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List of Rockchip RK3288 Android TV Boxes So Far

June 25th, 2014 50 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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Xiaomi Mi Pro Box with Amlogic S802-H Is Now Available for $92 on Aliexpress

June 3rd, 2014 4 comments

Xiaomi announced the Mi Box Pro TV Box powered by Amlogic S802-H SoC and running MIUI TV user interface on top of Android. The company sells the device in China for 399 CNY ($64), but it has now found its way Aliexpress, where anybody can purchase the box for $92 including shipping, which is about the same price as most other S802 devices.

Xiaomi_Mi_Box_Pro

Here’s a reminder of the specifications:

  • SoC – Amlogic S802-H quad core Cortex A9r4 processor @ 2GHz with ARM Mali-450MP6 octa-core GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB RAM
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC Flash + micro SD slot up to 64 GB
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI (Up to 4K30) and 3.5 mm AV
  • Audio / Video Playback – MKV, AVI, MP3 and MOV up to 4K resolution. AC3, Dolby and DTS audio support
  • Connectivity – Dual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi up to 120 Mbps (vs 40 Mbps for 802.11n)
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port + 1x USB OTG port
  • Power – 5.2V/2.1A (sic)
  • Dimensions – 101 x 101 x 19.5 mm
  • Weight – 200g

This must be the cheapest box with S802-H providing Dolby and DTS hardware audio decoding, and one of the few media players to come with 802.11ac Wi-Fi. What you lose however is Ethernet and S/PDIF output, and you’ll also get a smaller flash (4 GB) albeit most probably with good performance since its an eMMC flash, and only one USB port.

Mi Pro Box ships with an IR Remote Control, an HDMI Cable, a user’s manual and a warranty card.

Currently this device may not be for everybody, and the user interface must be in Chinese, with possibly not way to change language, and obviously no Google Play. It might be possible however that somebody managed to install AOSP, and another UI in the device.

A final comment. The device can be purchased for 399 CNY (~64 CNY) on Taobao, so it should be possible to get it for a few dollar less than the $92 price tag in Aliexpress, using services such as Easy-Taobao or Taobao Ring.

Via AndroidPC.es

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Ugoos UT3 and UM3 Android TV Boxes With Rockchip RK3288 Available Soon

May 28th, 2014 8 comments

We’ve already seen a few RK3288 boards for upcoming Android TV boxes such as Zero Devices Z6C,Sunchip TV Box and HDMI Sticks, and Ugoos UT3. Most companies did not show off their complete products however, but Ugoos has now unveiled some pictures of their UT3 and UM3 Android TV boxes, and announced availability for next week. This is probably availability to resellers, but it should still mean RK3288 based TV devices should be available within a few weeks, especially since tablets such as Pipo P8 are already up to sale, and should start shipping within a few days.

Ugoos UM3

Ugoos UM3

The specifications are very similar for both Ugoos UT3 and UM3:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3288 quad core CortexA17 @ 2.0 GHz + Mali-T764 GPU with support for OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 /3.0, and OpenCL 1.1
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3 (1GB optional)
  • Storage –
    • UT3 – 16GB NAND Flash (Options: 8, 32 or 64GB flash) + micro SD card slot (up to 32 GB)
    • UM3 – 8GB NAND flash (Options: 16 and 32 GB) + micro SD card slot (up to 32 GB)
  • Connectivity
    • 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
    • UT3 only – 100M/1000M Ethernet
  • Video I/F
    • HDMI 2.0 output (female) up to 4k2k @ 60 fps
    • AV output (3.5mm jack)
    • UT3 only – HDMI 1.4 input (female) up to 1080p
  • Audio I/F
    • UT3 – HDMI in and out, AV out, optical S/PDIF, microphone jack
    • UM3 – HDMI out, and AV out
  • Video Codecs
    • Decoding – MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4,H.263, H.264, H.265,AVS, VC-1, RV, VP6/VP8, Sorenson Spark, MVC up to 4K2K @ 60fps
    • Encoding – H.264, H.265, VP8, MVC (1080p)
    • H.264, H.265 Data Rate – Up to 60Mbps
  • Audio Codecs/Formats – MP1, MP2, MP3, WMA, WAV, OGG, OGA, APE, FLAC, AAC, M4A, 3GPP
  • USB – 3x USB Host port, 1x micro USB OTG
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – N/A
  • Temperature Range – Operating: -10~40℃, Storage: -20~50℃
  • Humidity – 5%-90%, No condensation
  • Certification – CCC,CE,EMC,FCC,Wi-Fi
Ugoos UT3

Ugoos UT3

Both UT3 and UM3 will be sold with a 5V/2A power adapter, an HDMI cable, and an IR remote by default. Compared to their initial specifications release, they’ve made a few changes. Rockchip RK3288 CPU frequency has been increased to 2.0 GHz (instead of 1.8 GHz), they’ve switched to HDMI 2.0 (or simply properly edited the specs), and dropped the option for 4GB RAM. The SATA port that could be seen on the PCBA does not seem to be used.

They haven’t provided the dimensions, but it’s quite clear that UM3 will use a smaller form factor, and be a cheaper box without HDMI in, S/PDIF, microphone jack, nor Ethernet port, and 8GB flash instead of 16GB found in Ugoos UT3. Both devices will run Android 4.4.2.

Both Android TV boxes should probably become available sometimes in June, at least for pre-order, unless the firmware is found to be too buggy by resellers.

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Unboxing of HD18T Android Media Player with DVB-T2 Tuner

May 22nd, 2014 20 comments

Shenzhen Tomato has sent me a sample of HD18T, an Android TV box powered by Amlogic AML8726-MX dual core processor that features a DVB-T2 tuner with In and Out antenna connectors. This is quite timely as Digital TV in Thailand has just started on April 1st of this year. Today, I’ll go through the specs, unbox the device, and show some pictures of the box, the board and DVB-T2 tuner.

HD18T Specifications

The device enclosure and specifications are very similar to EM6-S2 DVB-S2 Android TV box I covered previously, expect the DVB-S2 tuner is replaced by a DVB-T2 tuner:

  • 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 S/PDIF.  Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD pass-through.
  • USB – 2x USB host ports
  • DVB-T2 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

The box runs Android 4.2.2, and XBMC 12.2 Frodo is pre-installed.

HD18T Unboxing

I’ve received the device in the following package via Fedex with icon with DVB support, Skype, Youtube, Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, and Android Jelly Bean, which are all pre-installed.
HD18T_PackageInside the package, we;ll find an IR remote control (2x AAA batteries not included), the user’s manual in English, the device itself, an AV cable, a plug adapter, and a European-style 12V/1.5A power adapter.

DVB-T2 Android STB and Accessories (Click to Enlarge)

DVB-T2 Android STB and Accessories (Click to Enlarge)

Since Shenzhen Tomato caters to wholesale customers, options may vary for retail packages, and you may end up with an HDMI cable too for example. Let’s have a closer look at the media player’s connectors.

Shenzhen Tomato DVB-T2 Box (Click to Enlarge)

Shenzhen Tomato DVB-T2 Box (Click to Enlarge)

There’s a SD/MMC card slot, two USB host port, and an Ethernet port on one side, and a 12V power jack, optional S/PDIF output, AV output (composite + stereo audio), HDMI, and IN and OUT antenna connectors for digital TV. There’s also a LED and an IR receiver on the front panel which can’t be seen on the pictures.

You can also watch the unboxing video below.

HD18T Board and Tuner Pictures

Time to check out what’s inside the box. After removing 4 sticky rubber pads at the bottom, and untied four screws, we can see there are two boards: the mainb oard and the DVB-T2 tuner connected via a flat cable.

Bottom of HD18T Board (Click to Enlarge)

Bottom of HD18T Board (Click to Enlarge)

There’s not much else to see here, except the Wi-Fi & Bluetooth module is Broadcom AP6181.

Top of HD18T Board (Click to Enlarge)

Top of HD18T Board (Click to Enlarge)

After removing three more screws, we finally get to see to boards up close. There’s a heatsink on the RAM, flash, and Amlogic SoC, and you’ll also noticed a recovery button at the back of the AV jack. The main board is marked HD18T v1.1, and the DVB-T2 tuner board marked HD18T-T2 V1.1, both designed in October 2013. I assume they just change the latter for DVB-S2 tuner, or ASTC tuners and keep the main board identical between different products.

HD18T-T2 Tuner Board (Click to Enlarge)

HD18T-T2 Tuner Board (Click to Enlarge)

I’ve removed the shield from the tuner, and taken a picture of the board. There are two ICs. The smaller inside the shield is NM120AA (origin unknown, but found in other models) but I could not quite clearly read the markings on the larger one, but it might be Silicon Labs Si2168 DVB-T2/T/C digital demodulator.

If you are a reseller, you could consider purchasing the box in quantity via Shenzhen Tomato, who provided this sample for review. Individuals can buy the device from Geekbuying for $93 (called EM6-T2), on Aliexpress for $70 and up (mostly known as Vigica C6), or DealExtreme ($85.28) among others.

I plan to focus mainly on DVB-T2 features: scanning, live TV, and PVR functions using the provided DVB app in my review, but it may take a while, as the box only has auto-scan settings for France, Taiwan, Australia, the UK and Italy, so I may need to do a manual tuning after finding out what the right frequencies are… I’ll also need to buy an antenna… So you may have to be patient :)

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