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Unboxing of VidOn.me AV200 Android Blu-Ray Box

July 5th, 2014 5 comments

I had only reviewed on device based on AllWinner A31 before, namely CS868 mini PC which turned out to be disappointing. And recently I’ve reviewed quite of few Amlogic and Rockchip TV boxes, so I’m happy to get a change and try again with another AllWinner A31 based device thanks to VidOn.me AV200 Android Blu-ray Box. I’ll start by listing hardware specifications and showing pictures of the device and the board today, and I’ll write a complete review in a few days.

VidOn.me AV200 Specifications

AV200 is an Android TV box with a metallic enclosure very similar to the one used for Mele X1000 Android Blu-ray box, and with the following specifications:

  • SoC – AllWinner A31 quad core Cortex-A7 @ 1.3GHz with PowerVR SGX544MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3
  • Storage: 8GB + SD/SDHC card reader
  • Video Output – HDMI
  • Audio Output – HDMI, optical S/PDIF, and 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • USB – 3x USB host ports, 1x micro USB OTG
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – 190x124x45.4mm

AV200 runs Android 4.2.2 with an “enhanced version” of XBMC 12 supporting hardware video decoding, HD audio pass-through, Blu-ray navigation and 3D playback and a few other features such as a crash reporting system. It’s also supposed to support 1080p24.

AV200 Unboxing Pictures and Video

I’ve received the device in the simple package below that reads “VidOne.me Android Blu-ray Box”

VidoOn.me_AV200_PackageAs you open the box you’ll see two QR codes linking to VidOn.me player for Android phones or tablets. I’ll try that during the review.

AV200 and Accessories (Click to Enlarge)

AV200 and Accessories (Click to Enlarge)

The box comes with an IR remote (2x AAA batteries not included), an HDMI cable, a 5V/1A power adapter, and a Quick Start Guide in English, but with links poiting to setup instructions in simplified and traditional Chinese, Korean, French, Japanese, German, and Spanish.

VidoOn.me_AV200

A closer look at the device shows a nice metallic casing, a large Wi-Fi antenna, a USB port and SD card on one side, and at the back, an audio jack, a micro USB port, a power jack, an HDMI connector, an RJ45 port, two USB host ports, and an optical S/PDIF output. There’s also a power button, a small window for the IR receiver, and an LCD display at the front.

I’ve also shot an unboxing video for those interested.

AV200 Internal Pictures

Opening the box is fairly easy. There’s nothing under the rubber pad, so you can leave them in place. You just have to remove 4 screws, and slide the top cover. You’ll also notice the “Upgrade” button on the middle left of the picture below.

Bottom of AV200 (Click to Enlarge)

Bottom of AV200 (Click to Enlarge)

Once it’s opened we can actually three boards: the mainboard in blue, and the LCD and power button boards in Green,.

AV200 Board (Click to Enlarge)

AV200 Board (Click to Enlarge)

The board name is A31-G39A04-V1.30 and it has been designed on 2013-09-17, the MAC address starts with 00:CE:39, a range which interestingly is not assigned to anybody, and the Wi-Fi module used is based on Realtek RTL8188ETV. Searching for the board name, let me to an older article about a Mele media player, and it turns out it’s basically the same hardware as the Mele M9. Other interesting bits are the unsoldered pads: option for an extra 8 GB flash,  SATA connector + USB to SATA chip, etc… And if you want to have a similar model with SATA, Mele A1000G is apparently also based on G39A04. The firmware provided by VidOn.me is different than the one that’s available from Mele, so that will be the key differentiating factor here.

Cooling is achieved with a small heatsink on top of AllWinner A31. To further remove the board from the enclosure, you have to remove four more screws. But after doing that the board would not still come off, because there’s some thermal paste stick the PCB to the metal case, which should be good news in terms of thermal dissipation. Since I’ve not done the review yet, I decided against taking it further apart as it might affect performance.

I’d like to thanks VidOn.me for providing the sample. AV200 normally sells for $200 on VidOn.me, but it’s currently out of stock, and the site reads “new box is coming soon…”, and I could not find another place to buy AV200… So the only option appears to get a Mele M9 which for once appears the be the cheapest on DealExtreme ($110).

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CloudnetGo CR16 is a Rockchip RK3288 based TV Box with HDMI, AV and VGA Outputs

July 3rd, 2014 6 comments

As we’ve seen in our list of RK3288 Android TV boxes, CloudnetGo has already announced CR12 and CR13 models powered by the quad core Cortex A17 SoC. With their new CR16 model, they are the only Rockchip RK3288 TV box with VGA (and HDMI + AV) output that I know of. Another interesting feature of this media player is the enclosure which stands vertically.

Cloudnetgo_CR16The rest of the specifications will probably make you yawn as it’s the same story all over again:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3288 quad core CortexA17 @ 1.8 GHz + Mali-T764 GPU with support for OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 /3.0, and OpenCL 1.1
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8 to 16GB NAND Flash + micro SD  slot (up to 32 GB)
  • Connectivity – 100M/1000M Ethernet, dual band WiFi 802.11 b/g/n (AP6330 module) using external Wi-Fi antenna, and Bluetooth 4.0
  • Video Output – HDMI output, AV output (3.5mm jack), and VGA
  • Audio Output – HDMI, AV, and optical S/PDIF
  • USB – 3x USB 2.0 host port
  • Power Supply – N/A
  • Misc – Power button and LED, reset/recovery button.
  • Dimensions – N/A
  • Weight – N/A

The thing is supposed to run Android 4.4 Kitkat and support XBMC, and it should become available in August. It’s not on any retailers site, nor Alibaba, and all we get are some picture on CloudnetGo CR16 product page.

Via AndroidPC.es

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Rockchip RK3288 Based OTT928 / CS928 Android Media Player Sells for $114 and Up

June 26th, 2014 1 comment

In my list of RK3288 TV boxes, I mentioned that although many products had been announced with Rockchip’s quad core Cortex A17 SoC, no reliable company had listed prices yet, except for one selling for $99.99 on Aliexpress, but with no clear shipping date, and nobody to answer potential customer requests. One reader left a comment about OTT-928 Android TV box also featuring a 5MP retractable camera and (pre-)selling on Asiapads for $119.99 including shipping with delivery currently scheduled for July 20, but it can also be purchased via one vendor on Aliexpress for as low as $114 under the name CS928 but with only 8GB flash, instead of 16GB on OTT928.

CS928 / OTT928

CS928 / OTT928

CS928 / OTT928 hardware specifications:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3288 quad core CortexA17 @ 1.8 GHz + Mali-T764 GPU with support for OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 /3.0, and OpenCL 1.1
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3
  • Storage
    • OTT928 – 16GB NAND Flash + micro SD  slot (up to 32 GB)
    • CS928 – 8GB NAND flash (16GB optional) + micro SD slot
  • Connectivity – 100M/1000M Ethernet, dual band WiFi 802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz/5GHz) and 802.11 a/c using external Wi-Fi antenna, and Bluetooth 4.0
  • Video Output – HDMI output, AV output (3.5mm jack)
  • Audio Output – HDMI, AV, and optical S/PDIF
  • USB – 3x USB 2.0 host port, 1x micro USB OTG
  • Camera – 5MP retractable camera
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – 142.3×108.6x21mm
  • Weight – About 500 grams ?

CS928_Ethernet_Audio_Video_portsThe device runs Android 4.4 Kitkat, and sells with HDMI and AV cables, an IR remote control, a power adapter and a user’s manual. The product listing on Alibaba only mentions dual band 802.11 b/g/n, and nothing about 802.11ac, and I really start to have the feeling there won’t any boxes with 802.11ac, despite some many companies claiming they support it. HDMI 1.4 vs HDMI 2.0 is likely to be another headache with RK3288 boxes.

Nevertheless, I’m pleasantly surprised with the prices we start to see, that is around $100 or a bit more, because it’s roughly what Amlogic S802 based Android TV boxes could today, and RK3288 should provide significantly higher performance, especially when it comes to graphics. The only problem is that we’ll all have to wait for the end of July, or maybe August to get hold of these little toys.

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List of Rockchip RK3288 Android TV Boxes So Far

June 25th, 2014 53 comments

In the previous years, you’d normally learn about new devices as they get listed on Alibaba or Aliexpress, and that’s how I built my – now very incomplete – list of Rockchip RK3188 based devices. But now companies seem to be anxious to let people know about their new devices even before they hit the market, and albeit I’ve been told full production of Rokchip RK3288 powered Android TV boxes is only planned by the end of July, many companies are already showing off their new devices, even though only the PCBA may be ready, or in development.

Rockchip_RK3288_Android_TV_BoxLet’s go through the list of Rockchip RK3288 quad core Cortex A17 media devices that’s known (to me) so far:

  • No brand D368 – HDMI 1.4 TV dongle with 1 or 2 GB RAM, 4, 8 or 16 GB flash, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac + (optional) Bluetooth, and 2x USB host ports.
  • No brand B368 – TV box with 2GB RAM, 8GB flash, GbE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth, 2x USB host ports, and HDMI 1.4 and AV outputs.
  • Ugoos UM3 – TV box with 2GB RAM (1GB as option), 8 GB flash (16/32GB as option), Wi-fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.0, 3x USB host ports, and HDMI 2.0
  • Ugoos UT3 – Same as Ugoos UM3, but with 16GB flash by default (option up to 64GB), and adds Gb Ethernet, and HDMI 1.4 input.
  • Rikomagic MK902 II – TV box with 2GB RAM, 8 or 16 GB flash, GbE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, and Bluetooth 4.0, 3x USB host ports, and HDMI and AV outputs.
  • Zero Devices Z6C – TV box with 2GB RAM, 16 GB flash, GbE, “Broadcom Wi-Fi”, and Bluetooth 4.0, 3x USB host ports, and HDMI output.
  • Kingnovel K-R68 – TV box with 2GB RAM, 8 GB flash (16/32Gb as option), GbE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, and Bluetooth 4.0, 2x USB host ports, and HDMI 2.0 and AV outputs. (Bottom right of the picture above)
  • MINIX NEO X9 – TV box (rumor)
  • Sunchip CX-920 and CX-998 – Respectively HDMI TV stick and TV box.
  • No brand GK388 ($99.99) – TV box with 2GB RAM, 8GB flash, GbE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.0, 2x USB host ports, and HDMI 1.4 output.
  • Eny Technology EKB328 – TV box with 2GB RAM, 8GB flash, GbE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.0, 2x USB host ports, and HDMI 1.4 output.
  • Artway Q8 – TV box with 2GB RAM, 8GB flash (16GB as option), GbE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.0, 2x USB host ports, and HDMI 1.4a and AV outputs.
  • PMD OEM Box – TV box with 2GB RAM, 8GB eMMC flash (16GB as option), 10/100M Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0, 3x USB host ports, and HDMI 1.4a and AV outputs. It also comes with a built-in 2MP camera.
  • Starlead Q8 aka Neken M9 – TV box with 2GB RAM, 8GB or 16GB flash, GbE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.0, 2x USB host ports, and HDMI 1.4a and AV outputs.
  • CS928 / OTT928 ($114 to $120 – Added 27/6) – TV box with 2GB RAM, 8GB or 16GB flash, GbE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.0, 3x USB host ports, and HDMI and AV outputs. It also comes with a built-in 5MP camera.
  • CloudnetGo CR12 ($149 – Added 27/6) – TV box with 2GB RAM, 8GB or 16GB flash, GbE, dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0, 2x USB host ports, and HDMI and AV outputs. It also comes with a built-in 2MP camera.
  • CloudnetGo CR16 (Added 03/7) – TV box with 2 GB RAM, 8GB or 16GB flash, GbE, dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0, 3x USB host ports, and HDMI, AV and VGA outputs.
  • MK903V ($122 – Added 02/9) – HDMI Stick with 2 GB RAM, 8GB NAND flash, dual band WiFi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0, 1x USB host port, and HDMI output.
  • Nagrace NT-V6 ($129 and up – Added 02/9) – TV boxes with 2 to 4 GB RAM, 8GB, 16GB or 32GB eMMC flash, GbE, dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, and Bluetooth 4.0, 3x USB host ports, and HDMI and AV outputs.
  • Tronsmart Orion R28 ($99 and up – Added 02/9) – TV boxes (3 models) with 2 to 4 GB RAM, 8GB, 16GB or 32GB eMMC flash, GbE, dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, and Bluetooth 4.0, 3x USB host ports, and HDMI and AV outputs.
  • Uyesee G1H (Added 02/9) – TV box with 1 to 2 GB RAM, 8 to 16GB eMMC flash, GbE, dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, and Bluetooth 4.0, 3x USB host ports, and HDMI and AV outputs.

No prices are currently available, at least from reliable sellers, except for GK388 which is sold for $99.99 on Aliexpress by a seller with lots of positive ratings. But when I try to chat to now inquire about, it seems I was replied in less than a second, most probably by a chat bot, saying “you would get your parcel soon because I am processing your order now ,so we have no time to talk to you” :). Anyway with all these companies launching RK3288 mini PCs, prices are likely to be very competitive.

All the boxes appears to support both 802.11 b/g/n and 802.11ac and Gigabit Ethernet, except one. From this list the box with the highest specifications seem to be Ugoos UT3 as it features HDMI 2.0 output and HDMI 1.4 input, and a version may be sold with up to 64GB flash. There’s no way I can guarantee the specs are correct, but there are still a lot of boxes that list HDMI 1.4, and not HDMI 2.0, and it’s something you’ll have to check before purchasing one, although it is only important if you have, or plan to buy, a 4K TV, and need 60 fps. I have listed all details of the specs such as micro USB OTG, and optical S/PDIF both of which can be found in most full sized Android TV boxes listed above, and all are said to run Android 4.4 Kitkat.

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Giveaway Week – Jynxbox Live TV Streaming Box

June 21st, 2014 89 comments

The sixth prize of this giveaway week on CNX Software will be Jynxbox Live. It’s a standard Android TV box based on Rockchip RK3066 dual core processor, except it has software that normally allowing live streaming of about 300 TV channels around the world, and sells at a steep price compared to Android media player based on similar hardware.

Jynxbox Live and Accessories (Click to Enlarge)

Jynxbox Live and Accessories

However after installing the Live TV app, which is not included when the box ships, possibly due to legal reasons, I could only load 10 TV channels, and none of them would play. I’m not exactly sure why, maybe their server is blocked from Thailand, as other users reported the box worked just fine. There’s no Google Play store pre-installed in the box, only Jynx Market with a limited number of applications, so you may have to install another market (Amazon, Yandex, Google Play..) by yourself.

To enter the draw simply leave a comment below.

Other rules are as follows:

  • Only one entry per contest. I will filter out entries with the same IP and/or email address.
  • Contests are open for 48 hours starting at 10am (Bangkok time) every day. Comments will be closed after 48 hours.
  • Winners will be selected with random.org
  • I’ll contact the winners by email or Facebook, and I’ll expect an answer within 24 hours, or I’ll pick another one.
  • Shipping
    • Free for winners with a shipping address in Thailand
    • Flat fee of $19 for the rest of the world payable via Paypal within 48 hours once the contest is complete, or I’ll pick another winner.
  • I’ll post all 8 prizes at the same time, so around the 25th of June, using Airmail (Small Packet) with tracking.
  • I’ll make sure we have 8 different winners, so if you have already won a device during this week giveaway, I’ll draw another person.

Good luck!

When I received the box it sold for $350, but it’s now available for $192 on Amazon, or $199.99 on Theaterinabox, the company which sent me the sample. There are some rumors that the live TV channels are only available for a year on the box (TBC).

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Giveaway Week – Gbox Midnight MX2 Android Media Player

June 19th, 2014 95 comments

The fourth prize for this week is Matricom Gbox Midnight MX2, an Android TV box powered by Amlogic AML8726-MX dual core processor with 1GB RAM, 4GB flash, HDMI and AV output, optical S/PDIF, Wi-Fi and Ethernet, and 4 USB ports. The company had specifically worked on the XBMC port at the time, and I found it did a pretty good job.

GBox_Midnight_MX2_AccessoriesI tested the device in May of last, and I found the firmware to be very stable and responsive, and XBMC works as expected, supporting most video files without issues, except some MPEG-2 had aspect ratio issues,, RMVB files would make XBMC exit, and WebM 1080p could not be played smoothly due to software decode for this particular codec. It could decode all high-end audio codecs such as DTS and Dolby just fine. I did have problems with composite and component outputs but it must have been fixed now. It also had very good Wi-Fi performance until I upgraded my Wi-Fi router and Wi-Fi throughput took a hit, but was still usable. The other nice thing about this device is support for OTA updates, and albeit the device was released around May 2013, the firmware is still continuously improved, and the latest Beta 1.1.9 has been announced on June 14 in Matricom forums.

To enter the draw simply leave a comment below.

Other rules are as follows:

  • Only one entry per contest. I will filter out entries with the same IP and/or email address.
  • Contests are open for 48 hours starting at 10am (Bangkok time) every day. Comments will be closed after 48 hours.
  • Winners will be selected with random.org
  • I’ll contact the winners by email or Facebook, and I’ll expect an answer within 24 hours, or I’ll pick another one.
  • Shipping
    • Free for winners with a shipping address in Thailand
    • Flat fee of $17 for the rest of the world payable via Paypal within 48 hours once the contest is complete, or I’ll pick another winner.
  • I’ll post all 8 prizes at the same time, so around the 25th of June, using Airmail (Small Packet) with tracking.
  • I’ll make sure we have 8 different winners, so if you have already won a device during this week giveaway, I’ll draw another person.

Good luck!

Matricom Gbox Midnight MX2 can be purchased on Amazon for $105.

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$37 Shenzhen Visson V5 Android TV Box Features AllWinner A20 SoC

June 8th, 2014 2 comments

If you’re looking for a low cost dual core Android or Linux TV box or mini server, it won’t get much cheaper than Shenzhen Visson V5 powered by AllWinner A20 dual Cortex A7 SoC with 512 MB RAM, 4GB flash, as well as various port such as HDMI, Ethernet, and USB.

Visson_V5

Shenzhen Visson V5 specifications:

  • SoC – AllWinner A20 dual core ARM Cortex A7 @ 1 GHz + Mali-400MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 512 MB
  • Storage – 4GB flash.
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI and AV
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • USB –  2x USB host ports
  • Misc – IR receiver, power button
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A

According to the specifications on Aliexpress, there’s also a (micro?) SD card, but I can’t find it on any of the pictures, so it’s safe to assume there isn’t any.

Visson_V5_rear_panel

This Android 4.2.2 box ships with a remote control, a 5V/2A power adapter, AV and HDMI cables, and a user’s manual in Chinese. For various pictures also show the model to be “i7″ or “Y6″. Even though it’s running Android 4.2.2, you should be able to run your preferred Linux distributions if you wish too, possibly with Linux mainline (headless only, AFAIK).  I would not recommended this device for applications requiring lots of user interaction as the performance may not be optimal, but if all you want to do is to play a video in the background for a demo / digital signage player, or use it as a headless downloader, or simple NAS, it will certainly do.

Shenzhen Visson V5 can be purchased on Aliexpress for $36.99 including shipping.

Via AndroidPC.es

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