After using a variety of different Android devices over the last couple of years, I have fully embraced the Android OS for playing games checking email and other simple tasks. While watching TV or a movie on an Android tablet is easy to do, it cannot compare to watching that same movie on a large screen TV. The DBPower Android MX TV Box has plenty of processing power to provide smooth playback of movies and TV programs as well as quick response for your favorite games. Setup is easy and you can navigate using the remote control or a USB or wireless mouse.
What’s in the Box
- Dual Core Android 4.2.2 MX TV Box: Streams HD video from the Internet
- HDMI cable: about 5 feet in length with standard sized connectors
- AV Cable: The cable has the standard red, white and yellow connectors at one end to connect to your TV or VCR. The other end is a single RCA type plug that connects to the back of the TV Box. The cable is a bit shorter than 4 feet.
- Remote Control: This looks like a standard TV remote in size and shape but it has many specialized buttons for accessing screen options, setup, and program functions using the remote. It requires 2 AAA batteries which are not included.
- Printed User’s Manual: Well written and easy to understand. It includes pictures and diagrams which make setup easy even for a novice.
- AC adapter
- 8 GB SD card
Connecting the TV Box to the television or DVD/VCR is very easy using your choice of the AV cable or the HDMI cable which are both included for your convenience. I connected the box to the AV ports on the front of my combo DVD/VCR and then used that remote to select the correct input for the TV Box. The volume control on your TV remote will still control the volume but there are also volume control buttons on the remote for the TV Box.
The special remote control does a lot more than just turn the box on and off. It has buttons that allow easy access to your Photos, Music, Files, the Home screen and more. While it does have a cursor option for selecting things on the screen or using the on-screen keyboard, I found that part to be a bit clumsy. Luckily you also have the option of connecting a USB mouse or a wireless mouse. I prefer a wireless mouse used from the other side of the living room but a wired mouse works just as well if your sitting closer to the box.
Many of the software applications that come pre-installed are familiar and you’ve likely seen them on your own phone or tablet but there are also some new and interesting additions to the list. Rest assured that the Google Play Store, Chrome, and Google Earth are all installed on the box as well as the other Google applications typically installed on new Android devices. You will also find apps for accessing your social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, Skype and QQ Internet Chat. Google Voice Search, the Netflix app, and the YouTube video app are all installed along with the Media Center for playing media and setting up a media server. The TV Box includes the Miracast app and also supports PPPOE, Wireless AirPlay and DLNA streaming video.
Those who are familiar with using a typical Android device know that the internal storage space allotted for installing programs is surprisingly limited. If you’re sick of getting that insufficient space message on your tablet, you will love the storage options on this TV Box. Not only does it have a full 1 GB of internal storage and an extra 8 GB of RAM storage, it also comes with an 8 GB SD card. If that’s not enough for you, then you also have the option to plug in a mobile USB hard drive and a Flash drive. But wait, it gets even better. The TV Box is equipped with 4 standard size USB ports but you can also connect a USB hub to add even more drives and devices. A powered hub is your best bet if you want to add hard drives which might need extra power for optimum performance.
I put this to the test by connecting a 7 port USB 2.0 powered hub to the TV Box. Then I connected a 320 GB Western Digital Passport drive, and an ADATA 500 GB SH14 USB 3.0 Mobile Hard Drive, plus a 128 GB Generic USB Flash drive. All were immediately recognized and ready for use. I was able to play a full length movie from the Western Digital drive with no lag time or problem behavior. It was every bit as good as watching a movie On Demand through my Comcast cable box or a DVD.
You will notice that none of the documentation or product information online mentions Bluetooth capability. There is no Bluetooth hardware installed in the TV Box. However, when they manufactured the boxes and installed Android, they failed to block the Bluetooth application which was installed with Android 4.2.2. I assume that future production lots will block the inclusion of the software but I have tried 2 different Bluetooth dongles with the box. Neither would connect. If I can ever find a dongle that will work with Android then it will just be an unexpected extra.
Using the TV Box with our 36″ TV has been a very satisfying experience. Performance is fast and smooth with plenty of processing power for playing movies and games. The ability to add a USB hub expands the possibilities for adding hard drives, flash drives, a USB keyboard, a mouse and other accessories that work with Android. Streaming movies and programming from the Internet also increases your viewing options beyond the channel lineup offered by your cable provider. Comcast doesn’t offer Catholic TV in our area but there is a free app for that channel which provides access to live and On Demand programs. If you subscribe to HBO, Stars, Cinemax and others, you will find that most of them have there own app available for viewing on Android devices. HBO Go, which is part of our HBO subscription frequently includes programming that is not yet available on the regular HBO programming. The HBO Go app allows me to view that programming on the TV too. The quality of the video streamed to the TV using these apps is just as good as programming through the cable box. If you like videos on You Tube, there’s an app for that too. Who doesn’t love watching all those cute kitten videos on You Tube. They’re even cuter on a big screen where you can share them with the whole family.
The DBPower Android MX TV Box provides a simple way to enjoy Internet TV and open a multimedia gateway on your large screen TV in the comfort of your living room. The TV Box is available on Amazon for about $80 with free shipping. The TV Box is sold by Bravolink but the order will be fulfilled by Amazon.
When I received the review unit from Bravolink, the 8G SD card was not part of the package but they have since included the card with the product listing on Amazon. I should also note that the Logitech Mice with the Unifying receivers, which I recently reviewed, would not work with the Android TV Box. Instead I used a plain old generic wireless mouse which worked fine and an iPazzport wireless keyboard when I got tired of clicking on the screen keyboard.
- Android Jelly Bean Version 4.2.2 Operating system
- Chipset: AML8726-MX Dual Core Cortex A9, 1.5GHz
- Wireless Internet: WiFi 802.11b/g/n
- Ethernet 10/100M connection for easy file sharing over your home network
- 4 standard USB 2.0 ports: Max. Output of 1.5A/5V
- Support for SD/SDHC cards up to 32 GB with an 8 GB card included in the box
- HDMI Support 1920x1080P @60Hz Full HD Video output
- 1 GB RAM and 8 GB ROM with support for up to a 32 GB SD/SDHC/MMX card
- Email Support for: Gmail, POP3/SMTP/IMAP4
- Audio file support for MP3, WMA, WAV, AC3, DTS AAC and more
- Video file support for AVI, MPG, VOB, RMVB, AND MORE
- Image file support for JPEG, BMP, AND PNG up to 80M pixels
- Support for HD formats VC-1, H 264, MPEG-2 as well as regular MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DIVX, REALMEDIA and more.