Turning your tv into a media center with Rikomagic MK 802 III
Interested into transforming your tv into a fully fledged media station (smart tv) ? Complete with skype, facebook, email, web-browsing , live streaming, movie watching all for under 100 $ ?
Rikomagic MK 802 III is the product you need :)
Well to be completely honest you will need a couple more things, but we will get to that later.
I got my Rikomagic MK 802 III (full specs here) of aliexpress.com for about 100$ including shipping (I chose Fedex). The product arrived in about 10 days, since there was a 3 day customs delay. (customs delay and fedex term explained here)
Stuff you need in order to transform your tv into a Smart-Tv :
1. Rikomagic MK 802 III – this product runs Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) tablet version and has a super small size factor;
it includes : 1 micro usb port (used for pc sync or powering the device); 1 full size usb (used for connecting other devices to it, that includes a usb hub) ; 1 micro sd slot (for memory expansion up to 32 GB; 1 HDMI port (used to connect the device to the tv)
2. Keyboard and mouse (I got RC11 Sensor Remote, Fly air of the same seller). This particular remote (actually its a 2.4g wireless keyboard and an accelerometer based mouse) can be used by pointing it to the screen and clicking, making it super easy to use. You can even use a normal wifi keyboard and mouse (even a wired one) but that might put some strain on the charger – I’ll discuss that later.
3. Wifi router/bridge/ap (any brand will do, even sharing a wired connection wirelessly with your laptop (creating a peer-to-peer ap) will work.
With these 4 (two if you already have the Tv and the Wi-fi) you can already enjoy web-browsing, watching live streams (I’m a big fan of Twitch tv …use to be a pretty good Starcraft player)
HOWEVER I took it a bit further :)
4. A simple usb hub (mine has 4 ports)
5. A webcam (I use a Logitech 920, but others might work)
6. An SSD hardisk with an SATA to Mini USB connector. I chose an SSD drive since it’s super fast, super quiet (no moving parts) and draws only about 3 Watts of power.
8. An wall to usb charger rated at 1 AMP. Important since most usb ports offer only 500mA, and pluging so many devices in the hub, will cause the Rikomagic MK 802 III to receive less power and either freeze for 5-20 seconds of create artefacts on the screen. This happened to me whenever I try to record video captured by the Logitech 920 webcam to the SSD drive. So having a decent usb charger is a must; I use an old iPhone charger for this.
9. A 3g/HSPDA/EDGE usb modem (stick)
All the products named above work seamlessly with the Rikomagic MK 802 III. No drivers on any setting required, just plug and play.
Things you can achieve with the items enumerated above :
Transform your Rikomagic MK 802 III into an ip/dvr based security camera With the proper android app, you can either live stream your video feed to the internet (you might need to forward some ports on your router) or record everything on the SSD drive
Transform your Rikomagic MK 802 III into a wireless hotspot Android has embedded the option, to share your wired connection (point 7) wirelessly. Chances are you can even run professional routing software on it, or create a captive portal hotspot.
Transform your Rikomagic MK 802 III into a 3g hotspot Similar to what i described above only this time you would use the 3G usb modem.
Use Rikomagic MK 802 III as a network sorage device Pretty straight forward, attach the SSD drive , install the proper app and you are all set.
Use Rikomagic MK 802 III with Skype for conference calls, or board meeting or anything that requires a bigger screen and super fast deployment.
All of the above scenarios work, and has been tested by me. I do not mention any of the apps I use since this article is more about hardware that you can use on your Rikomagic MK 802 III and less about promoting certain Android apps.
However if you have a question do not hesitate to ask me !