We now have so many Amlogic S912 Android TV boxes on the market, it becomes hard for companies to differentiate, but Geniatech is offering something different with their Geniatech/Mygica ATV1960 model thanks to a dual TV tuner support either ATSC or DVB-T2 and allowing you to watch a program, while recording another.
Geniatech/Mygica ATV1960 specifications:
SoC – Amlogic S912 octa-core ARM Cortex A53 processor @ up to 1.5 GHz with ARM Mali-820MP3 GPU
System Memory – 2GB DDR3
Storage – 16GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot + 2.5″ SATA bay (cover on the bottom of the case)
Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60 Hz
Audio Output – HDMI, and optical S/PDIF
Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, dual band WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac
USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports
Tuner – Dual Digital TV Tuner (ATSC/T2); one for live watching, another for recording; EPG and PVR supported.
Misc – IR receiver, reset pinhole
Power Supply – 5V/2A
Dimensions – 160 x 110 x 33 mm
Weight – 237 grams
The exact specifications are of the device are hard to find since the people who updated the company’s website did not do such a good job. While all other Amlogic S912 TV boxes are running Android 6.0, ATV1960 is said to run Android 5.1, something that’s unlikely but possible in case the drivers for the tuners could not be re-built for Android 6.0.
We also could not see any demo of the device yet, and price and availability are not available yet. ATV1960 will likely be sold under the Mygica brand, possibly with some specifications tweaks, as the company has done in the past with other models. You can find more – but not-so-accurate – information on Geniatech ATV1960 product page.
Geniatech is better known for their set-top boxes, and the company also offer development board as well as custom design for system-on-modules based on Amlogic and Qualcomm processor. Their latest board dubbed Developer Board IV looks fairly similar to 96boards compliant Dragonboard 410c board with its Snapdragon 410 processor, but adds an Ethernet port, and an RTC battery.
Developer Board 4 specifications:
SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (APQ8016) quad-core ARM Cortex A53 processor @ 1.2 GHz with Adreno 306 GPU
Dimensions – 85×60 mm (96Boards CE dimensions: 85×54)
Temperature Range – Operating: -25°C to +70°C
96Boards CE specifications only support Ethernet on their 96Board CE Extended specifications with much larger PCB dimensions (85×100 mm), and the dimensions do not comply with either standard or extended specifications. But Geniatech has taken most of 96Boards specifications, and made a mostly compatible with some useful extra features.
The company only list Android 5.1 operating system, but it’s quite likely any operating systems support by Linaro/96Boards, and working on Dragonboard 410c will also work on Developer Board IV.
I could not find any links to purchase the board, and I understand Geniatech is only working with companies for such board, so it’s not an hobbyist board that anybody can buy like DragonBoard 410c. You’ll find a few more details on the product page.
While there are way too many Amlogic S905 TV boxes to keep up, the number of TV sticks based on the processor is fairly low, and until today I had only heard about Guleek A8 a few months ago, but I can’t even see it for sale anywhere.Potential reason include people have released TV stick are not that convenient, or electronic design houses had issues to cool the thing down, as we’ve seen even some full-size TV boxes have issues with cooling. Nevertheless, Geniatech has designed their own Amlogic S905 TV stick called ATV195e with 1GB RAM, 8GB flash, and 802.11ac WiFi.
Geniatech ATV195e preliminary specifications:
SoC – Amlogic S905 quad core ARM Cortex-A53 @ up to 2.0GHz with penta core Mali-450MP GPU up to 750MHz
System Memory – 1GB DDR3
Storage – 8GB eMMC flash (2 to 32GB on-request)
Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60Hz with HDCP 2.2 support
Connectivity – WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac with external antenna
USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, 1x micro USB port
Misc – IR extender port
Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port
Dimensions – 80mm x 36mm x 13mm (metallic enclosure)
The stick runs Android 5.1, and ships with a USB Cable, a user’s manual, an IR extension cable, a remote control, and a power supply.
The TV stick is available now at least to distributors, but pricing has not been disclosed. You could also visit Geniatech ATV195e product page, but some of the information is currently conflicting especially in the “Specifications” section. On a related but different news, Geniatech also opened a European office in Germany after purchasing EyeTV business from Elgato.
A few months ago, I wrote about TBS AMD Moi Pro streaming server supporting up to 16 tuners and mostly targeting businesses, but I’ve also found out there are some consumers solutions such as Elgato EyeTV NetStream 4Sat that includes four antenna inputs for your satellite dish (DVB-S2/S), and the ability to stream live TV to any devices, using hardware video transcoding if need be, for example to Android or iOS smartphones. Versions with DVB-T2 and ATSC will soon be available.
EyeTV NetStream 4Sat specifications:
4x satellite inputs: F connector for RG-6/U coaxial satellite cable
DVB-S2 / DVB-S
Digital Universal LNB: Single, Twin/Dual, Quad or Quattro
Dimensions – 25 x 12.6 x 4.1 cm (suitable for wall-mounting)
Weight – 806 grams
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The networked tuner ships with an Ethernet cable, a power supply, and a Quick Start Guide.
All you need is a satellite dish with digital universal LNB or DiSEqC multiswitch to connect to the 4 RF inputs, and a Gigabit router to stream videos from the DVB streamer to your devices and computers with up to 4 simultaneous users watching different channels. Operating systems supported include Android, iOS, and Windows 7 or greater and Mac OS via EyeTV software. It is also said to work with SAT>IP certified receivers.
NetStream 4Sat has been available in Europe since 2014, and is listed on Amazon UK for £142.00 ($204.50 US) with mixed reviews ranging from “not smooth” or “Simply does not work. At all.” to “Glorious quality satellite TV anywhere in the house”, the same is true for EyeTV Netstream app. I could not find actual reviews of the device however.
Geniatech is apparently behind the product, and Charbax interviewed the company has now developed DVB-T2 and ATSC versions, with Geniatech models going under the name NetTV Quad.
Rockchip RK3368 TV boxes looked promising at the end of the summer, but ended up being disappointing, not because of their expected lower performance compared to RK3288, but simply because they could not deliver on their main selling point: 4K H.265 / H.264 video playback, and the sheer number of issues with the first devices selling for nearly the same price as equivalent Rockchip RK3288 devices. Rockchip RK3368 will soon have a worthy competitor with Amlogic S905, which won’t deliver amazing benchmark scores, but looks promising for its 4K 10-bit HEVC video playback, HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2, and historically Amlogic delivers better video playback than Rockchip. The first Amlogic S905 TV boxes should start shipping by the end of the month, and prices are starting very low, just over $40, thanks to competition between the many manufacturers launching devices based on the new Amlogic SoC.
That’s why I’ve decided to make a list of Amlogic S905 Android 5.1 TV boxes and sticks:
Geniatech ATV495 TV Box – TV box with 2GB RAM, 8 GB flash, Fast Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 2x USB 2.0 host ports and HDMI 2.0 and AV. Price: TBD
Geniatech ATV1950 STB – TV box with 2GB RAM, 16 GB flash, Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, 4x USB 2.0 host ports, HDMI 2.0, and dual tuner (ATSC/DVB-T/DVB-T2/ISDBT). Price: TBD
Ugoos AM1 – TV box with 2GB RAM, 16 GB flash, Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.0, 3x USB 2.0 host ports, and HDMI 2.0. Price: TBD
Ugoos AM2 – Largish TV stick/dongle with 1GB RAM, 8 GB flash, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth, 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB port, and HDMI 2.0 & AV outputs. Price: TBD
MXQ Pro TV Box – TV box with 1GB RAM, 8 GB flash, Fast Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth, 4x USB 2.0 host ports, and HDMI 2.0 & AV outputs. Price: $50 and up
Beelink MINI MX – TV box with 1GB RAM, 8 GB flash, Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth, 2x USB 2.0 host ports, and HDMI 2.0. Price: $42.99.
Guleek A8 Android TV Stick -> TV stick with 2GB RAM, 8 GB flash, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth, 1x USB 2.0 host port, 2x micro USB ports, and HDMI 2.0. Price: TBD
Eny EM95 -> TV box with 1 or 2GB RAM, 8 or 16 GB flash, Fast or Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0, 3x USB 2.0 host ports, and HDMI 2.0 and AV output. Price: $56.99 with 1GB/8GB configuration.
Acemax G9C – TV box with 2GB RAM, 8GB flash, Fast Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 2x USB 2.0 host ports, and HDMI 2.0 & AV ports. Price: TBD
Venz K1 Plus – TV box with 1 GB RAM, 8 GB flash, Fast Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 4x USB 2.0 host ports, and HDMI 2.0 and AV outputs. Price: $42.99. Venz K1 Plus Hybrid is another version with DVB-S2, DVB-T2, ISDB-T, DTMB, or ATSC tuner.
MXQ Plus – TV box with 1 GB RAM, 8 GB flash, Fast Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, a few USB 2.0 host ports, and HDMI 2.0 and AV outputs. Price: TBD.
Venz K5 – TV box with 2 GB RAM, 8 GB flash, Gigabit Ethernet, dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, a few USB 2.0 host ports, and HDMI 2.0. Price: TBD.
MXV Plus (MXV+) – TV box with 1 GB RAM, 8 GB flash, Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0, 3x USB 2.0 host ports, and HDMI 2.0. Price: $62.99.
Xiaomi 3 Mi Box – TV box with 1 GB RAM, 4 GB flash, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.1, 1x USB 2.0 host port, and HDMI 2.0 and AV ports. Price: $71.79. Please note: Chinese interface only!
Eweat M8V – TV box with 1 or 2 GB RAM, 8 or 16 GB flash, Gigabit Ethernet, dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0, 3x USB 2.0 host ports, and HDMI 2.0 & AV ports. Price: $78.78.
Measy B4TS – TV box with 1 GB RAM, 8 GB flash, Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0, 3x USB 2.0 host ports, and HDMI 2.0. Price: $66.29.
Quintex S905 – TV box with 1 GB RAM, 8 GB flash, Fast Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and optional Bluetooth 4.0, 2x USB 2.0 host ports, and HDMI 2.0 and AV output ports. Price: $78.
M9+ (M9 Plus) – TV box with 1 GB RAM, 8 GB flash, Fast Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0, 4x USB 2.0 host ports, and HDMI 2.0 and AV output ports. Price: $54.99.
Most of the devices come with 1GB RAM and 8GB flash, and price disparity is rather large. In this category the best values appear to be Beelink MINI MX and K1 Plus TV boxes at $43 both. The only TV stick, Guleek U8, is not for sale yet. Two TV boxes stand out in terms of specifications with 2GB RAM, 16GB flash, Gigabit Ethernet, and 802.11ac, namely Ugoos AM1 and Geniatech ATV1950, with the latter also including a dual tuner, but they are not for sale yet.
Amlogic S905 is the first 64-bit ARM processor of the company, with four Cortex A53 cores, a Mali-450MP GPU, as well as support for HDMI 2.0, and 10-bit HEVC video decoding. It will come to market before S912 processor featuring a Mali-T7xx GPU, and compete with Rockchip RK3368 octa-core processor.
I’ve already features two Amlogic S905 TV boxes a few months ago with Acemax G9C and Eny EM95, but these two products were announced several months before the actual release, and now several other products have been announced, and should become available very soon. Geniatech unveiled two products based on Amlogic S905: ATV495 Android TV box, and ATV1950 Android digital TV receiver with dual ATSC, DVB-T, or ISDBT tuners, while Guleek A8 is an Amlogic S905 Android TV stick.
Geniatech ATV495 TV Box
SoC – Amlogic S905 quad core ARM Cortex-A53 @ up to 2.0GHz with a quad core Mali-450MP GPU up to 750MHz
System Memory – 2GB RAM
Storage – 8GB flash + micro SD card slot
Video & Audio Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60Hz with support for HDCP 2.2 , AV output (CVBS)
SoC – Amlogic S905 quad core ARM Cortex-A53 @ up to 2.0GHz with a quad core Mali-450MP GPU up to 750MHz
System Memory – 2GB RAM
Storage – 16GB flash + micro SD card slot
Video & Audio Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60Hz with support for HDCP 2.2
Connectivity – Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac
Dual Digital TV Tuner built-in (ATSC/DVB-T/DVB-T2/ISDBT) for simultaneous watching and recording
USB – 4x USB 2.0 host ports
Misc- Power button, IR receiver
Power Supply – DC 5V/2A
Dimensions – 160x110x33 mm
You can may find more details on Geniatech ATV1950 page, but the pictures don’t match the specs, which are themselves inconsistent on the product page, and even the dual tuners are missing from the pictures, despite being prominently advertised on multiple places and on marketing materials.
Guleek A8 Android TV Stick
Guleek A8 specifications:
SoC – Amlogic S905 quad core ARM Cortex-A53 @ up to 2.0GHz with quad core Mali-450MP GPU up to 750MHz
System Memory – 2GB DDR3
Storage – 8GB eMMC flash + micro SD card slot
Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60Hz with HDCP 2.2
Audio – HDMI, AV, optical S/PDIF
Connectivity – WiFi 802.11 b/g/n (AP6212 by default, with RTL8189,AP6330,AP6335 supported for dual band or/and 802.11ac)
USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, 2x micro USB port (one OTG, one for power only)
Misc – FN key
Power Supply – 5V/2A via micro USB port
Dimensions – N/A
The stick is one of the rare Amlogic S905 products currently listed for sale, and you can find it for $75 + shipping on Aliexpress. The seller has good feedback, but there’s no way to tell whether the TV dongle is really ready to ship or not.
All three devices run Android 5.1, and Amlogic S905 is the first low cost SoC that supports both HDMI 2.0 and 10-bit HEVC. In my past reviews, I’ve also noticed that video capabilities of Amlogic based devices in Kodi and Antutu Video Tester are usually much better than competitors such as Rockchip, but we’ll have to find out with actual devices.
I’ve already tested some Android TV boxes with tuners such as HD18T (DVB-T2) and WeTek Play (DVB-S2) , but they were all based on Amlogic AML8726-MX dual core processor. Geniatech recently sent me Mygica ATV586 quad core Android DVB-T2 receiver based on Amlogic S805 processor. I’ve already taken a few pictures, and look at the hardware components, so today, I’ll write the review, mainly focusing on the live TV program capabilities including PVR and Timeshifting.
First Boot, Settings and First Impressions
I’ve connected a hard drive, a webcam, MeLE F10 Deluxe RF dongle, and a keyboard (for screenshots) to the device’s USB ports, as well as HDMI and Ethernet cables, and a TV antenna cable, before connecting the 5V power adapter to start the device. When everything is connected, the boot takes about 1 minute 35 seconds, but without USB devices, it drops down to 44 seconds. Boot time is not something that Geniatech appears to focus on, as also had slow boot times with Mygica ATV1900AC.
It all then start with a Welcome screen, leading to a wizard to configure the language (English, Simplified Chinese, or Traditional Chinese) , the Screen resolution and scaling, and networking connectivity (Ethernet or WiFi). What’s missing from the wizard is timezone selection, so you’ll have to configure it in the Android settings, and it’s quite important to do so, if you plan to use EPG to record videos.
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Once this done, you’ll get to the user interface with shortcuts to favorites, as well as icons launch Kodi, Mygica and Google Play Stores, access the list opf apps and settings, as well as a black window reading “No Program, Please click ‘Here’ to scan!”. I did that, and at the beginning all I had was a black screen, but I went back again, and I was able to access the Search menu, set the country to “Thailand”, and start scanning for channels.
Other supported countries include France, Myanmar, Taiwan, Canada, Israel, Singapore, Russia, UK, Italy, Australia, and Colombia. The “DTV player” user interface is actually exactly the same as in HD18T, except the list of countries is longer, and all features work as expect. Once scanning was completed, there was 30 TV channels detected in either SD or HD resolutions.
You can now watch the TV channels you wish, but I’ll get back to that later. Going back to the home screen, you’ll see the latest selected TV channel displayed in that black window. I find this rather annoying personally, but it’s probably just a matter of preference.
Now let’s check the settings.
If they look familiar, it’s because it’s the usual Amlogic settings found in MXQ S85, EM6Q-MXQ, MINIX NEO X6, and most other Amlogic TV boxes but with a different background. The settings are mostly the same as in MINIX NEO X6:
Digital Audio Output (Auto, PCM, SPDIF passthrough, or HDMI passthrough)
Other – System Update: Local file or OTA, and “More Settings” for standard Android Settings.
The system set the resolution to 1080p50 automatically, and I used this setting. WiFi and Ethernet could connect without issue, but Bluetooth failed. Bluetooth can only be found in the standard Android settings
ATV586 comes with 8 GB storage with a single 6.95GB partition, and 4.30 GB free. The “About device” section reports model number is “XS″, and the system runs Android 4.4.2 on top of Linux kernel 3.10.33, just like other S805 boxes I tested previously. The firmware is rooted.
Google Play Store worked OK, and I could install most app needed for review through the store, except Vidonn Smartband. I also scrolled through the list of apps of I previously installed on other devices, and some other apps were incompatible: Thailand Post & Track, Plants vs Zombies 2, and the usual SMS and GPS apps. For overall Play Store support is good, and better than with the company’s ATV1900AC mini PC.
There’s no power button on the unit, and a short press on the remote will go to standby mode, while a long press will show a menu asking whether you want to go into Standby or Reboot, meaning there’s no clean power off option. Talking about the remote control, the included Mygica KR-21 remote works pretty well with the DTV app (except to input recording time) and Kodi, and the range is very good, as it was still working 10 meters away. You’d still want to use another input device (air mouse, wireless keyboard, smartphone app..) to use a web browser, a play some games… As with other S805 devices, the temperature is pretty cool, as the maximum temperature of the top and bottom of the case was respectively 45°C and 43°C after running Antutu 5.7.
The firmware is very stable, but at times it feels a bit sluggish, especially while apps are installed or are updating, as well as inside “DTV Player” app used to watch DVB-T2 channels, as it does not always feel as responsive as it should.
Since I’ve already reviewed three Android 4.4 boxes based on Amlogic S805, results were mostly satisfactory, and my time is limited, I’ll refer you to MXQ S85 review for Kodi performance under the platform. I still quickly tested H.264 and H.265 in Kodi 14.2 “Mygica Edition” as well as HDMI pass-through. 1080p H.264 video played perfectly, but a 1080p H.265 video would only play at 10 fps due to software decoding.
Playing audio through my AV receiver using HDMI pass-through would only generate noise for Dolby and DTS audio, even after settings Kodi and the system to use HDMI pass-through.
Finally, I’ve also run the latest Antutu Video Tester 3.0 to get a reference point for Amlogic S805 platforms.
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683 points is quite lower than Amlogic S812 based ATV1900AC’s 1,059 points, but it was probably to be expected since Amlogic S805 does not support 4K videos. It’s still higher than the mere 532 points achieved by Beelink i68 (RK3368). Please note again that Antutu Video Tester 2.2 and Antutu Video Tester 3.0 scores can’t be compared as for example, ATV586 got 490 points in version 2.2.
Tuner App in ATV586
The main selling point of this device is support for digital tuners, DVB-T2 in the device under test, or ATSC in the other version. I’ve already explained about first time setup and autoscan in the first section of this review, so let’s look at overlay data and menu.
We’ve got the channel number and name and some EPG info with current program and upcoming program, and as well as icons to adjust the aspect ratio (16:9, 4:3, full), access EPG, select the audio language, configure TeleText and record the current program.
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The EPG data looks great, as the device got data for 7 days for all channels, and for once, the app also supports complex languages such as Thai. You can then select one or more programs from the program guide, and schedule a recording once, daily or weekly.
Once you have scheduled a few recording, you may want to press the red button on the remote control to access the schedule list.
One minute before the program is set to start, a pop-up window will show up asking you to go to the app, or it will go there within one minute. That means background recording is not possible, DTV Player app must be in the foreground in order to record a program, and you can’t do any other tasks during recording. You could also record a program manually, by pressing the record button, and inputting the time in minutes. The app will automatically detect external storage, and partitions available to record program. It will select one automatically, and create a directory called TVRecordFiles, which you can access with Kodi to playback later, or via the PVR Manager in the settings menu of DTV Player app.
The setup menu will let you change the default recording path, set TimeShilting time, enter TimeShitfing mode, and some other settings which you can see in the video where I show Live TV features in ATV586, or in HD18T mini review as the options are the same.
Overall the implementation is much better than in HD18T, as everything works, however I found the responsiveness of the app could be improved, and more importantly, sometimes the video will be choppy, audio cut, and/or audio & video may be out of sync, especially while changing channels, but this should only last a few seconds.
Finally, the user’s manual mentions DTV Viewer app that’s supposed to stream live TV to up to 2 mobile device. The QR code redirects to DTV Viewer on Google Play, but the link is not working at the time of writing, and the company did not reply to my email asking for clarifications.
Network Performance (Wi-Fi and Ethernet)
I’m using a 278 MB file transferred between a SAMBA share and the internal flash to test network performance, repeating the test three times with ES File Explorer. Wi-Fi transfer speed is a little disappointing @ 2.1 MB/s on average, quite lower than MXQ S85 or EM6Q-MXQ reaching close to 3MB/s.
WiFi Throughput in MB/s
iperf looks even worse, maybe because I’m using full duplex transfer (iperf -t 60 -c server -d):
A FAT32 (micro SD) partition, as well as NTFS and exFAT partitions on my USB 3.0 hard drive could be mounted and accessed in read/write mode.
USB hard drive and internal flash performance were tested with A1 SD Bench app. The read and write speeds were respectively 18.91 MB/s, and 23.27MB/s for the NTFS partition (mounted to /storage/external_storage/sda1), not an exciting results, but again pretty much in line with MXQ S85 performance. exFAT performance was even lower at 13.70MB/s and 2.12 MB/s, or the lower combined (R+W) performance I’ve reported so far. Make sure you use an NTFS drive on this device…
Read and Write Speeds in MB/s
The internal storage reads at 22.87Mb/s and writes at 12.18 MB/s, less than average among all devices, but still the fastest storage I found in the four Amlogic S805 devices I tested. It’s right above MINIX NEO X6, and much better than MXQ S85, so I wonder where the sluggishness I experience during testing comes from…
Read and Write Speed in MB/s
The “Test / Echo Service” in Skype worked, as well as a normal call, and the same could be said about Google Hangouts. Both apps used a UVC webcam connected to a USB port of the device.
Please refer to previous reviews for gaming performance on Amlogic S805 platforms.
Mygica ATV586 Benchmarks
Again, I’ll keep it short here since S805 is a well known and tested platform by just running CPU-Z and Antutu 5.7.1 in order to make sure the system performs as expected.
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The surprise here is that they boosted the CPU frequency to 1.61 GHz instead of 1.49 GHz in the other platforms I tested. It’s not the first time an Amlogic S805 is clocked as that frequency though, as I had read about the higher clock for ODROID-C1(+) board firmware. The rest of the information is pretty much as should be expected. The model name is XS and the board name stvm8b.
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The higher frequency shows in Antutu 5 score, as ATV586 gets 18,071 point, while for instance, MXQ S85 got 16,448 points with the firmware I tested in October 2014.
Mygica ATV586 is the first quad core Android box with tuner that I’ve tested, and the implementation of the DTV software, is way better than I experienced in HD18T DVB-T2 receiver, as multiple countries are supported, EPG, PVR and Timeshifting functions are all working. Performance is also on par with other Amlogic S805 TV boxes such as MINIX NEO X6 or MXQ S85. However, I did notice some slowdowns in the system and “DTV player” app from time to time, something I hope can be solved in subsequent firmware upgrades
Well tested platform (Amlogic S805) and stable firmware.
All DTV features advertised work out of the box: Autoscan, EPG, PVR, TimeShifting, complex languages (at least Thai) are handled correctly
HEVC/H.265 hardware video decoding support. Working in MX Player, but not with Kodi “Mygica Edition” yet
USB webcam worked in Skype and Google Hangouts
Future update: Streaming live TV to up to two Android smartphone or tablet using DTV Viewer app
System and DTV Player app may experience noticeable slowdowns. For the latter, video and audio are often affected for several seconds right after switching channels.
Wi-Fi performance is less than average
Power not controlled by MCU (only standby or reboot are available)
USB exFAT storage performance is very poor (NTFS is OK)
4K TV boxes based on Amlogic S812 processor have been around for about 9 months, and I already reviewed MINIX NEO X8-H Plus and CX-S806 mini PCs, but Mygica ATV1900AC is one of the first to support Android Lollipop, so I though it would be interesting to see the progress made compared to devices that run Android KitKat. I’ve already taken apart the TV Box, and found some interesting Toshiba eMMC flash and Realtek 802.11ac WiFi chips on the board, but today, I’ll test the firmware including stability, features and performance in this review.
First Boot, Settings and First Impressions
I’ve connected all ports of the device using the four USB host port with a webcam, hard drive, an RF dongle for a wireless gamepad, the RF dongle for the included remote, as well as inserting an HDMI cable, an optical audio cable S/PDIF, an Ethernet cable to Gigabit switch, and a Class 10 micro SD card. Finally I connected the power cable, and the device started straightaway. The boot took a long 1 minute 40 second to complete, so I disconnected all USB devices, except the one required for the remote, and boot time dropped to a more respectable 50 seconds, but I was still expecting a much faster boot.
“Mygica Android 5.0” Launcher (Click for Original Size)
“Home Screen” Launcher (Click for Original Size)
You’ll then be offered to choose your launched between “Mygica Android 5.0” and “Home Screen”, with the latter looking very similar to Google’s Android TV launcher. I still prefer the first one, and that’s the one I used for most of the review, although it misses the Status Bar which makes it a little harder to use with an air mouse, as I had to use the remote control to press the “Home” key.
Kodi 14.2 “Mygica Edition”, YouTube, the Browser, Mygica store, Google Play, Netflix, 4K MoviePlayer and Facebook were all pre-installed and set as the shortcut in the interfaces. Other pre-installed apps include Miracast and Crackle.
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There’s also Settings page on the right that will let you configure various aspect of the system:
Wi-Fi – Enable/Disable WiFi, Select ESSID, Connect via WPS…
Ethernet – Enable/Disable Ethernet, select Fixed IP or DHCP, configure Proxy if needed
Manage Apps – Open, stop, uninstall, clear data, cache, or defaults for a given app
Date & Time – Automatic Date & Time On/Off. The timezone however must be set via “More Setting”
Software Updates – Local or automatic updates
Language – List of languages for Android UI (Check walk-through video below for a complete list).
What you won’t find here are options to set audio output like PCM, or HDMI / SPDIF pass-through, and it won’t be in “More Setting” either, and instead, you need to go to the list of app, and access another Settings app (Icon with white background) to have more options, many of which are already accessible from the list above, and go to Device->Sounds->Digital Sounds… I’m not really impressed the way Settings are handled in that box, as you have 3 different places to adjust settings, a complete mess!
OTA firmware update is working, but with some caveats. I had played around one hour with the box, and installed all apps required for testing and taken a few screenshots, when the firmware update pop-up appeared. I clicked “Cancel” as I wanted to complete the current task. But soon the Upgrade app crashed, restarted and asked me again, after a few loop of this, I finally gave up and clicked on “OK” to carry on with the firmware update. It went well, except the procedure wiped out all installed app and my screenshots, meaning I had to restart all over again… I’d expect a firmware update made with Windows tools to wipe out my data, but not an OTA update…
One good thing is that they did not separate app and data partitions (unless that explains why I lost all my data), as a single 12GB partition is used for both, so you won’t quickly fill up the app partition present – usually 2GB large – in some other boxes. WiFi and Ethernet worked OK (more on that later), but there’s no built-in Bluetooth, although there’s an option for it in the Android Lollipop settings. I had no problem selecting HDMI output up to 4K30.
The “About device” section shows the model number is “Mygica ATV1900AC”, and the system runs Android 5.0.2 on top of Linux 3.10.33. Despite having just update the firmware (OTA), the build date is on 17th of July 2015. Root checker exports the firmware is rooted.
The remote control is quite interesting. At first, when I saw the RF dongle, I assumed it was an air mouse, but it can only control the pointer with the arrow keys. The range is however excellent, and standing in the corridor around 10 meters from the device, I could still control it. It also supports Voice command and search, so you can start apps by just saying their name, e.g. Firefox, YouTube, K.O.D.I, and if the name if not recognized, it will just start a web search. You’ll need an Internet connection for voice recognition to work. I have tested this feature in the review video below, where I also play 4K video samples in Kodi and 4K MoviePlayer, and go through the user interface and settings.
I haven’t tried Mygica store, as Google Play worked mostly OK. As usual on TV boxes, SMS and GPS app can’t be installed, but there was a long list of apps that should probably have installed, but did not including: all Bloomberg apps, AtHome Camera, some banking apps, Wiwo, Vidonn Smartband, Plants vs Zombies 2, Torque Lite, PPTV streaming, a Thai dictionary, Antutu Video Tester (OK first time, but not after firmware update) and a few more… The Amazon app installed just fine, and I could download Riptide GP2 racing game with it.
ATV1900AC can’t be powered off, and the only option is go to into standby. It worked with both the provided remote control, and MeLE F10 Deluxe air mouse. Other Amlogic S812 TV boxes ran pretty cool, and the latest Mygica box is no exception, as the maximum temperature was 53°C and 49°C on the top and bottom of the enclosure after running Antutu 5.7, and 52°C & 46°C after playing Riptide GP2 for about 15 minutes.
I could a few hiccups as I started using the device, including some network connection problems (WiFi and Ethernet), and I found the settings a pain to navigate because options are all over the place, but the firmware is usually quite OK, and Android 5.0 really makes a difference when launching apps, especially games, as the load much faster than to ART runtine replacing Dalvik found in earlier versions.
Video Playback with Kodi
The box ships with Kodi 14.2 “Mygica Edition”, so Geniatech must have made changed to the official Kodi 14.2 release, I’m just not sure what they are. Anyway, I used the provided version, and played video samples and movies stored on SAMBA shares over Ethernet. Initial connections to SAMBA shares in Kodi and ES File Explorer worked fine, but “connection time out” messages started to show up in Kodi a little later (after testing was complete), while ES File Explorer had no such problem.
Video samples from samplemedia.linaro.org, Elecard H.265/HEVC samples, and a low resolution VP9 video:
MPEG2 codec / MPG container – 480p/720p/1080p – OK could be smoother (Kodi live log also reports ~21fps instead of the native 25 fps)
MPEG4 codec, AVI container 480p/720p/1080p – OK
VC1 codec (WMV) – 480p/720p/1080p – OK
Real Media (RMVB), 720p / 5Mbps – Software decode @ ~20 fps instead of 25 fps
WebM / VP8 – 480p/720p OK. 1080p could be a little smoother (18 fps instead of 25 fps)
H.265 codec / MPEG TS container (360p/720p/1080p) – 360p: OK; 720p: OK most of the time, except in some scenes where the frame rate drops.. 1080p: plays at ~15fps with audio/video sync issues.
WebM / VP9 (no audio in video) – OK
Moving on to some higher bitrate videos:
ED_HD.avi – audio only
big_buck_bunny_1080p_surround.avi (1080p H.264 – 12 Mbps) – OK.
h264_1080p_hp_4.1_40mbps_birds.mkv (40 Mbps) – OK
hddvd_demo_17.5Mbps_1080p_VC1.mkv (17.5Mbps) – 15 fps instead of 29.970 fps
Jellyfish-120-Mbps.mkv (120 Mbps video without audio) – OK (played from network)
The next step was to test some videos samples with HD audio tracks using PCM (down-sampling), HDMI pass-through with Onkyo TX-NR636 AV receiver. I skipped S/PDIF pass-through because as we’ll see audio pass-through is not working, even after enabling AC3 and DTS in Kodi, as well as HDMI audio output in the hard to find part of the system settings.
“Video Player” app
AC3 / Dolby Digital 5.1
Audio OK, but video not smooth
PCM 2.0 (and Noise)
E-AC-3 / Dolby Digital+ 5.1
PCM 2.0 (and Noise)
Dolby Digital+ 7.1
Audio Formats Not Supported over S/PDIF
Dolby Atmos 7.1
DTS HD Master
PCM 2.0 (and Noise)
DTS HD High Resolution
PCM 2.0 (and Noise)
Beside pass-through not working, any video with Dolby or DTS sound tracks will have to be played in Kodi, as other the system does not support them.
Sintel-Bluray.iso and amay.iso (Ambra – Prism of Life) Blu-ray ISO videos played fine, as did GridHD.mpg & Pastel1080i25HD.mpg my two 1080i MPEG2 video samples.
That’s the best Hi10p video decoding I’ve seen so far as the video plays all the way and with less artifacts than usual, but unfortunately the videos are still not watchable:
[Commie] Steins;Gate – NCED [BD 720p AAC] [10bit] [C706859E].mkv – Audio & subtitles OK, and video plays with with some artifacts
[1080p][16_REF_L5.1][mp3_2.0]Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu BD OP.mkv – Audio & subtitles OK, and video plays with with some artifacts.
H.264 4K videos can play, but unfortunately H.265 4K videos won’t play smoothly in Kodi 14.2, as it only supports software decode even after customization by Geniatech:
HD.Club-4K-Chimei-inn-60mbps.mp4 – OK
sintel-2010-4k.mkv – OK
Beauty_3840x2160_120fps_420_8bit_HEVC_MP4.mp4 (H.265) – Playing @ 2 to 3 fps
Bosphorus_3840x2160_120fps_420_8bit_HEVC_MP4.mp4 (H.265) – Playing @ 2 to 3 fps
Jockey_3840x2160_120fps_420_8bit_HEVC_TS.ts (H.265) – Won’t play, the system stays in user interface.
MHD_2013_2160p_ShowReel_R_9000f_24fps_RMN_QP23_10b.mkv (10-bit HEVC) – Plays @ 3 to 4 fps.
phfx_4KHD_VP9TestFootage.webm (VP9) – Plays at 3 to 4 fps using software decode as all eight cores are close to 100% CPU usage.
BT.2020.20140602.ts (Rec.2020 compliant video) – Won’t play, the system stays in the user interface
big_buck_bunny_4k_H264_30fps.mp4 – OK
big_buck_bunny_4k_H264_60fps.mp4 – ~40 fps, with audio cuts, and audio/video issues (excepted, as it’s not supported by the hardware…)
I’ve tried the H.265 videos @ 30 fps or less again in 4K MoviePlayer and they could also play smoothly, except 10-bit HEVC video, and BT2020. The ones with AC3 audio did not have audio.
The TV I use for reviews, namely LG 42UB820T, does not support 3D, but I can still try to play stereoscopic 3D videos to find out if the device under test can decode them:
bbb_sunflower_1080p_60fps_stereo_abl.mp4 (1080p Over/Under) – OK
bbb_sunflower_2160p_60fps_stereo_abl.mp4 (2160p Over/Under) – Audio only, black screen.
Turbo_Film-DreamWorks_trailer_VO_3D.mp4 (1080p SBS) – OK
Finally, I’ve played movies and videos from my library, including FLV, AVI, MKV VOB/IFO, and MP4 videos, and they could all play fine, except I’ve noticed one or two could not be zoomed / stretched. The option was there, but it simply did not work.
The stability test with a complete 1080p MKV movie ran without interruption, but scenes with panning did not seem as smooth as usual, and Kodi log window reported around 7,000 skipped frame.
Since Antutu Video Tester could not be installed from Google Play, I sideloaded version 2.2, and upgraded to version 3.0, before running the test. Last week, Beelink i68 got 532 points, but Mygica ATV1900AC got a much higher score at 1,059 points.
Antutu Video Tester 3.0 results can be found below, and somehow, AC3 audio is working according to the test results… Go figure.
In order to test network performance, a 278 MB file is transfered using ES File Explorer between a SAMBA share and the flash. The test is repeated three times, and the average is used. WiFi performance on Mygica ATV1900AC is outstanding, it’s the best device in terms of performance I used both with 802.11 b/g/n (300 Mbps) and 802.11ac (867 Mbps) with transfer averaging respectively 5.08 MB/s and 7.45 MB/s.
Throughput in MB/s (Click to Enlarge)
However, there’s potentially a stability issues, as one of the transfer stalled and stopped (802.11n 2.4GHz). I could not easily reproduce the issue, and I could hear a commercial plane fly over when it occurred (Could it affect WiFi?). I also noticed a WiFi re-connection another time while shooting the video review embed above.
I also ran iperf “iperf -t 60 -c 192.168.0.104 -d” command line to check the raw performance for
A 885 MB file transfer from SAMBA to flash and vice versa took just under one minute using Gigabit Ethernet, again ranking Mygica ATV1900AC at the top of the charts.
Throughput in MB/s
Contrary to transfers with WiFi or Fast Ethernet, transferring a file over Gigabit Ethernet is often bound by storage performance, and it’s the case for Mygica’s TV box, as running iperf shows Amlogic S812 Ethernet limitations as seen in other devices.
Since the fastest storage interface is USB 2.0 (480 Mbps max), this limitation is unlikely to matter in practise.
There’s no Bluetooth capable chip in the device. However, there’s a Bluetooth option in Android settings, and I tried to connect a USB Bluetooth 4.0 dongle, but still failed to enabled it. So Bluetooth is not supported, even with external hardware, at least with this firmware.
A FAT32 micro SD card could be access in read/write mode, and the NTFS and exFAT partitions in USB 3.0 hard drive could be mounted, however while the partition are about 250GB large, the system only detected 10MB partitions with 10MB free, so reading files worked, but copying files to these partitions failed due to an incorrectly reported lack of space…
That means I could not run A1 SD Bench app to benchmark USB 2.0 performance, so I only tested the performance of the Toshiba eMMC flash. The results are quite good, but far from the theoretical 270 MB/s and 50MB/s read and write speeds, probably because Amlogic S812 does not support eMMC 5.0 HS400 mode.
Read and Write Speeds in MB/s (Click to Enlarge)
The Echo / Sound Testing Service works in Skype, and I could make a video call, but for some reasons, there was no input from the camera, and I could only see the caller video.
Google Hangouts worked fine with my USB webcam.
I installed Candy Crush Saga, Beach Buggy Racing, and Riptide GP2 to test gaming. The main difference compared by my previous versions was how fast the games would load, probably a combination of fast internal storage and ART runtime. Candy Crush Saga had no issue, Beach Buggy Racing was smooth using standard settings, but because a little less smooth with graphics settings maxed out. Riptide GP2 was not quite as smooth as expected even with default settings, while I was quite happy with all the game on MINIX NEO X8-H Plus. I did the previous test 9 months ago, and as it’s a subjective test, I may have become an old grumpy man that is a little more demanding, or the processor may not run at its full potential…
Mygica ATV1900AC Benchmarks
Even though Amlogic S812 is a mature platform, it’s still interesting to run CPU-Z, and in this case we find out that the processor only runs up to 1608 MHz, while most other devices run it at its full speed (2.0 GHz).
I doubled-check with Android terminal just in case…:
And indeed the maximum frequency is set not too exceed ~1.6GHz. Other information looks good, and the board codename is stvm8.
Despite the lower CPU frequency, Antutu 5.x score (34,137) is still higher than the one in MINIX NEO X8-H Plus box running Android 4.4 (31,204). Somehow (for a metal test), it seems that Android 5.0 has better integer and floating-point performance than Android 4.4, as the scores are about the same despite the lower frequency, unless Antutu changed how their benchmark behaves in their minor releases (5.7.1 vs 5.3). The runtime score is about twice as fast, and that one can easily be explained by the switch from Dalvik to ART, while 2D graphics score is a bit lower, and 3D graphics a bit higher.
Vellamo 3.x metal score in Mygica (884) is also higher than the one in the MINIX device (792), while multicore is lower (1,472 vs 1808).
3DMark Ice Storm Extreme is slightly lower at 5,834 points vs 6,056 points. The Physics score is where the score difference was made, but both scores are pretty close.
There’s certainly an advantage in running Android Lollipop firmware over KitKat as app will noticeably load faster. Mygica ATV1900AC has also by far the fastest WiFi connection I’ve ever seen on TV boxes both using 2.4GHz 802.11n and 5GHz 802.11ac, and Ethernet performance is also pretty good. Video playback in Kodi also pretty good, but their “Mygica Edition” is still based on Kodi 14.2, and H.265 hardware decoding does not work. I also never managed to make audio pass-through work. The firmware is usually stable and responsive, but there are still a few bugs and annoyances to iron out.
Android Lollipop firmware
Very good Ethernet and outstanding WiFi performance (although with a question mark regarding stability)
Fast internal storage
Video Output – 1080p 24/50/60 Hz, 4K @ 24/25/30Hz, etc…
Video Support – Good in Kodi 14.2 for most videos, and very high score in Antutu Video Tester 3.0
Hardware video decoding for H.265 4K up to 30Hz in “4K VideoPlayer”
RF remote control with long range and voice command and search
OTA firmware update (with caveats see below)
Two launchers including an Android TV like.
Kodi 14.2 “Mygica Edition” based on Kodi 14.2 does not support H.265 hardware decoding. (Kodi 15 should won’t work either, see comment)
HDMI audio pass-through does not work at all in Kodi
Dolby and DTS down-mixing not supported in 4K MoviePlayer and other players (except in Kodi, where it’s handled by software).
Incorrect partition size detected on USB hard drive leading to read-only partitions
OTA firmware download program may crash, firmware update will wipe out apps and data
Lack of power off (only standby supported)
User-friendliness of parts of the UI could be improved – Settings are all over the place (in three different locations), the status bar cannot be displayed.
Bluetooth not supported (No built-in hardware, and USB Bluetooth dongle not recognized)