Android TV Box Technology

Don’t Buy This Box! StreamSmart S4 and PRO

Don’t Buy This Box! StreamSmart S4 and PRO

I get requested on a regular basis about my opinion on totally different Android bins. To be trustworthy, most of them are pretty generic packing containers which have hassle standing out in a crowd.

Each now and then you definitely get one which stands out for a completely totally different purpose.

That’s the case with the StreamSmart S4 and StreamSmart PRO.

Replace January 2018: StreamSmart.television has been “under maintenance” for a number of days and lots of their distributors have mysteriously closed up store. What occurred?

…perhaps individuals learn this assessment. 🙂

This isn’t the primary time that I’ve come out towards shopping for an Android field. It’s uncommon…nevertheless it does occur.

Again in September 2015, I wrote the primary “Don’t Buy this Box” article about SmartKodi. On the time, it was some of the costly Kodi packing containers available on the market – promoting for $325 and promising “Free TV for a Lifetime.”

The article obtained some fairly excessive reward from a Group Kodi rock-star: Nate Thomas.

Nate and I don’t see eye-to-eye on every little thing, however we did agree on our opinions of producers like SmartKodi. Take a look at the feedback on that article to see what he stated.

Since then, there haven’t actually been many bins which have ticked me off that a lot. I’m not towards Absolutely Loaded Kodi bins, regardless that that’s not how I select to observe my TV. A ton of individuals love them and I feel they’ve a spot within the business.

I’m additionally not towards individuals charging for offering a service, so long as it’s giving a good worth to the client.

However what I don’t like is when an organization is clearly overcharging for a tool and making an insane sum of money off their buyer’s lack of expertise.

As I stated in that first article:

I labored in shopper electronics retail with Circuit Metropolis for a very long time – over ten years, in truth. We have been all the time taught to disregard our opinions on a product and simply pitch its options and advantages. If any of you’re in gross sales, you’ll perceive what I imply.

Most merchandise have been useful to a minimum of some clients, even when we didn’t like them. Sometimes, we got here throughout a product that’s simply so dangerous, or so overpriced that you simply actually need to marvel what was going via the producer’s heads.

You’ll find out about StreamSmart at StreamSmart.television. There are different websites with comparable names, however I’ll get into that in a minute. They’re all on-line shops, and all promote the identical product. I gained’t hyperlink to any of the websites as a result of which will not directly assist them out, and that’s undoubtedly not my objective right here. All the photographs on this article have been taken on December 27th, 2016 (besides for 2 photographs that are famous of their descriptions) and have been correct as of the time of this writing.

So in case you’re prepared to seek out out why you shouldn’t purchase a StreamSmart Android Field, let’s get began.

I’m going to cowl each the StreamSmart S4 and the newer StreamSmart PRO on this article, as a result of I consider that each are a completely horrible worth in your cash.

First I’ll listing out the specs of every under and then get into why. Please observe: the next specs have been copied of their entirety from the StreamSmart.television web site. Solely the order of the specs have been modified with a purpose to put all related hardware specs collectively on the prime of the lists. No merchandise has been added or eliminated.

StreamSmart box

StreamSmart S4 specs

  • AMLOGIC S805 QUAD CORE 64 BIT ARM CORTEX A 1.5 GHZ CPU + QUAD CORE MALI 450 GPU
  • 1 GB DDR3 RAM AND eight GB NAND FLASH STORAGE
  • ANDROID Four.Four KITKAT SUPPORTS GOOGLE BROWSER, FLASH10.2 AND HTML5
  • MEGABIT ETHERNET 10/100M RJ45 PORT
  • INTERNAL WIFI 802.11 A/B/G/N/AC DUAL WI-FI (2.4GHZ/5.eight GHZ)
  • USB2.zero HOST× three(CONNECT TO USB DEVICES)
  • SD/MMC CARD READER
  • HDMI 1.Four AND AV OUTPUT AND COMPONENT(YPBPR) OUTPUT THAT’S SUITABLE FOR ANY TV AND DISPLAY.
  • ***CHANNELUP ACCOUNT INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE***
  • ***HD VIDEO***
  • SUPPORTS VIDEO FORMATS: VC-1, H.264, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-Four, DIVX, RM, ETC.
  • SUPPORTS AUDIO FORMATS: MP3, WMA, AC3, DTS, AAC, FLAC, ETC.
  • SUPPORTS PHOTO FORMATS: JPG, JPEG, BMP, GIF, PNG
  • FULL HD SUPPORT
  • ABILITY TO UTILIZE USB MOUSE, KEYBOARD OPERATION AND 2.4G QWERTY REMOTE
  • SKYPE/MSN/QQ
  • ANDROID VIDEO: YOUTUBE,XBMC
  • MULTILINGUAL GUI SUPPORTED.
  • SUPPORT ALL STANDARD SD/HD VIDEO OUTPUT FORMATS: 480I/P, 576I/P, 720P, 1080I/P
  • SUPPORTS 3D HDMI DISPLAY
  • ERGONOMICALLY DESIGNED REMOTE CONTROL MAKES OPERATIONS SIMPLE AND COMFORTABLE.
  • MCU POWER ON/OFF BY REMOTE CONTROL

StreamSmart Professional specs

  • AmLogic S905 Quad Core 64 bit ARM Cortex A53 2.zero GHz CPU + Penta Core Mali 450 GPU
  • 2 GB DDR3 RAM
  • eight GB eMMC storage
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop Helps Google browser, Flash10.2 and HTML5
  • GigaBit Ethernet 10/100/1000M RJ45 Port
  • Inner WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Twin Wi-Fi (2.4GHz/5.eight GHz)
  • USB2.zero Host× three(hook up with USB units)
  • SD/MMC card reader
  • HDMI 2.zero and AV output and Element(YPbPr) output that’s appropriate for any TV and show.
  • ***CHANNELUP account included with buy***
  • ***4K Video***
  • Helps video codecs: VC-1, H.264, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-Four, DIVX, RM, and so on.
  • Helps audio codecs: MP3, WMA, AC3, DTS, AAC, FLAC, and so on.
  • Helps photograph codecs: JPG, JPEG, BMP, GIF, PNG
  • Full HD Help, potential to make the most of USB mouse, keyboard operation and 2.4G QWERTY Distant
  • Skype/MSN/QQ
  • Android Video: Youtube,XBMC
  • Multilingual GUI Supported.
  • Help all normal SD/HD/UHD video output codecs: 480i/p, 576i/p, 720p, 1080i/p, 4K
  • Helps 3D HDMI show
  • Ergonomically designed distant management makes operations easy and snug.
  • MCU energy on/off by distant management

What would you pay for such a tremendous piece of leading edge know-how?

I’m being a bit of tongue-in-cheek right here as a result of neither of those units have something near leading edge know-how.

The AmLogic S805 that’s within the StreamSmart S4 was introduced method, approach again in April 2014. CNX-Software program did a superb write up again then of the variations in the primary AmLogic chipsets on the time: the MX, S802, S812 and S805.

Within the picture under, you’ll be able to see a present choice of the AmLogic S805 Android bins at GearBest. Excluding the Android projector and one loopy field priced at $200, all the units are presently priced between $32 and $65 US. For the report, these costs are correct as of December 29th 2016.

The StreamSmart PRO boasts the newer AmLogic S905 processor. This continues to be a superb performing chipset, and the one present in each the MINIX NEO U1 and SkyStream One. Despite the fact that this can be a newer chipset, the S905 nonetheless got here out within the latter half of 2015. When you’re within the efficiency distinction between the S805 that’s within the StreamSmart S4 and the S905 that’s within the StreamSmart PRO, CNX-Software program did a comparability check again in November 2015. Warning, it’s a technical article, so it might be a bit heavy for the informal reader.

At GearBest, comparable units vary between $36 and $79 US – excluding the $26 Android stick. To be truthful, Android stick PC’s usually have much less options than their TV field counterparts. Evaluating on value isn’t an apples-to-apples comparability. Once more, these costs are correct as of December 29th, 2016.

Should you’ve been following alongside, you’ve in all probability received a good suggestion that I feel a StreamSmart field is insanely overpriced.

However simply how a lot are they?

A StreamSmart field is over seven occasions costlier than they must be!

Significantly. I did the maths.

In the event you take a look at the 9 (regular) AmLogic S805 packing containers within the GearBest picture above, their common value is $45.66. Examine that to the $349 that StreamSmart fees for the S4 and that’s 7.64 occasions greater than the typical S805 Android field.

The typical value of the twelve S905 Android bins at GearBest is $57.08. That works out to be 7.86 occasions costlier than the typical!

Streamsmart S4 and Streamsmart PRO specs

With that a lot markup, there higher be some killer options, proper?

Nicely..not precisely.

Help Community

The after-the-sale help is dealt with both by discussion board, Fb group or by way of e mail. There’s no choice to speak to a stay help consultant that I can discover on their web site. I’ll say that the response time on their official Fb group is evidently very fast.

There’s additionally a “Support News Feed” which seems like a good way to maintain customers knowledgeable of modifications, besides that it redirects to a Tumblr web page with three posts on it. The primary is from January 2nd, 2016, and then the opposite two from December 15th and December 27th, 2016. I assume it was a sluggish news-year at StreamSmart.

The shortage of stay, private help is an enormous strike towards StreamSmart. If I’m paying a premium worth for one thing, I anticipate to have the ability to speak to somebody in individual when I’ve an issue.

ChannelUp.television

Arguably the primary profit to purchasing a StreamSmart field is the lifetime subscription to ChannelUp.television.

What’s ChannelUp.television? It’s an IPTV subscription service which advertises “unlimited entertainment at your fingertips!” It seems that ChannelUp.television is affiliated with StreamSmart, however I wasn’t capable of affirm that, and they didn’t replay to my e-mail query on the time of this writing.

Principally it’s a paid Kodi addon which has paid streams so it purposefully limits the variety of individuals making an attempt to get on to the streams at any time. In concept, you will get pay-per-view and premium channels as a part of your subscription value.

I gained’t go into why I feel these providers are a nasty concept right here, however I’ll STRONGLY advocate utilizing a VPN when you select to subscribe to ChannelUp or another service of this sort. Even then, you in all probability gained’t be protected when these lastly turn out to be unlawful to make use of. In any case, they’ll have already got your account info in order that they know the place you reside. 🙂

What I’ll do although, is present why – even with a lifetime subscription to ChannelUp.television – both StreamSmart field continues to be insanely overpriced.

The picture under is taken from ChannelUp.television and exhibits the varied pricing tiers for his or her service.

ChannelUp.tv service

I’ll give them credit score for providing a bunch of various methods to enroll with the service. You possibly can have a 24 hour trial or select to pay month-to-month, semi-annually, yearly or perhaps a one-time cost for lifetime entry.

As you possibly can see, ChannelUp.television presents a lifetime subscription for $149.79.

Fascinating…

The ChannelUp.television service is obtainable on totally different hardware, so that you don’t want a StreamSmart field to make use of it.

So let me escape my calculator once more:


StreamSmart S4: $349 Worth of Lifetime ChannelUp.television subscription: ($149) Complete worth of StreamSmart S4 hardware: $200

 

StreamSmart PRO: $449 Worth of Lifetime ChannelUp.television subscription: ($149) Complete worth of StreamSmart PRO hardware: $300

StreamSmart is overcharging their clients between $200-$300 per gadget!

You may, in all probability.

However…

StreamSmart goes out of their strategy to make it troublesome to make use of anybody however their approved resellers (extra on that in a minute). In December 2015, they unceremoniously informed their clients that any gadget bought “on Amazon or eBay after 1/1/2016 are no longer covered under warranty, supported, and will be shut off.” 

If you bought your StreamSmart device on Amazon or eBay, you just wasted your money!

However don’t fear. When you occurred to purchase your gadget on eBay or Amazon and all of the sudden end up with a really costly paperweight, StreamSmart shall be completely satisfied to promote you one other considered one of their units with a small low cost.

In any case…they definitely have a wholesome revenue margin, proper?

I can’t put into phrases how disgusted I’m by this. In case you are a producer of a product, then you’ve gotten the duty to help your product regardless of the place it was bought from.

That’s why a producer’s guarantee exists.

I’ll depart it to authorized professionals to determine if that’s inside the bounds of the regulation, however my opinion is that it’s a reasonably scummy option to deal with your clients.

There are solely a few references to the StreamSmart field on Kodi.television, however there’s one dialogue that basically stands out to me.

Ned Scott, the previous Group Kodi member in control of the Kodi Wiki, and Kodi developer Wrxtasy, who created the “Recommended Kodi Box” information each chimed in on the StreamSmart field – and they didn’t mince their phrases.

In Ned’s phrases, “I know people need to make a profit, but the price they’re selling their product at is at scam-levels.”

Moderator Wrxtasy went even farther:

…this gadget is a GPL Open Supply Violator field and truly unlawful to promote in its present type. This type of follow pisses Kodi builders and the Open Supply group off no finish. StreamSmart are freeloaders, truly stealing different individuals exhausting work until they present us this modified Kodi code.

This is nothing greater than an Unlawful Rip-off Pirate Field, bought at a ridiculously inflated worth to idiot Mums and Dads and Joe public into considering its legit.

At this level, you could be questioning why there are such a lot of web sites selling StreamSmart.

Properly, it seems they do it as a result of they’re truly promoting the StreamSmart packing containers themselves.

StreamSmart promotes it’s reseller program instantly on the entrance web page of their web site and guarantees an “average part-time income of $3,500” or a full-time revenue “exceeding $15,000!”

I’m wondering how they will make that a lot promoting a Kodi field?

Become a StreamSmart reseller!

 

For those who Google “StreamSmart” you’ll be able to shortly discover a number of of those resellers like StreamingSmart, Captain StreamSmart and MyFreeCable.television.

To be truthful, I’ll say once more that I’ve nothing towards small companies or promoting your information for a charge. However once you’re intentionally price-gouging your clients…that’s the place I draw the road.

That’s a very good query.

I attempted looking for any StreamSmart critiques however might solely discover a couple of “unboxing” movies. There was nothing that I might see that may present any benchmark checks or experiences utilizing the product aside from primary interface.

It’s totally potential that there aren’t any StreamSmart evaluations as a result of the field is so costly. Most of the evaluation websites simply beginning out buy their very own merchandise for evaluation. A field that prices $449 is far much less more likely to be reviewed than one thing that prices $50. Extra established reviewers will possible put the field via rigorous testing and that can be dangerous press for the corporate.

My Prime Picks For Greatest Android TV Field of 2018

Skystream Two

  • 5.1 Audio Passthrough
  • H.265 Hardware Decoding
  • Dynamic Refresh Fee Switching

Learn Extra

Buy Now

  • Over 400 programs and 80 guitar academics to select from
  • Large library of songs to Selected from
  • Free trial plus 100% Cash Again Assure
NVIDIA Defend TV
  • 5.1 Audio Passthrough
  • OTA Firmware Updates
  • The newest model of Kodi

Learn Extra

Buy Now

  • 5.1 Audio Passthrough
  • OTA Firmware Updates
  • The newest model of Kodi
EZ-Stream Ti8
  • 5.1 Audio Passthrough
  • Dynamic Refresh Fee Switching
  • Twin-Band Wi-Fi andor Gigabit Ethernet

Learn Extra Buy Now

  • 5.1 Audio Passthrough
  • Dynamic Refresh Fee Switching
  • Twin-Band Wi-Fi andor Gigabit Ethernet
Amazon Hearth TV
  • 5.1 Audio Passthrough
  • Hearth OS – Proprietary model of Android
  • OTA Firmware Updates

Learn Extra

Buy Now

  • 5.1 Audio Passthrough
  • Hearth OS – Proprietary model of Android
  • OTA Firmware Updates

At this level, I feel I’d advocate you purchase something aside from a StreamSmart field.

I put out an inventory of what I feel are one of the best Android packing containers available on the market. You may truly purchase all three units on that listing for lower than the price of the StreamSmart PRO. In case you’re in search of an excellent, low cost Kodi field, I’ve obtained some concepts on that too.

You shouldn’t be taking a look at a tool that prices over $400 that isn’t leading edge.

What do you have to do if somebody tries to promote you a StreamSmart S4 or StreamSmart PRO?

Snigger…

..then stroll away shortly.

Have you ever used a StreamSmart field? What do you assume? Inform me about it within the feedback under!

(perform(d, s, id) var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = ‘https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&appId=249643311490&version=v2.3’; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); (doc, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));