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Posts Tagged ‘set-top box’

MINIX Unveils NEO X8 and X8s Android TV Boxes Powered by Amlogic S802 & S802-H SoCs

April 13th, 2014 6 comments

MINIX has been providing Rockchip based Android TV boxes for a couple of years notably with their NEO X5 and NEO X7. They will now also offer devices powered by Amlogic with NEO X8 and NEO X8s respectively powered by S802 and S802-H quad core SoC. The advantage of the former is that it fully supports DTS and Dolby decoding and pass-through.
MINIX_NEO_X8sLet go through the hardware specs of both devices:

  • SoC
    • NEO X8 – Amlogic S802 quad core cortex A9r4 @ 2 GHz with Mali-450MP6 GPU
    • NEO X8s – Amlogic S802-H quad core cortex A9r4 @ 2 GHz with Mali-450MP6 GPU including Dolby and DTS support.
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8GB (X8) / 16GB (X8s) eMMC + SD/MMC card reader
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, dual band support for X8s, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4b up to 4K @ 30 fps, with CEC support
  • Audio Output – Hdmi, 3.5mm stereo jack, optical S/PDIF
  • Video Container Formats – DAT, MPEG, MPE, MPG, TS/TP, VOB, ISO, AVI, MP4, MOV, 3GP, FLV, MKV, M2TS, MTS, M4V, WMV, ASF, RM/RMVB, etc…
  • Audio Formats – MP2, MP3, WMA, WAV, OGG, OGA, FLAC, ALAC, APE, AAC etc… NEO X8s only: Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital+, and DTS
  • USB – 3x USB 2.0 host ports
  • Misc – IR receiver.
  • Power Supply – 5V/3A

Both devices will run Android 4.4 Kitkat. 4K2K video decoding and output are supported, as well as 1080p video encoding.

From an hardware specs perspective, NEO X8 is very similar to the two other Amlogic S802 STBs I’ve received, namely M8 and Tronsmart Vega S89, but NEO X8s is the first Android TV Box I’ve ever seen being announced with S802-H for proper Dolby and DTS support.

Pricing has not been announced, but the company expects their new devices to be available by the end of May. A new air mouse, NEO M1, has also been announced with “six-axis gyroscope support and built-in anti-shake technology for superior accuracy and control”.

Via Facebook. Thanks to Luis and Tadej for the tip.

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Android TV Box with Satellite (DVB-S2) Receiver Sells for $84

February 14th, 2014 26 comments

Last year, I wrote about DVB-S2 Android STB that are just like your typical Android media player except they allow you to connect your dish antenna to receive TV channels available via satellite. They were all based on AMLogic AML8726-M1/M3 single core processor, and I could not find an sellers at the time. There’s now a new model called EM6-S2 featuring AML8726-MX dual core processor, Android 4.2, and a DVB-S2 receiver with two antenna inputs that available on Aliexpress for $92.90 $84 from a seller with good feedback, as well as Geekbuying for $97.29.

EM6-S2Let’s go though the specifications:

  • SoC – AMLogic AML8726-MX dual cortex A9 @ 1.5 GHz + Mali-400MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3 RAM
  • Storage – 8GB NAND FLASH + SD card reader
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI 1.4, AV
  • Audio Output – HDMI, AV, and optical SPDIF.  DOLBY TrueHD and DTS HD DOLBY TrueHD and DTS HD pass-through via HDMI (and SPDIF?)
  • USB – 2x USB host ports
  • DVB-S2 Support with DTV IN and OUT
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • Misc – Power Indicator (LED). ON :blue, Standby :Red
  • Power Supply – 12V/1.5A

DVB-S2_AndroidThe device runs Android 4.2.2, and comes with an IR remote, a 12V/1.5A power adapter, AV and HDMI cables, and a user’s manual in English. I’m not exactly sure which application is used to watch TV, and/if this works with XBMC Android. The manufacturer appears to be Eny Technology, and they also make EM6-T2 with DVB-T2 support which sells for a little over $90 on Aliexpress and Geekbuying.

Via AndroidPC.es

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4K2K Android TV Boxes with AMLogic S802 SoC – Tronsmart Vega S89 and Eny ES8

February 13th, 2014 31 comments

For nearly a year, we’ve been waiting for Android TV media players based on the latest AMLogic quad core Cortex A9 SoC, that’s been known as AML8726-M8, then M801/M802, and there’s AMLogic S802, which is the set-top box version of the SoC. M must probably stands for MID, and S for STB. Geniatech ATV1800 seems to never become available, and instead I’ve found out about two other Android TV boxes powered by S802 called Tronsmart Vega S89 and Eny ES8 that should sell very soon. The specs look great, but if you are into rather standard enclosures you may be disappointed…

Tronsmart Vega S89

Tronsmart_Vega_S89The first one is Vega S89. It will be sold on Geekbuying, and has with the following specifications:

  • SoC – AMLogic S802 quad core ARM Cortex A9r4 at 2.0GHz with ARM Mali-450MP6 GPU
  • System Memory – 2G DDR3
  • Storage – 16 GB NAND Flash + micro SD card slot up to 64GB
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4b up to 4K2K (2160p = 3840×2160), and AV
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports + micro USB OTG
  • Audio Output – HDMI, AV, optical S/PDIF
  • Misc – IR Sensor, Power LED, power button, and recovery/update switch (via hole)

This hockey puck media player will come with a 5V/2A power adapter, an HDMI cable, and USB cable, and a user’s manual.  It will run Android 4.4 Kitkat with stock home screen, support OTA function, Miracast, and DLNA. If 4K support is important to you, please note that it’s using HDMI 1.4b which limits the frame rate to 30 fps in UHD resolution. You’d need HDMI 2.0 for 2160p60 support. Price and retail availability is unknown at this point, but Geekbuying will received samples some time next week. You can check Tronsmart Vega S89 page for more pictures.

Eny Technology ES8

Eny_ES8 ES8 media player has similar specifications:

  • SoC – AMLogic S802 quad core ARM Cortex A9r4 @ 2.0GHz with ARM Mali-450MP6 GPU @ 600 MHz
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3 @ up to 1600 MHz
  • Storage – 8GB / 16 GB NAND Flash + micro SD card slot up to 64GB
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4b up to 4K2K (2160p = 3840×2160), AV
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports
  • Audio Output – HDMI, AV, optical S/PDIF

ES8 will be available with either 8 or 16 GB, and miss Bluetooth support and a micro USB port found in Tronsmart Vega S89. Price and availability are not available either. You can check Eny Technology ES8 page for a few more 3D renderings. The company sells the device on Alibaba.

The Antutu scores on an early sample of Geniatech ATV1800 was 25,000, and it goes up to over 30,000 on M802 based tablets such as Onda V975m. Rockchip RK3188 based devices only get around 18,000 in Antutu. The higher score is due to a new revision of Cortex A9 core (revision 4) that allows M802/S802 to reach 2 GHz, a much faster 6+2 core GPU, and more memory bandwidth. Another advantage with AMLogic SoCs is that XBMC support is likely to be better than for Rockchip or other silicon vendors’ ARM SoCs.

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Media Player SoCs at CES 2014 – Qualcomm Snapdragon 802 and Sigma Designs SMP8756

January 9th, 2014 3 comments

Apart from Nvidia Tegra K1, CES 2014 has been somewhat disappointing when it comes to new mobile SoCs announcement. On the media processor front, we’ve had Marvell announces Skyworth Android TV set-top boxes and HDTV based on their ARMADA 1500 Plus SoC, and we’ve got at least two new processors for media players with Qualcomm Snapdragon 802, and Sigma Designs SMP8756. Let’s have a look at some of the details.

Qualcomm_Sigma_Designs

Qualcomm Snapdragon 802

Qualcomm has started to enter the media player space with MPQ8064 / 8064M last year, but I haven’t seen actual products based on this SoC, except Qubi, which is not shipping yet. This year, the company announced Snapdragon 802 SoC designed for next-generation smart TVs, smart set-top boxes and smart digital media adapters.

As usual, the company gave very little details in the press release, but here’s what we know:

  • Quad core Krait processor @ 1.8Ghz with Adreno 330 GPU
  • Qualcomm Hollywood Quality Video (HQV) processing engine allow up-converted 1080p content to be delivered at a level approaching Ultra HD
  • Hexagon DSP provides efficient processing for Dolby Digital and DTS surround sound
  • Dual-band Qualcomm VIVE 802.11ac
  • Ultra HD resolution, and video decoding support
  • Playback of four HD videos simultaneously
  • Advanced content protection with integrated Snapdragon StudioAccess

The company will provide a custom Android Software Framework based on Kit Kat, as well as AllJoyn software connectivity framework for the “Internet of Everything”.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 802 processor will begin sampling in Q1 2014, and is expected to be in commercial devices by the end of the year. There’s no information on Qualcomm website.

Sigma Designs SMP8756

A few years ago, Sigma Designs processor were based on ARM7TDMI, and the company switches to MIPS core since then, but company has just gone back to ARM with SMP8756 secure media processor featuring ARM Cortex A9 CPUs and Mali GPU. Their newly announced HiDTV PRO-SX6 also features a dual core ARM Cortex A9 and Mali-400 GPU.

SMP8756 is a processor for set-top boxes and DVR, part of the company’s new SMP8750 series SoC, with support for 4K2K and HEVC, and the following specifications and features:

  • CPU – Single core ARM Cortex A9
  • GPU – ARM Mali-400
  • FHD (1080p) and UHD (2160p) resolution and video decoding
  • HEVC Main-10 profile allowing processing of up to 10-bit color samples
  • Broadcast TS processing
  • Secure media processing
  • Multi-format Full-HD video decoding
  • VXP display processing
  • Certification of CAS technologies (e.g. Verimatrix and Nagravision) planned.

The company can provide both Android and Linux SDKs for development. is available for either Linux or Android platform development. The chipset will support global tuner/demodulator standards, wired and wireless network controllers, DTV middleware stacks and IPTV middleware ports, such as Wyplay and OpenTV.

There’s no availability information, nor SMP8756 product page on Sigma Designs website.

PS: There’s actually been another STB SoC announcement at CES 2014 with Broadcom BCM7364 and BCM7399 for entry-level satellite STB, but they do not seem to offer IP connectivity.

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Geniatech ATV1220 Dual Core Android TV Box with DVB-T Tuner Sells for $95 and Up

January 5th, 2014 14 comments

I’ve tested several Android TV boxes based on AMLogic AML8726-MX dual core processor including GBox Midnight MX2, Tronsmart Prometheus, or Jynxbox M6, that sell for about $90 to $120. Today I’ve been informed that Geniatech ATV1220 offers about the same hardware specs as the aforementioned devices, but adds a DVB-T tuner, and sells for $95 on ChinaVasion, or $99 on Mygica e-Store (Geniatech comsumer brand).

Geniatech_ATV1220Geniatech / Mygica ATV1220 Enjoy TV dual core hybrid box specifications:

  • SoC – AMLogic AML8726-MX dual core Cortex A9 @ 1.5 GHz + Mali-400 GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3
  • Storage -  4GB NAND flash + SD card slot
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4a, composite
  • Audio – HDMI, stereo audio via RCA connectors.
  • Antenna Input – Compliant with DVB-T, Frequency: TV 48.25 ~ 863.25 MHz.
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n with external antenna
  • USB – 4x USB 2.0 host ports
  • Misc – IR receiver, network and status LEDs, and power button
  • Power Supply – 12V/1.5A DC
  • Dimensions – 168(L) x 132mm(W) x 21mm(T)
  • Weight – 402g
Mygica ATV1220 Rear Panel and Typical Connections (Click to Enlarge)

Mygica ATV1220 Rear Panel and Typical Connections (Click to Enlarge)

The box comes with an HDMI cable, a power adapter, and an IR Remote Control (CR2025 battery not included). The remote on Mygica and ChinaVasion appears to be different, not sure why. You can also control the device via your Android or iOS device using “Geniatech Air Remote” app. This media player runs Android 4.1, and is said to support XBMC, DLNA and Airplay.

As a side note, I’ve just read AMLogic hardware video decode has recently been added to XBMC Android nightly builds, so all AMLogic devices should be officially supported in current development builds and in the upcoming XBMC v13 (Gotham) release.

You may find more information on Geniatech ATV1220 page.

Thanks to onebir for the tip.

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Popcorn Hour A-410 Linux Based Networked Media Jukebox is Now Available for Pre-order for $259

January 4th, 2014 8 comments

CloudMedia, previously known a Syabas, has announced the available of Popcorn Hour A410, a networked media jukebox (NMJ) powered by Sigma Designs SMP8911 dual core processor with 1GB RAM, Gigabit Ethernet, support for 2.5″ and 3.5″ SATA drives, USB 3.0, and numerous audio / video ports. It can be used as a media player, as well as a NAS (Networked Access Storage).
Popcorn_Hour_A410Popcorn Hour A410 specifications:

  • SoC – Sigma Designs SMP8911 Dual-Core 800Mhz processor (MIPS) with 512KB L2 Cache and VXP Video Processor
  • System Memory1024MB DDR2
  • Storage – 256MB SLC NAND Flash, SD Card reader, 2.5″ and 3.5″ SATA HDD bay, and eSATA connector.
  • Audio/Video I/OsHDMI, Component, CVBS, Stereo Audio, optical and coaxial S/PDIF.
  • Audio DAC – ESS Sabre Audiophile class DAC (24-bit, 192 Khz sampling rate)
  • Video containers – MPEG1/2/4 Elementary (M1V, M2V, M4V),MPEG1/2 PS (M2P, MPG, DAT, VOB),MPEG2 Transport Stream (TS, TP, TRP, M2T, M2TS, MTS),AVI, ASF, WMV, Matroska (MKV),MOV (H.264), MP4, RMP4, 3D BD ISO
  • Video Decoders – XVID SD/HD,MPEG-1, MPEG-2 MP@HL, MPEG-4.2 ASP@L5, 720p, 1-point GMC, MPEG-4.10 (H.264) : BP@L3, [email protected], [email protected], [email protected],WMV9 : MP@HL,SMPTE 421M (VC-1) : MP@HL, AP@L3
  • Audio Containers – AAC, M4A,MPEG audio (MP1, MP2, MP3, MPA),WAV, WMA, FLAC, OGG
  • Audio DecodersDTS, WMA, WMA Pro,MPEG-1 Layer 1, 2, 3, MPEG-4 AAC-LC, MPEG-4 HE-AAC, MPEG-4 BSAC ,LPCM, FLAC, Vorbis, TrueAudio, APE Audio
  • Audio Passthrough – DTS, DTS-HD HR, DTS-HD MA
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 Host, 1 x USB 3.0 Slave
  • Connectivity – 10/100/1000M Ethernet
  • Misc – Power and Standby LEDs, IR sensor
  • Power Supply – 12V DC, 3.5A Max
  • Power Consumption – Typical: 15W, Max: 40W.
  • Dimensions – 182mm (W) x 158mm (L) x 56mm (H)
  • Weight – 1.3 kg
  • Casing – Aluminum case designed by Silverstone , fanless Operation

The box comes with a remote Control and corresponding two AAA batteries, several cables (HDMI, eSATA, and USB 3.0 slave), one HDD dock key, foud HDD dock screws, an AC power adapter, a quick start guide, and a warranty card.

Popcorm_Hour_A410_Rear_Panel

Several network protocols are supported namely Bonjour, UPnP SSDP, UPnP AV, Windows Media Connect, Windows Media Player NSS, Samba, NFS, BitTorrent P2P, and Usenet downloader. It can be access as a NAS via SMB, NFS, or  FTP.

Popcorn Hour A400/A410 User Interface (Click to Enlarge)

Popcorn Hour A400/A410 Jukebox User Interface (Click to Enlarge)

The user interface is said to be customizable with shortcuts and a background that changes according to the time of the day, and Network Media Tank Jukebox (shown above) is pre-installed in the box. An Android and iOS app called NMJ navigator can freely be downloaded and installed in order to control your device via your smartphone or tablet.

Sigma Designs SMP8911 is a secure media processor with two main MIPS cores @ 800MHz, one more MIPS core @ 400MHz for image processing, a security core @ 400MHz, three DSPs @ 400MHz, a 2D/3D graphics processing unit, and more.

SMP8910 / SMP8911 Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

SMP8910 / SMP8911 Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

You can read more details about the processor on my earlier coverage of SMP8910 / SP8911, or on Sigma Designs SMP8910 page.

For further information and/or pre-order the device for $259, visit Popcorn Hour A410 page. Shipping is expected on the 10th of January. Since A410 is an upgrade of the previous A400 NMJ with more RAM, and the Audio DAC, you can also check out A400 user’s manual, and visit networkedmediatank.com forums.

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Ampeq SoundPad 2 is an Android TV Box with a 7″ Tablet and Stereo Speakers

January 3rd, 2014 1 comment

SoundPad 2, also known under the model name NA-307, is a tablet with a stand featuring two large (for a tablet) stereo speakers manufactured by Ampeq / Pan-Ocean Technology. The device can be used as a Bluetooth speaker, an Internet radio, and a standard Android TV box connected to your TV. It’s the first time I’ve come across this type of product, but Archos released a very similar item last year via its Arnova brand called, oh surprise!, SoundPad.
SoundPad2Let’s have a look at SoundPad 2 specifications:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK2928 cortex A9 processor with ARM Mali-400 GPU.
  • System Memory – 1GB RAM
  • Storage – 4GB flash + micro SD card slot
  • Display – 7″ capacitive touch screen, 1024 x 600 resolution
  • Video Output – HDMI
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, 2x 3W 2″ HiFi speakers, microphone, 3.5mm audio Line IN.
  • Connectivity – Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • USB – 1x micro USB OTG
  • Wi-Fi Display – Airplay, DLNA
  • Camera – 0.3 or 1.3MP front camera with microphone
  • Battery – 2,000 or 3,000 mAh, good for 4 hours of video, 7 hours of music
  • Misc – IR sensor, reset button, radio tuner.

The device runs Android 4.1, and can be controlled with an IR remote, or used with your smartphone as a Bluetooth speaker, and DLNA or Airplay receiver. When you connect the device to your TV via the HDMI port, the 7″ display with turn off, and you can connect input devices via the micro USB OTG port and a USB hub.

SoundPad2 comes with a USB cable, a USB to micro USB adapter, an IR remote control, a power adapter, and a Quick Start Guide. It’s currently available for $145.87 including shipping via DHL from a seller with zero feedback, as well as DealExtreme for $155.

Via AndroidPC.es, and there’s also a video on ARMDevices.net

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