Updating slingbox firmware
And that's a definite plus for end users: it means that anyone who's used one Android TV device can quickly get a handle on another.
Such is the case for the Mi Box - the grid-based homescreen is blessedly free of fluff, and all of the familiar apps from my SHIELD are present and accounted for.
The Mi Box's remote is exactly what a set-top box controller should be: easy, simple, small.
My only previous experience with Android TV is on the NVIDIA SHIELD TV, and as excellent as that device is, the add-on remote is pretty awful thanks to touchy volume controls and short battery life.
Like other Android TV devices, there's no universal IR port on the Mi Box (though the SHIELD TV works with Logitech Harmony remotes).
Google, having realized the error of its ways with allowing manufacturers the leeway of practically unlimited customization in standard Android, keeps a pretty tight leash on Android TV.
Not particularly attractive or offensive, it gets the job done and doesn't get in anyone's way.
With full access to Android TV apps plus the requisite Cast streaming capability, decent (if bland) specs, and a voice-control remote, the Mi Box hits a lot of positive notes. The Mi Box can handle everything that other Android TV devices can with the exception of high-powered gaming, and the price tag is low enough to sneak into your entertainment budget.
That's doubly true if you've been waiting over a year for a new stand-alone Android TV option, which has been limited to the so-so Nexus Player, the deservedly mocked Razer Forge TV, and NVIDIA's excellent but expensive SHIELD TV. But once again the hardware is let down by Android TV; the immaturity of the platform - and its trailing position in app support - means that this victory rings hollow in the larger set-top box market.
Furthermore, diving into the somewhat haphazard Settings menu allows you to hide any of the suggested apps you wish to.
Games get their own dedicated section, and the familiar suggested content ribbon sits on top of it all, pulling mostly from Google services.
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The mic wants your mouth to be close to listen in, but that doesn't bother me: it means fewer false positives from other sources.