Question Looking for an old TV solution: iView Cyber box?

gdeangel

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Sep 7, 2012
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I have one of the last CRT TV's that featured 720p HD. I have no interest in upgrading, as I am a true cord cutter and have been since before the word was invented. I watch a combination of OTA broadcasts (US, ATSC) and streaming (mostly Vudu free, and some other free apps; I have about 300+ films in "HD" on Vudu) I have been using a PS3 slim for my streaming needs and it was pretty reliable. Then the WiFi chip died, and unfortunately if it was the fat model, I'd be out $20 for a new WiFi card, but now it looks likes I either need to become a reflow expert or "upgrade". I have zero interest in a PS5. Depending on the Atari VCS being a real Linux box, I could hold out for that. In the past I have used various other solution, including an old Win7 PC (a nightmare, don't ask), a Pi (too slow), a NUC with a VGA oug (great, but there were issues with having to run Firefox under Wine in order to make the DRM ninnies happy, and even then it wouldn't do HD, only SD (again, don't care, I only need 720p). I should add that I have an Apple TV gen 2, which doesn't support Vudu. I've read it's possible to crack the OS and get other apps on it, but basically it exists just because my wife has an iPhone and like to watch crap from her phone on the TV... anyway, that POS box gets the one HDMI port on my TV.

Basically I don't just go out and get a $30 Roku because I would like to have component output so I can get the most out of my TV. With the PS3, that involved taking the cable off my PS2 and plugging it in. I don't really want to get a signal converting dongle -- I know it's an option but then the cost of that basic Roku basically doubles. The older generation of Sony boxes, like the SMP-N200, would have been ideal, but I understand that they are or have already lost support from services like Netflix, Amazon, etc. It's amazing how proprietary content encryption has allowed content owners to basically convert the once open mindset of the a world-wid-web into a ecosystem of limited-shelf-life apps. Where backwards compatibility is a liability, not an asset.

Anyway, there are numerous streaming boxes boxes out there but not many that have component out (actually none) anymore. I'm guessing that was due to industry collusion to prevent piracy. Like anyone wants to pirate films today in US when the local Goodwill is overflowing with them, and the local library sells off surplus new releases within 6 months at < $5 per disk. So if I go the HDMI converter routeI don't want to break the bank but I'm not so naive to buy a $10 cable adapter and expect anything but "signal error". I've been through that with the Pi when we were trying to use them in a school environment with rows and rows of perfectly good VGA monitors, and basically I had to carry a DVI monitor around in my truck to school so I could use the pi to teach kids programming, etc. I'd love to know what is recommended then in terms of something that will take an HDMI signal and spit out component in a way that would not cause the Roku or whatever box I get to kill the content.

So basically back on point, I'm thinking of giving up on the search for a component out streaming box, and going with a box that will double as the ATSC receiver and a streaming box. Many "generic Chinese" branded products claim to off that but the reviews are notoriously bad. The only brand that seems legit is iView, whose Cyber Box promised these things but appears to have been something of a flop priced at $130, although it has come down to $90 currently on their website.

I'd love to hear thoughts and feedback from the community on either finding the mythical device I'm looking for, the quality of the iView CyberBox, and/or other solutions I've overlooked. Frankly I would get a used PS3 but they are still ridiculously expensive for 10+ year old tech. I also kinda pessimistic about the Atari VCS, as they have pushed back the release date over and over and even though they promised a Chirstmass 2020 release as recently as a couple months ago, and although a few people are tweeting out that they have got them in the past few days, it looks like it hasn't hit stores and I'm not sure it ever will. I already have an Atari throwback box, that has ~100 preloaded games, but it is basically junkware, as they only loaded a few "known" games and the IR controller is sketchy at best.
 
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gdeangel

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100+ views and not replies: I guess I will add a TLDR synopsis...

* TLDR *

What box is the best solution to replace a PS3 that was able to stream via component out in 720p?

Ideal solution would involve some kind of trade off, like if I have to give up HD then I'd like to get something in the mix, like ATSC tuner, or iPhone screen mirroring, so I can eliminated one of the other boxes on my set and possibly have access to my set's single HDMI port.

* END TLDR; NEW FOLLOW UP QUESTION BELOW *

I did an extremely painful analysis of hybrid boxes, and, although it seems that market is still be served for the EU standard, it looks like the only ATSC option currently out there is the Magicsee C500 box, which spec's out with a SATA drive bay and lots of memory, Andriod 9 IIRC, and even a 3.5 jack for composite out (not my favorite option, but I can maybe live with that -- although a simple $30 Roku can get me streaming through composite cables). The troubling thing is the box isn't exactly Roku level cheap, and it appears to only pass Widevine L3, so even HDMI streaming of major services would probably be limited to SD. Also Magicsee seems to have garnered a fair amount of bad reviews/negative comments as a company in terms of quality and support. And nobody seems to have done an actual walk-through in-depth review of the C500.

If anybody has experience with that specific box, or thoughts on the company's quality level BASED ON ACTUAL FACTS, I'd love to know it.
 
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