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Good or bad idea?


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Hi TV boxes hackers,


We are thinking of re-purposing an existing Android TV box into a $30 personal cyber-security monitoring server for your home.


Good or terrible idea? What caveats should we pay attention to?


We will order directly from the manufacturer so we should be able to save some money (no need for a remote or an HDMI cable) and ensure they all use the same components.

Giving the current chip shortage, it is though to reach a $30 price point without being creative... (we won't take any profit on the hardware)


The project will be open source (no code yet).


Current status: Armbian running on RK3318 - X88 Pro (thanks @jock !). The performance seems good enough and AI acceleration using the GPU doesn't seem too hard to add but we are still exploring other options.

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Help Armbian team helping you!

For serious-or-so tasks, it is always suggested to go to proper SBCs, where you get some manufacturer support and official armbian support.


tvboxes are for toying around and they are cheap because the manufacturers put in the cheapest hardware they find on the market.

If have read carefully the first post of the rk3318/3328 thread, you should already know that the rk3318 is just a scrap part that went into tvboxes because otherwise it would have gone into waste.

If you ask rockchip, they will say that there is no rk3318 in their products line, officially it does not exist.


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Thanks Jock!


While playing around with TVBoxes, how many of yours had a hardware failure? (under moderate abuse).


What would it take to add official armbian support for one of those box? (we will do the work).

As far as I understand, they have very few components inside: a SOC, RAM / ROM (sometime combined in a single chip), WiFi/BT and maybe LED display controller.

If the TV box uses a SOC chip and a WiFi/BT chip already supported by armbian, am I right by saying that most of the work is to figure out the correct DTS?


With the current chip shortage, SBC prices have doubled so we can't reach a $30 Amazon price... We don't really have a choice than going with a cheap TV box...

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None of them has been put under moderate abuse, mostly they are sitting there for tests and waiting for a job to do, so I'm not a source of statistical relevance.


Generic tv-boxes will never make into official armbian by statement (https://docs.armbian.com/User-Guide_FAQ/#why-does-armbian-not-support-tv-boxes-the-market-is-huge). Support is "best-effort" and given only by community.


If you want support for a custom board you made, then you have to ask @Igorfor that because I'm just a community member like you are.


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