UGOOS UT2 TV Box Review
$89.61 from GearBest
UGOOS UT2 TV Box
HD streaming (audio & video)
All the conveniences of an Android device
Some connectors feel cheap and flimsy
Most of the folks I know around my age refuse to pay for cable — personally, I don’t even own a TV. My computer serves as my media workhorse, though I do become envious of my friend’s giant flat screen while binge-watching some show on Netflix, limbs spread wide without worrying about obscuring a small 13.3” LCD screen or built-in speakers with no body.
In recent years, several companies have attempted to synthesize these two worlds — the world of TV, remotes, and cable, with the modern world of media “on-demand” — by developing devices that can be attached to one’s TV while providing the on-demand nature of media consumption via a computer. Last year, UGOOS unveiled their UT2 TV Box that replaced their UM2 HDMI-stick. The box style UT2, running Android 4.2.2 (4.4 is optional), provides faster computation, smoother use, and overall better technological robustness.
Build, Construction & Specs
Having a box near your TV somehow feels a lot better than plugging in a stick to your HDMI port, even if they function the same. The metal-bottomed UT2 feels more solid, more akin to a piece of equipment than a box of entertainment. The UT2 comes with it’s own remote, though apparently there’s an app for that, too.
The most recent version of the UT2 has 32GB of memory and uses the RK3188 SoC (system on a chip) quad-core 1.6 gHz processor; generally more than enough computing power to run all the apps you’d need. It also has WiFi capability, so hardwiring it to your network — while not a bad idea — is not necessary.
A user on FreakTab noted that for US users, the 120V adapter looks sketchy. For American buyers, it would probably be a good idea to get a proper adapter that doesn’t want to pop off the EU prongs all the time.
Since I’m a “sound guy”, I’ll focus on the audio aspects of the UT2. Looking at the back panel, it seems there isn’t really much one can do sound-wise: a headphone jack on the back is all the audio-specific connection one sees. However, HDMI is designed to carry up to 8 channels of uncompressed audio. This means that if you’ve got a solid surround sound system already hooked up, it’s relatively trivial to have high-quality surround sound coming from your UT2.
Streaming music is simple, too. One can download any of the popular apps for music streaming that are Android compatible: Spotify, Pandora, Slacker Radio, etc. And since the HDMI connector allows uncompressed audio, it will be worth your while to find an HD audio streaming service, as opposed to the terrible quality most YouTube videos run at.
More good news: one can play almost any audio file on the device (by loading them into memory or using a USB stick in one of the ports). For me, I really dig the ability to play FLAC; for whatever reason, Apple doesn’t like FLAC and doesn’t support the format on their native applications (think: iTunes). Having the ability to play these losslessly compressed files is, for me, a really nice addition since half my music library is in the FLAC format.
The best way to think about the UGOOS UT2 is to think of it as an Android mobile on steroids, or a stunted computer. One can watch movies (in HD!), read the news, browse the internet, listen to music, and a whole host of other things with this device. Cable companies (at least here in the US) try to outdo each other by offering thousands of cable channels in all sorts of different packages. Unfortunately, that does little for me when I have a craving for Trailer Park Boys and none of the 2000 channels have it on. And then one has to deal with all the commercials… Why would anyone want pay for a service that hardly has anything to watch and when one finally finds something, it’s spliced up into 10-minute segments by excessively loud and bright commercials for products one will never use?
One day, everyone will have replaced their cable boxes with a device like the UT2 and we’ll be much happier for it. Can’t wait to get one, you say? Our friends at GearBest have them for $89.61, a total steal for a device that retails around $140.
All-in-all, the UT2 runs circles around [the] now-defunct Logitech Revue and Vizio Co-star Google TV boxes, and seems like a real winner.
- Hardware Spec:
- Operation System: Android 4.2(4.4 optional)
- Language: Chinese,English...Multi-Language support
- Chipset: RK3188 28nm Cortex-A9 Quad core.
- GPU: Embedded 3D GPU Mali 400, High frequency 500Mhz, Support OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 and OpenVG 1.1.
- SDRAM: DDR3 2GB
- Nand Flash: 32GB Nand Flash
- Storage Extension: Support MicroSD(TF) ，Up to 32GB
- Network: 2.4/5GHZ Dual band WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, LAN 10/100M Base-T, Bluetooth 4.0
- Power Supply: DC 5V/2A
- HDMI Out: 1xHDMI(A type Male),HDMI1.3 Full HD 1920x1080P
- USB Port: 3XUSB Host
- Data Output: 1xSPDIF
- Card Readere: 1X SD card (MMC card) reader
- AV Out: 1x3.5mm Headphone Jack
- Network: 1xRJ45 LAN Port
- Power Supply: 1xDC Jack(2.1mm)
- Antenna: External WiFi antenna
- Media Parameter:
- Audio Container:: Support MP1、MP2、MP3、WMA、WAV、OGG、OGA、APE、FLAC、AAC、M4A、3GPP…etc Audio formats.Muliti -EQ mode，Support Synchronized lyrics and full-page lyric display.
- Audio Out: HDMI Data Output
- Video Decoder: MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4,H.263, H.264, AVS, VC-1,
- RV, VP6/VP8, Sorenson Spark, MVC 1920x1080P 60FPS
- Video Encoder: H.264，VP8，MVC(1080P)
- Resolution: [email protected]
- H.264 Data Rate:: Up to 60Mbps
- Image browser: Support JPG、JPEG、BMP、GIF、PNG、JFIF…etc photo format.Maximum resolution up to 8192x8192.
- Text-Reading: Support TXT、LRC、PDF、Html、Htm、EPUB…etc formats(Depends on APK install)。
- Software Extension: Support Google Play APK install
- DLNA,Wimo Protocol: Support DLNA,Wimo Protocol
- Remote Control: Support Smart phone remote control、2.4GHZ wireless air mouse/Remote controller.
- IM Software: Support Skype/QQ/MSN/GTALK (Depends on APK install)
- Offic Software: WORD/EXCEL/PDF(Depends on APK install)
- Others Parameters:
- Operationg Temperature: -10~40℃
- Storage Temperature: -20~50℃
- Humidity environment: 5%-90%(No condensation)
- Certification: CCC,CE,EMC,FCC,Wi-Fi
- Accessory List:
- 1.Standard Package: 1xQSG、1xAdapter(DC 5V/2A), 1xHDMI Cable,1x3.5mm AV Cable, 1x IR Remote Controller
- 2.Optional Package: 2.4G Wireless Air Mouse, 2.4G Wireless mouse and keyboard, USB Cable