Kodi DVB and PVR Support on Android (Rockchip RK3288)

January 28th, 2015 No comments

XBMC/Kodi for Android has come a long way, but it’s still missing some features of Kodi Linux, such as Live TV (DVB) and  video recording (PVR) function that so far could only be supported in Linux port of Kodi such as OpenELEC linux distributions, simply because PVR backends such as TVHeadend were not available for Android. So what’s TVheadend is exactly and what features does it bring? It’s an open source TV streaming PVR backend software application for Linux supporting DVB-S/S2, DVB-C, DVB-T/T2, ATSC, IPTV (UDP/HTTP), and Analog video (V4L) as input sources. Version 3.4 also adds support for time-shifting. Now the good news is that Freaktab user’s Taki has posted instructions to install TVHeadend server for RK3288. So if you have a compatible USB Tuner, you should be able to watch live TV on your Rockchip RK3288 based TV box. After the server is installed, you’d also need to  install TVHeadend PVR client addon, and complete the installation with…

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Linaro Connect Hong Kong 2015 Schedule and Demos

January 27th, 2015 No comments

Linaro Connect Hong Kong 2015 will take place on February 9 – 13,2015 in Hong Kong, and the organization has released the schedule for the five days events with keynotes, sessions, and demos. Each day will start with the keynote including speakers such as: George Grey, Linaro CEO, who will welcome attendees to Linaro Connect, and provide an update on the latest Linaro developments Jon Masters, Chief ARM Architect, Redhat, who will present Red Hat update and latest ARMv8-A demonstrations Dejan Milojicic, Senior Researcher & Manager, HP Labs Bob Monkman, Enterprise Segment Marketing Manager, ARM, will discuss about  the impact of ARM in next generation cloud and communication network infrastructure Greg Kroah-Hartman, Linux Foundation Fellow, will introduce the Greybus Project (Linux for Project Ara modular phones) Warren Rehman,  Android Partner Engineering Manager, Google The agenda also features sessions covering Android, ARMv8-A, Automation & Validation, Digital Home, Enterprise Servers, LAVA, Linux Kernel, Networking, Power Management, Security, Toolchain, Virtualization and multiple training…

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Olimex ESP8266-EVB Wi-Fi Evaluation Board Includes a Relay, an UEXT Connector

January 27th, 2015 4 comments

Olimex announced open source hardware ESP8266 modules last month, and the company has just announced the availability of ESP8266-EVB board with an ESP8266 module, a relay, an UEXT connector for other compatible Olimex modules, and headers for access to GPIOs. ESP8266 evaluation board specifications: MOD-WIFI-ESP8266-DEV Wi-Fi module with soldered connectors Female connectors for MOD-WIFI-ESP8266-DEV 10A/250VAC Relay Expansions 16-pin header (CON3) with access to some GPIOs, ADC, SDIO, RESET, and power signals. UEXT connector to connect modules and sensors from Olimex, or access I2C, UART, SPI, and extra GPIOs Misc – User Button which can also be pressed at boot time to enter bootloader mode for firmware upgrade. Power Supply – 5V/1A recommended; DCDC power converter to 3.3V to supply ESP8266 and UEXT modules with up to 1.5A current Dimensions – 57x50mm (4 mounting holes) You’ll also need 5V power supply, and a USB to serial board (3.3V) in order to load the code, and which are not included with the…

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Amlogic S805 Datasheet Released

January 27th, 2015 4 comments

A datasheet release should not really be news, but not all companies are as open as Freescale, and possibly for fear of IP theft or patent trolls, most companies decide to keep datasheet, technical reference manuals, and other documentation confidential, and only release them under NDA, so it may take months before they come out, if ever. Thanks to Hardkernel and their ODROID-C1 board, Amlogic has allowed the release of Amlogic S805 datasheet (PDF 123 pages). The document is divided into two sections: Section I : System General Description Features Summary CPU and GPU subsystem Memory Map Power Domain Clock and Reset Unit System Boot General Purpose Input/Output (GPIO) Interrupt Controller Direct Memory Access (DMAC) Timer Real Time Clock Section II: Interfaces MMC/SD/SDIO Controller Inter-Integrated Circuit (I2C) Serial Peripheral Interface Communication Controller Serial Peripheral Interface Flash Controller (SPI) Universal Asynchronous Receiver and Transmitter (UART) Infrared Remote Universal Serial Bus (USB) Pulse-width Modulation (PWM) SAR ADC Ethernet MAC Amlogic normally releases…

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X29 Intel Celeron J1800 / J1900 mini PC Sells for $125 and Up

January 26th, 2015 10 comments

Today, somebody asked me to test 4K output on Intel Atom Z3735F, but I can’t do that since the platform only supports 1080p. As I just posted my unboxing of MeLE PCG03 mini PC, I noticed several ICs where added for extra functionalities, and people also started to complain about lack of Gigabit Ethernet, Fast Ethernet via a USB bridge, no USB 3.0, and no SATA. That’s what happens when you use a Tablet SoC in a mini PC, but if you’re ready to pay a little more, you could still get a mini PC with a proper desktop processor (Bay Trail-D) including SATA, USB 3.0, and Gigabit Ethernet (maybe) for about $125 (shipped) with X29-J1800 computer powered by Intel Celeron J1800 (10W TDP). That’s the price for the barebone system without RAM or storage, and if you want a complete system with 32GB eMMC and 4GB RAM the price goes up to about $200 including shipping via DHL. The…

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MeLE PCG03 Windows 8.1 Fanless mini PC Unboxing

January 26th, 2015 11 comments

MeLE PCG03 was announced in October 2014 with an aggressive price tag of $49 for large orders for barebone systems, and was said to support Windows 8.1 or Android 4.4. MeLE is PCG03 now is now available with 2GB RAM, and 32GB eMMC, and with a properly licensed “Windows 8.1 with Bing NTE”, but no Android for $149 on Ebay, or Aliexpress, and it should eventually show up on MeLE Amazon store. The company sent me a sample for review, so I’ll start by listing the updated specifications, and taking pictures today, before running benchmarks, trying out Kodi, and trying Ubuntu in other posts. MeLE PCG03 Specifications The look of the device and available ports have slightly changed since the first prototype was revealed last year. SoC – Intel Atom Z3735F “Bay Trail” quad core processor @ 1.33 GHz (Bust freq: 1.83 GHz) with Intel HD graphics System Memory – 2 GB DDR3L Storage – 32 GB eMMC + SD…

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4K Output and Video Playback Capability Tested on 6 ARM based mini PCs and Boards

January 26th, 2015 7 comments

Since I’ve now got a 4K TV, I’ve decided to test 4K support for six different platforms based on Rockchip, Allwinner, Amlogic, Realtek, HiSilicon, and Mstar processors. For all these platforms I’ll report HDMI 4K output options, user interface resolution, and take close up pictures of the screen while displaying a 4K 1×1 grid picture and video with the image players, and video players such as MX Player or XBMC depending which are available in the firmware. Test Setup and Procedure I’m using LG 42UB820T 42″ UltraHD television with an HDMI cable connected to HDMI 1 port of the TV. Please note that my TV only support 8-bit color depth / YCbCr 4:2:0 which may cause compatibility issues with some boxes, at least the ones based on RK3288 processor, for 2160p 50Hz or 60Hz mode. I’ll take close-up pictures of the screen with a Canon PowerShot A2300HD camera by holding it with my hand (i.e. no tripod). This is important,…

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Linux 3D GPU Acceleration Demo on Rockchip RK3288 based Firefly Board

January 26th, 2015 6 comments

Several devices and development boards based on Rockchip RK3288 processor already support Linux, usually with images based on Ubuntu, including Ugoos UM3 / UT3, Open Hour Chameleon, and Firefly-RK3288 among others. What these images lack however, is support for 2D and 3D graphics acceleration with the GPU, and hardware video decoding/encoding with the VPU. But Jas-hacks has made some progress with 3D graphics support. He has managed to add GPU acceleration via EGL/OpenGL ES bringing 3D acceleration to the platform, but 2D support is not there yet, meaning X11 still heavily relies on software rendering. But the implementation is still good enough to run the usual es2gears and glmark2-es2 benchmarks. as well as some WebGL demos in Chromium. Performance is currently underwhelming, with 50 points in glmark-es2, even a bit lower than the score (54 points) I got with ODROID-X board powered by Exynos 4412 SoC with a Mali-400MP4 GPU, and running Unity desktop in Ubuntu Linaro 12.11. The desktop…

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