hey everybody it’s Lon Seidman and thisis part 6 of our cord-cutting DVR series where we look at ways you can bring inlive TV as well as have a network DVR throughout your home and in part 5 wewere looking at ways of reducing the cost of entry especially if you have alot of televisions because it may not be all that economical to buy expensiveNvidia shield TVs for every set in the house and maybe you just need somethingreally simple and cheap for a few of the little TVs that are hanging outthroughout the various nooks and crannies of your home and in the priorvideo we looked at the Raspberry Pi which is a very inexpensive solutionthat works quite well in about $35 but you did have to buy a few extrathings to make it work so you’re looking at a cost of entry on the Raspberry Piabout 45 or 50 dollars and I wanted to see if I could find an Android solutionthat was really cheap but actually works and I reached out to gearbest and theysent me this little box to check out this is the 10x TX 3this device costs $32 right now with the remote on gearbest website so that’s apretty good deal here and I’ve got the HD homerun DVR system running right nowthis is a live TV broadcast coming over in mpeg-2 and it seems to be doingeverything that I would expect a box to do in this scenario so we’ll be taking acloser look at exactly what this box can and can’t do here in just a second but Ido want to mention in the interest of full disclosure that this item came infree of charge from gearbest.
com however all the opinions are about tohear are my own nobody is paying for this review and no one is reviewing thiscontent before it is posted we’re also going to talk about HD home run as wellas plex both of those companies have sponsored content here on the channel inthe past that may do so in the future but this video is not a sponsored videoso let’s get to work and see how all this stuff works so let’s take a closerlook now at the hardware again about $32 for what you get here and this does havea blinking clock on the front of it and there’s just no way to turn that off Ihave looked and tried but it looks like you’ll be having this thing staring atyou all the time it’s not that bright but I would imagine in a darker room itmight set off a bit of a glow the good news is at least if you had a VCR in the80s it’s not blinking zero whole time inside it’s got an M logic s905 W at 1.
5 gigahertz I do believe that’s a quad-core chip has a Mallee 450GPU 2 gigs of ram and 16 gigs of storage there is a one gig version that costs alittle less than this one but to be honest with you you’re better off withthe 2 gigs it’s not all that much more money and you’ll have probably a longerlifespan with this device especially if you plan to use other Android apps on itso I would suggest just going with the model that I’ve got here I’ve got twohooked up to my network here where I’m streaming all of my media from of courseand there’s also some additional storage capacity that you can add to it it doessupport 4k displays at 30 Hertz so you can go up to 4k if you want but I thinkthe sweet spot for this one is at 1080p and it does support 60 frames per secondthere let’s take a look at some of the ports on this thing we’ve got a micro SDcard slot here it’ll take a card up to 32 gigabytes you have two USB ports hereI’ve got those occupied with a USB stick and a keyboard dongle which is helpingme navigate a little more efficiently here on the back you’ve got a AV outputso I think you can actually go out to an analog TV if you want but this will alsoserve as a way of just getting analog audio out you do have an optical audioout on here also I know that’s something a lot of people are looking for thesedays so you have that on there Ethernet it’s not Gigabit I almost saidgigabit but I believe this is 100 megabit Ethernet but good enough fordoing media streaming and the kinds of things you will do in our DVR projectsHDMI out here as well as the course as the power adapter mine came with aEuropean power adapter I had to get another adapter to make it work but itis just 5 volts at 1 amp so if you find another one of these round connectorsthat outputs 5 volts at 1 amp they’re very easy to find you shouldn’t have aproblem there but if you are given the choice make sure you pick the properpower adapter for your particular region it is a switching power supply so if youdo have an adapter with a European plug it will work here in the US now theremote is very basic transportation it is IR based so he has to get pointeddirectly here at the box for it to pick up one thing that’s relativelyinteresting about the remote is that it has a mouse function here so if you pushthis down you don’t get a fancy air mouse butyou can move a mouse pointer around on screen with the remote here it’s quitetedious but you can get some basic mouse functionality if you need to that’s whyI always go with something like this where you get a keyboard and trackpadintegrated and the reason why it does this let me go over to Netflix realquick and I’ll show you why it’s because these cheap Android boxes typically runwith a tablet version of Android not the Android TV version that we see on theNvidia shield and the me box and some of the other major brand devices so when Igo into something like Netflix here you can see that we are running essentiallyin the tablet interface and generally this is okay to get around with we canfind the things we want to watch but if I wanted to get up to that hamburgermenu here for example it’s hard to get there without a mouse or some kind ofpointer to help us get up in that direction so that’s why they integratedsome very basic mouse functionality on this box and that’s my biggest gripewith these cheap Android boxes is that you do not get a version of Androidsuited for a television you’re going to have trouble with a lot of the TV basedapps so for example I don’t believe Netflix will play in 4k on this boxbecause I think that’s only supported on the Android TV version Netflix itselfactually is not downloadable from the Google Play Store directly you have togo to Netflix is website to download it direct from them it’s because this boxdoesn’t meet Netflix’s standards for apps that should appear in the GooglePlay Store so there are some gotchas here when you buy these cheap boxes Idon’t think it’s really well-suited for general multimedia as a result but itdoes very well with the things that I was hoping it would do well on namely TVwatching through our DVR project so let’s take a look and see how it does withthat alright so let’s start off with the HD homerun software because this is myprimary viewing device here and I’ve got it running in the background here so itshould come up pretty quickly now and here we go we’ve got my local PBSaffiliate running right now and this is an mpeg-2 broadcast so this will beexactly the kind of stuff you might be getting from your over-the-air antennaif you’re using an HD homerun and one of the challenges that we’ve discoveredwith some of this over-the-air content especially with low-cost devices is thatnot all of them Deinterlaced content very well we found that that was an issuewith the amazon firetv stick we were seeing a lot of lines on fast motionscenes from these interlaced broadcasts this is an interlaced broadcast but thebox is deinterlacing things properly the video quality isn’t fantastic I think myshield does have a better decoder built in but it is doing fine with thesempeg-2 broadcasts and I think at least from what I can see here it’s as good aswhat I experienced on the Raspberry Pi so again to accomplish the goal of avery cheap way to watch TV with our setup here this should accomplish thatwithout any additional accessories needing to be purchased here someof my cable system broadcasts here are h.
264 and 720p and these actually lookreally decent on here so by and large from the HD homerun perspective it’sworking great however I do recommend that you watch everything over Ethernetand not over Wi-Fi especially if you are pulling in those over-the-air broadcaststhis does not support wireless AC so you’re not going to have super fastWi-Fi at your disposal so if you can hook up Ethernet and I would recommendusing MOCA if you don’t have an Ethernet jack nearby that’s a system that allowsyou to use your cable television wiring in place of Ethernet and it works justas good as Ethernet does in my testing and I’ll put a link to a video that Idid on MOCA so you can learn more about it and because we have the HD homerunapp we also have access of course to the DVR features that we covered in theprior videos here so I can go and find a show that I want to watch here and justclick on the button to pull it up and watch it like anything else on thenetwork it is very fast and responsive like it is on all my other devices andagain we’re getting some of this performance because we have Ethernetbuilt in here but it is working as I would expect something like this to workso it seems like it’s a little faster than the Raspberry Pi primarily becausewe’re running a native app here versus the plugin we had to run inside of Kodilet’s take a look now at plex and see how it does on this box so here is Plexrunning on the box and as you can see it is running in the tablet interface notthat nice TV interface that we saw on the Amazon fire devices as well as onthe Nvidia shield so what you got up here of courseis the little hamburger icon that you have to navigate over to and you alsohave this little window down here that’s hard to get rid of unless you’ve got amouse that you can use to grab at those things so again not an ideal interfacehere just given that this device thinks it’s a tablet but it is usable if youdon’t have a lot of money to spend yet you want an additional box for one ofyour TV’s let’s pop in here to the program guide so we can see how the DVRworks on here so we’re gonna choose the Weather Channel and click on the playbutton here and that will tune in through the plex DVR now to watch TheWeather Channel in real time here for off of my cable system so it does seemto work like it does on other devices but the interface is just a little bitclunky because we are kind of locked into that tablet interface and I wasalso curious to see how well the box would do just as a general mediaplayback device so I have Kodi running on the Box here at the moment and wehave those jellyfish test files that we like to look at here on the channel I’mgonna start with the big one here the 140 megabits per second HEVC file solet’s load that up and see how it does here it’s definitely skipping a bunch offrames as you can see here I did try it over the network initially and it wasreally choking on that but that’s because the ethernet is only 100megabits per second so not ideal for some of the 4k blu-ray files that youmight encounter out there but it does do okay at 60 megabits per second this is a1080p file HEV C encoded at 10 bit and as you can see here it is able to decodethat file quite efficiently here so I think 60 megabits per second or thereabouts with HEVC it should do okay now if you’ve been following me for a whileyou know that I like to watch my blu-ray movies in MKV format basically the rawdata from those discs I have stored on a network attached storage device so I canwatch it in any room of the house and one of the good things about this box isthat it supports lossless audio from those files so I get Dolby true HD andDTS HD which is not something you often see on a cheap box like this but theunfortunate side to this is that it doesn’t support 24 P through Kodi now Idid try to switch the Box manually to 24 P it does support that but I was notgetting smooth motion that way which is what I would expect out of a24p movie with a properly tuned box that’s my experience on the Nvidiashield is perfect for that kind of stuff just doesn’t get it done it doesn’tautomatically switch to 24 P and even when I force it into that mode stillisn’t working quite right however if you are looking to watch those movies everyonce in a while it does seem to playback relatively smoothly through Plex bymaking use of its transcoder that’s on your servers so there are some ways toenjoy your movies on this thing fairly well but it won’t be as good as a moreexpensive Nvidia shield TV now as an Android box itself it does seem to bepretty up to date it’s running version 7.
2surprisingly the security patch level is relatively recent may 5th 2017 I didcheck for updates over-the-air that doesn’t seem to be any the manual didhint that there are downloadable updates that might be available but I couldn’tfind any so I don’t know if this box will ever get updated and usually thesecheap boxes do not beyond the initial version but it was good to see thatwe’re at least somewhat up-to-date so all of the known Android security issueson earlier versions may not be on this one but of course you won’t be shieldedfrom any future ones there I’ll pop back out to the main menu here well let’stake a look at a couple of games I did try earlier running some Nintendo64 emulation on here to see if you might be able to do some good emulating onthis device in addition to all of your media watching didn’t quite do so wellwith the Nintendo 64 so I think I’m going to recommend this one for mostlythe 8-bit and 16-bit era of video games but nothing beyond that and casual gameshere like crossing roads seem to run quite nicely on this hardware so I don’tthink you’ll have any problems with some of these popular Android games runningon this box so if you are looking to slip in a few Android games in betweenmedia watching I think you’ll have a fairly good experience here so for theasking price I think this is a pretty good deal given how well it runs the HDhomerun app which is the primary mechanism in which I am watching TVthrough my DVR project it does OK with Plex as well as you saw but there aresome interface issues because Plex thinks it’s running on a tablet versussomething that’s hooked up to a television but if you have some kind oftrackpad combo or an air mouse or something you might be able to get bywith that as well so probably better for HD homerun users but definitely usable for Plex users that are looking for a veryinexpensive way to get their favorite programming up on their TV sets aroundthe house one thing I would love to get from all of you are some suggestions asto how we can maybe get this thing to boot up directly to the HD homerun appthat was something we were able to do on the Raspberry Pi where it booted up Kodiand then immediately booted up the HD homerun add-on and the reason why that’sadvantageous is because some people around the house aren’t so greatnavigating apps and whatnot they just want to turn the TV on and watch TV likewe all did back in the old days so I’d love to hear some suggestions as to howmaybe we can get this thing to boot up that HD homerun app automatically sonobody has to touch anything to get their TV working so leave thosesuggestions down in the comment box below but until then I think 32 buckshere is a great deal and if you’re looking for a way to cut the price ofcutting the cord this might be a great way for some of your secondary TVs toget the love of a homebrew Network DVR solution this is Lon Seidman thanks forwatching this channel is brought to you by my patreon supporters includinggold-level supporters the black eyed and blues music hour podcast Chris AllegrettaJohn Prahl William Miller and Charlie Walden if youwant to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar amonth head over to lon.
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