Instead of a HTPCs as DLNA client for FreeNAS one can also use an Android TV box as a cheaper variant.
My choice fell on the myGica ATV1200, which works with Android 4.1.2 and above all offers various connections: optical digital output, coax output and four times USB. The setup is relatively simple, as it is largely a standard Android and the box is also rooted, so it has an open bootloader.
The Hardware Specifications
- Dual Core CPU AML 8726-M6/MX / ARM CORTEX A9 x 2 / 1.2 GHz (up to 1.5 GHz)
- 1GB DDR3 RAM
- 4 GByte NAND Flash and SD-Card-Slot for memory expansion
- 802.11b/g/n WIFI and 100 MBit/s Ethernet integrated
So the box should be fast enough to play back 1080p video material, at least if the player supports hardware acceleration. XBMC for Android is the most interesting project here, especially since it offers other functions besides the video player, including the DNLA client, which works well with minidlna on FreeNAS harmonizes. However, there is only a second release candidate of XBMC 12, which does not necessarily have to run stable. XBMC for Android is under constant development, so that a stable release will be available soon.
As keyboard I use a Logitech K400 (good 30,-€ at Amazon)The Android TV box has an integrated touchpad, which makes it much easier to operate than with the included remote control.
So far my experiences are mixed: although access to the Google Play Store offers a variety of apps, important ones like Firefox for Android and Chrome for Android are not available for the CPU used. Without hardware acceleration, the CPU also has problems, for example playing Youtube videos with 1080p smoothly. However, this can be improved with a suitable player or other software updates of the Android operating system. In my case the box is also supposed to serve as an AirPlay player, which is why a variant in the form of an HDMI stick was out of the question.
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