I’ve gotten a variety of requests to evaluate the EZ-Stream Ti8 Android field over the previous few weeks.
Actually, I’ve gotten so many who I assumed on doing an “Honest Trailers” fashion intro for this text.
So I reached out to the group at Factor Applied sciences (who modified their identify to E-Z Stream lately) to see if I might get my palms on considered one of their new EZ-Stream Ti8 absolutely loaded Kodi bins to check out, they usually have been completely satisfied to assist out.
This gadget has been so in style with everybody studying, I used to be actually wanting ahead to placing the EZ-Stream Ti8 via it’s paces. How did it do?
Keep tuned and skim on!
Factor Applied sciences is predicated right here in Orlando, Florida. Because the Android field group right here in Orlando is definitely fairly small, it seems that a few of the founders are literally pals with the blokes over at SkyStream. What’s cool about that’s that you simply’ll truly see a whole lot of widespread threads in how the 2 corporations care for their clients. As an alternative of backstabbing one another, they each need to make the most effective merchandise they will.
For instance, Factor places the identical give attention to having an ideal buyer help group and repair after the sale. Their customer support staff is predicated right here in Florida and has a number of choices how one can attain them. For the self-service crowd, there’s a web-based information base, with a number of in-depth video tutorials, just like the EZ-Stream Ti8 setup video under. There’s additionally a Fb help group the place you will get help from customers and team-members in your problem.
Should you’d want to speak to somebody in individual, you possibly can name their toll-free help quantity anytime M-F, 9-5. In fact, there’s additionally an choice for e-mail if these occasions aren’t handy.
One essential notice: Regardless that Kodi is a large a part of the EZ-Stream Ti8, the corporate isn’t affiliated with Workforce Kodi in any method. Any addons which are included with the Ti8 are usually not owned or maintained by Group Kodi.
The EZ-Stream Ti8 used one of many new AmLogic S912 chipsets which improves on the wildly in style S905 CPU. AmLogic is among the hottest Android field chipsets, particularly for producers who need one of the best efficiency with video playback in Kodi.
Past that, the specs are fairly commonplace. 2GB of RAM and 16GB of inner storage in addition to 802.11 ac Wi-Fi. One of many pluses of utilizing the AmLogic S912 is that it helps Android 6.zero Marshmallow. Whereas no gadget lasts eternally, this implies the EZ-Stream Ti8 will probably be “future proof” for a minimum of a couple of years.
A few of the issues which might be lacking although are USB three.zero and Gigabit Ethernet. Personally, I can stay with out Gigabit Ethernet, however I discover not having USB three.zero limits my choices for plugging in exterior onerous drives. I understand that designing hardware specs is usually a recreation of give and take. Hardware producers all the time need to make decisions based mostly on what the texture is greatest for his or her clients. I simply with that extra designers would come with USB three.zero.
- AMlogic S912 Octa-Core 64-bit Cortex-A53 CPU as much as 1.5GHz
- ARM Mali-T820MP3 GPU as much as 750MHz
- 2GB RAM
- 16GB Reminiscence
- Android 6.zero Marshmallow
- Bluetooth four.1
- 802.11ac 2.four/5.0GHz Twin Band WiFi
- As much as 4k resolutions
- LAN 10/100 RJ-45
- USB x 2 / SD Card x 1
- HDMI 2.0a with 3D, HDR, CEC
- SPDIF & DOLBY TrueHD and DTS HD Bypass by means of HDMI
The EZ-Stream Ti8 is a very compact Android field, concerning the measurement of a Beelink Mini. In contrast to the Beelink, the Ti8 has a extra refined, much less generic really feel to it. The corners are rounded off, and there’s a polished metallic edging alongside the highest of the system. All the venting is on the underside of the gadget and the Wi-Fi distant is completely hooked up on the again of the field.
On the entrance of the field there are two small standing lights: one for energy and one displaying community exercise. Subsequent to these lights there’s a pretty big IR distant receiver that blends in to the body until the sunshine hits it simply the appropriate means.
One of many issues I appreciated concerning the field is that all the USB ports are on the left aspect of the gadget, whenever you’re taking a look at it from the entrance. Some units cut up the USB ports on the aspect and the again, however I by no means actually appreciated that configuration. I all the time discovered myself utilizing the aspect ports virtually solely. The ports on the again all the time felt crowded and wedged in between the HDMI cable, energy or digital optical cables. The Ti8 will get round that by shifting all the USB ports to the aspect.
The distant management bundled with the Component Ti8 suffers from the identical shortcomings as lots of different producers.
It simply doesn’t really feel good in your arms.
To be truthful, the distant I acquired with my Ti8 was the essential distant – no air mouse performance.
Let’s get again to this specific distant. It’s obtained a double-circle directional pad, which sits proper at the place your thumb would naturally relaxation. Above which are the quantity up and down buttons, which, oddly sufficient, don’t use the usual icons that we’re all accustomed to. As an alternative they elected to go together with “V-” and “V+” labels. The mute button on the very prime proper goes again to the icon although. From a user-interface perspective, it feels a bit disjointed.
Beneath the D-pad are the Menu and Residence buttons and a Again button – all pretty normal concern for Android based mostly distant controls. On the very backside is a quantity pad.
As you’ll be able to see within the image, the distant feels small and tended to get misplaced in my hand once I picked it up. It’s pretty mild as soon as the batteries are put in, however that doesn’t imply it’s snug to carry. The again of the distant is clean, polished plastic, so there’s no ergonomic texturing to maintain it from sliding round.
General, this distant will get the job executed. I get the impression that they wanted to incorporate one thing and this was ok for primary use. For an additional $20 you possibly can improve to the air-mouse model which appears a lot larger high quality. Or, when you choose, you’ll be able to take a look at my suggestions for aftermarket air-mice or HTPC keyboards.
When you boot it up for the primary time, the Android 6.zero launcher within the EZ-Stream Ti8 has a well-known really feel to it. In reality, most system producers have been utilizing one thing comparable for a number of years now. And for good causes. The massive, flat-design icons make it straightforward to navigate across the interface and discover what you’re on the lookout for.
The field is constructed for streaming, and never only for Kodi. Alongside the underside row is a configurable listing of 1 button shortcuts to launch Amazon Prime video, Netflix, Mobdro and a number of other others. In case your favourite isn’t included, you’ll be able to all the time add it after the very fact utilizing the massive “Plus Sign” icon on the fitting aspect of that row.
But when Kodi is your factor, then you definitely’ll need to bounce proper in. However…there’s one factor it is best to do first.
The E-Z Stream Updater is how the EZ-Stream Ti8 will get its entry to all the newest Kodi add-ons. Extra importantly, its the way it retains them up to date to restrict the variety of lifeless addons on the market.
There’s nothing worse than lifeless add-ons, proper?
You see, due to the best way that streaming is legislated around the globe, the EZ-Stream Ti8 doesn’t ship with all the Kodi addons pre-installed. Relying on the nation you reside in, this might get the blokes at Aspect Applied sciences into some authorized hot-water. In order that they do the subsequent neatest thing: they embrace a one-click means as a way to select to put in the addons after buy if you wish to.
There are two Kodi configurations that you could select from: Child-Pleasant and Grownup. Principally the one distinction is that the Grownup model consists of all the grownup add-ons put in as properly. Clearly, in case your youngsters are going to have entry to this field, it’s essential to select correctly right here. 🙂
The E-Z Stream Updater will verify to see if there are any updates for the system as nicely, which is one thing I strongly advocate everybody do once in a while. Not solely is that this going to maintain your streams up to date, however it should ensure you get any safety updates as nicely.
When you run the EZ-Stream Updater, it should mechanically launch Kodi and also you’ll see all the addons loaded alongside the underside row.
A few of the first exams that I to run on a brand new Android field are a few of the extra in style inventory benchmarks like AnTuTu and Futuremark’s Ice Storm.
The identical movies that different units struggled to hit 30 frames per second on, the EZ-Stream Ti8 was pushing 45 frames per second.
Benchmarks will not be the be-all, end-all of testing a brand new product. There are some those that put full religion in a benchmark rating. They’ll sit and tweak a tool simply to get that rating a few factors larger.
I’m not a type of individuals although.
Principally, I like to recommend taking a look at benchmarks a bit extra broadly. The difficulty is that benchmarks don’t essentially translate into real-world efficiency. Should you’ve received a tool that scores 34000 on AnTuTu and one which scores 35000, there’s not going to be an entire heck of a number of noticeable distinction.
What in case you’ve acquired one gadget that outscores the opposite by virtually 6000 factors?
Properly, that is perhaps value speaking about. That’s precisely what the Factor Ti8 did. It scored a really spectacular 44,270 AnTuTu rating which outscored the MINIX NEO U1 by a large margin.
With that type of efficiency, I used to be actually eager about seeing the way it carried out on my favorite graphics benchmark from Futuremark.
Usually a lot of the newest crop of Android packing containers are capable of run by means of Ice Retailer Excessive at between 20-30 frames per second. To offer you a body of reference, the human eye considers fluid movement to be round 30 frames per second.
There are a number of totally different elements to the Ice Storm check – every abusing the system’s graphics processor in barely alternative ways. Usually I see no matter gadget I’m testing begin to choke up on a number of of the checks.
Like I stated, these benchmarks are designed to abuse the system. However the Aspect Ti8 stunned me by breezing by means of the benchmark checks. The identical movies that different units struggled to hit 30 frames per second on, the Factor Ti8 was pushing 45 frames per second. Fairly spectacular!
All in all, it ended up with a remaining rating of 6,675 on Ice Storm Excessive – which is over 50% higher than the NEO U1’s four,317.
I don’t find out about you, however I’m going to think about that a success.
Benchmarks are all nice and dandy, however how does the EZ-Stream Ti8 deal with actual video playback?
I did in depth analysis on 4 of the primary streaming providers: Kodi, Plex, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. OK, you bought me. I watched a variety of films. Both approach you say it, I’m going to inform you what I discovered.
I discussed the E-Z Stream Updater earlier. It’s the guts of the Kodi set up. I had no hassle enjoying a number of 1080p and 720p information. Streaming movies labored properly too. There have been some points enjoying 4K video information. There have been a number of pattern information on my native community which the Factor Ti8 couldn’t play with out stuttering. The file sizes have been extraordinarily giant, so community visitors could possibly be a problem although. When you’ve got lots of 4K video information that you simply need to play, Kodi will not be the reply.
Plex labored flawlessly for each regionally saved information and distant streams. Even the 4K video information that Kodi appeared to have points with, Plex dealt with simply.
It’s value mentioning that my Plex Server is a Home windows 10 PC with an Intel Core i7 and 16GB of RAM. So the server is certainly no slouch. The PC is constructed to be a number-cruncher, so transcoding is a bit of cake.
Nonetheless, the interface was snappy and responsive and there appeared to be no lag in any respect in video playback.
Netflix on the Aspect Ti8 suffers from the identical limitations as a lot of the different Android bins: Netflix’s stringent certification guidelines. You see, Netflix limits many units to plain definition playback, until the producer meets their certification requirements. Most of the time, many nice producers discover themselves on the improper finish of Netflix’s guidelines for no good purpose in any respect.
There’s a Netflix HD app included, nevertheless it was very clunky to make use of and the movies undoubtedly didn’t look 4K and even 1080p. The app carried out properly and streamed the exhibits I chosen virtually immediately. However the decision was disappointing.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video doesn’t have the video library that Netflix does, however it appears an entire lot higher. HD movies streamed immediately and there was no buffering inside the video that I bumped into.
Amazon is placing some huge cash into creating unique collection like The Grand Tour. You can too get subscriptions to HBO Now and Showtime by way of Amazon as nicely. Should you’ve minimize the cable twine utterly, that could be the one strategy to (legally) get entry to exhibits like Recreation of Thrones or Westworld.
I’ve obtained to say that Aspect seems to have created a very strong piece of tech right here. The Ti8 is nicely designed and appears like one thing that I might need to show subsequent to my TV, not one thing that I’d shove beneath within the depths of my leisure middle. It doesn’t matter what your fashion is, the EZ-Stream Ti8 shouldn’t look misplaced in any respect.
The EZ-Stream Ti8 is a very good streaming gadget at a great price-point. They’ve received an ideal help community that may deal with you after the sale, which is essential. The E-Z Stream Updater retains the gadget and the Kodi addons updated, which takes lots of the tinkering out of proudly owning a Kodi field.
All issues thought-about, this can be a nice Android field and must be on everybody’s short-list of units to purchase.
If you wish to discover out extra concerning the EZ-Stream Ti8, head on over to EZStreamBox.com.
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