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Posts Tagged ‘wetek’

WeTek Hub and WeTek Play 2 TV Boxes Giveaway

November 22nd, 2016 401 comments

I may just have finished Giveaway Week at the beginning of the month with my own review samples, but I have three new devices to offer courtesy of WeTek who asked me whether I could organize a giveaway for two WeTek Hub and one WeTek Play 2 Android & OpenELEC TV boxes on CNX Software.

WeTek Hub

WeTek Hub

For some reasons I’ve been unlucky with my attempted reviews of the two devices with my WeTek Hub review sample having severe stability issues, while my country’s customs office required time-consuming and expensive paperwork for WeTek Play 2, so I had to abandon the package. End of the day, I did not review either. Other reviewers were luckier, with – from what I’ve seen – positive reviews for both devices. For example, Mark Hodgkinson concluded his review of WeTek Hub on AV Forums as follows:

The Wetek Hub is a well-designed little device, both inside and out, that should serve the media needs of most for some time to come and, given its fairly low entry price, it’s one we’re happy to term as a Best Buy.

Kodi forum moderator wrxtasy tested WeTek Play 2, found the Android or OpenELEC firmware was comparable to the one of WeTek Hub (he gave an A mark, once the IR remote was excluded…), and also gave his opinions about WeTV App for the tuner with a good mark for live TV  playback and prompt channel switching, but he had some grievances with regards to some features like EPG presentation, the number of clicks required for some functions, and a few other issues. The device still got an decent B- for the DVB/PVR part as of October 29th.

WeTek Play 2

WeTek Play 2

WeTek Hub is also getting Android 6.0 firmware with support for 4K streaming on services that offer 4K content, including Netflix.

If you are interested in either device, please leave a comment below. Complete rules as follow:

  • Only one entry accept. I will filter out entries with the same IP.
  • The contest is open for 48 hours, and comments will be closed after 48 hours, so you’ll know when the contest is over.
  • Winners will be selected with random.org, and announced in the comments section.
  • The first winner will get WeTek Play 2 (with tuner of his/her choice), and the second and third winner will receive WeTek Hub.
  • I’ll contact the winners by email, and I’ll expect an answer within 24 hours, or I’ll pick another winner.
  • Shipping – Free and handled by WeTek
  • The contest is open to all humans living on planet Earth. Dogs, cats, and extraterrestrial lizards not allowed.
  • If you have already won a device during giveaway week in November 2016, you can’t participate in order to give others a chance.

Good luck!

Giveaway Week – WeTek Core Android TV Box

November 1st, 2016 267 comments

For day 2 of this giveaway week, I’ll send one lucky winner WeTek Core Android or OpenELEC TV box powered by Amlogic S812 processor, and one of the rare boxes with support Netflix HD, which is partially why I listed it as one of the best Android TV boxes.

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But as discussed in WeTek Core review, there are also other reasons the box stands out with HD audio pass-through and automatic frame rate switching support, support forums, regular firmware updates, and WeTek is one of the few companies providing an official OpenELEC firmware image.

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All accessories shown above are included, except the HDMI cable.

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, and announced in the comments section of each giveaway.
  • I’ll contact the winner by email, and I’ll expect an answer within 24 hours, or I’ll pick another winner.
  • Shipping
    • $17 for registered airmail small packet for oversea shipping payable via Paypal within 48 hours once the contest (for a given product) is complete.
    • If Paypal is not available in your country, you can still play, and I’ll cover the cost of sending the parcel by Sea and Land (SAL) if you win.
  • I’ll post all 7 prizes at the same time, around the 10th of November
  • I’ll make sure we have 7 different winners, so if you have already won a device during this giveaway week, I’ll draw another person.

Good luck!

WeTek Core was released late 2015, but it’s now out of stock on WeTek store and Amazon shop, as it may have been replaced by more recent Amlogic S905 based WeTek devices such as WeTek Hub. I can still be found via some eBay sellers.

WeTek Play 2 Amlogic S905 TV Box Gets Ubuntu 16.04 Mate and Minimal Firmware Images

September 7th, 2016 5 comments

WeTek Play 2 is the latest TV box from WeTek with DVB or ATSC tuner, and powered by Amlogic S905-H processor. It ships with Android 5.1.1, but Ubuntu 16.04 Mate and Ubuntu 16.04 minimal firmware images have been released by the community.

WeTek_Play_2_Ubuntu_16.04-Mate

You can try Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Mate (with desktop environment) or the headless Ubuntu 16.04 LTS minimal image by uncompressing the images, and flashing them to a micro SD card with dd or Win32DiskImager.  Two default credentials (username/password) are provided:  wetek/wetek and root/wetek. This required the latest Play 2 Android firmware, so make sure you get the latest OTA update before trying Ubuntu. The Ubuntu 16.04 images should just boot from the SD card without replacing or affecting your Android installation.

If this type of images for Amlogic S905 seems similar, it’s because are based on Hardkernel ODROID-C2 Ubuntu 16.04 images. You can find the Linux kernel for WeTek Play 2, against a fork of ODROID-C2 kernel, on github. To build the kernel and modules, run those two command after having cloned the source code:

It’s unclear whether tuner support is part of the images at this stage.

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.

Android TV Box Survey Results – Kodi, YouTube, Netflix, Brands, Support, and Prices

August 16th, 2016 4 comments

I’ve launched a survey on behalf of a TV box manufacturer two weeks ago, and the results are now in with over 400 respondents. As promised, the company provided the results so let’s have a look.

First, most of respondents use a TV box without tuner, while some have both, and a few others haven’t purchased one yet.

TV_Box_Tuner_or_NotSurvey participants where then asked about the most important apps in an Android TV box with a 1 (not important) to 6 (very important) scale.

TV_Box_Kodi_YouTube_NetflixThe results are not really surprising with Kodi and YouTube being the most sought after apps. Netflix came a distant third, and a fair amount of respondents want their TV box to support HD resolutions. Most people could not care less about Hulu and Sling TV.

The third question was about the price people were ready to pay for a TV box with the same specs, but from various brands. It looks prices listed during the survey changed overtime, so we have three sets of answers instead of just one.

TV_Price_Brand_MINIX_WeTekThat part of the survey was a little odd, as both WeTek and MINIX TV boxes would sell for the same total price (with shipping), but MINIX would include shipping, while WeTek would have separate shipping.The price listed for Nvidia Shield is most probably for actual specs, rather than similar specs. Anyway, it seems respondents are ready to pay a bit more ($15) to a lot more ($60) for a given brand and the support that comes with it.

The final question was just about the extra price people would pay for specific features such as Netflix HD, and good support.

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The majority of respondents some Netflix users, who already paid for their subscription fees, some who don’t use Netflix at all, don’t feel like they want to pay extra to get HD and 4K UHD support for this single app, although some do. $10 extra seems to be the sweet spot for community and support.

There was also a lucky draw for the survey, and the company already selected the winner: Andrés.

Have Your Say with this Android TV Box Survey (and Potentially Win One)

August 1st, 2016 15 comments

While you probably know what you want in an Android TV box, it’s quite difficult to find out what the market wants exactly, so I’ve been asked to run a short survey about Android TV boxes, the importance of Android apps like Kodi, Plex, or Netflix, brands, and support.

TV_Box_SurveyIt will run for about 7 days, the results will be public, so I’ll post them once they become available. The survey is short – 5 questions -,  and anonymous, except if you want to participate in the lucky draw to win one Android TV box, as you have to leave an email address.

Categories: Android Tags: Android, kodi, minix, netflix, nvidia, TV box, wetek

WeTek Hub Amlogic S905 TV Box Gets Android 6.0 Marshmallow Firmware

July 6th, 2016 95 comments

Amlogic S905 TV boxes are currently running Android 5.1, but a few are now getting Android 6.0 support including MXQ Plus, and soon K1 Plus. VideoStrong refused to provide the firmware for MXQ Plus as I did not own the box, but WeTek has already provided their latest beta Android 6.0 firmware to testers and reviewers working on WeTek Hub, which I plan to review next week with Android 5.1 first.

WeTek_Hub_Android_6.0

The main changes with Android 6.0, beside the expected better performance, are support audio HAL 61937 pack allowing HD audio pass-through on all apps, as well as Microsoft PlayReady 3.0 permitting Ultra HD 4K DRM video streaming.

Eventually, Android 6.0 update will be available through OTA, but currently the beta firmware (DB-J9-wetekhub-marshmallow-ota-2016-07-06_12-00-03.zip) needs to be copied to a micro SD card, and update through Recovery after wiping data and media.

WeTek Hub TV Box Unboxing and Teardown

June 21st, 2016 16 comments

WeTek Hub is the latest TV box by WeTek running Android 5.1 or OpenELEC, with support for Widewine Level 1 allowing Netflix HD in Android as well as Microsoft Playready DRM, and featuring Amlogic S905-H Rev. C processor that fixes video playback issues on some 4K H.265 DVB streams, and includes Dolby and DTS licenses. The company has now sent me a unit for review, and I’ll check the hardware first before reviewing the TV box in a separate post.

WeTek Hub Unboxing

The device comes in a blue and black retail package showing some of the key features including  WiFi, Dolby, DTS, HDMI, and Bluetooth support.

WeTek_Hub_PackageThe QR Code on the package redirects to http://www.wetek.com/qr/201603, which just looks like WeTek main page. The top cover of the package can slide to reveal more small boxes with the device and accessories.
WeTek_Hub_Packages

The device ships with a basic IR remote control taking two AAA batteries, a 5V/2A with US, UK, and EU plug adapters, an HDMI cable, an IR extension cable with 3M sticker, a 3.5mm jack to serial cable for developers or debugging your device, a WiFi antenna, as well as a user manual including an “emergency” clip to re-flash the firmware if needed.

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The tiny device has the antenna connector, micro SD slot, UART and IR extension hacks, as well as a USB port on one side, and the DC jack, Gigabit Ethernet and an HDMI 2.0 port on the rear.

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WeTek Hub is really a small device, and to show just how small it is I took a photo with a Raspberry Pi 2 board. The IR extension cable would also allow you to completely hide the device in your cabinet.

WeTek_Hub_Vs_Raspberry_Pi

WeTek Hub Teardown

The bottom of the case has a sticker with a MAC Address starting with E8:18:63:50, which looks up to WeTek Electronics Ltd, as well as a hole giving access to a yellow button for firmware recovery, among plenty of smaller ventilation holes.

WeTek_Hub_Mac_Address

I had to take out the rubber feet, and loosen four screws to access the bottom of the board with the micro SD card slot, and a 8GB Samsung KLM8G1WEPD-B031 eMMC 5.0 flash with 130 MB/s read speed, 7 MB/s write speed, and  5000/600 random R/W IOPS.

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The board is then fairly easy to lift, and we can see the company used an heatsink with thermal paste on the Amlogic processor and two RAM chips (1GB in total), with the heatsink then in contact with a thermal pad glued to a metal plate on top of the case.  Hopefully, this thermal design will be good enough to keep the performance at a good level even under high loads.

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A close on the board shows AP6335 module has been used for 802.11ac WiFi (433 Mbps) and Bluetooth 4.0, and Realtek RTL8211F + Pulse H5009NL for Gigabit Ethernet.

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The board is called WeTek Cube VL1, so maybe the company had the idea to launch a cube instead in the earlier stage of development, before deciding on a smaller form factor. You’ll also notice an IR receiver is soldered on the board, so you don’t have to use the IR extension cable if you don’t want to.

That’s all for today. The full review may take a while, as I have received several devices in a short time frame. WeTek Hub can be pre-ordered WeTek Hub, with shipping scheduled for July.