Budget Android TV Box?

Discussion in 'HTPC' started by Deus_Ex_Machina, Oct 1, 2020.

  1. Deus_Ex_Machina

    Deus_Ex_Machina Member

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    Hi All,
    So We have 3X TV's which will get upgraded one day but not today. We basically watch TV and use Plex.

    #1 TV we use PS3 for both as it has Play TV to record and Plex still works even though it's an old version

    #2 TV has a PS4, mainly just used as dumb TV but can watch a movie if it needs

    #3 Panasonic Smart TV (2017ish?) for which Plex support just died today.

    So was thinking of a cheap box like the Xioami Mi Box S $75 off Aliexpress for #3. Is there another relatively inexpensive android box with free PVR capability though so I could maybe piss off the PS3 aswell?

    Any ideas would be great. Don't need it to be amazing just functional.
     
  2. stenchlord

    stenchlord Member

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    Doesn't Google Chromecast support Plex? Can't you just pick up a secondhand Chromecast for like $20 and use that?
     
  3. darknebula

    darknebula Member

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    Vodafone TV, excellent for the money and better than the Xiaomi
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Deus_Ex_Machina

    Deus_Ex_Machina Member

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    Technically I think yes but a) I used wired ethernet to stream from the main server so there is no transcoding of high bitrate media and b) I want to people use be able to use the Plex app with library etc on the playback devices simultaneously and not have find what they want on the server then "cast" it to the device. Pull vs push I suppose.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Deus_Ex_Machina

    Deus_Ex_Machina Member

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    Looks decent., Having a look now, doesen't seem widely available for purchase in my 2 min look. Might be discontinued.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2020
  6. darknebula

    darknebula Member

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    you can buy online or ring a Vodafone shop and see if they have stock
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Deus_Ex_Machina

    Deus_Ex_Machina Member

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    Will have to try the stores. Website has nothing on it anymore. Google search and link's take you to the generic Vodaphone page. My gut feel is they have dropped it.
     
  8. philquad

    philquad Member

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  9. MELso76

    MELso76 Member

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  10. OP
    OP
    Deus_Ex_Machina

    Deus_Ex_Machina Member

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    I could be wrong but my understanding of the Chromecast is that it supports receiving streams from Plex but doesn;t "run" Plex. That would mean you would have to be running the Plex app on say a mobile phone, ipad or the server itself and manually "cast" it to the Chromecast. Plus they are Wifi which I don't want.

    Looking for device that runs Plex app at the point of the TV so you can surf the menus/app on the big screen then pull the files from Plex without transcoding or downmixing of audio (i.e. direct H.265 streaming/decoding over Ethernet).

    Call me old school but I'm not sold on casting and wifi for decent AV as yet. Give me wires and locally stored files for movies every day of the week.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Deus_Ex_Machina

    Deus_Ex_Machina Member

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  12. OP
    OP
    Deus_Ex_Machina

    Deus_Ex_Machina Member

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    That Vodafone unit does look bloody good though. Incorporated FTA tuner etc is a bonus as you don't have to dick around with 2 interfaces just use the TV as a dumb screen3.
     
  13. philquad

    philquad Member

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    i been using these dodgeys for yrs as i only just bought a smart tv
    must admit remotes are pretty sucky, but it depends on the app.
    good point is you can run lots free apps like, popcorn time, fox sports,
    https://tinyzonetv.to/android-movies-apk etc etc
     
  14. OP
    OP
    Deus_Ex_Machina

    Deus_Ex_Machina Member

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    Honestly the "Plex for Smart TV's" had been stagnant for so long and the processing power of say the Panasonic in the bedroom is so weak that the interface was slooooow. Even the cheapest nastiest android box is probably gonna outperform it and seem amazing.
     
  15. darknebula

    darknebula Member

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    They are really nice, and the remote is fantastic
     
  16. RogerWiIco

    RogerWiIco Member

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    If you have it on the same wifi as your Android phone there is remote control apps on market place, turns your phone into a remote, text input, mouse movement etc
     
  17. Renza

    Renza Member

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    the new chromecast is an android TV box. I'm buying one to replace my Mi box, hopefully has better support and updates from google
     
  18. OP
    OP
    Deus_Ex_Machina

    Deus_Ex_Machina Member

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    Ooooohhhhhh! Hoping that ethernet adapter is available too. That's a non negotiable.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2020
  19. OP
    OP
    Deus_Ex_Machina

    Deus_Ex_Machina Member

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    So what you reckon the chances are that Plex coincidentally completely switched off all legacy smart TV support the same day google launch their new Chromecast "TV box"?
     
  20. MELso76

    MELso76 Member

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