Home > Android, Hardware, Rockchip RK31xx > $96 Kingnovel K-R42-1 (MK888) Android Set-top Box Powered by RK3188 Processor

$96 Kingnovel K-R42-1 (MK888) Android Set-top Box Powered by RK3188 Processor

I’ve now got several RK3188 mini PCs, but I hadn’t found full sized set-top boxes based on Rockchip RK3188 quad core processor with Ethernet, and multiple USB ports. Thanks to a post in mini PC G+ community, we have now a nice looking quad core STB called K-R42-1 by Kingnovel, which might be the manufacturer design house behind the device, and sold for  $96 including shipping in one Aliexpress store under the model name MK888.

MK888

K-R42-1 / MK888 Specifications:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3188 quad Cortex-A9 CPU @ 1.6 GHz + Mali-400 MP4 GPU @ 500 MHz
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • Storage – 8GB Nand Flash +  MicroSD slot (Up to 32GB)
  • Connectivity
    • 10/100M Ethernet
    • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n with external antenna
    • Bluetooth EDR 2.0
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.3 + AV output jack
  • Audio Output – HDMI + S/PDIF
  • Video Codecs (Decode) – MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.263, H.264 (up to 60 Mbps), AVS, VC-1, RV, VP6/VP8, Sorenson Spark, MVC @ 1080p60
  • Video Codecs (Encode) – H.264, VP8, and MVC @ 1080p
  • Audio Codecs – MP1,MP2,MP3,WMA,WAV,OGG,OGA,APE,FLAC,AAC,M4A,3GPP…etc
  • USB – 2x USB Host
  • Misc – IR port
  • Power – 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – 142x95x21 mm

The device is said to come with a power adapter, an HDMI Cable, and a user’s manual. In the picture below from Aliexpress, there’s one additional port referred to as “micro HDMI”, just next to the full HDMI port, but I’m not convinced… It might be a micro USB port instead.
MK888_rear_panel
Finally, MK888 is currently running Android 4.1.1, but will be upgrade to Android 4.2.2. At $96, it seems quite cheap compared to RK3188 based mini PCs, many of which cost nearly the same, but with less features.

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  1. Warwager
    June 2nd, 2013 at 15:42 | #1

    Nice device with all the usually requested features and others like IR and the price seems decent.
    Can’t wait for you to do a review. The picture of the back of the device seems to indicate an external antenna, perhaps the wifi on this thing will be good too.
    If so, ladies and germs, we have a potential winner.

  2. vtomin
    June 2nd, 2013 at 16:34 | #2

    It would be interesting to test the data transfer speed via Ethernet port.

  3. Robbe
    June 2nd, 2013 at 16:55 | #3

    This one with Linux would be a dream

  4. renw0rp
    June 2nd, 2013 at 18:08 | #4

    It’s a pity it is not gigabit ethernet (as in some i.mx6 based boards which also have SATA)

    Anywyas seems to be great product, for me much better than “tv sticks”. I’m wondering why would you need micro-HDMI? Would it be possible to connect 2 displays? Anyways I doubt it can drive double resolution, so another USB port would be more useful.

  5. June 3rd, 2013 at 02:11 | #5

    @renw0rp
    Probably it’s just micro-USB next to HDMI, not “micro-HDMI”

  6. klein
    June 3rd, 2013 at 11:03 | #6

    i hope :
    1 that micro-usb(not micro hdmi) and OTG, i need usb-b port (msc).
    2 a good Wifi: realtek or ralink have open drivers w/master mode.
    3 4.2 upgrade for miracast / miracast.

    yes w/av out, xbmc its a winner… but anyone know Kingnovel?, they ‘ve other products?, they support upgrades w/own team?, are open source friendly?… almost like rikomagic?

    very interesant, is posible wait for a review here CNX?

  7. June 3rd, 2013 at 11:11 | #7

    @klein
    I’ll try to get one, but normally I try to avoid spending money on hardware I don’t need, so I rely on Chinese stores to send me a sample.
    Kingnovel is not a reseller, and they’re probably not a manufacturer either. They mention they have 10 hardware engineers, so I guess they may design the hardware, outsource software and manufacturing to third parties, and sell in bulk to resellers. I’m not sure, just my guess based on their website.

  8. klein
    June 3rd, 2013 at 11:50 | #8

    also thats weird not only the micro hdmi in picture, also say hdmi 1.3 and follow the g+ link found decode h264 at 60mbps, the last 2 not correspond to rk3188(hdmi 1.4 , h264@100mbps is reported in a soc comparison review) , so many errors, is not good signal for a unknown kingsnovel, how is the qa+qc w/errors in Pcb?

  9. klein
    June 3rd, 2013 at 11:56 | #9

    @cnxsoft

    thanks in advance!
    if they’re clever send you a sample. if they’re new must known that a reviews yours is very important for trust.

  10. Sander
    June 4th, 2013 at 04:42 | #10

    Cool: it has the looks of a arty netbook or router…

  11. 4WheelSpyder
    June 4th, 2013 at 09:10 | #11

    Way to go with this design! This is exactly what I am looking for – RJ45 connector – SPDIF interface. The question is, can it handle 1080p files and output it in true 1080p @60Hz without a stutter. If that can be confirmed, my order will be placed. Looking forward to the review!

  12. George
    June 4th, 2013 at 15:57 | #12

    @renw0rp
    Yes, they claim dual screen is supported. That’s why 2 HDMI ports are present.

  13. Eric
    June 13th, 2013 at 11:50 | #13

    This mark on the ports is wrong, this tv box only have one hdmi port, the one near hdmi port should be the OTG port, not micro hdmi port.

  14. Klein
    June 20th, 2013 at 23:41 | #14

    the picture in aliexpress now say “OTG”, so it was a mistake (micro hdmi).
    I’m looking for a review, its cheap and have all my needs, but i dont known Kingnovel… so waiting 2 see if the 4.2 firmware is ok and have miracast, also if the wifi work ok (fast and reliable).
    Ported linux in this unknown device is beyond my dreams…

  15. June 21st, 2013 at 13:02 | #15

    I( Geekbuying) is working on a review for this device, we just get the stock rom,and made them change the internal storage ( the stock rom is coming only 540MB left in internal storage, it is no good, i have made them change to 1.97G).

  16. HM
    June 21st, 2013 at 19:59 | #16

    @Eric
    Thank you, looking forward to the review. Could you also include in your review if the device can passthrough dolby digital?

  17. klein
    June 23rd, 2013 at 12:05 | #17

    @Eric
    thanks, i’m waiting for a review also, because i don’t known Kingnovel, please can you say what is the wifi chip? reach 150mbps stable? throughput avg/max is ok? hdmi is 1.4 as all rk3188, so it support 3d tv?
    When GB begin to sell it and how much?
    sorry for all questions, i’m waiting for long, but also consider other stb or a mk802iv+mini hdmi2av…
    thanks everyone for your time.

  18. June 23rd, 2013 at 12:39 | #18

    @klein
    I’ve also been told I would get one, but this is never sure 100%. If I do get one I’ll post a review.
    Price has come down a little as well, and it can be found for $90 or just below now.
    If the firmware proves to be good, I think we may have a winner here.

  19. June 24th, 2013 at 10:59 | #19

    Some more picture, screenshot, and benchmarks http://blog.geekbuying.com/index.php/2013/06/24/k-r42first-rk3188-quad-core-tv-box-review/

    GeekBuying also tested some apps, connected USB drive, webcam and all work, The only downside is Netflix.

  20. June 28th, 2013 at 15:32 | #20

    Something very similar is on dealextreme for $96 including a remote control – http://dx.com/p/cheerlink-quad-core-android-4-2-hd-1080p-network-media-player-w-1gb-ram-8gb-rom-black-white-224582

  21. Anton
    July 6th, 2013 at 05:55 | #21

    Just got it and …
    CONS – No 1080p rom , no Bluetooth , and no luck with XBMC 1080p movies even despite the so much more powerful new 28nm generation Rockchip RK3188 which supposed to give away less heat. I don’t see the point of watching 1080p movies on 720p max accepted resolution.

  22. July 7th, 2013 at 15:22 | #22

    It must be popular, as there’s another “copy” with Jesurun DX05 for $96 including an IR remote – http://dx.com/p/jesurun-dx05-quad-core-android-4-2-2-google-tv-player-w-2gb-ram-8gb-rom-black-silver-eu-plug-226796

  23. July 7th, 2013 at 15:29 | #23

    @Anton
    I think you need to use XBMC Custom XAF (using an external player) with RK3188, because AFAIK hardware video decoding has not been implemented yet.

    I’ve heard 1080p ROM may make RK3188 mini PCs overheat, but maybe for this larger device it would not be a problem if they could provide one.

    Is it possible to add a bluetooth dongle? Is there a menu for Bluetooth in the settings?

  24. mj
  25. July 8th, 2013 at 16:29 | #25

    @mj
    Yes, price has come down since I wrote the article, and you also find it around $82 in Aliexpress. [Edit: Sorry, I’m wrong I’ve just noticed $82 is for the 1GB RAM version – http://www.aliexpress.com/item/2013-Newest-Arrival-CS918-Mini-pc-TV-box-MK888-Quad-core-RK3188-OS-4-2-2G/1037574570.html)

  26. bl
    July 10th, 2013 at 20:20 | #26

    geekbuying blog says no bluetooth onboard…
    looking at pcb it seems the same device as the cs918

  27. July 10th, 2013 at 21:06 | #27

    @bl
    It turns out there are two versions: one with Bluetooth, one without.

  28. Noel
    July 12th, 2013 at 23:57 | #28

    I really like this for use as a music server (i.e. external HDD hooked up to these tiny devices and then these devices hooked up to a small monitor and good speaker system).

    I wonder if they would work like this,
    AND
    – if they can be left on for months together (without getting overheated or melted)
    – If they can be controlled from the android phones.

  29. July 13th, 2013 at 09:34 | #29

    @Noel
    In theory yes. In practice, you have to see if the firmware supports it. If the device gets popular, firmware is likely to be upgraded regularly, so I’m pretty confident USB HDD will be supported.

    Provided there’s sufficient ventilation overheating should not be an issue. I’ve personally used many devices like this, and never experienced overheating issues. Others have however. But as long as you don’t block ventilation holes, or put the device in a very hot room, it should not be an issue.

    Rockchip provides an app to control such devices with an Android phone. Alternatively, you can also use DroidMote.

    If you want to connect your speaker system via S/PDIF with audio pass-through, you may want to wait for other people to test it. This kind of feature always seems to be low priority.

  30. Mark
    July 27th, 2013 at 08:18 | #30

    I just got this! And I must say it blows the mk802III out of the water! The external antenna is strong enough to pick up my neighbors WiFi, the mk802III would barely detect mine…and it was in the same room! The ONLY down fall to this, as with every other android on TV thing, is the fact that there’s yet to be one great answer for how to interact with them. The best for normal use is though your phone or tablet but good luck trying to grab and move something around the home screen with that ;-). Over all this thing is blazing fast, little to no lag, streams video perfectly. It is the best that I’ve used.pick one up…just don’t get to antsy because it takes about a month to get it ;-)

  31. mj
    August 2nd, 2013 at 22:00 | #31

    Now on Aliexpress under code like CS918 or EKB111 for around $85 shipped. 2GB RAM.
    Bluetooth version around $93 by kimdecent http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Free-shipping-cs918-android-tv-box-RK3188-quad-core-2gb-ram-8gb-rom-1920x1080P-bluethooth/1084272914.html

  32. adr
    November 21st, 2013 at 17:49 | #32

    Find a serious defect in my Kingnovel K-R42-1 (MK888)
    When it connected to a TV video image permanently lost every 5-10 seconds. I tried to connect it via other HDMI cable and other power supply, but the problem remained – image losts.
    Can any help me with it?

  33. onebir
    February 17th, 2014 at 22:37 | #33
  34. Gabe
  35. gizmomelb
    April 14th, 2014 at 18:27 | #35

    Beyond XBMC ( http://www.freaktab.com/showthread.php?9603-Beyond-XBMC ) has support for RK3188 and 1080p hardware accelerated playback (supposedly – I’m waiting on my $40 CS918 to be delivered, so I cannot test at the moment)

  36. Joe Bucks
    May 7th, 2014 at 14:07 | #36

    gizmomelb :
    Beyond XBMC ( http://www.freaktab.com/showthread.php?9603-Beyond-XBMC ) has support for RK3188 and 1080p hardware accelerated playback (supposedly – I’m waiting on my $40 CS918 to be delivered, so I cannot test at the moment)

    Hi Gizmomelb, where can I pick one up for only $40?
    Thanks.

  37. onebir
    May 7th, 2014 at 17:32 | #37

    @Joe Bucks
    Yeah $40 is a bargain! ~$70 seems more usual.

  38. Joe Bucks
    May 9th, 2014 at 07:54 | #38

    onebir :
    @Joe Bucks
    Yeah $40 is a bargain! ~$70 seems more usual.

    I did find this one one E-bay however,but is was from a pretty new seller,and he never answered my
    questions,so I did not buy one.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Smart-TV-BOX-mini-PC-CS918-Quad-Core-Android-4-2-Bluetooth-Wi-Fi-1080P-Antenna-/251524026516?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a90001094

    Seemingly he sold about 55 pieces,so I will be following his feedback profile to see if he really delivered
    the goods as advertised.

  39. onebir
    May 9th, 2014 at 12:26 | #39

    @Joe Bucks
    ‘Listing has ended’ :( Maybe a lot from a liquidation or something…

  40. Gabe
  41. Gabe
  1. June 2nd, 2013 at 21:02 | #1
  2. June 4th, 2013 at 11:28 | #2
  3. June 5th, 2013 at 13:15 | #3
  4. June 6th, 2013 at 16:27 | #4
  5. June 13th, 2013 at 14:35 | #5
  6. June 20th, 2013 at 20:20 | #6
  7. June 21st, 2013 at 19:14 | #7
  8. July 28th, 2013 at 15:25 | #8
  9. August 9th, 2013 at 20:50 | #9
  10. November 13th, 2013 at 12:20 | #10
  11. January 2nd, 2014 at 23:38 | #11
  12. June 18th, 2014 at 21:00 | #12
  13. June 24th, 2014 at 18:00 | #13