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Posts Tagged ‘media player’

OpenELEC for M8 TV Box (Amlogic S802) with USB Tuner Support

October 28th, 2014 12 comments

M8 TV Box is an Android media player based on Amlogic S802 that’s relatively popular. We’ve already seen XBMC Linux ported to M8 device, for people who want a more pure XBMC experience, and automatic frame rate switching, but now OpenELEC Beta 2 is also available for the device thanks to Alex Deryskyba (Codesnake).

M8 Android TV Box (Click to Enlarge)

M8 Android TV Box (Click to Enlarge)

The firmware image (OpenELEC-Meson8-K200-devel-test build 2.zip) will work on M8 / TM8, and any other Amlogic S802 devices based on K200 board. It is based on OpenELEC 4.1.2 and Linux 3.10, and a beta version, so there may still be some bugs, for example Bluetooth is not working. One very interesting feature is built-in VDR / Tvheadend DVB backends which means you should be able to use one of these USB tuners to watch Live TV from your box via satellite (DVB-S/S2), cable (DVB-C) or digital terrestrial TV (DVB-T2/ATSC) dongle.

The zip files contains three files (OpenELEC-CodeSnake-Meson8-K200-update.zip, factory_update_param.aml, recovery.img), and installation should be easy, as you just need to copy these three files to an SD card, enter recovery mode, and wait for the update to complete. This will complete overwrite your Android firmware, so if you just want to try it out, make sure you backup your app/data before doing an update.

Thanks to Ovidiu for the tip!

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Amazon Introduces $39 Fire TV Stick to Compete with Chromecast, Roku Streaming Stick

October 28th, 2014 3 comments

Amazon has decided to put Fire TV media player functionality into a low cost HDMI TV stick called “Fire TV stick” to offer an alternative to the likes of Google Chromecast, and Roku Streaming Stick. The device is based on a Broadcom BCM28155 dual core processor with the same VideoCore IV GPU/VPU found in BCM2835 SoC used in the Raspberry Pi.Amazon_Fire_TV_Stick

Fire TV stick hardware specifications:

  • SoC – Broadcom BCM28155 (Capri) dual core ARM Cortex A9 processor @ 1.0 GHz with VideoCore IV GPU/VPU
  • System Memory – 1GB RAM with half reserved to the system, and the other half dedicated to video.
  • Storage – 8 GB internal storage
  • Video / Audio Output – HDMI 1.4b output, w/HDCP 1.4. Resolution: 720p and 1080p up to 60fps
  • Video Codecs – H.264
  • Audio – AAC-LC, AC3, eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), FLAC, MP3, PCM/Wave, Vorbis
  • Connectivity – dual-band/dual-antenna 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (2×2 MIMO),  Bluetooth 3.0 (HID, HFP, HPP profiles). Other part of Amazon website indicates Bluetooth 4.0 however.
  • USB –  1x micro USB 2.0 port for power only.
  • Dimensions  – 84.9 x 25.0 x 11.5 mm
  • Weight – 25.1 grams

The device runs FireOS based on Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean), and ships with Amazon Fire TV remote control, a USB cable and power adapter, an HDMI extender cable, two AAA batteries, and a quick start guide. The Bluetooth remote control is different to the one included with Fire TV media player, as there is no “Voice search” button, and the dimensions and weight are different. So if you want voice search, you’ll need to purchase a  $30 Amazon Fire “Voice” remote. You can play over 200 different games with the optional Amazon Fire Game Controller. The Broadcom processor found in Amazon stick is not quite as powerful as the Qualcomm Snaprdragon 600 powering Fire TV media player, but Linaro frequently mention Broadcom “Capri” in their monthly releases, so the latest kernel should be available.

Click to Enlarge

Comparison of Fire TV Stick, Chromecast, and Roky Stick (Click to Enlarge)

Amazon Fire TV stick regular price is $39, but for the first two days it will be available for $19 to Amazon Prime customers. At this time, the stick is only available in the US.

Thanks to Harley.

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$80 CX-S806 Android Mini PC Powered by Amlogic S812 SoC

October 24th, 2014 9 comments

Yesterday, I wrote about two upcoming Amlogic S812 Android TV boxes by Eny Technology, namely M8S and M8C, with a production trial run scheduled by the end of this month, but I’ve seen then been informed that CX-S806 TV box with the latest Amlogic quad core processor, 2GB RAM, and 8GB eMMC flash is already shipping for as low as $80, as well as a model with a 2MP front camera called CX-S806S.

CX-S806_Amlogic_S802_mini_PC

CX-S806 / CX-S806S technical specifications:

  • SoC – Amlogic S812 quad core cortex A9r4 @ 2.0 GHz with octa-core Mali-450MP6 GPU up to 600+ MHz
  • System Memory – 2 GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8GB flash. No SD card slot
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, dual band 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 (AP6330 wireless module)
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K2K @ 60 Hz (TBC), 3.5mm AV jack (composite + stereo audio)
  • Audio Output – HDMI, AV, optical S/PDIF
  • Video Codecs – H.265 / HEVC [email protected] up to 4k2k@30fps, H.264 AVC [email protected] up to 4k2k@30fps, MPEG1/2/4 up to 1080p60, AVS up to 1080p60, WMV/VC-1 up to 1080p60, WebM up to VGA resolution, RealVideo 8/9/10 up to 1080p,
  • Audio Formats/Codecs – MP3, WMA, OGG, FLAC, AAC, Dolby, DTS, SRS, AC-3
  • Camera – 2MP front camera (CX-806S only)
  • USB – 3x USB 2.0 host ports, including on OTG port.
  • Misc – Reset button, recovery button.
  • Power Supply – 5V/3A
  • Dimensions – 160 x 96 x 31 mm
  • Weight – 151 grams

CX-S806_Rear_PanelThe box runs Android 4.4.2 Kitkat with MediaBox launcher, and comes with an IR remote control, an HDMI cable, a power adapter, and a user’s manual. There’s uncertainty around the HDMI version used, because some sites indicate HDMI 2.0, while others mention HDMI 1.4b. You’ll only be able to add storage via USB, since there’s no (micro) SD card slot, and as with other Amlogic processors, Ethernet is still limited to 10/100M, despite Gigabit Ethernet being part of S812 (and S805) SoC features. So the only advantage over S802(-H) is support for HEVC / H.265 video decoding up to 2160p resolution.

CX-S806 can be purchased on Amazon US ($79.99), as well as GeekBuying for $84.99, and about the same price on Aliexpress. The version with camera, CX-S806S, is selling for $89.99. Make sure to double check the processor is indeed S812, as an earlier version of CX-S806 ships with Amlogic S802 instead. CX-S806 manufacturer appears to be Shenzhen Sunchip Technology.

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JmGO G1 Android “Home Theater” Projector Powered by Mstar 6A918 SoC

October 23rd, 2014 4 comments

JmGO G1 is a neat looking Android 4.4 projector powered by Mstar 6A918 quad core Cortex A9 processor with a Mali-450MP4 GPU (same as Mstar 9810?), and featuring a Texas Instruments LED based DLP projector. It comes with USB 2.0 / 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI, AV, S/PDIF ports, and four speakers on the periphery.

jmGO_G1_Android_Projector

jmGO_G1_remote_controlTentative hardware specifications:

  • SoC – Mstar MSO6A918 Quad core ARM Cortex A9 @ 1.5GHz with an ARM Mali-450MP4 GPU.
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3
  • Storage – 16 GB eMMC + microSD card slot
  • Projector
    • Texas Instruments DLP
    • RGB LED. Native resolution: 1280 x 800
    • 30,000 hours LED life (About 10 years @ 10 hours per day)
    • 15″ to 300″ screenI
    • Brightness – 450  Lumens
  • Video Inputs – HDMI IN, AV IN
  • Audio I/Os – Inputs HDMI, AV, coaxial S/PDIF; Output: 4x speakers
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, 1x USB3.0 port
  • Power Supply – 19V/4.74A
  • Dimensions – 219 mm diameter x 60 mm height
  • Weight – 1550 grams
I’m not 100% sure of my specifications, as I assumed all video and audio ports are inputs, but I’d be glad to bring correction from people who can read Chinese… A  hook is available under the projector to mount it on a tripod or a wall. A simple yet innovative Wi-Fi remote control lets you adjust the projector focus, control the volume, and comes with Back/Home/Menu/Mouse/OK buttons, as well as a microphone for voice control.

jmGO_G1_Android_Projector_rear_panel JmGO G1 costs 2399 CNY (~$392), but I could not find it for sale anywhere, and it’s for sale on Ebay for $566 + shipping. More details and pictures can be found on JmGO G1 product page (Chinese).

Via AndroidPC.es

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Eny M8S and M8C Android Media Players Powered by Amlogic S812 SoC

October 23rd, 2014 7 comments

The first Amlogic S812 Android TV box I had seen was Xtreamer Wonder which should start shipping for 99 Euros ($140) by the end of the month, but they’ll have some competition as Eny Technology will soon manufacture M8S and M8C Android media players, also based on the same quad core Cortex A9 processor, with 4K UHD video output and HEVC/H.265 hardware video decoding.

Eny_M8SM8S and M8C have the same technical specifications except that the former comes with 2GB RAM, and the latter with 1GB RAM:

  • SoC – Amlogic S812-H quad core cortex A9r4 @ 2 GHz with octa-core Mali-450MP6 GPU @ 600+ MHz
  • System Memory – 1GB (M8C) or 2 GB (M8S) DDR3
  • Storage – 8GB NAND flash + micro SD card reader
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, dual band 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4 up to 4K2K @ 30 Hz, AV port
  • Audio Output – HDMI, AV, optical S/PDIF
  • Video Codecs – 4k2k H.264, H.265 UHD, HD MPEG1/2/4, AVC/VC-1, RM/RMVB, Xvid/DivX3/4/5/6, RealVideo8/9/10,
  • Audio Formats/Codecs – MP3, WMA, WAV, OGG, FLAC, APE, AC3, AAC etc… Dolby, TrueHD, DTS, SRS, AC-3
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – N/A
  • Weight – N/A
Amlogic_S812_board

Eny “M9″ Board (Click to Enlarge)

These Android STBs will run Android 4.4, and come pre-loaded with XBMC/Kodi 14.x, hopefully with H.265 support. Amlogic S812 is supposed to support Gigabit Ethernet, but Amlogic must have problems with their GMAC IP or drivers,m because none of the products based on S805 / S812 feature a Gigabit Ethernet port.

Eny Technology informed me they’ll manufacture a small batch at the end of the month, so hopefully they’ll be up for sale at the retail level in November or December. The company was not ready to release pricing information publicly yet, but the Chinese SoC little fairy told me that Amlogic S805 costs about $5, S802 about $10.5, and S812 about $11.5, with further discounts available in large quantities, so products based on Amlogic S812 based products may not be that much more expensive than Amlogic S802 based products using similar components.

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Google Unveils Android 5.0 Lollipop, Nexus 6 Smartphone, Nexus 9 Tablet, and Nexus Player

October 16th, 2014 5 comments

Android L is now formally known as Android Lollipop. Since Google already released Android L preview a few month ago, we already know what’s new in Android 5.0 Lollipop with key changes including material design user interface, ART replacing Dalvik, better battery management, 64-bit support, etc… Google also announced three hardware platforms running Android 5.0: Nexus 6 Smartphone, Nexus 9 Tablet, and Nexus Player (Android TV)

Motorola Nexus 6 Smartphone

Nexus_6
Hardware specifications:

  • SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 quad core Krait 450 processor @ 2.7 GHz with Adreno 420 GPU
  • System Memory – 3GB RAM
  • Storage – 32 or 64 GB eMMC – No micro SD slot
  • Display – 5.96” 1440×2560 AMOLED display (493 ppi). 16:9 Aspect ratio.
  • Connectivity – 802.11 ac 2×2 (MIMO), Bluetooth 4.1, NFC
  • Cellular Network (nano SIM):
    • North America:
      • GSM – 850/900/1800/1900MHz
      • CDMA Band Class – 0/1/10
      • WCDMA Bands – 1/2/4/5/8
      • LTE Bands – 2/3/4/5/7/12/13/17/25/26/29/41
      • CA DL Bands – B2-B13, B2-B17, B2-29, B4-B5, B4-B13, B4-B17, B4-B29
    • Rest of World:
      • GSM: 850/900/1800/1900MHz
      • CDMA – not supported
      • WCDMA Bands – 1/2/4/5/6/8/9/19
      • LTE Bands – 1/3/5/7/8/9/19/20/28/41
      • CA DL – B3-B5, B3-B8
  • Audio – Dual front-facing speakers, 3.5 mm audio
  • USB – 1x micro USB 2.0 port
  • Camera
    • 13MP rear-facing with optical image stabilization dual LED ring flash (up to 4K @ 30 fps video recording)
    • 2MP front-facing camera
  • Sensors – GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, ambient light sensor, barometer
  • Battery – 3220 mAh. Up to 330 hours in standby, up to 24 hours talk time, up to 10 hours video playbacks, about up to 10 hours internet (Wi-Fi or LTE).
  • Dimensions – 82.98 x 159 .26 x 10.06 mm
  • Weight – 184 grams

The phone is clearly high-end, but there aren’t any innovative new hardware features that I could see, and all innovation resides in Android 5.0 operating system. The phone will be vailable for pre-order starting October 29th for $649 (unlocked), and ship in sometimes November. Visit Google Nexus 6 page for details.

HTC Nexus 9 Tablet

Nexus_9

Technical specifications:

  • SoC – 64-bit Nvidia Tegra K1 Dual core Denver @ 2.3GHz with 192-core Kepler GPU
  • System Memory – 2 GB RAM
  • Storage – 16 or 32 GB eMMC – No micro SD slot
  • Display – 8.9″ QXGA (2048×1536) IPS LCD. 4:3 aspect ratio
  • Connectivity – 802.11 ac 2×2 (MIMO), Bluetooth 4.1, NFC
  • Cellular Network – Quad-band GSM, CDMA, Penta-band HSPA, LTE
  • Audio – Dual front-facing speakers with HTC BoomSound, dual microphones, 3.5 mm audio
  • USB – 1x micro USB 2.0 port
  • Camera
    • 8MP Rear camera with  auto-focus, and LED flash
    • 1.6 MP front-facing camera
  • Sensors – GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, ambient light sensor
  • Battery – 6700 mAh. Up 9.5 hours for either Wi-Fi browsing or video playback, up to 8.5 hours for LTE browsing, up to 30 days standby with either Wi-Fi or LTE.
  • Dimensions – 153.68mm x 228.25mm x 7.95mm
  • Weight – 425g (Wi-Fi), 436g (LTE)

Nexus 9 tablets will be the first and only 64-bit ARM Android 5.0 devices at launch. The Nexus 9 will be available for pre-order on October 17, starting at $399 for the Wi-Fi/16GB version, and up to $599 for the LTE/32GB version, with shipping expected for November 3. More information is available on Google Nexus 9 page.

Asus Nexus Player

Nexus_PlayerNexus player specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Atom quad core processor @ 1.8GHz with Imagination PowerVR Series 6 Graphics 2D/3D Engine.
  • System Memory – 1GB RAM
  • Storage – 8GB storage
  • Video Output – HDMI up to 1080p60
  • Connectivity – 802.11ac 2×2 (MIMO), Bluetooth 4.1
  • USB – 1x micro USB port
  • Power – 18W DC power (12V/1.5A?)
  • Dimensions – 120mm x 120mm x 20mm
  • Weight – 235g

The media player will come with a voice search capable Bluetooth Smart (BLE) remote control with two AAA batteries, a power adapter, a quick start guide, and a warranty, safety and regulatory booklet. There’s also an optional wireless gamepad. There’s no Ethernet port, so you’d have to make sure your Wi-Fi network is up to the task. It should be no issue for high definition online videos, but depending on your environment, it might become problematic to playback videos such as Blu-ray rips from your NAS (If that’s even supported/allowed on Android TV).

Nexus Player will go up for pre-order October 17 for $99, and start shipping on November 3. The gamepad will be $39. More information may be found on Google Nexus Player page.

If you don’t feel like buying a new devices, you’ll still get Android 5.0 Lollipopon your Nexus 4, 5, 7, 10 as well as “Google Play edition” devices in the coming weeks. Android 5.0 SDK and Nexus (preview) images will be released on October 17.

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Android TV Boxes with ATSC Tuner: Geniatech ATV1220A and Vigica C70A

October 15th, 2014 1 comment

It’s relatively easy to find an DVB-T2 Android TV box, and DVB-S2 TV boxes are less common, but last time I checked I could not find any Android media player with ATSC tuners to watch free-to-air channels in North America, South Korea, and a few smaller countries. But now there are at least two models Geniatech / Mygica ATV1220A, and Vigica C70A, both powered by Amlogic AML8726-MX dual core processor.

ATV1220(A) TV Box

ATV1220(A) TV Box

I’ve also written about Geniatech ATV1220 at the beginning of the year, which only came with a DVB-T2 tuner at the time. There’s now an ATSC version, but the rest of the specifications are identical.

So instead I’ll have a closer look at the technical specifications listed for Vigica C70A:

  • SoC – AMLogic AML8726-MX dual core Cortex A9 @ 1.5 GHz + Mali-400 GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3
  • Storage –  4GB NAND flash + micro SD card slot
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4a, AV
  • Audio – HDMI, AV, coaxial S/PDIF
  • Terrestrial Digital TV – ATSC tuner, 1x RF IN, 1x RF OUT
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports
  • Misc – IR receiver
  • Power Supply – 12V/1.5A DC
  • Dimensions – N/A
  • Weight – N/A
Vigica_C70A_ATSC_Android_TV_Box

Vigica C70A

The product comes with an IR remote control, a power adapter, an AV cable,  and a user’s manual. The specifications are nearly identical to ATV1220A, except it only features with two USB port (vs four), uses a 3.5mm jack instead of RCA connector for AV output, and adds coaxial S/PDIF. Both Android STBs run Android 4.2.2 with an ATSC app, and C70A runs the MediaBox launcher found in most recent Amlogic TV boxes on the market. There are many screenshots on Aliexpress.

Genaitech ATV1220A is available on Aliexpress for $109, and Vigica C70A can be bought from several sellers on Aliexpress, Ebay, and Amazon US for $124.

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