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i68 TV Box (RK3368, 2G/8G) $30

$30.00
-1 Deal Score
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[update] tl;dr:
  • don't buy Rockchip (ie: this device)
  • do buy Amlogic

info:
price:
  • $29.99 with coupon code: "GBI68"
  • coupon is listed under "flash deals"
    • its expiration date said 4 days a few hours ago
    • now its expiration date current says 2 days
    • so.. I have no idea when it's actually going to expire
  • 1 unit per order
  • though apparently it isn't limited to only 1 order per account
    • I got 2 units, each in a separate order
  • my shipping options were upgraded for free.. can choose registered or priority at no charge

specs:
  • SOC: ARM Cortex-A53
  • CPU: RK3368 w/ 8 cores @ 64-bit
  • GPU: PowerVR G6110
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • ROM: 8 GB
  • Android 5.1
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • Wi-Fi bands: 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz
  • LAN: Gigabit
  • USB 2.0
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • on/off switch
notes:
  • only available with a UK plug.. which isn't ideal
    • in the past, when I've ordered items from Gearbest with non-US plugs.. they've been kind enough to include a US adapter into the order at no charge
    • I'm hoping they'll do that again for this order, otherwise I'll need to get a few elsewhere (ex: less than $1 each on eBay)

I've been trying to compare the relative performance of various CPUs used in TV boxes. It hasn't been so easy to draw conclusions..

I could be completely wrong, but my current ranking would look something like:
  • S912 > RK3288 > RK3368 > S905 > S905x > S905w > S812 > S802
It seems counter-intuitive that an older chip could perform better than the newest models. The RK3368 is more than two years old, whereas the S905w was just released a few weeks ago.

It would be great if some of the more knowledgeable SDers could discuss the pro and cons.. and we could settle on a proper ranking.

From what I can tell.. the above specs are pretty solid for a $30 box. I've been on the lookout, and decided to pull the trigger.

I'm currently using an older MXiii with the S802 chip (2G/8G).. and I freakin' love the thing. It makes me truly hate watching shows on regular (paid) cable now. It does everything right, and I'm sure this box will perform just as well.. most likely far better.

after-thoughts:
  • looks like Rockchip boxes are stuck using the modified version of Kodi that they come with
    • the official Kodi APKs don't support this hardware.. GPU acceleration and some codecs won't work
    • this box comes with Kodi based on v15.2
    • in hind-sight.. this could be a major headache down the road

update:
  • found a fork of Kodi called SPMC [semperpax.com]
    • includes Rockchip specific support
    • newest version available is Jarvis v16.7.1
    • has excellent reviews in hardware-specific discussion forums for TV boxes that also use the RK3368 chip

conclusion:
  • after reading and watching more reviews on this TV box
    • audio stutter is a very common complaint
    • Kodi support is a major issue
    • ..and generally unenthusiastic owners
  • I decided to cancel my orders
  • I'm going to stick with Amlogic chips.. either the S912 or S905
    • owners love them
    • they just work.. without hassle or issues
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Created 11-09-2017 at 11:45 PM by cheapskate_on_ice
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$30.00
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