New TV Box Needed Similar to Vodafone TV

Hello OzBargainers,
Need your help.
Had Vodafone TV, really enjoyed it, wanted to buy another one for parents but apparently Vodafone doesn't make them anymore, so now need something similar.

Primary use will be:

  • YouTube viewing, especially being able to select a video on Android phone/tablet and watch it on TV via the box, that was a nice feature on Vodafone TV
  • USB port to attach external HDD / USB to watch videos (x265/mov) / photos from external drive
  • remote control, that goes without saying
  • (above 3 are a Must) -
  • (below 2 are negotiable)
  • under $100 preferably but can stretch the budget a bit
  • Free to Air TV channels streaming, via normal coax antenna plugged in and passthrough to TV, just like with Vodafone TV

What would you recommend?

Cheers

Comments

  • +2

    Chromecast with google TV?

    Free to Air TV channels streaming, via normal coax antenna plugged in and passthrough to TV, just like with Vodafone TV

    This is gonna be difficult, but could just use streaming FTA

    • +1

      +1 to the Chromecast with Google TV. Works amazing well and just like VTV does.

      But yes, doesn't have the antenna input, but I never had that connected before as who watches 'live' tv these days?

      • OP does.

        • Its passthrough TV, the VTV box doesn't record etc. Just change the input and watch live TV via the TV then….. Not rocket science.

          Watching Live TV is a rare event these days and VTV was one of the rare boxes that even had a antenna input.

    • Can you attach external HDD/usb drive to Chromecast?
      I couldn't see any additional usb ports on it, just usb c for power supply.

      Free to Air TV coax input is not as essential as having usb port for attaching external HDD.

      • +1

        You need to get a powered passthrough hub. Then I believe the attached media needs to be in FAT32 or possibly EXFAT32. I just stream all my media from plex and given up on storage for that purpose.

      • Alternatively, if you can stretch the budget, get a shield. Best device out there (or maybe apple TV).

        Does the TV have USB input for media playback?

        • TV has usb port, but it won't play x265 or mkv files.
          it's ok, might have to buy Xiaomi Mi TV Box S

          Also found something on Amazon, Laser Android Smart TV box, similar to Xiaomi Mi TV Box S,
          Does anyone have any experience with it?
          Which one would be better?

          https://www.amazon.com.au/Laser-Android-Smart-Google-Assista...

          • @auozb: Would be ok but I'd buy Mi box over laser and it's cheaper anyway.

  • +2

    especially being able to select a video on Android phone/tablet and watch it on TV via the box, that was a nice feature on Vodafone TV

    Don't you get that functionality ordinarily with the YouTube app?

    What is the reasoning for co-ax pass thru? I don't see the point unless the device can record?

    Not sure what you will find under $100 with USB capability, I think the cheapest would be the Fetch mini at around $170 by the time you activate it.
    If you can plug the USB directly in to the TV then you could use Amazon's Firestick, Google Chromecast, Roku etc and get away with something as cheap as $50 up to the $100 budget.

    • not sure if its functionality of YouTube app, might be, haven't had any other uses than VTV.

      Free to AirTV passthrough, was just a convenient feature, didn't have to use TV remote control at all, to switch from input to input, could just use one remote of VTV to do everything. But that's not essentiall, as having usb port for attaching external HDD/USB drive.

      TV does have usb port but doesn't play mkv or x265 files, it's an old TV and its Full HD 1080p, so 4K not essential either.

      Main things, YouTube app and USB port for attaching external HDD.
      But I think Amazon firestick or chromecast don't have usb ports for attaching external hdd, do they?

      • No they don't, which is why I think you'll have a bit of a hard time finding one in the budget. Apart from the Xiaomi, I think anything that has USB is quite a step up in price

  • +2

    For less than 100$, I only see the Xiaomi Mi box as an option but I am not sure whether it has a 4K version or not. You would not get the FTA channel streaming with the Xiaomi box.

    • That was one option I was looking at.
      It has usb port for external HDD, which is more important than Free to Air TV.
      So that might be the way to go….

  • -1
  • Foxtel Now box $49

  • +2

    Had Vodafone TV, really enjoyed it, wanted to buy another one for parents

    Sooo, get one from Gumtree or FB Marketplace…?

    These aren't devices that would get a hard treatment

    • +1

      that was the first thing I did, before posting here
      I looked.
      nothing available.

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