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It is our first time reviewing a TV Box implementing Satellite and Terrestrial tuners from a manufacturer other than Mecool. The Magicsee C400 Plus is a brand new model, still S912 SoC (System on Chip) based, that now has the Nougat Android version pre-installed. Let’s see if we can get a different performance from such a hybrid solution.
Packaging – Specifications
Magicsee C400 Plus arrived in a brown cardboard box. Inside you will find everything you would normally expect. The main unit, the remote, an HDMI cable, the power adapter and basic documentation. All parts are wrapped with soft plastic for extra protection. No batteries for the remote are included.
The specifications list is noteworthy and should please all casual users.
Amlogic’s S912 Octa-Core SoC alongside with 3GB of RAM will ensure a way better than average performance. 3D gaming should also be pleasing since the Mali T820MP3 GPU is involved.
Connectivity is complete with 3 x USB 2.0, 1 x SPDIF out, 2x HDMI 2.0a (4K and HDR support) out, 1x A/V out (in a 3.5mm jack form) and a single SD slot. The main selling point is the hybrid part, so at the back we find the inputs for the terrestrial and satellite signals.
For wireless connections, Magicsee C400 Plus supports both Dual Band AC and BT4.1 protocols. Unfortunately the Mbit wired Ethernet connection RJ45 port will probably be a limit factor for playback of high bit-rate video files via network.
Android 7.1 (Nougat) is the pre-installed operating system.
Media Player – Remote
Magicsee is designed and build as expected for the price. We are dealing with a rectangular, black plastic chassis with a red squared logo on the top. The faux brushed effect adds some more points to its looks. On the front we find an eye catching blue LED display. Unfortunately there is no option to turn it off from the menu. In addition to that, when the device is turned off, there is a big “OFF” displayed that is really distracting. Let’s hope that a future FW release will add more display options. Heat dissipation grilles are located at the bottom. We didn’t notice any freezes or lags during our tests but the plastic chassis did get hot during gaming and 4K video playback. (don’t forget that here in Greece it is summertime, so it is normal).
All major connections are located at the back (Dual tuners, HDMI, SDPIF, LAN, Dual Tuners, 1x USB), while 2x USB and the SD ports are located at the left side. Cable management should be easy, unless you use more than two USB drives requiring a cable connection.
The remote is also very acceptable with good layout and a solid, comfortable grip. It is IR based but we found that its range and precision was better than what we usually find. There are numeric keys that may come in handy in certain applications. Dedicated keys are included for the use of Hybrid Tuners (EPG, TEXT, REC, DVBPLAY).
Menus – Settings
After a short boot time (less than a minute long), the main menu appears. Our wish for a first time Android TV OS implementation on a hybrid TV Box was once again not granted. We still have to deal with plain, tablet like launcher that is slightly tuned in order to be better suited for TV screens.
The main launcher is colorful, with big icons for every major application. You can add a shortcut of your own at the lower bar. Nothing fancy, but OEM manufacturers should abandon the tablet-like design with something more elegant. At least browsing is very fast and lag free. A dedicated drawer exists in order for you to browse all installed applications.
The settings menu is the new, redesigned one for all newest Android releases (> version 7). The settings menu appears on the right side of the screen occupying less than half the space. The remaining one on the left is blurred out. All major options (HDMI resolution, Sound Settings, Accounts) are easily accessed and you should be able to find your way in and out with no problems.
Terrestrial and SAT viewing settings are handled from a dedicated application.
Let’s start with the performance of media files first and deal with the tuners part at the end.
Better to take out first with the easy ones, since the Magicsee C400 Plus could easily, as expected, playback stereo music files like MP3 and FLAC. Although there is a dedicated music player, we preferred KODI’s user interface instead since it can read network shares (the pre-installed one does not).
KODI version 17.6 is pre-installed and since it is the latest stable version (until now) we didn’t install anything else. Let us mention first that many video and audio add-ons were pre-installed with content that ideally would please many, but unfortunately we can’t (and don’t) want to write more on that since it is against our ethics. Chances are most of them will need a manual update by the time you get yours shipped anyway. Local file performance was typical for a S912 SoC based unit. 4K/HEVC file playback was as smooth as it gets for a pull down conversion. In case you want better 24p (23.976) performance, you should pick an external player like Mx Player Pro. The same goes for 1080p material. Handling very high bit-rate files is not an issue for the SoC, but the Mbit LAN might be, since we encountered occasional buffering lags every now and then. In such cases it is preferable to playback these files via a USB drive. There is no option for playback of BD menus and auto refresh rate switching. At least all latest audio codecs like Dolby ATMOS and DTS X are properly supported.
Wireless performance of the Dual Band module is decent, with playback of low-average bit-rate files being totally possible in case you have an equally capable access point.
Gaming performance is better than average, with high frame rate for the majority of 3D games.
Internal ROM and RAM performance is great and installing apps should cause no major delays.
Although both Terrestrial and Satellite tuners are supported, this time we could only test the former due to lack of equipment for the later.
Once you connect the antenna cable and select the DVB-T search option, the scanning will take place. Both HD and SD results appear without any additional manual input. Image quality of both is better than average but HD image quality is a bit lower, compared to my trusty Xoro 7600 unit. It is not a deal breaker though, not at all. EPG is supported (including Greek language) just like information for each channel. Switching between them is not slow, but we have seen better performance from dedicated DVB-T units. Recording (PVR) is also supported with the end result being very good in quality. Scheduled recording is supported too, but don’t expect the device to wake up in order to do so. You will also find many options in order to sort the channels (move, rename etc.) according to your taste.
For Satellite viewing fans, the Magicsee supports CCam, Newcamd, NewCS, BISS and PowerVU.
Google’s Nougat version proved to be a major update for all TV Boxes. This one is no exception since browsing is fast and HD Audio is properly bit-streamed.
All popular Google apps are available (Gmail, Chrome) and their performance is fast and responsive. You will need a KB/Mouse combo for better experience, especially when browsing the web.
You-Tube goes all the way up to 1080p but streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Video can only go up to 480p due to limited licensing (DRM L3).
Google Play Store is installed and the never-ending list of applications and games is available for you to install the ones you like. Also pre-installed you will find many 3rd party applications, with some of them having to do with video streaming.
After the first boot, you will have ~25GB available for apps and games. The device is not rooted.
A manual update option exists in order for you to install a new software version.
Magicsee C400 Plus is one of the best hybrid Android TV Boxes out there. It can do almost anything, considering the dual tuners feature. We do miss the Gigabit LAN option for hassle free playback of high bit-rate files via the network but we can’t have it all, can we? Casual users will not mind anyway.
Its price is also very good for its performance and specifications list. 100$ is not a lot for an Android TV Box with good media playback performance and dual tuners.
The downside will probably be its availability, since you will not find it either in Europe or the United States.
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