Factory Prices of Some TV Boxes and Accessories

Some companies that contact me have not read the about section of the blog, and either tell me they can give me a good price for TV boxes, and some even send me their price list. And this morning, I’ve received a EXW (Ex Works) price list this of Amlogic S912/S905X/S905W and Rockchip based TV boxes, as well as some air mice, and Android projectors.

The cheapest models are based on S905W and RK3229, with MXQ Pro 1GB/8GB going for $17.5 per unit for 200 pieces orders. For reference that models goes for around $26 shipped online before any discount coupon you may find. At the other end of the scale, you have TX2 model with 3GB RAM, 64GB flash going for $77.5 EXW for 200-unit orders, and sold online for $86 including shipping, again before coupon. Margin must be really low, or the prices above are not that competitive, but nevertheless it gives an idea of factory prices of various TV boxes. Air mice are really cheap, and backlight usually only adds 90 cents.

13 Replies to “Factory Prices of Some TV Boxes and Accessories”

  1. I would be weary of those prices. Many of the brands on the list use de-soldered, low speed, and/or defective DDR and eMMC that affect performance. They cut every corner possible to save that $5-10 USD. The stability, longevity, and performance are questionable. The target longevity is 3 months which is just long enough to be out of most return policies.

  2. Wish some of these companies would not include the hdmi cable and the remote because the are worthless. Also, it is pretty interesting that the amlogic 905w is $5 less than 905x. Not to mention that the s912 cost about $10 more than the 905x…

  3. What’s the difference between S905X and S905W ?

    Also gearbox was selling these for 17.88$ yesterday, so they’re either S905W or they made some loss.

    1. @benjamin

      Add together the BOM using market prices, add 4 layer PCB cost, add assembly costs. You will find that it is a few bucks above these prices. X96 was notorious for its high out of box failure rate. You get what you pay for. The recycled IC business is huge in China.

      S905W is S905X without true 4K. Disabled in firmware.

  4. @benjamin

    Some small shops may use recycled components but you can’t make runs of any size using them simply because you need identical parts on reels to put into the assembly machines. It is not easy to come up with large quantities of identical used parts.

    For example you can’t put random DDR chips onto the boards since the uboot DRAM init code is chip specific.

    Having said that, you can certainly buy large quantities of new components that are not very good. But when you do that you are usually aware of what you are doing and have chosen to use cheap parts instead of higher performance, more expensive ones. For a foreign buyer this is one of the main problems – being sold a set of specs and then not having the parts perform to spec.

    As for boxes that fail in 90 days — in my experience it is usually a part failing in a poorly designed power supply that is stressing the part beyond its rated performance.

  5. I have purchased over 2 dozen of these boxes in the last 4 years, and none have failed hardware wise. Software is a different story, most are total junk, and absolutely NO support from manufacturer. But they do make very good inexpensive tinker toys. For less than $40 US, I can run, Linux, Android or LibreELEC or dual boot either of them.

    Right now, for less than $38 US, you get an Amlogic S905x running a modded Android TV OS that supports Netflix in 1080P with DD+ (Dolby Digital Plus). YouTube in 4K, and HBOGO in 1080P also.

  6. @Da Xue
    I also own an mxq with s805 and an X96 with s905x without bad feelings. Before the “upgrade” i used my mxq daily for more than a year as a media player with librelec. Now its a part of my little project as a wireless audio system (installed to my bathroom ceiling with good quality active speakers plugged to a sonoff ac wifi switch 🙂 – and its working really well. X96 was the cheapest 905x based box out there, but its as stable as mxq was or even better.
    I guess i had luck with my boxes (?).

  7. @Jon Smirl
    I agree most problems are poor power supplies, or power supplies used with county specific adaptors, and buggy software. There also seems to be some sort of deign share and multiple middle men retailing boxes which drives the volume sales.

    In a odd way it is like the pound stores in UK doing reading glasses for @ £1, at one time you could not get any for under £5.

  8. Where I live (hot and humid climate), I’ve heard several stories about the cheapest TV boxes only lasting a few months. One of them felt like something went wrong with the soldering of the BGA chip, as pressing on the CPU with a vice made it work a little longer.

  9. @Jon Smirl
    DDR chips whether new or recycled are sourced in 100K+ quantities. uboot init code is standardized. I didn’t say they failed in 90 days. Some will last years. The target is to have them last at least 90 days. Some companies use every trick in the book and then some to overstretch the spec and fool people including professionals.

    X96’s used recycled DDR3 1333 for 4K which isn’t enough to decode a lot of streams. Their DOA rate is in the double digits. Single point samples is meaningless.

  10. Also DON’T TRUST the reviews “made by users who bought” the boxes on different seller’s site. Some years ago i bought a cheap $50 tablet from Gear***shit that was pretty bad and i gave a very bad review/feedback. That never appeared among reviews for that product so learned that they ONLY APPROVE the good reviews.
    Additionally, many reviews are very suspicious, specially for new products that’s not sold many of.

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