AliExpress, upgrade my tv
In the office of FunPortal hangs the most ordinary “brainless” widescreen TV with HDMI-connector. Previously, there was a Google Chromecast whistle in it, which, although it allows you to broadcast content from mobile devices and from the browser to the big screen, is not an independent media center, and therefore we began to look for an advanced replacement for it.
In the vastness of AliExpress, you can find hundreds of budget (and not so) TV boxes. We wanted one to work on a full-fledged Android, that is, with access to Google Play, applications, games, and so on.
After looking at the reviews and studying the topic a little on the Internet, we settled on the MK809IV model. Chinese budget technology can be quite difficult to understand. The same product is released by several companies, in different boxes, with a different version of the operating system and shell. In our case, the manufacturer turned out to be Transpeed, but in general there won’t be much difference when choosing another manufacturer.
MK809IV is, in fact, an Android computer without peripherals, a small system unit. If there is a discount from the seller, you can buy it at a price of 1-700 rubles.
For simplicity and convenience of managing the media center, we have added a wireless keyboard to the purchase for over 500 rubles. The keyboard manufacturer is even more difficult. We could not understand who exactly made it, and therefore we will call it as it is written on the packaging: MINI Keyboard.
If you buy as a set, you get about 2 rubles (depending on the size of the current discount).
When ordering on AliExpress, you need to be prepared for surprises, including waiting for the order for a month. Pay attention to information about sellers. Choose those who have been trading for a long time and have a high percentage of positive reviews.
What MK809IV can do
MK809IV is a keychain with dimensions 102 × 40 × 9 mm and weighing 35 g.
The red detail on the bezel is actually a retractable Wi-Fi antenna.
MK809IV connects to the TV through the HDMI connector, which is statically fixed on the device body.
Included is a 20cm HDMI extension cable, which will come in handy in cases where the TV design or adjacent wires do not allow the MK809IV to be connected directly.
With its help, you can place the key fob on the back of the TV at your discretion, or just leave it hanging out like in our photos.
On the MK809IV case there is one USB port for connecting peripherals (flash drive, wired mouse or keyboard, Bluetooth adapter for wireless mouse or keyboard), a slot for microSD memory cards (up to 32 GB inclusive), as well as two microUSB ports.
One microUSB (choose any) will be busy with power supply to the keyfob. For power supply, you can use a free USB of the TV (USB-microUSB male-to-male cable included) or connect to an outlet via a 2 A adapter (also included).
The peculiarity of USB is that the current strength in it can be different. If you powered the MK809IV from the TV via USB, but the key fob does not turn on, then there is not enough current and you will have to connect it to the outlet. In our case, the current in the TV was enough.
The second microUSB slot is also used to connect USB peripherals via the supplied microUSB – USB male-to-female adapter.
Inside the MK809IV is a quad-core Rockchip RK3188T with a frequency of 1,4 GHz and Mali 400 graphics, 2 GB of RAM and 8 GB of permanent memory for installing applications and storing data, of which 1 GB is occupied by a system with pre-installed applications. The key fob supports Wi-Fi 802.11 b / g / n and has built-in Bluetooth 4.0.
The performance of the MK809IV is enough to broadcast content in Full HD quality at 60 frames per second, but by default the keychain works in the mode [email protected]
An old but stable Android 809 KitKat with MBOX-like shell, Miracast and AirPlay support is installed as an operating system in MK4.4.2IV.
The AnTuTu test showed 16 points, which is quite tolerable for such a cheap thing, but clearly not enough for heavy 000D games.
There are not many preinstalled apps, but most of them are useful.
- Google Play (on first launch, it will update itself to the current version, and then allow you to update the rest of the pre-installed applications and download the missing ones).
- Kodi (formerly XBMC).
- A file manager, a media gallery, default players, a browser that you don’t have to open at all and immediately install Chrome, and even a separate utility for installing apk files.
The MK809IV’s tiled interface may seem a little odd at first, but it is very handy when using the remote with arrow buttons. In our case, the control is taken over by the wireless MINI Keyboard.
The device resembles a gamepad in shape and feel in the hands.
Powered by two AAA batteries (not included), which are located under the cover on the rear panel. A wireless adapter for connecting to a computer is also stored here.
In addition to the wireless interface, the keyboard can be connected via microUSB, but we are not at all interested in this option.
The buttons are rubber, there is a Russian layout (pay attention to this when ordering, there are many similar keyboards on AliExpress with only English letters).
The joystick on the left is responsible for managing sound and playback, on the right – navigation. There is a small touchpad in the middle at the top and it is downright bad.
With a rather modest size, it has an extremely low sensitivity. It also happens like this: you move the cursor, remove your finger, the cursor jumps to the point from which it started moving. False tapas sometimes occur. This is terribly annoying.
The only reason we haven’t thrown away this device is for the convenience of entering text information. With a little getting used to the device, typing messages and entering search queries is really quick. The process is accelerated by additional keys (for example, search), which Android correctly recognizes.
The full potential of the keyboard will only work on a desktop operating system, in particular Windows. All additional keys and combinations were created specifically for this system.
We spent 2 rubles. Did we manage to turn an ordinary TV into a Smart TV? Yes. Is it convenient for them to control the keyboard of our choice? Yes and no. There are no problems with text input, but for a comfortable mouse replacement you need to look for something else or get used to navigating with arrows.
Can you recommend something better for the same or comparable money? Let’s discuss this in the comments.