A good and economical Android Box


Well-Known Member
May 1, 2009
No Where Near to where I want to be yet...
I need to get an Android Box. I am currently using a old Android box which is now past retirement age. My Dinosaur of a TV is also as dumb as it gets (Not even USB, Let alone optical) :(

My needs are two fold. 1. Turn dumb TV to Android TV, It should pass surround sound via optical for streaming services. 2. Play local MKVs with surround sound via optical. Optical 5.1 is critical as my Dinosaur of an HT doesn't have HDMI in.

Mi Box is good one but doesn't do 5.1 via optical. Firestick is out as no optical/USB Port.

I see some on Amazon but they are with mobile Android. I am not sure Amazon/Netflix etc would give 5.1 on Mobile Android. (My current box doesn't do, but it's an ancient with Android 6. I am not sure about Android 9/10) But, mostly steaming services won't support 5.1 on mobile version.

So, what are options for me? I don't want to spend too much also as this is stop gap arrangement till I replace my Dinosaurs. They were supposed to be retired by this Diwali, but have somehow managed an extension of some months at least!
If you can't find what you're looking for, you can use an HDMI audio extractor like this one

Please make sure it actually works though. Some of these solutions are notorious for promising a lot and not doing much in reality.
Would such splitters support HDR, Dolby Vision etc? What about audio codecs?
It says it supports 8-bit 4K 30 Hz only, so I doubt it will support Dolby Vision and HDR. Audio it seems to support Dolby.

You can look for similar solutions with better products, but might work out a bit expensive.

If you don't want to spend much, the best option will be to just wait it out and do the full upgrade at one go. Or give up on 4k HDR for the time being and use the splitter.

Another option would be to use a PC/Laptop for the time being with a sound card which supports optical out. It's not as convenient as a TV with a remote, but Unified Remote can turn your phone into a remote. Works pretty well.
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