Archive

Posts Tagged ‘set-top box’

Netgem SoundBox is a Speaker with Built-in Set-Top Box Features

February 25th, 2017 1 comment

Netgem, a company specializing in Connected TV & Home, has sent a press release about profit growth, and two new “innovations int its smart home roadmap” with voice control with Amazon, and SoundBox, a connected speaker which embeds set-top box technology.


Netgem does not sell directly to consumers, but instead sell its products and solutions to service providers, and they have not provided a great deal of technical details. But we still know the company has improved Netgem Home Platform, a cloud service allowing the deployment and management of multi-screen features, content discoverability, with support for multi-room, multi-source music service through technology from Voxtok.

SoundBox will then offer both video and audio service, and be controlled by voice using Amazon Alexa. The SoundBox will be customized for each Telco to adapt to the needs of local markets.

A few more details may eventually surfaced on Netgem’s SoundBox product’s page. They’ll also demonstrate their solutions at Mobile World Congress 2017.

Rockchip RK3328 Quad Core 64-bit ARM SoC is Designed for 4K HDR Android 7.1 & Linux TV Boxes

January 11th, 2017 11 comments

Beside RV1108 visual platform for applications, Rockchip also unveiled another processor at CES 2017 with RK3328 quad core Cortex A53 processor for 4K TV Box with H.265, H.264 and VP9 codecs support, HDR, HDMI 2.0, USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet and more.

rk3328-tv-boxRockchip RK3328 STB SoC specifications:

  • Processor – Quad core Cortex A53 @ up to 1.5 GHz
  • GPU – ARM Mali-450MP2
  • Memory I/F – DDR3/DDR3L/DDR4 with “large memory” support (4GB?)
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0a with HDCP 2.x/1.4 up to 4K @ 60 Hz with HDR10/HLG support, CVBS output
  • Video Processor
    • 4K UHD H.264, 10-bit H.265 and VP9 video decoder
    • 1080p H.265/H.264 video encoder
  • Audio – Embedded audio DAC
  • Peripherals
    • embedded USB 3.0 interface
    • Dual Ethernet interface: RGMII (reduced gigabit media-independent interface) + Fast Ethernet PHY
    • 8 channel I2S interface supporting PDM/TDM
    • TS and smart card interface, with support for CSA 2.0
  • Security – TrustZone, Secure Video Path, Secure Boot, OTP

The new processor with support Android 7.1 and Linux, as well as OP-TEE secure OS and DRM support for Widewine L1 and Microsoft PlayReady. The TS interface will allow for tuner (DVB, ATSC…) support.

The processor is quite similar to Amlogic S905X. However the GPU is a bit weaker, which is not really that important for video applications, but not so good for games, and RK3328 also offer some extra interfaces with USB 3.0, dual Ethernet including one Gigabit Ethernet MAC, and tuner support.

The company did not provide any information about pricing or availability in their press release, and has yet to add RK3328 product page to their website.

$79 HiSilicon Poplar is the First 96Boards TV Platform Compliant Board

August 30th, 2016 35 comments

At the end of last month I wrote about 96Boards TV Platform specifications, and noticed Hisilicon had one such boards, but details were sparse. Linaro has now officially unveiled HiSilicon Poplar board, the first 96Boards TV Platform board, sold for $79 + shipping on Aliexpress.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Poplar board specifications:

  • SoC – HiSilicon Hi3798C V200 quad-core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 CPU up to 2.0 GHz per core with ARM Mali-T720 GPU supporting OpenGL ES 3.1/3.0/2.0/1.1/1.0, OpenVG 1.1, OpenCL 1.2/1.1 Full Profile, RenderScript, and Microsoft DirectX 11 FL9_3
  • Memory – 1 or 2 GB DDR3 (Specs are conflicting depending where you look)
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC flash + micro SD card slot
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0a with HDCP 2.2 up to 4K @ 60Hz
  • Video Decoding – H.265/HEVC Main/Main10 and VP9 up to 4K @ 60 fps
  • Audio Output – HDMI, optical S/PDIF, 3.5mm audio jack
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi and Bluetooth
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port, 2xUSB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port for console
  • Expansion
    • 40-pin Low Speed (LS) connector with UART, SPI, I2S, 2x I2C, 12x GPIO
    • 1x PCIe 2.0 interface
    • 12-pin Smart Card connector (unpopulated)
    • 24-pin connector for tuner (unpopulated)
  • Debugging – 1x JTAG port, 1x UART connector
  • Misc – IR receiver, boot selection jumper, LEDs, power button
  • Security – ARM Trustzone, trusted execution environment, secure boot, secure storage, secure video path, DRM, DCAS
  • Power Supply – 12V / 2A
  • Dimensions – 160 x 120 mm (96Boards TV platform specs)
  • Temperature Range – 0°C to +70°C

Hisilicon Hi3798C V200 is quite an interesting processor with many high speed and media interfaces, and while they used most of them, they did not leverage support for SATA. Luckily, there’s still USB 3.0 and PCIe if you need faster storage.

Hi3798C V200 Block Diagram - Click to Enlarge

Hi3798C V200 Block Diagram – Click to Enlarge

The board is sold with Android 5.1.1, but it will be the main development platform of Linaro Digital Home Group which aims “to continue creating optimized, high-performance secure media solutions for ARM on both Linux- and Android-based platforms. Licensees of the RDK (Linux) will be able to create Open Embedded/Yocto RDK builds for Poplar. The Poplar board will also serve as a common development platform for Android TV (AOSP) as well as for TVOS-based STB solutions used in China.”

In the meantime, you may find some information on Tocoding Poplar page, or access directly the hardware user manual. Eventually, 96Boards Poplar page will be a good place to look.

Xtreamer mxV Plus DVB-T2 and mvX Pro DVB-T2/DVB-S2 Combo TV Boxes Support Android and OpenELEC

August 25th, 2016 15 comments

Xtreamer mxV is a family of TV boxes powered by Amlogic S905 processor, and supporting Android 5.1 and OpenELEC firmware provided by the company [Update: It looks like they simply used Vitmos/amlinux.ru image]. There are three models: mxV without tuner, mxV Plus with a DVB-T2 tuner, and mvX Pro with a DVB-T2/DVB-S2 combo tuners.

Xtreamer_mxV_Plus_Pro

The three devices share the same specifications:

  • SoC –  Amlogic S905 quad core ARM Cortex-A53 @ up to 2.0GHz with  penta-core Mali-450MP GPU @ 750 MHz
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC flash + micro SD card slot
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60Hz with HDCP 2.2 support, and 3.5mm AV jack
  • Audio – HDMI, AV (stereo), optical S/PDIF
  • Video Codecs – 10-bit H.265 up to 4K60, MPEG/VC-1/AVS+/H.265 up to 4K30
  • Tuner
    • mxV – None
    • mxV Plus – DVB-T2 tuner with two connectors
    • mxV Pro – Combo DVB-T/T2 and DVB-S/S2 with two connectors
  • Connectivity – Fast Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • USB – 4x USB 2.0 host ports
  • Misc – Power button and LED, IR receiver
  • Power Supply –  DC 12V/1A
  • Dimensions – mxV: 130 x 110 x 32 mm; mxV Plus / Pro: 130 x 120 x 32 mm

The device ships with IR remote control, a quick instruction guide, an HDMI cable, and a 12V/1A AC/DC power adapter. If the design and specs looks similar, it’s because mxV is based on K1 Plus, and mxV Pro on K1 Plus T2/S2. According to a post on Freaktab, mxV firmware either Android 5.1. called “Xtreamer Android TV OS” and supporting OTA firmware updates, or OpenELEC OS released by the company also work on K1 Plus devices. K1 Plus DVB TV boxes have supported OpenELEC (Vitmos build) for several months already, but the Xtreamer version appears to be officially supported by the company.

mxV_EPG_GuideXtreamer boxes are also reasonably priced with mxV selling for 39 Euros, mxV Plus for 49 Euros, and mxV Pro for 59 Euros. At first prices in Euros made me think it was sold from Europe, avoiding custom issues (e.g. “my” WeTek Play 2 has been stuck in customs for 3 weeks with basically no hope of getting it out) and extra duties, but it’s actually shipped from Hong Kong. You can find more information and/or purchase the devices on Xtreamer mxV product pages.

Thanks to Slowstream for the tip.

WeTek Play 2 4K Android Set-top Box with ATSC, DVB-S2 or DVB-T2 Tuners is up for Pre-order for $120

August 19th, 2016 48 comments

With WeTek Play 2, initially unveiled as WeTek Play+, we now have a successor to WeTek Play with the same ATSC, DVB-S2/S, DVB-T2/T/C tuners, but much better specs thanks to Amlogic S905-H processor, 8GB storage, 2GB memory, and support for HDMI 2.0 and 4K60Hz video decoding allowing you to watch 4K UHD channels via your satellite dish for example. The device can be pre-ordered for $119.90 with the tuner of your choice, and shipping is slated to start on September 6th.

WeTek_Play_2

WeTek Play 2 specifications have changed slightly since January:

  • SoC –  Amlogic S905-H rev. C quad core ARM Cortex-A53 @ up to 2.0GHz with  penta-core Mali-450MP GPU @ 750 MHz
  • System Memory – 2 GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8 GB eMMC 5.0 flash + micro SD card slot
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60Hz with HDCP 2.2 support
  • Audio – HDMI, optical S/PDIF
  • Video codecs – H.265 (10bit) & H.264 AVC up to 4K60Hz, H.264 MVC, MPEG-4 ASP, VC-1, AVS, MPEG-2, MPEG-1 up to 1080p60
  • Audio codecs – MP3, AAC, WMA, RM, FLAC, Ogg, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS
  • Tuners – Modular (replaceable) tuners for DVB-S2 (Satellite), DVB-C/T/T2(Cable/terrestrial), and ATSC (terrestrial for North America and South Korea)
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 (Ampak AP6335 module)
  • USB – 3x USB 2.0 host ports
  • DRM – Playready and Widewine; Netflix HD supported
  • Misc – IR receiver, IR extender port, 3.5mm jack RS-232 port,
  • Power Supply –  DC 12V
  • Dimensions – 180x125x42 mm

The receiver runs Android 5.1.1 with Kodi 16.1, and ships with a remote control, an update nail, an HDMI cable, an RS232 cable, and a power supply.

Amlogic-S905-digital-tv-tunerI’ve been sent a review sample, which has been stuck in customs for about 2 weeks, but I expect it to be “liberated” sometimes next week. You can find more details on WeTek Play 2 product page.

S204 Android Set-top box with DVB-T2/C & DVB-S2 Tuners is Powered by Allwinner H3 Processor

June 17th, 2016 12 comments

So far, I had only seen Android TV box with digital TV tuner using Amlogic or HiSilicon solutions, but S204 Android set-top box differs, as it is powered by Allwinner H3 quad core Cortex A7 processor, and includes DVB-T2/C (Terrestrial and cable TV) and  DVB-S2 (satellite TV) tuners. AFAIK, Allwinner H3 does not include any TS interfaces, so they must have used USB tuner chip(s) [Update: Allwinner H3 does have a Transport Stream interface as per the datasheet, but it’s not really advertised by Allwinner]

S204_TV_BoxS204 TV box specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner H3 quad core Cortex A7 @ 1.2/1.3 GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8GB flash + micro SD slot
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4 up to 4K @ 30 Hz + AV (composite)
  • Audio Output – HDMI, AV (stereo audio), and optical S/PDIF
  • Tuners
    • Support HD DVB-S2, DVB-T2 and DVB-C;
    • Support for BISS,CCCAM, NEWCAM, GSCAM, and MGCAM
    • LNB in with satellite dish antenna, RF input for indoor / outdoor terrestrial antenna or cable
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi
  • USB – 2x USB host ports, including one OTG capable port
  • Misc – Power button, front panel LCD display
  • Power Supply – 12V/1.5A
  • Dimensions – 140 x 120 x 25mm
  • Weight – 326 grams

The device runs Android 4.4.2 and ships with a remote control, a power adaprer, HDMI and AV cables, and a user’s manual. If the screenshots are to be believed, the interface appears to be the same eOn center launcher as used on U4 Quad Hybrid, which offers support for PVR, Time-shifting, EPG, a configuration web interface, and more, and is actually pretty good.

Allwinner_H3_Tuner_TV_BoxS204 is sold for $79.99 on GeekBuying, and considering it’s unclear whether it will get the same level of support as U4 Quad Hybrid, does not feel like such a good deal as K1 Plus T2 S2 is now sold for $60, and supports 4K DVB-S2 @ 60 fps thanks to an Amlogic S905 processor. The manufacturer could be a company called L&Y electric industries Co based on listings for a DVB-T2/C only model on Global Sources and ECPlaza.

Via AndroidPC.es

Stream Live TV to Your Computer or Smartphone with U4 Quad Hybrid Android TV Box, Kodi and TVheadend

March 25th, 2016 22 comments

TVheadend is a streaming server and recorder for Linux, FreeBSD and Android supporting DVB-S, DVB-S2, DVB-C, DVB-T, ATSC, ISDB-T, IPTV, SAT>IP and HDHomeRun as input sources, and while in theory it should be possible to configure any recent Android TV set-top box with digital TV tuners, configuration is complex, and there’s no guarantee the tuner will be recognized. However, the manufacturer of U4 Quad Hybrid has already configured their box to support HTSP clients, so I’ve installed the latest firmware, and given it a try with my Android smartphone running Kodi 15.2 with TVheadend HTSP client, and I could successfully stream live TV (DVB-T2 free-to-air channels) to my smartphone.

Once you’ve scanned the channels using DVB-T2 and/or DVB-S2, there’s no other configuration in U4 Quad Hybrid TV box, but you’ll still need to find out your IP address by going to Setup->Network, and WiFi, Ethernet or 3G depending on your chosen Internet connectivity option. My device is connected to Ethernet, and my IP is 192.168.0.108.

I’m using a smartphone, but you could as well go with any device or computer that support Kodi. Currently the firmware in U4 Quad Hybrid is not compatible with Kodi 16.0, so you’ll need an earlier version, and I installed Kodi 15.2 on my phone. You can download Kodi 15.2 for Windows or Android here.

Once Kodi is installed, you can start it, and go to Settings->Add-ons->My add-ons->PVR clients, and scroll down to select TVheadend HTSP client.
Kodi_TVheadend_HTSP_Client

Click on Configure to enter U4 Quad Hybrid IP address in “Tvheadend hostname or IP address” field, and click OK.
Kodi_HSTP_Client_ConfigurationBy default,the add-on is disabled, so you make sure you select “Enable” too. Now go back, and enter Settings->TV to tick Enabled.Kodi_TV_SettingsConfiguration is now complete, and when you go back to Kodi home screen, you could see a new TV menu with five sub-section: Channels, Guide, Recordings, Timer, and Search.

Kodi_TV_Menu

I’ve just tapped on TV, and got the list of apps from U4 Quad Hybrid set-top box on my smartphone.  The channel information (in Thai language) was not displayed properly for some reasons.

Kodi_Live_TV_channels Now select any channels from the left, and will it start playing in the preview windows, and tap the preview and it will switch to full screen.

Click for Original Size

Click for Original Size

Once the video is playing you can also tap the screen to have access to options, change channels, change audio tracks and so on.

You can watch the video below to see all configuration steps, and a demo starting at 3:15.

If you are interested in U4 Quad Hybrid you can purchased it on Aliexpress for $119.99 (DHL) or $106.69 (China Post). I intend to post a complete review next week.

Telechips TCC898x (Alligator) 64-bit ARM SoC is Designed for High-end 4K Set-Top Boxes

March 18th, 2016 2 comments

Telechips processors were often found in consumer devices such as Android tablets, mini PCs and TV Sticks a few years ago, but it’s been a while since I have seen a devices based on Telechips. So after seeing an automotive SoC from the company, I decided to visit the company website to check if they were still designing processors for the consumer market, and found TCC898x quad core Cortex A53 processor for “Smart Stick, IP-Client and STB with 4K 60fps decoding” with some interesting features.

Telechips_TCC8980Telechips TCC898x SoC specifications:

  • CPU- Quad core Cortex A53 processor with NEON, TrustZone, 32KB/32KB L1 cache and 512KB L2 cache
  • MCU – Cortex-M4 micro-controller
  • GPU
    • 2D – Vivante GC420 composition processing core for 4K user interfaces
    • 3D – ARM Mali-400MP2
  • VPU – Multi-format VPU and 4K VPU with HEVC and VP9 support
  • Memory I/F – DDR3/4
  • Storage I/F – NAND controller (60-bit ECC), SD/eMMC controller
  • Peripherals
    • Video Output – Display Controller, LVDS transmitter, HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.x, video composite
    • Video Input – Yes, but no details.
    • Audio – S/PDIF Tx and Rx, 9.1 channels I2S , stereo I2S
    • USB – USB 2.0 host, USB 2.0 OTG, USB 3.0
    • Gigabit Ethernet MAC
    • TS and TS demux (normally used to interface tuners)
    • PCIe interface
    • I2C, UART, GPSB (General Purpose Serial Bus), SDIO
    • Timer/RTC, DMA, IR receiver

The overall concept is pretty similar to their Telechips TCC893x Cortex A9 + Cortex-M3 processor, except most items have been upgraded, except notably the 3D GPU which remains a Mali-400MP2.

Telechips TCC898x supports Linux (with HTML5 interface) and Android operating systems, and contrary to most other Android TV boxes and set-top boxes, devices based on the new processor will support 4K user interfaces too thanks to Vivante GC420 2D GPU.  The chip also support hardware cyphers and conditional access (CAS) for “full compliance with 4K contents security guideline for variable STB applications”. I could not find much more information, and Googling for TCC8980 processor (and others up to TCC8989) did not return anything interesting so far. The last update to Telechips open source page shows the company released Linux 3.4.45 source code in February 2015.