Gone are the days when huge set-top boxes destroyed the ambiance of our TV. Now either Android TV boxes, streaming sticks, or the Smart TV itself has replaced them.
One such box that has grabbed the eyeballs recently is the Mi Box 4 better known as Mi Box S. Small and smart are the words that best define it. Powered by Android TV 8.1, Mi Box S supports 4K video and voice control through Google Assistant.
That’s not all that the Box has to offer. You would be surprised by the hidden features in the Box.
In this post, you will find 15 tips and tricks to use the Mi Box S in the best possible way.
1. Use Phone to Control Mi Box S
What’s the one thing that’s always with you? I’m sure it’s your phone. Then why not use it to control your Mi Box too? Controlling the Box with your phone can come handy at times when you feel too lazy to reach your remote.
You need to download the Android TV Remote app and connect it to your Mi Box. It’s not necessary to have a Xiaomi phone to use it for you can download the app on any Android device (phone or tablet) and iPhone.
Pro Tip: Use the app to input text to your Mi Box S. Press the keyboard icon at the top.
If your TV supports HDMI CEC, you can use your Mi Box S remote to control your TV and vice versa. The idea behind HDMI CEC feature is to let users operate their TV and connected HDMI devices with a single remote.
To enable HDMI CEC for Mi Box S, go to Settings > HDMI CEC. Turn on CEC Switch.
3. Disable Channels on Home Screen
The home screen of Mi Box houses the favorite apps and channels. Having additional or more channels clutters the home screen. If you like having a clean home screen with just the channels that you love, you can disable the unwanted channels.
There are three ways to do so.
Method 1: Using Channels Option
Navigate to the channel that you want to hide from the screen and press the left arrow twice. The interface will highlight the hide icon. Click on it to disable the channel.
Method 2: From Settings
Go to Settings on your Mi Box S and hit the Home screen option. Then hit Customize channels. Here go to the app whose channels you want to customize and enable/disable as per your preference.
Method 3: From Home screen
Scroll down on the home screen and click on Customize channels. You will be taken to the Customize channels option as above. Enable/disable channels here.
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4. Reorder Channels
Want YouTube’s trending section to be at the top? Not a good idea but if you are keen on doing it, you can reorder channels to suit your needs.
For that, navigate to the channel on the home screen. Then press the left navigation button on the remote followed by hitting the select button. You will see that the channel is highlighted and up/down arrows appear next to it. Now using up and down buttons of your remote, change its position.
Note: You cannot change the position of Apps carousel that is available at the top.
5. Reorder Apps in Favorites
The Apps section keeps the apps in the order they are added to it. That means the recently added one will always be available at the end of the list.
Thankfully, you can reorder the apps and keep them as per your wish. For that, navigate to the app and long press the select button until you get a menu. Choose Move from it. Then change the position using the left and right buttons and hit the select button to confirm.
6. Remove Apps from Favorites
To remove an app from appearing under the Apps section on the home screen, press and hold the select button on it. Then select 'Remove from favorites.'
7. Reorder Apps in Installed apps
Pressing the dotted icon on the Mi Box S remote control reveals all the installed apps and games on your Box. To change the order in which they are shown, press and hold the select button on the app. From the menu, select Move and use the navigation buttons to change the position.
8. View App Info and Uninstall Apps
Instead of going to Settings > Apps, you can long press the installed app or game on the screen activated by pressing the dotted icon on the remote. From the menu, choose Info or Uninstall depending on your choice.
Note: The uninstall option isn’t available for preloaded apps such as Netflix.
9. Add Videos to Watch Later List
On Mi Box, you don’t have the favorites or watch later list for videos; you are offered a Play Next list instead. Available below Apps, changing the position of the Play Next row isn’t possible.
To add videos to it, press and hold the select button on any video. Then select 'Add to Play Next' from the menu.
To remove a video from the list, long press the video in the Play Next list and hit Remove.
10. Restart Quickly
Similar to Android phones, pressing the power button on the remote will reveal a restart option. Select it to restart the Mi Box S quickly.
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11. Change Searchable Apps
When you use the default search feature in the Mi Box, the results include the information from the installed apps. If you don’t want to show the results from any particular app, you can hide it.
To do so, go to Settings on your Android TV box. Under Settings, click on Search followed by Searchable apps. Here disable the apps whose results you don't want to include in the search.
12. Mirror Phone to Mi Box S
Mirroring your Android phone to Mi Box S is such an easy job. The only requirement is that your phone must be on the same Wi-Fi network as your Mi Box S.
Then, all that you need to do on your phone is to tap on the Cast (available in quick settings) or Wireless Display option (available in Settings). You will find Mi Box 4 or Mi Box S there. Tap on it to start mirroring.
In case the above options aren’t available, you can use the Google Home app on your phone to mirror.
Once the app is installed, add Mi Box S to it. Then tap on the profile icon in the app and hit Mirror device option. Select your Mi Box, and your phone’s screen will automatically mirror on your TV now. Anything you do on your phone will reflect on your TV.
To disconnect, go back to the app and hit Disconnect option under Mirror device.
13. Cast Phone Content
Instead of mirroring your entire phone, if you only want to cast a video to your TV, then, open the video in a player or streaming service that supports casting. Hit the cast icon on the video to start playing it on your TV. Your phone will act as a remote control for the video, and you can continue doing other things on it.
14. Cast from Laptop
Similarly, if you want to cast from your laptop to Mi Box S, you need the help of Chrome for it comes with native support for casting.
To cast from PC, open the video in Chrome and click the three-dot icon at the top-right corner. Select Cast from the menu. Your Mi Box will show up there. Click on it to start casting the current tab to your TV.
15. Take Screenshot on Mi Box S
Download the Button Mapper app from Play Store on Mi Box S and assign the screenshot function to any button. Then use that button to take a screenshot.
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Open Pandora's Box
Hope you liked these tips and tricks to make the best of the Mi Box S. It's time to power on your Mi Box S and put these tips into action. Do let us know if you came across a different tip or trick. We would be glad to include it.
Next up: Looking for some apps to download on your Android TV? Check our curated collection of best Android TV apps.