Assassin HTPC, one of the top names in the Home Theater PC game, is back in the news with their new Assassin Micro Media Extender. It’s a pint-sized PC that runs on Android that comes preconfigured with Assassin HTPC customized software that’s ready to use straight out of the box. The Assassin Micro retails for $249.99, including lifetime cloud updates.
I started building HTPCs about 5 years ago when I wanted to be able to rip my collection of DVDs to my Network Attached Storage system (NAS) and stream the movies throughout our house. It was my first experience building a PC and I needed some guidance through the process, from picking PC parts to setting up the Operating System and the streaming software settings. After spending $20 for the premium Assassin HTPC guides, I spent hours pouring through guides and Assassin HTPC’s help was invaluable. Now you can get Assassin HTPC’s expertise without the hours and hours of work it takes to perfect your HTPC’s settings. The biggest name in the HTPC game was, and still is Assassin HTPC. With a ton of free and premium guides available, Assassin HTPC is the leader in the HTPC arena.
The Assassin Micro media extender is made with an aluminum exterior shell and measures 7.25”w x 5”d x 1”h with built-in WiFi, gigabit LAN, Bluetooth, and Airplay compatibility. Inside the Assassin Micro is a Cortex A53 Octa-Core processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. The Assassin Micro is capable of streaming 1080p HD, 4K HD, and 3D video, as well as HD audio over HDMI 2.0.
The front of the extender contains the power button, IR receiver, and LED display, which displays the local time when the power is on. Along with the dual WiFi antennas, the rear of the extender gives you access to the analog video/audio jacks, optical audio jack, HDMI jack, gigabit Ethernet jack, recessed reset button, and 5V DC power jack. The left side of the extender has an SD card slot and a USB jack, while the right side of the extender has two USB ports. That’s a lot of USB ports for such a small unit!
The Assassin Micro also comes with an IR remote, which lets you easily control the extender from the couch or your bed. My only complaint with the remote is that it doesn’t have a physical “stop” button, so in order to stop a movie or TV show, you have to click the “OK” button and click the stop button within the streaming software, Kodi.
Speaking of Kodi, that’s the software that Assassin HTPC has chosen to use as its main frontend. Kodi is a fantastic media software with tons of flexibility, add-ons, and customizability. It was previously known as Xbox Media Center or XMBC for short, prior to recent re-branding within the last couple of years. The Assassin Micro comes with a preconfigured version of Kodi, specially designed to bring you simple, problem-free media streaming. All of the settings have been pre-set by Assassin HTPC so that all you have to do is point your new Assassin Micro to your networked media folders and you’re good to go.
With an Assassin Micro, you’ll be able to do a number of things that, previously, you’d need both a PC and a streaming device to do. Using the gorgeous Kodi interface, you can stream movies, TV shows, music, etc. from a remote server on your network. You can enact parental controls, stream live TV from a remote cable tuner, stream 4K video, stream from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and a whole lot more. Plus, since the Assassin Micro is built on an Android platform, you’ll have access to the Google Play store as well as the Amazon App Store.
Assassin HTPC’s Cloud Update functionality is something that is unique to Assassin HTPC and is a huge reason to buy one of their extenders. Through their Cloud Updates, Assassin HTPC can update the Kodi version, add-ons, add or reconfigure streaming services, update settings, and even update the Android operating system, all with one Cloud Update. Updated applications and settings are the key to prolonged streaming health, and Assassin HTPC takes all the work out of it. The guys at Assassin HTPC take care of all of the backend work so you can just sit back and enjoy the content.
Another advantage to the Assassin Micro, over your average streaming device, is the fact that it’s got access to remote support built right into the device. Using Teamviewer, the folks at Assassin HTPC are able to log into your device and remotely control your extender to help you troubleshoot issues, if you happen to run into any.
As you may be able to tell, the overarching theme of my experience with the Assassin Micro has been simplicity. It’s incredibly easy to set up and get started with, easy to maintain the best streaming settings, and easy to simply sit back and enjoy, day after day. I’ve been using the Assassin Micro daily for the past few weeks and haven’t run into any real issues with streaming from my networked hard drives or from Netflix. The only thing you’ll have to get used to is navigating through Android apps, like Netflix, with a somewhat simple remote controller.
While you could technically build a streaming device on your own for less than the $249 price of the Assassin Micro, you’ll spend many hours researching hardware and software, building the device, downloading programs, configuring settings, and maintaining the streamer over the devices lifetime. I believe that the Assassin Micro pays for itself in the amount of time and effort saved, not to mention the fact that you have a company who will stand behind their products and remotely assist you to ensure the health of the device and your happiness as a customer.
You can purchase the Assassin Micro directly from AssassinHTPC.com for $249.99, which includes a lifetime access to Assassin Micro’s Cloud Updates and a lifetime 1Stream license.
Source: The Assassin Micro was provided by the manufacturer as a review sample.
What I Like: Simple, idiot-proof setup; All-in-one streaming solution; Lifetime cloud updates; Remote support; Built-in WiFi; Comes with IR remote.
What Needs Improvement: Remote is somewhat basic, but gets the job done.