M8 Android TV Box Review
The M8 Android TV Box comes into the Android TV market right after its predecessor, ‘the MX2’, 4K or UHD video decoding is the M8’s main highlight, this feature is made possible thanks to its powerful Amlogic Mali-450, 8 core graphics processing unit ‘GPU’ which takes on the job with ease.
What is 4K or UHD?
The M8 is the first of its kind to introduce 4K video decoding capabilities, even though 4K UHD is still in its early days, it’s still nice to have this added feature. 4K refers to the on screen resolution or in simpler terms, the amount of dots ‘Pixels’ on screen used to create an image, 4K means 4000 pixels along one line ‘or axes’ are forming an image, this means almost 4 times the amount of pixels are used than in HD video.
‘HD = 720 or 1080 pixels along a line’
‘UHD or 4K = 4000 pixels along a line’
Therefore images look far superior, crisper and livelier in 4K UHD than in HD.
Operating system –
The M8 uses Android’s 4.4 Kitkat version, Kitkat is the name given to that version or release of Android, previous version of Android where code named Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean, these are found in most Android powered phones and tablets.
With the M8, Android Kitkat was tweaked a little keeping user experience and usability in mind by adding the so called ‘Windows 8’ interface to the main screen, with the M8 apps and other features are displayed on screen as square shaped windows resembling Microsoft’s Windows 8 graphical user interface.
M8 capabilities and features –
As a user one can expect a multitude of great features some of which include,
The ability to stream movies, images or music off a mobile device directly onto a television through the M8 wirelessly, devices would include Mobile phones, Tablets, laptops and more.
– Video streaming
The M8 translates internet data packets into video content with great ease thanks to its powerful chipset, Youtube and Netflix are just two examples.
– Live TV Streaming
Use the M8 Android TV box to convert fast moving IPTV internet data packets into video content on your TV
– Browse the internet
A preinstalled we browser allows internet surfing
Add your Email account username and password to the M8 and read and reply to e-mails on your TV as you would on a phone or tablet running Android.
– Play games
The Google Play Store allows the M8’s user to download and install all the latest trendiest games available. Gameplay on the M8 is excellent thanks to its powerful 8 core GPU
Download and install all the best apps available on the market as you would on an Android powered device.
M8 Overview –
The M8 is one of the favourites amongst the Android TV Box range of products available on the Global market, it brings to the table a lot of new and exciting features which were never available before on other competing devices. The M8 is the official name it was given by its creators however there have been many attempts by other sellers to re brand this device, the most mentioned re branded name would be ‘Ultra M8’ however this is still the same unit.
The M8 was launched with its key focus to be a better performing box than the MX2, the MX2 performs extremely well however on paper looks very different to the newer M8. The MX2 consists mainly of 1GB RAM and a Dual core CPU ‘central processing unit’ with a quad core graphics card.
The M8 doubles all these features making it stand out on paper:
There are many quad core Android TV Box’s out there and many people think that these units are superior to the MX2 with its dual core CPU, however this is a miss conception in many cases. A well performing Android TV Box needs to have the right selection of top quality tested and proven components which work well together in order for it to be fit for its purpose.
Many competing units look good on paper however run slow, jam and prove to be extremely frustrating to use. The M8 uses the Amlogic Family of chipset as does the MX2, Amlogic chips originate in the USA – Silicon Valley and are leading within this Market, the main competing company would be Rockchip from China.
Technical Hardware Specifications –
CPU Amlogic S802 Quad Core Cortex A9r4 2GHz
GPU Octo-Core Mali™-450MP GPU
FLASH 8GB NAND FLASH
RAM 2GB DDR3
Power Supply Specifications
Power Supply DC 5V/2A
Power Indicator (LED) Power ON:blue; Standby:Red
Main Features –
OS Google Droid™ 4.4 KitKat
3D 3D-HD 1080Px2
Decoder Format HD MPEG1/2/4,H.264, HD AVC/VC-1,RM/RMVB,Xvid/DivX3/4/5/6 RealVideo8/9/10
Media Format Avi/Rm/Rmvb/Ts/Vob/Mkv/Mov/ISO/Wmv/Asf/Flv/Dat/Mpg/Mpeg
Support Music Format MP3/WMA/AAC/WAV/OGG/AC3/DDP/TrueHD/DTS/DTS/HD/FLAC/APE
Support Photo Format HD JPEG/BMP/GIF/PNG/TIFF
USB Host 2 High Speed USB 2.0,Support U DISK And USB HDD
Card Reader SD/SDHC/MMC Cards
HDD File System FAT16/FAT32/NTFS
Support Subtitle SRT/SMI/SUB/SSA/IDX+USB
Video Output Support All Standard SD/HD/4K2K Ultra HD Decoding And Output
OSD type of languages English/French/German/Spanish/Italian etc Multilateral Languages
LAN Ethernet:10/100M, Standard RJ-45
Wireless Support Dual Band Wi-Fi™ (2.4GHz/5GHz)
Mouse/Keyboard Support Mouse And Keyboard Via USB; Support 2.4GHz
Wireless Mouse And Keyboard Via 2.4GHz USB Dongle
HDMI™ HDMI™ 1.4B
IPTV And OTT Support Many Kinds of IPTV And OTT Programmes
Software Specifications –
Network Function Miracast, XBMC, Airplay, Skype Chatting, Picasa, Youtube, Flicker, Facebook, Online Movies, etc
A great video review about the M8 Box