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Review Dynalink Android TV Box


hey everybody it’s lon seidman we’re taking a look today at the dynalink 4k android tv box this was on sale a few weeks ago and i picked it up at a pretty good price but it’s come back to its regular price at the time i’m recording this video but i’m going to shoot this anyhow because i am sure it will go on sale again and this is an android tv box running the official android tv and we’re going to take a closer look and see what this box is all about in just a second but i do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure that i paid for this with my own funds all the opinions you’re about to hear are my own no one is paying for this review nor has anyone reviewed or approved what you’re about to see before it was uploaded so let’s get into it now and see what this box is all about now the price point on this is 49 right now although i paid 29 when it was on sale and again i think we’ll probably see it get back down to that price point at some point in the future so right now this costs the same as the official google tv device that’s out there which is their chromecast with google tv and this one is not as good as that one for the same money so i think if you are seeing this at its current price go for the google one it’s going to be a much better experience but if you’re interested as to what this one can do let’s dive into the hardware and see what it’s all about there isn’t much to this you just have a usb port here for power this is an otg port and i recently purchased an ethernet adapter from a company called you green that

allows you to use ethernet and power through this usb connector i’m going to have a separate video about that it might be a useful way to get a more reliable connection to it but it does support ac wi-fi and i found it to work pretty well on my network so that’s the only port you got on here it’s got the hdmi output here of course it does support 4k at 60hz and we’ll take a look at that running on my display here in a minute inside it has eight gigabytes of storage with about half of that amount available for apps it has two gigabytes of ram and it’s got a quad-core amlogic s905y2 processor and that’s the same chip we’ve been seeing on a lot of these types of devices lately so it’s good enough to deliver video to your display but not so great for gaming and other more demanding applications although a lot of the casual android games run pretty well on it the remote is your standard android tv remote we see this a lot even on the generic tv boxes now the remote does support the google assistant so if you push the button here in the middle you can execute all of your voice commands to the box

the remote connects to the box via bluetooth so you don’t need to have the box out in front of your tv you can kind of tuck it behind if you want it’s got a pretty short power cable so that’s something you might want to do anyhow and beyond that it’s a pretty basic device so let’s hook this thing up to my 4k display and see how it performs alright so we got the box now booted up on my 4k 60 hertz display it’s pretty responsive here as we’re browsing the interface at 4k uh one thing to note is that the android tv interface now has advertising built in that’s always going to be here at the top and then sometimes if you leave things idle for a while the ads come front and center so just be prepared for that uh one thing that really bugs me about this box which is something i’ve seen on other lower priced android tv devices is that if your display supports hdr it leaves itself in hdr all the time even if you’re watching content that’s not encoded in hdr and as a result the non-hdr content is not going to look right on your tv it looked really lousy on my 4k tv over there and there’s no way to turn off hdr even if you wanted to another thing that bugs me about this is that you need to update it through a separate app and you have to go over to this update thing here but when i go to check the online update it gives me this message check failed check your ota service agent what does that mean i have no idea so there’s some issues here getting things going another oddity is that you set your display settings here through its own app and not through the regular display settings so you have to jump into here versus going through the regular android interface but you can see here i can change my resolution to something else if i want but there is no option here to turn off the hdr and that’s been something that’s been bugging me again throughout the review process of this device now a little bit earlier i

connected it up to my home theater equipment and we were able to play 4k video on netflix with hdr just know that this doesn’t though support dolby atmos or dolby vision which is something that chromecast with google tv can do but beyond that we found a decent compatibility here on the box and most of the major streaming applications available including disney plus hbo max prime video netflix youtube all of the major ones are available through the google play store on this box now we also checked out my youtube channel with a 4k 60 hertz video and as you can see here we’re running this without any dropped frames it’s been a pretty smooth 4k playback experience on this box even at 60 hertz which has been good so i think for the most part it should be able to keep up with 4k video across most of the major services that you play back on it this is connected to my ac wi-fi right now so it’s been just working like most people will use it with a wi-fi connection and i haven’t seen anything that concerns me about its video playback performance but again i don’t like the fact that if you had this on an hdr display it would be applying the hdr mode to this video which was not shot in hdr and i really think they need to update this to dynamically switch between hdr and non-hdr video now this can also work like a chromecast where you can cast things from your phone over to the dyno link box here let me show you how that works what we’re going to do real quick here is we’re going to pull up the little chromecast icon on my netflix app if you have this device on your network your apps will typically discover it and as you can see here i’ve got an option for the dynalink tv box and when i select that what will happen here is the netflix app will launch

on the box and if i click play on here that will begin playing back this content on the dynalink box and i look for this because a lot of boxes that are running an unofficial version of the android tv operating system usually don’t work well with netflix and all of the other major apps that i’ve tested like disney plus here all seem to be connecting up and playing content back from the dynalink box here just fine so i don’t see any problems with its chromecasting functionality so let’s move on now to gaming now this game is not running natively on the box we’re streaming it from geforce now and in full disclosure nvidia provided us with a free account a little while back now i was able to get my xbox controller here to attach to the device via bluetooth that seems to be working we are streaming the game at 1080p over wi-fi and it all appears to be running nicely but your experience with game streaming will vary depending on networking conditions especially the speed and overall signal strength of your wi-fi network and sometimes even if you have a good signal if there’s too much going on on your wi-fi network you might not see this kind of performance so that’s where you might want to attach one of those ethernet devices to do a little bit better but by and large game streaming on here seems to be working just fine and i would expect that given how well it’s able to stream video which is essentially what you’re doing when game streaming so not bad here at all let’s take a look at a native android game running on the box so this game is called hovercraft takedown and this is an example of some of the more

casual titles that run pretty nicely on this hardware you’re not going to find stuff like you would on a playstation or a nintendo switch or something but generally there’s a lot of fun quick pick up and play kind of titles out there that do run well on this hardware along with many other lower end devices like this one but just don’t expect a triple a gaming experience unless you do some of the game streaming we were doing earlier and on the 3dmark slingshot test we got a score of 450 that puts this one pretty much in line with what we’ve seen from its competitors namely the tivo stream 4k and the fire tv sticks that we reviewed recently it’s good enough i think for basic android gaming as you saw it’s fine for game streaming and if you’re looking to do things like game emulation you could probably get away with the old arcade titles and some of the 8 and 16-bit games but when you get beyond the sega genesis super nintendo era you’re going to start seeing this thing not being able to keep up all that much so if you’re looking to do emulation you’re going to want something more powerful like the nvidia shield but i think for the basics here it does just fine now we always like to check out plex performance on these devices plex is what i use to organize my personal media collection and they are in full disclosure an occasional sponsor here on the channel unfortunately this device is not going to be good for plex enthusiasts like myself and there’s a couple of reasons for that the first is that it doesn’t support lossless audio so dts hd or dolby true hd or dolby atmos audio none of that works on here it doesn’t switch itself into 24p mode which is very important for most feature films that run at 24p and of course we have that issue of hdr always being stuck on and there’s

no way to turn it off so for those reasons it’s something that doesn’t work well as a plex box now if you do connect the ethernet up to it generally those ethernet devices like the one that i will take a look at later this week only run at about 100 megabits per second and some of these newer 4k blu-ray movies actually run north of that not many but some do so for those reasons this is not going to be a good lower cost alternative to an nvidia shield unfortunately and if you are a heavy plex user using some of these high bitrate movie files that have lossless audio this is probably not going to be the box for you so in conclusion if you’ve got a 4k tv this is not the box for you i think the chromecast with google tv is much better and at the moment costs the same as this one does and i would say that is the way to go now if you happen to find this one on sale and you’re trying to connect up an older 1080p set this one may not be a bad deal especially given that we have a full version of android tv on this one i’m not seeing any drm issues there’s good support across most of the major streaming providers and it plays back video pretty well but again it’s not going to be good for 4k tvs especially when you can’t get this thing out of its hdr mode but on a 1080p set it should work okay and if you can find it for 20 or 30 bucks maybe it’s worth considering for that purpose because it is a fairly functional android tv box at that lower resolution but there’s definitely better options for 4k owners out there that’s going to do it for now until next time this is lon simon thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by the london tv supporters including gold level supporters brian parker jim peter tom albrecht frank lewandowski mark bollinger and chris allegretta if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to lawn dot tv support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe

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