Armada Mach 8 is an Amlogic S802 based TV Box apparently based on M8/EM8 hardware, but instead of running Android, it comes with XBMC Linux. It’s unlikely a quad core media player brings much performance over a dual core media player with XBMC Linux, but Amlogic S802 adds 4K video playback compared to Amlogic AML8726-MX. One of the main advantages of Linux compared to Android is support for automatic frame rate switching depending on the video you are watching (24Hz, 50Hz, 60Hz…), in order to avoid regular skipped frames when the video frame rate does not match the video output refresh rate.
Let’s double check the specifications to confirm they are indeed the same as Shenzhen Tomato / Enybox M8, except possibly for Bluetooth:
- SoC – AMLogic S802 quad core Cortex A9r4 processor @ 2GHz with Mali‐450MP6 GPU @ 600Mhz
- System Memory – 2GB DDR3
- Storage – 8GB NAND flash + SD card slot
- Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, dual band Wi‐Fi (2.4GHz/5GHz),
- Video Output – HDMI 1.4 up to 1080p, AV
- Audio Output – HDMI, AV, and optical S/PDIF
- Video Codecs and Containers – MPEG1/2/4, H.264, AVC, VC‐1, RM/RMVB, Xvid, DivX3/4/5/6, RealVideo8/9/10…
- Audio – MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, OGG, AC3, DDP, TrueHD, DTS, DTS HD, FLAC, APE…
- USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports
- Misc – Power LED (ON:blue; Standby:Red), IR receiver
- Power Supply – 5V/2A
The firmware is what differentiate this box from the Android ones. Many people have reported problem with XBMC Android in their M8, so hopefully the Linux version may bring more stability. If the listed specs are correct the box will decoded 4K, but only output up to 1080p, so there’s no true 4K output with this box, which by the way is also the case for all ARM based Android TV boxes on the market at this time. You may remember XBMC Linux (Beta) was released for the M8, but the firmware used in Armada Mach 8 looks much different with a custom skin, and some extra features such as OTA updates, “Cloudword installer” to make add-ons installation easy with just a keyword/code, and “Total Installer” to search for add-ons.
You can now get an Android M8 for about $85 to $100, but XBMC Linux based TV Boxes are usually more expensive, and Armada Mach 8 Pure Linux is not exception, as it that goes for $129.99 in TheaterInABox or Amazon US.
Thanks to CSilie
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.