August DVB500 Review - Android Smart TV Box
“Fancy reviewing the new August DVB500 Android Smart TV Box with Freeview HD?” said the email. “It’s a Set Top Box with Play Store - Netflix / Youtube / Facebook / Skype Preinstalled” Why not, thought I, and so here it is. The August DVB500 review.
There are so many snazzy little boxes available these days that it’s difficult to know what to get. So the chance to review the August DVB500 was ideally placed.
It just so happens that with a potential house move on the cards, I’ve been wanting to pick up a new TV box as I’ll need one for the kids room.
My “must have” list was fairly short. I wanted Freeview, and something that was HD compatible. Preferably with a decent program guide so we can look up what we want to watch, and ideally with YouTube given the eldest three and their love of Niki and Sammy, Tyler Oakley and loads of other famous YouTubers.
The August DVB500 does all of the above, and more. It retails at £125.95, but you can buy the August DVB500 for a reduced price at Amazon (Currently £89.95 as I write this)
It’s a pre-loaded Smart TV box that runs Android - better known for being the operating system for millions of phones. I’m an Android fan. I like the fact that it is generally very stable, but also allows developers far more room to experiment and to push boundaries. That’s ideal for applications like this.
The AVB500 comes with Freeview built-in and allows programs to be recorded onto a Micro SD card or via USB onto a hard drive, though it’s supplied with 8Gb of storage as standard, which is plenty if you want to use it for apps and games, but probably not enough to store more than a few shows recorded from the tv.
Setting up the Smart TV Box was fairly easy. It wasn’t quite plug and play, but the instructions supplied were easy enough to follow.
A quick look on Google told me that you could install apps such as Kodi which open up even more opportunities for viewing as with the right set up, you can view a large amount of material from online too. When you consider that the manufacturers boast how you can access YouTube, iPlayer, 4OD, Skype, Google and more, it’s a great indication of the flexibility offered by the machine.
The product itself worked easily for me. Connecting to wifi was easy, thankfully, as was setting up new apps or using the pre-installed apps such as YouTube. If you have an Android phone then the whole set-up with have a familiar feel about it because the box is Android too.
There’s a drawback in so far as it can be fiddly tapping in letters using the remote to find whatever it is that you’re searching for on screen. From experience, though, that’s no different to Sky. At least with this Smart box you can connect a Bluetooth keyboard to speed up the process.
Having said that, once wifi was connected and I had clicked the right buttons to connect to Freeview, the process was smooth, with the box searching for and adding Freeview channels quickly and easily.
You have the choice of connecting via HDMI or by using an AV cable. If you have a tv that has been bought new in the past 5 years or so then you’ll have HDMI, most likely, which will allow you to enjoy HD TV.
Overall, I like this box. It was easy enough to set up that it shouldn’t pose a problem for anyone who isn’t technically minded providing they read the instructions.
If you want something that you can play with and set up exactly the way you want it, this is ideal.
If you need something that you can plug straight in and then leave it, this will still work, but is probably not ideal as you will be missing out on what else it can offer. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a million miles away from plug and play, but you’ll get more from it if you really try delving into what it can do, and you’ll be missing out on some great features if you choose not to!
This is going to be used in the spare room at my house, but I see no reason why you wouldn’t be able to use it as your main viewing box.
Features of the August DVB500
(Taken from Amazon)
Smart TV Box with Android KitKat
The DVB500 uses Android KitKat v4.4 to give you access to a world of apps. YouTube, iPlayer, 4OD, Skype, Google and an almost endless list more, can be easily accessed on your TV. Connected entertainment from your armchair.
Freeview HD Tuner
Outputting HD channels at 1080p, live TV looks stunning through the DVB500. Watching and recording your favourite shows is a joy through the DVB500. With Timeshift, PVR and a 7 day EPG, your viewing can be planned, paused, rewound and rewatched.
WiFi and Ethernet Connection
With both wireless and wired connectivity, the DVB500 can get on the net anywhere you can. Simple to setup, you can be updating your status within minutes of plugging in.
Headsets for Skype, keyboards for Whatsapp and soundbars for Freeview can all be connected to the DVB500 wirelessly through the inbuilt Bluetooth. Lagless sound streaming and connection to Bluetooth voiP headsets is easy.
USB and SD Readers
The DVB500 records Freeview to USB or SD cards, connect external hard drives and memory cards for unlimited storage of apps and videos. Then watch back at home or anywhere you go through your laptop, PC or another DVB00.
Playback your favourite digital videos, images, and music with the inbuilt multimedia player, or download your favourite from Play Store and experience your PC media on your living room TV.
4 Core GPU: Mali-450
Android 4.4 OS
3x USB 2.0 ports
1x SD Card slot
1x HDMI out
1x Ethernet LAN
2.4G Wi-Fi 802.11
I was given this product for free in exchange for an honest review. A full disclosure policy is available on the website.