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Posts Tagged ‘zidoo’

Zidoo X7 TV Box Review – Part 1: Unboxing & Teardown

August 9th, 2017 6 comments

Zidoo X7 is another Rockchip RK3328 based TV box that has the advantage of coming with 2GB RAM, 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1, as well as Zidoo firmware support, compared to its cheaper competitors such as A95X R2 TV box. The company sent me a review sample to check out it. As a side note, it was quite a challenge to get the box, as my country of residence enacted a new law requiring a “broadcasting license” to import TV boxes and HDMI dongles, even if you get just one unit, so the first attempt failed to got through customs, but eventually I managed to get the box through a local reseller. Back to the review… As usual I’ll write a first part showcasing the hardware design today, before testing the firmware, and publishing my results next month.

Zidoo X7 Unboxing

The package shows some of the key features of the box like 4K, 3D, H.265/HEVC video support, Android 7.0 OS, 2GB RAM, and so on.

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The box ships with an infrared remote control with IR learning function for 4 keys, a HDMI cable, a 5V/2A power adapter – which hopefully will be enough to power my hard drive -, Zidoo X7 user guide, a guarantee card, and a “qualified certificate”.

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The box itself comes with a small windows on the front panel for the power LED and IR receiver, two USB 2.0 port and micro SD slot on one side, a USB 3.0 port on the side, and the remaining of the ports on the rear panel: 5V DC jack, AV port (composite + stereo audio), Fast Ethernet port, HDMI 2.0a output, optical S/PDIF, and the recovery pinhole.

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Zidoo X7 Teardown

I had to take out the four rubber pads, and loosen four screws to open the box.

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There’s not much to see on the bottom side, except a metal shield soldered to the board.

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The board can be easily taken out of the plastic case. We can see a fairly large heatsink on the processor that makes contact to a thermal pad glued on a thick thermal pad. So cooling appears to be better than on the cheaper models. The WiFi antenna is also glued to one of the side of the case.

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On the top side of Z3328_V1.0 board, the processor is connected to two SKHynix H5TQ4G63CFR DDR3 SDRAM chip (2x 512MB) – with the two other chips likely placed under the metal shield -, and Samsung KLM8G1GEME-B041 eMMC 5.1 flash chip with 185/40 MB/s sequential R/W speeds, and 5.2K/2.5K R/W IOPS, which will be the best you’ll get from an 8GB Samsung flash chip, and should help to offer a smooth user experience.

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Network connectivity is implemented with an Ampak AP6255 SDIO module with 802.11 b/g/b/ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1, as well as PPT PSF-162111 transformer for Fast Ethernet. Others ICs include Rockchip RK805-1 PMIC, and 3PEAK TPF632 audio line driver. There also appears to be a footprint for a CR2032 battery for an RTC, and the 3-pin header close to the IR receiver is likely for serial console access.

I’d like to thank Zidoo for arranging shipping for the review sample. Zidoo X7 can be purchased on several sites for $65 and up, including GearBest, GeekBuying, Amazon US, and Aliexpress.

Zidoo H6 Pro 4K HDR TV Box with Allwinner H6 SoC Launched for $99

August 7th, 2017 6 comments

When I first wrote about Zidoo H6 Pro TV box powered by Amlogic H6 “6K” media processor last week, I expected the launch to take place in several weeks or months, as no other company listed their Allwinner H6 TV box(es) on Alibaba. So today, I was surprised to find out GearBest and GeekBuying are both taking pre-orders for $99, with shipping expected around August 11 – 15 according to the page on GearBest, and in around 3 days according to GeekBuying.

The specifications have not changed since last week…:

  • SoC – AllWinner H6 quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor up to 1.8GHz with Mali-T720MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR4
  • Storage – 16GB eMMC flash, micro SD card reader up to 32 GB
  • Video Output – 1x HDMI 2.0a up to 4K @ 60hz with HDR support, AV port (composite)
  • Video Playback Support
    • H.265/HEVC Main/Main10 profile @ level 5.2 high-tier up to 4K @ 60fps / 6K @ 30 fps
    • VP9 Profile 0/2, up to 4K @ 30fps
    • H264/AVC [email protected], MVC, up to 4Kx2K @ 30fps
    • MKV, MP4, Blu-ray ISO, 3D MVC…
    • SmartColor 3.0 image optimization engine
  • Audio I/F – HDMI, AV port (stereo audio), optical S/PDIF; DTS and Dolby supported
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1 (AP6255)
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports including on OTG port, 1x USB3.0 port on other side. An external power needed if USB connects to over 1TB mobile HDD.
  • Misc – IR receiver, reset/recovery button behind AV port, front panel display (TBC)
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – 105.6mm x 105.6 mm x 17.5 mm

The box runs Android 7.0 with a revamped ZIUI user interfaces, and ships with a Bluetooth remote control, a HDMI cable, a power adapter, and a user manual.

I’m starting to wonder whether Allwinner signs exclusivity deals with some partners. For example, if you want an Allwinner R40 or V40 board, you can only do so through SinoVoIP (Banana Pi), and in the case of Allwinner H6, I can only see Zidoo using the processor in their product. Either that, or all other companies are running away from Allwinner 😉

Zidoo H6 PRO Android TV Box is Powered by Allwinner H6 Processor

August 1st, 2017 22 comments

Earlier this year, Allwinner H6 was introduced as a 4K set-top box SoC with a quad core Cortex A53 processor, a Mali-T720MP GPU, support for “6K” video decoding, and several high speeds interfaces like USB 3.0 and PCIe. Zidoo just unveiled H6 PRO TV box based on the processor.

Zidoo H6 PRO TV box specifications:

  • SoC – AllWinner H6 quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor up to 1.8GHz with Mali-T720MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR4
  • Storage – 16GB eMMC flash, micro SD card reader up to 32 GB
  • Video Output – 1x HDMI 2.0a up to 4K @ 60hz with HDR support, AV port (composite)
  • Video Playback Support
    • H.265/HEVC Main/Main10 profile @ level 5.2 high-tier up to 4K @ 60fps / 6K @ 30 fps
    • VP9 Profile 0/2, up to 4K @ 30fps
    • H264/AVC [email protected], MVC, up to 4Kx2K @ 30fps
    • MKV, MP4, Blu-ray ISO, 3D MVC…
    • SmartColor 3.0 image optimization engine
  • Audio I/F – HDMI, AV port (stereo audio), optical S/PDIF; DTS and Dolby supported
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports including on OTG port, 1x USB3.0 port on other side. An external power needed if USB connects to over 1TB mobile HDD.
  • Misc – IR receiver, reset/recovery button behind AV port, front panel display (TBC)
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – 105.6mm x 105.6 mm x 17.5 mm

The box will run Android 7.0, and ship with a Bluetooth remote control, HDMI cable, a power adapter, and a user manual. I hope they will consider upgrading the design to support USB drives without external storage, and beef up the power supply too. This would avoid potential troubles for people who want to use USB drives. Zidoo has also revamped their ZIUI user interface / launcher for this model by making it simpler and more colorful.

I can’t find any other Allwinner H6 TV boxes on Alibaba, so it’s probably safe to assume Zidoo H6 Pro and other H6 devices are still a few months away. You may find a few more details on the product page.

Zidoo X7 RK3328 TV Box to Sell for $69 with Android 7.1

June 16th, 2017 12 comments

Rockchip RK3328 processor has been getting some attention recently with low cost RK3328 TV boxes, Pine64’s ROCK64 development board, and now Zidoo has announced they are working on their X7 TV box with slightly better specifications and a product that should get better support than the cheaper models.

Zidoo X7 specifications:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3328 quad core Cortex A53processor @ 1.5 GHz (actual max. frequency might be a little lower in practise – TBC) with Mali-450MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0a port up to 4K @ 60 Hz with HDR support + 3.5mm AV port (composite video)
  • Audio Output – HDMI, AV (stereo audio), and optical S/PDIF
  • Video Codecs – H.264/AVC Base/Main/High/High10 profile @ level 5.1; up to 4Kx2K @ 60fps H.265/HEVE Main/Main10 profile @ level 5.1 High-tier; up to 4Kx2K @60fps VP9, up to 4Kx2K @ 60fps
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, dual band 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port, 2x USB 2.0 host ports
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – 109 x 109  x 20.3 mm (ABS Plastic case)

The TV box will ship with an IR remote control, a HDMI cable, a power adapter and a user manual.

GearBest is already taking pre-orders for $69 with shipping scheduled for “after July 2nd”. However, Zidoo told me that their “technicians are still working on the firmware, and no idea when it is gonna release out”, so while it may indeed ship after July 2nd, this could mean August or later. ZIUI user interface has apparently also gone through a facelift as shown in the rendering below. A few more details may be found in the product page.

Zidoo X10 Android & OpenWrt TV Box with 3.5″ SATA Bay Sells for $229

April 11th, 2017 9 comments

Zidoo has sold two TV boxes based on Realtek RTD1295 so far with Zidoo X9S and Zidoo X8, and the company has done a pretty good job based on my review of Zidoo X9S. Both models run Android 6.0 with HDMI input recording and broadcasting functions, as well as OpenWrt for NAS functions, with X8 model relying on USB 3.0 storage, and X9S adding an external SATA port. It would be nice to have a model with an internal SATA bay, and it’s exactly what Zidoo X10 brings to the table.

Zidoo X10 specifications with highlights in bold showing differences with Zidoo X9S:

  • SoC – Realtek RTD1295 quad core Cortex A53 processor with ARM Mali-T820 MP3 GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3
  • Storage – 16GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot up to 32GB + SATA 3.0 bay for 3.5″ hard drives
  • Video I/O – HDMI 2.0a output up to 4K @ 60 Hz (23.976 and 29.94 Hz supports) with HDCP 2.2, AV output, and HDMI 2.0 input with HDCP 2.2 input (recording and streaming up to 1080p @ 60 Hz)
  • Audio I/O – HDMI in and out, 1x S/PDIF output, AV port
  • Video Playback – HDR, 10-bit HEVC/H.265 up to 4K @ 60fps, VP9 up to 4K @ 60 fps (rather 30 fps based on my tests), H.264 up to 4K @ 24 fps, automatic frame rate switching
  • Audio Features – 7.1 channel audio pass-through
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 (Realtek RTL8821 module) with two external high-gain antennas
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0 ports
  • Misc – IR receiver, VFD display, cooling fan
  • Power Supply – 12V/3A (more power for the 3.5″ drive)
  • Dimensions – 197 x 197 x 65 mm (aluminum alloy enclosure)

All differences are related to the SATA bay which requires a larger & heavier device, a beefier power supply, and a cooling fan. Firmware-wise I’d expect all the features I documented in Zidoo X9S review, plus new features launched since then such as Blu-ray menu navigation and a new external subtitles system with rich settings and ASS/SSA support.

Zidoo Subtitle Designer

Zidoo X10 has been officially launched, and you can purchase it on Amazon or GeekBuying for $229.00. You may find a few more details on Zidoo X10 product page.

Instreamer App Streams Zidoo X8/X9S/X10 HDMI Video Input to YouTube Live / RTMP Servers with FFmpeg

March 25th, 2017 6 comments

Zidoo X8, X9S and the upcoming X10, are TV boxes powered by Realtek RTD1295 processor with an HDMI input. The stock firmware already supports UDP broadcasting, but robbi5 decided he needed more, and designed Instreamer “HDMI IN Streamer” app leveraging work from Danman’s ZidoStream app for Mstar TV boxes and Zidoo’s own VideoAndHdmiIN app.

Instreamer app supports the following:

  • Streaming as MPEG-TS to network (unicast/multicast)
  • Streaming in FLV format to RTMP server (e.g. Youtube)
  • No need for intermediate recording file – thus no length limit
  • Streaming runs in background
  • HDMI out is usable as pass-through

That looks good. Installation is easy.

  1. Download and install the latest Instreamer APK release
  2. Download and extract FFmpeg Android binaries to /mnt/sdcard

You’ll be able to adjust a few video and audio settings after launching the app  (not tested as I don’t have X9S anymore).

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You can now start a terminal, and stream HDMI input using MPEG-TS + UDP:

or to RTMP servers such as YouTube:

You’ll find the “Stream name/key” on YouTube Live Dashboard by clicking on Reveal button.

Since the source code is open source, you could also adapt to app to your need, and build it with Android Studio.

How to Reinstall Android Firmware on Realtek RTD1295 TV Boxes

March 16th, 2017 16 comments

I started playing with Beelink SEA I TV box nearly two weeks ago, but I soon realized there was a big problem, while I could get an IP address with both Ethernet or WiFi, I could not access Internet, nor the local network with the box, and even ping would not work. So I contact Beelink to find a solution, and they believed I may have a problem with the firmware on my box, and recommended to re-flash it.

Great. I asked the firmware, and the company eventually provided me with two files:

Those are baidu link which may be slow to download outside of China, so the company also provided a mirror later. The customer representative told me those were “Lines brushes Pack” firmware, and after lots of email back and forth. I finally got proper instructions which should work for Beelink SEA I, but also other Realtek RTD1295 boxes such as Zidoo X9S or Eweat R9 Plus. Note that this method is only useful in case something really goes wrong, as the device normally support OTA firmware updates.

First you’ll need a Windows computer or laptop, and a USB male to USB male cable., before following the firmware recovery instructions they use at the factory.

  1. Download setup.exe
  2. Click on setup.exe to install Microsoft Visual C++ 2012 and .NET Framework 4.6.
  3. Now reboot as instructed, and right click on setup.exe to run it as an administrator, and install rtk_usb_mp_tool. If you don’t run it as Administrator you’ll run into permissions issues and the installation will fail.
    This will also install the USB drivers for “USB REDIRECTION” device. By default, this is install in {HOME}/rtk_usb_mp_tool directory
  4. Now you can start the program “rtumdfsample.exe”

    The window size is about 1300 x 900, and cannot be resized, so I allow you to curse or (gently) bang your head on the wall if you run this on a netbook or laptop with 1366×768 resolution or lower. You’ll feel better 🙂
  5. Now insert the USB cable between your computer and the USB 3.0 port of the device, and turn on the box. The display on the box should always show “boot”, and the top logo should change from the yellow fear to a green Android once you device is detected over USB.
  6. Now Click on “Open” button in the Install section of the user interface, to load the firmware file (in my case SEAI_101M0_16G_20170225.img).

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    The top left icon will turn red, and update the firmware.

  7. Once it gets to 100%, you are done. Disconnect the USB cable, and restart the device into your freshly burned firmware.

The goods news is that networking works, I get the weather forecast within the launcher. The bad news is that the display turns off after 5 seconds, until I disconnect and reconnect the HDMI cable, and goes off again 5 seconds. At least the firmware update method worked…

Realtek RTD1295 SoC and Zidoo X9S TV Box Patchsets for Initial Mainline Linux Support

February 14th, 2017 4 comments

Realtek RTD1295 is a quad core Cortex A53 processor with built-in Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 and SATA found, and is found in some TV boxes such as Zidoo X9S or Eweat R9 Plus that run Android 6.0 and OpenWrt on top of Linux 4.1. Andreas Färber has been working on Mainline Linux support for the SoC using Zidoo X9S, and just submitted patchsets for enablement of RTD1295.

Andreas explains:

This mini-series adds initial support for the Realtek RTD1295 SoC and the Zidoo X9S TV box.

With these patches CPU0 can be booted with earlycon.

PSCI doesn’t work despite present in the vendor device tree; as enable-method it instead used a custom “rtk-spin-table” that I sadly have no source code of.

The UARTs use a custom interrupt controller that I again lack source code of; with interrupts = <GIC_SPI 41 IRQ_TYPE_LEVEL_HIGH> it can boot into an initrd.

The boot process is slightly twisted: The files need to be loaded from a 32-bit U-Boot, then boot into 64-bit U-Boot where the kernel can be booted. Similar to my previous Amlogic S905 work, the TEXT_OFFSET poses a problem, so a uImage needs to be used (or the kernel patched) for load address 0x00280000. I haven’t succeeded loading an initrd via bootm/booti; but as quick workaround initrd=$rootfs_loadaddr,0x$filesize can manually be specified in $bootargs.

If you want to try it out on your own Realtek RTD1295 device, you can find how to access the UART console, and play with U-Boot on Zidoo X9S page on OpenSUSE website. More experimental patchsets can also be found on Github.

In other news, if you’re interested in mainline Linux on Amlogic S912, kernel developers are currently using Nexbox A1 TV box with the help of Amlogic, which according to an upcoming talk at the Embedded Linux Conference 2017, “has put a priority on supporting their chips in the mainline Linux kernel”.

Categories: Linux, Realtek RTD Tags: Linux, realtek, zidoo