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Need recommendation for very solid Android box for streaming

GunsMadeAmericaFree

Senior member
Jan 23, 2007
586
43
91
I bought an X96 Air box for about $60 maybe 4 months ago. While it works fine with Amazon video, Hulu, Netflix and Paramount Plus, it does not work ok with Disney plus or |HB|O max. I liked the specs of the box, Amlogic S905X3 quad core processor, Mali G31MP2 Gpu, 32 gigs of onboard storage, and 4GB of system RAM.

With Disney Plus, I had to sideload the app, because it wasn't showing up on the |Play store. I got no audio until I downloaded shows as a file. With HBO Max, I get no audio, period. Hulu worked fine after sideloading it and trying different versions. I've spent way, WAY too much time troubleshooting audio issues, and I'm done. I just need something that is confirmed to work with no issues out of the box with all of the major streaming services. (and also confirmed to let you install from the Google Play store)

I have a dumb ~6 year old 1080p TV, with car stereo speakers hooked up to it, and I'm using HDMI to send video & audio to the tv set from the Android box. I have a Logitech wireless mouse that I use with the box from my couch.

Can anyone recommend a rock solid Android set top box that will work fine with these?

Thanks so very much!
 

Muadib

Lifer
May 30, 2000
16,972
465
126
There's no other option out there that folks have found which works well with the official streaming apps?
I use the fire tv. It works well for apps. Why did you want android boxes? For apps the Roku is so much better. It’s not better than the Nvida though but it’s cheaper.
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
86,767
10,213
126
None of the China boxes will work correctly due to poorly or non existent DRM protocol.
 

GunsMadeAmericaFree

Senior member
Jan 23, 2007
586
43
91
I use the fire tv. It works well for apps. Why did you want android boxes? For apps the Roku is so much better. It’s not better than the Nvida though but it’s cheaper.
It's because I want to be able to download a show for offline viewing. The Roku doesn't have any built in storage to do that. Long ago I had one that you could insert a micro sd card into, but as far as I know you can't do that with the newer ones.
 

Muadib

Lifer
May 30, 2000
16,972
465
126
It's because I want to be able to download a show for offline viewing. The Roku doesn't have any built in storage to do that. Long ago I had one that you could insert a micro sd card into, but as far as I know you can't do that with the newer ones.
Then you will have to take your chances with a China box, and I agree with sdifox when it comes to those.
 

GunsMadeAmericaFree

Senior member
Jan 23, 2007
586
43
91
What about using a Chromebox? I have one of those from HP that has displayport out. I could use an adapter to vga, since the back of my tv has vga and standard audio pc input ports on there. Would a Chrome OS work, or installing Linux on that?
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
86,767
10,213
126
What about using a Chromebox? I have one of those from HP that has displayport out. I could use an adapter to vga, since the back of my tv has vga and standard audio pc input ports on there. Would a Chrome OS work, or installing Linux on that?

You need to just replace that tv.
 
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sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
86,767
10,213
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Do they have TV's with Android on them, where you can hook up a USB flash drive to be able to use the download feature on most streaming services?
Yes most 4K smart tv can playback local content through USB, some have DLNA support so you can play LAN content. Wait, how do you have a 1080P TV without hdmi? Your Chromebox should have hdmi as well and you can use that as your media player. That should have proper stream security protocol implementation.


You just need to get a displayport to hdmi converter if your chrombox doesn't have hdmi.


The X96 will play media stored on hdd so there is that. Another way to solve this is to get a chromecast for your tv and cast streaming services from your phone and play hdd content from X96.
 
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GunsMadeAmericaFree

Senior member
Jan 23, 2007
586
43
91
One of my friends shared his HBO max account, but I promised him I would only download & watch offline, not stream. That has been a lot more difficult to do than I anticipated. The tv only has hdcp 1.4 HDMI, and my understanding is that HBO Max won't properly work with that. I would upgrade the TV, but I've noticed that prices have about doubled since 8 months ago. It looks like I'll be waiting about a year for chip scarcity to go away, & prices to come back down.
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
86,767
10,213
126
One of my friends shared his HBO max account, but I promised him I would only download & watch offline, not stream. That has been a lot more difficult to do than I anticipated. The tv only has hdcp 1.4 HDMI, and my understanding is that HBO Max won't properly work with that. I would upgrade the TV, but I've noticed that prices have about doubled since 8 months ago. It looks like I'll be waiting about a year for chip scarcity to go away, & prices to come back down.

Yeah supply chains have been shot to hell.
 
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klinkman

Member
Jul 13, 2006
26
2
71
ive used a couple off brand boxes for movie collections in the minivan, and they work okay for that, but i wouldnt trust them as a real solution day to day. Go with the Shield if you can swing it, its kind of in a class of its own verse competitors in that market space
 

hal2kilo

Lifer
Feb 24, 2009
18,796
5,785
136
Actually, I just bought an ACER 311 Spin Chromebook for the sole purpose of playing my MP3 files via bluetooth to my POS Samsung sound bar.
Seems the TV world really wants you to connect to them with your phone. Eliminating any practical way to connect with a Windows based system. At least that's what it seemed to me. Plenty of apps for driving this in the OS and Android world. I have an emotional thing about the world forcing you to use a smart phone for everything, thus the Chromebook.
Found a free app to shuffle across all the files in an MP3 folder (albums in sub folders) called Play Folder. Found out I have a little over 52 Gigs of MP3 files so I just ordered a 64GM Sandisk flash drive to put all the files on, shove it in the ACER and let it play away.
Costco had a fantastic deal on the online store ($120 off) it came with a soft case and a mouse. Interesting thing about the mouse, nothing about it in the online manual and it won't connect. Don't even know if it's WIFI or Bluetooth. Can't see it. Googling, it seems I would have to disable the touchpad to see it. Is that right? Thing that kind of bugs me is that I had to have bluetooth, and verified that before purchase. I assumed it would have a SD memory slot. Nope. Looking online it seems slightly different versions do. Like just a dash xH.

EDIT: dumbF alert
The mouse had the WIFI dongle in the mouse. It still sort of sucks. I should check if they make USB-b flash drives. Only has one regular USB port and one USB-b. Device sees both mouse and touchpad now. Mouse is really not that necessary for what I'm using the Chromebook for.
EDIT: They make adapters but they cost a little more than the flash drive I bought which was a stubby on purpose to keep it from sticking out far. The adapter would defeat the purpose. *Found that type of flash after all for like a $1.50 premium. Oh well. Later.
Damn! Houston's playing batting practice with the Mariners :confused_old:
 
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sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
86,767
10,213
126
Try Foobar2000, it can act as a dlna server as well, but that function is on pc version. Just checked, android version only has ftp server implemented.
 

hal2kilo

Lifer
Feb 24, 2009
18,796
5,785
136
exFAT should be supported.
I was coming back to this post to fix what I said. File limit is 4GB minus 2 bytes. Total 32GB in standard FAT32. Is it supported automatically, or do I need to do something. Android OS is seriously basic.
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
86,767
10,213
126
I was coming back to this post to fix what I said. File limit is 4GB minus 2 bytes. Total 32GB in standard FAT32. Is it supported automatically, or do I need to do something. Android OS is seriously basic.
I would have thought the ChromeOS storage is formatted in ext4. It is a Linux fork after all.
 

hal2kilo

Lifer
Feb 24, 2009
18,796
5,785
136
I would have thought the chromebook storage is formatted in exfat. It is natively supported.
So far, I've only been able to burn to USB flash drives with multiple files reliably on my PC. Slow doesn't begin to describe burning from local memory on the ACER Chromebook to it's USB port. Pretty much a toy. A media player for online connections.
I've got it working for what I bought it for. It's really not a serious device. Dumb terminal meant to be continuously connected to the internet.
That's why I was looking up the specs and found some Google stuff but really surprisingly little.
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
86,767
10,213
126
So far, I've only been able to burn to USB flash drives with multiple files reliably on my PC. Slow doesn't begin to describe burning from local memory on the ACER Chromebook to it's USB port. Pretty much a toy. A media player for online connections.
I've got it working for what I bought it for. It's really not a serious device. Dumb terminal meant to be continuously connected to the internet.
That's why I was looking up the specs and found some Google stuff but really surprisingly little.

Well chromebooks are terminals. You should be able to format the usb drive to ext4 and read it on the chromebook. It should read NTFS as well.
 

shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
80,985
13,952
126
It's because I want to be able to download a show for offline viewing. The Roku doesn't have any built in storage to do that. Long ago I had one that you could insert a micro sd card into, but as far as I know you can't do that with the newer ones.
Doesnt matter.

The SD card was for downloading apps, like games.
My Roku XS had a motion control remote, it could play things like Angry Birds and some other stuff. I never used it for games anyway, and it can download and keep MANY channels with just the onboard storage.
 

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