There’s a new contender in the streaming market going up against the likes of Apple TV and Roku known as the G-Box MX2 Android TV Mini PC by a relatively new company known as Matricom. This new set-top box technology puts a different twist on streaming by providing not only streaming capabilities, but also brings the entire Android operating system on your television. At first we weren’t very excited about this. That was until we got our hands on one to see what it could do.
I’d like to introduce an app called XBMC, which is the highlighted feature that Matricom markets about the MX2. For those of you that don’t know about XBMC, now is a great time to learn. This software is part of an open-source movement that has been developed as quite possibly the most versatile media center available on multiple platforms including XBOX, Windows, iOS, Mac OS X, Linux and thanks to Matricom it is fully supported on their MX2 through Android. One of XBMC’s best features is its robust add-on system which allows the user to expand the media center’s capabilities to incredible proportions. It’s straightforward to stream videos from your local network and from the internet alike but it doesn’t stop there. There’s add-ons for not only video, but music as well, which connects your box to a large list of popular music streaming websites turning your TV into a virtual jukebox. While setting up XBMC isn’t for the faint of heart, once you’ve figured out this media center’s capabilities, you’ll probably never look at home entertainment quite the same again.
If XBMC isn’t enough to get you excited the MX2 has even more in its bag of tricks: Android OS on your Television. Android seems to be finding its way on everything these days. It’s on your phone, on tablets and marketed all over on billboards and television and now makes your TV smarter. Having Android on your television opens up a whole new world to the things you can do from the couch. Simple things such as checking your email and browsing the web is made more convenient than ever. Watching YouTube videos, Netflix, Hulu and a plethora of other video apps with the family is always pleasing. Oh, and did I mention Android games? Yup, the MX2 even runs games. Granted, most games were developed for touch-screen devices, but there’s still a nice handful of Android games that work with a mouse or keyboard attached.
The concept behind the MX2 is freedom. And in this we mean the freedom to do whatever you want with the device. Unlike the Roku and Apple TV devices, the MX2 is not limited in any way. Since it has the full Android OS onboard, the device is capable of doing quite literally anything that you’re used to doing already, right on your big-screen. Considering the extremely wide variety of abilities of this device it is being marketed as a Mini Computer instead of a TV Set-Top Box.
If you’re craving for the next level in home entertainment or are tired of being dragged down by limitations of other streaming devices then the MX2 is probably just what you’re looking for. Other than the learning curve that is required for getting used to XBMC and Android on the TV, we highly recommend this device. For around $100, it’s an investment that every living room can afford and should seriously consider.