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The Tronsmart Pavo M9’s design an unobtrusive black square that follows in the footsteps of Tronsmart’s recent designs. It stays out of the way but I can’t help but wish they made something that looked distinctive.
The plastic Pavo M9 is surprisingly better-looking than the metal Draco HW80. A sleek black box with rounded corners, this smaller Tronsmart Android TV box omits the ugly antenna seen poking out of the Draco’s rear. Front the front all you see is a power button and the remote sensor, at the side sit three USB ports (2x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0) and a microSD card slot, and everything else is tucked away at the rear.
- 1 Pavo M9 TV Box
- 2 Finally, check out our other Tronsmart TV box Reviews
Pavo M9 TV Box
Despite the external power brick (note that you’ll need a UK adaptor which Geekbuying will supply on request), it sits nicely under the TV, and silent running means it won’t raise any eyebrows in the living room.
The supplied remote control is also better-looking and significantly easier to use than that supplied with the Draco, but even so, you’ll want to add a mouse (a wired mouse). There is an app you can download to your phone or tablet that lets you use it as a controller, but both must be connected to the same Wi-Fi network in order to pair, and we found that after closing the app it wasn’t able to pick up the Pavo M9 without a restart.
Once up and running the Tronsmart Pavo M9 looks very different to the Draco HW80. Whereas the latter has a standard Android KitKat interface and looks very much like a large-screen tablet but without the touchscreen, the new Pavo M9 has a custom user interface, also based on KitKat.
Finding our way around the various menus did take a little bit of getting used to, especially getting our heads around the two settings menus, but we liked the fact it made the Tronsmart seem more like a home-entertainment device and a proper Android TV than a glorified tablet. OTA updates are available for the Pavo M9, too.
One of the menu options opens an app tray, which is the closest thing you’ll get to standard Android. You’ll also find menus for the browser, games (none are preinstalled, but you will see several shortcuts to download apps from Google Play), video, music, an app manager, settings (different to the settings app in the app manager and also where you find the weather and parental controls), media centre, HDMI (for recording from the HDMI input) and Google Play.
Setup, the second time around, was a cinch. On our first attempt, we unwittingly made life difficult for ourselves having hooked up the Tronsmart to an old projector sat at ceiling-level that refused to adjust its display size over HDMI.
Although there is an option in the Display settings of the TV box itself to reduce the display size (you can independently adjust top-, bottom-, left- and right edges – that’s better than the Draco, which lets you alter only the overall size), we couldn’t see this because it was on the ceiling rather than the wall.
The fact we couldn’t see the top of the screen made it impossible to use the remote control as a mouse, and it was equally impossible to use a wired mouse in mid-air.
On top of that, we had tethered the Tronsmart to our phone’s internet connection, which meant we couldn’t connect both phone and TV box to the same Wi-Fi network to make use of the remote control app. Talk about making life more difficult than it needed to be.
Those who have used the Zidoo X9 will be right at home with the HDMI Recording function. You can select the recording resolution and format, and even schedule a time to start recording. Unfortunately, there’s no option to schedule recurring recordings (such as every Monday at 7 pm) but hopefully, Tronsmart will add it in a later firmware update.
Where to buy Tronsmart Pavo M9 TV Box
You can buy the Tronsmart Pavo M9 TV Box from GearBest, Amazon or Ebay
Model: Pavo M9
Operating System: Android 4.4.2
CPU: MSTAR MSO9180D1R Cortex A9 r4 Quad Core Processor, MSTAR (The biggest LCD supplier, the best of best, occupies the global market sharing of up to 60% in consecutive 5 years. The biggest digital & analog television chip supplier covers the global market sharing of up to 50%, more than 75% for China mainland.)
RAM: 1GB DDR3
ROM: 8GB eMMc
Extended Storage: USB/HDD
Wifi Connectivity: Realtek 8188, built-in 150M WLAN card, 802.11b/g/
Video Supported Video format: TS.BDMV.ASF.WMV.MP4.MKV.BDISO.MOV;
Video Encodes: MPEG1/2/4.XVID.H264.H265.VC1
Audio Supported Audio format: APE.M4A.MPEGAUDIO(MP1.MP2.MP3.MPA).WAV.OGG.FLAG;
Audio encode: AC3,DTS,MPEGILAYER1/2/2.LPCM.PCM.FLAC
Picture Supported: JPG.BMP.GIF.TIF
Resolution: 4k2k/1080p/720p/576p/480p AV Output: PAL/NTSC
Subtitle Format: text, smi, ass, SRT, SSA, sub+idx, PGS(Subtitle for blueray, only has MKV/TS/M2TS)
Language: Chinese Simplified Chinese Traditional, English
HDMI Port: Standard HDMI female, Support HDMI IN, Support HDMI-CEC
HDMI Version: HDMI 1.4b
Other Interfaces: 2*USB2.0, 1*USB3.0, reset*1, Micro SD slot*1, Physical button*1 HDMI IN*1, HDMI OUT*1, CVBS*1, HDMI*1,HDMI OUT*1, FL/FR*1, OPTICAL*1
Front interface: LED Indicator*1, IR*1
Other Function Built in XBMC ZIDOO version, support Dolby dts hardware decoding; Built-in Antenna; ABS housing+acrylic Logo: panel
Power DC: 12V/2A
Dimension & Weight (Main Product)
1 x TV box
1 x IR remote control
1 x Power adapter (A right AC Adapter will be sent as your shipping country)
1 x User manual
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Tronsmart Pavo M9 TV Box with A9 MSTAR MSO9180D1R CPU.