Sunday, July 27, 2014

TV Media Box - Xiaomi 小米盒子

Date:  July 27, 2014

***** Notes 28/5/2015 *****

You can download the Shafa.Com Appstore App on Xiaomi.  By simply installing it from Shafa.Com website.

However, if you like the USB method, I do keep all my Apps as backup at this location.

Please take notes, some of these Apps are older version.  Once installed, the Appstore app will prompt you to update these Apps.

***** Notes 10/10/2014 *****
1.  China regulators only allow all the wonderful TV apps, i.e. PPTV, Youku, Sohu, 爱奇艺, 腾讯, etc to be run on smartphones or touch book/iPad.  New law, China regulators band these TV streaming apps to be run on any TV, TV set top box such as Xiaomi, YunOS box, etc.  So, most of the time, when you download these apps from the official sites, it will not work.  So, to work around it, you will need to hunt for the hacked version of these apps, which will not force you to download new version, and will allow you to run it on the Set Top Box.  I found a few of these, and place it in here.    Copy these APK onto USB thumb drive, and plug it into Xiaomi Box.  And then install it.  These Apps is available for now Oct 10, 2014.  I am not sure how long it will work.  So, use it while it still work. 
 Screen Shot 2014 10 11 at 5 51 26 am
2.  Again, I do not sell Xiaomi Box.  I usually get my Xiaomi box from Taobao thru my buying agent.  You can do it yourself, or you can ask any other Taobao buying agent to do it for you.  My taobao buying agent is:  Ms. Amy Li,  You can buy from Qoo10 too.  But make sure when you place the order, 1) No need to jailbreak it.  2) make sure it is Xiaomi Box 3, the one with 4K capability.  3) The price should be RMB399 and above.  Anything lesser need to suspect.
  The box cost RMB399, but there will be agent fee 8%.  And then, there will be 5% insurance and so on.  There will also be local shipping as well as International shipping.  Recently, I have asked her to ship all the goods via another shipping agent, where you require to go MRT station or to some place (usually HDB) to pick up the goods.  It is cheaper than the post office EMS delivery.  EMS is still the safest.  So, you make your own decision which one to use.
3.  If your home is not using ViewQwest Fibre Broadband with Freedom VPN, then, I say you forget about buying the Xiaomi box.  For example, my friend using Starhub Cable, almost 90% of the Apps cannot run properly.  Too much dropping, and too much buffering.  M1 was reported to seems to be OK.  But I won’t count on it.  As said, these Traffic Light ISP all has their own TV content, and they have to protect those revenues.  So, it is unlikely that they will provide a smooth Internet highway for you to access these TV apps sites.  If you already tie up with Hubber, Singtel contracts, sorry, you have to decide whether you want to get another ViewQwest link to watch EPL, HK drama, Korean drama or US TV series or not.  If you are not using ViewQwest, and you have a Xiaomi box, you will have lots of frustrations and buffering.  So, I suggest you better stick with Cable TV or MIO TV or MiBox in that case to watch the proper TV channels from these providers.   
4.  It is a TV set top box, so, don’t treat Xiaomi box like a PC.  Only download Apps that works for the “remote” control.  You may place a wireless mouse behind, but it is not elegant.  hahahaha
5.  To watch EPL and other live sports, I usually 光芒体育.
***** End of Notes *****

That, I gave a two thumbs up for 10moons TV box.
Today, let’s stress test the Xiaomi, and see how it hold up against the the 10moons’ Linux box - YunOS (云OS).
It is going to be best of Android Vs. Linux TV box.
It is going to be Xiaomi (小米) Vs. Alibaba (阿里巴巴) or Taobao (淘宝).
It is going to be ICNTV (小米’s TV Program partner) Vs. 华数TV (YunOS’s TV Program partner).
IMG 7683
Before we begin, let’s note the following.
1.  I do not sell these TV boxes.  I love to watch movies and TV, and it is my strong interest to find out which box is the best for my LG 4K TV.  So, if you want to buy the box, you can either go to Taobao and get it yourself or you can ask my buying agent to buy it for you and pack for you.  So, please don’t ask me where to buy or how to buy or can buy for you or not. Thanks.  For Xiaomi, I ask my agent to buy the non-jailbreak one from Xiaomi website in China. - RMB399
For jail-broken one, I ask my agent to buy from - RMB419
For 10moons.  I ask my agent to buy from ... - RMB299
2.  At home, I used ViewQwest 200Mbps.  But because of OpenNet terminate the fibre in kitchen area, and there is no physical fibre between my kitchen to my network cabinet.  So, I have to use Homeplug (Ethernet over Power Line) technology.  So, maximum, I can only get 100Mbps to my TV boxes after all the tradeoff.  ViewQwest is an ISP that provides Freedom VPN which is a set of DNS redirection service that can full Netflix, Hulu and PPTV to think that you are in US or in China.  And hence, no Geolock issue.  PPTV is hosted in ViewQwest data centre by PPTV.  So, only thru ViewQwest network, you can get 1second or lesser buffer time.  So, don’t ask me if this will work on Singtel or Starhub or M1 or MyRepublic.  I seriously don’t know.  But I do see the performance of both Singtel and Starhub from my friend place.  It is really sucks.
3.  To be fair, before you complaint about SingTel or Starhub, you should also see your own home network design, weather it is optimal?  Are you using the crappy router provided by the ISP?  But best of all, go read for all the comments and comparison.  Those are people who spent lost of times to fix their network and they can tell you who has the best performance.
(Sorry, I must always put this down, as too many people write to me on the above issues).
OK.  Let’s go back to the main topic.
This is Xiaomi TV Box.
IMG 7684
The 3rd generation is the latest model, that does not have network port.
IMG 7685
Oh ya.  Their power supply also different.  You cannot use other 5V power plug to supply power to Xiaomi.  It is different.  I can use my 10moons and interchange with my other TV box such as Amazon Fire, and Minix boxes.  But not this one.
IMG 7686
I saw many different version, where they place English menu, toggle, and some just give you the normal Android desktop, etc.  But the one I had, I bought the jailbroken one, has this default interface where it ask you to choose the desktop when you press the home key.  You can interchange either use the Xiaomi UI or use the VST or Rabbit UI.  All are usable.
Today, let’s focus on the Xiaomi UI.
IMG 7688
This is Xiaomi UI.  Which is pretty standard.  You got all the TV Movies pages as well as the Application (应用) pages.
IMG 7689
 Here is the video of navigating Xiaomi UI.

Most of the China made TV box will have this feature to test your network speed.  What they do is from where you run the network, your ISP, they will do a download of the movie and to tell you what your Xiaomi box can do.
IMG 7693
OK.  My Xiaomi reported that I can play Super HD (超清).  This is the speed to iCNTV servers.  But take a look at the average download streaming speed.  It is 353KB/S.
IMG 7698
Now, if you recalled from my previous 10moons box, I did the same network speed test.
And the speed to connect my 10moons box to 华数TV servers are 1377KB/s.
Conclusions #1:  You can expect to run Xiaomi TV box on ViewQwest at the much slower speed as there are a different speed connecting to both caching servers.
It is 1377KB/s from 10moons Vs. 353KB/s for Xiaomi.
Not convince?  Let’s launch a few movies and you will know what I mean.
Video will tell you thousands words.
Video #1.  First video, once pressed (at the 10s mark).  It takes about 20s to buffer from a Caching server CDN19.  You can see that the speed is fluctuating too.

Video #2.  Here is another video, and it goes thru CDN30.  And this one takes about 10s to launch.

Now, let’s look back the test we did few days ago on the YunOS of 10moons TV box.

Conclusions:  You can tell the different.  When you are on ViewQwest network, and when you connect to ICNTV from Xiaomi, it is slower to get connected.  The buffering time is much slower too.  If you connect to 华数TV It is almost instantaneous.
This is something to do with your ISP Internet network topology.  Who they buy the IP Transit from, and how they deliver these streaming TV contents to you.
So, my conclusion is, ViewQwest at the moment will not give a good streaming experience to your Xiaomi box.  (May be Xiaomi running on other can get surprising results).  But most show still can be played and it looks very good on your Big 4K TV screen.  All the contents are Super HD.
However, if you have a jailbreak version of Xiaomi where you can install PPTV.  The PPTV running on the Xiaomi TV box is fast.
1 second buffering.  The movie will come out.

So, you compare to the YunOS, the performance is comparable.  It was great.

And not to forget, Xiaomi comes with very nice Apple TV like remote.
I like it too.
IMG 7794
1.  Xiaomi is a great box.  But the way how they implement the caching using CDN 19, CDN 26 and CDN 30 gives mix results to viewers.  Sometimes fast some time slow.  The fastest also takes about 8-15 seconds to launch a show.  This has nothing to do with the box.  The box itself is elegant.  It has something to do with the network.  Xiaomi says it only support China viewers.  So, I am guessing the rest of the Singapore network provider will have similar performance.
2.  Temasek Holding or GIC I think put a lot of investment in Xiaomi, and I hope they can tell Xiaomi to implement proper chaching to Singapore audience.  But then, all these involves very dark content copy right issues, so, it is not going to be easy for them to get it done for oversea or Singapore.
3.  On a ViewQwest FreedomVPN environment, running YunOS to connect to 华数TV TV content is much faster (1 second launch the show).  The PPTV client running on both YunOS and Xiaomi UI are same, 1 second launch the show.   So, thru the simple video you can guess, in my mind, why I still give 10moons a two thumbs up.
Until ViewQwest or Xiaomi can solve their CDN performance issue, otherwise, I am not recommending it for ViewQwest network.
Tell you a big joke.
That day, I was trying to show my friend how fast is the 10moons TV box.  I brought the box to office without bringing the power adapter.  So, in the office, I found a power adapter and I plug it in.  Unfortunately, that power adapter is a 12V Linksys power adapter.  And it burned by power socket on the 10moons box.  @#!^!$#!@%!$$^!
HaHaHaHaHa… I am getting my new unit in soon.  Should be in within 2 weeks time.  HaHaHaHaHa
IMG 7795


  1. Greetings! The google drive folder seems to be empty.

  2. All these Apps can be easily download via here
    This 电视必备 app has all the cracked version that allows you to run Tudou, Sohu, Youku and so on.

    1. So I xia zai and save it to a thumb and pluck into the box ?

  3. Hi,

    I would really love to try Xiao Mi TV box but my fibre plan is still with starhub. So can I get a foreign VPN from another supplier and will I be able to view every channel on XIAOMI????

    Please help and advise as the SCV cost is killing me........ ; (

  4. Hi, any tutorial on how to install English menu?
    N the constant popups asking to update. Do we update? Or ignore.

    1. You may search on the youtube or web how to install English menu. That will involve rooting your xiaomi which I don't recommend.
      App software will always get updates. So, you should update it to get advantage of its speed improvement or UI improvement.
      Some times you might not want to update it. For example, CartoonHD has a big update, but it is not recommend to update it, as you might need a mouse to navigate the menu after update. Remember some of these App is designed for touch screen.

  5. Hi ! Now china website selling latest xiao mi box 4k @ 299 cny . Can it be use in Singapore ? I can ask my china friend to buy from china and ask him ship to me .

    1. Xiaomi Mibox is a TV box running Android based app from Xiaomi. The stock Mi.Com app on the Xiaomi box so far can be watch under a few ISP. But the stock App carries older show. What usually people does is they will install LiveTV app or PPTV or others to watch TV and movies.

  6. Hi, My Xiaomi box 3rd gen suddenly failed to detect WIFI. Other portable devices has no issue. I have restored to factory setting but still failed. Any kind soul can help?

    1. I suspect is hardware problem. You might want to get it changed?

  7. hi ken Liew, thanks for information sharing.
    May I know 10moons able to watch football live? English premier, Spain premier and etc?

    1. 10moons is a TV media box. Other TV media box includes Amazon fireTV, Xiaomi, etc etc. So, the correct question is What is the App that allow you to watch English premier, Spain Premier. The answer is... one such app is called 光芒体育, or other Apps that support LiveTV. For example, LiveTV from Hong Kong or China will play the soccer game live ... but you just need to know which one.

      I don't watch soccer. So, I might not have the answers for you. You may ask around. Now, the other thing is, it is a good thing to share this sort of info, but it is bad that when it is shared widely, the server become slower, or these "illegal" channels being caught and cease to work. So, just be mindful about this.

  8. Hi there, what is the app that can watch us TV series?

  9. So this xiaomi box needs to be JB before you can install anything useful yah

  10. Hi there, i got my viewqwest 1Gbps plan set up yesterday. But it barely hit more than 100Kbps with wifi or with ethernet cable by xiaomi tv box 网络测速. I was wondering how did yours able to hit more than 300-400Kbps ?
    Cheers ~ !

  11. Android TV Box is better. Install IPTV in ur setop box and load list m3u to watch free tv
    BBC, sky movies, abc
    Euro 2016 IPTV

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