New brand, up-to-date hardware, latest operating system. Homatics Box Q had something to interest us and in the review. We tried to give this new product an objective assessment.
Homatics Box Q Android TV 4K, ULTRA HD TV box, Also, certified by Google, with support for online services (Netflix 4K, Youtube, HBO GO, Amazon Prime Video, and others) and playback of videos, music, and photos.
Enjoy digital content stored on a USB device or micro SD card, and with built-in Chromecast technology. So, you can quickly stream photos, videos, and music from your phone, tablet, or PC to your TV.
Main Features of Homatics Box Q Android TV
- The set-top box is certified by Google (Android TV version 10 is installed).
- Convenient listening and viewing of content and applications, content for Android TV.
- KODI support.
- Video resolution up to 4K UHD (3840 x 2160 pixels).
- Modern Amlogic S905X3 chipset.
- 2GB DDR3 RAM.
- 8GB eMMC Flash.
- Friendly and easy-to-use interface.
- Easy wireless internet connection via built-in dual Wi-Fi (2.4 / 5GHz).
- Bluetooth remote control using Google Assistant.
*Streaming video from the Internet.
- Supports thousands of big screen apps from Google Play store.
- Google Chromecast streaming to watch HD movies on your big TV screen.
- Download and install apps from the Google Play Store individually sorted.
- Exchange of digital media between multimedia devices.
The Smart TV set-top box Homatics Box Q uses a very convenient remote control made in a minimalist style. In addition, it contains shortcut buttons on the remote control for Netflix, Google Play, Amazon, and Youtube. In addition, you can use Google voice commands.
The package includes
Homatics Box Q Android TV set-top box;
- Bluetooth remote control (with 2 AAA batteries);
- HDMI cable;
- power adapter 12 V / 1 A;
- installation instructions.
Design and equipment
This set-top box is packed in a high-quality box and immediately stands out for its printing and stylish design. A striking contrast to OEM devices. On the front, the main characteristics of the model are indicated, and on the side. There is a place for the mainstreaming services with which it can work. Inside the box, you will find a nice bundle. The manufacturer was not greedy and put in an HDMI cable and a couple of batteries.
So, the media player can be called compact, and its design does not stand out with any delicacies. A stylish classic or so. A black wedge-shaped box made of matte plastic, without inscriptions and with a barely noticeable logo on top. The build quality is felt. Everything is well fitted and there are no minor inconsistencies like in cheap smart TV boxes. There is an LED in the center of the front panel. It glows white when turned on and red in standby mode.
In contrast to its Chinese competitors, the Homatics Box Q is equipped with a high-quality Bluetooth remote control. A striking contrast to IR remotes without voice control. Which quickly becomes annoying and you have to buy something normal for an extra $ 7-15. The remote has a grippy matte body, dedicated app buttons (Netflix, Youtube, Prime Video, and Google Play). A Google Voice Assistant button, and a large white circle for navigating menus. Otherwise, this is a standard remote control with volume/channel rockers and a bunch of “Back + Home” buttons. One can only complain about the lack of backlighting, but even in a semi-dark room, it is difficult to miss the desired button.
What’s inside, Interfaces
The hardware stuffing of the Homatics Box Q is far from unique. It is used in a couple of dozen branded and not-so devices. The set-top box received the codename SEI600HM and is equipped with the most relevant SoC for the middle segment. Amlogic S905X3 is based on four ARM Cortex-A55 cores with a clock speed of up to 1.9 GHz. The Mali-G31 MP2 Dvalin graphics system with a frequency of 650 MHz is capable of pulling popular toys at medium settings. Supports H.264, H.265, and VP9 decoding, as well as HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision, and HDR10 + formats.
The only thing missing is the new AV1 video codec. It is decoded into the S905X4. But the performance of this chipset is 7-8% higher and no set-top boxes have appeared on it yet. TV box works with leading DRM systems: Widevine L1, L3, PlayReady. At first glance, only the memory configuration may surprise. 2 GB of RAM and an 8GB eMMC drive for storing applications and files. These are the minimum values on the market (there are S905X3 consoles with 4/64 GB), but this is enough for a streaming media player and on “correct firmware”.
On the right side, there is a slot for Micro SD memory cards, also one USB 2.0 and 3.0 port. The back of the media player has room for HDMI 2.1 (up to 4K @ 75 Hz with HDR), a 3.5mm AV jack (composite video and stereo audio), an optical SPDIF audio output, and a USB Type-C port.
The Homatics Box Q is supposed to be working with network content most of the time. Therefore it is equipped with a dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 b / g / n / ac (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) and regular LAN 10/100. In addition, the presence of Bluetooth 4.2 allows you to connect mice, remote controls, headphones, and other wireless devices.
Software and general Impressions
The software part of the Homatics set-top box is based on the Android TV 10 operating system. Where all the main things have already been decided for you. All that remains is to make minor changes and adjust the system to fit your needs. The operating system is devoid of everything unnecessary in comparison with the base Android. As a result of “code lightening” and various optimizations, the TV box works perfectly on 2 GB of RAM.
It should be understood in advance that the ATV market is slightly curtailed (compared to regular Android). And only the most important and proven things are collected here. It has no applications for official services, but no streaming services with unlicensed content or torrent clients. The problem is solved very simply. Install applications bypassing the Google Play Store. That is, manually from APK files that are posted on popular forums. Works as a variant from a USB stick, and installation from a network source. Or use an alternative app store like Aptoide.
In contrast to many popular android consoles. Although, there is no Root here bt, through some hidden settings in the menu it cannot be turned on. The absence of Root is one of the requirements for Google certification and the official Netflix client. Superuser rights would be useful for applications like AFRD (organizes the auto framework).
Connect the Remote
For the first time, when you turn on the Homatics Box Q Android TV. You need to connect the remote control to it (pair it), a Gmail account, and set up the network. All basic settings are intuitive, and you can watch the content right after entering the main screen. Where collections from installed applications are collected in feeds. Additional settings for image and sound output are generally identical to modern Android set-top boxes and there is nothing new there.
The main screen is maximally adapted for viewing video content. The sequence of actions is simple – install the applications you need and configure the “channel” tapes (playlists) according to your preferences. You can change channels in places or remove some of them altogether. Voice search works well in the set-top box (and not only in official applications) and accurately recognizes the request even in the case of complex movie names.
Owners of simple Android boxes may be surprised at the lack of a built-in file browser. But you can always install something from the market. A file manager is a must if you do not limit yourself to the basic set of applications. This way you can easily deal with the contents of a USB drive and be able to connect to network balls.
In real life, the Homatics Box Q smart TV box works smoothly. There are no complaints about the speed of the interface. There is a good reaction to pressing buttons on the remote control, and the cold launching of applications like Netflix does not tire you with waiting.
The case after 7 hours of operation is slightly warm and nothing more. The decrease in performance due to throttling is not felt anywhere. In the RAM, 5-6 applications fit without problems. And practice shows that a large number of them on such devices are launched extremely rarely. Only a limited amount of storage can be considered a small disadvantage. Initially, the user has access to about 55% of 8 GB.
This TV box has good RAM (3000+ Mb / s) and built-in memory (100+ read) speeds, although we have already met consoles with higher rates. But the network performance of the set-top box raised several questions. A wired 100 Mbps network, as we have known for a long time, may not be enough for 4K HDR at the extreme parameters. And in the Homatics Box Q, Wi-Fi was also unable to overtake the wire (at least in our measurement). In the 2.4 GHz range, it is very modest – up to 55 Mbps. In the 5 GHz range, the speed not in the line of sight reaches 88-95 Mbps (and the recoil is slightly higher). Perhaps, external antennas would be useful for the attachment for unlocking the potential.
Different types of Content Test
The source of content for the Homatics Box Q can be numerous online services, media content from USB drives, as well as Windows-PC network balls and NFS servers. We managed to connect to the QNAP NAS server via NFS without any problems, and then watch movies via VLC. Problems can only be created by “heavy” files in 4K HDR and test videos, where the bitrate is more than 100 Mbps. Everything depends on the ability to work over the network (as we said above). Immediately, we note that the standard player in this Homatics console provides only the most basic needs and it is better to install MX Player, VLC, or Vimu.
We tested the Homatics Box Q TV box with content on an external USB 3.0 drive – we used a large sample of 1080p BDRip, Blu-ray, 2160p UHD BDRip, and even 4K UHD Blu-ray movies.
There are no complaints about natural colors and display of HDR content. Of course, in reality, only HDR10 is supported. But the dynamic formats HDR10 + and Dolby Vision are not. Video files in the test were played without problems and stuttering. The picture quality can be estimated at 8-8.5 points.
A slightly better image is possible only with set-top boxes based on new Realtek chips – subjectively, the picture there seems a little softer. Sound output is identical to all models based on S905X3. The media player can pass multi-channel audio to the AV receiver through the HDMI output.
Launching full-fledged Blu-ray or 4K UHD Blu-ray with complex menus and bonus content is not here. Fine-tuned video output or Hi-Res music too.
Still, the main option for viewing content on this set-top box is online cinemas. Homatics Box Q has all the necessary certifications to play HD and 4K content from international (Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney +, and others), as well as local services like MEGOGO or IVI. You have the ability to install or update applications directly from the Market. But you have to pay for all the good things
subscriptions to the best foreign streaming services will cost you 5-12 euros per month. Domestic projects are not much cheaper either. Now the best choice, in our opinion, is a bundle from Netflix and one of the leading local streaming services. Top apps offer a ton of settings, convenient catalogers with all the important information, the ability to compose a selection of content according to your preferences, the choice of episodes in the movie, and even rewind video with the output of individual frames. But there are still many disadvantages to the licensed content niche.
Firstly, good films have scattered across different services due to the competition between the latter. Secondly, new items are still released late or are available only in the original language. Although here COVID-19 is making adjustments and the situation is gradually improving.
Didn’t find the movie or series you’re interested in on the official streaming services? No problem! All the problem with viewing new products is solved by a bundle from “Kodi + TorrServer or AceStream”. Aggregator apps like HD Videobox or KinoTrend stream movies from both online cinemas and torrents (paired with TorrServer) without downloading them first.
where high-quality content categories are collected. There is a base of actors and a lot of design settings. I am glad that the search is carried out not only in the program itself. But also through voice commands. The picture quality is excellent and the box pulls out even 4K HDR Remux, rewinding works fine.
IPTV, Youtube and other functions
The presence of the built-in Chromecast function in the TV box from Homatics will help you easily and wirelessly connect your smartphone to a TV or display a photo from a laptop on the big screen. Checked out various Youtube videos from my smartphone – everything works great.
Where in any TV box without Youtube. You can use the standard version (quality up to 4K, remote control buttons control), but the dominance of advertising makes you think about a paid subscription). As an alternative, of course, the Smart YouTube TV app is suitable. 4K Ultra HD videos play smoothly, and there is support for AFR and 60fps.
During testing, we did not bypass IPTV television either. If you are not tied to a specific service with a subscription, then we traditionally recommend Perfect Player to watch IPTV channels. This is a time-tested application and it is even in the standard Android TV store. You can use a playlist from a provider or legal (and not so) playlists from the Internet. The playback of all channels deserves an “excellent” rating, switching between them is fast, everything works without problems even in Ultra HD.
Can Homatics Box Q run toys?
Quite! But 2 GB of RAM imposes a number of restrictions (some games simply do not start), and the video accelerator here still will not pull PUBG-level projects even at medium settings. There are doubts that someone will buy such a console for regular battles in World of Tanks or similar releases. At the same time, various races and arcades will perfectly help to brighten up your leisure time, and a wireless gamepad connected via Bluetooth will add comfort to games.
Pros and Cons
- High-quality assembly and convenient remote control;
- Good performance;
- ATV 10, Chromecast built-in, voice control;
- Certification for leading online video services;
- Stability in work.
- Network performance end-to-end.
With this TV box as an example, we saw that Android TV 10 is a great choice for the mainstream user. There is a convenient and well-thought-out interface, optimization for content consumption has been carried out. Even with relatively modest performance, the Box Q is fast and reliable. But it is important to understand the range of capabilities of this device and not expect the functionality of classic media players like Dune HD from it.
The Homatics Box Q prefix performs well in comparison with its direct competitors. Of the “European” alternatives, these are the Blaupunkt B-Stream Box and Nokia Streaming Box 8000 sold in our country. Both TV boxes have comparable hardware and functionality but are 15-25% more expensive. Also, analogs include models with ATV firmware from Beelink, Mecool, Ugoos, and other brands.
We recommend Homatics Box Q for purchase – with such a price tag, this is a good offer for those who are focused on online video and want normal work “right out of the box”.