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  SB Touch...buh bye. Hello Android Media Box...
OK folks, here we go:

MINIX NEO X5 RK3066 Dual Core Cortex A9 TV Box

RK3066 Datasheet (PDF download)

Just got one of these $99 Android boxes from a US retailer yesterday. Prior to ordering, I had been researching the device a bit and it turns out it is fairly well supported on
Facebook and its own forum. Over the weekend, I scoured the forum and armed myself with
firmware updates, rooting instructions and a few other specific apps in anticipation of receiving it.

Anyhow, within a few hours of opening the box I had the device rooted, with the latest Jelly Bean firmware installed and my Google Play account details set. Basically at this point, I had just turned my 46" LED TV screen into an Android tablet that I was now controlling with my Android phone via the vendor's free remote client app. I installed a number of well known streaming apps and then plugged the unit into my trusty Sony EP9ES via the available TOSLINK port on the MINIX. To my surprise, it sounded very good! As good as I've heard streamed content to be through my SB Touch anyways.

Now it was time to try some of my lossless flac files. I haven't bought into the high rez game yet, however I do have a substantial collection of redbook audio ripped. I had heard that a beta version of XBMC had recently been released for Android, so I decided to install this app to access the audio files on my network drive as I could see that it (XBMC) supported my preferred format and gapless playback. Prior to proceeding, I wanted to check out one other thing. The MINIX device has (3) USB 2.0 ports, but I could not confirm that the device in fact supported USB Audio. For giggles, I pulled out my Valab DAC and plugged it into the USB port. The USB light lit up on the DAC, so I patched it into my GFP-750 and selected it as the source. I then launched the XBMC app, found my network drive and selected a flac file to play. I almost sh*t myself when I saw the USB light flicker on the Valab and then heard the sound that was coming through my speakers! Plug and play USB audio support - no drivers, no snap crackle pop, no dropouts. Wow. The sound was absolutely fantastic. What a great way to consolidate my favorite streaming apps and have my ripped collection just a click away as well. All controlled remotely from the comfort of my easy chair and viewed on my big screen TV. I AM Slothman!

In summary, this was all an exercise in music listening convenience for me and obviously NOT an audiophile quest. However, I do believe that devices such as these and the applications being developed are on the verge of further revolutionizing this hobby in a big way soon. After my initial experience with this (basic) media box, I can certainly see why Logitech decided to kick the SB Touch to the curb. I hope this thread may spark a little more discussion and interest in these Android media boxes/ mini PC's. I haven't seen much mentioned about them here or on computeraudiophile.
Slothman  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

  Responses (1-21 of 21)
Click title to read one, or click date to read all below it.

01-17-13   Looks a lot like a mac mini to me. : ) although at $99, it ...   Ecruz

01-17-13   Interesting device. might have to give it a try. i own tw ...   Mapman

01-17-13   Mapman, i believe the biggest user base for this device are ...   Slothman

01-17-13   "i am unsure of what negative influences there may be o ...   Mapman

01-17-13: Binkleyc
If it supports USB audio, there should be no difference between this device and a Mac Mini. All the processor is doing is decoding FLAC files and then sending PCM data to the DAC. It may be less likely to be affected by EMI than a full computer as there is less power flowing through it and no fans, hard drives, or powerful video processing chips.

Do me a favor and plug it in and crank the volume while nothing is playing. I'm looking for exactly something like this as my computer is very noisy and leaks through a ton of EMI(not a ground loop, it's a higher whine and opening programs/moving the mouse makes discrete noises.). You can hear it with the volume turned up.

Binkleyc  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

01-17-13   I haven't looked into this much, but it looks like a very in ...   Lindstad

01-18-13   "if it supports usb audio, there should be no differenc ...   Mapman

01-18-13   Slothman/others, what other similar devices are out there t ...   Mapman

01-18-13   Binkleyc, i did what you asked and it was dead silent. lind ...   Slothman

01-18-13   Hmm, i wonder which os sounds better, linux or android? :-) ...   Mapman

01-18-13   Can the android box do 24/96? also, can you create your own ...   Daverz

01-18-13   Awesome. the problem with mac minis and diy servers is it is ...   Binkleyc

01-19-13   since you don't have hi-rez files, i'm not sure this device ...   Cruz123

01-22-13   Daverz - according to the manual posted in the op, i believe ...   Slothman

01-22-13   I started dabbling with xbmc media server (on windows) and u ...   Mapman

01-24-13   This is interesting and see if i can get one to compare to m ...   Rbautista

01-24-13   "mapman, since you already have a squeezebox mediaserve ...   Mapman

01-28-13   I would like to know what valab model is working. thank you. ...   Olmeda

01-29-13   one of the earlier models from late 2009 perhaps. valab nos ...   Slothman

01-30-13   So i think it is using tenor te7022l as usb input receiver, ...   Olmeda

01-31-13   Olmeda - i think the one i have is a previous model to that ...   Slothman

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