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  #1  
Old 12-20-2018, 10:57 AM
DynamoBen DynamoBen is offline
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Cheap mini-client? QFX ABX-12

A home center in my area (Menards) is selling a QFX ABX-12 for $40 . It runs Android is a 2Ghz quad-core and allows access to the Google Play store (even comes with Kodi pre-installed). Which makes me wonder if it would work as a decent mini-client. Thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 12-20-2018, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by DynamoBen View Post
A home center in my area (Menards) is selling a QFX ABX-12 for $40 . It runs Android is a 2Ghz quad-core and allows access to the Google Play store (even comes with Kodi pre-installed). Which makes me wonder if it would work as a decent mini-client. Thoughts?
It will probably run the MiniClient, but, there are 2 issues with these boxes.

1. They a particular version of android and likely will not get updates. Right now the min version for miniclient is 21 (android 5) and it will likely go to 26 (android 8) with the next major release. So, while it runs the client today, next year it will likely not.
2. It runs Android for you phone/tablet and NOT the version of android designed for TV. What this means is that the apps it installs and runs basically a phone apps that are scaled up to fit the tv screen. Then end user experience is generally not ideal.

For a few $$ more, you can get the MiBox, which is an AndroidTV box, that runs Android for TV, and the user experience of using the other apps, such as netflix, prime, youtube, etc, will be much, much better. (the android miniclient will run pretty the same of both boxes). The MiBox is also running AndroidTV V8.
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  #3  
Old 12-20-2018, 05:47 PM
Korny Korny is offline
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Mibox is on sale at Walmart for 40 dollars free shipping just an FYI
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  #4  
Old 12-21-2018, 10:36 AM
jchiso jchiso is offline
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I would give the QFX box a shot, for $40. Menard's allows returns, or worst-case scenario you'd have a capable Kodi box. I have a MiBox, and it's a bit of a pain to set up and use. First, unlike this QFX box, it does not have an ethernet port, and only comes with one USB port. You could get USB-to-ethernet adapter if you want to used wired networking, as I do.

The bigger issue I have with the MiBox is that because it is so "AndroidTV"-centric it is riddled with pop-ups and updates for apps that you may not use and/or cannot remove. I've not used mine in a month or so, but last time I checked, the YouTube app would not play 4K videos in 4K. Also, while the idea of having the latest version of AndroidTV may be great for general use, it may introduce problems if you'd prefer it to just do a great job as a SageTV client.

To my way of thinking, a "Cheap Mini-Client" should be something that emulates an HD-300; so it may not be the latest and greatest, but it capably runs a solid version of Sage client ...
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Old 12-21-2018, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by jchiso View Post
To my way of thinking, a "Cheap Mini-Client" should be something that emulates an HD-300; so it may not be the latest and greatest, but it capably runs a solid version of Sage client ...
For a couple of months at least. If these "android" boxes don't upgrade to 8, they are not going to get the latest client.
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  #6  
Old 12-22-2018, 12:10 AM
jchiso jchiso is offline
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Originally Posted by stuckless View Post
For a couple of months at least. If these "android" boxes don't upgrade to 8, they are not going to get the latest client.
That was my point: matching the hardware with a fully-functional release of the software and platform. Make the low-cost client like the HD-300 (or -200 and -100) which still performs well on years-old software ...
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  #7  
Old 12-22-2018, 04:43 AM
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Originally Posted by jchiso View Post
That was my point: matching the hardware with a fully-functional release of the software and platform. Make the low-cost client like the HD-300 (or -200 and -100) which still performs well on years-old software ...
A couple of points on this...

the HD300, 200, 100 were not "low cost" options when they arrived. I think I paid $249 CAD for the HD300 and close to 200 for the HD200 and HD100. At those prices you are talking about a "real" android box, like the NVidia shield. The Shield does get regular updates. These $40 boxes really are disposable boxes.

I agree that building a single purpose box, like the HD300, has a longer shelf life, because it does 1 thing. But it also takes an incredible amount of time to do that. These $40 boxes are perfect candidates to do that, but, no one is going to do it, even though 75% of the code to do it, is already there.

For the Android MiniClient, the reason that we need to keep going with a newer version of android has less to do with android and more to do with me. When I run into a problem, and that problem is fixed in a newer version of android, I just move that version. I don't have a team of people that can sit around and work around the issue, so I have to do what is best for my time.

Lastly, while, you don't want a multpurpose box, I think most people do, even if they think they don't . Once you start switching to youtube on a 'real' android tv box vs using youtube in sage, you start to get a much better user experience for each app. Switching between kodi, plex, emby, netflix, prime, youtube, and sagetv, is nice feature of these boxes. And this is why I don't recommend the $40 boxes that run the phone version of android. Because, initially people say, "I just want to run the miniclient like the HD300", and then within a week, they are trying the other apps, because they can, and the user experience of the box, is crap, compared to a box that has a designed for tv experience.

But for $40 these boxes are worth playing with. I've bought a couple now, and they end up in the garbarge, mainly because I don't run kodi (that often), and these boxes are really just meant to be a low cost kodi front-end.
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  #8  
Old 12-22-2018, 10:17 AM
jchiso jchiso is offline
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Not saying the HD-X00 were cheap options. I was asserting that a box like this could work as a cheap route to a SageTV client. You could use a box like this as a client without using its other features. For $40 I would be pleased if it did that much, and would not expect it to excel as a full-blown Android device.

I have a (non-cheap) Neo box, as well as two fairly cheap mx2 boxes that work as Sage clients, but I've also tried cheap, over-promising boxes that have not worked, so I get your points. To my way of thinking one can never have too many SageTV-capable devices ...
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  #9  
Old 12-28-2018, 07:59 AM
valnar valnar is offline
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It doesn't look like it supports DTS. And like most boxes these days, doesn't say support for MPEG-2 either.
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  #10  
Old 12-28-2018, 05:52 PM
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SHS SHS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valnar View Post
It doesn't look like it supports DTS. And like most boxes these days, doesn't say support for MPEG-2 either.
Just in case you didn't know Roku has MPEG-2 support and it work to
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  #11  
Old 12-30-2018, 11:16 AM
thomaszoo thomaszoo is offline
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Originally Posted by Korny View Post
Mibox is on sale at Walmart for 40 dollars free shipping just an FYI
Thanks for the heads-up. I bought one and overall am very pleased with it. The only downside is that it doesn't natively support Prime (but it can be sideloaded). The interface is great (like the Shield) and it seems to work just fine.
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Old 12-30-2018, 11:49 AM
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I was never able to add Amazon Prime Video to the Mibox.
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  #13  
Old 12-30-2018, 02:18 PM
Taddeusz Taddeusz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KryptoNyte View Post
I was never able to add Amazon Prime Video to the Mibox.
That was one of my big complaints about the Mi Box. Amazon didn't compile it to be compatible with the Mi Box's CPU, at least that's what I gathered.

Just yesterday I bought an Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K and so far it is an excellent device. I can't speak to how it works with SageTV but it works great with Plex and direct MPEG2 playback.
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  #14  
Old 12-30-2018, 06:11 PM
thomaszoo thomaszoo is offline
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Originally Posted by KryptoNyte View Post
I was never able to add Amazon Prime Video to the Mibox.
PM me if you want me to send you the apk. If it works for me it whould work for anyone with a MiBox (I'm assuming they are all the same).
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