Xiaomi Box – Jailbreak or Not?

Date:  Aug 16, 2014

***** Notes 28/5/2015 *****

You can download the Shafa.Com app store app.  It will have all the latest Apps.
But if you still wish to access to my “older” apps.  You may find it here.

I kept a backup copy of all the Apps here … Sometimes new sometimes old.  Once installed, the app itself or the Shafa App will prompt you to download new version and reinstall it.

***** Notes 10/10/2014 *****
1.  China regulators only allow all the wonderful TV apps, i.e. PPTV, Youku, Sohu, 爱奇艺, 腾讯, etc to be run on smartphones or touch book/iPad.  New law, China regulators band these TV streaming apps to be run on any TV, TV set top box such as Xiaomi, YunOS box, etc.  So, most of the time, when you download these apps from the official sites, it will not work.  So, to work around it, you will need to hunt for the hacked version of these apps, which will not force you to download new version, and will allow you to run it on the Set Top Box.  I found a few of these, and place it in here.    Copy these APK onto USB thumb drive, and plug it into Xiaomi Box.  And then install it.  These Apps is available for now Oct 10, 2014.  I am not sure how long it will work.  So, use it while it still work.
 Screen Shot 2014 10 11 at 5 51 26 am
2.  Again, I do not sell Xiaomi Box.  I usually get my Xiaomi box from Taobao thru my buying agent.  You can do it yourself, or you can ask any other Taobao buying agent to do it for you.  My taobao buying agent is:  Ms. Amy Li, cinagoods@hotmail.com.  You can buy from Qoo10 too.  But make sure when you place the order, 1) No need to jailbreak it.  2) make sure it is Xiaomi Box 3, the one with 4K capability.  3) The price should be RMB399 and above.  Anything lesser need to suspect.
  The box cost RMB399, but there will be agent fee 8%.  And then, there will be 5% insurance and so on.  There will also be local shipping as well as International shipping.  Recently, I have asked her to ship all the goods via another shipping agent, where you require to go MRT station or to some place (usually HDB) to pick up the goods.  It is cheaper than the post office EMS delivery.  EMS is still the safest.  So, you make your own decision which one to use.
3.  If your home is not using ViewQwest Fibre Broadband with Freedom VPN, then, I say you forget about buying the Xiaomi box.  For example, my friend using Starhub Cable, almost 90% of the Apps cannot run properly.  Too much dropping, and too much buffering.  M1 was reported to seems to be OK.  But I won’t count on it.  As said, these Traffic Light ISP all has their own TV content, and they have to protect those revenues.  So, it is unlikely that they will provide a smooth Internet highway for you to access these TV apps sites.  If you already tie up with Hubber, Singtel contracts, sorry, you have to decide whether you want to get another ViewQwest link to watch EPL, HK drama, Korean drama or US TV series or not.  If you are not using ViewQwest, and you have a Xiaomi box, you will have lots of frustrations and buffering.  So, I suggest you better stick with Cable TV or MIO TV or MiBox in that case to watch the proper TV channels from these providers.  
4.  It is a TV set top box, so, don’t treat Xiaomi box like a PC.  Only download Apps that works for the “remote” control.  You may place a wireless mouse behind, but it is not elegant.  hahahaha
5.  To watch EPL and other live sports, I usually 光芒体育.
***** End of Notes *****
Was chatting with a friend about Xiaomi box.
What is Xiaomi Box?
The latest gadget of the town is Xiaomi Box – 3rd generation.  This is a Quad-Core CPU box.
This is actually a very well design and powerful quad-core TV box.
You connect this Xiaomi box to network (best working with ViewQwest Fibernet Broadband) and your big screen TV, you can watch all the movies and TV shows you like.
It is an IPTV box.
ViewQwest’s Fibernet Broadband comes with options to subscribe it’s Freedom VPN (need to pay) that can handle the Geo-Blocked Chinese sites.

Why Some People Says Xiaomi Box Sucks?
But as you can read from many forums, you will soon see lots of posting that says “It does not work!”, “It is not good!”, etc.
So, the question is:  What does not work?  What is not good?
Here are the facts…
1.  Xiaomi OS is based on Android.
2.  If is is Android, then, you can root it or jailbreak the device.
3.  When you buy from the online store, it is usually jailbroken.
4.  And all these jailbroken Xiaomi comes with tons and tons of Apps.
5.  Unfortunately, due to the nature of Android, some or most of those Apps does not work on your Xiaomi box.
6.  So, because of it’s ability of allowing people to jailbreak the Xiaomi box, it’s reputation has gone down to the drain.
7.  So, as a conclusion, it is the Apps that is not working.  And unfortunately, there are many many version of the App.
8.  Did you download the “mobile” version of the App and run it on the Xiaomi box?  Resolution of App sucks!
9.  Xiaomi comes with their own launcher.  And it is usually best using Xiaomi launcher.
10.  Some jailbroken Xiaomi boxes comes with broken launcher from non-Xiaomi source.
11.  That is why for some amateur users, they will say “Xiaomi No Good!”
12.  Which is very unfair to Xiaomi.

Why Do I Buy My Xiaomi Box From?
I also bought all my jail broken Xiaomi from Taobao from this store.  I bought the RMB 429 version.  (429 越狱看1000+电视直播)

Again, I DO NOT SELL Xiaomi Box.  So, don’t email me to ask me to buy it for you.  You can buy Xiaomi box directly from Taobao, go Google it how to do this.  Also, alternatively, you can buy thru a buying agent if needed.  I used a buying agent, Amy Li, you can write to her to ask her.  i.e. cinagoods@hotmail.com
 Notes:  Later I found out that my box is not jailbroken at all.  I got “con” by the taobao marketing.  hahaha

My Tips For People Who Own Xiaomi Box
Here are some tips that make it better.  If you bought a jail broken Xiaomi, you can still stick with the Xiaomi UI.  That UI is great.
The only thing that Xiaomi needs to fix is to place more “network friendly” CDNs near Singapore.
The Rabbit launcher (兔子视频3) is actually quite good and powerful too.  The Movie TV show selections will choose the best source of the streaming network for you.
The Baidu’s 万花筒视频 I like because, it is like Netflix.  Once you select a show, they will give you related movies and shows based on the actors/actresses, or based on the type of show you are watching.
The VST 全聚台 also does the same thing.
These 4 launcher is probably 4 of the best launchers.
For me, I stick with Xiaomi Box launcher.
IMG 8927
The FIRST APP you need to have is Sofa Butler (沙发管家).  If you do not have it on your jailbroken Xiaomi box, then, you have to figure out how to install Android App onto your Xiaomi box.
Then, go to the following website to download this App.
Here are some useful links to install this App onto your Xiaomi.
use thumbdrive to install:
or over network:
IMG 8928
Once you launched the Sofa Butler, you can choose to install your Android TV Streaming App from here.
There are many Apps here and most of them are optimised for TV display.
You will not find any “mobile version” of the app here.
IMG 8931
So most of the APP will have a TV Version (TV版) on their icon.
These are the “TV” apps that you need to install.
Those Apps usually found on Google Play or Blackmarket or any other App market that has a “HD” word will usually not working.
a.  The resolution is optimised mainly for mobile phones or tablets.
b.  Usually, because it is written for mobile phones, they usually restrict usage on mobile 3G and not Wifi.
And if it does not work on Xiaomi box, the Sofa Butler will warn you about it.
Different Network Will Give Different Performance
At home, I am using ViewQwest Fibernet with Freedom VPN.
I am satisfy with the performance of Xiaomi box.
The PPTV, Youku and Sohu App running on the Xiaomi box also perform well too.
This is my thoughts…
1)  SingTel is offering MIO TV as their product to fight with Starhub who owns the Cable TV.  So, I seriously doubt that SingTel will cannibalise its MIO TV and optimised their network so that their Broadband users will be able to use PPTV or others to watch FREE TV shows.
2)  Likewise, Starhub is the only Cable TV provider.  So, I also don’t think that Starhub will allow the IPTV to cannibalise this pay TV revenue too.
So, given that thoughts… IPTV is definitely a way to go.
With PPTV, Youku, LeTV or Sohu, it is possible to cut the Cable.
And sometimes, you don’t even need Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Instant Video.  For me, I still like to watch movies with no English/Chinese subtitle.  So, I am keeping Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Instant Video.
So, in my opinion, IPTV should launch the movie or TV shows almost instantly.  Anything that needs 5-10 seconds or more will be consider “inferior”.
Take a look at the performance of my PPTV App running on Xiaomi TV box.  Almost 1 second launch time, that is what IPTV should be!  A video tells it all.  And while playing, there should not have “buffering” interrupting your watching movie moment.  When you fast forward the show, it should resume almost instantly too.  Not waiting for the buffering.

So, to conclude….
1)  Xiaomi is actually one high quality quad-core TV box which is perfect for your living room.  It looks sleek too!
2)  But if you hear people say Xiaomi is No Good, that is probably because of the CDN’s that XiaoMi is not close to Singapore.
3)  But the main culprits are those vendors who load up tons of not-working apps onto your jailbroken Xiaomi TV box.
4)  It is not Xiaomi box not good.  It is the App that runs on it does not work.
5)  So, it is a matter of installing the correct Apps onto your Xiaomi.  To do so, I recommend Sofa Butler.
6)  After installing that, you can install all the “TV version” App onto your Xiaomi to take advantage of the huge TV screen.
7)  Next, selection of Internet Network provider is equally important.  Of course, I am using ViewQwest, and I can only show you what I see from it.  You watch the Video, then, you know  what I am talking about.  I can’t really tell if other will be bad or not, only you can do the comparison, if you have other network.  Just pick an App, and then, compare it by posting your video on the hardware zone.  Then, people will have a better idea what is going on.
Oh ya, in my living room, I also got my 10moons TV box (天敏YunOS), Apple TV as well as Amazon Fire TV box.
So, good luck and have lots of fun with your Xiaomi Box ya!

Related Post:

TV Media Box – Xiaomi 小米盒子


TV Media Box – Minix – Using Android


TV Media Box – 10moons D6 Quad-Core TV Box



  1. Hi, seems the available free memory in the Mi Box Mini is very little (< 1.7GB). Is there any way to expand (via mounting a CIFS or NFS share) ? We're not able to watch movies that are greater than the available free memory.
    Advise appreciated. TQ.

Leave a Reply