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  1. #1
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    Android TV Box as a SB Player?

    These boxes seem to offer a lot of processing power and functionality for the money compared to using a Raspberry PI as a player, and wondered if anyone has tried one? There seem to be thousands of the on eBay! In the UK varying from £18 - £25 complete (i.e. case, power supply etc.) and include Wifi, Ethernet, memory, HDMI and vaious other I/O connections.

    I'm interested to see if one can connect to a decent USB DAC or via S/PDIF?
    Anyone used one with a Unix based player rather than Android (4 or 5 and KODI is bundled mostly)?

    I've got various Squeezebox players, but want another headless player for a good sounding desktop system.

    Cheers,

    Jonathan

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdunham View Post
    These boxes seem to offer a lot of processing power and functionality for the money compared to using a Raspberry PI as a player, and wondered if anyone has tried one? There seem to be thousands of the on eBay! In the UK varying from £18 - £25 complete (i.e. case, power supply etc.) and include Wifi, Ethernet, memory, HDMI and vaious other I/O connections.

    I'm interested to see if one can connect to a decent USB DAC or via S/PDIF?
    Anyone used one with a Unix based player rather than Android (4 or 5 and KODI is bundled mostly)?

    I've got various Squeezebox players, but want another headless player for a good sounding desktop system.

    Cheers,

    Jonathan
    You can run "SB Player" (and others) on an Android. As to USB DAC output I am not sure. The original wired Amazon Fire TV's had S/PDIF and that works OK.
    Vortexbox LMS 7.9 music on QNAP TS419p via NFS iThingys/iPeng/Tablets
    Living Room - SB3 -> Onkyo TS606 - > Celestion Ditton F20s - Zone 2 -> Sony TA FE 320 -> Sennheiser RS 130 & B&W P7
    Office - RPi -> Sony TA FE320 -> Celestion F10s / SB3 -> Onkyo CRN 755 -> Wharfedale Modus Cubes
    Dining Room -> SB Boom Kitchen -> UE Radio (upgraded to SB Radio)
    Bedroom (Bedside) - SB Touch -> Topping TP21 -> AKG Headphones Bedroom (TV) - Amazon Fire TV (SB Player) -> Topping TP20 -> Wharfedale Modus Cubes

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by d6jg View Post
    You can run "SB Player" (and others) on an Android. As to USB DAC output I am not sure. The original wired Amazon Fire TV's had S/PDIF and that works OK.
    Thanks, I guessed that was the case. I don't know how the output might be controlled though, as you say USB in an unknown and one of those I'm considering (a Cortex A9 based one) has a separate audio out as well as S/PDIF.

    Does anyone have any experience running a flavour of Unix on any of these boxes?

    Its not that I'm tight spending £4 on SB Player from the Play Store, but since I use Squeezelite and other player software already I'd like to stick to one of those if I can.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdunham View Post
    Thanks, I guessed that was the case. I don't know how the output might be controlled though, as you say USB in an unknown and one of those I'm considering (a Cortex A9 based one) has a separate audio out as well as S/PDIF.

    Does anyone have any experience running a flavour of Unix on any of these boxes?

    Its not that I'm tight spending £4 on SB Player from the Play Store, but since I use Squeezelite and other player software already I'd like to stick to one of those if I can.
    I don't think you can run any flavour of *nix on them they are designed for Android. I would expect USB audio to work but have never tried it on an Android. SB Player is I think a port of Squeezelite to Android. It works OK at 16/44.1 on my Amazon Fire TV but in terms of pure LMS player I prefer a Pi with either USB or a HAT based DAC.
    Vortexbox LMS 7.9 music on QNAP TS419p via NFS iThingys/iPeng/Tablets
    Living Room - SB3 -> Onkyo TS606 - > Celestion Ditton F20s - Zone 2 -> Sony TA FE 320 -> Sennheiser RS 130 & B&W P7
    Office - RPi -> Sony TA FE320 -> Celestion F10s / SB3 -> Onkyo CRN 755 -> Wharfedale Modus Cubes
    Dining Room -> SB Boom Kitchen -> UE Radio (upgraded to SB Radio)
    Bedroom (Bedside) - SB Touch -> Topping TP21 -> AKG Headphones Bedroom (TV) - Amazon Fire TV (SB Player) -> Topping TP20 -> Wharfedale Modus Cubes

  5. #5
    Senior Member wortgefecht's Avatar
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    As far as I know, Android 5 Lollipop and higher supports USB audio. But I have no personal experience with one of these boxes yet. I'm planning to get one for testing, though.

    Gesendet von meinem Nexus 6 mit Tapatalk
    Current setup:
    • EEEBox, Xubuntu 14.04, LMS 7.9, FLAC
    • Duet > Pro-Ject DAC Box E > AKG Hearo 888 Titan (home office), Boom + Canton ASF 75 SC (master bedroom), Boom (master bathroom), 2 Radios (guest bathroom and garden deck), RPi3 + LibreELEC + XSqueeze > Samsung TV > NAD L53 > Mission 2.1 speakers (living room)
    • Transporter > vintage Wega Modul 42V amp (42E equalizer, 42T tape deck + Thorens TD 160 Mk II turntable) > Quadral Vulkan Mk II (music room)

  6. #6
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    A few years ago Android TV boxes hardware (i.e. driver chips) used to only support up to 48kHz on digital audio. So if you want, need and expect higher you need to check out the hardware specs carefully. Sometime coax can do higher but not optical. Perhaps current generation is better.

  7. #7
    Senior Member mudlark's Avatar
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    Cumbria, England
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    I've tried an android device the odroid and it's Ok.

    i have three raspberry pis and they are great. A good headless player needs to be adequate in processing power, but excellent add on boards well developed Firmware/software and great support are more valuable. Android is underdeveloped for audio and compared to many Rpi distros is bloatware. imho of course.
    Transporter or Cyrus streamX>CyrusDACXP>ESPAudio P09B Active filter>Cyrus X x 2>Rhapsody, Avondale and Naim cable, Kubuntu 16.10 server, various boxes for storage.
    SB3 Flycatcher 3A linear power supply. Touch also.
    Using SqueezeBoxServer (LMS) 7.9
    Also piCorePlayer>Rega DAC>B4>Avondale 260>Royd Eden Kubuntu 14.10
    also naim 32.5>hicap>140>Akroyd Coniston

  8. #8
    Junior Member
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    Mar 2014
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    Thanks all for the insight on this, very helpful.

    Distilling all that, it seems to me my best option in actually still a Raspberry Pi, at least I know what I'm doing in terms of setting up and running a Unix based SB player, and will integrate (synchronise) best into the rest of my system.

    It also sounds like it will do the best justice to a spare USB dac I have (an HRT Music Streamer).

    Cheers,

    Jonathan

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