[OLD] Choosing an Android-Based Media Player

The following is a draft of an article I was writing about two years ago. I never got to finish it, but I am publishing it anyway for my own reference.

Android This is actually the reason why I researched if I can control this Android media player from my Android cell phone

I had the following requirements:

  • composite
  • USB host
  • webcam support
  • rootable
  • (optional) wired connection

It appears to be a slightly tweaked clone of the “MiniX H24 TV box” media player by PineRiver (although based on the PCB date of 2012.06.09 in the photo above, and comments in this blog post, my unit might be a “MiniX Plus” internally).

Online communities

From the blog Thinking Too Much, which itself has many interesting posts on MiniX: A range of related forum discussions are hosted here (and specifically here for the MiniX) by Miniand Tech, and a blog covering small hacks to MiniX devices is here. Miniand Tech have also made available a copy of the user manual?here for their official MiniX.

BerryBoot – bootloader / OS installer for Allwinner A10 devices

a thread on a Russian forum
Some say MiniX comes rooted, but some say newer ones don’t. But there seems to be a way to root them still. If the device comes semi-rooted, there is a way to make it fully rooted.

If I really need wired connection, I could use a USB Ethernet dongle. USB-ETHERNET FOR MINIX MEDIA PLAYER
XBMC for Android seems to run on this device. This is not a must-have feature for me, but it would be nice. I am not clear at this point if XBMC for Android has supported hardware decoding for non-Neon devices (including MK805), so maybe I should wait a little.

Twonkey Beam now supports DTCP-IP, although it requires Android 4.0 or higher

This one seems like a similar product, but has a RJ45 port and comes with a remote (although I am getting a USB remote with a keyboard). This looked like a fine choice, except that I could not find any reliable information on whether this device can be rooted or not.

Had the AV port been not a requirement, I definitely would have chosen other devices, which has Cortex A9 (Neon), as opposed to MK805’s A8.

MK808 looks particularly good. It has a dual-core version of A9 and comes with 8GB of NAND memory. And it is not all that much more expensive.

Both this and this look quite appealing, but they both come with a YPbPr port, not an AV port.

This does have an AV port and uses A9, but the memory is only 512MB, which, in my admittedly naive view, probably will negatively impact the performance, reducing the value of having A9.

G-Box series, which boasts of its built-in XBMC with hardware decoding, taking advantage of Neon The prices are reasonable, but with shipping from the US,

All of these devices come with a HDMI port, so theoretically, I could use any one of them with an HDMI-to-composite converter, but such a converter is not cheap. It sells for $40 and up. Given this is probably the last time I would use such a converter, I cannot justify this extra expense.
Mele F10 fly mouse

Way to extract the stock firmware image