Make sure your keyboard has the same mini USB connector. Some may have a micro USB connector.
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jagabo: I remember that I tried the charging cable for my Sister's cellphone and the mini-usb end would't fit into the keyboard. This is the mini-keyboard that we bought:
If only they would spell out exactly what type of cable it is in the specs on the website.
Smartphones usually have Micro USB connectors for power (because they're thinner). That keyboard is sold by many different companies with only minor variations. Mine doesn't have the LEXMA logo and the touch pad has some graphics printed on it. Everything else is identical (as far as one can see in the images). It has a Mini USB connector for power. Mini (left) and Micro (right) connectors:
[Attachment 50681 - Click to enlarge]
Last edited by jagabo; 28th Oct 2019 at 15:00.
jagabo: Thank you. Looking at the slot where it plugs into on the mini-keyboard it fits with the mini-usb cable end.
I have so very many damn power / charging & data connection cables around here that things can easily get confusing.
What I've taken to doing that helps -- and especially because memory becomes increasingly fallible over time -- is to use my Brother label-maker to make small, descriptive labels that should be applied to these things very shortly after they first come out of the box, if not immediately. So, for example, one went onto the charger cable & adapter saying "Samsung Galaxy 4", even useful for the years-later time when I replaced that with the Galaxy 7, and specifically labeled the accessories for that. (I tend to keep a cell phone for 3 - 4 years. Not being one of those folks with the quick, techno-upgrade itch.) Perhaps their chargers and their (separate) car chargers were functionally the same, but I did not want to take that chance. About to happen again, as I've now had that Galaxy 7 for around 4 years: it is getting slower and more bogged down, the charges lasting for less and less time, even though I do zero music or video on it, and not much internet usage. I had a few different models of Thinkpad over the years, and so labeled their respective power bricks -- most of which otherwise look similar. This seems fairly obvious in retrospect, but it is definitely helpful to be able to ID these things without a doubt and at a glance.
I'll probably order each of the cables jagabo mentioned. That's one thing about the Rii 8 cables: I always seem to be one or two short for those. Don't know where they disappear to, but they do. Gotta stay prepared.
Last edited by Seeker47; 1st Nov 2019 at 14:41.
I wasn't sure where else to put this.
Has anyone else had a major disappointment with the Rii mini-keyboards, which were recommended for and which I've used with various streaming boxes ? The mini-keyboard works pretty well while it is still working. But what I'm finding is that they don't seem to last more than a year -- at best. Something happens: the battery burns out (?) or it otherwise fails, and can no longer be recharged. This is seen with those colored lights on the keyboard. Bad things also happen if you leave it charging for awhile, or do not charge it for 2 or 3 months. I'm thinking the warranty on these units is for not even a year. If you have to keep replacing them, the Rii would not be such a good choice, after all.
Just f.y.i., remaining stock of the Skystream TWO (the last to include their own, curated and self-updated version of Kodi, which they rebranded as "Media Center X") seem to be selling for $425. (!) That is almost certainly being offered by third parties, and not direct. Skystream itself appears to have moved on from the Model 3 to the model "3+." I had a recent reply from their tech support, so they are definitely still a going concern -- unlike the now-vanished Dragon Box, which was driven off of the market. (Dropping their Kodi may well have removed the bullseye target from Skystream's back . . . ?) They were unable to provide me with any control codes for their boxes, but suggested that a good learning remote should be able to "absorb" some control functions. However, as you mentioned, that double-sided gyro Airmose could be the best immediate alternative to their really threadbare stock remote, which I find similar to the rather inadequate stock remote for the Amazon Fire TV.
As I proceed with these streaming boxes, I'm liking the Nvidia Shield more and more. But then, I'm really a lot more interested in local playback of diverse media files, plus some use of the major streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, as I never particularly got into using Kodi.
I did buy that cable and it has worked out fine.
I don't hook the Android Box up to the Internet very often but the other day I did because somehow one of the Solitaire Games disappeared in the Apps section. Well anyway once I got it back I decided to try the Tubi TV app. What confused me was how does one navigate Tubi TV. I clicked on McCloud's Daughters, and an episode started playing but nothing to indicate what episode it was and how to select other episodes. I suppose it is built for tablets and such instead of remotes or keyboards.
I took an old pc, 16 gigs ram, an old i7 gen 3, and as much hdd space as I could shoehorn in with a raid setup to use as an "android" box. it comfortably runs kodi, plex, emby, ums, and jellyfish. I stream from several providers like Netflix, Disney, hulu, sling, crackle, tubi, pluto, xumo, the cw, and many others.
The mini-keyboard isn't working on the Android Box. I was just on Amazon Canada and suddenly the cheap mini-keyboards and other items "require special handling and can't be shipped to your location" but the expensive one doesn't have that restriction. I will it order from Best Buy Canada even though most of what I am ordering is from some other company and Best Buy fascilitates. But to give the more expensive keyboard its due it has multi-media keys, those could come handy if you can use them on the Kodi Video Player.
I am rather disappointed with Amazon Canada. But maybe I shouldn't be buying really cheap products.
The little mini-keyboard we have now the rechargable battery doesn't seem to be holding any charge. It has two slots for AAA batteries but there are no metal for the batteries to hook into to stay in the keyboard and do their job.
That keyboard is only US$16.99 at Amazon USA.
jagabo: At Amazon Canada it is $47.16 with free shipping in Canadian Money. At Amazon US it is $16.99 plus $7.18 Amazon Global Shipping plus $2.69 import Fees Deposit and converting that to Canadian Dollars results in $36.07 That is cheaper than the Canadian price from Amazon Canada.
I was just pointing out the huge price difference. Much more than the usual difference between the US and Canada.
1. $10-20 Nokia/Microsoft HD-10 miracast receiver, tv that has this, etc.
Tons of smart tvs can be streamed to from most android phones. If you've got the apps and videos and such on your phone, simply connect wirelessly and everything's on your big screen.
Works great here for my lg g6 - vudu, browsing, email, chat, etc. Just bluetooth keyboard and mouse as needed.
If it's built into the smart tv, no need for an adapter even.
2. Stick PCs.
Similar size and shape to android sticks, but is a full windows pc with full compatibility.
Have one plugged into my dumb tv, turning it into a PC.
No issues with it running, ripping, and doing all the basics any pc can do.
3. More power, Intel nuc and similar tiny box sized pcs.
Runs all Windows software, runs game emulators, runs android emulators, runs other os emulators.
Had went down the path of Android boxes, but there's ALWAYS limitations - something always just doesn't work unlike Windows. And do anything serious, and you still have to dig out the laptop.
Pc stick/nuc fixes that permanently.
Android miracast is convenient to access what's on the phone on a big screen, but nuc can emulate Android.
jagabo: Yes that price differential is quite offputting. I am glad that Amazon still has a few competitors it will be a sad day when they are the only game in town. I want you to know how grateful I am for your tech advice over the years and I am sure many others are as well.
babygdav: I am one of the few people left on earth that doesn't have a cell phone but I am thinking of getting one because our phone provider offers a better deal on cell phone packages than it does our land line. My Sister has a cellphone and she gets call display and call waiting all built into her package with unlimited long distance. On the land line we don't take those extras because it is five dollars here, five dollars there and on top of the 80 bucks or so we already pay it is too much.
Thank you for the links to small pcs and such. I have been thinking of a Raspberry Pi 4 for awhile running some form of Linux.
I finally learned how to scrape in Kodi to get covers and synopsis. I am learning as time goes on from researching on the internet. I learned how to export the library to have things look snazzy when I disconnect the internet cable. I got it set up quite well on my Sister's laptop. One thing I had to do was turn off hardware accelaration of the video as I ran into playback problems but once I did that it runs smoothly. With the Android Box's Kodi I ran into a problem when I finally learned how to scrape and that it doesn't find the hard drive. It worked once but when I went back to do it again the USB hard drive disappeared from the list. But with just the remote that came with the Android Box it isn't exactly all that of a fluid process anymore.
One thing I am trying to do now is learn how to make my own NFO Files for our Home Videos of birthdays and such. A little synopsis and a still from the video or make my own little poster would be neat. I just find this Kodi interface so appealing.
One thing I like about the new technology out there now is it consumes less electricity. These boxes to connect to the flat screen the TVs themselves are lighter and don't consume as much electricity themselves.
Last edited by Seeker47; 1st Mar 2020 at 15:24.
Most of the Android boxes have a review.
This is an example of a great site that actually does a comprehensive format/resolution test from 1080 to 4k to check for issues like stuttering (ie. Not powerful enough).
So if one goes for something other than a nvidia shield $$, one can usually find a workable cheapie $ (ie. Try to find an android box that plays everything perfect like a pc is a serious hunt.)
The bar chart halfway through summarizing the antutu video codec support successes (testing over 1000+ codec combos), let's you quickly narrow down the box selection.
I was wondering if you ever tried Pysol Solitaire on your Raspberry Pi. For years we have had that Solitaire 1000 Game Collection on our computers. My Mom has a Windows Vista laptop and she has it installed. So many games to keep one entertained. On these YouTube videos they very rarely ever talk about games such as Solitaire it is all about RetroPie which I know from here to stay away from.
We may get our Mom a new TV for her bedroom. She got a LCD TV years ago, but it looses functionality as time goes on. The HDMI stopped working, the remote keys most of them don't work anymore. But it is about time for an upgrade, we feel a bit wasteful but with the picture not filling the screen anymore and no way to adjust it as that particular key doesn't work no matter how hard you press on it and the menu button on the TV without being able to use the arrow keys on the remote you can't do much that way. Besides that unless you look at the exact correct angle the picture on screen looks like an oil slick on it. Thankfully TVs have improved quite a bit over the years. So a mini-pc box would be nice for her to play Solitaire, and with Kodi set up she can enjoy her videos as well. We would get her a full sized keyboard with a built in mouse pad so she can relax in bed and get lost in one of her solitaire games.
I recommend a program called "Rename My TV Series" which makes it easier to rename your TV files so that the scrapers like them. For whatever reason over the years I named the ones I gather as "Chronicles_Of_BlaBlaBla_S02_Ep01__Yipee Yipei" as an example. So it worth researching about the program and see if it is of use. I find it saves a lot of time.
Diy route, it's inexpensive and easy to hang a panel out a window, etc to power tv and media players all day long nowadays. Harbor Freight/Craigslist have tons of big panels for about $100 that'll easily run a battery powered tv system.
GoZero is $$$, but like anything rei.com loves to sell, it's easy to setup in minutes out of the box and just works.
I've been experimenting heavily with various Android type boxes over the past few years. I'm still very partial to the old WD Live TV units, for my most common day to day requirements -- which is mostly local playback of video files in a variety of standards or formats, including PAL. More lately, I'm finding more files that don't play on most of them. They are mainly but not exclusively HEVC | H265 | X265. (There also seem to be a couple exotic variants of .Wmv, for example.) Then it comes down to my last ditch solution of the Nvidia Shield or the Skystream TWO. So far, one of those may also have been stumped by such a file, but not both. Whereas with the WD Live player it was all built into the firmware, with the latter two another variable becomes your choice of software player -- and I've gone through several: VLC, MX, XYZ, Archos player. There does not seem to be any one that just handles everything, or handles it all well.
For me, the "last frontier" in my streaming and playback experimentation has been the HTPC or tiny PC. That will be next. For a long time, I thought that repurposing one of my Shuttle XPC boxes would be the only full-fledged and muscular enough solution. I still have the notion that such a solution should ideally contain a BR drive -- probably a burner. But those XPC cubes are still overly bulky, unless you happen to have a larger video gear stack and cabinet than most people do, and the more compact Shuttle models that have the form factor of a hardcover book -- which are mainly intended for exhibit displays and point-of-sale terminals -- do not seem to have room for an optical drive. And neither will the NUC type solutions. (I've heard that the stick PCs, which are more the size of flash drives, tend to be rather slow ?)
I think I previously posted about this unit
https://www.pepper-jobs.com/products/glk-uc2x-mini-pc (newer URL)
which I found to have an intriguing description, and some favorable reviews. It may have seen a price drop, and is priced lower than the Intel branded ones, but Amazon now lists it as unavailable
although it can apparently still be ordered from the mfr. (The internal fan is likely a plus, as long as it is still very quiet.)
This should be able to play any video file you can play on your desktop PC . . . but you'll still probably need more than just VLC to cover that. I regularly run into files that MPC-BE or SMPlayer or a couple others can't play. And I'm still not exactly thrilled with Win-10, while still looking into best ways of curtailing its unacceptable spying / phone home / data mining behavior.
What is an adequate amount of RAM and internal storage that your NUC should have, particularly in view of Win-10 being not so light on resources ? Have to check on what it may have in terms of an SSD hard-drive replacement. (That ceiling for available storage under Windows tends to keep creeping lower, as time goes on.)
What wireless keyboard would you use with a NUC solution ? Hopefully not the Rii-8, or anything dependent on Bluetooth, which I find to be quite flaky.
Last edited by Seeker47; 1st Mar 2020 at 17:10. Reason: the usual more precise wording; more questions I thought of
Kodi like LibreELEC, CoreELEC, different forks with that "ELEC" word in it. You just google for it. They might be based on linux, is that right? The thing is, those players are cheap but they need that extra effort to make that bootable SD and THAT equals good media player. Sure if using Android OS only on that box, it mostly sux as media player, they are good as for streaming basically, Netflix and such and that's it.
Some of those boxes are cheaper and already ready with one of those "ELEC" systems on it, which guarantees compatibility already.
Realistically, any pc witty an internal optical drive is limited by the form factor.
Because of this, many run a rack sized pc usong a silverstone case when racking it with the rest of the av equipment.
Mac mini, one old Dell, a few PCs came with slot feeding drives in a nuc format. Nowadays, you have to put an external usb optical drive on top of the nuc if you're trying to go small.
Else, a laptop with the internal lcd off and cover closed, but set not to go to sleep.
Sadly, no company afaik makes a tiny nuc with internal optical drive.
Most atom cpu stick PCs are a touch slow, but for simply browsing media and playing, works fine like any usb drive with media connected to a smart tv.
Importantly, haven't encountered any media in Amy format that mphc can't play on mine =D so better than the Android/media boxes I've tried in the past. Rips, streams, downloads, mp4, mkv, etc they simply play. I just turtle the files over from my laptop on a usb drive or microsd card after ripping in the laptop.
The M3 and M5 core intel sticks are the fastest available.
Not the most amazing, but the idea is that they can handle all media thrown at them for playback and can handle basic Office/web tasks just fine on your tv.
You'll want these if you happen to be playing 4k h.265/hvec files.
Wish they'd develop a 10th gen model with the new iris pro graphics....
Not designed for encoding, but can handle it slowly.
Good for direct disc ripping since little cpu is needed for that.
4GB at the minimum for playback,
32GB internal storage (windows usually less than 15GB).
8gb is healthy for most ripping and encoding nowadays. Haven't seen anything use up 8gb for such tasks.
Ssd hdd storage depending on how much you want to store on the drive.
Pepper looks fine - nuc sized.
Just toss a slim external laptop usb dvd/bluray drive/burner on top to rip.
(While I've usually bought and used Pioneers, with today's 4k uhd rip drive requirements, you'll need to confirm software ripper+ drive compatibility first.)
At some point, even a Microsoft Surface with a 1tb microsd card and wireless display casting can make sense. Dock it next to the couch with the drive. Take it and all your media for travel.
Last edited by babygdav; 1st Mar 2020 at 22:31.
It sure looks like a lot of options out there for people. I have been happy with Windows 7 all these years and I just don't want to continue with Windows beyond that. If Linux can give one a windows like experience without all the bogging down and such that Windows 10 seems to be I would lean heavily that way for a future desktop computer experience.
As for a media platform and a few games that don't heavily tax a box's resources Raspberry Pi with LibreELEC sounds good. I don't have a yearning yet for anything beyond 720p when it comes to video quality so I don't sweat being able to stream or encode 4k or 8k. I find on the Android Box surfing the web to be a pain even with a mini-keyboard.
I am happy this thread has some life left. I am learning from and enjoying what I am reading. Thank you all for your input.
By the way, I haven't had any battery problems with my rii i8 keyboard after a few years. But I hardly ever use it. I use the device almost exclusively for local video playback with Kodi so I use a Windows Media Center or Universal remote control most of the time:
It can control the TV as well as Kodi on the RPi. Since it's a learning remote you can add any functions you need from any other IR remote control.
I've also used this (bought when they were easily available and much cheaper):