IPTV and Streaming Hardware in Panama From My Perspective

A lot of this topic has been covered before and can be found by searching for KODI or IPTV or XBMC on this blog.

Today, I want to cover some new hardware that has been announced and the direction I am going.

I have seen a lot of people signing up for a new service provided by Carlos and I wrote him to find out more about what he was providing. I wanted to know the model of the box he was using and pricing.

This what I received.

The name and brand is Avov TvOnline  http://avov.tv/tvonline/  I am selling the Box for $130. Install/setup fee is $75 ( if I have 3 or more scheduled installs) and the programming subscription is $150 per year or $100 for 6 months or $75 for 3 months.

Installation/Setup consists of: Determining the Internet connection (Wifi or Ethernet) and which will be used followed by a speed test. Configuring the Stalker Middleware with the server information and the unit’s Mac ID. Opening the account and activating the subscription. Once all is good and I start the Tutorial on whats included in the subscription which consists of 3 categories, Live Tv channels, Video on Demand Movies (1230 English and Spanish movies from 2012-present) Radio on demand that all run off the private server.

Lastly I set up a few 3rd party apps for additional additional movies, Tv series etc. I show you how to use the Android Mickey hop Market (20 apps and growing) to get these extra goodies like 1Channel, Movie25, Dream, Kodi 15.2. These apps run off the internet and are not associated with our server.

Average Installation/setup/tutorial is 2 hours

All this is necessary to provide my clients a thorough understanding how everything works. Followed by support via e-mail or phone throughout the duration of the subscription.

When you take a look at the hardware contained in this box, you find that it is pretty typical of most of the cheaper Chinese Android boxes. It has a very limited amount of ram (512 MB) and 2GB of storage. It uses an IR remote.

If you were to purchase most Android boxes with similar technology, you would pay around $50 to $70 max for the box.

The AVOV is different from other Android systems, because it adds its own front-in (Mickey Hop) on top of the Android OS and “Stalker Middleware” to allow the installer to configure the box to special streaming servers.

Not having used the service, I can’t comment on the quality of streaming from their servers located in who knows what country. I would be very surprised if any of the subscription fee makes its way to the networks that are available.

After looking at the hardware specs, I think the box is overpriced. Before I would part with $350 for the box, installation and a year’s subscription, I would want some sort of performance guarantee. A guarantee would be hard for anyone to provide because there are so many points of possible slowdown.

For my needs, I can get by with a far less outlay of cash. I will stick with a combination of Cable Onda TV and a Amazon streaming device.

Recently all of the major streaming devices have come out with major upgrades. Apple, Roku, Amazon, and Google.

I am going to discuss my view of the best value in my opinion, living in Panama. My wants may be different than others and there is no perfect solution.

Gaming & 4K Video: All of the major brands are aiming at getting into gaming. However, from what I have seen, the gaming capability will not compete with a real gaming box like a PS3 or 4 or an X-Box.

I only need gaming when Lilliam’s grandkids visit, so I would rather not add money to my streaming box for gaming. Kinda like paying for a Smart TV, when an non Smart TV with HDMI input will work better. Unfortunately, it is getting harder to buy a TV without the “Smart” portion.

I have a Samsung Smart TV and never use its features.

Amazon and Roku have both added 4K video to their high-end boxes and for Panama, I add zero value for that feature. This just increases the bandwidth demand.

For those of us living in Panama, the major sources of U.S. IPTV programing will come from NetFlix, Amazon Prime, HULU, and a few others. To receive most of the U.S. programing, you will need some sort of proxy service or VPN.

I use UNLOCATOR because it places less overhead on streaming than using a VPN.

I used Apple’s previous generation Apple TV for Netflix and it was fine with UNLOCATOR and I had buffering with my VPN. Apple doesn’t offer access to Amazon Prime and for Amazon users, that is a negative.

I considered Roku and Google, both of which offer access to all the best streaming services, but went with Amazon for two reasons.

The primary reason is that you can install KODI. Since it is an Android based system, it is more open than Apple or Roku.

It is really hard to beat the Amazon Fire Stick. Costing just $39, you can access all of the premium services and with KODI, your entertainment choices is practically limitless.

The second reason I like the Amazon products is that their remote pairs with the device and is not IR.

I am an Apple fan and I think that for the money spent, the Amazon devices offer a better value in Panama.

Between Amazon Prime, KODI, and the free channels on USTVNOW, I have more English programming than I can watch.

Amazon Prime is beginning to compete more with NetFlix. For TV series and Movies, Amazon Prime or NetFlix can’t be beat. Their dedicated servers always deliver great streaming for me with rarely any buffering.

You will need a minimum of 4mbps consistent speed. More than that will be required, if you are streaming higher definition video or if there are multiple devices in use in the household.

For live U.S. TV in Panama, I haven’t been satisfied with anything I have seen. I do use the free USTVNOW, and it is fair, but no better than fair. The paid subscription is supposed to be faster, but I am not willing to pay price.

My only need for live U.S. TV is sports and I am satisfied with what is available on Cable Onda. 50% of the time it is in Spanish, but for the price, I am satisfied.

I get Fox News on cable and have to use KODI to get CNN. I could get CNN on Cable Onda in English, but that requires stepping up to the next package level. I would rather use that money to pay for Amazon Prime, NetFlix or both.

The real value of the Android based streaming box, is the ability to install KODI. That is the one reason that moved me from Apple and Roku to Amazon’s Fire Stick. For $39 dollars, I can get all the programming that is on NetFlix, Amazon Prime, HULU, and even movies that are currently in the theater.

I am sure that the question will come up is “Why pay for NetFlix or Amazon Prime if you can get it all on KODI?”.

That is a reasonable question. When I had the Premier Smart TV box, I cancelled NetFlix and all the premium channels on Cable Onda. It knocked close to $60 off my monthly bill. It worked fine 95% of the time.

When I bought the first Fire Stick, I decided to pay for a year of Amazon Prime ($99). I found that I liked it. I now use Prime, if it has what I want to watch, and KODI for everything else.

You really have to try KODI to understand if it fits your needs. Since it is free, it costs nothing to try it on your laptop/desktop to see if your internet is fast enough.

To test it on your desktop, install the TVMC version for your PC’s operating system. This installation will do the complete basic configuration. With this config you will be able to watch any movie or TV series. I will also add that it may be worth testing Netflix or Amazon Prime on your PC as well. If you can’t stream one of these, than you probably won’t be satisfied with any streaming solution.

The TVADDONS site is one of the better sites for add-ons to KODI.

I have installed KODI on several devices now. It takes about 15 minutes to install KODI on a Amazon Fire device and another 15 minutes to demonstrate how it works. Contact me if you are interested. No charge.

22 thoughts on “IPTV and Streaming Hardware in Panama From My Perspective

  1. You can’t get live TV with Roku, etc. The AVOV box allows you to get CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, ESPN etc. Being a news and political junkie, I have to have live TV. Roku just wouldn’t do.
    A techie like you can buy a box and do all the set-up yourself, but most people can’t. Also Carlos provides unlimited service with that price. That is invaluable. The programming comes out of Belize. I’m very happy with my IPTV.

  2. Thanks Judy. It is good to hear from one that actually has the service. As I said everyone has different needs.

    Live news is one of the easier things to get on KODI. However, live sports is dismal. I have found a lot of European sports, soccer, bicycle races and the such, but no live U.S. American Football.

    By the way, you might even like to see a Fire Stick run. Since you have to use your MAC address, I assume you can have only one for the price. A FS would work well on a second TV.

    Again, thanks for taking the time to share your experience.

  3. Don: With the subscription to Amazon Prime, can you get the movies in English and the sub-titles in Spanish? With the movies you can get on Kodi, can you also get the sub-titles in Spanish, ex. 1Channel … etc… Getting sub-titles is very important to me as I supposed to Lilliam also.

    patrick

  4. Patrick,

    I looked at the Amazon Prime and do not see a way to have the subtitles in a different language. It lets you specify the language for the system and I have to assume it will put subtitles in the same language.

    KODI has some configuration for downloading the subtitles, but I have never used it. However, you can get movies in almost any language you want. I have seen a lot of Spanish movies.

  5. Don Ray, I told you it was working great, but ever since I wrote that it has been freezing so badly I can’t watch anything at night during prime time. It seems to be a Cable Onda problem, because it doesn’t freeze when run from internet using a Claro stick. Do you have any insights on why this would be happening just the last 2 weeks when it was running so well for almost 2 months? I know you don’t use this system, but maybe you can identify an underlying problem with live streaming in general.

  6. Sorry to take so long to respond. I have no solution, but maybe a few things to check. I am sure you have run a local speed test. The ping should be 120 or below. The lower the better. If your speed is where it should be then move forward. I don’t know if your box has the ability to install a speed test app or not.

    Next, I would ask other users of your system if they are having the same problem. If they are having similar problems, then the problem is most likely close to the servers holding the data.

    If they are not having the problems you are, then the problem may be more local to your equipment or connection.

    Unfortunately, it is not easy to locate the source of many streaming problems.

    If you have KODI installed, you might try some steaming through it. If some things stream OK and some don’t, then again it is likely to be the server containing the data.

  7. Hi Don. When use Unlocator does it change your router settings for all your communications ? Financial institutions and Government in USA or Canada are very sensitive to your identity and may not allow you to use their sites if your IP floats… Also I noticed a comment that this new DNS practically impossible to erase from router.. Can you comment. Thanks.

  8. Hi Don. Kindly comment on Android TV box MXlll-G 2gb-16gb. Is it much superior then Fire stick ? Also can you advise how to download KODI to Fire stick

  9. The Android streaming devices fall into two categories.

    There are the WiFi only connected devices, which have to connect to the router using WiFi. The advantage of these are price. This group contains Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire Stick and possibly other generic Chinese brands. The Google Chromecast requires an app on a cell phone to control the device and and the Amazon Firestick provides a remote.

    The box you mentioned is able to connect via WiFi or ethernet cable as does the Amazon Fire TV. These boxes contain faster processors and more memory than the WiFi only devices.

    When it comes to memory, 8 GB is a lot and is only important if you want to use this device for playing games. If you are merely streaming content over the Internet, then the 2GB of the Fire Stick is plenty.

    The higher speed processors is only noticed when you are moving between functions on the screen such as switching going from one program to another (in the OS). There should be no improvement in streaming content. That will be a function of the connection with the router and your Internet speed.

    My preference of the Amazon Firestick/TV over Apple TV, Roku, and the generic Chinese Android Boxes is the provided remote. They do not use IR as the chinese brands do. When you configure the Firestick/TV, they pair with the remote and are not dependent on line of sight to control the device. In other words, you do not need to point the remote at the IR reader on the box.

    Loading KODI on pure Android boxes requires you to go to the Google game store and download it.

    Since the Amazon products place the Amazon front-end on top of Android, you have two other methods. One involves installing a web browser on the device and then downloading the appropriate version of KODI from the KODI site.

    The second method is the one I use and it requires installing a program on your PC, downloading the android version of KODI to your desktop and then moving the program over your home network to the Amazon device.

    However, getting KODI on the device is just the start. To use KODI to stream Internet content, it must be configured with the appropriate addons. One site that gives a good description of of the process for installing its addons as well as KODI on devices is https://www.tvaddons.ag.

    If you have an Amazon Device, I would be happy to show the method I use and assist in installing KODI.

  10. Thanks a lot ,Don. More knowledge breeds more questions… You said that proxy is required for Fire TV stick to bypass geographical limitations with US content. Will there be same problem with Android box ?
    Thank you kindly for offer to help with Kodi I think I will use “ares wizard” to load KODI with addons

  11. I have found no need for a proxy using Kodi. However, it you use Netflix (which I cancelled) of Amazon Prime (Which I still have for shipping) then you will need some sort of proxy.

  12. Good day. Many app though being FREE still require your TV provider , which Is not there on Fire TV stick. Any way around it, or we can list Amazon ??? Then again account number is required … Is there a way to install these apps on KODI platform…

  13. Hi Don. Can you suggest some addons for Kodi that would stream live TV local Panamanian content. Thanks.

  14. There is an addon called the AdryanList that has been the best I have found for Spanish content. However, I havene’t looked or seen the Local stations. I get those from my Cable Onda service.

  15. Thank you Don. If you come across something for local TV aside from Cable Onda please let me know.

  16. Hi Don. Touching again streaming live TV local Panamanian content. Inside Adryanlist it used to be a IPTV Coatza with 4-5 Panamanian canals. Cannot find it now… Do you know of any alternatives ,or if this Coatza can be added to Adryanlist. Thanks.

Leave a Reply