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Raspberry Pi vs Android TV Box

Luxman Amplifiers India

greenhorn

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I had earlier posted a thread on upgrading my BT audio reciever - Since my current one only supports 2 connections
I had also bought an HDMI - Wifi Anycast dongle, only to find out that there was a significant lag between the anycast video & BT audio. My 'TV' is actually a PC monitor, so getting audio out of HDMI is not possible

THen a friend suggested an MXQ pro, and I have been exploring the different android TV boxes out there, and they seem to be good enough to do the job.

My Main three uses for this setup will be
1. Playing Nursery rhymes for my son from youtube
2. Playing internet radio via tunein for my mom
3. Weekend movies - either downloaded or from a streaming service like hotstar
4. Occasional tv series viewing (rare)
Another possibility is using this as my main media player, but generally i have not found media centre type players very useful because most of my audio collection is not tagged properly, and i prefer to use folders to select album, drag and drop it into a playlist and then play - Currently I use foobar with explorer view and i find the UI perfect. Most of the media players i have tried tend to force you into the genre-artist-album view which is kinda unusable for my collection.

Raspberry Pi seems interesting, but there seems to be a fair amount of setup needed to make things work the way i want it, while the android box, while not perfect, seems to offer a lot of out of the box functionality
also, I am not really interested in kodi, or video streaming as the main functionality. My parents are used to using an android UI and apps, so looking for something that can replicate the look and feel

But I am told an Rpi based setup would be more reliable, and the software is more stable. I have a spare PCM2704 usb dac lying around, so hopefully that should take care of teh tv box's audio quality - I am looking for something cheap and cheerful
 

elangoas

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My 'TV' is actually a PC monitor, so getting audio out of HDMI is not possible

While i have no experience with Rpi, have used Android TV box in the past..

I hope you have connected your PC to TV via HDMI.. Does you MOBO have SPDIF out header ?
 

Jith77

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Kodi seems to fit the bill for your requirements. Are you sure that none of the skins help with the UI. Even otherwise it is easy to use with a remote. Only negative is that you will have to set it up
 

greenhorn

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While i have no experience with Rpi, have used Android TV box in the past..

I hope you have connected your PC to TV via HDMI.. Does you MOBO have SPDIF out header ?
I don't have a PC. The monitor is connected to my set top box via an hdmi switcher. I usually use my laptop for movies, but was looking for a fully wireless solution. I tried the anycast dongle, but it has too much lag
 

greenhorn

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Kodi seems to fit the bill for your requirements. Are you sure that none of the skins help with the UI. Even otherwise it is easy to use with a remote. Only negative is that you will have to set it up
Honestly i don't know, and i don't want to spend money to find out. Already wasted some on the hdmi dongle. I went through kodi screens in YouTube, but didn't see what i was looking for. At least android is a known quantity. And i can run kodi on android
 

kane

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I had earlier posted a thread on upgrading my BT audio reciever - Since my current one only supports 2 connections
I had also bought an HDMI - Wifi Anycast dongle, only to find out that there was a significant lag between the anycast video & BT audio. My 'TV' is actually a PC monitor, so getting audio out of HDMI is not possible

THen a friend suggested an MXQ pro, and I have been exploring the different android TV boxes out there, and they seem to be good enough to do the job.

My Main three uses for this setup will be
1. Playing Nursery rhymes for my son from youtube
2. Playing internet radio via tunein for my mom
3. Weekend movies - either downloaded or from a streaming service like hotstar
4. Occasional tv series viewing (rare)



For Simplicity nothing beats the amazon fire stick - Though its 3999 so not really cheap cheap. But if you consider a RPI it will cost you around 2600/rs for the RPI + 300-750 for the power supply adapter + HDMi cable

The firestick will also give you amazon prime for a full year.


RPI does not run Netflix as an app you will need to load Chromium browser for the same. details here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAL3v5uNH2E

As for android tv boxes with kodi it was a good option but with kodi addons getting a bit of trouble you will need to do constant tweaking to get things to work . also The android on these boxes often cannot be updated or it may require again getting your hands dirty with getting builds from different communities etc . netflix on these boxes may or may not support dolby or dts etc . depending on the hardware .

Firestick would be peace of mind and a person not tech savy also ( like my Mother ) has no problem using it for netflix youtube etc.

Cheers.
 

TCHeN

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I had earlier posted a thread on upgrading my BT audio reciever - Since my current one only supports 2 connections
I had also bought an HDMI - Wifi Anycast dongle, only to find out that there was a significant lag between the anycast video & BT audio. My 'TV' is actually a PC monitor, so getting audio out of HDMI is not possible

THen a friend suggested an MXQ pro, and I have been exploring the different android TV boxes out there, and they seem to be good enough to do the job.

My Main three uses for this setup will be
1. Playing Nursery rhymes for my son from youtube
2. Playing internet radio via tunein for my mom
3. Weekend movies - either downloaded or from a streaming service like hotstar
4. Occasional tv series viewing (rare)
Another possibility is using this as my main media player, but generally i have not found media centre type players very useful because most of my audio collection is not tagged properly, and i prefer to use folders to select album, drag and drop it into a playlist and then play - Currently I use foobar with explorer view and i find the UI perfect. Most of the media players i have tried tend to force you into the genre-artist-album view which is kinda unusable for my collection.

Raspberry Pi seems interesting, but there seems to be a fair amount of setup needed to make things work the way i want it, while the android box, while not perfect, seems to offer a lot of out of the box functionality
also, I am not really interested in kodi, or video streaming as the main functionality. My parents are used to using an android UI and apps, so looking for something that can replicate the look and feel

But I am told an Rpi based setup would be more reliable, and the software is more stable. I have a spare PCM2704 usb dac lying around, so hopefully that should take care of teh tv box's audio quality - I am looking for something cheap and cheerful

All 4 uses are met by Chromecast. 4 might need a local server running on a PC/laptop, or Raspberry Pi.

I use the Pi a lot, but honestly it's not a best case usage scenario for any of your intended uses... not even in the least bit. And it's way too cumbersome to use even as a PC plugged into a monitor or TV via HDMI cable. It's best used running headless and as a server for the likes of audio, video, home automation, etc. Definitely not for daily usage as a regular PC or media player.

Chromecast will work with inbuilt apps, and you can also go the route of BubbleUPnP app + smartphone with a server installed or using local transcoding enabled on the mobile. Easy, cheap, and it just works.

Up the budget and you can install a PC for the server and also run a samba server... again easily streamed via Chromecast.

PS: For audio extraction you can use a HDMI splitter with optical audio output... I've used one in the past with an older AVR that did not have HDMI inputs and it worked flawlessly. Get them on Amazon for under 2K.
 

lnxreddy

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I have both, these are my observations

Rpi + Kodi - Simply works, Easy if u have lots of local media stored on some NAS/Network Drive, (Note Pi can't drive HDD so easily due to power limits, u can work around but not for normal users), HDMI CEC gets ur tv remote work(on supported tvs) which is good. Loads of apps(add-ons) their is virtually no limits. Everything works but it expects u to be little advanced user for most. Pi has lot of other things, i am only considering media player ability on this.

issues: No Netflix, Prime etc etc(yes they are workarounds but the ease of use goes out)

AndiodTV - Playstore has everything that u might want to play around with, dead easy, even my kid knows how to handle this stuff. depending on hardware this is a little expensive route when u compare Price to Performance ratio. You can run kodi on most of these and everything said above from pi should work on this as well.

issues: Performance often is limited by your hardware, simple things like fire stick are probably better then cheap china makes.


To simply put it on layman terms, take android if u want ease of use(do consider other family members who might use) if u want to hack/crack and like to play/fiddle around for little fun and don't mind spending hours to just get amazon prime working pi might cut it.

Their is no such thing as good/bad, both work, u just need to make them work :)
 

greenhorn

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At least for me this problem has temporarily resolved itself - I was trying out the UNIC UC40 projector I had lying around, and it has an audio out and hdmi in - So at least for my weekend movies, wireless sound and video are up and running.
 

ItsMe

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To have customisable solutions, pi will be the best bet. But if you are looking for a reliable long time solution, try an android box.
 

Bizi05

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Hi ,

I have tried both Pi3 and Android Box such as HiMedia H8. Both has pros and cons but I will choose Pi over Android Box as my primary requirement is to play contents(Songs, Videos and Movies) from my local HDD. And Android box use
to crash very often upon heavy usage. Here are some pros and cons of PI3:

Pi3
---
Pros

1) Cost is cheaper than Android box.
2) Kodi(LibreElec Version) is much more stable than Any Android box.
3) Supports wide range of Codec and best Suitable for playing local media stored in HDD. I have two 1TB HDD connected Directly to RSPi3 and they works absolutely fine.

Cons

1) Don't support/handle H265 and 4k video due to Hardware limitation.
2) Online Media Streaming App support like Amazon Prime, Netflix, etc. I have installed Youtube app. But the UI you will feel like pretty old and not so user friendly(Not the traditional Youtube UI). Even my friend has installed Amazon Prime Video app but he was telling Amazon Prime Video App tries to connect to UK server not the Indian site.

So if your primary requirement is Online Media Streaming such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar, etc then go for Amazon Fire Stick or Chromecast.

But if your requirement is to play contents from Local media then you can go for Pi3.

Also if you want to play H265 and 4k Contents then you can choose OSMC VERO 4K. This is similar to Pi3 but with Higher Hardware config. Below is the link:

https://osmc.tv/vero/

Thanks,
Sujit
 

rdevakumar

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Sep 19, 2009
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Hi,

I have a Pi 2 and also an Old WDTV Live. However, i am planning to buy Android TV box now, because YouTube become the primary source of watching videos these days (thanks to the higher bandwidth and limit of ACT).

I have been checking the options between Chromcast video vs Android TV box (like the one in the link given below). Considering the versality of full android experience, i am leaning towards android TV. I already have a wireless keyboard with mouse tracking pad, which i hope will help as a good interface to Android TV.

Anyone has any experience with any other similar Android TV box, please give your suggestion and experience. My budget is less than 5K.

https://www.amazon.in/Cubetek-Porta...TF8&qid=1509779629&sr=1-6&keywords=android+tv
 

TCHeN

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For only YouTube, Chromecast will be perfect.

You can even voice control it with Google Home or the Google Assistant on your mobile.
 

kane

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Nov 25, 2016
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Mumbai
Hi,

I have a Pi 2 and also an Old WDTV Live. However, i am planning to buy Android TV box now, because YouTube become the primary source of watching videos these days (thanks to the higher bandwidth and limit of ACT).

I have been checking the options between Chromcast video vs Android TV box (like the one in the link given below). Considering the versality of full android experience, i am leaning towards android TV. I already have a wireless keyboard with mouse tracking pad, which i hope will help as a good interface to Android TV.

Anyone has any experience with any other similar Android TV box, please give your suggestion and experience. My budget is less than 5K.

https://www.amazon.in/Cubetek-Porta...TF8&qid=1509779629&sr=1-6&keywords=android+tv

Hello Rdevakumar,

Get the amazon fire tv Stick https://www.amazon.in/dp/B01EU2M62S/ref=nav_shopall_shopall_tank
for Four thousand Rupees its the best you can get for Youtube, Amazon Videos etc . Non messy, just connect to HDMI port of tv or avr and control through the supplied remote.

I have 3 android tv boxes at home with hardware that is 1 gb 2 gb and 3 gb ram latest processors storage of 8 gb 16 gb and 32 gb as well. These all take a bit of DIY with respect to configuring it etc as well as they cannot be updated to latest android in a easy manner . Most apps are outdated as the android version may be max 6.01. my choice of go to is the amazon fire tv stick for its uncomplicated setup and use.
 

TCHeN

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Messages
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Location
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Hello Rdevakumar,

Get the amazon fire tv Stick https://www.amazon.in/dp/B01EU2M62S/ref=nav_shopall_shopall_tank
for Four thousand Rupees its the best you can get for Youtube, Amazon Videos etc . Non messy, just connect to HDMI port of tv or avr and control through the supplied remote.

I have 3 android tv boxes at home with hardware that is 1 gb 2 gb and 3 gb ram latest processors storage of 8 gb 16 gb and 32 gb as well. These all take a bit of DIY with respect to configuring it etc as well as they cannot be updated to latest android in a easy manner . Most apps are outdated as the android version may be max 6.01. my choice of go to is the amazon fire tv stick for its uncomplicated setup and use.

Only issue is with the fighting between Amazon and Google, you never know when Google will pull support for YouTube on Fire TV devices. They have already removed YouTube access for Echo devices like Show and Spot.
 

rdevakumar

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Only issue is with the fighting between Amazon and Google, you never know when Google will pull support for YouTube on Fire TV devices. They have already removed YouTube access for Echo devices like Show and Spot.

That (YouTube) is the reason i want to stay away from Amazon fire stick. The other option i am thinking is the Mi TV box. Along with HTMI, i would prefer a digital out for audio, so that i can connect to my stereo setup (digital out connect to my schiit USB DAC. However, i am not if it will work for YouTube casting from mobile, when no HDMI device is connected. My stereo setup is not attached with any display device now.
 

codwapeace

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Jan 12, 2014
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I had earlier posted a thread on upgrading my BT audio reciever - Since my current one only supports 2 connections
I had also bought an HDMI - Wifi Anycast dongle, only to find out that there was a significant lag between the anycast video & BT audio. My 'TV' is actually a PC monitor, so getting audio out of HDMI is not possible

THen a friend suggested an MXQ pro, and I have been exploring the different android TV boxes out there, and they seem to be good enough to do the job.

My Main three uses for this setup will be
1. Playing Nursery rhymes for my son from youtube
2. Playing internet radio via tunein for my mom
3. Weekend movies - either downloaded or from a streaming service like hotstar
4. Occasional tv series viewing (rare)
Another possibility is using this as my main media player, but generally i have not found media centre type players very useful because most of my audio collection is not tagged properly, and i prefer to use folders to select album, drag and drop it into a playlist and then play - Currently I use foobar with explorer view and i find the UI perfect. Most of the media players i have tried tend to force you into the genre-artist-album view which is kinda unusable for my collection.

Raspberry Pi seems interesting, but there seems to be a fair amount of setup needed to make things work the way i want it, while the android box, while not perfect, seems to offer a lot of out of the box functionality
also, I am not really interested in kodi, or video streaming as the main functionality. My parents are used to using an android UI and apps, so looking for something that can replicate the look and feel

But I am told an Rpi based setup would be more reliable, and the software is more stable. I have a spare PCM2704 usb dac lying around, so hopefully that should take care of teh tv box's audio quality - I am looking for something cheap and cheerful
Mibox will suit your requirements. Make sure you buy the international/american version not the Chinese one. Don't but the cheap Android boxes. They have really poor software.
 
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