For those that enjoy streaming movies and TV shows, this has, for the longest time been done on a PC. However, with the advent of devices such as tablets which are low in energy consumption, there was a natural progression to streaming these movies and shows on a tablet instead.
However, what if it was the case that you wanted to watch this media on your big screen TV at home? On some tablets there is the option to hook them up via HDMI to your TV, but this can kill the battery really quickly since it is pushing out a signal to a large display.
The alternative to this is to use an Android TV box. There are many on the market, but today we’ll be looking at the rather excellent Nexbox A95X variant.
There are many options to choose from when buying the A95X, but I opted for the 1GB Ram/ 8GB Rom version since I’m not going to be doing anything too taxing on this. Whilst it does say it can support 4K playback, my internet connection can’t handle it and therefore the additional RAM that might help with 4K wasn’t a deal breaker for me.
The system itself has Android 6 installed on it and contains a quad core Amlogic 2 GHz processor, the GPU being a pentacore Mali variant. Included in the box is the unit itself, with a so so instruction booklet, a remote control, a power adapter and also an HDMI cable. Whilst it isn’t a deal breaker, the HDMI cable did come supplied with connector protectors attached which is a nice touch. To top things off, there is also 2.4G WiFi built in.
The device itself also has a built in LAN port, a micro SD card slot, power connector, one HDMI port and 2 USB 2.0 ports. It is extremely well built, but also very light. Even after prolonged use the box couldn’t be classed as hot to the touch.
Upon powering on the device you’ll see right away that the UI is drastically different from that of an Android phone or tablet. Instead, it has been altered to specifically allow you to use it with a remote that comes bundled with it (or others of your choosing). It is well laid out, with the most screen space being given to Kodi. For those that haven’t heard of Kodi before, it is a program that allows you to add various sources to it which allows you to stream content to your device. It can actually be pretty daunting to set up, but thankfully this has already been taken care of in the factory, with the various plug ins being installed so you can simply search for what you want to see and jump right into viewing it.
Apart from Kodi, there are also other viewing apps such as Mobdro which also allows you to stream content for free. This can be a bit more finicky than Kodi, but aslong as you have a strong internet connection then you should be fine. There is also an application installed which allows you to update the add ons for Kodi so that you can watch different channels, streams etc. There really is something for everyone on this platform. One thing I would suggest though is that if you’re going to be using the Nexbox to stream content that you don’t own then you should use a VPN. Thankfully since the Google Play Store is also included on the device, it is extremely easy to find a free one. I have used Opera VPN with no issues and it does work really well.
There is also a YouTube app built right in which makes it great for those that love YouTube and want to watch it on their TV. Likewise, there is also a Netflix app built in, should you have any guilt about using free apps. You can of course also load up Amazon Prime on this as well.
The Nexbox effectively makes your TV a Smart TV. Since it does run on Android, it means that you can play older games on it too such as NES, SNES and Mega Drive/Genesis games. This is done by installing an emulator from the Play Store onto the box, and then downloading the ROMs to it as well. There are a wide variety of controllers that would work well with the A95X, including the Gamesir G4s which works perfectly with it. Not only can that controller be used to play games, but it can also be used to navigate around the system on as well, and is a lot better than the built in remote since you don’t need to point it directly at the box to go back a page etc.