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sfx2000

Recommend me an Android TV Box for IPTV

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Hey folks - spend my money...

 

I have a current TV box - Beelink X2 (Allwinner H3 based) getting subscription services for IPTV from Japan via Hong Kong (long story...) - what's nice is that I have not had to do odd things with VPN, etc...

 

Anyways - while the X2 has been a stable box, it's Android is getting old (4.4.2), and perhaps it's time to move on - actually I'm being forced to move on to some degree, as my agent not longer has ability to renew subs for HikariTV, so I'm running out of time

 

Basic Wants:

  • 1GB RAM - minimum
  • 8GB eMMC - minimum
  • 100BaseT (Gigabit is a plus)
  • 2.4GHz 802.11n (stable) is a must, 5GHz 802.11ac is a plus
  • Android 5.1 at a minimum - later is good
  • Google Widevine DRM support is a must, without hacks - would like to have my netflix back on the STB...
  • GMS/Google Play Store is a must

 

They are recommending a Rockchip RK3229* box with Android 5.1 for their apps, but they want way more than market price perhaps... they're willing to sell me the box for $80USD, but my thoughts are that the box in Shenzen is quite a bit more affordable (not that's I'm cheap, I'm just not going to pay 2x the price)

 

Thoughts and inputs here?

 

tvbox.png

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Ended up ordering the Minix Neo U9-H... it's a bit spendy - price is close to the nVidia Shield, but my IPTV provider explicitly does not support the Shield...

 

What sold me compared to other Android STB's...

 

https://www.cnx-software.com/2016/09/05/minix-neo-u9-h-4k-hdr-amlogic-s912-h-android-tv-box-coming-in-october/

 

https://www.cnx-software.com/2017/03/01/minix-neo-u9-h-media-hub-review-part-2-android-6-0-firmware-kodi-17/

 

https://www.avforums.com/review/minix-neo-u9-h-android-tv-media-hub-review.13570

 

What is probably the deal closer is Widevine Level 1 DRM support with their Android - as this box will be focused on media playback...

 

Don't need to run Armbian on that box - just need a clean Android with good DRM support...

Edited by sfx2000
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I too need recommendation. About me. I am totally new and dont even know if I should be on this forum. I have only ever flashed custom roms on phone. I am looking to purchase my first android tv box. I want to play basic stuff like youtube and iptv. I might want to do netflix later (never wanted to do it till now, not even on phone). Lots of cheap 2gb 16gb options are present but I was hoping to go for 4gb 64gb as its more future proof and maybe gaming would be better?

 

Also, what is armbian for?

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14 hours ago, romcrazy said:

I too need recommendation. About me. I am totally new and dont even know if I should be on this forum. I have only ever flashed custom roms on phone. I am looking to purchase my first android tv box. I want to play basic stuff like youtube and iptv. I might want to do netflix later (never wanted to do it till now, not even on phone). Lots of cheap 2gb 16gb options are present but I was hoping to go for 4gb 64gb as its more future proof and maybe gaming would be better?

 

Best place to start would be CNX Software - he's written up a handy guide and some recommended choices...

 

https://www.cnx-software.com/2017/12/26/whats-the-best-android-tv-box-2017-2018-edition/

 

Fair number of good reviews on various boxes on his site...

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On 12/26/2018 at 5:17 PM, sfx2000 said:

Ended up ordering the Minix Neo U9-H... it's a bit spendy - price is close to the nVidia Shield, but my IPTV provider explicitly does not support the Shield...

 

So ordered it on Wed, and shiny box on Friday - and I'm not Amazon Prime...

 

Neat little unit - I guess it might have been on the shelf for a while between Minix and Amazon somewhere - as firmware was old - couple of updates later, and then fix the serial number (known issue and fix - have a good OTG cable and a windows machine to fix that), and the MCU update from v1 to v2...

 

The default Minix Android shell is fairly nice...

 

For a full review - check CNX Software's site...

 

https://www.cnx-software.com/2017/02/24/review-of-minix-neo-u9-h-media-hub-a3-air-mouse-part-1-specs-unboxing-and-teardown/

 

and for the Androidy kind of stuff - CNX has part two...

 

https://www.cnx-software.com/2017/03/01/minix-neo-u9-h-media-hub-review-part-2-android-6-0-firmware-kodi-17/

 

Here's a few caps to see things... while we're running Android 6.0.1, all the command line stuff below is Termux - which is a great package for Android, and good alternative for STB's that can't run Armbian...

 

cpuinfo - note that it's a blend of armv7a and armv8 items - keep in mind that Amlogic S912 is a "big.LITTLE" in a sort of way - all A53, but 4 are capped at 1GHz, and 4 run fast at 1.5...

 

minix_u9_cpuinfo.thumb.png.b8385417c941f78207fafb54bf0b6294.png

 

OpneSSL - Now let's check OpenSSL - aes-128-cbc (very nice actually for any chip) and GCM, which in many ways is the future.... all core, no accelerators that I can tell - it's just ARMv8... see similar perf on H5 which is also ARMv8 at a lower clock speed on a proportional basis...

 

The AES-128-CBC numbers look really nice - just over 1M with 16K blocks... but the AES-128-GCM numbers are also important... and over 500K there...

 

minix_u9_openssl.thumb.png.91bedb3de6cca0a44f40bb1d9cd6e744.png

 

Iperf3 - Some network performance - first ethernet...

 

mixix_u9_iperf_ethernet.thumb.png.12d3cd4dceed9ea15b98029ea50bb9bd.png

 

And now 5GHz - keep in mind that the U9 is a 2*2:2 wifi chipset... the Ampak AP6356S module does nicely here

 

minux_u9_wifi_5ghz.thumb.png.764d4ea1ab470fc056d77c42c104216f.png

 

and 2.4GHz - network here is really busy, but it's a wide channel (40MHz) 802.11n there... it's bursty as expected, might be better to run 20MHz channels in 2.4GHz...

 

minix_u9_wifi_24GHz.thumb.png.7500254880524fcbe5f881b7ff393e33.png

 

The box does has Kodi pre-installed - it's 17.03, so it's not the latest/greatest, but a stable version...

 

I really like this unit - it's spendy, but with the DRM licenses (Widevine Level 1), Full GMS support - which is important, and that they took the effort to actually file for IEEE OUI's is a really big deal.

 

Without sounding like a total MINIX fan-boi - it's a pretty solid unit, and it's highly recommended by CNX...

 

https://www.cnx-software.com/2017/12/26/whats-the-best-android-tv-box-2017-2018-edition/

 

Enjoy, and feel free to ask questions...

 

sfx

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8 hours ago, sfx2000 said:

Amlogic S912 is a "big.LITTLE" in a sort of way

No it is not. It is 8 cores a53 and some are running at a lower frequency. The idea of big.LITTLE is something else.

 

8 hours ago, sfx2000 said:

while we're running Android 6.0.1

Old crap, on the RockChip 3328 boxes you get Android 8.1, was this box not a waste of money ?

 

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12 hours ago, Tido said:

No it is not. It is 8 cores a53 and some are running at a lower frequency. The idea of big.LITTLE is something else.

 

Old crap, on the RockChip 3328 boxes you get Android 8.1, was this box not a waste of money ?

 

 

The whole big.LITTLE - I agree, that's why it was in quotes... it would be more appropriate to say heterogenous clock and power domains, as all the cores are A53...

 

Rockchip - I like those chips actually, even though the RK3328 wouldn't be my first choice - the RK3399 would be more appealing - but the other issue with Rockchip in general is the whole mess with the KODI team, which I have no desire to get in the middle of when the Amlogic chips work fine there under Android.

 

Minix has Noughat in beta now, so 7.1 should be GA sometime in 2019. As it is, their Marshmallow implementation is pretty solid, and the DRM levels for MS and Widevine are up to par... the beta, along with the fact that they have released multiple updates for Android 6 is that they do support their boxes over time, which many TV box vendors do not...

 

As for the cost, I do see this as a good value - Minix has a fair amount of NRE to recover due to all the certs and testing, along with ongoing dev on the platform, and when one puts it into that perspective, it's not that expensive (look at Android mobiles, similar test/cert burden there if done right) - one can always go really cheap, and get a no-name AOSP box out of Shenzhen for sub-$50, but that's perhaps false economy. Been there, done that with Beelink X2...

 

My preference would have been ShieldTV, as it's only a bit more expensive, and the Tegra X1 is a very powerful chip, but for whatever reason, my IPTV provider will not support it... they do support RK, AW, and AM...

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Just following up...

 

The Minix UH-9 with production firmware - just works...

 

I think the secret here is good HW design - keeping it cool, and proper power. Minix has always done a good job there...

 

Production is Android 6, so it's a bit on the older side.

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