Zidoo X9 Android Media Player Features an HDMI Input Port with PVR & Time Shifting Functions

I’ve recently tested two Android TV boxes with an HDMI input, namely HPH NT-V6 and M-195, and with the firmware they had at the time of review, the HDMI input just acts as a dumb HDMI input port, and there was nothing much I could do with it. Now comes Zidoo X9, another Android TV box powered nby Mstar MSO9810 that also comes with an HDMI input port, but this time, they’ve implemented a PVR function, so if you have a low end satellite, cable, or terrestrial receiver, you can connect it to Zidoo X9 and record programs, which makes it much more useful.

Zidoo_X9Zidoo X9 specifications:

  • SoC – Mstar MSO9180D1R quad core Cortex A9 processor up to 1.5GHz with octa-core ARM Mali-450MP6 GPU Mali-450MP (2 or 4) GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot
  • Video Output / Input –  HDMI output up to 4K, HDMI input with PVR and Time Shifting support, and AV port (Composite + stereo audio)
  • Audio I/O – HDMI Out and In, AV, and optical S/PDIF
  • (Main) Video Codecs – H265, VC-1, WMV-HD, MPEG1/2/4 up to 4Kx2K, etc..
  • Audio Codec – MP3, AAC, AC3, DTS-HD Master, TrueHD 7.1 pass-through, etc…
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, Dual band 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi (MT7632 module), Bluetooth 4.0. Dual external antennas.
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0 host ports.
  • Misc – ON/OFF switch, reset pinhole, LCD display on front panel
  • Power Supply – N/A
  • Dimensions – 187 x 127 x 27 mm (aluminum enclosure)

It looks very similar to Kaiboer F5, but they’ve added dual bad Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0, and I understand the firmware is completely different.

The device runs Android 4.4.2 with Google Play Store, a custom version of XBMC optimized for Mstar MSO9810, and an interesting user interface called ZIUI. If you are mainly interested in HDMI in function, jump to 5:49, where you’ll see the configuration menu for PVR function that allows to record in HD, VGA, FHD resolution and MP4 or TS container, and specific the starting date/time. H.264 is used to encode the video, and you can choose the recording path, for example on SD card or USB hard drive. Warning: If you are a member of the grammar/vocabulary police, this video may make you  faint / feel unwell.

Zidoo X9 can be purchased for $169 on Amazon US, but I can’t find it anywhere else. You may be able to find more information on ZidooX9 product page, and ask questions on the Forums. [Update: GearBest sells the device for $119.99 including shipping with coupon ZDX9CN]

Thanks to Harley for the tip.

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69 Replies to “Zidoo X9 Android Media Player Features an HDMI Input Port with PVR & Time Shifting Functions”

  1. Not everyone out there is looking to completely cut the cord of pay TV. For those who maintain a “basic cable” feed, the ability to record is a major selling point.

    Are there any other media players out there with HDMI *input* and record capabilities?

  2. Hi, thanks for posting the review. I’ve tried a few of these HDMI-IN devices (amlogic, rokchip, realtech) and they all suffer from “judder” or sync issues with a set top box (comcast) as source. This is especially obvious on an HD news ticker (such as Fox news / ESPN) where it’s not smooth.

    If it’s not too much trouble could u confirm if these models are smooth? Also I was looking for picture in picture function…do they do that? I don’t need recording function.

    Tks again for post and informing me of these new models! 🙂

  3. @John
    I haven’t really checked the smoothness. But as you can see with M-195 I had a color issue. HPH NT-V6 was OK in that regard.

    All I can do (with the firmware I tested) was to start the app and see the HDMI input. No PiP, no PVR, no other useful features. So they acted about the same way as an HDMI switcher. I’ve seen a video (Chrbax on Youtube) with a Geniatech box (Amlogic processor) that could do PiP.

  4. hi all,
    We will be upgrade X9 firmware this week, it may include below features:
    Fixed the PVR “judder” 🙂
    A redesigned file manager, which utilizing more screen space.
    A redesigned album app, reduce OOM occurence.
    A redesigned MediaPlayer, making the operation easier.
    Redesigned PVR function, easier and stable UI experience
    A new version of KODI for Zidoo, based on new Kodi version.
    A more powerful memory management system, increasing system efficiency

    The upgrade will be carried out through OTA online, X9 will be notified for upgrade automatically.

  5. Hi all
    We had a new firmware,You can get the download URL tomorrow

    A list of updating softwares
    1, FIX removing the system promptS which hold resources.
    2,FIX solving recording jitter
    3, some unsupported ISOs lead localMM to be corrupted.
    4,FIX advancing decoding,solving some problems that m2ts can not do
    5, upgrading KODI(XBMC) from alpha to RC3
    6, Upgrading teleswitches which can only cut definition of 4k30,4k25,1080P,720P .
    7, upgrade: different kinds of repairs, upgrades, and revisions of native players.
    8, Upgrading audio player supporting the file of CUE.
    9, Upgrade system settings: setting languages without focuses, removing the unnecessary settings.
    10, upgrading the compability of googleplay
    11, Upgrading some play lag phases of 4K files
    12, Upgrading the hardware that supports the format of GPT.

    1、Adding tips that show the Bluetooth has been connected on the chief interface.
    2、Searching on the chief interface more than 4 hours, BUG will make the interface be in a mess.
    3、Changing setting- BUG of common settings can not use mouse.
    4、Upgrading BUG which can make the applications update autonomously.
    5、The problems of input method errors when searching on the chief interface.
    6、The problems of search box that can not run its cursors when searching on the chief interface.
    7、Upgrading the speed of interface.
    8、Adding dynamic pushes of the major ICON on the chief interface.

    1.The HDMI IN automatic poop-up screen window when it is applied into
    2.Modified statu Chinese error under the status bar
    3.Modified recorded input for real resolution
    4.Add selections of the sampling rate:VAG1024000/ hd1024000*3/ Fhd1024000*5
    5.When recording, the upper right corner of the recording will mark dynamic display
    6.Modified the month-end selection time of BUG
    7.The interface will be hidden after inoperating about 10s
    8.Solve the problem of the screen shake when recording
    9.Modified the BUG when the upgrade box is hidden by screen-recorder frame window
    10.Modified the BUG when it came into the application error repeatedly

    Files manager
    1.Modified ways of the mouse sliding list so as to match the sliding speed and wheel slip
    2.Solve problem of becoming white when file list pictures
    3.Add entrances of direct files classification
    4.Add video classifications of -ts suffix
    5.It will play the BUG if you pull out/insert USB on the file interface
    6.Add the cue playing songs entrance of flac wav file

    Music player
    1.Support the CUE + WAV, CUE + FLAC, CUE + APE and selecting play.
    2.Correct no response from flying squirrel return key bug.
    3.Increase the function of that it will access to media files automatically when you
    enter the applications directly.

    Image manager:
    1. Comprehensive revision of application present a new face.
    2. Solve not load due to entering and exit the folder frequently bug.
    3. Add the random switching, vigor effect and many flash effect.
    4. Not closed LWP after exiting the interface bug.
    5. Out of memory bug.
    6. Improve pictures’ clarity in the animation.7. Optimize the speed of loading pictures.

    Video player
    1. Comprehensive revision of UI present a new face.
    2. Solve no response from multiple plugins subtitles selection bug.
    3. Switch tracks no response bug.
    4. Solve the part of MP4 files can’t to get the total time bug.
    5. Solve a part of the ISO file can’t play lead to the player can’t play bug.

  6. @mirror

    I hope you had a good holiday over the festive period.

    I have the zidoo X9 with me now and have done the OTA upgrade.

    You have done a good job with the device. Hardware feels solid and the UI is nice and the OTA update worked perfectly, well done!

    Some feedback on the HDMI-IN:

    1) Your latest firmware breaks ‘pass through audio’. I only hear audio if I select “L-PCM’ instead of pass-through (previous f/w worked with pass-through audio).

    2) When there is a lot of movement on the screen (ie. sports and a news ticker such as “ESPN”) the video struggles to keep up and we see some jitter / frame skip / non smooth video.

    3) During system boot if there is HDMI-Input attached you can hear and see the source for a few seconds even before you choose the “HDMI Input” app.

    4) When using 1080i (interlaced) source I guess you are doing deinterlacing. This needs some improvement as it suffering from some ghosting. Perhaps you can have some options of different deinterlace methods to choose from?

    5) When starting HDMI-Input sometimes don’t want to record… so only show the recording UI if the ‘menu’ button is pushed perhaps?

    6) Really would like the Picture in Picture function to be next.

    Saying all that (which I hope you take as constructive feedback), I must say that you have the smoothest and best HDMI-Input I’ve seen on an Android device, so very well done to you! 🙂

    I look forward to the next firmware update – please contact me if you would like me to test interactively with you (I have remote ADB and USB console tools if it is helpful).


  7. @John

    Can you post a sample recording on a file sharing site from a channel with a news ticker? I would like to compare the quality to other HDMI recording solutions like hauppauge hd pvr, etc. What format (H264, HEVC, etc) and bitrate does it use to record 1080i channels? Are they recorded in original 1080i format? Does it record AC3 dolby digital audio? Thanks.

  8. @John
    v1.0.2.5 coming soon
    System Update List:

    1. Add the function of Bluetooth connects automatically after power on.
    2. Smooth the dtshdma audio of Blu-ray 3d movie
    3. Smooth truehd track occasionally
    4. Modify the error problem of video interface when 4K output or inserting HDMI OUT line
    5. Add the flip function of Remote key

    Software update list :

    1.The APK still shows recommended data even doesn’t get into the network.
    2. Data keeps updated after the recommended data changed.
    3. Add the dragging function of UI mouse
    4. Optimize the font styles
    5. Modify the error indicator problem when inserted USB devices.

    Record screen:

    1. Modify display styles of setting appointment time, change into specific time
    2. Optimize UI disappears automatically when deleting appointment or recorded files
    3. Optimize setting the accuracy of video length

    File Manager:

    1. Optimize SD also can display by press Up to unload
    2. Add the function of circulation list
    3. Add a key to flip

    Music Player:

    1. Optimize the accuracy of translation from the “Unknown” language

    Picture Manager:

    1. Optimize swithcing pirtures around when view pictures from file manager
    2. Optimize the clarity when flashing
    3. Modify the display position of UI
    4. Optimize recycling of picture memory
    5. Modify the memory overflows for some larger pictures

    OTA Update:

    1. Revise the APK
    2. speeds download
    3. more reasonable designature for UI
    4. Support background download
    5. Download from breakpoint automatically
    6. Support local upgrade and background replication
    7. View update blogs of 6 nearest versions

    Video Player:

    1. Optimize the continued saved function of ISO/BDMV
    2. Localmm keeps on running when the system language switchs to others,like Russian
    3. Delete the repeat function of the loop mode playlist options
    4. Modify track after swithing track or video fast- forward.
    5. Modify the problem of forward/back, when play/pause pressing around the key.
    6. Optimize the display dimension when playing 3D
    7. Optimize the unfull dimension when playing 3D-2D video
    8. LocalMM keeps running when switching into cycle mode
    9. After selecting track, maintain the selected track when re- enter the menu
    10. Modify default display when inscribed caption

  9. @mirror
    OK, the OTA update is working. At least it’s downloading now.
    Very nice to include a detailed changelog to your firmware updates, many companies often provide updates without saying what they’ve changed.

  10. @mirror
    I can’t use Google Play Store (with this firmware and the previous one).
    Network is working, and I could login into my Google Account, but when I start the Play Store, it just shows “Check your connection and try again”. I have no problem using the web browser either.

  11. It’s my great honor to share with everyone here: In the next two months,we will launch two competitive and fabulous products. One is Android Box with DVB T2 which will completely redefine the android box+T2 conception ,like AMLOGIC MX,it is compatible with DVB parts very well and designed with wonderful experience UI,its price will be also very good for marketing, Zidoo will be the only one supplier of Turn key! The other is ANDROID BOX, which is the first one of Framework with 64Bit A53 quad-core ARM. It might be dobule systems both UBUNTU and ANDROID L
    ZIDOO D1 Android box + DVB T2 user interface:

  12. @mirror
    Hi Mirror, I find this product interesting and really want to buy one for some testing and if they reach our requirements maybe we could want to buy more.
    If the machine works as we want, can we send you especifications to build a new product similar to this especifications, but with some more?
    Also I need to know if we want to use the hdmi input to some more functions can we develop an android app that can use this hdmi input?
    Is there some contact to interchange emails and ask you more detailed information

  13. @mirror
    Hi Mirror,

    Do you have plan to have a isdb-t android box. Here in the Philippines is ongoing testing in digital tv broadcasting adopting isdb-t Japan. Please enlighten me if you have that box. Thanks in advance.


  14. @Tomb
    As we know, I can’t talk more about the topic of HDCP. However, you can have a try, maybe you might enter the game first, then put HDMI to HDMI IN of X9 with the cable.

  15. Recording from HDMI it’s a joke. Worked in first firmware, and doesn’t work in next firmware.
    Seems this device is also a joke. Blu ray 3d without 1080p24 support ?? it’a fake device.
    Sorry to say that but this is reality.

  16. I buyed open chameleon device and i have both in parallel and i see improvement from openhour chameleon, but zidoo should take advice from consumer about features request.

  17. @adl
    I’m the admin of zidoo forum,We never BAN your IP. Why do you say that?
    We open Forum, in order to listen to the views from users, and to improve our firmware.Therefore, why we do such you said that?
    It is a a fake device without 1080p24hz? What’s more, we are developing this feature now.
    HDMI IN Record, we had said that it only supports the PCM audio, if you failed, please check your own environment, we have hundreds of thousands of users to confirm its availability.

  18. @adl
    ZIDOO X9 can automatic switch to 24hz when play blueray 3D movie,
    but can’t auto switch to 24hz when play bluray2D movie with 24hz. there are few this kind of movie.
    we’ll add a option to settings , so that user can’t switch to 24hz manual before play 24hz movie.

  19. The new firmware v1.0.2.7 for x9 coming soon
    Including several new functions:
    Open Recovery menu,
    A brand-new File manager,
    Add new remote control with powerful function for mobile (access Android phones),
    Optimize the Samba,
    It can call Video player from third party file manager.
    Fix the problem of some coding the subtitles garbled, such as Korean SMI.

  20. v1.0.2.7
    System Update:
    Add the recovery function, press the recovery key to boot.
    If can’t find MstarUpgrade.bin in USB DISK, enter into the interface of recovery.
    Change the color of the recovery interface.
    The backup menu on the interface of recovery, only backup user data and tv data.

    Zidoo RC
    >> Add the remote control of Android mobile phone, easier operation, support a variety of operation ways.
    The choices of operation: button code/ handle code/ mouse code/ gestures code.
    Add the management APP of cell phone.
    Add the function of screenshots.

    Zidoo UI
    Add the icon of redraw.
    Modify the problem of returning to setting interface according to the menu.
    Optimize the flash move.

    Video Player
    Solve the problem of subtitle gibberish, adding the switch function of subtitle encoding.
    Add the codes of identification subtitles automatically.
    Add the movement function on the basis of units on the location of subtitle.
    There won’t be any mistake while the screen scaling and choosing the Default.

    >> The new UI, more intuitive experience, more easier and quicker operation ways, smoother running.
    New functions:
    Add the create file/folder function.
    Add the multiple choices function, operating multiple files simultaneously.
    Add the function of view to switch: let list/ network work by yourself.
    Add the function of page turning, for finding files faster.
    Add the function of show ways while screening, change the screen way whenever you want, operating by yourself.
    Add the route function, and you can operate with mouse, keeping the current location at anytime.
    Add the function of file details shown, making the information (modified time/ type/size,etc.)clearer.
    Add the manual search function of SAMBA and NFS.
    Add the adding function for SAMBA, don’t worry to search no device.
    Add the logout/ delete function for SAMBA, removing traces more convenient.
    Add the pop-up function while inserting an external storage device.
    Add the anonymous logon function for users.
    Add pop-up function for repeat file name/out of free space,when paste file.
    Speed up start-up, for entering apps faster.
    Improve the main UI, for all the operation clear, no more red tapes to switch interface.
    Improve the searching way of SMB, for searching more precise.
    Optimize entirely the support of mouse operating, for operating more simple.

  21. The new firmware v1.0.2.8 for ZIDOO X9
    update list:
    1,Optimization record, when recording for the TS format , VLC can not play, video and audio out of sync issues
    2,Repair open WiFi set probability lead to system settings without response issues
    3,Remote control shortcut keys [16:9] remove the ZOOM1 and ZOOM2 options
    4,Default set to open the WiFi
    5,When installing apk google play verify that the default is off
    6,Remove the built-in GoogleMap application
    7, For reservation recording time changed to 12/24 hours
    8,Repair a plurality of recording path does not display issues
    9,Increase recording to a samba device(ensure shared SMB account has permissions to write, in the Explorer have login access)
    10,Optimization of SMB access, give priority to display the user name
    11, Increase in external storage device unmount function
    12,Repair the probability of no response to access the hard disk
    13,Increased by host name to add Samba device function
    14, Repair mouse clicks NFS didn’t respond issues
    15,Clean up tip “has been very smooth” change to “Task Completed”.
    16, Repair when zidoo remote control lose network to stop running issues
    17,Repair the audio code info error of video player
    18,Repair select subtitles (idx+sub) stop running issues
    19,Repair probability does not focus on external subtitles, need to manually add issues
    20,Repair after play BDMV/ISO, playing another video have not seek function issues
    21,Repair individual subtitles selection encode stop running issues
    22,Long press on the remote control home keys to open multi task management interface, up or down key to kill the current process

  22. 1) How does the MSTAR MSO9180D1R 1.5GHZ compare with other popular android box SOCs (ex. RK3288 , AllWinner A80, Tegra K1, Samsung Exynos 5422,AMLogic AML8726-MX, etc)?

    2) Is there WiFi Display or Miracast that works reliably?

    3) It’d be great if it had a built-in ota hd tuner (atsc, etc).. but can it work with an external usb3 hd tuner (something like the PT-681)?

    4) Are there instructions on how to update to firmware version v1.0.2.8?

  23. Hi friends,
    During recording from HDMI in:
    1) Is it possible to watch the recorded part of the video at the same moment?
    2) Is it possible to access other functions, like music, video or game?
    Thanks in advance!

  24. @cnxsoft
    Thank you for the reply!
    Did you mean “can do” or “can’t do” since the recording happens in the foreground?
    About TimeShifting, according what I read, this device does not have this function, right?

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