Today we’ll be dissecting and reviewing LeTV IPTV Box (now renamed to LeEco) which I received along with my new 1,000Mb connection with our new service provider HKBN.
Here’s a little background story on my case. I’ve been a loyal customer with a cable company called iCable for the past 2 years on a 150Mb connection. Most of the time, the connection speed was poor, averaging around 25-30Mb not the advertised 150Mb! That I understand, and I’ve reluctantly come to accept due to the number of residents living within our building/tower block. So when my 24 month contract (yes 24 months is a long time) came to an end … It was definitely time to switch to another provider.
Along came HKBN, who was offering 1,000Mb connection at the same price as iCable, plus they’re offering a full one year’s free subscription to LeTV programs and channels. So what was I waiting for? Nothing… I signed up immediately!
Who is LeTV (LeEco)?
“Leshi Internet Information & Technology, also known as LeEco (Formerly Letv), is a Chinese technology company, and one of the largest online video companies in China. It is headquartered in Chaoyang District, Beijing.
Founded in November 2004 by Jia Yueting, LeEco Group is building a “Le Ecosystem”, an online platform with content, devices and applications. LeEco is engaged in myriad businesses, spanning from Internet TV, video production and distribution, smart gadgets and large-screen applications to e-commerce, eco-agriculture and Internet-linked electric cars, which were announced in late 2014.”
Although LeTV has been renamed to LeEco, we will just use the name LeTV for the purpose of this article. Ok, let’s dissect and rip this baby apart, and see what it’s comprised of…
The LeTV box comes with some pretty decent packaging. Remember the first time you unboxed your brand new smartphone … well, it’s just like that. The anticipation is so exciting!
The packaging contains instruction maunal, the LeTV box itself, power adapter, HDMI cable, remote control unit, 2 x AAA batteries and a card containing membership details for the 12 months free VIP subscription service.
On the front of the LeTV box, there’s are a 3 LEDs … one for power, one for infra-red and one for network activity. Interestingly, we have a power-on button too. At the rear, you’ll find a HDMI output, AC power input and a USB port.
Note: Other models include an optical and AV port, while others include an additional USB port as well as a SD Card slot.
The LeTV box is basically an IPTV box running an Android based OS. It’s powered by a ARM Cortex-A9 2.0GHz quad-core CPU, along with a Mali450 MP6 octa-core GPU for gaming/3D graphics. It also comes with 2GB DDR3 RAM and 4GB high-speed flash memory.
Surprising, the construction and build quality of the LeTV box is pretty good, much better than I expected … There are no visible screws, so users can’t access the internals that easy. I had get a really thin flat-head screw driver and praise the under cover out (not recommended :P)
Unfortunately, I was unable to take of the shielding surrounding the CPU and GPU. It’s completely soldered on to the circuit board. This plate (I’m assuming is made of Aluminium) also acts as a heatsink.
I’ve also taken a couple of photos showing the size comparison between the LeTV box and the AppleTV (2nd Gen). It’s not as sleek as the AppleTV, but it is thinner and matches well with my LCD TV set.
- Supports 4K video streaming
- Supports HD 1080p
- Supports 3D movies
- Supports H.265 video format
- Online gaming support
- HDMI output
- RJ45 Gigabit ethernet port
- ARM Cortex-A9 2.0GHz quad-core CPU
- Mali450 MP6 octa-core GPU
Setup and Installation
Installation was easy (what installation?… hahaha). Just plug in the power cable and the HDMI cable and you’re ready to go. For each definition standard, there is a minimum speed requirement… for 4K streaming, you’ll need at least a solid and stable 10Mb connection.
Signing up for the LeTV – VIP subscription was simple and straight forward. You just need to enter you mobile number and the subscription key (from the scratch card that was provided with the box).
There are tons of options for users to play with, including the ability to surf the web, adjust sound and video quality etc … with the LeTV box, you can literally turn any TV into a “SmartTV” so of speak 🙂
If you don’t understand Chinese, don’t worry. There is an English language option, but you have to bare in mind that LeTV is one of the largest online video companies in China, so it is catered for the Chinese market, both domestic and abroad.
The Programs and Channels
There’s a huge range of programs and channels available for the LeTV. Some channels are freely viewable without any subscription, however if you want to get the best out of LeTV (which includes all the sport channels and 4K movies) … just activate the 12 months free VIP subscription (it’s included with the box for FREE!)
OMG! … this is the end of me! I’m going stay home and become a hermit. Do not disturb me as I enjoy my long awaited streaming entertainment, sports and movies and more!
Pricing starts around HKD $499 (USD $65) just for the LeTV box itself, if you want the extra 12 months VIP subscription, then the total price is HKD $1,690 (USD $218) which equates to$140 (USD $18) per month.
HKBN 1,000Mb Speed Test
Let’s start with iCable 150Mb connection … here’s my result from www.speedtest.net. I get under 30Mb download speed and a pathetic 6.98Mb upload. Even my LTE 4G connection on my mobile is faster than this!
Now let’s see what I can get for my new HKBN 1,000Mb connection … Oh yeah, baby! Feel the FORCE!!
Overall, I am EXTREMELY happy with both the speed of my new connection and the available programs and channels offered via the LeTV box.
With an average download speed of 712Mb/sec, it’s what I expected and I’m more than happy with it, considering the high contention ratio of my building/tower block. What’s surprising the upload speed … I got an eye-popping 938Mb/sec, which I just can’t get over?! 😀
As of May 2016, the pricing for HKBN 1,000Mb connection range from HKD $178 (USD $23) per month to $303 (USD $39) per month, depending which TV package and sports channels you want.
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