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Posts Tagged ‘wetek’

WeTek and Ugoos Release Android 6.0 Marshmallow Firmware for their Amlogic S905 TV Boxes

June 20th, 2017 8 comments

While there are many models of TV boxes on the market, there are only a few companies that will provide firmware updates over time for their products. Two of those companies are WeTek and Ugoos, both of which recently released Android 6.0 Marshmallow firmware for their Amlogic S905 TV boxes.

I actually reported about WeTek working on Android 6.0 for Hub TV box last year, but at the time it was still a beta version. The company has now released weOS 3.1 firmware with Android 6.0 for both WeTek Hub and WeTek Play 2 with the following changelog:

  • System
    • Kernel Fixes
    • Streaming apps in 4K
    • Improved Auto refresh rate system for Kodi
    • Improved DRM playback
  • Apps
    • Added Kodi 17.3, update
    • Updted Aptoide Store, Google Apps and File Manager
  • WeTV (Play 2 only)
    • Added XMLTV for Sat
    • PG Fixes for ATSC
    • Now allows ATSC-T and ATSC-C

Most people can get the updates via OTA, but in case you need to manually install weOS 3.1, the firmware can also be found in the forums. Note that you can’t go back to Android 5.1 after upgrading to Android 6.0.1.

WeTek was not the only company to announce an update to Android 6.0, as Ugoos has just released firmware v1.1.1 for their AM1 and AM2 models with the following changelog:

  • NEW
    • Android 6.0.1
    • Added support Kodi 17 function “Adjust display refresh rate”
    • Improved HDMI self-adaptation function (Settings -> Playback settings)
    • Added fractional frequencies for HDMI self-adaptation function
    • Added support HLS for HDMI self-adaptation function
    • Added video frames to screenshots
    • Added CPU watchdog
    • (for AM1) Added ability to power on from Ugoos orange remote controller
    • (for AM2) Added ability to power on/off
    • (for AM2) Added choice of actions for sleep timer and power key on RC (Display -> Daydream -> Power key action)
    • Added Debug Settings (Ugoos settings -> System -> Debug Settings)
    • New Ugoos update service
  • FIXES
    • Fixed support HDMI passthrough function in Kodi 17
    • Fixed cursor rotation
    • Fixed touch screens support
    • Other improvements

It’s unclear whether the Android 5.1 to Android 6.0 update is available via OTA, but the company did release firmware files for both TV boxes in the blog post.

OpenELEC 8.0 Released with WeTek Play 2 & Hub, and Raspberry Pi Zero W Support

April 11th, 2017 5 comments

In recent months, I’ve written more about LibreELEC, a fork of OpenELEC, but the latter project is still being worked on, and OpenELEC 8.0 has been released adding builds for WeTek Play 2 & WeTek Hub TV boxes, as well as Raspberry Pi Zero W board, and upgrading to Kodi 17.1. and newer packages such as Linux 4.9 and ffmpeg 3.2.

The developers also removed some unused or dropped features such as HFS and HFS+ filesystem, iSCSI, NFS/NBD/iSCSI network boot, and LIRC. X11 AMDGPU, ATI (Radeon) and Intel GPU driver driver has been replaced by X11 Modesettings GPU driver. They also updated some drivers & firmware files for WLAN and DVB, as well as update Nvidia Legacy driver to xf86-video-nvidia-340 (VDPAU only supported now).

You can download or update OpenELEC 8.0, not only for the new WeTek and Raspberry Pi platforms, but for also x86 64-bit images for Intel & AMD hardware, WeTek Play & Core TV boxes, all other Raspberry Pi boards,  as well as NXP i.MX6 platforms, mostly the boards and devices from SolidRun.

Via Phoronix

Mainline Linux on 64-bit ARM Amlogic SoCs, and TV Boxes such as Wetek Hub / Player 2, NEXBOX A1 / A95X, etc…

March 6th, 2017 30 comments

We’ve already seen Neil Armstrong, part of BayLibre, worked on adding Amlogic SoC (S905/S905X/S912) to mainline Linux via our virtual schedule for the Embedded Linux Conference & OpenIoT Summit 2017. But at the time, although we could see some activity in Linux 4.10 including support for Nexbox A95X and Nexbox A1, they did provide that much details the work that had been done, but since then, ELC 2017 videos have been released, and BayLibre wrote a short post about 3D Graphics support in mainline Linux.

Click to Enlarge

We can see that I/Os, USB host, composite video output, Ethernet, eMMC/SDIO, and PSCI and SCPI features have already been added to Linux 4.10. but some important features have not yet including HDMI, Mali support, Audio, and high speed eMMC modes. HDMI is actually planned for Linux 4.12, which could be released in about 18 weeks if we keep the 10 weeks kernel release schedule we had in the past. WeTek Hub and Play 2 devices tree files have been submitted for Linux 4.11. Beside TV boxes, development boards such as ODROID-C2 and Khadas Vim will also be supported and benefit from this work.

While Mali is not supported in mainline Linux yet, the patchsets for Mali-450 GPU are available on github in order to enable 3D graphics acceleration in Amlogic S905, S905X and S905X. If you are interested to get more details, you may want to watch Neil Armstrong presentation at ELC 2017 which explains the status of Amlogic Linux before working on mainline, the work achieved, the work in progress, and an overview of the community.

You may also want to download the presentation slides for an overview of the talk, and check out linux-meson.com and BayLibre blog for future updates.

Thanks to Space Invader, theguyuk, and Harley for the tips.

LibreELEC v8.0.0 Released with Kodi 17.0 (Krypton)

February 26th, 2017 5 comments

LibreELEC is a JeOS (Just enough Operating System) based on Linux that creates a media center appliance platform for Kodi (formelly XBMC), and a fork of OpenELEC. The developers have now released LibreELEC v8.0.0 with the latest Kodi 17.0 “Krypton”.

Beside the update to Kodi 17, some of the changes since the last stable version (v7.95.3) include:

  • Fix for TVheadend issues in the WeTek Play 2 DVB driver
  • Fix for interactive governor causing slowdown issues on the WeTek Core
  • Fix for missing Bluetooth “connect and trust” option when pairing
  • Fix for missing ir-keytable streamzap support after recent changes
  • Updates to refine lirc repeat timing changes
  • Update WeTek Play 2 remote keymap to expose more buttons
  • Updates to linux-amlogic 3.10 (arm) and 3.14 (aarch64) kernels
  • Add hexdump busybox applet needed for Odroid_C2 overclocking

The full list of changes can be found on github.

While it’s possible to update from an existing installation, there are a few potential issues if you were running a mixed-arch build ( 32-/64-bit) for Amlogic devices, or enabled “Sync Playback to Display” with audio pass-through. If you update, and get stuck in Kodi 17 splash screen, you may want to delete /storage/.kodi/userdata/Databases/Addons27.db. While some workarounds are explained in the release blog post (linked in the introduction), you may prefer installing from scratch using LibreELEC SD creator with images available for the following platforms:

  • Generic x86_64 – Note: I tested a community/beta version of LibreELEC 8.0 for Apollo Lake last month.
  • Raspberry Pi & Pi Zero, Raspberry Pi 2 & Pi 3 boards
  • Freescale/NXP i.MX6 hardware
  • ODROID-C2 Development board
  • WeTek Play, Wetek Core, WeTek Hub, WeTek Play 2

Those are the officially supported hardware platforms, but if your device is not listed, there could be community support firmware images for your device. You’ll have to check out the forums to find out. Some work also also started to run LibreELEC 8.0 on Rockchip RK3288 processor.

Thanks to Harley for the tip.

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.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

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.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

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.