Category: tv

Entertainment Box T8-4 Stream TV Box Review

www.entertainmentbox.com

What is it you look for when deciding on a new media streaming device? Is it the spec of the device? The price? or do you go by pure recommendation? If recommendation is your deciding factor then have I got one heck of a recommendation for you.

The guys at Entertainment Box sent me this sleek, curvy, top of the range Android device, running the latest Lollipop 5.1.1 so that I could share my honest opinion with you all. Whether you’re a novice or a well decorated veteran in the world of streaming and of course Kodi, then have I got something great to share with you all. Plus its coming up to Christmas and I know a lot of you will be wanting to treat yourselves or your other half, or maybe someone else’s other half, to a brand spanking new device to watch all those nauseating Christmas reruns on. You’ll be fighting over the remote with this one!

When I buy a new box, I personally go for how fast the device is, what picture resolution it supports, what it can offer by way of compatibility, ie am I able to access miracast and airplay, can I add SD and HDD sources, does it have great web browser options, am I able to use the Google Playstore, can I add APKs, does it allow me to play ROMS, and does it have the capability to run as a functioning, yet fast mini PC? 

Astonishingly enough the Entertainment Box T8-4 Stream TV Box offers all of the above so it certainly ticks all the boxes for me and I think a lot of you out there will be even more impressed by the specs, I know I was.

  • SoC –  Amlogic S905 quad core ARM Cortex-A53 @ up to 2.0GHz with penta-core Mali-450MP GPU @ 750 MHz
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3
  • Storage – 16GB eMMC 5.0 flash + SD card slot + internal 2.5″ SATA bay for HDD or SSD
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60 Hz with HDMI CEC support + AV RCA port
  • Audio – HDMI, optical S/PDIF, and stereo audio RCA ports
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 3x USB 2.0 host ports including one OTG port, 1x micro USB port
  • Misc – Power button, IR receiver, restore pinhole button, front panel LED display
  • Power Supply –  5V/3A
  • Dimensions – 166 x 116 x 53 mm

The Entertainment Box T8-4 Stream TV Box runs a lot faster than previous models of the same brand (and they were fast) so imagine just what the device is capable of. My internet speed has the tendency to dip to 20 mpbs at certain points in the day then goes back up around 35 mbps but the box didn’t buffer or throw me out back to the launch screen like so many other boxes do. Another great factor about the device is that the screen resolutions are crystal clear and it handles 1080p and 4K like a dream (obviously you’ll need compatible TVs for this to work). 

The only thing i’m not overly keen on with

The Entertainment Box T8-4 Stream TV Box is the launch screen (custom launcher). I think it’s a great idea for all the novice users out there as it offers comprehensive “how to” guides, links to videos, apps, etc, but it just seems too cumbersome and weighty. I personally like to see as little as possible installed on boxes as it makes users learn how to navigate their devices more independently, and do their research. But that’s just my opinion. 

The Entertainment Box T8-4 Stream TV Box does come installed with EBOX MC which is a custom build of SPMC. Be aware there are no addons installed as per copyright rulings etc, but this is a great way for you to get familiar with KODI and how it works. The best thing about owning any new device is actually making it your own with custom settings etc. 

I have been totally impressed by The Entertainment Box T8-4 Stream TV Box as it has handled everything I’ve streamed on it. At £94.99 (with the standard remote) this is an absolute bargain considering what you get for you money. After sales support is a great added bonus when you purchase any device from the site which often isn’t the case with a lot of sellers. 

Review: Ultra M8 U-M8 SMART TV Box S802 From AndroidSticks

It wasn’t until 2 years ago that i was introduced to the wonders of XBMC via a jailbroken Apple TV 2 that i had purchased off EBAY for a complete bargain. That’s when i have to admit the sordid love affair started. XBMC had me hooked. It had me so tight in it’s grasp I’d find myself losing hours in a darkened room with just XBMC for company. OK OK so you’ve all been there don’t deny it. Partners have been and gone but somehow XBMC is just that dirty pleasure that just doesn’t leave your side.

Over the last 2 years the hardware available has completely revolutionized how we all view XBMC. At the end of the day we all know it’s totally down to user preference and in some cases how easy the user finds it to keep both the hardware and software upto date. But what if i was to tell you that the Android M8 can actually be kept upto date remotely without you having to root the device, hook it up to a computer, or perform any form of jailbreak????

The guys over at AndroidSticks have thought of everything when it comes to enjoying XBMC in all it’s 1080p glory. Before i go into a full blown review i will first give you the all important specs of the device.

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Ultra M8 U-M8 Main Features:

  • ULTRA M8 U-M8 (M8) MX Box Smart TV BOX S802
  • Android 4.4 Kitkat
  • Lifetime updates
  • XBMC 13 pre-installed
  • Blu-Ray ISO and 4K video playback
  • Unique user interface
  • 4K video output up to 30 fps supported
  • 2.4Ghz – 5Ghz Wi-Fi
  • Quad core CPU
  • CPU: ARM cortex-a9 quad-core
  • GPU mali-450 octo-core
  • DRAM 2gb ddr3
  • Flash memory 8 gb

Hooked up to a full HD 1080P TV (the bigger the screen size the better), the device has the ability to give you a complete cinematic experience in the comfort of your own home. If you’re a fan of all things Android like myself then you will find this device very easy to navigate and totally user friendly. It’s actually like controlling a Samsung Tablet but on a grander scale on your TV. 

Also with the M8 box comes a complete XBMC installation guide (the software is installed you just basically have to run up to date versions), aswell as a guide to keeping the box running smoothly and up to date. This also allows the user to get familiar with the device as those that aren’t technologically minded often find this quite daunting. If users do have a problem or question, the AndroidSticks team are always on hand to offer support and guidance when necessary. they’re friendly guys with fabulous after sales care.

With the M8 box i was also sent the S77 Pro Smart TV BOX Remote With Wireless Qwerty Keyboard (sold seperately from the M8 but worth investing in)

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Simply insert the small wireless USB device into the back of your M8 Box and away you go. As remotes go this is pretty flawless and so easy to use, but the one thing for me (but it isn’t deal breaker) is the fact that the onscreen cursor that appears has the tendency to run away with itself at times causing XBMC to act strangely. But there is the option to turn the cursor off when it’s not required so it’s easy enough to solve this problem.

With the device being rooted, and running all the relevant up to date software, the team also pre install a whole bunch of great apps to get you started and to get you the most out of the Box, The Google Playstore is a must have on any Android device and you can load great apps on the M8 such as Spotify, TuneIn Radio, MX Player, Chrome Browser,ShowBox, VideoMixPro etc etc. Oh i didn’t mention that the M8 also acts as a web browser with great functionality. So the M8 is a complete media center hub all at a reasonable cost without any hidden costs etc.

The other great feature is that you can use the box to AirPlay your media form any phone,tablet, or computer. Having tested this function i can safely say that no sound or picture quality is lost, and the strength of the Blutooth is phenomenal. so it’s win win in my opinion.

I’ve personally been using an Ouya as a media hub for the past 12 months, but the sound and picture quality can be a bit hit and miss at times which in turn can make it frustrating when trying to use the Ouya to it’s full potential. But i can safely say I’ve been converted over to the M8 for the specs, functionality and ease of use, as well as picture quality and fantastic DD5.1 Sound.

There’s a revolution in XBMC and it’s Istream shaped

Throughout the past 12 months there have been a few prominent rising contenders whose add ons have captivated XBMC users and inturn have appeared to hold the Monopoly and popularity ranking in XBMC. But in the blink of an eye the game has radically changed, and that change comes in the form of istream. Developed by the XunityTalk Team and an array of talented Devs, this constantly evolving Entertainment platform has paved the way for, and encouraged independent playlist makers (some often without any previous level of playlist building experience) to also get involved. It appears that Istream’s possibilities are endless. The add on is FREE, encapsulates just what a community is capable of, and holds no hidden agenda. What’s not to like????

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The add on is divided in to easily navigational sections, each offering it’s own level of cutting edge entertainment to blow your mind and it seems it just keeps getting better.

Under the Movies section, there are numerous flawless indexers such as IMDB, Ice Films, Flixanity, g2g.fm, and Movie25.

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You have the option to play movies from numerous sources that need to be enable in the settings section, but please be aware that the more sources you enable the longer movies take to load. All sources enable the user to stream Movies in 1080P, 720P and Standard definition dependent on what your hardware allows.

Under the TV Shows section there are slightly more indexers that also pull numerous stable sources to make your viewing experience less frustrating as the sources actually work. The indexers available are IMDB, Ice Films, AnimeUltima, Flixanity, g2g.fm, Project Free Tv, and my favorite TVRage. 

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The Live TV and Live Sports options makes the whole Istream experience feel so much more than just TV shows and Movies. Every Dev and playlist maker are readily on hand to contact and are always updating their streams from the best sources available to ensure nothing is down, so in turn the end user has a greater entertainment experience.

What i love about Istream is the fact that it is a Community, a Community to be proud of,and a rapidly growing one at that. And it seems that innovation actually holds no bounds and pulls no punches. Istream is coming for you and it’s taking over, Be part of it!

This weeks’ watched movies via XBMC

I haven’t watched as many movies as i normally do this week as i’ve been taking advantage of the great British weather, but the one that i had really been looking forward to seeing was “A million ways to die in the West”. With Seth Macfarlane at the helm, and the success of both Family Guy and Ted under his belt there was no going wrong, right? WRONG! This movie was short on laughs, an hour longer than it needed to be, and a total let down after following in the cult status of Ted. The Characters lost their way throughout the movie and could have been developed a whole lot further with jokes that were funnier and not so ridiculously slapstick. I didn’t laugh once. The supporting cast actually went against typecast in this movie but for me it just didn’t work. 

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Another Xbmc add on favourite with many users is mashup

Another Xbmc add on favourite with many users is mashup

One of the most cutting edge add ons in Xbmc has got to be…

One of the most cutting edge add ons in Xbmc has got to be Istream which is brought to you by the Xunity Talk crew. It has so many great developer sources and indexers that some people only turn to istream for all their entertainment needs. Watch the video above to familiarize yourself with this great add on and start using it.

It’s confusing

At first XBMC can be quite overwhelming as there is quite alot to get used to but i wholeheartedly recommend installing (via your total installer app) 

Mashup, alluc, Movie25, Yify, istream, go movies, go tv, much movies, 

Once you have downloaded the Xbmc software for your hardware…

Once you have downloaded the Xbmc software for your hardware platform, this video gives a comprehensive guide to installing all the good bits. ENJOY

Downloads | XBMC

Downloads | XBMC:

There are various downloads for Xbmc but as a novice these are the best ones to use for your platform

Why use XBMC?

As the cost of living grows people are on the look out for more creative ways to save money, and more often than not our entertainment treats are the ones we feel the need to cut back on. With Satellite and Cable TV costs on the increase we often find ourselves subscribing to the minimum package which ultimately means a barrage of repeats and not so great TV. Cinema costs are also on the increase so a night out with the Family requires you to remortgage the house and that’s before you’ve bought snacks and drinks. But fear not there is a “LEGAL” and “FREE” alternative solution and this comes in the magical form of “XBMC”

What is XBMC?

For those that have never had the pleasure of using this alternative media platform a whole new world of entertainment will unfold. You can view all your favorite films and TV shows from across the decades, as well as live TV and Sport from all around the world. I can hear a sea of cries in the distance shouting “Sign me up" but there’s actually no sign up required, just a simple download onto the hardware platform you’re using (ie Android Phone, Android tablet, compatible media boxes, laptop ie Windows and Apple OS, and many many more) and some knowledge of adding sources and away you go and trust me there will be no turning back.