Lately, I’ve been fascinated with all the new Smart TV models that the various major manufacturers have been releasing. This is basically a TV set that can connect to the Internet allowing it to access various online services. This means that you will be able to update your social media network, watch online streaming videos, install apps, and even communicate with your friends by video calls.
While I really want to get a Smart TV its price range is still way out of my budget. Another reason why I haven’t bought one yet is that I still have a perfectly working TV set. There is however a way to enjoy the benefits of having of a Smart TV without spending a lot while still using my old TV set and that is by simply buying an Android TV box.
The beauty of the Android operating system is that it is flexible and can be used by various devices. It’s present in smartphones, smartwatches, and now in TV box devices. I‘ve been searching the Internet for a good TV box and one particular model caught my attention. This is the Bluetimes BT919 Quad Core RK3188 Android 4.2 TV Box. It’s a small device just bigger than a USB thumb drive that attaches to the HDMI port of a TV and brings more features to it.
I immediately ordered one unit. Inside the box you will get the unit itself, a USB cable, an HDMI extension cable, and a power adapter.
- Operating System: Android 4.2
- Processor: RockChip RK3188 Quad Core 1.6GHz
- GPU: Mali 400M Quad-Core GPU
- Memory: 2GB DDR3
- Storage: 8GB NAND Flash
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n (Dual external WiFi antenna), Broadcom AP6210 Bluetooth Adapter
- Supports Miracast screen mirroring
- Memory Card Type: micro SD(HC), up to 32GB
- External HDD: Supports USB mobile HDD up to 2TB
- Pre-installed XBMC&MX Player
- Supports Adobe Flash 11.1
- USB: USB 2.0 + Micro USB + Micro USB OTG
- Supports 2.4GHz wireless keyboards and mouse/fly air mouse
- Supports Bluetooth keyboard/mouse
- Supports USB wired keyboards and mouse
- Supports USB webcam/USB microphone
- Video Output: HDMI
- Audio Output: HDMI
What’s interesting about this device is that it already has the Google Play store app installed. This means that straight out of the box it already has access to the thousands of Android apps available in the market. Its 8GB of internal storage space is more than enough space for any app and if this isn’t enough then there’s always the microSD card option.
Setting up the device is quite easy. Just connect it to the HDMI port of your TV. Make sure to plug it to a power source as well either to a vacant USB port on your TV or through the included power adaptor. Once you change your TV to HDMI mode you will see the Android screen booting up and will be greeted with the home screen. To navigate the menu you will need a mouse which you can connect through the vacant USB port of the device.
- Watching movies is pretty straightforward. Just copy a movie file to the device itself or connect a flash drive/hard drive to the USB port. The pre-installed MX Player plays almost all movie files and can do so at resolutions of 1920×1080 smoothly.
- I installed Dead Trigger 2 on the device which ran without any problems. I used a bluetooth game controller for this game which I was able to pair easily.
Accessing the Internet
- Connecting to a Wi-Fi network is as easy as turning it on through the settings which will immediately start the scan for any nearby network. Once you find your network just click on it and enter the password. Websites opened pretty fast through the pre-installed browser.
Overall I am pleased with the performance of the Bluetimes BT919 Quad Core RK3188 Android 4.2 TV Box which only costs $61 over at eBay. If you want to add more features to your non-smart TV set then I suggest you check out this product.
Bluetimes is a Chinese company founded in 1999 and is one of the leading manufacturers of multimedia players, Android TV box and power bank products.