Trying to determine if the stick or the package should be purchased? This guide will help you make an educated decision.
For your digital signage screens, this is the “go-to” media device? It is a topic that we are asked a lot. There are so many fantastic hardware options out there that deciding which one they can add to their shopping basket can be hard for the average customer searching online. We took two of our favorite gadgets here, the Amazon Fire TV 4K Stick and Mi Box S, and compared all their benefits, drawbacks, and superpowers to give you a rounded view.
Amazon Fire TV Stick
We wrote the Amazon Fire TV Stick’s in-depth guide, including what it is and how it operates. An Amazon Fire TV Stick is a small HDMI gadget that makes the device smart by attaching it to the internet when plugged into a TV or computer.
On sites like Amazon (go figure) and in stores like Target, Best Buy, and Currys, you can buy the Fire Stick for about $40.
Xiaomi Mi Box
The Android TV is powered by the Xiaomi Mi Box (an in-depth version here) and allows for a stable and inexpensive digital signage platform with great value for money. It can comfortably manage challenging content and is easy to cast with Chromecast built-in to your computer. A new version of the Mi Box-The Mi Box S- was launched by Xiaomi, and shares the same hardware as its precursor, the Mi Box 3, except that it now runs on Android 8.1 Oreo. The Mi Box S can be bought on Amazon for about $54.
Which is better for Digital Signage?
We like both devices here as they’re compliant with our apps. There are some small differences in features between the two streaming devices, and your decision simply boils down to your preference for using Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.
If you’re still curious which device to purchase, here’s a contrast of the two, led by digital signage.
Both systems are “plug and play,” meaning that both of them are pretty easy to use. You’ll need to insert the computer into your screen’s HDMI slot, plug in the power adapter, and connect to WiFi in order to use it. One distinction to note is that the 4K Amazon Fire TV stick will accept power and be powered directly from the USB port of your TV, whereas the regular charger needs to support the Xiaomi Mi Package.
You need an Amazon account to set up the Amazon Fire TV Stick and a Google account to set up the Mi Box S, as you might expect.
The Amazon TV Stick also has Alexa built into its new version, so this can be a nice bonus if you’re into voice control. The Mi Box S, by comparison, comes with a built-in Chromecast Ultra, enabling you to use Google Assistant to issue commands.
Until loading automatically, all smartphones can load either the Amazon home screen or the Android TV home screen first when the screen is launched or rebooted. 4K video will be pushed by all streaming devices. However, since the Mi Box S is Google-affiliated and runs on Android TV, you will be able to take full advantage of the software environment of Android TV, which can be more enticing than the Amazon Play store.
The Amazon TV stick ($45) is marginally cheaper than the Mi Box S ($54) and, if you’re budget-conscious, definitely the cheapest commercial-grade video player. You can also get several discounts on the TV stick if you wait until Prime Day, rendering bulk shopping a dream. The Amazon Fire TV 4K stick, however, is only available in some countries, but the Amazon Fire TV Standard Version would do just fine if you are unable to afford it.
With the Amazon Fire TV Stick performs well, but it is not as powerful as the Mi Box S. The Mi Box S has more computing capacity and RAM available than the Fire TV Stick, as you’ll see below.
Perhaps the Amazon Fire TV Stick is the best choice if your digital signage setup is minimal and you have space constraints. You can easily power your stick from your TV, as described before, while you will need an outlet to use the Mi Box S.
Secondly, while both streaming devices support HDR content, since it also supports Dolby Vision, the Fire TV Stick has a small advantage in this region. On the other hand, but via sideloading, which is not intuitive, the Amazon Fire TV Stick does not support proxy networks.
In the new Fire TV Stick 4K, Amazon has totally eliminated this function when it comes to screen mirroring. We, therefore, recommend sticking for the old Fire TV Stick Gen 2 if this is a functionality you like. As mentioned earlier, since the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K is only available in some areas, the Fire TV Stick Gen 2 Basic Version can do the job if you are unable to buy it but still want this kind of setup.
Summary – which device is for you?
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