1) Upgrade to the latest FW version 20130115 - here is how:
2) Install the latest Pivos XBMC apk from here (012913)
2b) Alternatively you can install the Geniatech XBMC build - they claim it has hw audio decoding capability, but YouTube and DTS do not work for me with this build (I am guessing other plugins might be problematic too), from here:
Here are some suggestions what to install on your ATV1200 besides XBMC:
- Super SU - so you can grant root access to android apps:
- SSHDroid - so you can access the box command line interface from your PC
- ScriptManager - so you can run scripts to correct some of the issues
- TotalCommander - a file manager
If you have an Android Phone or Tablet I recommend using Yatse as the remote for the XBMC:
Also if you would like to use your phone or tablet as a remote mouse, keyboard and RC - this works quite nice with our box:
If you use Logitech Harmony then set-up your device as Pivos XIOS DS, most of the controls work much better then if you try to learn them from the supplied remote with the box.
I've tested 720p, 1080p video output on HDMI and Component. Have not tested analog audio or composite video (but some other members have and are reporting everything working).
I use optical SPDIF for audio.
You should also know that the GUI is always rendered at 720p and then upscaled to 1080p, but video is output at 1080p.
What works great (for me anyway):
- Video (network, disc, plugins): x264 (h264) and MPEG2 (DVD) @ SD, 720p, 1080p
- Audio: mp3, AAC, AC3 (HDMI, SPDIF)
- Plugins - practicly everything I tested works great (1080p YouTube no problems at all)
- NFS works with with XBMC native NFS client, but you have to change permissions on the NFS server.
- All other network protocols work also, best performance as expected is via HTTP/Webdav
What I have problems with:
- XVID video @ 23.9/24fps - I see frame skips on XVID videos on any quality level (not just in XBMC but in any android video player, native, MX...)
- DD TrueHD and DTS-HD downsampling on 1080p - I experience audio skips
- DTS in combination with 1080p also can be problematic with audio skips
What others are reporting:
- Problems with the wired Ethernet connection (I use two Ethernet adapters, the additional one for streaming video and have not had any problems)
What I hope to see:
- better Android FW
- pure Linux-XBMC build running on the SD Card
These were mine initial impressions:
since I've recently bought this box from http://www.mixeshop.com/atv1200-dual-cor...p1784.html for $110 with shipping, and information is hard to find, i'd like to share my experiences.
First of, I got the KR32 remote - http://www.geniatech.com/img/remote-control-list.jpg - I am guessing the cheapest there is - just a IR remote with the least amount of buttons The problem is you can not input text with it, so have a usb keyboard or mouse ready.
The build on the box was dated 20121121 - and this is the root of the problem - with that build the amplayer enabled xbmc builds do not work! I've found this out the hard way, trying everything I could find, and at the end messing up the box and having to do image flashing - and the only available build is:
So what you do is put this on an sd-card, press reset button and power-on the box - you get greeted by the good-old-recovery, through which you can flash this great downgrade
Once the downgrade is done, you can download the wonderful XBMC RC2 build with the amplayer enabled from here: http://www.mediafire.com/?l5jawloag86o1wg - you can say thank you to the guy who made it here: http://androidtvbox.us/topic/xbmc-12-26-2012-build/
And there you have it! Your $82 dual-core ATV1200 will now work with XBMC with hw decoding.
Ok, so here are my impressions (so far) - first the good:
- XBMC runs fast (in comparison with Raspberry Pi)
- XBMC Plugins work (the once that I tested)
- box boots fast
- benchmarks show that the chip is rather capable (better the last years dual-core exynos found in GSII and Note I)
- the box comes rooted
- the play store is available and working
Now the bad:
- video out on the TV says 1080p, but XBMC and the Android interface are beeing rendered in 720p
- the Remote control is awful, thank God there is Yatse
- XBMC crashes (more then on the R Pi)
- the pre-installed android launcher is rather cheesy (there is a bouncing android figure for app launcher)
- kernel does not have nfs support (so NFS shares do not work)
- Android networking is a mess - you can not have WiFi and Ethernet active at the same time (in two different networks)
- The command line DNS does not work (it's related to the way busybox is built) - which happens to screw the Subtitles add-on - you will have to fill the hosts file with the ip address and urls of you favorite subtitle sources if you want them to work
- I am not getting DTS/AC3 through optical out - XBMC says Passthrough output device: Error no devices found, and I decided to go with this box exactly because it has both coax and optical audio out...
- nobody wrote this tutorial for me (wife was bitching the whole way through)
The bottom line:
- Android is not Linux - Linux is way, way better
- If You want XBMC, and price is not an issue, buy a box that works with Linux builds
- If You want XBMC, and price is an issue - go with the somewhat slower but much cheaper Raspberry Pi
- If You want this box and no other - well read this tutorial
- If the optical/coax audio out does not get fixed in future builds then there is hardly any reason to go with this, and not with some cheaper box with analog audio out
Hope this helps