I’ve been thinking about how to add a little bit of intelligence to my TV, and the obvious answer is “Android prefix”, it occurred to me repeatedly, although it didn’t come to mind at all. Deciding that it is not worth it to endure more, I went and chose almost the first available prefix, in the role of which was SCISHION V88 Piano Smart, and now I will tell about my experience with it.
Immediately, I note that firstly, I did not study the issue in depth, did not read the forums, did not make comparisons, the choice was due firstly to the price (I didn’t want to spend much more than $ 50), and this version of V88 is worth TomTop has $ 53 (in addition, the SALE10 coupon gives a 5% discount on almost all products in their store). Secondly, I tried to choose a model with more or less relevant characteristics (not very old Android, enough RAM, and so on). Naturally, some things had to be compromised (5 GHz WiFi, Bluetooth, etc.).
In addition, I decided to approach the device from an absolutely “consumer” point of view: I did not run benchmarks, did not flash the prefix with non-standard firmware, did not install custom recovery, in general, I used it only “as is”.
By the way, if you search for other reviews, note that this model has been released for quite some time in different versions, and the old versions with 1 GB of RAM and the worst chipset have collected not the best reviews on the Internet, but this modification has noticeably gone ahead. By the way, I don’t understand why the manufacturer simply didn’t choose another index for it instead of adding to the name “PIANO”.
- OS: Android 7.1
- Processor: RK3328, 4 core Cortex-A53 @ 1.5 GHz
- Video: Mali-450MP2 with support for OpenGL ES1.1 / 2.0
- RAM: 4GB DDR3
- Flash: EMMC 16GB
- Memory Cards: MicroSD up to 64 GB
- WiFi: 2.4G
- Ethernet: 10 / 100M
- Other ports: HDMI, optical S / PDIF, AV output
- Resolution: up to 4K (4096 × 2160)
- USB: 1 × USB3.0, 2 × USB2.0
- Dimensions: 17.6 cm × 13.6 cm × 6.6 cm
- Weight: 340 gr.
Judging by the appearance of the box, during the delivery she went through a lot of interesting adventures. Fortunately, the dense recycled cardboard from which the packaging was made was enough to protect the contents. Inside, except for the console itself, there are:
- Remote Control
- Power Supply
- HDMI cable
brief instruction (very brief, and therefore not very useful)
The design of the console is made in the spirit of sensible minimalism: a black plastic square with rounded edges. Of the unusual elements – wavy glossy inset on top, judging by the form, symbolizing the very Piano, made in the name of the model. Ports are almost evenly distributed across the three edges of the device. The front panel has a LED indicator that lights up red in stand by and blue when working, its brightness was reasonably moderate, so even in a dark room it is not annoying. The plastic of the case is average in quality, you can’t call it bad, but the sound is crispy Heated consoles are sometimes heard. By the way, the heating, the old versions of this TV-box often received complaints about overheating, but with my version I don’t see this, the casing becomes warm, but not hot, and there have never been any hang-ups due to excess heat.
In general, if you find fault, I would like a complete “manual” in more detail, and then these few small pages of small text do not give an idea about the device, and you have to go all the way to using a spear method. However, there is not much to think about during this process, everything is very simple.
First, you need to get two AAA batteries and insert them into the console (of course, the sequence of actions may be different, I just tell how it all happened with me). After that, connect the console via HDMI to the TV and through the power supply to the network. Turn on the TV, select the desired HDMI port, turn on our gadget with a button on the remote and everything works.
From the experience of working with Android on modern players, I expected that on the console it will load at least a couple of tens of seconds, but then I was pleasantly mistaken, everything happens much faster.
According to the interface, as far as I understand, SCISHION did not adapt Android TV, instead the console uses regular Android with a custom launcher, so the interface is quite simple, but at least colorful: the screen displays several large tiles intended for subsections like “Online video ”,“ Local content ”and so on, the subsections themselves are empty, adding applications to your taste is your task.
A set of pre-installed programs is quite expected: Google services and utilities, including, not least, the Play Market, Youtube, Netflix, browser, file manager and, for some reason, Skype. Separately, it is worth expressing gratitude to the developers for the lack of all sorts of bloatware and advertising in the firmware.
The bundled remote is quite convenient, but for serious use of the gadget you will obviously have to purchase something else, preferably with AirMouse functions, a microphone and a full keyboard. Because of my laziness, I have put off the purchase and put it on the back burner, then maybe there will be material for another review, but for the time being I’ll tell you about the complete remote control.
It is compact, well balanced in weight, and has a pleasant button stroke. The main control, of course, will be a five-position ring in the center. In applications optimized for consoles (for example, from Google itself), this ring allows you to select a specific control and confirm your choice by pressing the central “OK” button. In other programs, you can use mouse emulation, it is activated by the button on the right. A cursor appears on the screen, which you can move with the same ring, the central button simulates a tap in the selected location. You can manage programs this way, but if not for very long.
The same applies to entering texts with an on-screen keyboard: banal password entry, if you have it difficult, turns into an exciting adventure. If you recall the times of push-button telephones, you can enter text using the number pad at the bottom of the console, but doing this in 2018 is somehow strange. Of course, you can simply take and connect to this box an external keyboard (or even a mouse at the same time), but it will still be more convenient to use a specialized console.
If we talk about applications, they are divided into two groups. Those that work with the remote as it should, and the rest. A prime example of the first group is YouTube: logical grouping of menus, pop-up controls, large controls. If the program is not thought out, it will be problematic even to pause the video (you must turn on the mouse emulation mode), although I don’t think this is SCISHION’s fault or, say, Google.
In general, in the course of operation this prefix leaves a pleasant impression: quickly, without lags and hangs, it is quite convenient. The only thing that upset me a bit was that she didn’t pick up my external hard drive, maybe it’s in ExFAT, maybe in 2 TB, I didn’t understand. With the exception of this, the V88 copes with its task of the home media center: online cinemas, YouTube, offline content, streaming on the local network, working with external DACs (well, I couldn’t help but check it out) sometimes there are problems with this player’s TV).
Summing up, I can say that the device met my expectations. In the future, of course, I will still need to purchase some advanced console with support for voice input and try to make friends with a Bluetooth console so that you can use wireless headsets, and then my needs will be 100% closed.