Saturday, August 25, 2012

MK802 Android 4.0 Mini PC ~ Smart your TV



Have you ever wanted to ditch that old HDTV for a snazzy Smart TV? You can now transform your cheap and ordinary HDTV into a high-end Smart TV powered by Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich!
This is made possible by a tiny device which is not much bigger than a thumbdrive, MK802 Android 4.0 Mini PC!
MK802 Android 4.0 Mini PC packs a 1.5GHz ARM Cortex-A8* processor, 1GB RAM*, 4GB internal storage with Wireless 802.11g/b/n capability, running a rooted Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich software.
*Specifications may vary even though the device that you buy may bear the same name and appearance.
There may be generic Android TV boxes available out there, but nothing beats the MK802 Android 4.0 Mini PC in terms of form-factor. This little guy simply hides away behind your HDTV and delivers rock solid Android ICS performance. Till date, MK802 Android 4.0 Mini PC packs one of the most powerful specifications in the smallest form ever, at a ridiculously cheaper price than all other Android TV boxes out there! Read on to discover what this little device can do for you!

Packaging
A simple and atypical Android style box that is nothing worth bragging.
For the price, I do not expect much from marketing gimmicks.
 MK802 Android 4.0 Mini PC in its insert tray.

Contents
The MK802 Android 4.0 Mini PC comes with a mini-USB cable, mini-HDMI cable, mini-USB-to-USB converter (OTG) cable, 5V 2A power supply and operator manual.

MK802 Android 4.0 Mini PC
The little guy measures at a mere 90 x 35 x 14mm size.
 MK802 Android 4.0 Mini PC comes with a mini-HDMI port, OTG/mini-USB port, microSD slot, standard USB port and a port for the power supply adaptor.
The microSD card slot on the side allows you to extend the memory from 4GB up to 32GB via a microSD card.
The standard USB port may allow you to plug many peripherals, but you essentially require this port to hook up to a USB mouse/keyboard.
Beside the USB port is the port for the power supply adaptor (provided). This device draws 5V, 2A power, similar to tablets and iPad.
The mini-USB port or OTG (On-The-Go) also allows you to connect peripherals such as keyboard, mouse, flash drive via the OTG cable or mini-USB-to-standard USB port converter cable (provided). This port can serve as a USB host. However, instead of using this port to host devices, I would use this port to power up the device! Yes, without using the 5V 2A power supply adaptor. mini-USB cables are already abandoned by modern Android phones, you may have some lying around at home or you can use the one supplied with this device. Simply hook up the cable to an existing USB port on your HDTV. Read on to find out how I do that.
The mini-HDMI port that transmit your display and sound to your HDTV, via a mini-HDMI cable (provided).

Size Does Matter
The small size of the MK802 Android 4.0 Mini PC blows all other devices away!
No other devices comes close to such small form-factor.
See how the MK802 Android 4.0 Mini PC matches up to other devices and toys.

Transform your HDTV into a Smart TV
Unleash the potential of your HDTV with MK802 Android 4.0 Mini PC and transform your ordinary HDTV to a giant 40" tablet (less touchscreen capability). Regardless the size or type of your HDTV, as long as your TV has a HDMI port, it can be used with MK802 Android 4.0 Mini PC.
Get started in 4 Easy Steps!
(1) Connect the device to the TV via the provided mini-HDMI cable.
The display will be optimum if you are using a FullHD 1080p LCD or LED HDTV, Plasma displays tend to be 720p and are not as sharp as LCD or LED HDTV.
(2) Connect a control device via the USB port.
The only way to control the Android OS is via a USB device. USB mouse is essential to navigate around, while a USB keyboard is not necessary since the device has a pop-up soft keyboard like any other Android devices. However, if a USB keyboard is present, the soft keyboard will not appear. I would strongly recommend getting a Bluetooth mouse/keyboard as you do not really want to sit too near to the big screen. I have found a perfect Bluetooth keyboard from Logitech. The Logitech K400 is a small keyboard with a trackpad like your laptop, hence you won't need a mouse!
Note that MK802 Android 4.0 Mini PC does not have a Bluetooth radio, which means you need to connect the Bluetooth mouse/keyboard via its Bluetooth receiver.
How about a palm-sized keyboard with touchpad?
How about navigate in Nintendo Wii style with an Air Mouse
 


(3) Connect the power source.
You can connect the MK802 Android 4.0 Mini PC using the supplied power adaptor.
Another way is to power the MK802 Android 4.0 Mini PC up, using the mini-USB port via the supplied mini-USB cable! A standard 5V USB port can supply enough juice to power up this little guy! So does your HDTV have a USB port? If no, check again. Some lower end HDTV do not have a USB port that allows user to plug in flash drives. However, the manufacturers usually do not advertise that these HDTV will usually have a "Service Port". The "Service Port" is essentially a 5V USB port meant for the manufacturer to service your TV. Connect the mini-USB cable to this "Service Port" will also power up the MK802 Android 4.0 Mini PC!
Another advantage to plug the MK802 Android 4.0 Mini PC to the USB port on the TV is such that it shutdown and startup along with your TV.
I will then hide the device and all the cables behind the HDTV and make my old HDTV appear like a Smart Android TV.
Viola! Your 40-incher Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich "tablet" is raring to go!
(4) Connect to your WIFI network.
The MK802 Android 4.0 Mini PC only support WIFI, so you need to have wireless network at home.
Log-in with your Google account and the device will start sync. MK802 Android 4.0 Mini PC will update itself and the pre-installed apps. Market instantly updates to Google Play. Other pre-installed apps include Youtube, Twitter, Angry Bird Space, Facebook, Skype, Browser, Youku, PPTV, PPS and Docs-to-go Office. Good to know that the MK802 Android 4.0 Mini PC is rooted and not region-locked, hence you can view streaming shows without getting blocked!
You can now enjoy your full Android Ice Cream Sandwich experience on your HDTV!

PROS

  • Dirt cheap!
  • Small
  • Expandable memory
  • WIFI enabled
  • Works on any HDTV
  • Support FullHD resolution
  • All cables included
  • Pre-installed apps
  • Rooted
  • Android 4.0 ICS OS
  • Fast and smooth (no skin over ICS)

CONS

  • Cheap materials
  • No Bluetooth radio
  • No 3G radio
  • No GPS radio
  • No SDXC support
  • No touchscreen capability
  • No multi-touch
  • No camera function
  • Slightly warm on usage, hot when connected via power supply adaptor
  • Lack of shutdown button
  • Constantly WIFI drop out (FIXED! See fix below)

Seriously, at the ridiculously cheap price, it is worth overlooking all the cons!

Unleash the Power of Android 4.0
Smart your TV!



Photography and Editing by William Tan
©William Tan 2012

Disclaimer
Please respect the copyrights of the photographs and content in this post. Please support my work by linking back to this post via this addresshttp://mybearbrick.blogspot.sg/2012/08/mk802-android-40-mini-pc-smart-your-tv.html







FIX for MK802 WIFI interference and wireless signal drop out
If you are experiencing that your wireless or WIFI signal is dropping out constantly, it is not because of any interference from your other wireless signals or wireless keyboard/mouse. It is also not due to the intefering RF signals from your HDMI cable. 
It is due to a simple positioning of the Antenna
You can fix this yourself easily. All you need is some cheap electrical insulation tape
Refer to the picture below:
The wireless signal is transmitted by the wire Antenna. The Antenna wire is the thin wire insulated in a grey plastic sheath. The Antenna is soldered onto the top-side circuit board (PCB). It is then squeezed in-between the power supply port and USB port and passed over to the under-side of the PCB. The Antenna is then goes into a metal cylinder or Antenna coil, and then out. You will observe that the Antenna is now not insulated with the grey sheath at the Antenna tail. The Antenna tail is exposed. The problem lies here! The naked Antenna tail can come in contact with the soldering spots on the PCB and also the metal surface of the HDMI port. This causes sort of a "short circuit" or signal interference, resulting in the constantly dropped wireless connection. Now, get your electrical insulation tape and wrapped the whole Antenna, all the way to the Antenna tail. Make sure that there is no visible or exposed Antenna and Antenna tail. Carefully reassemble the PCB into the shell.
All myth is busted! Viola, test run a YouTube clip, and watch your signal maintain at maximum with no more signal drop out and disconnection of the WIFI!

If this fix works for you, or you like this fix.
Please LIKE this post below.

2 comments:

bono said...

Excellent Post!!! thank you so much, the WiFi issue is drive me crazy! by the way, can you please show how to open it? I got the sensation that I can break it!

bono said...

Excellent Post!!! thank you so much, the WiFi issue is drive me crazy! by the way, can you please show how to open it? I got the sensation that I can break it!