Just a few weeks after we cut our cable subscriptions (SkyCable Dual Def 299), we purchased a digital box, the ABS-CBN TV Plus (Mahiwagang Black Box). Our objective is to cut cost knowing that we only watch TV in the evening. We don’t maximize the subscription and the only way to do it is to unsubscribe. The ABS-CBN TV Plus is a nice box until we stumble upon Zoomtak.
Zoomtak is a brand of Android TV box and their latest model is the VPlus. The Zoomtak VPlus is a solid Android TV Box that can maximize your high-speed internet subscription.
Zoomtak VPlus Specs
|OS||Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS|
|Processor||Amlogic S912 Octa core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU up to 2GHz (DVFS)|
|GPU||ARM Mali-T820MP3 GPU up to 750MHz (DVFS)|
|Internal Storage||16GB eMMC|
|Network||Ethernet: RJ45 1000M ethernet
Support 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Dual Band AC Wi-Fi (2.4GHz/5.8GHz)
|HDMI||HDMI 2.0 up to 4K 2K|
|USB host||3 High speed USB 2.0, support USB DISK and USB HDD|
|Card reader||SD/SDHC/MMC cards|
|Video Decoder||4Kp60 10-bit H.265, 4Kp60 VP9 Profile 2, 4Kp30 H.264|
|Support Music format||MP3/WMA/AAC/WAV/OGG/DDP/HD/FLAC/APE|
|Support Photo Format||HD JPEG/BMP/GIF/PNG/TIFF|
|Power Supply||DC 5V/2A|
|TV BOX Size||166*112*26mm|
|TV BOX Weight||328g|
|Package Including||1 * VPlus S912 tv box, 1 * Power Adapter, 1 * IR remote control, 1 * HDMI Cable, 1 * User Manual|
Design and build
A solid metal build is what comprised the whole box. At the back of the VPlus are very simple ports — a Gigabit LAN port for a high-speed data transfer, an external antenna for the dual band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi connectivity, a standard audio-video output, an HMDI and optical port.
Inside the box of the Zoomtak VPlus: remote control, AC plug, HDMI cable, external antenna, user’s guide and the VPlus box.
Installation of the Zoomtak VPlus is quite easy, it is almost plug-and-play. You start by connecting the HDMI cable from your TV to the box.
You need to decide then which connectivity you would like to use. It is recommended to use the LAN port, but WiFi connection would be alright. Just make sure your router supports dual-band AC devices also.
Using Zoomtak V Plus for the first time
Here’s how the Zoomtak VPlus operates — it is just like your Android phone. It will initialize first (cold boot) and then load the pre-installed apps.
Zoomtak comes with the pre-installed apps already. You don’t even have to log into your Google account (but if you need more customization, you need to do it).
Upon boot up, you’ll get to the Zoomtak UI and with a few click here and there, you’ll be good to go.
Software and UI
Using the Zoomtak VPlus is just like using your smartphone, only that, this time use a remote control rather than your touch screen.
The first step is to go to the Apps, and then start media manager, this will facilitate the download of the latest KODI app to your Zoomtak VPlus.
And the heart of the Zoomtak VPlus is KODI. It is formerly known as XMBC, KODI is a free app and an open source media player app available in multi-OS and platforms.
It will take about 3-5 minutes to download and complete the installation. And then the KODI app will be up and running. To do this, simply click “Media Manager” icon and then proceed to update the Kodi Add-On to your local drive.
Watch Netflix, YouTube, & HD Movies
KODI is for people who have patience. I say that because it will take more time to dig and look for your “favorite” TV shows and Movies.
YouTube app is pre-installed. You can browse anything and everything you want to watch here. The experience is rich, and navigation is easy too.
Netflix is pre-installed as well. You need Netflix subscription for this to work. You need to pay a subscription fee that starts at P370 (SD content) a month for this. You can also install iflix, subscription for this service starts at P129/month which includes a 30-day trial.
HD Movies will be your favorite pre-installed app with Zoomtak if you love movies . . . High-definition movies, that is!
It is updated and has a large database of movies both in SD and HD.
I have to warn you though that using this app in the Zoomtak VPlus will require your effort because navigation is not designed for the box. It is designed for smartphone, therefore, it is recommended that you buy a Bluetooth or RF remote keyboard similar to the image below.
You can install other apps
Zoomtak VPlus is an Android TV box. You can login your Google account and you have the freedom to install your favorite apps from there.
You can install gaming apps, media player apps. . . anything.
You can also plug in your flash drive or even your external drive to view more media from there. I’ve tried it and it works without any issues.
The best Kodi add-ons and how to install them
For the geeks out there, if you want to install more Kodi add-ons, you can refer to this article by Tech Radar. Like TR says “If you’re using Kodi without add-ons, then you’ve only experienced a fraction of what the versatile media player is capable of. ”
So head on to this link and find out more Kodi add-ons by TR.
The price tag of the Zoomtak VPlus is P6,557 from zoomtak.asia. This does not include shipping yet. The item will arrive within five days upon check out. They ship this thru Fedex from Hong Kong.
If you are an expat and you miss your local TV shows, or if you love watching movies and videos, especially 4K content, then this box is for you.
Installation is quite easy and the device itself is very portable. But do take note that you need a stable and high-speed internet connection for this. It is recommended if you have Fiber internet to enjoy content from this box.