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Kata Box Quick Review




For consumers who want to turn their regular TV into a smart TV, the easiest option is to get an Android-powered TV box. These devices are equipped with Wi-Fi and connect to your TV’s HDMI port, letting you install and run Android apps. One good example of such device is the Kata Box, priced at an affordable Php2,999.

Design and Construction

The Kata Box resembles the Apple TV in terms of looks. It’s small, squarish with curved corners and a flat top. It’s made of plastic with the top part having a matte finish while the sides are glossy.

At the front, we have a small pinhole which houses the LED indicator — red when plugged, blue when on. Found on the right is a USB port.

Take a look at the back and you’ll see the 3.5mm audio jack, another USB port, microSD card slot, DC-in, HDMI, and Ethernet port.

Right up top is the Kata branding while down at the bottom are four rubber feet and a pinhole for reset.

The Kata Box feels solid as it doesn’t creak or show any signs of caving in when you apply pressure on its plastic body. It’s light and relatively thin, making it easy to transport even in a small bag.

Included in the package is a remote which also looks like the remote found in older Apple TVs. Like the Box, it is also black with a matte finish. In addition, there’s also a wireless controller, which reminds us of the PS3’s. The build is okay, but don’t expect the same quality as the PlayStation’s.

Setup and Navigation

Setting up the Kata Box is easy as you just need to connect it to a power source then connect it to your TV via HDMI. The package doesn’t include an HDMI cable so make sure that you already have one.

The remote already has a replaceable battery while the game controller has one built-in which you can recharge via its microUSB port. Make sure to plug in the wireless USB adapter of the game controller before you use it.


 

When you turn on the Kata Box, you will be greeted by a simple layout of apps in a neatly arranged color-coded tiles. You can navigate through the UI via the remote using its directional keys which are simpler to use or via the game controller.

OS and Apps

Running the software side of the Kata Box is skinned Android 4.4.2 KitKat. It’s loaded with apps for entertainment (MegaVPN, Netflix, CBS, Fox, PBS, History, Discovery Channel, YouTube, Spotify), productivity (WPS Office, WPS Mail, Evernote), and a few games (Crossy Road, Super Soccer, BombSquad, and Air Attack).

Aside from the Google Play Store offering, there’s also the iTV App Store where you can download other apps and games. The Kata Box has 8GB of internal storage with only 3GB as usable. On the bright side, it accepts microSD cards for those huge video and music collections.

Performance and Benchmarks

The Kata Box is powered by a 1.5GHz Amlogic S805 quad-core CPU, Mali-450 GPU, and 1GB of RAM. It runs well when it comes to multimedia tasks like playing videos and music. On AnTuTu, it scored a not-so-impressive 16,915.

As a gaming device, it can run the pre-installed games mentioned earlier. However, there’s a lot to be desired as it’s not as snappy compared to other Android devices with more powerful specs. There’s also an issue with game controller compatibility as most apps in the Play Store are optimized for touch. We also encountered problems with the button configuration.

For example, we played Dead Trigger 2 which has support for game controllers. We were able to configure the buttons except for the right joystick which was hardwired to be a pointer while the A button is permanently fixed to be the select button. We also played Furious Racing but we can’t get the game past the player name input screen as it doesn’t pull up the on-screen keyboard.

On the bright-side, the Kata Box offers another option for playing games aside from the offerings from the Play Store. It supports emulators for Atari, Game Boy Advance / Classic / Color, N64, Nes, and Snes which work well with the game controller. It has a built-in marketplace where you can download ROMS for free, however, not all ROMS are fully functional, but you can still find some gems like Super Smash Bros. on the N64 and Contra for the NES.

Conclusion

The Kata Box is a cool device that can turn an ordinary TV into a smart TV without breaking the bank. It lets you play your local video and music collections and at the same time, allows you to stream content from the internet. It’s also a bit ambitious, too, by trying to be an Android gaming console. As a multimedia device, it works well, but as a gaming console, it’s a worthy effort but still has a lot to improve on.

Kata Box specs:
1.5Ghz Amlogic S805 quad-core CPU
Mali-450 GPU
1GB RAM
8GB internal storage
microSD card support
WiFi
2x USB 2.0
HDMI port
Ethernet
AV Out
DC-IN
107 X 107 X 25mm
Android 4.4.2 KitKat

What we liked:
* Good build and form factor
* Comes with a game controller
* Clean UI
* Emulators for classic console games
* Affordable

What we didn’t like:
* Game controller is not always supported by apps
* Small internal storage



This article was written by Louie Diangson, Managing Editor of YugaTech. You can follow him at @John_Louie.

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34 Responses

  1. Deadmandown says:

    This is dope especially the classic games.

  2. lysha says:

    meron akong kata box. medyo nabagalan ako kaya tinry ko iuninstall ung ibang apps. pag ka uninstall ko nung tunein radio nasira ung kata launcher ayaw na maglabas ng menu. buti na lang nabuksan pa yung mozilla gamit ang megavpn at nakapagdownload pa ako ng bagong launcher. yun lang po share lang.

  3. Gabz says:

    Did you try using an external HDD on this? :-)

    • ako na try ko yung hard disk ko galing sa laptop, ok naman sya, pero i need another usb port for extra power. pag parehong source ng usb hindi sya gagana, buti na lang meron ako extra na usb hub, dun ko kinakabit yung isang cable

  4. OCD Boy says:

    OCD mode lang:

    – Game Boy is always two separate words, not “Gameboy”
    – Game Boy Advance is the correct term, hindi “Gameboy Advanced”, walang “d” at the end of “Advance”

  5. ross says:

    mayroon din ako, sa akin madalas mag reboot ganun din po ba sa inyo. well overall ok lang maganda syang media player parang mas gusto ko na syang gamitin movie player kahit 1080p smooth naman nya na play, pero sa pagiging gaming console masasabi i give 2.5S out of 5

  6. ArlieBoy says:

    meron pa lalabas masmaganda jan just chill lng muna ^_^

  7. Vincent says:

    I thinks Pipo X7S is one of the best Android TV box in the market today.. 64bit Intel Processer with Dual Boot function to Windows 10 and Android 4.4. Could you make a review on it? http://www.pipo-store.com/pipo-x7s-dual-boot-mini-pc-2gb-64gb-gold.html

  8. donkNed says:

    I would rather buy Remix Mini than this one as it has more powerful specs, beautiful UI, slightly cheaper than the Kata Box.

  9. lysha says:

    pwede maglaro ng tekken 6 gamit ang ppsspp pero minsan may lag sya. depende rin sa settings

  10. sa games din problem ko, hirap makahanap ng compatible games from playstore. as a media player ok sya. i installed youtube kids, showbox and mx player pro. di nga lang kaya makabasa ng 1TB external. usb mouse and keyboard are working perfectly. di ko p na-try kung sa wireles gagana. netflix wala akong account kaya useless din. mahina rin reception nya ng wifi kaya naka wired ako. overall rating 5 out of 10.

  11. Gabby says:

    Saan po makabili ng kata box?

  12. yonisoka says:

    install nyo din ang kodi.

  13. el says:

    Can this tv box play h.265 videos?

    • Belphegor says:

      I can play hevc format in 8bit depth only (not with 10 or 12bit). I cant exactly remember what did i add but its a custom mx player. but that was last year, updated mx player might play it also. I use Kodi app for the media center but it crashes from time to time especially after waking up from hibernation. I have never turned off my box since i bought it and its been running in months now, no significant problems occurred so far. I got no problems playing video files up to 4gig size. There are better box out there but this one is good for its availability and price.

  14. Kulas07 says:

    i got one…and really enjoy playing classic games. :)

  15. Paano po maadjust ung screen size ng kata box naka zoom in ksi ung sakin wala ako makita sa settings help nman po

  16. Rika says:

    nasira ung launcher ko nag delete ako ng mga games kasama ung pre installed games. help pano maiibalik ung launcher. thanks

    • Knots says:

      @Rika. E reset mo lang ang kata ko. Factory reset. E plugin mo kata. Then under ur kata box, led n small hole. Kuha ka pin. Tusikin mo pin ang hole. Maramdaman mo na may na pindot ka na button sa loob. Hold for 10 seconds. Then switch on your Kata.

  17. ivan says:

    tanong lang pede ba mag 2 player sa kata box ..2 joystick .. using ps1 emulator . kasi nakita ko sa emulator ko sa ps1 pede sya mag 2 player .. sana po meron makasagot .. thanks :D :D

  18. pj says:

    paano ba mag download ng apps sa kata box?

  19. Carl says:

    paano maibalik ung menus sa home screen. hnd gumagana ung factory reset.

  20. Jheca says:

    I have kata box and okay naman sya pero now hindi madetect ung controller. Hindi ko maiconnect sa kata box. Nag bblink ung bilog sa gitna. Ano po bang dapat gawin?

  21. Mervyn says:

    Tuwing mag log2 in ako sa play store ng Google account loging connection lost pa help naman po

  22. Joan says:

    Hnd po ba cya pwde sa smart tv?

  23. Jun says:

    Paano po ba i save ang date and time setting. every time i open the box, the date and time reverted to june 1972. i can only play netflix if i set up current date and time. but after i close and then open it, again the dreaded 1972 comes again.

  24. Carl says:

    pano gawing static yung IP ng katabox?

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