Xiaomi Mi Box:
Tech Specs (click)
Mini Review - Updated September 7th 2017
The Xiaomi Mi Box is running Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 with AMLogic S905X hardware & Firmware update 1st July 2017
Tested with SPMC 16.7.1 and Kodi Krypton 17.4....
- A Quality, well engineered little device, Xiaomi really should have called it the "Saucer" - its not a box !
- The Android TV OS launcher and its specifically designed for TV, easy to use Apps, no damn Air Mice needed.
- The ultra responsive - Bluetooth Voice Remote really is excellent - in fact the best on the market for Android TV.
- A snappy device for $69, when navigating around the Android TV user interface and Kodi.
- Chromecast / Googlecast built.
- Reliable 5.1 DD+ Audio / 4K Netflix confirmed working when connected to DD+ HDCP2.2 capable AVR / 4K TV.
- 5.1 / 7.1 AC3 / DD+ / Dolby Atmos/TrueHD, DTS:X/HD-Master Audio passthrough confirmed working with Kodi Krypton
- 8/10bit 720/1080p Kodi / SPMC playback is fine. You can even Voice search a SPMC media library with the remote.
- AC WiFi is excellent, with great WiFi receiver sensitivity, no issues streaming 1080p Blurays via a MIMO Apple Extreme (N) router.
- There is an undocumented IR receiver, hidden on the front lower edge of the Mi Box.
- Harmony IR remotes programmed as a Xiaomi Mi Box3 mirror exactly the included Bluetooth remote functions.
- Tested out an old, (relatively power inefficient) 500GB 2.5" Hard Drive and have no issues with it running reliably on the Mi Box from the USB2 port due to the Mi Box's 5.2V / 2.0 Amp power pack.
- ASIX AX88772 Chipset - USB to Ethernet Adapters such as this cheap (Apple clone) one have been confirmed working on the Mi Box
- Other ASIX AX compatible adapters listed HERE and HEREThe Ugreen USB3 adapter seems to be popular.
- All Android TV devices will only output Netflix 5.1 DD+ Audio when HDMI connected to a DD+ capable AVR / TV. DD only, HDMI connected Audio equiptment will result in 2.0 PCM only Netflix audio.
- 99% of Android devices cannot Auto Resolution switch 1080p/4K for optimal quality picture outputs on a 4K TV.
- No Netflix HDR support
- Chromecasting is not that reliable on Android TV devices vs proper Google Chromecasting Hardware.
- NO Kodi dynamic refresh rate switching.
- You will NOT get ultra smooth Kodi / Plex video playback. 3:2 Pulldown judder is evident for those sensitive to this type of video playback.
You can still switching TV refresh rates manually in Android settings for 23.976 / 29.97 / 59.94fps video output.
- Problematic Hardware deinterlacing when using Kodi/SPMC and Live TV. Use TvHeadend Live Channels App but you will still have poor deinterlaced picture quality.
- Workaround - SPMC TvHeadend - Software De-Interlacing tips for SD mpeg2 OTA TV - click HERE
- This device is locked down tight with Android SELinux, you cannot Root it. So I cannot even test my Bluetooth PS3 controller for compatibility. It will not work via a USB connection either. Other Android controllers reported to work fine. (see Reddit).
- Unless users have good home - N or AC WiFi - then 4K Netflix video streaming needs Ethernet for reliability. A USB to Ethernet adapter should be used. A reminder Android Settings > Display > Screen Resolution - need to be set to a 4K2K resolution.
The Downright Ugly:
- Because the Mi Box does not have a LAN/Ethernet port, trying to playback High Bitrate 4K video with HD Audio will be poor and unreliable even when using a USB > Ethernet adapter. Do NOT buy the Mi Box for 4K Kodi video streaming !
With about 4 Firmware updates since October 2016 the Mi Box has turned into a fairly reliable media streamer. You get all the bells and whistles of an officially licensed Google Android TV product in a nice snappy package with a really excellent Bluetooth wireless remote.
Its looks like Xiaomi and AMlogic are actually providing decent Firmware support. The lack of Kodi (auto) dynamic refresh rate switching really is a PITA for those that love ultra smooth video playback. (can still switch manually). Hardware deinterlacing is still broken when using both SPMC and Kodi with TvHeadend.
The Mi Box cannot run LibreELEC Kodi due to a SELinux secured, locked down bootloader.
I would classify the Mi Box a "Kodi lite" media player for mainstream, not too demanding 1080p Kodi users.
For non-tecchy, real easy to use Android TV Apps. It is a nice little budget streamer box.
What do all those Android Video settings mean ?
Click HERE for an explanation.
Xiaomi USB 2.0 gigabit ethernet adapter
USA Sales from...
Wally World !
International delivery - USD $57 from lightinthebox.com
For those looking to purchase from outside the USA then this is the International version, same spec as the USA Mi Box (Model MDZ-16-AB) we talk about in this thread:
£63 including DHL express delivery from Xiaomi's Official Online Webstore Store
if you are in the UK, then the Solutions Shop also sells the same Mi Box:
May 19th, 2016
Looks like there will be another Android TV box soon to contend with the Shield and Nexus Player.
Xiaomi announced today during Google I/O that they are releasing a new 4k device soon in the US market called the Mi Box.
Specs released as of this post:
60fps 4K video decoding
HDR10** and HDMI 2.0a support **Netflix HDR support needs a Nougat Firmware update
Dolby Digital Plus + DTS surround sound
Bluetooth voice remote
USB port for additional storage
Optional Mi Game Controller for a console-grade gaming experience.
Google cast support
I will try to update when more becomes available. Hopefully it'll be a good Kodi alternative to the Shield/Nexus Player.
Crossing my fingers for gigabit ethernet/USB 3.0. Just happy to see more Android TV devices being released, tbh.
Here's a few pics:
Here's the optional gaming controller you can purchase separately: