I have a long term goal of making an Android media server that grabs media automatically from Usenet and torrents. There are already usenet clients (NZBGet) and torrent (uTorrent) available. You can even install SickBeard for Android but I am hoping to port CouchPotato and SickRage to Android at some point in the future. Android devices still make excellent HTPC media centers running XBMC, game emulators, Netflix, Plex Home Theater and other services. They are usually electricity bill friendly due to their ARM processors while being easy to use for non-tech people – think your technically challenged relative, for me it’s my stepmom. These boxes pass the stepmom test.
Android HTPC TV Boxes
Amazon Fire TV
The Fire TV looks very sleek and has a decent amount of power packing a quad-core 1.7 Ghz CPU, 2 GB RAM and 8 GB storage. It does support Plex and MKV direct play. I expect will find a way to root the currently patched Fire TVs. This is all the interesting stuff about the firetv.This is all the interesting stuff about the firetv.This is all the interesting stuff about the firetv.This is all the interesting stuff about the firetv.This is all the interesting stuff about the firetv. This is all the interesting stuff about the Fire TV. Amazon Fire TV
Google took a while to bring their own TV device to market. Made by Asus, the Nexus Player contains a 1.8GHz Quad Core Intel Atom processor, 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal storage. There is no ethernet jack so by default you are restricted to Wifi, however, you can plug in a USB to ethernet cable and have a properly stable connection. You will be able to use Netflix but won’t find Amazon content on here for obvious reasons. The Nexus Player is more open than the FireTV so it is very straightforward to sideload XBMC and start using all of its awesome plugins, no root necessary. It shouldn’t be long before developers gain root on the Asus Nexus TV Player so we can do all sorts of fun things.
Matricomm Midnight Android TV
Has a dual core CPU and quad core CPU, 1 GB DDR3 RAM and 4 USB ports for connecting game controllers. It is easy to root, all you have to do is flash Super User and unlike Amazon, Matricomm doesn’t have a financial interest in preventing you from rooting your box. Their latest firmware actually comes pre-rooted which takes some of the fun out of it but I’m not complaining. You can use the Google Play store instead of being forced to use Amazon’s proprietary stuff. It is under $100, Matricom G-Box MX2 Dual Core XBMC Android 4.2 TV Box
This table summarizes the comparison of these Android TV Streaming boxes, focusing on the specifications.
HTPC Android TV Boxes Comparison Table
|Amazon Fire TV|