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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Chinese made MK802 is a complete "mini PC" that's a little bigger than a USB flash drive or card reader.

Rectangle Font Packaging and labeling Symbol Brand

It has a (so called) 1.5GHz Allwinner processor, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of onboard flash storage.

You can get at these internals via two USB ports (which can also power the device,) and pump the result out to a display via HDMI. If that 4GB of memory isn't enough, you can expand it via a microSD slot.

What it is, is an Android tablet without the screen, the screen is replaced by your HDMI equipped TV or panel. It also does not have other things that your tablet might have, no battery for one and some may say that the dongle form of a HDMI "box" is a bit of an ugly solution. The power comes from a USB cable, either from an adapter or other source, external media is also hung onto the thing, more weight, so having this $50 device hanging out of your HDMI socket on your $500 TV might not be an ideal solution, especially when you add an external hard drive.

But of course, an HDMI extension cable will work.

So, having what looks like a set of Christmas tree lights hanging out the back of your TV is one thing, flashing new firmware while it's hanging there is another. At the $50 price point though, it can be a very useful item.

So, who has one? - what do you think?
 

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the last couple of days I have been thinking of getting a new "toy" either the USB stick (mini TV Box) or something more sturdy like a TV box.

Stick
I would not buy one with 512MB RAM as many people report lagging issues!! So go for 1GB RAM. Go for min 4GB internal storage (2GB-software installed-partition=not enough space for anything else i.e. install games applications etc!!!) Even though I like the usb stick's size I am afraid if an external HD was to be attached to it the cable weight etc might damage it. Typical price $50-60 buy need extras so more $$!!!

http://www.aliexpress.com/product-gs/580378598-HongKong-Post-Freeshipping-IPTV-MK802-Allwinner-A10-Android-4-0-RAM-1GB-ROM-4GB-1-5GHz-wholesalers.html

Question?? Would one need to buy mouse/remote control or how one would use it??

TV Box
Again chose one with 1GB RAM and Android 4, most types of these would also come with HDMI, USB and ethernet interfaces!! Size is like a small box i.e. 13*11*3cm not as small as the usb but easier to deal with or touch lol. Typical price $85-95 but already come with remote control, mouse and HDMI cable so extra charges!!!

http://www.aliexpress.com/product-gs/576242179-Google-Android-4-0-TV-Box-Cortex-A9-1-4G-MHz-DDR-1GB-4GB-Wireless-Mouse-wholesalers.html

Anyone bought/used either a stick or box??
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Let me say where I am in the process and where I believe I am going.

At the moment I have an Apple TV, A PS3 and an Elocity A7+ tablet attached to my TV along with a satellite box and in the winter, an Xbox 360.

There are limitations with the Apple TV, but Netflix is perfect, so no need to search for that solution, of course, here in Canada, Roku is hobbled so that's out, PS3 and Xbox (noisy beast) have some serious limitations but at least I can stream some stuff from USB via the PS3. So, my Elocity A7+ does a very good job via HDMI with Youtube App, Youtube via browser (different content), Vevo etc.

So, in my case, the MK802 does not offer much, besides ICS I suppose and as I am a console game player, games on Android, come on...!!

I have a mini-itx d2700 box coming, HDMI out and running Win7 and controllable via a keyboard/pad remote. That should cover my bases and be sort of future proof, the problem I see with the dongles and the "set top" boxes is that they are the band-aid and we should all be wary of running in and buying them because they are a neat toy.

Take a look at how the firmware is updated on a MK802 and relate that to a normal tablet firmware update (dream/nightmare) and see if you want to entertain it. I was making HTPC boxes seven or eight years ago for $2500 and seriously, for $200 nowadays you can get it all, so it becomes one of those, do I spend $50 or do I push the envelope to $200

There's a great video of an unboxing of the MK802:

 

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the last couple of days I have been thinking of getting a new "toy" either the USB stick (mini TV Box) or something more sturdy like a TV box.

Stick
I would not buy one with 512MB RAM as many people report lagging issues!! So go for 1GB RAM.

Question?? Would one need to buy mouse/remote control or how one would use it??
Mouse & keyboard is needed. Only touchscreen displays, like tablets & a few high-end touch monitors, do not need mouse.

Mini Android TV Box is very portable to carry around but I would go for an actual TV box because you will get more ports and remote control too. Though you should check what ARM chip is used too. ie, could maybe get 3rd party firmware to run on it.

I agree that 512 MB is now too low. Best to get something with 1 GB RAM. Will work better with Android 4.x.

You can always see what other people are buying on AliExpress for TV boxes. =) Makes it easier to decide what to get.

Edit: added in keyboard
 

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how about the ROMS for devices like this?

as far as i can tell. My MK802 runs a tablet ROM of sorts.

so could other tablet ROMS just be flashed to it?

have anyone tried ?
 

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I'm not really interested in watching TV much (other than the odd documentary, I find it more form than content, and even the form leaves a lot to be desired - reminds of my buddy getting as fed up with TV as me, so he went out and bought a 3m+ auto moving and tracking satellite dish along with an amazing receiver, I went round after he got it set up, and after spending the evening going through the satellites, he said "Over 4,000 channels, and nothing worth watching" - he sold the system soon after).

I would like to set up something to host media on hard drives, and have it stream stored films on demand, and act as a document store, just to tablet and Netbook. Being able to do backups would be good too.

I was looking at maybe getting one of these, but there's a chance the TV boxes can do the same job (and a box rather than a stick could allow several HD's to be connected at the same time):

http://hexus.net/tv/show/2012/03/Patriot_launches_Gauntlet_Wi_Fi_storage_device
 
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