Seven things you should know about boxes
What is a set-top box and what can it do
Set-top box is also known as "box", it is a popular saying of digital video conversion box, used to connect the TV and the signal from the Internet. Its main function is to convert the external video compression signal into a content format acceptable to the TV and display it on the TV. These signals can come from cable cables, satellite antennas, broadband networks, and terrestrial broadcasting. In addition to the images and sound provided by the analog TV, the content received by the set-top box lies in the ability to receive data content, including electronic program guides, Internet web pages, subtitles, and so on. In this way, users can watch digital TV programs on existing televisions, and can carry out interactive digital entertainment, education and commercialization activities through the network.
More and more people are around to connect their home TV to the Internet through the "box" About the box, 7 things you should know
It should be pointed out that the "box" on the market currently refers to a device that converts video content on the Internet into a TV format. To put it simply, when a "box" is installed on the TV at home, the massive video content of the Internet can be played on the TV in the living room.
Overseas "box", can domestic users use it
At present, domestic and foreign software and hardware manufacturers have launched corresponding smart set-top box products. Apple launched Apple TV very early, and Google ’s Google TV has also been launched. Amazon also released a new set-top box product called Kindle Fire TV last month, which is similar to Apple ’s Apple TV and focuses on video streaming. Through Fire TV, users can watch streaming video from companies such as Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu, and can also subscribe to Amazon ’s own Instant Video video, Amazon MP3, Pandora, and TuneIn services. The highest supported streaming video format is 1080P in full HD. . Some friends will ask: Since I already have an AppleStore or Amazon account, as long as I find a way to bring in such a product from overseas, will I not be able to see the latest episodes and blockbusters in the same way as Americans in the future? No. Whether it is Apple, Amazon, Google, or Netflix, its video streaming service has not been officially launched in China, and the possibility of getting a license in the next period of time is also very small.
What kinds of "boxes" are on the market
The current set-top boxes on the market are roughly divided into three categories: consumers are most familiar with, no doubt is the IPTV set-top box released by telecom operators. In the Shanghai area, IPTV is the earliest "box" type product, to a certain extent, it can be said to be the "enlightenment teacher" in this market. However, as the rising stars in Internet companies continue to appear, IPTV seems to be a bit out of pace, gradually becoming "marginalized" among the young people.
The second category is the set-top box of the radio and television system. In Shanghai, most households generally choose a set-top box for radio and television after the digital cable TV upgrade at home, so the popularity is also quite high.
The third type of "box" is the OTT TV "box" that is the protagonist to be discussed in this article and is jointly launched by domestic Internet companies and radio and television system companies. OTT TV is an abbreviation of "OverThe Top TV", which is an accurate description of "video service based on open Internet". According to the different operating systems, OTT TV set-top boxes are divided into iOS “boxes” and Android “boxes” of Apple systems. At present, OTT “boxes” launched by domestic companies all use the Android operating system.
To put it simply, the biggest difference between OTT “boxes” and the first and second types of “boxes” is that the former system is open and has powerful video resource searching and on-demand capabilities. The disadvantage is that the “box” itself does not have live broadcast of TV programs Features. The latter can watch live broadcasts of free channels of any domestic TV station in real time, but because this kind of "box" itself is a closed system, the on-demand content in the background is very limited.
The last type of "box" is a blind spot and gray area of supervision, represented by products such as DishHD, whose essence is to copy the satellite TV set-top box outside the cottage by means of "code sharing". The use of this kind of "box" not only has certain legal and policy risks, but also because of the relationship of the gray industry, the after-sales service is not guaranteed at all. At a time when OTT "box" products and programs are becoming more and more abundant, the choice of such products should be worth the loss.
After buying the box, what smart apps should be installed
Like buying a new smartphone, after adding a "box", the first thing to do is to go online to find various smart applications. Only with all kinds of applications, the set-top box can be worthy of the title of "intelligence". Otherwise, the "box" is really just a box.
The following are several "box" applications recommended by experienced players——
Application Market / 360 TV Assistant 360 TV Assistant is an assistant software specially created for Android smart TV and smart set-top box (such as Xiaomi box). It first has a large number of high-quality, video and game software suitable for TV users, and provides a series of services such as download, installation, management, and update. At the same time, it can manage all kinds of downloaded apps for users and help users solve various problems encountered when using the "box", such as cleaning trash for TVs, antivirus, and speeding up the system.
Video playback App / 100tv TV version client 100tv TV version client (hereinafter referred to as TV version) has a powerful video codec function, can play almost all formats of video, aggregate content resources of mainstream Internet video sites, only need to download One application, you can enjoy one-stop video viewing service.
In addition, the 100tv TV version has also done a lot of optimizations in details. Local area network playback function can quickly scan out the sources of all storage devices under the same local area network, click directly to quickly watch; if the movie you want to watch is not in the "box" you purchased, you can also use the 100tv mobile version, or WeChat public account "100tv", search for the latest movie or popular video you want to watch, then click to enter the playback page, and then click the "TV watching" button on the screen, after this operation, the video content you selected will pass 100tv , The cloud is synchronized to your account, and then use the same account to log in to the 100tv TV version, you can watch the movie on the TV screen simultaneously.
Watchers Movies and TVs include movies, TV series, anime, variety shows, documentaries and other on-demand content on mainstream video sites, as well as more than 350 live channels such as CCTV, satellite channels, and local channels, providing "on-demand + live" one-stop content discovery and viewing experience . Known as "one cloud and multiple screens", the intelligent guide engine has search and recommendation functions such as intelligent recommendation, social recommendation, intelligent search, hot ranking, Weibo follow and award-winning albums, which makes it easy for users to find themselves from massive online videos Favorite, and realize the interconnection and cloud sharing between mobile phones, tablets, computers and TVs.
Live TV App / HDP live broadcast HDP live broadcast is an Android application that focuses on live broadcast. It is compact and has a simple interface. It aggregates more than 600 network channels from CCTV, satellite TV to local stations and overseas. Update daily. In addition, it also supports the DIY channel function to customize your favorite channels.
Film and television aggregation App / Taijie Video TV version Includes movies, TV, serials, variety entertainment, etc. from all major video websites, all sources can be synchronized with the network within 2-3 hours. In addition, there are weekly hot movie special planning, launching a variety of wonderful themes to meet the needs of movie enthusiasts.
The browser App / UC browser TV version continues the search method of "UC Video Daquan" in video search, supports first letter search, hot word recommendation, one-click search and other functions, and is first displayed through the search box while searching Video resources can be played in full screen directly after selection. In addition, through the "UC +" plug-in to connect mobile phones and TVs for cross-screen interaction, to realize the use of mobile phones to control TV browsers and smooth TV purchases-mobile payment cross-device home online shopping experience.
Video player App / MXPlayer video player for Android system supports almost all network video formats including 3GP, AVIDIVX, F4V, FLV, MKV, MP4, MPEG, MOV, VOB, WMV, WEBM, XviD, etc. It is also the first multi-core decoding video player on the Android platform. According to tests on multi-core devices, it has improved performance by nearly 70% compared to single-core decoding.
What are the strengths of "Box"
The biggest advantage of the OTT TV "box" is its openness-it introduces massive amounts of video content from the Internet to the TV in your living room. This resource search and push capability is currently impossible for any TV station.
At the same time, the OTT TV "Box" provides a smart application App download service, which is equivalent to turning the TV at home into a giant screen computer. Through various pre-installed and downloaded apps, consumers can enjoy various value-added applications and services provided by online third parties. For example, according to policy regulations, the OTT TV "box" itself cannot provide real-time live broadcast services of TV programs, but now many video aggregation apps can already push and view the live broadcast content of the TV station simultaneously, using the OTT TV "box" to watch Live news or replays of popular reality shows are no longer difficult. In layman's terms, with the OTT TV "box", in addition to playing games (restricted by the remote control), things that could only be done on the computer in the past can now be done on the TV.
How to choose a reliable "box"
According to incomplete statistics, there are currently more than 20 domestic manufacturers of legally producing OTT TV set-top boxes, and the legally sold "box" models have reached three digits.
Although the variety of "boxes" varies, and each product has its own strengths, it is important to note that according to the relevant national management policies for online video transmission, all legally sold OTT TV set-top boxes must be connected to the Internet. It is only through the cooperation of enterprises with TV licenses that they have obtained a "pass" similar to the mobile phone network access permission. The seven licensed companies are Huashu Media, BesTV, CNTV China Internet TV, Central People's Broadcasting Station, China Radio International, Hunan Satellite TV and Southern Satellite TV.
After confirming that the "box" is not a "black account", the rest is simple. Like smart phones, the "boxes" on the market are also "one price, one price"-smart TV set-top boxes such as Haimeidi and Kaibo are mostly 200-300 yuan; the price of the Xiaomi box is also 299 yuan. The smart set-top boxes introduced by color TV manufacturers are relatively expensive, mostly at 400-600 yuan, the price of LeTV boxes is 200-600 yuan, and the newly launched iKan smart set-top box by Skyworth is 799 yuan.
Although the shape, function and operation of the "box" are similar, the hardware configuration of each product is still a bit different. For ordinary consumers who are not demanding, only need to remember the following points: Android 4.0 and above operating system (Suitable for most intelligent applications); processor is more than dual-core, preferably quad-core; memory is more than 1G, preferably 2G; storage space is more than 4G, preferably 8G (ensure that the "box" can be viewed smoothly Effect); Support HDMI and AV output (responding to various video output formats on the Internet to ensure that they can be watched on most TV sets).
It should be reminded that if you want to use the "box", the broadband in your home must be at least 4 megabytes; if you want to watch smooth high-definition 1080p format video, the broadband in your home is better than 10 megabytes. In addition, the output interfaces of mainstream products on the market are all one-to-one configuration, that is to say, one "box" can only correspond to one TV at present.