Xiaomi Mi TV Box - What does it offer that Chromecast doesn't?

I think this will be useful in my room…but I've already got a chromecast on my TV.

What does it actually do? Can anyone please explain? The chromecast was a huge life-changer…and for less than $40…it was honestly the best thing i've ever bought.

I don't want to miss this Mi Tv Box, in case it also has some amazing features. Can anyone please shed some light?

thanks

Comments

  • The Mibox is a standalone unit and does not require any phones or PC's paired with it to make it work. You can game on it too using a game controller, and also install a variety of apps on it like Netflix, Plex or Kodi.
    It runs Android (TV) , while Chromecast runs a special version of Chrome OS.

    You interface with the mibox using a standard mouse or Keyboard, and can even talk to it using the remote which has a microphone.

    • hmm..doesn't seem to offer any practical solution over the chromecast (i.e what problem does it solve).

      I personally don't have any interest in gaming, though I can see the merit in this.

      I have no issues connecting to my phone as I always have it on hand anyway, though can I ask, Does the Mibox also act as a media hub? I.e. Can I plug a usb into it and watch movies off my hardrive?

      Does it have wifi or does it require ethernet (I have no ethernet in my room).

      Thanks heaps for your help!

      • , Does the Mibox also act as a media hub? I.e. Can I plug a usb into it and watch movies off my hardrive?

        Yeah it does. The Mibox is essentially the Chrome cast and your phone merged together into one unit.

        I wonder if that makes sense…

        does it require ethernet

        it has Wifi. It has no Ethernet.

        • Okay then this might be useful for me as my USB port in my TV is actually broken :(

          Do you think that the MiBox has a better/more seamless UI compared to the Chromecast?

          I LOOOOOVE the chromecast - just simply hit the icon on my phone and it instantly turns my tv on and starts streaming wihin 5 seconds (I have NBN and have my TV settings so the startup screen is fast as possible).

          Really considering this Android box.

          Thanks for your help again!

        • @unistudent1:

          Mi Box starts apps quicker (Netflix, etc) than my Chromecast. It's always on / or on standby - so very instant start up.

          I have both. The Mi Box wins any day due to the USB / Kodi / Streaming playback.

          You can do all sorts like install games/emulators out of the box (or anything on Android with some tweaking) but I don't use if for any of that.

        • Is it possible to experiment with a p k s on the mi box like on a phone or tablet or is it closed. I have no intention on rooting just maybe playing some games on a tv with keyboard and mouse haha lol.

  • It has a remote afaik… Big plus for me

    Though I ended up recycling an unused X360 to be the bedroom media player :)

    • I've got an old xbox 360 I can also use for a media player, but when I tried it said something about singing up with a live membership to use it as a media hub….no idea what that involves..

      I've literally never used the xbox360. I think i got it free many years ago with some tv…still sitting around the house covered in dust - never been into computer/console gaming etc.

      Can I easily make my xbox 360 into a media player (for free)? If so, does it involve some "Join xbox live" concept?

      Thanks

      • Account is free but required.

        On mine I use it for Netflix, YouTube and Plex (media playback from central server).

        • okay awesome thanks - i'll sort this account business up tonight.

          Can it handle 4k video - i've got 4k personal family videos on my hardrive that i'd want to play using the xbox?

          Thanks for your answers by the way - really helping. Sorry if it's getting a bit naggy!

        • @unistudent1:

          Nope no 4K output on the 360. The Xbox One S would, or Chromecast Ultra, or that Xiaomi Mi TV Box 3

        • @Spackbace: Ok…but 1080P on the xbox via usb is fine - I'll just connect my hardrive on to there and we'll be sweet!

          Will make my account tonight once I dust off the old xbox! Let me know if there's anything I need to be made aware of when it comes to setting up the xbox live gold account or whatever its called

          But aside from that, thanks Spackbace and thanks Scrimshaw - Excited ;) Thanks hepas for the workaround!

        • @unistudent1:

          The Xbox media remote is damn handy, or you can get the Xbox Glass app (or similar title) for your phone to control it. Or use a controller ;)

          Don't need Live Gold (that costs), just an Xbox Live account is fine.

          Beware if it needs any updates, but sounds like you have decent internet for it

        • @Spackbace: damn - I have internet…but no ethernet. And I know an xbox360 doens't have wifi - damn!!

          I just need it to plug in a usb and watch 1080p home videos. Can I do this without an update and withouit ethernet?

        • @unistudent1:

          The slim has Wifi, or do you have an old phat?

        • @unistudent1:

          Damn um yeah you should be able to play it, depending on format

  • Depending on which box you get, if you get the International Version of the mibox you will have Android 6 which is basically just a nice interface with limited app support. The chromecast interface is exactly the same - it's always on even when the mibox is off. There are a few advantages of this box over chromecast, most of which have been mentioned here.
    1. It allows Kodi so you can add on all sorts of media players (and some dodgy ones)
    2. It features a remote control, handy and better than a mobile phone I reckon for navigation
    3. It allows you to stream networked media, or play media from a USB device (chromecast can do this with some software)
    4. It plays MKV files - something Chromecast can sometimes struggle with and something your Xbox 360 cannot play

    • A friend bought one for me when she went China last year. Beautiful crisp clear graphic and photography. And has lots and lots of direent channel, so much variety….. if only I could watch them! Apparently many are not allowed in Oz! To do this, needs a VPN. By this stage I've given up.

      Now nice to see you kno a lot Halo, can you please help me by sharing some articles or video? I'm happy just to watch what is allowed here. Thanks!

      P/s Had googled but there are too many links out there……

      • OK - you've likely got the Chinese version and not the international version. This may mean you don't have access to the Google Play store and all the applications that come with that. I don't have this version so I can't properly guide you. What you're looking for is a Google Play APK - here are some instructions but I've no idea if that's what you're looking for. I haven't done this so be cautious, it could destroy your mibox: http://www.majordroid.com/how-to-install-the-google-play-sto...

      • Look up HDP, all you ever need for Chinese channels.

        p.s. runs on any android device.

  • The easiest way to think about those type of boxes if you have a chromecast already is that it replaces the phone in your current setup, they are fully fledged Android running the TV optimised interface and all that comes with it.

    If you want to watch netflix currently you open the app on your phone and cast it, with a mi box and the likes you would switch to the box and open the netflix app.

    If the current phone/chromecast setup isn't causing you problems and you don't see yourself gaming theres really no need for one, which is why they aren't a huge seller same with apple tvs

  • what cheap box has youtube and netflix, my TV is 1080p so dont want to pay extra for 4k!

  • In my view. its more a preference whether you want to navigate via a handheld interface (phone/tablet) or a on screen interface (tv).I currently use a android box with kodi as the main interface (launcher) however I actually would prefer to switch to a tablet interface with a plex server for local media. I just find on screen intefaces (with many android apps you want to use are designed for tablet and so require an airmouse remote to work well on the screen. I have found that its difficult for people not familiar to figure out the system. I would prefer a dedicated tablet/remote and a chromecast.

  • if I want to load android games from 4PDA example, do I need to root the Mibox? I've tried a few times but was not successful… Is there a way to do it the right way?

  • There are many apps which don't support casting to Chromecast while they run fine on phone. I'm looking for a TV box because of that Chromecast limitation.

  • Gday all. I've currently got an original chromecast and want to upgrade now that i finally (nearly) have NBN. I have a couple of questions.

    1. Does the Mi Box support 5GHz wifi like the CC2?

    2. Can you still cast to the Mi Box using the cast button in apps on my phone like YouTube or netflix? Or do i have to do it via the Mi Box?

    3. I don't have a 4k TV but i will one day. Ignoring the Mi Box for a minute, is the CC Ultra worth the extra money over CC2 for the extra procesaing grunt and futureproofness?

    Thanks

      1. Yes
      2. Yes, can still cast from apps of your phone (exactly same as what you do for ChromeCast, No difference whatsoever)
      3. MiBox is 4k, if that helps.

      If you are still contemplating between CC and MiBox, MiBox is no-brainer, it's a clear winner!

      • Thanks for the reply mate. On further research there are some deal breakers for the Mi Box. Firstly, Chromecasting isnt as reliable as a proper chromecast. For example the Foxtel Now doesn't when you cast it to thr Mi Box, but it does work with CC. Since foxtel had no android TV app, that's a deal breaker for me. I'm going to wait and see how android TV develops before i jump in.

        • Fair enough. We have Chromecast 2 in our Theatre and MiBox in the bedroom, never noticed any difference while casting on both but horses for courses I guess. :)

  • can mi box play video that has dts-ma , trueHD or atmos audio format? or no sound