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Posts Tagged ‘media player’

Zidoo D1 Android DVB-T2 Set-top Box is Powered by ALI M3733 SoC

April 27th, 2015 3 comments

We’ve already seen Android set-top boxes powered by ALi M3733 dual core Cortex A9 processor with either DVB-T2 or DVB-S2 tuners. Zidoo, the maker of Zidoo X9 Android HDMI player and recorder, have unveiled a new model based on ALi processor dubbed Zidoo D1 that will come with a DVB-T2 tuner, and they’ve also released a video giving a better glimpse of the user interface used in ALi M3733 media players.

Zidoo_D1The hardware specs are very similar to Uyesee L100T2:

  • SoC – ALi M3733 dual core Cortex A9 processor with a dual core Mali-400 GPU
  • System Memory – 512 MB or 1GB DDR3
  • Storage – 4 or 8 GB NAND flash
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI 1.4 up to 1080p + 3.5mm AV jack
  • Tuner
    • DVB-T and DVB-T2 with male and female IEC 169-24 connectors for loop and output.
    • Frequency – 104-862MHz (VHF/UHF)
    • Demodulation – QPSK, 16QAM, 64QAM for DVB-T; QPSK, 16QAM, 64QAM, 256AM for DVB-T2
    • FFT mode – 2K,8K for DVB-T;  1K, 2K, 4K, 8K, 16K, 32K, 32K ext. for DVB-T2
    • FEC Code rate – 1/2, 2/3, 3/4, 5/6, 7/8 for DVB-T; 1/2, 3/5, 2/3, 3/4, 4/5, 5/6 for DVB-T2
    • Guard interval – 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32 for DVB-T;  14, 5/32, 1/8, 5/64, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64, 1/128 for DVB-T2
    • Bandwidth – 6MHz, 7MHz, 8MHz
    • De-multiplexer – MPEG2 ISO/IEC 13818-1
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 2.4GHz Wi-Fi
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports including one OTG port
  • Misc – IR receiver, recovery button, On/Off switch
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – 18.2 x 12 x 1.7 cm

Zidoo_D1_Ali_M3733_Set-top_boxEven the tuner part is exactly the same, and the main difference with Uyesee DVVB-T2 receiver is that they are using a 3.5 mm jack with composite and stereo audio instead of RCA connectors.

The video above shows the user interface, and the DVB part starts at 1:27, where you can see support for scanning, EPG, and other functions associated with free-to-air TV, except recording and time-shifting, which hopefully will be implemented later. I’ve been told the 512MB RAM version won’t be able to record TV channels, and you’ll need the 1GB RAM version to do so.

I don’t have pricing and availability information for Zidoo D1, but the first Uyesee L100T2 samples should be available right now, and sell for $45 + shipping, so you may be able to purchase them online for about $60 including shipping in a few weeks. Zidoo D1 is likely to be slightly more expensive, as Zidoo generally puts lots of efforts on the software side, and releases firmware often, at least it’s my experience with Zidoo X9. More pictures can be found on Zidoo D1 product page.

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TBS 2980 Matrix 2 AllWinner A80 Android TV Box Will Support USB Tuners

April 23rd, 2015 9 comments

TBS launched their Matrix 2910 media player based on Freescale i.MX6 Quad processor in 2013, and what made the platform especially interesting was support for the company’s USB DVB tuners in their Android and Ubuntu images. The company has now unveiled its successor with TBS 2980 Matrix 2 powered by Allwinner A80 octa core processor that will also support USB DVB-T2, DVB-C & DVB-S2 tuners.

TBS_Matrix_2TBS Matrix 2 specifications:

  • SoC – AllWinner A80 4x Cortex 15, 4x Cortex A7 big.LITTLE processor with PowerVR GC6230 GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC + micro SD card slot
  • Video  Output – HDMI + AV port
  • Audio – HDMI, AV, and optical S/PDIF
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port, 2x USB 2.0 host ports
  • Misc – IR receiver, reset button
  • Power Supply – 5V/3A
  • Dimensions – 101 x 101 x 31 mm
  • Weight – 400 grams

Matrix 2 is significantly smaller than other Allwinner A80 devices like Tronsmart Draco AW80, mostly because it lacks the rather slow SATA port. The box runs Android 4.4 with Kodi pre-installed, and will ship with a power adapter, a remote control, and a user’s guide. I’ve also been told the mini PC will also boot Debian server or Ubuntu Linaro desktop distributions from the micro SD card.

TBS_Matrix_2_ARM_mini_PCThe list of supported USB tuners are not been provided, but I do know TBS 5520 multi-standard USB tuner will be used for development, and it supports DVB-S/S2, DVB-C/C2, DVB-T/T2, and ISBT standards, so all these should be covered. It’s quite likely tuners supported by the original Matrix mini PC will also be supported on Matrix 2.

TBS_5520_TunerTBS Matrix 2 sells for $149.99 plus shipping on BuyDVD.net. You may find more details on TBS 2980 Matrix 2 product page.

Thanks to Ovi for the tip.

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Popcorn Hour VTEN Review

April 17th, 2015 7 comments

Popcorn Hour VTEN a Linux based media player powered by Sigma Designs SMP8757 ARM Cortex A9 processor. Contrary to the many Android TV boxes I tested in the last few years, the device is dedicated to media playback, even though it has an App Store with 59 apps including YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. I’ve already taken a few pictures of the device and board, so today, I’ll go through the user interface, quickly test the app store, go through my library of video test files, and check if HDMI audio pass-through is indeed working.

Popcorn Hour VTEN User Interface

I’ve connected VTEN to an Ethernet Gigabit switch, the HDMI port to Onkyo TX-NR636 AV receiver which itself is connected to LG 42UB820T 4K UHD TV, and the 5V/3A power supply. Pressing the On/Off switch at the back of the player will start it, and the boot takes just under one minute.

Popcorn_Hour_VTEN_User_InterfaceThe user interface (1280×720 resolution) is quite simple, not necessarily a disadvantage for a media player, with the date, time and weather (if applicable) on the top, as well as icons on the bottom namely: Apps Market, Local Media, Recently Played, Shortcut, Setup, Setup Wizard, and Network Media.

I assume most people will simply ignore the Apps Market. It’s quite slow to navigate, and only features 59 apps to date, including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter app. However, if you don’t have another device to watch YouTube on your TV, you may still consider using it.

The Setup Wizard will allow you select your language, configure the network, and set the time and your location for weather. The Setup is fairly complete with preferences, personalization options (e.g. wallpaper, icon and text colors…), audio options with downmix / pass-through selection for most codecs including PCM, DTS and AC3 (Dolby),  video options including resolution up to 1080p60 or 4K 30Hz, default zoom, aspect ratio, 3D output, and so on. You can also configure the network (IP / Proxy), manage network shares (SAMBA / NFS), configure parental control, set BD/Audio CD options, and upgrade the firmware.

The first time I booted the box, I quickly got a pop-up windows asking me if I wanted to upgrade the firmware. I went through the process, which downloaded the firmware and install it without any issues.

Popcorn_Hour_VTEN_OTA_Firmware_update

I used this “1 April 2015″ firmware for the complete review.

Local Media and Network Media allows you to respectively play files from USB or eSATA drive, or SAMBA or NFS shares. I did all testing from a SAMBA share, but while a USB flash drive was recognize, a Seagate USB hard drive with multiple partitions (NTFS / EXT-4 / exFAT / BTRFS) was simply ignore by the player. I could not test eSATA since I do not have any compatible drive. Finally the Shortcut is used for quick access to directories in Local Media or Network Media apps.

The best way to have a complete look at the user interface is to watch the video below, where I also test HDMI pass-through with DTS-HD MA 7.1 and Dolby TrueHD 7.1 videos, as well as 4K videos with H.264 and 10-bit HEVC / H.265.

Video Playback and Audio Pass-through Testing

I played my library of video test files from a SAMBA share running in an Ubuntu 14.04 computer with the Network Media app. The system had no issues finding my workgroups, and the PCs on the local network. The only inconvenience is that I had to input the username and password with the software keyboard using the remote control, but I guess that’s OK since it should be a one time thing.

I’ve started with some video samples from samplemedia.linaro.org, plus H.265 videos by Elecard, and a low resolution VP9 video:

  • H.264 codec / MP4 container (Big Buck Bunny), 480p/720p/1080p – OK
  • MPEG2 codec / MPG container, 480p/720p/1080p – OK.
  • MPEG4 codec, AVI container 480p/720p/1080p – OK
  • VC1 codec (WMV), 480p/720p/1080p – OK
  • Real Media (RMVB), 720p / 5Mbps – RV8, RV9, and RV10 – Failed. Network Media app reports “No content found”.  .rmvb files are probably filtered out
  • WebM / VP8 – Failed. Network Media app reports “No file listed”, as .webm files are filtered out
  • H.265 codec / MPEG TS container – 360p, 720p and 1080p – OK
  • WebM / VP9 (no audio in video) – Failed. Network Media app reports “No content found”. (webm file)

All files play very well, expect VP8/VP9 and RealMedia because the file extensions are supported, and did not show in the player.

Let’s move 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) – Plays, but could be smoother (Most players are troubles playing this file smoothly).
  • Jellyfish-120-Mbps.mkv (120 Mbps video without audio) – OK

The Jellyfish video played fine over the Gigabit Ethernet connection, which is good news, however, I’ve seen some buffering with some other lower bitrate videos, so I wonder is Ethernet is 100% stable all of the time (TBC).

Most Android media player don’t support HD Audio pass-through via HDMI with codecs like DTS-HD or Dolby TrueHD, but Sigma Designs solution have been supporting HDMI audio pass-through for years. So I’ve check using Onkyo TX-NR636 AV receiver via HDMI and optical S/PDIF, and I’ve also made sure to check whether downmix is working for all tested codec.

Here are the settings I used for HDMI audio pass-through.

And the results of my tests:

Video’s Audio Codec HDMI downmix HDMI Pass-through optical SPDIF Pass-through
AC3 / Dolby Digital 5.1 OK OK OK
E-AC-3 / Dolby Digital+ 5.1 OK OK OK
Dolby Digital+ 7.1 OK OK Audio Formats Not Supported over S/PDIF
Dolby TrueHD 5.1 No Audio OK
Dolby TrueHD 7.1 No Audio OK
DTS-HD Master OK OK
DTS-HD High Resolution OK OK

So HDMI audio pass-through worked perfectly for me, and VTEN is the first device I’ve tested that support DTS-HD and TrueHD pass-through with 7.1 channels. However, if you don’t own an AV receiver, but still want to play video with Dolby TrueHD audio, you’re out of the luck, at least with this firmware version.  The first line of the release notes of the firmware reads “Improve on Dolby TrueHD pass-through audio drop or audio-out-of-sync problems (reduce chance of happening)”, but I encountered this bug a few times during testing. The only solution is currently to stop the video, and resume where you stopped.

Sintel-Bluray.iso (unencrypted Bluray ISO) could play fine, as well as two 1080i MPEG2 videos (GridHD.mpg & Pastel1080i25HD.mpg). However, I could only get audio with Hi10p H.264 videos:

  • [Commie] Steins;Gate – NCED [BD 720p AAC] [10bit] [C706859E].mkv – Audio only / black screen. Shows 1,000 fps in Info overlay.
  • [1080p][16_REF_L5.1][mp3_2.0]Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu BD OP.mkv – Audio only / black screen. Lots of buffering despite low bitrate.

VTEN supports 4K output up to 2160p 30Hz via HDMI 1.4 output, so I tested a few 4K videos with relative success:

  • HD.Club-4K-Chimei-inn-60mbps.mp4 – OK
  • sintel-2010-4k.mkv – OK
  • Beauty_3840x2160_120fps_420_8bit_HEVC_MP4.mp4 (H.265) – OK (Appears cleaner than on other platforms, not white dots on black)
  • Bosphorus_3840x2160_120fps_420_8bit_HEVC_MP4.mp4 (H.265) – OK
  • Jockey_3840x2160_120fps_420_8bit_HEVC_TS.ts (H.265) – OK
  • MHD_2013_2160p_ShowReel_R_9000f_24fps_RMN_QP23_10b.mkv (10-bit HEVC) – OK, but seeking is not working.
  • phfx_4KHD_VP9TestFootage.webm (VP9) – Not listed in Network Media app
  • BT.2020.20140602.ts (Rec.2020 compliant video) – WBlack screen and no audio
  • tears_of_steel_4k_H264_24fps.mov – OK
  • big_buck_bunny_4k_H264_30fps.mp4 – OK
  • big_buck_bunny_4k_H264_60fps.mp4 – Plays OK (up to 30 fps), but I’ve noticed audio and video are out of sync

Overall 4K video playback is one of the best I’ve experienced so far. I’ve also check videos and pictures are not somehow downscaled but playing a 4K video test pattern, and taking a close up, as I did for 6 other ARM based 4K players.
Popcorn_Hour_VTEN_4K_Video
The 4K video looks very sharp, and we can clearly see black and white pixels of the pattern video.

Popcorn_Hour_VTEN_4K_PictureBut jpg or png pictures are not quite as clear, so they must have been software decoded to the 720p frame buffer, instead of being rendered on an hardware scaler @ 4K resolution.

The latest Popcorn Hour model supports 3D videos, and despite my TV not supporting 3D, I’ve also checked 3D decoding capability of the platform:

  • bbb_sunflower_1080p_60fps_stereo_abl.mp4 (1080p Over/Under) – OK
  • bbb_sunflower_2160p_60fps_stereo_abl.mp4 (2160p Over/Under) – Black screen, audio only
  • Turbo_Film-DreamWorks_trailer_VO_3D.mp4 (1080p SBS) – OK

I’ve never manage to play the 2160p 3D video on any video, as it must require two 2160p hardware video decoders capable of decoding the top and bottom videos in the file.

Several AVI, MKV, IFO and MP4 videos (720p/1080p) could play smoothly, and without A/V sync issues. I had a bit less luck with FLV videos as only about 50% would work. One made the app restart, and I had a black screen and no audio for many of them. I also played a full 1080p movie (1h50 / MKV / 3GB) with any troubles. The box does not really get hot, and the maximum temperature I measured with an IR thermometer was 41 C.

You can checkout my “video samples” post for links to sample videos, especially the comments section.

Conclusion

Popcorn Hour VTEN is a pretty decent 4K media player, and it’s actually one of the best 4K and H.265 device I’ve tested so far, as well as the only one that supports both DTS-HD Master / High Resolution, and Dolby TrueHD HDMI audio pass-through. The player is also using the same high quality metal enclosure as in Open Hour Chameleon which ensure a relatively cool operation.

That’s not to say there aren’t any issues or limitations. For example, the device could not recognize any partitions on my hard drive (NTFS/ EXT-4 / exFAT / BTRFS), some video containers format are filtered out like webm and rmvb, and I had trouble playing several FLV videos, as well as Hi10p videos, and a black screen was all I got. I’ve also come across several bugs, such as losing audio after seeking or using trick mode while playing videos with HDMI audio pass-through enabled (Not reproducible with all files), and in one case I had video and audio were out of sync. Hopefully, Cloud Media will work through all these issues over time, and make VTEN an even better device.

Price may also be an hindrance, as I’ve noticed Chromeboxes seems popular Kodi devices, and an Asus Chromebox M004U costs just $159.99 in the US with features similar to what VTEN is capable of, except for H.265/HEVC video decoding, and 4K video output and decoding.

Popcorn Hour VTEN can be purchased on Cloud Media website for $169 + shipping, and WP-160N wireless USB adapter (802.11n) is also offered for $11.90.  You can also find both on eBay for the same price.

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Popcorn Hour VTEN 4K Linux Media Player Unboxing & Teardown

April 16th, 2015 6 comments

Cloud Media (aka Syabas) sent me their latest Popcorn Hour VTEN media player. It supports HDMI output up to 4K, H.265 video codec, and features an eSATA connector, as well as optical and coaxial S/PDIF connectors. Today, I’ll show some pictures of the kit, and teardown the box to checkout the hardware, and in a few days, I’ll report on the user interface, video playback, and HDMI audio pass-through capabilities.

Popcorm Hour VTEN Unboxing

The unexpected device was sent via Fedex in the package shown below.

Popcorn_Hour_VTEN_packageIt lists some of the key features such as H.265, DSD (Direct Stream Digital), FLAC, Matroska, UPnP, 3D, and 4K Ultra HD support, as well as the specs, and more features and package content in English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Dutch, Swedish, and Danish.

Popcorn Hour VTEN, Remote, Cables, Power Supply, User's Guide, and Warranty (Click to Enlarge)

Popcorn Hour VTEN, Remote, Cables, Power Supply, User’s Guide, and Warranty (Click to Enlarge)

The box comes with an IR remote control and two AAA batteries, an HDMI cable, a SATA cable, a 5V/3A power supply, a quick start guide, and a warranty document.

Popcorn Hour V10 (Click to Enlarge)

Popcorn Hour V10 (Click to Enlarge)

The device itself looks very similar to Open Hour Chameleon, as they basically used the same metallic enclosure.

VTEN (aka V10) media player comes with two LEDs and the IR receiver window on the front panel, an SD card slot and a USB 2.0 host port on one side, with the rest of the port all available on the rear panel: an IR extension jack, optical and coaxial S/PDIF output, HDMI output, an Ethernet port, another USB 2.0 port, the eSATA port, an On/Off switch, and the power barrel.

Popcorn Hour VTEN Teardown

Opening the case is pretty easy, as all you need to do is to loosen four screws on the bottom.

Bottom of PCH V10 Board (Click to Enlarge)

Bottom of PCH V10 Board (Click to Enlarge)

The only interesting bit on this side is the MAC address with 00:06:DC prefix looking-up to “Syabas Technology (Amquest)”. To completely remove the board from the enclosure, you need to loosen two screws on the rear panel, and the four screws holding the PCB in place, before sliding the board out.
Popcorn_Hour_VTEN_HeatsinkJust like with the Chameleon. thermal design has been neatly done with an aluminum ingot screwed to the metallic enclosure, and a thermal pad providing contact with the Sigma Designs processor.

Top of PCH V10 Board (Click to Enlarge)

Top of PCH V10 Board (Click to Enlarge)

The full name of the processor is “Sigma Designs SMP8757B80-CBE3 Secure Media Processor”. An SK Hynix H27U4G8F2ETR NAND flash provides 512MB internal storage, and two SK Hynix H5TQ4G63AFR DDR3 chips 1GB system memory. One of the two headers might provide access to the serial console for some hacking. There’s no wireless module for WI-Fi or Bluetooth, so an external USB dongle is required if you need wireless connectivity.

Popcorn Hour VTEN can be purchased on Cloud Media website for $169 + shipping, and WP-160N wireless USB adapter (802.11n) is also offered for $11.90.  You can also find both on eBay for the same price.

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Allwinner H-Series OTT SoC Roadmap Adds H5 and H2+ Processors

April 15th, 2015 5 comments

Previously Allwinner only had A-Series processor such as A10 that were used in tablets and media players, but they’ve recently launch H-series processors for “Home entertainment” such as H64, H8 or H3 SoCs that have been specifically designed for media players and OTT (Over-the-top) boxes. The company has unveiled its OTT SoC roadmap at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair which adds two new processors Allwinner H2 and Allwinner H5.

Allwinner_H-Series_Roadmap

Allwinner H2+ will a quad core Cortex A7 processor support H.265 video decoding, 1080p decoding, and TrustZone support, and should the cheapest processor of the family. Based on the chart above, the processor must have been sampling by the end of last year, so H2+ media players should come to market very soon.

Allwinner H5 will be at the other end of the scale, featuring eight Cortex A53 cores, a 4K H.265 decoder, an H.265 encoder (1080p?), and TrustZone support as all their other recent processors. The processor is expected in Q2 2015 (That’s now), so I assume products will hit the shelves by the end of the year.

NetbookItalia also filmed a few products with Allwinner H8 and H3 processors, as well as a largish Allwinner H64 development board for OTT box (not Nobel64) that will run Android 5.0 on top of Linux 3.10.

Via AndroidPC.es

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Open Hour Chameleon RK3288 TV Box Gets (Partial) DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD HDMI Pass-through Support

April 11th, 2015 6 comments

People owning AV receivers capable of outputting 7.1 channels or more have had a hard time finding Android TV boxes that supports HD audio pass-through via HDMI. Many devices can pass through 5.1 codec like DTS or Dolby Digital (AC3 / E-AC3), but so far, none of the boxes I’ve tried could manage content with DTS-HD (MA / HR) and Dolby TrueHD with 8 channels properly. The one that came close was Zidoo X9 with support for Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and 7.1, but it downmixes 7.1 channels to 5.1 channels. So the only cost effective options to get proper 7.1 channel pass-through were Intel based mini PCs running Linux such as Asus Chromebox M004U or Intel NUCs.

Android_HDMI_pass-through-DTS-HD_MA_Dolby_TrueHD

But recently, I’ve seen some progress. For example, yesterday Cloud Media released a new firmware for their Open Hour Chameleon media player based on Rockchip RK3288 processor.

Their Android 4.4.2 firmware (version 1.0.23) is promises support for HD audio pass-through, albeit with some limitations:

  • Supported Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA in MKV/TS.
  • HD Audio in BDISO not yet support.  Will be supported in next week build.
  • SPMC HD Audio support require Koying to enable that in SPMC.

So currently TrueHD and DTS-HD MA only work with the internal player, and only with Matroska or transport stream containers. Kodi support, an in this case SMPC fork, is not enabled yet, but I assume it should come in time. A new firmware is coming next, with blu-ray support so I might give a try a that time.

But Open Hour Chameleon is not the only Android platform to have made progress in that regards, as users have confirmed Minix NEO X8-H can also support DTS-HD and TrueHD pass-through, although by using Vidon XBMC Pro that costs $15 per year. Sadly in the same thread, other users also found bugs with some files, and automatic frame rate switching must be disabled for pass-through to work. Vidon XBMC Pro is said to be working on Allwinner A10, A20, & A31s, Amlogic S805, 802 & S812, as well as Mstar MSO9810, but I’m not sure whether you can expect on any products featuring one of those processors. Beside VidOn Box, the only “Vidon XBMC certified” box is Egreat A9, and those two might be the only ones supporting HD audio pass-through right now, although I have not seen any reviews so far that properly tested these capabilities.

So if you need HDMI pass-through today, I still think going with Intel platforms would be better, except Bay Trail-T platforms which do not support 7.1 pass-through, only 5.1. I’m not quite sure about Bay Trail-M and Bay Trail-D support, so feedback would be appreciated here. However, if you’ve purchased a Rockchip RK3288 box with good support, there’s hope for proper HD audio pass-through in the coming weeks or months.

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Mygica ATV586 Amlogic S805 Android TV Box Comes with DVB-T2 or ATSC Tuner

April 9th, 2015 5 comments

One of the first quad core Android DVB-T2 receiver was VideoStrong K1 that now sells for $80 on Aliexpress, but there’s now some competition from Geniatech, with the same Amlogic S805 processor, thanks to Mygica ATV586 Android TV box featuring either a DVB-T2 or ATSC tuner.
ATV586_DVB-T2_Media-player
ATV586 Specifications:

  • SoC – Amlogic S805 quad core ARM Cortex A5 @ 1.5GHz with quad core Mali-450MP GPU
  • System Memory – 1 GB DDR3
  • Storage – 4 GB NAND flash + micro SD slot (up to 32GB)
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI 1.4
  • Video Codec – H.265, H.264 etc.. up to 1080p60
  • Tuner
    • DVB-T & DVB-T2 standard with single input terminal (75 Ohm); Frequency – 48.25 – 863.25 MHz; Bandwidth: 6, 7 or 8 MHz
    • ATSC also supported (with a different tuner)
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports
  • Misc – IR sensor
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – 210 x 171 x 35 mm
  • Weight – 160 grams

DVB-T2_Android_Media_Player

The box runs Android 4.4.2 (Kitkat) with various pre-installed apps like Kodi 14.1, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu and more. The DVB-T2 function is allegedly supported directly within Kodi, which might be an advantage against competing solutions, and the system can also stream digital TV from the box to your smartphone or tablet. Other features include OTA firmware update, EPG and TV recording to an external hard drive.

The box should be available by the end of the month for $139 (MSRP), which is quite a mark-up compared to Videostrong K1 price, but hopefully actual retail price will be a bit lower, and software may justify the price. Mygica ATV586 must be based on Geniatech ATV586, but with some modifications like the addition of an external Wi-Fi antenna, which replaces optical S/PDIF on the Geniatech device.

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ALi M3733 Dual Core Processor Finds its Way into DVB-T2 & DVB-S2 Android and Linux Set-top Boxes

April 9th, 2015 8 comments

Ten years ago, I remember ALi was in big player in DVD players, but I had not much heard about them since then. Thanks to a ARMdevices.net I found out they are still around, and their latest Ali M3733 dual core ARM Cortex A9 processor will soon be found in DVB set-top boxes like Uyesee L100T2 with a DVB-T2 tuner, or EKT DSD7045 DVB-S2 hybrid set-top box. The former is running Android 4.4, but the latter is likely based on Linux since it only has 512MB NAND flash.

Ali_M3733_Android_Set-top-box

Uyesee L100T2

The EKT receiver runs SolidTV middleware with HbbTV, conditional access, and more features, and it does look like an interesting product, but I’ll focus on the Uyesse for this post:

  • SoC – ALi M3733 dual core Cortex A9 processor with a dual core Mali-400 GPU
  • System Memory – 512 MB DDR3 (Option: 1GB)
  • Storage – 4GB NAND flash (Options: 8 to 32GB)
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4a up to 1080p + composite video ouput
  • Audio Output – HDMI + audio port
  • Tuner
    • DVB-T and DVB-T2 with male and female IEC 169-24 connectors for loop and output.
    • Frequency – 104-862MHz(VHF/UHF)
    • Demodulation – QPSK,16QAM,64QAM for DVB-T; QPSK,16QAM,64QAM,256AM for DVB-T2
    • FFT mode – 2K,8K for DVB-T;  1K,2K,4K,8K,16K,32K,32K ext for DVB-T2
    • FEC Code rate – 1/2,2/3,3/4,5/6,7/8 for DVB-T; 1/2,3/5,2/3,3/4,4/5,5/6 for DVB-T2
    • Guard interval – 1/4,1/8,1/16,1/32 for DVB-T;  14,5/32,1/8,5/64,1/16,1/32,1/64,1/128 for DVB-T2
    • Bandwidth – 6MHz,7MHz,8MHz
    • De-multiplexer – MPEG2 ISO/IEC 13818-1
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 2.4GHz Wi-Fi
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports including one OTG port
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – N/A
EKT DSD7045 Satellite Receiver

EKT DSD7045 Satellite Receiver

The box runs Android 4.4.4 with a customized version of XBMC/Kodi with “dolby dts hardware decoding”. Uyesee box specifications do not have any codec listed, but I found some details on the EKT device:

  • Single 720p Hardware transcoding MPEG-4 Part 10 AVC HD/ H.264 HP@L4, MP@ L3
  • HEVC, h.265 software decoding @720p
  • Backwards compatible with MPEG-2 MP@ML

I’m assuming the 720p limitation is only for transcoding and H.265, and that common codec like H.264 / MPEG-4, MPEG-2 can all be decoded in Full HD. There’s no M3773 on ALi products page, so it’s difficult to confirm this information right now. DVB-T2 recording is only working with the 1GB version, so once this type of devices become available make sure you don’t get a model with only 512MB, unless you don’t care about recording and time-shifting. The receiver will come with a remote control, an HDMI cable, a power adapter, and user’s manual by default, with optional 2.4GHz air mouse or wireless mouse and keyboard combo.

You can find out a bit more about L100T2 and its user interface in the video below.

The video might have been recorded a few weeks ago, and M3773 devices should be available very soon. Uyesee will showcase their L100T2 box and other products at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair on April 13-16, 2015.

[Update: Reference price is $45, and pre-production sample will be available by the end of April]

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