There’s a lot of Android TV Box coming out of China these days but there’s really only one that’s worth mentioning. The G-Box Midnight is not only the most stable and flexible Android machine out, it’s also really cheap and available from a US distributor.
This device has plenty of options and most of the connections you will need for any common use including an amazing 4 USB 2.0 ports. You can literally attach 4 USB drives to this device, but who would actually do that? Instead there’s options such as a USB webcam, USB Wi-Fi dongle for added range, or a USB Bluetooth dongle for those that want to connect to their phone or tablet or another input device(Ouya). There’s enough room for all these options to run together on this one small box still leaving room for your thumb drive, which is itself pretty incredible. If that’s not enough, go ahead and plug in your SD Card for another 32GB of space.
The highlights of this G-Box Midnight is not only the 4 USB ports, but also the coaxial SPDIF connection which allows 5.1 surround sound to port over to your receiver, and an A/V port for those out there that want to watch HD content on your older big screen TVs.
This TV box is running the Android 4.0.4 operating system which is normally geared for the Tablet PC or Smart phone, however it does a very decent job on the TV. Not every Android app will work perfectly on this box but that’s to be expected since it doesn’t exactly fall in the category of phone or tablet. While it may be limited in this way we’re sure to see developers coming out with apps specifically for this platform.
The most popular use of any Android TV Box is the popular media center known as XBMC. The reason why the Midnight is so successful already is because it supports hardware decoding in XBMC right out of the box. This gives it a huge community support boost and is finding a home in every XBMC adopter’s living room. XBMC on Android still has a long way to go and has only been in active development for a matter of months but the community behind this box and XBMC is quite startling.
If you’re looking for a box that won’t let you down then this one is it. This box has already climbed to the Amazon electronics top sellers and has only been released for a few months now. As of this writing it is the #8 top-selling media streaming box on Amazon, competing with the likes of AppleTV and Roku, which are two wildly popular streaming devices as well. For under a hundred dollars you can’t go wrong, especially if you’re an Android advocate.
Since we have been following Ouya’s development and also paying close attention to the G-Box products it was easy to come to the conclusion that Ouya is already late to its own party. All the hype that surrounded the new gaming console running on Android is already old news since G-Box has been pushing products to market.
The Android TV Box is actually not such a new concept. These devices have been being built in China for years now but never really caught traction until just recently. We can tip our hats to Ouya for bringing attention to this desired niche and we can also give Ouya props for gaining millions in funding a product that has yet to be released. But Ouya had been just a concept based on a real product. A product already in mass production. Then came along the G-Box Midnight brand to take the spotlight.
The G-Box Midnight is an Android TV Box built around the powerful Amlogic A9 M3 processor capable of speeds up to 1.5GHz. This 8726 processor features the Mali400 graphics processor which was and still is a top performing GPU capable of 1080p HD content decoding without breaking a sweat. The Ouya will be boasting the Tegra3 Quad Core CPU which in specifications is a serious powerhouse, however in real life benchmarks this Nvidia chip doesn’t really live up to its claims. This gives the Ouya a little competitive edge over the hardware inside of the Midnight, however the G-Box Midnight makes up by being extremely versatile. The Ouya, after all, is a gaming rig. The G-Box Midnight is the real deal, a full unadulterated Android 4 O/S just waiting to be hacked and configured to any user’s heart’s desire. This is the main reason why the Midnight has become so wildly popular.
If you’re looking for a small, under powered gaming rig then the Ouya will certainly fit the bill.. If you’re like most people that want connectivity, options and an already existing community of support then the Midnight is at the top of the list.