Android TV toyings

I recently purchased myself a MK808 android stick for use with the 32″ LCD TV I recently mounted on my bedroom wall. I had a few things that I wished to achieve with it, these were;

  1. Connect to my media server and play files (XBMC hopefully)
  2. Angry Birds in bed on a large screen
  3. Hassle free iplayer/4od
  4. Newsgroup management

So far I have been rather impressed with it, I have only broken it a handful of times which is remarkable considering how much I’ve delved into things I wasn’t sure of.

I have now managed to overclock it to 1.4ghz from the stock 1ghz. Whilst this was advertised as a 1.6ghz dual core cpu it seems that the stock cooling isn’t up to much and so I have ordered myself a tube of heatsink adhesive which I shall use to stick a massive heatsink to the cpu which will most likely protrude from the casing somewhat but should keep it cool enough to handle the full potential of the chip with some degree of stability.

Back to the reasons for buying it…

  1. The MK808 uses the RK3066 cpu at it’s core, unfortunately rockchip don’t release their code under the open source license and so the good people at XBMC haven’t managed to get hardware support running. This left me in a pickle as I have used XBMC since the XBMP days on the original Xbox. After some hunting I found the Mount Manager app which with the help of a custom kernel managed to mount my network shares as SMB, I have so far failed in my quest for NFS support on this device though I would vastly prefer it.
  2. Angry Birds in bed was an easy feat, the Measy Air Mouse that I bought with the MK808 has proven to be more than acceptable for casual gaming use from the comfort of my fart sack.
  3. The BBC iPlayer app seems to scale up to 720p rather nicely, I have had no problems with it at all. The 4od app however does not support playing on a rooted device or a TV, this leaves me no option but to ignore it until they stop being so picky about who can and cannot use their service which is a shame. I have found a few other streaming services that have proven to work rather well though.
  4. NZBUnity has proven to be a godsend in this department, it handles all of my server-side applications (sickbeard, couchpotato, headphones and sabnzbd) without problem. It even pulled in the api keys automatically for me.

All round I am very pleased with the MK808 as a bedroom device, I think I’ll wait for the ouya before I bring android into my living room however as it is a little lacking in power for what I throw at it on a daily basis (there will most likely be a far greater group of people developing for it too).

In summary here are a list of the things that I have not (yet) managed to get running properly, if anybody can help then feel free to get in touch as I am itching to get it all going 100%.

  • NFS support
  • XBMC with hardware acceleration
  • XBOX 360 joypad mapping (though I’ve not tried yet)