Monday, October 30, 2017

I have cut the chord on my TV for over 5 years now as I did not see the value of having both internet and cable, if I could get the same programming on the internet. The latest stats on chord cutting estimate that 1 in 4 households in Canada will have cut the chord by the end of the 2017. Netflix has becoming my primary source of home entertainment plus station websites. I have been using an old mac mini to power my TV and have been getting messages that my web browser is no longer supported and that issue is now affecting the TV streaming and some sites will not work anymore now.


So I decided to bite the bullet and buy updated hardware that supports the latest software even the though I did not want to retire the Mac Mini. I considered getting another Mac Mini but it would cost me anywhere from $200 - $500 for a used one Kijiji. I decided however to buy an Android media streaming box instead, my sister had one in her house and found that it was not very user friendly and the quality of the video was poor, but they bought it 2 years ago. For the uninitiated the Android Media Streaming box is a TV streaming device that allows you to get content from the internet and stream it to your TV through the HDMI port.


I shopped for one and found that they cost anywhere from $80 to $200. I looked at Best Buy, Walmart and Staples but they only offered it only online for $130 before taxes and I would have wait 1-2 weeks, but I wanted now and talk with somebody before I buy it. I ended buying it at Canada Computes as they stocked these devices in their store and had  multiple models to choose from. The one I bought was from MyGica and it cost me $140 before taxes.


 MYGica Android TV Streamer ATV 495 PRO.Retails for $139.99, Cordless mouse extra


The device is tiny and measures 3.25” x 3.25” x 0.75” ( w x l x h)  and comes with 2GB of ram, 16G of storage, 2.0 GHZ  dual processor and supports 4K resolution. The operating system is Android 5.0 that is used in smartphones and you will use the Google Play Store to get the apps that work on the media player. Some of the preloaded apps were Netflix, Facebook YouTube and Chrome browser. It also comes bundled with a Kodi file storage system for pictures, music and video, 4K media player and the MyGica App Store where you can access more content. 


It comes with a TV remote with a key board on the backside. It has USB(2), HDMI, audio/video out and ethernet ports andcan connect to your home network with wifi. Through the USB port you can connect to an external storage to access your digital library. You will need a wireless mouse to work  the apps and games.


 MyGica Home Screen


Since this is a mobile operating system the apps that are downloaded are designed for the smartphone, not a 50 inch tv and some look out of place or just do not work on the media player. There are TV apps in the Google Play Store to choose from and one of them was Popcorn Time, a popular torrent based entertainment site that is free to use. Torrent sites are nice to have but you have to wait 15-30 min for it download so you can watch it versus Neflix which is immediate viewing. There are other TV apps like Crackle, Puffin TV and Amazon to choose from and I feel this is just the beginning of a of new TV subscription market. 


Here are the screenshots of three apps Facebook, CBC TV and Popcorn Time. You can tell that Facebook and CBC are smartphone apps and Popcorn Time is a TV app designed for a video streamer, but all 3 work fine. 


 FaceBook App
 Popcorn TV


The future of video distribution will eventually end up on the internet side of the equation with cable becoming obsolete eventually, we can see it now where consumers can buy a monthly subscription to a TV app and the choice is going to get bigger. One more final thought a lot of the streaming services are commercial free which will impact the tv ad market as this market grows. The next question is now should you have a TV app as part of your publishng model of the fture.

About Me
Martin Seto

Martin Seto is the producer of the Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPAS) with 30 years of life expereince in technology, advertising, media and creative exploration. He can be reached at marty(dot)seto(at) or 416-907-6562, and on LinkedIn.

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Full of terrific information, Thanks!...
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