I could not tell you how many TV boxes I’ve had over the years. I’ve had ROKU 2 (no VPN, restricted, takes over everything), “proper” “Android TV” boxes with pathetically restricted PlayStore and severe limits on what you can install, through to a range of “full Android” TV boxes and I’ve pretty much settled on the latter, even though in the UK, that pretty awful Sky NowTV app won’t “stream” through these or any other Android boxes I’ve tested.
The title of this new unit is the T95 Max Plus Amlogic S905X3 4GB RAM 64GB 5G WIFI TV Box and it came from Banggood. As you might know, I’m not interested in WIFI-only sticks as WiFi, specially for HD is invariably inferior to hardwired Ethernet (or even over-the-mains Ethernet if you simply cannot get a wire to the TV). The box does of course have WiFi as well but I won’t got into that here for the reason I’ve just described..
Ok, so if you look at older entries in the blog you’ll find a number of half-decent boxes including the very pretty, round H96 MAX box, the rectangular low-height A95X box, the A5X Max box, the Windows-based Ace PC – which turned out to be rubbish.. and many more for which I may have made videos or put on a previous version of the blog.
When I started this blog entry I was generally using The H5X in Spain and the A95X here in the UK. I was planning to move to the H96 Max when the new T95Max+ turned up. Now, I won’t claim that setup is the easiest thanks to the (typical) sparse remote control, but before I started setting it up in my office, I fastened it to our 4K TV and watched some of those YouTube 4K and 8K videos – beautiful – the latter clearly scaled down as my TV is able to handle 4K and downwards only. I have to tell you, given the right material, the picture is SUPERB – and to verify it is 4K you merely have to sit up near the TV and watch the edges of the likes of skyscrapers.
In particular, I watched this video – the most stunning 4K footage by Bashir Abu Shakra with Han’s Zimmer’s “Time” from one of my all-time favourite movies “Inception” if this is all new to you – get your 4K on, turn up the volume and be prepared for a treat. The video is incredible, the music was good on its own but coupled Zimmer’s music use in “Inception” it becomes emotionally outstanding and the whole lot works together brilliantly. Even if this TV box is of no interest I strongly recommend both the clip above and the movie Inception itself.
I’ve included a link to Bashir Abu Shakra’s video up here, if anyone gripes I’ll pull it down – let’s hope not. If you have a quality PC and large 4K monitor (I know many of you do) – you will be better off pulling the video down from YouTube and make sure you select 4K. If I were selling the T95 Max+ (which I am not) it would be as good a demo as any. It handles everything very well.
That out of the way, my next question was “and what is this box compatible with?” as so may of these Android boxes won’t work with this, that or the other App. First off, Netflix, then Amazon Video, BBC i-Player (in a browser – full screen – excellent), Movie HD, Cinema HD V2, “Curiosity Stream”, the list goes on… everything I tried WORKS and works fine.
I’m not convinced about that remote – I still ended up using a mouse and keyboard to enter credentials but then every box I’ve had has faced that issue and better remotes are dirt cheap and once the credentials are done (hopefully a one-off setup job) the normal remote works ok,.
Well, there it is, I won’t insult you by attempting to show 4K video footage in a little browser window – you’ll just have to take my word for it that video output is GREAT (for those who’ve been living in a cave (I do from time to time) – 4K is rapidly becoming the norm and even 8K is just starting to emerge.
Don’t forget to check out the link at the top of this entry for the specs of the T95 MAX+
Having now installed the T95 Max+ in the living room, watching a movie remended me that quality depends heavily on a combination of the source quality, processor and Internet speed consistancy. The movie quality was disappointing – and as I have 80Mbps Internet and the box is great, it came down to the App providing the movie. Then we decided to spend an hour on the “Curiosity Stream” App – learning about “The networks within our bodies”, in which the kidneys play a major role in determining lifespan (more so it seems than we imagined in the past) – the quality was so good that the fact we were watching a recorded program seemed to fade into the distance as we learned fact after fact about bodily networks. Watching such documentaries in 4K without distraction is very rewarding.
And no, of course this image doesn’t reflect the stunning quality of that particular show – but here it is anyway – I’d put up a video but I’d rather not get prosecuted, brilliant thought the show is, it’s not free.
Right, enough of that. Now for some WLED and flashing lights and maybe even some sleep. I like this new TV box.