Super-cheap Android MediaCenter?

Ashton

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Nov 13, 2004
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I was sitting here thinking how to set up my projector/TV for streaming and I had a brainstorm! If you want an inexpensive device purely to attach to your TV/Projector/etc for running Plex/XBMC/etc, Why not use a cell phone?

All you need is an Android phone with a working mobo, HDMI-out, and wifi, you can pair a bluetooth trackpad/remote/etc, you don't need cellular and you don't need a pristine screen, so an older cell with a bad ESN and a cracked screen would be fine!

Anyone have thoughts on this?

if it'll work, Suggestions of older model cells to use? (only one I thought of was EVO 4G like I used to have - which is running $10-$20 for a bad-ESN/cracked screen on eBay)
 

bloodypulp

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May 17, 2010
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you can already get a cheap Android computer on a stick (USB flash drive size) that plugs into HDMI, with WiFi//Bluetooth built-in.
 

timta2

[H]ard|Gawd
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Feb 3, 2010
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Roku and WD devices work great too and they are inexpensive. XBMC on the RaspberryTi is also interesting.
 

Ashton

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you can already get a cheap Android computer on a stick (USB flash drive size) that plugs into HDMI, with WiFi//Bluetooth built-in.
From what I've seen on Amazon, most of these have overheating problems, that's one reason I was looking at a phone, much less likely to overheat and $50-$70 vs $10

Roku and WD devices work great too and they are inexpensive. XBMC on the RaspberryTi is also interesting.
I'm looking at outfitting upto 5 displays, so $50-$70 (or in the case of some of the rokus I've seen, $150 each) vs $10 for a cracked/bad ESN phone is a big difference...

On the other paw, I have no idea what features the other boxes offer, it might be worth it, right now my upper-limit is $75 or so... preferably for 2 boxes...
 

Goros

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Feb 14, 2013
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5.1 audio and 1080p video streaming from a Roku using Plex > android phone.
 

Ashton

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Sorry, I keep forgetting that everyone else here has money to burn... :rolleyes: I'm looking at the cheapest functional device - I'm looking for a pinto not a Cadillac...
 
Joined
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I like the idea of using a cell phone as a media screamer because I've got my old Electrify laying around but I think it would require someone developing custom software for it/custom ROM which to do for one phone (if you have the know how) MAY not be too bad, but with how many phones are out there, I don't think anything like this is going to take off :-/
 

Goros

n00b
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Feb 14, 2013
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I just see it being nothing but a pain to control remotely, unless you are ok with a lapdock next to you and a mess of wires running out the back....
 

Ashton

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I just see it being nothing but a pain to control remotely, unless you are ok with a lapdock next to you and a mess of wires running out the back....
SOME devices, not sure which ones, can be controlled using the PLEX Remote App/feature...

EDIT:
also if the devices supports USB OTG you can hook up a wireless trackpad

EDIT x2:
Or bluetooth trackpad...
 

Jagger100

Supreme [H]ardness
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Oct 31, 2004
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7,596
The android sticks are a moving target. comments about them a year ago are somewhat out of date. That being said, most are not quite at 1080p yet. But you hear some success stories. But 'success' can be in the eye of the beholder.
 

thegrinch

Limp Gawd
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Jul 31, 2005
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209
I would also consider bit-rate since almost anything can play 1080p if ithe bitrate is low enough...
 

CaliGirl

Gawd
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Apr 25, 2009
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The OG Motorola Photon has HDMI output and also has an additional media dock that charges and has usb ports for peripherals. I had mine connected to a monitor with a keyboard and mouse for my kids. It was out of service and used only on wifi. Worked great for web surfing, netflix, and pandora.
The Photon Q has the same HDMI output and media dock, but it doesn't have any usb ports. But a BT keyboard could substitute I suppose.
 
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