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G-BOX Rockchip 2918 Gingerbread - Really plays and outputs FullHD

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  1. bthoven

    bthoven Well-Known Member

    I just got this G-Box from China at $103 shipped (now it is a bit more expensive):

    Wholesale Newest Wifi and Bluetooth Google Android 2.3 TV Box with Remote +Cortex A8,1.2GHZ+DDR III


    It runs Android 2.3.1. Here is my quick review after one day of use:

    1. It runs old Market version (older by 2 versions), and I can download/install app fine.

    2. I still can't root it by Z4Root and Gingerbreak.

    3. It plays 1080p mkv movies from my external USB HDD. Though it is watchable, the output quality is worse than dvd quality. The movies play smoothly. I use its stock video player, Moboplayer.

    4. The stock launcher is not so good, I replace it with LauncherPro plus and it works better.

    5. The remote control can't control some menus on some apps. However, I can use my existing RF wireless keyboard/touchpad (Visenta v1) to totally control it. I can play Angry Bird with this keyboard. I believe all RF keyboard/touchpad can work with this unit.

    6. Youtube can play high quality video, or HD video; but the display quality is not that great (same as playing HD movies). But it is more than watchable.

    7. I connect it with the included hdmi to my LG Plasma 42 inch (1024x768), the aspect ratio is correct.

    8. Unfortunately, the included apps, e.g. Market, Map, etc.. can't be updated from Market (all stock apps are system-protected).

    9. Mine comes without builtin bluetooth and 2.4Ghz RF. Though wifi is builtin.

    10. USB can be set as both host and OTG

    11. The box itself and the included AC adapter are a bit warm when in use, indicating it is not so power hungry.

    12. I've tried the following apps and they are working fine: TEDAir, GeekBeat TV, Revision3, Teamviewer, Moboplayer, tTorrent, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Smartkeyboard Pro, Dolphin Browser HD, TuneIn Radio, Whitehouse, etc. Text display on Facebook and Google+ are too small and no way to adjust the Text size in the apps. Ubersocial always works in landscape two-pane mode which I don't like and the text is also too small; thus, resort to Seesmic.

    13. It sometimes shuts itself off when I press my remote key too fast, this is a bug.

    14. I can use the stock remote to shut it off, but can't switch it on with it. I need to press the power button in front panel of the box to switch it on.

    15. It takes over a minute to switch on. During booting up, it displays a big "G-BOX" word.

    16. I can't find way to set the screensaver. The display is always on.

    17. When I connect the box with LAN cable to my router, I can't establish Wifi connection. If I disconnect LAN cable, wifi connects fine.

    18. Operating this box is quite responsive, except the moment it is installing a new app from Market. Not a big deal, though.

    19. It has SD card reader on the right side of the box. It works fine. It works like an SD card slot in notebook. It has spring-loaded and the inserted card sits flushed when mounted. No other ports/slots on the left side of the box. The front panel has only power switch button and IR remote window. The remote operating angle is not great but ok.

    20. Internal flash disk size is 4GB (not 2GB as Flexiview).

    21. The case is all plastic material; but looks nice.

    Overall, I'm happy with this box in every aspect, except the HD video/movie output quality which is somewhere between VideoCD(Mpeg-1) and DVD(Mpeg 2). It is a very good value for money. I'm not sure this is the limitation of Google OS or the box itself.

    The box is bigger than the Flexiview, due to accommodation of CBVS output ports. The stock remote should be replaced for total control of the apps and for playing games. Angry Birds game is awesome on my Plasma TV, though (still don't know how to zoom out the screen).

    I hope someone can root this things because I wish to upgrade those included apps to the latest version.

    I can't find an equivalent box which has an official website for future firmware upgrade. The ********** vendor is also very vague about firmware upgrade when being asked.

    Will report more when I have more time playing it.

    Update: day2: It's my fault. The HD/FullHD video playbacks very well at high quality on my Plasma TV. Yahoo HD, Vimeo HD also deliver high quality video from this box. What a great box!

    Update: 30 Sept 2011:

    1. Upgrade Adobe Flash to the latest version from Market, and Flash won't play in browser (stock browser and Dolphin HD). Still don't know what to do.
    2. Friendcaster for Facebook is my favorite Facebook app because I can set it to display larger font size. The official Facebook app displays too small font.
    3. In order to display great on your LCD/Plasma, set the Sharpness to 0.
    4. Tweetcaster is my favorite twitter app because of its beautiful UI, and can set to display larger font size.
    5. The box is still performing very well and fast. If you already have "dump" LCD TV and want to upgrade it to a super smart TV, don't buy a new TV, buy this box (or other similar box)!

    Update: 7 Oct 2011: The Flash 11 problem has been solved. I have to uninstall flash, then go to website that requires flash for video. Then let the browser download the correct flash version. Now it works, and found that it downloaded Flash v.10.2. So this box only support Flash 10.2. It's good because Flash 11 take 5MB more space on internal SD.

    Update: 26 Oct 2011: Really happy with this box. One annoying thing is that it has audio sync problem (just a bit) with all the offline and online videos I play regardless of any video player apps.


  2. sstavross

    sstavross Member

    It looks as it is the same with my google tv box, only the box size/type is different.(I have open a thread in this forum).
    Yes, the image output is 720p that is why you don't have the best picture in your movies.

    For me the biggest problem is what you say: "I can't find an equivalent box which has an official website for future firmware upgrade. The ********** vendor is also very vague about firmware upgrade when being asked."
    I have searched all the net and found nothing about firmware upgrades. Seems there is no support for this box... Well, yet... Maybe it is very new, I don't know. Let's wait... if you find anything please post!
  3. bthoven

    bthoven Well-Known Member

    I saw your post, and now we are on the same boat :)

    My HD video (720p or 1080p mkv) quality from this box can't be called HD at all. It is worse than the dvd quality output from RGB port connected from my netbook (to the same Plasma TV).

    Geekbeat TV HD from Revision3 also looks grainy.

    Update- Day 2: After setting HDMI output resolution to 1280x720p in the box, now it displays HD video very well at high quality now. The box allows you to set 1920x1080p output too; but my Plasma TV is just a HD one.
  4. sstavross

    sstavross Member

    How do you set the HDMI output? Mine doesn't have this future. Also can you tell me your firmware version? Mine has Vr.1.28_0701 (check the foto in my thread and tell me if it has the same kernet too)
  5. bthoven

    bthoven Well-Known Member

    The setting is under Settings/Display. It allows you to set from 480p to 1080p 24, 50, 60hz.

    Will let you know my firmware version when I'm at home tonight (gmt+7:).
  6. bthoven

    bthoven Well-Known Member


    Here it is:

    Mine have a lower version than you, i.e.. v1.28_0614.

    My HDMI output resolution:

    and this shows you all the output options:
  7. sstavross

    sstavross Member

    Well, I can see a lot of differences! Mine doesn't say G-Box and it hasn't your display menu. Maybe mine is a clone? Can you tell if there is any audio options in your box(like set the optical output etc)? Also please install Android System Info apk and post a pictrue of the CPU and build infos! It would be very helpfull...

    Ah, I forgot to tell you that the reason you can't root your box(and mine ) is that the filesystem is CRAMFS ( but if we have a new firmware we may do it)
  8. bthoven

    bthoven Well-Known Member


    As requested, I took photo of CPU and Build info for your view :)

    To my surprise, I'm not sure my internal RAM is just 256MB (instead of 512MB as they advertised). Really bad if it is.

    Btw, there is no audio output setting.

    Attached Files:

  9. bthoven

    bthoven Well-Known Member

    This is Memory section from Android System Info app.

    The External Storage is my inserted SD card.

    I'm not sure why my RAM size is 265MB, instead of 256 or 512MB.

    What is the Cache and Data



  10. bthoven

    bthoven Well-Known Member

    After checking the internal SD card inside, I found that it should be 4GB as advertized. But I still can't verify that it has 512MB Ram. All I see is 265MB (yes 265, not 256MB), which number persuade me to believe that it has more than 256MB. However, I don't know where is the other 247MB??

    Anyone can shed the light for me?
  11. bthoven

    bthoven Well-Known Member

    It is my belief that part of the RAM is reserved for the graphic card. That's why the total RAM is only 265MB.
  12. szemo77

    szemo77 Well-Known Member

    Can you take a test for API support?
    News - Android Fragmentation

    We will see what vendor hide for us an what not will be support on that box.
  13. bthoven

    bthoven Well-Known Member

    You want me to use Android Analyzer 1.0 to make a report?
  14. szemo77

    szemo77 Well-Known Member

    Yes. After test please note test id.
  15. bthoven

    bthoven Well-Known Member

    Hi, I ran the test and saved its result as a text file. Where to look for the test id?
  16. bthoven

    bthoven Well-Known Member

    Here is the test result from Android Analyzer 1.0 which I save as a text file.

    Please let me know some insight about this box..thanks.

    Attached Files:

  17. szemo77

    szemo77 Well-Known Member

  18. bthoven

    bthoven Well-Known Member

    Thanks szemo77. How do you know it is same firmware as M12?

    No, my box doesn't have gps and gsm. Google map won't recognize my location even with wifi guestimation :)
  19. Cybereu

    Cybereu Member

    Im considering buy this because of the hardware, but i would like in future root(thats new thing to me) to update the OS and before that, maybe if i could, install a linux distro like debian, or arch, that supports ARM.
    Searching in web i found this, maybe can help root the system.

    [How To] Unpack and Repack for Custom Firmwares for Rockchip RK28xx
    bthoven likes this.
  20. shadman2

    shadman2 Member

    Can anyone view HULU videos with this unit. All I get is a message that it is downloading silverlight but it hangs there. Any help????
  21. xmancool

    xmancool Well-Known Member

    Is possible to install psx and N64 emulators in this device?
  22. cds03900

    cds03900 New Member

    I also have bought this box
    Android TV G-Box ATV-S12 - Android 2.3 - RockChip RK2918 ARM Cor

    I have several questions:
    - Who is the manufacterer? My guess is Starworth unfortunately no support on their website
    - Any suggestion where to find the latest firmware? It crashes from time to time and the website where I bought it (Asianpads) doesn't respond on my question about the firmware).
    - I have a RF keyboard (Logitech K400) attached to it and this works. However I have an azerty keyboard and the system is configurated to a qwerty keyboard. In settings there is nothing to alter is. I found on the net that I should alter the file "qwerty.kl" so the keys would be mapped to azerty. To alter this I should have root access. Has anybody succeeded to root this box?
    - Has anybody got suggestions for good apps for a TV-BOX?

  23. bthoven

    bthoven Well-Known Member

    Best Answer
    Most Froyo/Gingerbread apps when displaying on TV, the font size is a bit small. Some video podcast apps do not have an option to play HD version. So we have to find apps which allow text resizing and HD playback.

    Twitter app: Seesmic, Twidroyd, or Tweetcaster (all of them allow big text display option)
    Vimeo app: Vimeo Mobile (can set it to play HD version of their video catalog)
    Google+ and Facebook: the official ones display text size are too small. Friendcaster is a good alternative app for Facebook because it has bigger font option. Still don't have alternative app for Google+
    Youtube: the official one is fine (allows you to switch between standard and HQ quality playback)
    JetVD Lite: an alternative Youtube player/downloader which can stream upto 1080p quality video
    e-mail: K-9 allows big text display
    Videoplayback: Moboplayer (support embedded and external subtitles, stream video)
    Scheduled recording online radio: Radio RIP or Recordio
    Video Podcasts aggregator: iMediashare (work only with wifi on, not wired internet)
    Video Podcasts/Internet TV: Geekbeat TV, Revision3, TEDAir, NASA, Whitehouse, CNN

    Still no luck finding new firmware for this box. Mine seldom crashed, very stable.
  24. bodrogi53

    bodrogi53 New Member

    Hello Guys,

    I got this unit Today
    I have chinese input layout keyboard and I could not change it to english. I did not find the keyboard input changing menu as usual on the other android tablets

    Could anyone help me if where can I find the english keyboard layout and how can I change it?

  25. bthoven

    bthoven Well-Known Member

    Have you tried settings-->keyboard...?

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