 can be mono-core, dual-core or quad-core -look at Udoo for examples.
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Re: Recommended TV Box?

Unread post by scole of TSBT » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:31 am

I've bought several models of the android TV boxes but only crunch on them. Never used them for TV. Read the online reviews for opinions about TV streaming quality. If that is more important than crunching, buy based on those reviews. If crunching is more important, I'd agree with the others about the RK3288 devices. And you'll see many different brands for sale. It seems the hardware is mass produced in batches. Different companies buy a batch, install their ROM on it and market them under lesser known names. I haven't been that concerned over company name or reviews for crunching, but if you want support after the sale, read the reviews.
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Re: Recommended TV Box?

Unread post by Alez » Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:26 am

I'm going to stick with my statement that for value for money buy a RK3288 based device or for cheap and cheerfull you wont get better than a RK3188 based system. Everything after the chip set is company based. Some load more bloat ware than others and all can be flashed to a leaner meaner system with a bit of research.
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Re: Recommended TV Box?

Unread post by Dirk Broer » Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:06 am

Alez wrote:
Tue Jun 06, 2017 2:42 am
Can't think of a single Boinc project that supports 64 bit yet.
Think Seti@Home
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Re: Recommended TV Box?

Unread post by Alez » Wed Jun 14, 2017 3:25 am

Doesn't outside of beta unless my windows x86 only tablet is obsolete ???
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Re: Recommended TV Box?

Unread post by Dirk Broer » Wed Jun 14, 2017 9:44 am

Seti@Home has three Android ARM 64 bit applications and one 64 bit Linux/ARM (the four lowest in the list) and also two Android/x86 applications (32-bit?)
Seti@Home Beta has four Android ARM 64 bit applications, one 64 bit Linux/ARM and two Android/x86 (in the eight lowest in the list)
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Re: Recommended TV Box?

Unread post by Alez » Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:29 pm

Cheers Dirk. I'll update the app lists. Didn't realise they had also finally released the droid / x86 combination on Seti. Previously my bay trail was stuck on Seti Beta as it and WUProp were the only projects to have work for it. Guess I don't pay enough attention to what's happening at Seti.
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Re: Recommended TV Box?

Unread post by Dirk Broer » Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:03 am

There's 64-bit Universe BH-Spin for Android/ARM and Linux/ARM too
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