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SunTV Box - Anyone used one?

Joseph Kimbrell

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  • 6 months later...

A few months late in replying, but I recently discovered that Amazon UK is now selling the Sun TV box at a reasonable prize. I bit the bait and am really, really pleased with it.


What you need:


- A TV set with a High Definition(HDMI) socket,


- A stable and reasonably fast broadband connection. Broadband speed at home is quite low (4.5 Mbps) but the line is OK. This seems enough for a clear picture and no buffering (connected on Ethernet).


- Wifi? I question this because the box couldn't find mine though it searched for it a long time, it may have to do with bandwidth being too low. I connected the box on Ethernet using a powerline adaptor. Probably a better connection quality, anyway.


- Some knowledge of Chinese because English support is minimal. The Chinese instructions are, however, in a very simple language. Most people at a medium beginners level will be able to find their way around. The sellers in Amazon UK are not helpful, they sent a power source fitted with a US plug (against Trading Standards regulations in the UK) but they became unavailable when I wrote to them and mentioned UK regulations  - I didn't want to make a fuss with Amazon because the device and price are too good to miss, I bought a 5 volts UK power adaptor elsewhere, problem solved.


- The sale blurb on the Amazon product page mentions a 'subscription', I'm not sure  what it refers to because all the channels I've seen so far are free, and I haven't been asked for any personal details for this supposed 'subscription'. 


Setup is not too hard. After the connection is established, the box picks the channels automatically. Navigation is not terribly easy but negotiable after some trial and error. One can watch 7 days programming on all the channels and there are 2 USB ports and a micro-card reader - presumably for recording more, but I haven't tried yet. I asked the sellers for a users' manual and they referred me to this you tube clip: 




:) I guess that's all there is. 


What can one watch? All Cn Central TV channels, education channels included, and I don't know how many regional networks: Hunan TV, Beijing, Shandong, Shanghai....I haven't even started exploring. I can't see any Taiwan or Hong Kong channels but they may be there yet to be discovered. One thing I'm happy with is that these are all 'Chinese approved' channels, not that I'm too keen on Xi Da-da's media policies, but it's good not to be assailed by smut or invasive advertising, not to mention the security risks on my home network. 


All I need now is a good Chinese food delivery service but I think my good karma doesn't stretch that much.

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Two corrections to my post above: 1) the SunTV people are not unhelpful, but they're not used to Amazon UK's ways. I was able to speak to them in the end. They are easier to reach by the free phone contact number they send with their product. This can also test your Chinese :)

2) There are Hong Kong channels (the ones I checked are in Mandarin. And at least one Guandong channel broadcasting programs Cantonese.


Their official website is http://shop.suntv.tv/

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  • 11 months later...

That's great. Sooner or later I want to buy something like this. I checked on Amazon Italy, they sell it and it says 2 years subscription included, but on Amazon.com it says no monthly fees. Currently unavailable on Amazon.co.uk . Has anybody tried also other brands? Is Sun TV the best?

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We bought a kodi box recently. Not being techie I don't know the ins ands outs but my partner got it up and running. We have got CCTV channels and some others I am not familiar with but am exploring.

They are available on amazon.uk for about £35 including wireless keyboard, and touch mouse and it also has a little remote control. Its basically an android tablet in a box with no screen and the kodi software.  You do need broadband. This is as much as I know.

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Hmm I saw some kodi boxes. I wonder if  any kodi box is fine for watching Chinese tv or some are loaded with more channels. I saw some boxes online specifically advertised as used for watching Chinese tv, claiming even like 99 channels (see SunTV for example), instead on normal kodi boxes they normally don't say exactly what you can watch with it. About £35 is fine. It seems SunTV streams channels provided by Sun Media that is authorized by the Chinese government for watching tv abroad and it should be reliable. Others are just IPTV lists that may come and go from what I understood. I have got a raspberry pi, I may install kodi on it and try it eventually.

Can you watch all CCTV channels on your kodi box? Would you mind writing the brand of your box?

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I have watched CCTV 9 Documentary and CCTV News and have seen CCTV 4 was available. To be honest I don't watch the others because its not just me that watches the TV and the others get really bored really quick when its chinese only. :(

I had a thought last night, you can watch all the CCTVs on line, I do this when I don't want to bore others with chinese only stations. It might be worth searching around online to see what you can watch online.

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I have been using suntv 2 for a year. Very easy to install: plug in and connect to the internet, that was it. I get most of the Chinese Central TV channels and the Classroom/Education channels, many local channels and the international Central TV channels in non-Chinese languages. A few channels are in Cantonese. It gives 7 days of programming, you can catch up if you're following a series, but navigation needs a lot of patience. It's supposed to be 130 channels in all but I never got to the end of the list. Here's the channel list for the US suntv3 package, it's not the same as the ones I have but it may just be the channel names being different.


The system has improved recently, it used to be rather  unsteady with frequent buffering breaks. It updates itself painlessly. If it gets stuck, it's easy to reset by pulling off the plug and plugging in again.


The box was a bargain when I got it, its successor the suntv 3 box seems to be selling for twice the price. I'm not sure what will happen when the 2-year subscription runs out or how much it'll cost to renew it.


There are alternatives now, more and more new ones or improved old ones appearing all the time.


There's a new setup called KyLinTV that seems similar to suntv and may even be part of a same parent company. The full channels package is quite expensive and lacks many of my favourite CCTV channels, it seems to have more of the entertainment programming. 


There are also several Apps for Chinese TV in Android and iOS. The CBox app for the iPad gives me CCTV channels 1 to 15 and lots more, and it has the programs listed by channel and also by category. It works very smoothly, much less buffering than it used to be, and much, much less than watching through the PC browser.


Edited to add: I forgot to say, the CBox apps for iOS and Android are 100% free. It might be good sense to use the money to buy a good tablet to watch Chinese TV for free, instead of joining a subscription service.

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Okay, it seems SunTV and KyLinTV have more content and it's licensed (only legal in the US in theory and I'm in Italy). They are generally more expensive and we don't know what happens if the subscription expires..How much it costs and how to buy a new subscription.

If I can watch CCTV channels it's enough for me. I checked again and CCTV official website is available for free also from abroad, besides I downloaded the Cbox app and it works well. Yesterday and today I've been looking at various alternatives: amazon fire tv stick, roku streaming stick or tv boxes based on Android and Kodi. I know there are many private IPTV lists and addons for kodi (more or less legal), anyway since CCTV is legally available on the official website, a browser on the tv may just be enough for watching it, or I could install CBox app on an android tv set box (if all Android apps are installable). I'd like to spend max 45 euro for this and get something with the best value for money. I haven't decided yet what to buy.

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I think both  SunTV and KyLinTV are licensed in UK and Europe'. But yes, why pay to subscribe for what you can get free? So far, CBox is free and has all the channels, it is also an official CCTV app (the interface is identical to the CCTV app in China). One can also CBox in a PC, but it tends to come with those pesky animated advertising popup windows that run all the time in the background, presumably it also comes with hidden trojans - Windows 10 didn't like it when I tried. 


I haven't tried the Android app, but with the iPad and an Apple TV box (older Apple TV 2 model used to be quite cheap, you may still find them in eBay) you can cast the tablet screen on a TV - as long as the TV has an HDMI plug to connect the Apple box. May be the same with the Andoid app and a Chromecast dongle.

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