There are now plenty of Android set-top boxes or HDMI TV sticks, but if you want to watch digital satellite or terrestrial TV, the options are limited. If you already have a satellite receiver at home, you could buy an Android set-top box with an HDMI input such as Huawei MediaQ M310, or use a DVB-S2 USB adapter, but you may need to acquire both the kernel source and DVB driver to compile it for your device. So for now, the last option is currently reserved for ODM/OEM as mentioned on Geniatech store. But today, I’m going to write about an Android set-top boxes that comes with a satellite receiver (DVB-S2). They are all based on AMLogic AML8726-M1/M3, and models include:
- Geniatech ATV1100B Hybrid DVB Box – Multiple standards
- STV-502 – DVB-S2
- Monolithelec MINGLE – DVB-S2
Geniatech ATV1100B Key Features:
- SoC – AmLogic AML8726-M1 ARM Cortex A9 @ 800MHz
- System Memory – 1GB RAM
- Storage – 2 to 32GB flash memory (optional) + SD card
- Digital TV – ISDB-T / ATSC / DVB-T / DVB-T2 / DVB-S / DVB-S2 / DMB-TH standards
- Ethernet – RJ45 10/100M
- Wi-Fi – Built in 802.11b/g/n module
- Video Output – HDMI 1.4a (Up to 1080p), CVBS
- Audio Output – HDMI + Line out via RCA
- USB – 3x external USB ports
- Power Supply – 5V/2A
Digital TV support will depend on the country you live, and even your exact location, so when you buy, you’d better make sure you’re using the correct standard. I’ll give a short description for the 7 digital TV standards mentioned above:
- ISDB-T – “Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting – Terrestrial” – Used in Japan and Brazil
- ATSC – “Advanced Television Systems Committee” – Used in North America (USA, Canada, Mexico)
- DVB-T – “Digital Video Broadcast – Terrestrial” – Used in Europe, India, South East Asia, Oceania, and a few other countries.
- DVB-T2 – “Digital Video Broadcast — Second Generation Terrestrial” – Used in a subset of countries using DVB-T. Read “Market Adoption” in Wikipedia to know which country used the second generation of the standard.
- DVB-S – “Digital Video Broadcast – Satellite” – Accessible worldwide. MPEG2 codec, standard definition broadcast.
- DVB-S2 – “Digital Video Broadcast – Satellite – Second Generation ” – Accessible worldwide. MPEG4 codec, support for both standard and high definition broadcast. Backward compatible with DVB-S (As I understand it).
- DMB-T/H – “Digital Multimedia Broadcast – Terrestrial/Handheld” – Now called DMBT. Used in Greater China and Laos. Some middle east countries are experimenting with the standard.
For Satellite support, it’s pretty easy as DVB-S and DVB-S2 are supported worldwide. A few years ago, I needed 2 different dongles to support DVB-T and DMB-T/H, so I’m not sure if the STB can only support a subset of standards, or there’s just one tuner supporting all standard in ATV1100B.
One person has acquired an STV-502 media player, and dedicated one website (dvbdroid.info) to the device with links to the user’s manual, firmware files, DVBPlayer application, and the short video demo below.
At this point, you may think (or not): “Hey! I want one!”. I’ve spent one or two hours looking around for this type of device, but finding the exact model you want is nearly impossible, and searching for “dvb-s2 android” in Aliexpress just return 4 devices without any feedback. STV-502 is available from one manufacturer in Alibaba, with minimum order quantity of 1 piece, so this may also be an option. However, if what you’re looking for is an Android media player supporting DVB-T, there are nearly 500 devices to choose from, with prices starting around $80 including shipping.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.