After reading your post, I decided to check the version number on my black box and it is exactly the same as it was when it was last updated, i.e. V7.0 build 9612, which was on 19th November.
However, I have noticed an extra line added to the "System info" list, MicroSD Card not installed. I actually don't remember ever seeing that line before.
Does that mean the MicroSD port is now active or does Now TV plan to activate it in the near future and if so what can it be used for?
Curious UK Bob
Believe or not, I've thought of the Smart Box but I understand that it runs hot, due to it's four core-processors, and it's warm/hot to the touch, which possibly means that it's cooling system is inefficient and so cast doubts on it's longevity.
I've had the 'smart' box running for around a month, and I would hardly describe it as running 'hot'. Much more like warm. And no warmer than a typical USB phone charger 😉
That line regarding the SD card ha salways been there 😛 (The SD card slot does work and can be used but only to store apps which is useless considering the app lists is so heavily restricted).
Anyway, just wanted to add that i too had the box crash described, exactly the same. Had to unplug the box to get it back up and running again.
I had been using the box and then went out for a couple of hours. When i returned the box was in its power/screensaver mode (which is normal). Pressing the home button to wake the box up resulted in the grey empty homescreen. What i did notice after i unplugged the box and started it back up was that it had checked for updates while i was out for that couple of hours (the last check time was stated in settings). So i do think the crash was update related (and its not the first time my boxes have done it).
@ukbobboy and @Anonymous User
Bob, I've been thinking about your post whilst I've been having my tea and the only thing that I could think of was something along the lines of what Raevelyn came up with as we cannot record or pause live streams on the Black Box. My best guess is that the SD Card is a feature on a Roku Box (Which is what the NowTV Box actually started life as) which can be used to store Apps on....You can do a similar thing on a Tablet, to save "Onboard Memory" space.
I know that on the Roku, you can "Sideload" apps as I have read about folk putting Plex and other things on....Now then, slight problem...I haven't a clue how to, or why to, sideload anything and I've never actually looked that much into Plex.....I suppose a trip to Youtube might help me but I've never seen the need.
I'm not saying that that's the answer, it's just a guess and has taught me something as I didn't know that there even was a Micro SD Card slot!
I think that you both deserve a "Spotters Badge", to be honest!
@Abermaw @Anonymous User
I just want to clear up some things that's jumped out at me from your posts:
You said, "That line regarding the SD card has always been there" and "The SD card slot does work and can be used but only to store apps....". OK, I'll admit that I have never noticed the line about the SD card (silly me ) but how can the slot be used, there are no menu options to access it.
When the black box was launched in 2015 the SD and USB ports were inoperable and I do not remember ever seeing a notice, Internet or otherwise, announcing that the SD port was now functional.
You know I'm somewhat skeptical about the SD port being functional, so unless there is an official announcement or somebody says they are now using it, I'll take your statement under advisement.
OK, as for your "milky cloud" black box crash, I'm inclined to agree with you that some failed update was tried by Now TV, or a saboteur/hacker, that bricked all our black boxes at the same time. It would be totally incredulous to believe that all our machines coincidentally crashed at the same time displaying the same symptoms.
I completely agree with the first paragraph of your latest post (timed at 15-12-2016 18:20) but where you've gone wrong is your understanding of "sideloading" and how it can be used.
You know that the Now TV box is based on the Roku 3, which has lots of functions and facilities that's been deliberately left out of our black box. And the Roku 3 does not need to sideload anything because the Roku app store is full of apps that can be directed installed onto the Roku box.
However, our black box has only one memory slot, primarily left open for app developers, which can still be accessed by ordinary mortals like us but in a convoluted manner, hence the term "sideloading".
I doubt any Roku 3 user would honestly bother to go through our "sideloading" ritual to load that one special app.
Fortunately, Now TV has allowed users to use this "one memory slot", at their own risk, to load whatever app they like, most users like myself choose to load Plex, which becomes accessible from the "My Apps" menu option once setup.
Despite my "ritual" comment, Plex is a pleasure to use and, for me at least, has extended the black box usefulness in leaps and bounds.
Well guys, this has been a pleasant exchange of info and ideas, until next time have a good evening and catch you later.
The SD card slot has always been semi functional but as i said can only be used to store apps. True there is no user interface for it either. If you have and SD card inserted in the box then apps just install to it by default instead of the box's memory. Since there is only a small amount of apps available on NowTV version of the Rokus boxes it's basically pointless to ue an SD card.. your not going to need that extra storage.
As for the USB port, that is also functional but again NowTV provide no support for it (i guess to cut down on costs) So no app is proided to make use of it. in the boxes default state it's nothing but a charging/power socket for USB devices. However you can side load an app and use the USB perfectly, play videos, music and photos from it without issue. (I've tested this myself).
By the way, totally agree with about Plex, i wish it was incldued in the box defaults apps so we didnt have to side load it as it really does make the box so much more enjoyable and valuable.
@ukbobboy and @Anonymous User
Thanks for the info regarding sideloading, Bob....As I said, I'm a bit behind the times when it comes to that but also thanks to both you and Raevelyn for the heads up about Plex and I really must have a look at that, even if I don't get it. These things are good to know!
Thanks again to both of you, it's been a good "Natter"
So if I were to get some apps onto a MicroSD card, by whatever means, and plugged that card into my black box could I then access and use those apps?
As for the USB port, I would not sacrifice my Plex installation to have USB functionality, I would loose more than I would gain. So unless Now TV releases an update that fully initialises the USB port then I'm more than prepared to live without it.
Catch you later