Are you looking for an inexpensive way to bring your old TV back to life? If so, we have some great news for you as we will show you how one can easily transform any TV that has an HDMI-In port into an awesome Android powered smart television using a cheap Smart TV Dongle. Today we have one of such sticks for a ‘test drive’ – the JUSTOP K9 MK809. At the moment the market is saturated with wide variety of similar devices, however, many of them aren’t any good, and we primarily chose this particular Android TV dongle due to its high-end specifications and very competitive price. The MK809 comes with a 1.60GHz Cortex A9 Dual-Core processor, 1GB DDR3 memory and 4GB ROM - a combination which ensures a pretty good Android 4.1.1 Jelly Beans experience. You can currently buy this Android Mini PC for only £34.99 from the following web sites:


 Smart TV Dongle – MK809 Mini PC (JUSTOP K9) Review

To start, plug this unit into an HDMI-In port on your TV and connect the Micro USB cable via which power is supplied to the Android TV dongle. When a TV is turned on, power is supplied to the JUSTOP K9 and it automatically turns on, all you need to do now is select an input source on your TV and you should see dongle’s boot screen.

The device performs fairly well although short freezes may occur every now and then, but overall the Android Jelly Beans operating system runs smoothly and without any major issues. When we turned on the device for the first time and tried to set up the Wi-Fi, it struggled to pick up a decent signal even though our router was 6 metres away. Fortunately, it turned out to be our routers fault, as it was configured to support only “Wi-Fi 802.11 b”, so once “b/g/n” was enabled, Wi-Fi range expanded and the MK809 had no problems connecting to the network.

Note: If the “Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n” standard is enabled on your router and you still have Wi-Fi problems, this can be caused by an insufficient power output via your TV’s USB port. In order to fix this, you should try powering the Smart TV Dongle using a dedicated 5V 2.0A power supply.

Browsing experience on this smart TV dongle is quite pleasant, web sites load fairly quick, scrolling isn’t laggy or choppy and most importantly Adobe Flash content can be viewed without any issues. We tested JUSTOP K9′s Flash support by watching High Definition videos on the BBC iPlayer desktop site and it worked perfectly fine. On a down side, the MK809 somewhat struggled to play 1080p videos on the desktop version of Youtube. Fortunately, all 720p videos played without any frame rate issues. In addition, the mobile BBC iPlayer app or web page worked fine too though we would recommend using desktop version instead as the quality of videos is significantly better on the latter.

Note: In order to access the desktop version of BBC iPlayer, open standard Android browser or Firefox. Once the BBC iPlayer web site is loaded, go to your browser’s settings and tick “Request Desktop Site”. The page will refresh and you should see the desktop version of BBC iPlayer.

In further tests we connected a standard Philips webcam with a built-in microphone into a USB port and, to our surprise, it was recognised, that is, both mic and camera worked without any issues. We tested the webcam using Google Voice, Google Now and Skype. It worked fine although Skype was a little sluggish at times during video calls – hardly a surprise given that this can happen even on laptops, high-end smartphones or tablets.

The retailer states that the MK809 (JUSTOP K9) has 4GB of internal NAND storage. One may falsely presume that this means 4GB of ‘pure’ internal storage, however, in reality this smart TV dongle has around 512MB of real internal storage. Typically, one will have around 200-350MB available for your apps where the rest of the storage (2.1GB) behaves like a space on a Micro SD.  After downloading a bunch of applications including the popular XBMC which alone requires +100MB we managed to run out of internal space, hence moving apps to the Micro SD was necessary.

This particular model of MK809 (JUSTOP K9) is obviously far from perfect mainly due to the fact that the whole “smart TV dongle” niche is new, but given its price and current capabilities, it is truly impressive even now. So, how about giving your beloved TV a £34.99 upgrade that will allow you to enjoy the super exciting features the high-end smart TVs and Android phones have to offer?

Control MK809 (JUSTOP K9) via Android Smartphone

We recommend purchasing a dedicated remote control for this device, however if you want to control this Android mini PC via your smartphone or tablet, you have to update MK809′s firmware. This may damage your smart TV dongle if performed improperly, so do it at your own risk. Alternatively, you could root this device and use Droidmote to control the MK809 via Android smartphone.

In order to control the MK809 JUSTOP K9 smart TV dongle using your Android smartphone or tablet, follow these steps:

1. Download the MK809 firmware upgrade file from here and extract it.
2. Copy the “” file to your Micro SD card.
3. Insert the Micro SD card into the device and power it on. Once the operating system boots up, a message will appear asking whether you want to upgrade or not. Click “Yes” and the installation process will start during which the device will restart itself. Be patient and wait until the dongle boots up to Android ‘home screen’ and you are notified that the upgrade was successful. If the upgrade goes smoothly, delete the “” file from your Micro SD.
4. Install MK802 III Remote Client application on your Android smartphone using Google Play Store. Once finished, open the app and you will be asked to select a device, click “Refresh” to scan your network. The found device will be called “Rockchip” (you can change the name to anything you like in the settings of eHomeMediaCenter), when selected you should be able to control the device via your phone.

Features and Specifications Summary

  • Smart TV Dongle Model – JUSTOP K9 MK809 Android Mini PC
  • Processor – Cortex A9 1.60GHz Dual-Core
  • GPU – Mali 400
  • Memory – 1GB RAM, DDR3
  • Storage – 4GB NAND Flash; expandable by up to 32GB via Micro SD slot and 2TB via USB2.0 port
  • Supported Formats – MKV, WMV, MP4, 3GP, AVI, RMVB, DivX, MPEG-4, H.264, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MP3, WMA, WAV, M4A and more
  • Adobe Flash 11.1 Enabled
  • Connectivity –  USB2.0 x1, HDMI Out x1, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Micro USB for power supply
  • Operating System – Android 4.1.1 Jelly Beans


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