Thursday, September 21, 2017

Dead R-Box Pro?

Im back everyone. 

This update I'm going to talk about my most recent experience with the R-Box Pro android set top box. In the past I've discussed some of the shortfalls with the RBP's initial firmware, and how updating to newer firmware solved a great deal of problems. While the update was a vast improvement over the originally shipped firmware, the RBP still wasn't without it's issues. 

The most notable problem was inconsistent internet speeds when hardwired to my gigabit home network. What I noticed as strange with the RBP is that it would seem to drop internet signal once the cache was full, so when watching TV shows or Movies once the cache portion was played it would start to buffer and seem to no longer buffer to cache. With a machine that had 3GB of ram, you would assume buffering would never happen but it actually buffered more than my 1GB OUYA. Playing around with advanced settings helped a bit at times, but this was always an ongoing problem.

Crashing, the RBP was always crashing out of Kodi. It wouldn't take much to crash, simply moving through the menu was enough for it to crash. 

Overheating, or at least running hot, was possibly the root of the above mentioned issues. My RBP was always showing an operating temperature of somewhere in the 170+ degrees Celsius. No matter how cool the ambient temperature was the RBP always ran hot. (I even installed a 120mm usb fan underneath to reduce temperatures).

So those were the issues plaguing my RBP, and then one day while surfing youtube videos, the machine just froze. I unplugged the unit, waited a few seconds and powered it back up. Once back into youtube, the RBP then froze up again, this time rebooting itself in the process. On the third boot up the main menu appeared and then RBP turned itself off. This would be the last time the RBP was functional. Repeated rebooting never managed to get past the initial boot logo (not even the sound played). 

In an attempt to fix this situation, I began to re-flash the firmware, but unlike my previous experience with firmware flashing, this time the flashing stopped after a few seconds and did not continue.

I'm sure my device was bricked!

I contacted Geekbuying, as I had purchased the unit from them, and inquired about some sort of resolution to my problem. I explained how unsatisfied I had been with the units I had purchased, and their response was that I should have returned them right away, and that since the units were 10 months old and under their warranty, all they could do is have them repaired. Geekbuying was willing to repair my RBP, however I needed to send the unit back to them with a tracking number. Well the cost of sending the packaged RBP back to Geekbuying is $9 Canadian, but with tracking that same package then becomes $50 Canadian. 

I could buy a cheaper more reliable replacement unit directly from Amazon, for less money then sending my unit back for repairs.

Geekbuying refused to offer me any more assistance on this issue, so they are now officially on my shit list of companies for whom I refuse to do business with. As far as I'm concerned Geekbuying,  can continue to pedal their crappy wares, I wont be supporting them, nor will I be referring customers to them.

So I'm stuck with a piece of shit RBP paperweight. 

But hold on, I'm not going to give up that easily. I've read enough forum posts to know that there were some people out there who have claimed a godlike ability to revived bricked devices. This process consisted of manually erasing the ram chips (which involves shorting out some pins while the machine was on). So I'm going to research this a bit and possibly have a follow up post.

If anyone wants to donate a new android set top box for me to use, I would greatly appreciate it.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

No, I'm Not Dead

Hey everyone, I know it's been a while since I posted anything. I've been taking advantage of the great summer weather to tackle a bunch of renovation type outdoor projects. Don't worry I'll soon be back to updating this blog.
Also there are some new changes in the works which I hope I can announce soon.
Until then, enjoy the rest of summer and we'll be back soon.