World-First 4K Ultra-HD Android Media Hub: Like Apple TV On Steroids
Many Smart TV interfaces just aren’t that smart when compared to iPads and Android tablets, so an Android-powered media hub is a great way to make your Smart TV experience a lot smarter.
The Minix Neo X8-H isn’t just a ‘dumb’ media player but a full Android computer complete with six-axis gyroscopic remote control that controls an on-screen arrow pointer, similar to the way the remote works on the Nintendo Wii, but with what looks like more accuracy, as seen in a 10 minute YouTube video review of this new device.
It allows you to play 4K video files you’ve recorded on devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone, Panasonic 4K cameras and other 4K content capture devices, with the only caveat being that you need a 4K UltraHD television or monitor to see 4K content.
Naturally, all non 4K content plays just fine on regular HDTVs.
Powered by a quad-core Cortex A9r4 Chipset and Octo-core Mali-450 GPU, specs include 2GB of RAM, 16GB internal storage, Android Kitkat 4.4 OS, full Google Play store access, iPhone/iPad Airplay mirroring, Android Miracast mirroring, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n on 2.4 and 5GHz, Bluetooth 4.0, 1 x HDMI 1.4b, 3 x USB 2.0, 1 x 100Mb LAN, 1 x S/PDIF, XBMC Minix Gothan with 5.1 DTS, AC3 hardware decoding support and smartphone remote control support.
iOS Airplay support, dubbed “AirPin Pro” is a welcome feature, as is Android mirroring, but there is the caveat that the mirroring offered by Sony and Samsung devices isn’t compatible with the Neo X8-H, but it’s said to work with most other Android smartphones and tablets that are mirroring-capable.
Full Google Play store support ensures the Neo X8-H offers a vastly improved app experience of the million-plus Android app library when compared with the far more limited and basic app support on traditional non-Android media players and Smart TVs.
It has green credentials, too – the Neo X8-H is also the first 4K Ultra HD media player specifically designed to offer “exceptional levels of performance and power efficiency” with what Minix says is “an exceptional built-in thermal control management system protecting the device against any heat issues and giving customers peace of mind they can leave their device on.”
Although billed as a ‘limited time extra’, the X8-H also currently comes with the Neo M1 2.4GHz Six-Axis Wireless AirMouse/Gyrmouse as a free bonus, which normally costs $49.95 extra.
It looks like a black, tricked up version of Apple’s famous silver remote, but as a wireless ‘air mouse’ with built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery (charged by microUSB connector). As it works with PCs, Macs and Android devices it may well be a super popular item all its own, too.
The Neo X8-H with M1 AirMouse is costs $229 inc GST. This is more expensive than the Apple TV at $109, but as a full Android PC, it’s more versatile and will especially suit those not plugged into the Apple ecosystem, even though the X8-H does offer AirPlay support.
Available from local distributor Canohm, stockists include The Cable Company, Radio Parts and, from October 1, from JB Hi-Fi stores across Australia.
The manufacturer is Minix in Hong Kong, with its homepage here.
Key features include:
– Android KitKat 4.4 OS
– Cortex A9r4 Quad Core CPU / Octo Core Mali-450 GPU
– 2GB RAM / 16 GB eMMC storage
– Full Google Play Store (Android Market) Access
– WiFi Display (Miracast) support
– WiFi 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz / 5.8 GHz), Bluetooth 4.0
– 1x HDMI 1.4b
– 3x USB 2.0 port and 1 x OTG port
– 1x 10/100 Mbit LAN
– 1x S/PDIF port
– 1 x SD 3.0 / MMC V4.4.1 card slot, 1 x 3.5mm microphone/headset socket
– XBMC MINIX (Gotham) Edition preinstalled (incl. 5.1 DTS & AC3 Hardware Decoding Support)
– Smartphone remote control software separately available
– HDMI cable
– IR remote (a standard remote simpler than the M1 Airmouse)
– USB cable
– Power: DC 5V, 3A adapter included (CE, FCC, CCC certified)
– Supported Video Formats:
– Supported Audio Formats: