Advice on a very cheap box for streaming?

Dunno cause I don’t fully understand the terminology. I’m talking about rebooting from running on SD card to running from the box’s internal memory. If that’s what you’re after, I’ve “stolen” this from a post by Tim Taylor in another forum some time ago.
One way will work in every skin.

Edit the file favourites.xml -> Favourites.xml - Official Kodi Wiki


_---------------------------------- You click on the favourite and then reboot and you then go back to android. Reboot android and the SD is detected and CoreELEC boots.

Hang fire for a mo please @roden. The cut and paste appears correctly for me in edit but does not show everything when the post is viewed.

One way will work in every skin. One way will work in every skin.

Edit the file favourites.xml.


STILL NOT SHOWING ALL!!! I have sent you a private message pointing you in the right direction.

Lol cheers ill have a look :slight_smile:

So I’ve been using a Nexbox A95X with LibreElec for years. I’m a total newbie in the field but even I - guided by on-line instructions, of course - managed to install my LE on a microSD and now have the device able to boot either to Libre (when the card is in - so 99,9% of the time) or to the Android it came with (if it’s taken out - which is when I need to use some Android app, usually a VOD service). The installation process was quick and everything works perfect.

So perfect - in fact - that I decided it’s high time to buy another box to a second room in my apartment and I heard a lot of praise about CoreElec :slight_smile: Since I bought the Nexbox almost 3 years ago, I reckon the hardware landscape is probably completely different nowadays but what did not change is my cluelessness about it all. Thus, I’d be very grateful for any tips on what box I should buy in order to ensure such a smooth and noob-friendly (like, I am fully capable of writing an the image file of the given firmware to the card, installing things with the toothpick method or SSHing into the device so I don’t really mean something plug and play like Nvidia Shield) installation process and such fluid support of the two boot options as my Nexbox does while allowing for such impeccable playback of each and every format you throw in its direction on a usb stick. I wouldn’t want to go beyond $50 but of course the less the better (I remember I bought the Nexbox for under $30 these three years ago and can only speak in superlatives about it to this day).

What would you recommend? Should I go for a specific brand? Model? Architecture? RAM? I’d rather not have to go through the whole hassle of building something on rpi from scratch and I’d rather have something similar to my Nexbox. From the cheap options, I’ve recently seen the Tanix TX9S (S912) on sale in a few places, for something like 26 bucks - dunno if that would be a good choice, for example? Thanks so much in advance!

Go for S905x2 or S905x3 rather than S912. That way you get the new (Ng) kernel and it’s features. 2/16 will be enough. I run happily with 100m ethernet but I don’t go beyond 1080p resolutions.

I’m on record about my favourite cheapie in this thread so I’m assuming you’ve discounted that one already.

You write very well by the way. I’m a few steps ahead of you but we’re on the same path. I started with S805

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$50 should get you an S905X3 with gigabit ethernet and would be the preferred option at this price point.

If saving money is near the top of your list though, don’t completely rule out the S912 though as it works very well and one of the advertisers over at Freaktab has a Tanix TX9S 2GB RAM + 8GB ROM Android 9.0 with gigabit ethernet (only 2,4Ghz WiFi though) for $22.99

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Thank you for the responses guys @sonofdibnah @Compent ! The ethernet and wifi capabilities are very secondary to me because I’ll only be using the box to playback things from my USB stick/external drive so the only thing I want is for it to playback everything I throw in its general direction not worrying about the codecs and formats :slight_smile: Looked through the S905X3-powered boxes that you mention and found that for example an X96 Air 2/16 or a Tanix TX3 2/16 are both under $30 right now - would they be a good bet, in your opinion? They’re only a couple of bucks pricier than the S912 Tanix I mentioned.

The x96Air is an excellent little box, but has some thermal issues out of the box.
I would strongly advise against the S912. Its software support is very much behind the S905x3 and will likely remain so indefinitely, this means its likely to develop more bugs as things evolve with less likelyhood of those bugs getting resolved. The S905x3 betters the performance of the S912 in almost every respect, it was as good as orphaned by AMLogic as soon as it was released which means its full potential was never realised in anything but Android.


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Well im happy with the H96 (S905x2 Version lol) Its doing exactly what i like, great for the price.

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Good to know that Roden because I almost bullied you into buying it!

Sorry for a rookie question but what do thermal issues mean with regards to these boxes and CE? Does it mean it’s overheating and throttling? Shutting down? Risks permanent damage?

It runs at between 50 and 70 centigrade in normal use. That’s a bit high for my taste.


I see. But do other boxes run cooler? So for example, would I be better off going for, say, Tanix TX3 from these cheap S905X3 boxes instead?

The H96 Max is doing great for me. Cool as ice and it’s doing everything I want it to. I paid £20 for it.

It’s as good as my mecool Km9 Pro wich was double the price and more.

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I created temperature thread.

I agree totally with shoog above, there is no throttling I guess, but for long term view, I wouldnt let run these device higher than, lets say 50-53 in idle… You can feel temperature even just been around, when temps are 53 and higher.

Personally, I have 8-9y boxes, running 38-48, nothing wrong with them works still as new (Rpi, Rpi2, later C2 but Ive got those only like 1y or such). So I get this as good rule of thumb, if temp is between 35-55 (55 is max, and only when under load, like 4K movie etc.), devices should be fine and live long.

Dont have long experience with cheap chinese Androids, but compare with Odroid/Khadas SoC, I think they could be in similiar long span, if user take care about heat - if you have screwdiver, drilling machine, solder, tweezer, knife etc. at home,using it reguralrly, those boxes can provide great value for much cheaper price, as you are able to easilly improve it practically free.

If not, I would recommend a bit pricier solution with better cooling out of the box. AFAIK, I didnt hear about PROOVED cheap chinese unknown with cool temperatures and PROOVED justOS for them. I just jump into S905X3 boat, as they seems to be more likely wide supported within (future) CE. 912 could be cooler but dont have deeper experience how well are supported within CE.

As I wrote in that topic, feel free to all with some nice temperature test @other device share with community in temperature topic (with enough description,it would be great to have utilized summary, and not 20posts about the same device in different conditions :smiley:

P.S.: I dont claim that X96 cannot be operable in 60°C by 6 years… I just dont have that experience and like to treat my things nicelly in general :slight_smile:


My solution to cooling the X96A. took me about an hour and cost me nothing.

Dropped temps by about 25C, a good 12V fan run at 5V is virtually silent.


I would like to see a replacement housing that could take a variety of boards and have room for a heatsink and cooling fan, and provision made for airflow in and out.
Something akin to the examples of R-Pi cases produced by individuals.

The two case sides with connections to the board could have replaceable parts to suit individual boards, so the main housing would be near universal for a range of boards.

Maybe someone with a 3D printer and the inclination would produce something …

Thank you all for the replies! So all things considered, would you recommend going for any of these cheap S905X3/X2 boxes rather than the other one? Since X96 Air has this overheating problem, maybe just going for the Tanix TX3 which is the same price would be sensible?

The H96 Max is problematic cause I see it’s basically twice the price of the two boxes above on Gearbest which is a bit hard to justify I think :confused:

The X92air doesn’t have an a proven overheating problem, it just runs hot.