Yes, it’s another review for those people who have been asking me about the Google TV (Google media player) options available now that I’ve helped shed some light to friends about newer products on the market. In the past I’ve talked about the Google TV and Apple TV comparison and having been asked a half dozen times in the past few weeks about setting up a XBMC media player I’ve shifted my focus towards the Android platform and moved away from Apple. Why? Well it’s simple. It’s open. No more jailbreaking and no more restrictions. Meaning you can do whatever you’re capable of. But which device? I’m a big fan of the Pivos XIOS DS but also on the market is the Jynxbox Android HD.
Jynxbox Android HD Review
If you’re like me and most people, you love saving money. The past few years I’ve been fortunate to be able to dive into the world of XBMC and with proper plugins and accounts I’ve cut my cable bill in half. The only real reason I’ve kept it to this day is for the high definition sports I seem to not be able to get out of my daily schedule. I’m currently equipped with Telus Optik TV with a PVR and find myself only ever using it to watch sports and record sports. All my regular TV shows and even movies are being streamed online through my Google Media Player.
The Jynxbox itself comes equipped with a 1.2 GHX CPU with 1GB of DDR3 Ram, 2GB of nand flash storage, 3 hookups for USB connections which could extend your storage capabilities (think external hard drives, peripherals etc) , a 32GB built in Micro storage unit as well as the traditional wifi capabilities and wired ethernet connection. All output appears to be done through an HDMI 1.3 port.
It’s small, it’s compact and it comes preinstalled with XBMC which should get you up and running right off the hop. While the current version of XBMC isn’t up to date (as of this writing) it still works and as you add plugins you’ll quickly notice the lack of a need for a more expensive cable package.
How the Jynxbox HD Stacks Up
Retailing at just under $150 dollars (on amazon currently) it is currently one of the more expensive options I’ve seen. Of course if you’re a nerdy like figure (like myself) who loves his gadgets you could purchase a $35 Raspberry Pi and stream XBMC that way. Either way will work and either way still runs XBMC. There are slowdowns when you tend to multitask through the XBMC program but when you’re just watching video it runs as good as any other setup.
Is the Jynbox worth the extra money? Well that depends, if you feel the added hardware will put your mind at ease moving more into the future then you can probably justify the extra $40-$50 dollars. It isn’t much and when compared to my favorite device the Pivos Xios DS there isn’t much separation. Personally I love the XIOS DS but that doesn’t mean it’s for you but keep in mind the Pivos is the box of choice for the XBMC team and what they currently test all their current software on (aside from the usual windows/mac/linux software).
Why you would purchase the Jynxbox? Well if you’re not to tech savvy or know anyone capable of setting up a media box for you this should get you off and running because it comes preinstalled with all the apps you should need. We’ve mentioned XBMC comes preinstalled but this device also comes equipped with other streaming services like HBO Go, Netflix, etc.
Should You Buy It
I’ve had a lot of people ask me about AppleTV’s in the past but have since pushed people in the direction of an Android media player. Why? There’s no worry about a jailbreak, updating your device won’t break your jailbreak or prevent you from watching your favorite shows through XBMC and above all else the “open” freedom of it should provide some well designed apps and plugins in the future. Both the software and hardware devices are still pretty new and while there are a lot of options available on the market to the consumer more are coming. Right now we love both the Pivos XIOS DS and the Jynxbox Android HD to get you up and running. An experienced XBMC user may opt for the Pivos while those who just want to get up and running with as little work as possible may enjoy the Jynxbox. Either way you’ll be very happy with one of these devices and even more happy when you experience the awesomeness that is XBMC. When you cut your cable bill in half you may just swear off it altogether and stick with XBMC.