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HiMedia Q30 (Hisilicon Hi3798MV200) Android TV Box Review – Part 1: Unboxing and Teardown

June 12th, 2017 5 comments

I’ve often read praises about HiMedia TV boxes in the comments section of this blog, but so far, I had never tested any of their products. This is about to change, since the company has sent me their latest HiMedia Q30 TV box running Android 7.0 on Hisilicon Hi3798MV200 processor, a cost-down version of Hi3798CV200 processor with the same CPU,a lower-end Mali-T450 GPU, about the same media capabilities, and less I/Os. I’ll start the review by checking out the TV box and accessories, as well as the PCBA, before reporting the experience with Android 7.0 firmware in several weeks.

HiMedia Q30 TV Box Unboxing

I received the device is a package that read “HIMEDIA Q30” and “Android TV Box”, and shows some of the key features like 4K @ 60 fps, 10-bit HEVC, HDR and Kodi support.

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The devices ships with an IR remote control with IR learning function for 5 keys, a HDMI cable, a 5V/2A power supply, and “3D/4K Smart TV Box Quick Guide”.

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The” Quick Guide” is quite basic, but contrary to most competitors, it’s actually useful with a description of the remote control and how to configure the TV keys with the IR learning function, QR code for the Hishare and Hicontrol mobile apps…

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.. a connection guide depending on your setup, some basic configuration for network and UI, and the different ways to do a firmware update.

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The box itself is made of an outer shell made of metal, and the body inside include the front and rear panels is made of plastic.

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The front panel includes the power button and two LEDs, as well as the IR receiver window, while one of the side features a USB 2.0 port and SD card, and the other side one USB 3.0 port, and another USB 2.0 ports. The rear panel comes with an external WiFi antenna, optical S/PDIF output, RCA connectors for composite video and stereo audio, an HDMI 2.0 port, a Fast Ethernet port, the recovery pinhole, and the power jack.

HiMedia Q30 TV Box Teardown

Usually, we’d open the TV boxes by loosening some screws on the bottom of the case, but there aren’t any in Q30. As a side note, the MAC address starts with 00:66:DF which does not look up to anything.In order to open the device we need to loosen the four screws on each corner the rear panel to take it out, and squeeze the end of the WiFi antenna to take it out, and slides out everything through the metal inner shell.

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The processor and memory (2GB RAM) are covered by a thin black heatsink. An 8GB Samsung KLM8G1WEPG-B031 eMMC 5.0 flash is used for storage with the following performance according to Samsung eMMC flash table: 140 MB/s sequential read speed, 8MB/s sequential write speed, 5K/0.6K R/W IOPS. That’s the cheapest eMMC flash, and the one with the weakest performance, from Samsung in the table. The Ethernet PHY is built inside the Hisilicon processor, so there’s only a KMS-1102NL transformer for 10/100M Ethernet, while 802.11 b/g/n WiFi is implemented through a Realtek RTL8188ETV module. Other ICs include Genesys GL850G USB 2.0 hub, and 3PEAK TPF632A stereo line driver. The serial console should be available via a 4-pin header located between a LED and the Samsung flash, and there apepars to be footprint for another S/PDIF port and 3.5mm YPbPr  (video component) jack.

There’s no much to see on the other side of the board.

I’d like to thank HiMedia for sending the review sample. The TV box does not appear to be available for retail just yet, and the company has not listed it in their website either, but by the time time I complete the second part of the review, HiMedia Q30 should be available for sale.

HiMedia Q30 TV Box is Powered by HiSilicon Hi3798M V200 Processor

May 19th, 2017 4 comments

HiSilicon Hi3798M V200 processor is a cost-down version of Hi3798C V200 processor with a cheaper Mali-450MP GPU, a single Gigabit Ethernet MAC, a single USB 3.0 port shared with SATA and PCIe interface. One of the first devices with the processor will be Himedia Q30 TV box based on Himedia Q3 design.

HiMedia Q30 specifications:

  • SoC – HiSilicon Hi3798M V200 quad-core ARM Cortex A53 processor with an ARM Mali-450MP GPU supporting OpenGL ES2.0/1.1, OpenVG1.1, EGL, and
  • System Memory – 2 GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8 GB eMMC flash, SD card slot
  • Video Output – 1x HDMI 2.0a up to 4K @ 60 Hz, 1x composite video (RCA); Imprex 2.0 PQ engine with support for HDR/HLG/SLF/HDR to SDR, BT.709, and BT.2020
  • Audio Output – HDMI, stereo audio (RCA), optical S/PDIF port
  • Video Engine –  HiVXE 2.0 with support for HEVC 10-bit 4Kx2K @ 60 fps, H.264 4K2K @ 30 fps
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi (2.4 GHz) with one external antenna
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 host port, 2x USB 2.0 host ports
  • Misc – Power button, power LED, IR receiver
  • Power Supply – 12V/2A (TBC)
  • Dimensions – 170 x 115.5 x 24.5mm

The TV box runs Android 7.0 operating system with a 1920×1080 user interface. According to a YouTube video, the box should launch later this month, and resellers should already be able to inquire about the device through Alibaba.

Via AndroidTVBox.eu

Himedia Q5 Pro & Q10 Pro TV Boxes Get Android 7.0 Nougat Firmware

November 24th, 2016 12 comments

The majority of TV boxes sold today are running Android 4.4 to Android 6.0, but with the release of Android 7.0 for smartphones and tablets earlier this year, it was just a question of time before the OS got ported to TV boxes. Himedia appears to be the first company to have released Android 7.0 for their Hisilicon Hi3798CV200 based TV boxes, namely Q5 Pro and Q10 Pro.

tv-box-android-7-0The changelog for the new firmware includes:

  1. Android N OS running stable and smooth
  2. Support for Android N Google Play version
  3. Support for Samba UPnP
  4. System function perfectly upgraded from 5.1 to Android N with compatibility
  5. Youtube updated to 4.10.7 and Netflix to 1.3.11
  6. Homepage, Application Management, Media Center optimized, focus movement are more swift and smooth
  7. Media Player upgraded and support mouse operation
  8. Local Media Playback Improved; Certain rare videos black screen, display ratio of 3D to 2D abnormal, and occasional subtitle defect issues fixed
  9. Blu-ray video slow loading conditions improved and speed up
  10. Local Audio output improved and certain audio tracks unable to decode and output issue fixed
  11. Revised some UI language
  12. Support for Widevine L3

I assume most users are running Android 5.1.1 right now, but for those who are using an Android N beta version, a different firmware file is required

The update procedure is basically the same as most others Android TV boxes on the market:

  • Download a new firmware and copy the file update.zip) to the root directory of a USB drive.
  • Plug the USB drive into the TV box
  • Go to Settings→System→System upgrade to select/click the letter of the USB drive.
  • The TV box will then begin upgrading the firmware from the USB drive.
  • Wait for the TV box to complete the upgrade. Please be patient, as it may take around 5 minutes to complete.
  • The TV box will then automatically reboot, and boot to Android N Final

Just bear in mind that changing Android version often leads to some new bugs, even though the company claims “perfect compatibility” and that everything is running “stable and smooth”.

If you are interested in either devices Himedia Q5 Pro is sold for $199.99, and Q10 Pro for $299.99 on sites such as GeekBuying, Aliexpress, and W2comp.

Via AndroidPC.es

HiMedia Q10 Pro Android TV Box Supports 4K HDR, H.265 & VP9 Video Playback, Comes with a 3.5″ SATA HDD Bay

March 30th, 2016 19 comments

Hisilicon HI3798C V200 is a promising processor with four Cortex A53 cores, ARM Mali-T720, 4K video output (HDMI 2.0a),  4K H.265/H.264/VP9 decoding with Dolby Vision & HDR10 high dynamic range standards support, native SATA, Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0 interfaces, and TS inputs to support tuners. That means products based on the SoC should be both decent media players and NAS, and one of the first product to hit the market will be HiMedia Q10 Pro.

Q10_ProHiMedia Q10 Pro specifications:

  • SoC – HiSilicon HI3798CV200 quad-core ARM Cortex A53 processor with ARM Mali-T720 supporting OpenGL ES 3.1/2.0, OpenVG1.1, EGL, and Imprex 2.0 PQ engine with HDR,Dolby vision support.
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3
  • Storage – 16GB eMMC flash, 3.5″ SATA bay, and 2-in-1 card reader  (MMC/SD)
  • Video Ouput – 1x HDMI 2.0a up to 4K @ 60 Hz, 1x composite video (RCA)
  • Audio Output – HDMI, stereo audio (RCA), coaxial and optical S/PDIF  ports.
  • Video Codecs / Formats – 10-bit H.265/HEVC, H.264, VC1, MPEG4, MPEG2, VP9, VP8, VP6, AVS video decoding up top 250 Mbps bitrate. 3D blu-ray, BD-ISO, 3D BD-ISO
  • Audio Capabilities – 7.1 HD Audio pass-through and downmix for Dolby TtrueHD, DTS HD, and Dolby Atmos, 192K/24bit audio decoding and output
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet (with remote wakeup and standby support), 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi with external antenna, Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 host port, 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x USB 3.0 device port (to connect to your computer)
  • Misc – Front LED display and smart touch key, IR receiver
  • Power Supply – 12V/2A
  • Dimensions – N/A (aluminum shell)

The device runs Android 5.1 with a 1080p user interface, is pre-loaded with Kodi 16.0 (likely customized for HiSilicon processors), and supports Google Play, local and OTA firmware updates, network video playback (SAMBA/NFS/UPnP), Miracast, and more.

Source: Eddy Lab http://muritzy.tistory.com/1143

Image Source: Eddy Lab

The box will ship with an IR remote control, a power adapter, an HDMI cable, and a quick start guide. Although bear in mind there will be Chinese and International version of the firmware,  and according to a post on Futeko: “Q10 Pro international firmware will be similar in appearance to Q5/Q10 4K3D with a new simple launcher. So ignore the interface photos on the Chinese reviews”. That link also points to various reviews of the Chinese model in Chinese and Korean. Also note that I’ve discovered recently HDR support will require new UHD Premium TVs, as many (most?) current UHD television do not support HDR capabilities.

HiMedia Q10 Pro will soon be available for pre-sale on Futeko for 178 Euros including VAT, and shipping is scheduled for April 13, 2016. I could not find the device for sale on other site yet, but this should just be a question of time. Make sure the product comes with the international version of the firmware. A few more details may be available on the official Himedia Q10 Pro product page.

Thanks to Jack for the tip.

List of Rockchip RK3368 Android mini PCs

August 9th, 2015 59 comments

Last year, Rockchip RK3288 was always going to be popular, since it offered a massive performance upgrade compared to its predecessor (Rockchip RK3188) with Cortex A17 cores replacing Cortex A9 cores, and a Mali-T764 GPU replacing an aging Mali-400MP4 GPU, plus the addition of 4K video output and decoding, as well as H.265 video codec support. So many manufacturers got involved that I decided to write a list of RK3288 TV boxes and sticks. Rockchip RK3368, the company’s new “flagship” processor for 2015, is a bit less exciting despite providing eight 64-bit ARM cores, since Cortex A53 cores are significantly less powerful than the Cortex A17 cores found in RK3288, and the performance of the PowerVR G6110 GPU used in the processor is a bit of an unknown for now. RK3368 might still rank pretty well in benchmark since it comes with eight cores instead of four cores, but I’m not convinced it will really show during normal use, although the upgrade to Android 5.1 on the newer processor may also help. The main improvement is probably support for 4K @ 60Hz video decoding and output (HDMI 2.0), which was not possible with RK3288 and lower end 4K UHD televisions.

Rockchip_RK3368_mini_PCNevertheless, it’s still interesting to look at new platforms, and I’ve compiled a list of RK3368 mini PCs announced so far, some of which already ship:

  • Eny EKB368 – TV box with 1 or 2GB RAM, 8 or 16 GB flash, Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth, 3x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG and HDMI 2.0. Price: TBD
  • Beelink i68 – TV box with 1 or 2 GB RAM, 8 GB flash, Fast Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth, 3x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG and HDMI 2.0. Price: $71 on GearBest (1GB RAM/8GB flash version)
  • Tronsmart Orion R68 – TV box based on Beelink i68 platform with two models:
    • Pro – 1 GB RAM, 8 GB flash, Fast Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth, 3x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG and HDMI 2.0. Price: $75 on GeekBuying.
    • Meta – 2 GB RAM, 16 GB flash, Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth, 3x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG and HDMI 2.0. Price: $99.99 on GeekBuying.
  • CSA90 – TV box with two models:
    • Model 1 – 1 GB RAM, 8 GB flash, Fast Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth, 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG and HDMI 2.0 & composite (RCA) output. Price: $70 on Aliexpress.
    • Model 2 – 2 GB RAM, 16 GB flash, Fast Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth, 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG, and HDMI 2.0 & composite (RCA) output. Price: $96 on Aliexpress.
  • Rikomagic MK68 – TV box with 2 GB RAM, 16 GB flash, Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth, 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG and HDMI 2.0. Price: $111.90 on Aliexpress
  • Zero Devices Z64 – TV box apparently based on CSA90 “Model 2” but with Gigabit Ethernet. Price: $125 on Asiapads.
  • Measy B4T – TV box with 1 GB RAM, 8 GB flash, Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth, 3x USB 2.0 host ports, and HDMI 2.0. Price: $72.95 on Aliexpress
  • CloudnetGo CR13 Plus – TV box with 2 GB RAM, 8 or 16 GB flash, Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth, 3x USB 2.0 host ports, and HDMI 2.0. Price: TBD.
  • CloudnetGo CR18 – TV box with 2 GB RAM, 8 or 16 GB flash, Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth, 3x USB 2.0 host ports, and HDMI 2.0 & composite (RCA) outputs. Price: TBD.
  • X6 – TV box with 1 GB RAM, 8 GB flash, Fast Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth (Maybe), 2x USB 2.0 host ports, and HDMI 2.0 & composite (RCA) outputs. Price: $57 on Aliexpress. Note: X6 model was supposed to be for the Chinese market, but the few who bought appear satisfied.
  • Himedia H7 III – TV box with 1 GB RAM, 8 GB flash, Fast Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 2x USB 2.0 host ports, and HDMI 2.0 & composite (RCA) outputs. Price: $89.89 on Aliexpress. The firmware is likely in Chinese only (TBC).
  • Ugoos UT4 – Upcoming RK3368 TV Box with Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11ac WiFi. Listing found on Android Warehouse. Price: TDB

All boxes run Android 5.1, and prices when available including shipping. The cheapest and lower end model is X6 selling for $57, with other 1GB RAM/8GB flash boxes selling for around $70. The best devices in terms of features appear to be Rikomagic MK68 and Tronsmart Orion R68 Meta both with 2GB RAM, 16GB eMMC flash, Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11ac WiFi, and selling respectively for $100 and $112. For reference, their Rockchip RK3288 equivalent, namely Tronsmart Orion R28 Meta and Rikomagic MK902 II sell respectively for $115 and $113. So far, nobody appears to have come up with a Rockchip RK3368 HDMI TV stick. Not sure whether the cause is fading demand for sticks, the CPU gets a little too hot, or we just need to be patient.

Corrections and additions to the list are more than welcome.

HiMedia Q5 Quad Core is an Android TV Box based on HiSilicon Hi3798C SoC with SATA, USB 3.0, 4K Support

July 8th, 2014 23 comments

HiMedia has been releasing and manufacturing Android TV boxes with SATA interfaces based on Hilison processors including Q5 (single core) and Q5II (dual core) for a couple of years. The company is about to release another one with the same enclosure, based on a new Hilicon Hi3798C quad core SoC, that they’ve aptly named “Q5 Quad Core”.

HiMedia_Q5_Quad_CoreHiMedia Q5 Quad Core specifications:

  • SoC – HiSilicon Hi3798C quad core ARM Cortex A9 @ 1.5GHz + ARM Mali-450MP6 Octa core GPU.
  • System Memory – 2 GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC Flash, SATA connector, and MMC/SD 2-in1 card reader
  • Connectivity – 10/100/1000M Ethernet, and 802.11 b/g/n/ Wi-Fi with external antenna
  • Video Out – HDMI 1.4 up to 4K30 and composite
  • Audio Output – HDMI, L/R stereo (RCA), and optical & coaxial S/PDIF
  • Video Codecs – MPEG1/2/4 up to 4K30, H.264/AVC up to 4K30, H.265 up to 4K30, VC-1, REALVIDEO 8/9/10 up to 4K30, and more
  • Audio Format – MP3, WMA, AAC, APE, FLAC, WAV, DTS, Dolby Digital, AC3 up to 7.1.
  • Video modes – PAL, NTSC, 720p, 1080i (50/60Hz), 1080p (24/30/50/60Hz), 4K (24/30Hz)
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x USB 3.0 port
  • Misc – LED display on front panel, recovery button.
  • Power Supply – 12V/2A
  • Dimensions – 170 x 115 x 24.5 mm

Himedia_Q5-3D4K_Hard_DriveBlu-ray ISO 3D are said to be supported, and Blu-ray BDMV too, but without 3D support, and they claim support for XBMC and 240Mbps videos from the network (SAMBA/NFS) or USB. The hard drive has to be connected externally which may feel a bit awkward, and supports EXT-3, NTFS and FAT32 file systems. Q5 Quad Core (aka Q5 III or Q5 3D4K) runs Android 4.4.2, and comes with a power adapter, an IR remote control, a SATA cable, an HDMI cable, and a quick start guide in Chinese. You may find more pictures, screenshots, and detailed features on ka8.hk (Note: may not be safe for work).

The box appears to be available for sale on JD.com for 699 RMB (~$113). I can see that Linaro is doing some work regularly on Hisilicon STB SoCs (Hi37xx), so there might be a way to get a decent and recent kernel for the box, and an easier ability to run Linux, if that’s something you’d like to do.

Via AndroidPC.es and Eddy Lab on Google+

HiMedia Q5II Android STB Features HiSilicon Dual Core SoC, a 2.5″ SATA HDD Bay, and Supports XBMC Hardware Decode

November 28th, 2013 7 comments

Many Android set-top boxes are based on application processors mainly targetting tablets such as Rockchip RK3188, and media capabilities including video quality, and audio pass-through are not always optimal, or not working at all. On the contrary, HiMedia Q5II, an Android 4.2 media player, is powered by HiSilicon 3718 (or is it Hislicon 3716C V200?), a dual core Cortex A9 SoC designed specifically for media players. It also features an external SATA slot, HDMI and composite video output, optical and coaxial S/PDIF, and I’ve just found out the company worked on making video hardware decoding work with XBMC.

HiMedia_Q5_IIHiMedia Q5II specifications:

  • SoC – HiSilicon Hi3716C V200 dual core ARM Cortex A9 @ 1.6GHz + ARM Mali-400MP4 GPU. N.B.: HiMedia indicates the processor is Hi3718, but most resellers give specifications with a dual core processor called 3716C… Hi3718 is not listed at all in HiSilicon website, and Hi3716C is a single core processor. So I’d guess it might be Hi3716C V200 which is a dual core Cortex A9 processor.
  • System Memory – 1 GB DDR3
  • Storage – 4 GB NAND Flash, hot swapable SATA slot, and MMC/SD 2-in1 card reader
  • Video Out – HDMI and composite
  • Audio Output – HDMI, L/R stereo (RCA), and optical & coaxial S/PDIF
  • Video Containers – ts, m2ts, tp , trp , mkv, mp4, avi , rm , rmvb , wmv, asf , flv, vob, dal , mpg, mpeg
  • Video Codecs – MPEG1/2/4, H.264/AVC, MVC,VC1, XVID, DiVX , REALVIDEO8/9/10, VP6
  • Audio Format – MP3, wma, aac, ape, flac, mka
  • 3D Video – side-by-side , up-and-down , Blu-ray 3D
  • Video modes – PAL, NTSC, 720p, 1080i (50/60Hz), 1080p (50/60Hz)
  • Display – LED display on front panel
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, and 802.11n Wi-Fi with external antenna
  • USB – 3x USB 2.0 Host ports
  • Power Supply – 12V/2.0A
  • Dimensions – 170 x 115 x 24.5 mm
  • Weight – 500g ??

HiMedia_Q5II_Rear_PanelThe device runs Android 4.2 with a custom user interface, but you can also switch the standard Android interface. The power is controlled by an MCU, which means the main SoC is turned off, or in deep sleep mode, while the player is in standby, which should result in lower standby power consumption. The company claims audio downmix and pass-through are both fully supported for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA (7.1)
lossless HD-Audio format, as well as DTS / Dolby Digital (5.1).
The device come with a remote control, a power adapter, a SATA cable, an HDMI Cable, and a Quick Start Guide, which you can also download here. It shows how to connect the STB to your audio amplifier among other things.

HiMedia provides 2 applications to interact with their set-top boxes via your smartphone or android:

  • HiShare – Wirelessly shares media files (video/audio/photo) from your Android smartphone or tablet to your HDTV.
  • HiControl – Transforms Android smartphone or tablet into a touchscreen and remote control.

The video below filmed at the Hong Kong Electronic Fair by tablet republic shows XBMC with hardware video decoding running on the Q5 II.

The latest firmware for HiMedia Q5II is available from their website, and dates from the 23rd of October, and it may or may not include XBMC hardware decoding capability.

If the processor is indeed HiSilicon Hi3716C V200, it is supported by Linaro, or at least they work on it, so it might also be a fun platform to hack around, install Linux, or get the source code for the Android kernel.

HiSilicon 3716C V200 Block Diagram

HiSilicon 3716C V200 Block Diagram

The box has been released in September, and can be found in Aliexpress or W2COMP for $129.99, and Amazon for $154.99. Despite the extra features such SATA, Aluminum casing, 3D Blu-ray decoding, etc…, the device seems a little pricey compared to other dual core Android STBs on the market. Further details ar available in Chinglish on HiMedia Q5 II page.

Via Eddy’s Lab