I have been using the Mele A1000 for a few months now. I think I have
settled into a usage pattern, so let's do a quick roundup of what it's good
for and what it's not very good at.
First a quick reminder of what it is:
Small computer running Android (4.0.4 right now)
HDMI/VGA/Composite video output, ideal for using with a TV
SATA connector, full size SD card, 3 USB ports: basically unlimited
Remote control that works with most apps
Wifi and Ethernet
It will cost you ~ $90 to get one.
No noise, low power usage.
I have it in my bedroom, next to my old CRT TV. I could put it in the
living room with the newer LED one, but I have a Mac Mini I got for
work there anyway.
Having it plugged to an old TV means the video quality sucks. However, it works great
for watching videos, and when connected to a modern display it works
So, what do I do with it?
I watch movies and series on Netflix.
Version 1.8.1 of the Netflix app works fine (later versions do not!) and lets you
see movies and series legally for a flat low monthly cost. The remote provided
doesn't really work all that well, because you can't do "drags" and therefore
can't scroll the movie lists left and right. So, to take full advantage of this
you need to get a keyboard/mouse set. I use this one.
However, if you know what you want to see, it's just a matter of searching for it.
I watch videos in general.
MX Player works very well, and gives smooth, well synced video. The Hardware video
decoder works just fine, but you have to switch to software audio decoding.
Having a pluggable SATA drive is very useful here. Just get any 2.5" SATA
drive, plug it in, and start using it.
I used Samba Filesharing
and it "just works". You set it up, configure user and password, and your drives
are now shared locally and accessible to all your other devices.
I am using it to store backups from my "real" computers, created using rdiff-backup but any backup
tool that can store in a remote folder should work.
Radio & Music Player
There are plenty of android applications that handle music streaming and
playing your local music collection. Just use the one you like.
I like my TV telling me the weather. Uses a random widget from the play store.
In order to use it more comfortably, or be able to do stuff in it when I am
on the notebook, I am using Droid VNC Server
and that even means I can use my own phone as a "remote" using the Jump VNC client
Yes, that means I am in my bed using my android phone as a remote to my android TV's
screen. If the performance were better, it would be as cool as it sounds.
I am using Jump because it's the only Android VNC client I found that supports
dragging things (and it's not perfect by a long shot).
Possible future uses
Skype box (need to hook a webcam. Microphone?)
I have Need For Speed: Shift and I would love to play it on a large screen, but
how would I control it? I need to investigate controllers, maybe joysticks or
I bought this with the idea of using Ubuntu on it, but the lack of accelerated drivers
and Netflix support has made that a non-starter. So, I am doing lots of things
where Android really has lower quality software than Ubuntu, but those are forcing
me to stay there.
I am quite happy with it, and as a "dumb-tv-smartener" it's quite awesome for its