Allwinner H8 a new octa-core Cortex A7 processor for low cost Full HD media players with H.265 & VP9 codec support, and one the first product using the new Allwinner H-Series processor is Inphic i8, which sells for as low as 349 CNY (~$57) on JD.com and it’s also available on Taobao for 499 CNY (~$80). Some Inphic i8 boxes are available on Aliexpress, but so far all models are based on Allwinner A31s, promoted as quad core processor eight core GPU boxes, so don’t be fooled.
- SoC – Allwinner H8 octa-core Cortex-A7 processor @ 2.0GHz with PowerVR SGX544 GPU up to 720MHz
- System Memory – 1GB or 2GB DDR3
- Storage – 8, 16, or 32GB internal storage
- Video Output – HDMI up to 1080p, Composite output (RCA)
- Audio Output – HDMI, and Left / Right RCA connectors
- Video Codecs
- Multi-format 1080p@60fps video playback, including H.264 BP/MP/HP, VP8, MPEG1/2, MPEG4 SP/ASP GMC, H.263 including Sorenson Spark, WMV9/VC-1, JPEG/MJPEG, etc
- H.265/VP9 1080p@30fps video playback
- H.264 1080p@60fps or 720p@120fps video encoding
- Audio Format/Codecs – AAC-LC/HEAAC/HE-AAC v2, AC3 (Dolby Digital), AMR-NB, DTS, MP3, OGG, RA_COOK, WMA, WMA, LPCM/PCM/ADPCM, FLAC
- Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
- USB – 2x USB host ports
- Power Supply – 5V/1.5A
- Dimensions – 175 x 116 x 32 mm
- Weight – 192 grams
The package should also include HDMI and AV cables, a power adapter, a remote control, and a power supply. The box is said to be running Android KitKat 4.4.2, with support for Google Play, XBMC / Kodi , and Skype, as well as Airplay, DLNA, and Miracast. The Chinese websites instead report the OS is YunOS, so it’s possible there will be a Chinese version, and an international version.
“H.265 Hardware Decoder” is explicitly listed on the product page, but Allwinner also claimed support for H.265 and VP9 codec in Allwinner A80 processor, but after testing actual products such as Draco AW80, it turns out it’s probably only software decode, or maybe GPU accelerated (GPGPU with OpenCL) instead of being actually supported by the VPU. Products will have to be tested to make sure these two codecs are properly supported. I’m currently testing Infocus CS1 A83 tablet, based on Allwinner A83T processor with the same CPU and GPU as Allwinner H8, and Antutu Video Tester reports a score of well over 600 points, which shows the tablet has good video playback capabilities and quality, so this looks promising if both A83T and H8 share the same video engine.
Since the box sells for $57 in China, I’d expect it to be available for $70 to $80 on Aliexpress sooner than later. More details can be found on Inphic i9 product page, where they mention 4K support, but I believe these claims can be discarded since H8 only supports 1080p decoding and output.