MatchStick is a small, inexpensive device you can plug into a TV to stream internet video or other content. It’s a lot like Google’s Chromecast, but it’s expected o sell for $10 less. More importantly, it runs open source software based on Mozilla’s Firefox OS instead of Google’s Chrome software.
The team behind the MatchStick project have raised more than $300 thousand in a Kickstarter campaign and hope to start shipping the first developer units in November with consumer models shipping in February.
But if you don’t want to wait until then to try out the MatchStick software you can load it on a different ARM-based TV stick today.
FreakTab forum member BalintBanyasz has ported the MatchStick firmware to work with the MK808B TV stick.
Like the MatchStick, the MK808B features a Rockchip RK3066 ARM Cortex-A9 dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and 4GB of storage. It also has the same Broadcom BCM40183 WiFi module.
It’s possible that the firmware could work on other devices with similar hardware.
As for the MK808B, it seems to work just like a MatchStick when the firmware is installed. Just plug it into the HDMI port on your TV, connect a power source, and then fire up the MatchStick app for Android or the Firefox web browser and use it to configure your device. You can find more detailed instructions at the FreakTab forum.
Once that’s done you can open the YouTube app on your phone (or in your web browser) or any other supported video app or website and choose the option to “fling” content to your TV.
The MK808B sells for around $35 on AliExpress, which makes it about the same price as a Google Chromecast, but a bit more expensive than the MatchStick which is expected to have a retail price of $25, but which you can reserve for $18 with a Kickstarter pledge. But the MK808B is available today, while the MatchStick isn’t expected to ship until early 2015.
You can also use the MK808B to run Android apps — it ships with Google Android 4.2 Jelly Bean software and features a USB ports, microSD card slot, a mini HDMI port, mini USB OTG port, and a second mini USB port for power.
via CNX Software
If Matchstick doesn’t have the time to give MK808B units with their latest software build to independent reviewers, then I don’t think they are close to a stable product. No offense Matchstick, but you are effectively just an inexpensive MK808B with custom software installed. My advice to you is just release the software for free (make it easy to install on MK808B) and sell the android/iphone apps. If someone else is making a good version of the hardware already, chances are you will not make a large amount from hardware sales in the future.
Look at the Torque app guys… they sell the app which is compatible with many bluetooth odb2 adapters. They don’t sell the adapters, they sell the app. Manufacturing, shipping and inventory is a pain… unless you have a dramatic competitive advantage over existing builders or believe that they will stop supply, don’t go there.
Better yet… have a link on the Matchstick page to buy an “official” MK808B from a specific retailer. Get a part of the sales revenue and sell the app. The official version is the one you use for your testing… it is guaranteed to work properly.
The more I think about it, the cheap MK808B is the gimmick to drive awareness of the software app. If they were not selling a $25 dongle on Kickstarter, they probably would not have be listed on many websites. They are only going to produce at least 4000 units ($100,000 / 25) for the kickstarter goal.
If there software turns out to be really good… I think I will buy the well known MK808B hardware and install their software (and buy their app). No sure what kind of build quality they are going to have with a 4000 unit production run.
With no delay?
Any chances it will run on MK802+ ?
Not without a lot of extra work. That device has an Allwinner A10 processor, not a Rockchip RK3066 CPU.
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