HiMedia has been releasing and manufacturing Android TV boxes with SATA interfaces based on Hilison processors including Q5 (single core) and Q5II (dual core) for a couple of years. The company is about to release another one with the same enclosure, based on a new Hilicon Hi3798C quad core SoC, that they’ve aptly named “Q5 Quad Core”.
- SoC – HiSilicon Hi3798C quad core ARM Cortex A9 @ 1.5GHz + ARM Mali-450MP6 Octa core GPU.
- System Memory – 2 GB DDR3
- Storage – 8GB eMMC Flash, SATA connector, and MMC/SD 2-in1 card reader
- Connectivity – 10/100/1000M Ethernet, and 802.11 b/g/n/ Wi-Fi with external antenna
- Video Out – HDMI 1.4 up to 4K30 and composite
- Audio Output – HDMI, L/R stereo (RCA), and optical & coaxial S/PDIF
- Video Codecs – MPEG1/2/4 up to 4K30, H.264/AVC up to 4K30, H.265 up to 4K30, VC-1, REALVIDEO 8/9/10 up to 4K30, and more
- Audio Format – MP3, WMA, AAC, APE, FLAC, WAV, DTS, Dolby Digital, AC3 up to 7.1.
- Video modes – PAL, NTSC, 720p, 1080i (50/60Hz), 1080p (24/30/50/60Hz), 4K (24/30Hz)
- USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x USB 3.0 port
- Misc – LED display on front panel, recovery button.
- Power Supply – 12V/2A
- Dimensions – 170 x 115 x 24.5 mm
Blu-ray ISO 3D are said to be supported, and Blu-ray BDMV too, but without 3D support, and they claim support for XBMC and 240Mbps videos from the network (SAMBA/NFS) or USB. The hard drive has to be connected externally which may feel a bit awkward, and supports EXT-3, NTFS and FAT32 file systems. Q5 Quad Core (aka Q5 III or Q5 3D4K) runs Android 4.4.2, and comes with a power adapter, an IR remote control, a SATA cable, an HDMI cable, and a quick start guide in Chinese. You may find more pictures, screenshots, and detailed features on ka8.hk (Note: may not be safe for work).
The box appears to be available for sale on JD.com for 699 RMB (~$113). I can see that Linaro is doing some work regularly on Hisilicon STB SoCs (Hi37xx), so there might be a way to get a decent and recent kernel for the box, and an easier ability to run Linux, if that’s something you’d like to do.