Kindly sent to me for review this is the first time I’ve seen an Android box with a TV tuner built in.
The box looks good and will sit snugly under your TV. It comes with a remote (including batteries!) as well as cables to hook this up to your TV.
It has a generous 3 USB ports on side allowing you to plug in additional devices such a webcam, airmouse, gamepad etc.
Powering this up you’ll be presented with a customised Android interface, lots of nice big buttons that are easy to navigate. The interface looks good but feels a little laggy in use.
It comes pre-installed with v14.2 of Kodi which, although not the most recent version, works really well with a much smoother interface than the main menu.
Netflix also worked fine, YouTube worked but it’s an outdated version which apparently can’t be updated. Surprisingly the Google Play Movies app worked absolutely fine, I say surprisingly as all the recent Android boxes I’ve reviewed have not been compatible with that service.
As you’d expect from an Android box you can access the internet on your TV as well as download apps from the Play store, for example games or office apps. Gaming was OK but not spectacular, games were playable but no where near as smooth as other Android boxes. However, this is more of a media focused Android box so it was good to see the streaming elements working well.
What really sets this apart from other Android boxes is the ability to use this to watch live TV via a standard aerial. Although you can get apps for watching TV they don’t always offer as good a quality picture as a full TV tuner and this is true of this box, you start the TV app and get a really good picture quality without any chance of buffering issues.
There was some initial issue with lipsyncing, resolved after finding how to adjust this in the menu, and it has an EPG guide which loads up very quickly so you can see what’s coming up later in the week.
This box can record TV onto a memory stick but it’s not easy to do. If you’ve used other TV recording boxes you’ll likely be used to having a button you can press to trigger a recording. This is missing from the included remote.
You’ll probably also be familiar with series linking, a quick system that records each episode in the series without needing to adjust the time. Again, this is a feature that was missing (or was so well hidden it couldn’t be found!).
So a bit of a mixed bag with this product, on the one hand it’s a good media streamer and has the brilliant option of watching live TV via an aerial, but on the other hand the interface is laggy and the TV elements are much trickier to use compared to a dedicated freeview tuner.
Available from Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/24NMNLe
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