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Monday, October 26, 2015

Kata Box–can stream online video content and play mobile games on any TV (review)

kata box review copy

We introduced you last September the first release of Kata Philippines’ new product – the Kata Box. It’s a small box that can turn any TV set – LED or LCD or even CRT TV into a Smart TV. With the use of this Kata Box, your TV will be converted from ordinary TV to a WIFI enabled TV, loaded with Android apps and it can let you watch Youtube, online movies and play mobile games on your TV.

Our first initial introduction was first posted here at http://azraelsmerryland.blogspot.com/2015/09/kata-philippines-launches-their-own-tv.html

TECH SPECS
Mali 450 GPU and Amlogic S805 Quad Core 1.5 ghz processor
Android Kit Kat 4.4
1 GB RAM
8 GB ROM internal storage
WiFi enabled
no Bluetooth
2 USB slot
1 HDMI slot
1 AV cable slot
LAN slot
Micro SD card slot
with FREE Mega VPN subscription for 60 days

Preloaded with apps – Youtube, Netflix, Fox, Discovery, and some mobile games
SRP – PHP 2999 and comes with one gaming controller

Order your Kata Box here at https://www.facebook.com/katadigitalcom



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REVIEW:

The Kata Box is easy to set up just plug your HDMI cable to your LCD TV and then it will run just like your ordinary Android phone or tablet. But if you are using a CRT TV, buy an extra AV cord to connect the box to your old TV.

After registering my Google email address in Google Play Store, I went directly to the Youtube app to check the speed of my wifi, the Youtube app is very different and I guess its an exclusive version bundled to this Kata Box, I didn’t like the bundled Youtube app because it calls the HD quality of the video and I’m running only a 2MBPS internet speed at home. So I need to find a way to switch the video quality to 360p. But according to our tech blogger friend Raffy Pedrajita, I should download the Youtube in Google Play and use that app instead of the bundled app. I tried his suggestion and it worked. But the problem is that the downloaded Youtube app icon is missing and not displayed on the main menu. I need to go to Google Play again to click OPEN the app and launch it. This will save me more bandwidth at home because all I need is 360p and not HD quality Youtube Videos.




I tried navigating the TV section and tried the Mega VPN subscription for 60 days, it was easy and I was connected in just minutes. Kata Philippines said that they will announce soon on how we can renew the Mega VPN and I think they will sell vouchers in the future to active the Mega VPN after 60 days. The Mega VPN is a virtual private network that uses network of other countries and it lets you enjoy content that is not available in our country, just like Netflix, we don’t have Netflix in the Philippines but many people enjoyed watching it here because they buy and apply for a VPN every month. Same goes to Kata Box, you need to activate your Mega VPN in order to enjoy these content that are available only in the USA.

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iFlix and HOOQ – I installed the two apps and I found that iFlix is buggy on the Kata Box, the movie plays but there’s no video…just audio only. Its an issue that iFlix should fix it soon, because many handset and tablets experience the same problem. For Hooq, I didn’t got a chance to try it because my voucher is missing, but according to another blogger friend who tested with HOOQ on a Kata Box mentioned that its working 100% --- it means that you can stream movies from HOOQ directly from the app and stream it to your TV. That’s good!

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iWantv – I downloaded the app and it was fine, too bad that the video quality of iWantv is really bad. There’s a HQ setting on the video player for desktop, but there’s not setting available for the app. I suggest play and run the iWantv via Firefox in your Kata Box


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Netflix, Discovery, History, Fox and etc – I used the Mega VPN to access content on these sites, but I really need to have a fast INTERNET ACCESS in order to enjoy high quality videos, but then I only tried some clips available for free at History and Discovery, I don’t have an access yet and there are times that you need to pay another extra to access the full episode. For Netflix, I didn’t tried it because I don’t have an account there. I remember that me and my wife accessed HULU Tv on our laptop,. I haven’t tested it yet via the Kata Box, but Im sure if you install the app you can also stream it smoothly to your TV.

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Games – My son enjoyed playing the bundled mobile games of the Kata Box, his favorite game Crossy Road can now be played on our TV, by using the remote control or the wireless game controller, you can play the game like you own a game console. There are more games available for FREE download and I heard that you can also play Clash of Clans on TV via Kata Box.

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Kata Box is the most affordable Android TV box in the Philippines and this will help add more entertainment and educational content to families who don’t have computer at home. Because your TV can also be a computer – lets you check email and even type a document. You can install Facebook, Twitter and all other apps available in Google Play Store.

But to get the best performance you need a ---- FAST INTERNET

You really need to use a wireless Bluetooth mouse with dongle and USB keyboard to type easily and also navigate the entire UI of the Kata Box. Its much easier to type with a keyboard when you need to search an app, a movie title or just type it in any fields.

Mouse and Keyboard is a convenience, so I suggest you use it when using the Kata Box. For the Wireless Keyboard or Mouse, make sure you used the version with USB Bluetooth dongles. Because the Kata Box is not Bluetooth ready.

Using the remote control is quite okay, but this is my 2nd Android box and my 1st was good in navigating the UI, but I still use the keyboard or mouse, but my 1st Android box UI is even more good because it display the Android Kit Kat UI same as in our phones. For Kata Box, they used their own UI style for the Android Kit Kat. I hope they can do some tweaks and make it more easy to surf.

Is it a good or bad gadget for your home??
For me, it’s a good gadget already…. because of its low price range and it really looks like an Apple TV hahahaha. I enjoy using it when viewing Youtube channels especially when a new video is published by my fave video bloggers. We heavily used Youtube at home and its like our 2nd cable TV… it can do HD too if we want via the Kata Box and Youtube HD settings.










The blogger

Azrael Coladilla is the blogger and founder of Azrael's Merryland Blog. This blog started as a personal blog in 2003, and then converted the blog into a lifeblog about his interest and reporting about pop culture, lifestyle, entertainment, technology, food, travel, toys, outdoor adventure, internet and social media. Awarded as the 2009 Most Influential Blogger for Luzon, Philippines, awarded by the Philippine Blog Awards. He is the founder of several online communities - Manila Bloggers Network, PBNetwork PH, Oh My Food! community, Cavite Bloggers, Travel and Blog Community, and Philippine ToyCon. He loves to travel, explore, discover, eat new food, document and record his life, meet new people, do photography and collects Transformers toys.
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