Noticing that, over time, I start watching less and less standard TV and the cable bill becomes a totally unnecessary expense. My main sources of entertainment are increasingly Youtube and streaming movies directly from the Internet. That is why I decided to study the issue of so-called TV boxing. The main advantage of the TV box is that it can turn any ordinary TV into a smart TV and rather into a powerful computer with a huge screen. More about the advantages of TV boxing I tell here . After a long research and many comparisons, I came across the Mecool M8S PRO L TV box. One of my main criteria when looking for a TV box was to be “powerful” enough – to have good features so that I could use it for at least a few years. Good features for me were an 8 core processor and 3 or 4 GB of RAM. My other criteria was to be able to stream Youtube in 4K quality and Netflix in at least HD (1080p) quality, as well as be at a good price. The combination of these three things proved to be the most difficult to find. Most budget TV boxes that are based on the Android operating system do not support streaming Netflix in a resolution higher than 480p and, accordingly, if they support a higher resolution, it is at the expense of the quality of Youtube. I also wanted the TV box to support so-called “cast” or streaming from phone or computer to TV. Mecool M8S PRO L TV box, covered all my desires. Mecool M8S PRO L – for a model from 2 years ago has a very modern 8-core OCTA S912 processor, which has very good performance. As well as with a powerful video card MALI T820, which is placed in much more expensive TV boxes. Mecool M8S PRO L has 3GB of RAM from the DDR3 generation and has 2 options for internal memory – 16 GB and 32GB. I personally chose the 16GB option, as I was looking for a budget solution, and the TV box itself has a Micro SD card slot with which you can increase the internal memory if necessary. The same can be done through both USB ports, which are located right next to the SD slot. Mecool M8S PRO L TV box supports Youtube at 4K resolution and Netflix at HD (1080p) resolution, a combination that is very difficult to find in the budget version of TV box. Mecool M8S PRO L supports the other important criteria for me – casting from different devices directly to the TV. The TV box comes with AirPinPRO and MiraCast installed – two programs designed specifically for this purpose. Unfortunately, this TV box does not support Chromecast – if this is important to you, you will need to look for another option.
Cheap smart TV with TV box Mecool M8S PRO L
Key features: Youtube streaming Netflix streaming Voice commands and voice search Additional memory capability Android updates Features:
|CPU||Amlogic S912 64 bit Octa core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU up to 1.5 GHz|
|GPU||ARM Mali-T820MP3 GPU up to 750MHz (DVFS)|
|WiFi||Built in 2.4G / 5G WiFi Support IEEE 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac|
|blutooth||bluetooth 4.1 + HS|
|LAN Ethernet||10 / 100M|
|Video decorder||H.265 4K @ 60fps 10btis, VP9 Profile 2, H.264 4K @ 30fps, AVS + 1080P @ 60fps|
|Video encorder||H.264 1080P @ 60fps|
|HDR||HDR 10, HLG HDR|
|Decoder format||HD MPEG1 / 2/4, H .265 / HEVC, HD AVC / VC-1, RM / RMVB, Xvid / DivX3 / 4/5/6, RealVideo8 / 9/10|
|Media format||Avi / Rm / Rmvb / Ts / Vob / Mkv / Mov / ISO / wmv / asf / flv / dat / mpg / mpeg|
|Music format||MP3 / WMA / AAC / WAV / OGG / DDP / TrueHD / HD / FLAC / APE|
|Photo format||HD JPEG / BMP / GIF / PNG / TIFF|
|Network Function||Miracast, Air play, Skype chatting, Picasa, Youtube, Flicker, Facebook, Online movies, etc.|
|Language||Chinese, English, Germany, Japanese, Korea etc. 24 languages|
|OTA||Support OTA update|
|Port||1 x HDTV output 2.0 4K x 2K @ 60Hz|
|2 x High speed USB 2.0, support U DISK and USB HDD|
|1 x TF CARD Support 1 ~ 32GB|
|1 x RJ45 LAN Ethernet 10M / 100M|
|Power Supply||DC 5V / 2A|
The design of the Mecool M8S Pro L is standard for TV boxing. I wouldn’t say it’s extremely impressive, but we can’t expect much from this price. In general, it is relatively smaller than other similar TV boxes, which is a plus if you need to install it in a smaller space. All ports are easily accessible and the front panel of the Mecool M8S Pro L has an LED light that indicates whether the device is turned on or not. More interesting is the design of the remote which has many improvements from previous models. It has a much more modern and minimalist design, largely copying its competitor XIAOMI MI BOX S, which generally set the standard as a remote control design for TV boxing. The remote works with 2 AAA batteries and has only a few buttons, which are enough to navigate the menu. At the top there is a microphone for voice commands and a button that activates this functionality.
As I mentioned, the Mecool M8S Pro L has all the features I was looking for in a TV box. 8 the core processor opens each application in seconds. Besides all this, a big advantage is that this device is based on the Android operating system. Which actually means that whatever programs and applications you use on your phone (if of course you use an Android phone), you will also be able to use it on your TV. I guess everyone is aware of how huge the choice of Android applications is in the Google App Store – so the functionality of your TV increases tremendously. NB! It is important to mention that not all programs can be downloaded via Google Play on the TV itself. Because although the TV box is based on Android, there is a small difference. Mecool M8S Pro L comes with the official Android TV operating system, for which by default only applications that are made specifically for this operating system are available. To install another program that you liked from the Google Play Store on your phone, you just need to download it and upload it to the TV box via the flash drive, then just install it. This way, the app you want will work seamlessly on your TV as well. Another important feature is voice search and voice commands. With the built-in microphone you can execute almost any command, which will otherwise take you from several to dozens of key presses. At the moment, voice recognition works only in English, but as soon as Google starts supporting voice commands in Bulgarian in the Android operating system, you will certainly be able to use them on the TV box. The standard menu that comes with the Mecool M8S Pro L is very convenient, and much of it can be optimized to your liking. All other features are just like on an Android phone. If you have one, the management of the TV box will seem simple. The device comes standard with Youtube, Netflix, MX player and many other programs installed. I guess I don’t need to mention that you can watch all kinds of movies downloaded directly to the TV box itself and uploaded to a flash drive. Mecool M8S Pro L supports a resolution of up to 4K at 60 frames per second. Another important feature for me is that the Mecool M8S Pro L supports external Bluetooth keyboards / remotes, such as the i8 Wireless Keyboard, which I will review separately. Overall, the combination of a TV box with a remote of this type turned out to be an incredible upgrade. Using such a remote / keyboard turns your TV into a real computer.
Con: Does not have USB version 3.0
Con: Does not support Chromecast
Con: When turned off and then on, the device cannot connect to the Internet via the LAN port
My personal impressions of the Mecool M8S Pro L are great. Really for 59 leva (as of November 30, 2019) you turn your ordinary TV into a smart TV with many functions. And the combination with the wireless mini keyboard of the TV turns into a very powerful computer with a huge screen. All programs and applications load very quickly and without problems. Problems that are inevitable with standard smart TVs. I tell more about them here. For almost 4 months of use I have not had any delay in using the Mecool M8S Pro L. All commands and programs respond quickly. Connecting the device is also super easy – a simple HDMI cable to the TV and an adapter to the mains and that’s it. Control with the standard remote is also quite easy for most things. Voice commands are very helpful here (unfortunately only in English). If you don’t know English, some things with remote control buttons will take a little longer – especially typing on the on-screen keyboard. The only major problem I have had and mentioned above is the operation of the TV box with wired internet. If you have connected Mecool M8S Pro L to your router with a cable via the LAN port, when you turn it off and then on, the device does not connect to the Internet for some reason that I never found. You need to turn it off and on again to make it work. I personally solved this problem by connecting the TV box to the Internet only via WiFi and gave up using the LAN port.
One of the best TV boxes in terms of price-quality ratios.
Super powerful performance with Netflix in 1080p and Youtube in 4K, for only 35 USD.
The best way to turn your regular TV into Smart TV or computer.