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Posts Tagged ‘stb’

MXQ S85 Android TV Box Based on Amlogic S805 is Available for $50

September 17th, 2014 4 comments

Android media players powered by Amlogic S805 quad core processor such as TV110 are already pretty cheap at around $60, but there’s currently a deal on Gearbest where you can get MXQ S85 for less than $50 without Bluetooth and about $55 with Bluetooth by using BackToSchool8 coupon to get 8% discount. Prices include shipping.

MXQ_S85MXQ S85 specifications:

  • SoC – Amlogic S805 quad core ARM Cortex A5 @ 1.5GHz with quad core Mali-450MP GPU
  • System Memory – 1 GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8 GB NAND flash + micro SD slot (up to 32GB)
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, and optional Bluetooth 4.0.
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4, AV output
  • Audio Output – HDMI, AV, optical S/PDIF
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports + 1 x micro USB OTG port
  • Misc – IR sensor
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – 11.4x 11.4 x 2.3 cm
  • Weight – 137 grams

The box ships with a power adapter, HDMI and AV cables, 1x OTG cable. an IR remote control, and user’s manual. The operating is Android 4.4.2.  There’s no mention of Wi-Fi module, but it’s likely the version without Bluetooth features AP6210 (2.4Ghz Wi-Fi), and the other AP6330 (dual band Wi-Fi + BT 4.0). This type of device should be good if you only plan to play 1080p videos (no 4K), and require HEVC video playback.

Via AndroidPC.es

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Android TV Overview – Linaro Connect US 2014

September 17th, 2014 No comments

Google announced Android TV and ADT-1 devkit last June, as the company wants to bring user-friendly Android user-experience to TVs, set-top boxes and game consoles. Mark Gregotski, head of the Linaro Digital Home Group (LHG), has provided a technical overview of Android TV during the on-going Linaro Connect US 2014. You find a summary of yesterday sessions on Linaro’s blog, and the even will last until Friday, where several demos will be showcased.

Android_TV_Goals

SoC companies currently involved in Android TV include Nvidia, Marvell, Qualcomm, Mediatek, Intel, Broadcom, and ST micro, so none of usual Chinese Android TV Box players (Rockchip, Amlogic, AllWinner…) are represented. Android (for smartphone) currently support video playback but you may experience dropped frame from time to time, where in the STB market requirements are not stringent. For example, NTT is said to only allow one frame dropped per month! So Android TV aims to improve video playback. Some of the features related to Android TV includes: VP9/H.265 codecs, 4K support, NDK media APIs, TV input framework, improved AV sync, cast receiver (DIAL protocol, Chromecast functionality), 64-bit secure environment, OpenGL ES 3.1 support, Android Extension Pack, subtitle / closed captions enhancements, etc.

The TV input framework will gather several sources for example Cable, Satellite, IPTV, and Terrestrial video input into one single user interface, for example to display a unified EPG, where the user does not even need to be aware of the source. Android TV uses Exoplayer with support for MPEG DASH and Smooth Streaming, and you can find the source code on github. For PayTV, DRM will also be an important part of Android TV with support for Level 1 Widevine and Playready DRM.

The presentation slide are available here.

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Tronsmart Orion R28 Meta RK3288 TV Box Unboxing

September 13th, 2014 13 comments

GeekBuying sent me one of their Tronsmart Orion R28 Meta (Beta) Android TV boxes powered by Rockchip RK3288 SoC. This model comes with 2GB DDR3, 16 eMMC, and 802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi. R28 Mega is the mid-range model, and there are two others models R28 Pro (entre-level) and R28 Telos (premium). I’ve already listed specifications for the three Tronsmart Orion R28 models. Today, I’ll show some picture of the device, and the board to find out more about the design of the product. Before reviewing the product in another post, I’ll probably build the image using the provided Android 4.4 SDK (provided I can download it), and perform the full review next week with the resulting firmware.

Tronsmart Orion Meta R28 Unboxing

I’ve received the parcel via DHL within 2 days. The same package will be used for all three models, but you’ll have a sticker on the side for Pro, Meta or Telos, as well as specifications at the back with options for 2 or 4 GB RAM, 8, 16 or 32 GB eMMC, and 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac or 802.11 b/g/n.
Tronsmart_Orion_R28_Meta_PackageThe box comes with an external Wi-Fi antenna, a IR remote control requiring 2x AAA batteries (not included) a micro USB to USB cable, an HDMI cable, and a 5V/3A power adapter. There’s also a user’s manual in English that I forgot to include in the picture below.

Tronsmart_Orion_R28_Accessories

Orion R28 and Accessories (Click to Enlarge)

There’s a new good trend for power buttons which are now located on the top of the boxes that I recently received, and it’s the same for Orion R28. On the front panel, there’s just the window for the IR receiver, two USB 2.0 ports and a micro SD slot can be found on the side, and the rear panel has most of the ports: DC in barrel, AV output, optical S/PDIF, Gigabit Ethernet, antenna connector, HDMI 2.0 output, another USB 2.0 host port, and a micro USB OTG port. A micro SD card with the SDK was supposed to be included, but they forgot to include it in my package, so instead I’ll have to download it (link provided at the end of this post).

Tronsmart Orion R28 (Click to Enlarge)

Tronsmart Orion R28 (Click to Enlarge)

Markings for FCC and CE are written on the package, but on the bottom of the enclosure I can only see a CE marking.

Unboxing video:

Tronsmart Orion Meta R28 Board

Now let’s open the enclosure. Removing the two rubbers pads on the bottom reveals three screws. After I had untightned them I expected the box to open easily, but it would not come off despite all my efforts… That’s because there’s another screw, under the “Tronsmart Orion R28″ sticked. After you remove that one, it becomes much easier…

Orion R28 Meta Board (Click to Enlarge)

Orion R28 Meta Board (Click to Enlarge)

The wireless module is indeed AP6335 which supports 802.11 b/g/n, 802.11ac, and Bluetooth 4.0. Sandisk SDIN7DP4-16G is a 16GB eMMC, and RK1000 chip is used for composite output. Access to the serial console should be very easy since there are the four through holes for Tx, Rx, GND and 5V on the top right. Other accessible I/Os are I2C and UART3 (bottom right), and 4 more pins for USB. The board name is not readable as they’ve stuck a “Tronsmart Orion R28″ sticker on top.

Bottom of Orion R28 Board (Click to Enlarge)

Bottom of Orion R28 Board (Click to Enlarge)

The only noticeable chip on the back of the board is Realtek RTL8211E Gigabit Ethernet transceiver.

Rockchip RK3288 Soc and RAM (Click to Enlarge)

Rockchip RK3288 Soc and RAM (Click to Enlarge)

Removing the heatsink is easy as there’s just two small bits with springs holding it. Instead of using thermal pad like in Kingnovel K-R68, there’s some thermal paste between the heatsink and Rockchip RK3288. Four DDR3 memory chips (MIRA P3P4GF4BLF) are used to get 2GB RAM.

That’s all for today,. The next step is to download the Android SDK (if somebody can re-upload it to mega.co.nz, it would be help Link to mega.co.nz mirror. Thanks Kostas!), build the Android image, and flash it to the box. You can pre-order the final version of Tronsmart Orion R28 Meta for $119.99 on GeekBuying, but if you don’t need 802.11ac, and can do with 8GB eMMC instead of 16GB, the Orion R28 Pro goes for $99.99.

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Marvell Announces Quad Core ARMADA 1500 PRO 4K STB SoC with HEVC 10-Bit Support

September 11th, 2014 No comments

Marvell has just announced a new member of its ARMADA 1500 family of multimedia processors with ARMADA 1500 PRO 4K (88DE3214), a quad-core ARM processor (12K DMIPS), with a Vivante GC3000 GPU, and Qdeo video processor supporting 4K (UHD) output and HEVC 10-bit codec. These processors will be used in smart TVs, set-top boxes (STB), over-the-top (OTT) boxes, thin-client devices, etc..

Block Diagram for Older ARMADA 1500 PRO SoC (no 4K)

Block Diagram for Older ARMADA 1500 PRO SoC (no 4K)

Details are scarce, but ARMADA 1500 PRO 4K could be an evolution of the ARMADA 1500 PRO processors with four Cortex A9 cores as shown above, but with a different GPU, 4K and HEVC support, and possibly some extra features for DRM. The key features mentioned by the company are as follows:

  • 3840×2160 (UHD) at 60 frames per second 10 bit HEVC Video Decode
  • Up to 12K DMIPs Quad Core ARM CPU
  • Multi-core GPU, 8 shader Vivante GC3000 GPU
  • Robust Security EngineSecurity features include Trusted Rendering Path and full TrustZone integration, which ensures the protection of premium content on the Android platform.

The company will provide Android and RDK SDKs. More information should eventually show up on Marvell ARMADA 1500 PRO 4K product page. Further details may also surface at  IBC, on September 12-16 in Amsterdam, where Marvell will showcase their latest solutions.

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$60 TV110 Android Media Player Powered by Amlogic S805 SoC

September 6th, 2014 15 comments

Yesterday I wrote about MINIX NEO X6 featuring Amlogic S805 quad core Cortex A5 processor with HEVC hardware decoding. MINIX device is expected to sell later this month for around $120, but I’ve been informed there’s another model called TV110 with similar hardware specifications, but selling for around $60 or even lower on sites like GeekBuying and Aliexpress. I’ve seen one of the seller offering $10 coupon, so it might even be possible to get it for $50.

TV110_Android_TV_BoxTV110-S805 specifications:

  • SoC – Amlogic S805 quad core ARM Cortex A5 @ 1.5GHz with quad core Mali-450MP GPU
  • System Memory – 1 GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8 GB NAND flash + micro SD slot
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz), Bluetooth 4.0
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4, AV output
  • Audio Output – HDMI 1.4, 3.5mm stereo audio jack
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 port
  • Misc – IR sensor
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – N/A
TV110-S805_Ports

(Somewhat inaccurate) TV110 Ports Description

The box runs Android 4.4, and comes with an IR remote control, AV and HDMI cables, a 5V/2A power adapter, and a user’s manual in English. Compared to a device like MINIX NEO X6, you’ll lose the micro USB OTG port, the box probably uses NAND flash instead of eMMC, but you’ll gain AV output so this media player can also be connected to older TVs. It’s also not clear whether it can support HDMI CEC, and support (firmware update / community) will probably be limited.

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MINIX NEO X6 Features Amlogic S805 Processor with Full HD HEVC Support

September 5th, 2014 12 comments

Amlogic S805 is a cost down version of the popular Amlogic S802. It features four Cortex A5 cores, and quad core Mali450-MP GPU, only support 1080p resolution (no 4K), but adds hardware decoding for HEVC / H.265 at 1080p resolution, which is not possible with his big brother. In theory, I should also support Gigabit Ethernet, but none of the upcoming media players support it, allegedly because it’s not working yet… After products by the likes of Ugoos, Eny Technology. and Geniatech, it’s time for MINIX to announce their own S805 mini PC with the NEO X6.

MINIX_NEO_X6NEO X6 Specifications:

  • SoC – Amlogic S805 quad core ARM Cortex A5 @ 1.5GHz with quad core Mali-450MP4 GPU
  • System Memory – 1 GB DDR3L
  • Storage – 8 GB eMMC + micro SD slot
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz) with external antenna, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4 with HDMI-CEC support
  • Audio Output – HDMI 1.4, 3.5mm stereo audio jack
  • Video Containers – DAT, MPEG, MPE, MPG, TS, TP, VOB, ISO, AVI, MP4, MPV, 3GP, FLV, MKV, M2TS, MTS, M4V, WMV, ASF, RM/RMVB (720p only)
  • Audio Formats – MP2, MP3, WMA, WAV, OGG, OGA, FLAC, ALC, APE, AAC, M4A
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 port + micro USB OTG port
  • Misc – IR sensor
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A

MINIX interestingly always selects the same enclosure for all their products, probably because customers complained when they tried something different last year, and most people want a discrete enclosure, with a product that does the job. The device will run Android 4.4 Kitkat with XBMC MINIX Edition, and come with an infrared remote control.

AndroidPC.es reports the box should be available on September 22, for around $119. I could not find much more information, except it’s sold on a UK based website (Fuketo) for 79.99 GBP ($130) including shipping.

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Cloud Media OpenHour Chameleon Quad Core TV Box Boots Android or Linux from SD Card

September 2nd, 2014 3 comments

Cloud Media, previously known  as Syabas, has been selling Popcorn Hour media players based on Linux for several years, but with OpenHour Chameleon the company is about to launch their first Android media player powered by Rockchip RK3288. The device is similar to other RK3288 TV boxes, except it does not come with internal storage at all, and instead boots Android 4.4.2 from a provided 8GB SD card, with later plans to have support for Linux operating systems such as Ubuntu. Another particularity is that they’ll use an aluminum casing for better heat dissipation of the Rockchip RK3288 processor which can get pretty hot

OpenHour_Chameleon

OpenHour Chameleon specifications:

  • SoC -  Rockchip RK3288 quad core ARM Cortex A12 / A17 processor with ARM Mali-T764 quad-core 3D GPU supporting OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0/3.0, and OpenCL 1.1
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3
  • Storage – No Internal storage + SD card slot with 8GB card (including Android) + micro SD slot up to 32GB
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 3840×2160 resolution
  • Audio Output – HMDI,  and optical and coaxial S/PDIF output
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet. No internal Wi-Fi or Bluetooth support.
  • USB – 3x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro OTG port
  • Misc – IR extender port
  • Power – 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – N/A
  • Weight – N/A

The company claims you’ve also be able to change the included 8GB SD card, with a larger SD card ( up to 32 GB) to load your OS of choice, be it Android, Ubuntu (TBC) or another. That should simplify firmware upgrade, as you won’t need to use Rockchip Windows or Linux tools to upgrade the firmware, and you can simply re-flash the SD card, or use another one. They have not mentioned if they’ll support OTA however. The box will run XBMC, and the company claims True-Dolby and HD-DTS pass-through are supported. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi will be optionally supported via external USB dongle(s), and other optional accessories include a Bluetooth game controller, a wireless remote, keyboard and air mouse.

OpenHour_RK3288_Heat_DissipationIt’s not clear when the box will be available, but OpenHour Chameleon will sell for $149. You can find more information, and register your interest on Cloud Media’s OpenHour Chameleon page. You want also want to check out their Wiki (under construction) or forums for more details.

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