AV Receiver and 4K UHD TV Crowdfunding for Better Reviews on CNX Software

I’ve written a fair amount of reviews, mostly of Android mini PCs and development boards, and I intend to continue, but there are currently a few things I’m unable to test: S/PDIF and HDMI pass-through, and 4K video output, 3D videos, and HDMI-CEC.  The main reason is that the AV receiver and TVs required to test this are rather expensive, and these are not something I really need personally, since I seldom watch movies myself, I purchased a new Full HD TV last year, and I don’t expect to access 4K content for a few more years.

LG UB830T
LG UB830T

Yet it would be interesting to prospective buyers to find out if advertized features such as audio pass-though of 5.1 & 7.1 codec does work, and whether 4K output (listed and real), HDMI-CEC, 3D videos and other features not supported by my current Panasonic can work properly. It would also be fun for me to test these features. That’s why I’ve been thinking of ways to get both an AV receiver and a 4K TV.

One way would be to get an AV receiver donated by companies such as Pioneer, Onkyo, or Yamaha, and a 4K TV by the likes of Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, or others. But even though CNX Software traffic has increased recently, I don’t think it’s a realistic option. So instead I’ve been thinking of raising funds by asking donations and selling some of the devices I used for review.

But first, let’s go through the requirements:

  • 4K TV – HDMI 2.0 for 2160p @ 60 Hz support, HDMI-CEC. Optional, but good to have: 3D video support, MHL, DisplayPort (are these found on TVs?)
  • AV Receiver – HDMI and S/PDIF input. Display showing Codec. 4K pass-through. Codec: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital+ 5.1/7.1, TrueHD 5.1/7.1, DTS HD, and DTS MA

This type of devices would allow me to complete my current review process. I’ve also seen AV receivers claiming 9.2 channel and Dolby Atmos support, but I’ve never read anybody ask for these, and the price is even higher. So I’m gone to my local consumer electronics shop (Sahapanich) to check what’s available, and so far the cheapest options I’ve found matching the requirements are:

  • LG UB830T 49″ 4K UHD TV – 54,999 Baht ($1,672). That’s the catalog price, and I’ve been told the actual price would be a bit lower. [Update: It looks like this model can be found for only 35,000 Baht online (~$1065)]
  • Onkyo TX-NR626 AV receiver – 19,999 Baht ($605).

That means I’d need to raise around $2,200, which is quite higher than I initially anticipated. The HDMI 2.0 (2160p 60Hz) requirement somehow increase the price of the TV a lot, as I could get something for around $1,000 with HDMI 1.4, and DTS-HD, 7.1 channel adds about $100 compared to a 5.1 system with speakers. So if anybody, especially people living in Thailand, knows cheaper options that would fulfill the requirements, that would be greatly helpful, and I’d be able to lower the target amount to raise.

ONKYO TX-NR626
ONKYO TX-NR626

The plan is to run the campaign for 10 days (until 19 January 2015), accept payment by Paypal, and if we can’t raise enough money, I’d just click on the refund button in Paypal, since I don’t really need donations to run the blog itself. If you’d like to donate, select the 4K UHD TV or AV receiver options below.

Funded! Thank you!

If rather that just donating, you’d rather buy one of the reviewed sample, at a small discount, you can contact me by email if you are interested. I’ll also wait the end of the campaign before shipping, and if case I can’t raise enough fund, I’ll ask whether you still want it or would like a refund before shipping. I would use EMS within Thailand, and Small Packet registered Airmail to the rest of the word.

DevicePrice including Shipping
ThailandRest of the World
HPH NT-V6 (4GB RAM / 32 GB eMMC)5,000.00 THB$160.00
MXQ S851,200.00 THB$42.00
Probox2 EX with air mouse3,500.00 THB$120.00
Rippl-TV3,000.00 THB$100.00
HD18T DVB-T2 android tv box1,200.00 THB$42.00
Zero Devices Z5C Thinko1,800.00 THB$60.00
Eny M8S2,200.00 THB$72.00
CX-S806 (S812)2,000.00 THB$68.00
WeTek Play DVB-S2 (Engineering sample, potential Wi-Fi/Ethernet issues)1,000.00 THB$30.00
Ugoos UM3 (Enginnering sample. No heatsink, 5V/2A power adapter)2,000.00 THB$68.00
OpenHour Chameleon4,000.00 THB$135.00
Tronsmart Draco AW80 Meta3,800.00 THB$125.00
Jesurun T0342,200.00 THB$72.00
CX-01500.00 THB$20.00
MK808500.00 THB$20.00
Kimdecent A2500.00 THB$20.00
EGreat H5500.00 THB$20.00
T428700.00 THB$25.00
MK908700.00 THB$25.00
FreeOTT500.00 THB$20.00
CS868700.00 THB$25.00
Vidon.me AV2001,700.00 THB$60.00
CubieTruck Metal Case (CubieTruck + Metal Case + Battery + Cables, but no SSD)3,000.00 THB$100.00
Freescale SABRE Lite5,000.00 THB$160.00
Radxa Rock (2013)2,500.00 THB$80.00
Wandboard Dual (no case)2,500.00 THB$80.00
Cubieboard (with micro SD slot broken)700.00 THB$25.00
A80 OptimusBoard4,000.00 THB$135.00
ODROID-XU3 Lite (Board + Case + Power supply + micro HDMI, no eMMC module)
3,000.00 THB$90.00
ODROID-X with full kit, 10″ display (no touch), power supplies, and others.4,000.00 THB$135.00
Atmel SAMA5D3 Xplained2,000.00 THB$65.00
A10-OlinuXino-MICRO (Allwinner A13)800.00 THB$30.00
WRTnode500.00 THB$20.00
LinkIt ONE2,000.00 THB$65.00
Texas Instruments Connected LaunchPad (IoT board with Ethernet)500.00 THBN/A (Buy from TI :p)
Infineon XMC4500 Relax Lite Kit500.00 THB$20.00
Infineon Hexagon Application Kit + Cortex-M Debugger2,500.00 THB$80.00
Energy Micro EFM32 Starter Kit1,700.00 THB$60.00

I want to keep at least one sample for each processor, especially the 4K capable SoC (Rockchip RK3288, Amlogic S802/S812, and Allwinner A80), so I’ll keep at least three samples for this purpose.

I’ll keep track of the progress daily (net amount) in the table below, splitting the funding for TV and receiver respetively by 2/3 and 1/3 at first, but I may make adjustments as needed at the end of the campaign. The funding does not start from zero, as include 10,000 Baht for the television, and 3,000 Baht for the AV receiver to get started. I’ve also sold 4 device locally since I though about purchasing a 4K TV and AV receiver, bringing in 9079 Baht net, as well as a $10 donation (Thanks Nikolai) which I’ve split between the TV and receiver.

4K UHD TVAV Receiver
DateTotal Amount Raised (net)USD equivalentTotal Amount Raised (net)USD equivalent
Jan 9, 1516,010 Baht $486.756,079 Baht $184.60
Jan 10, 15 21,100 Baht $642.60 8,829 Baht $268.89
Jan 11, 15 22,775 Baht $693.62 9,254 Baht $281.83
Jan 12, 15 27,647 Baht$840.60 12,514 Baht $380.50
Jan 13, 15 30,789 Baht $936.5414,042 Baht $427.11
Jan 14, 15* 23,000 Baht $702.59 23,264 Baht $710.11
Jan 15, 15 23,000 Baht $702.59 26,964 Baht $823.46
Jan 16, 15 23,000 Baht $702.59 27,264 Baht $836.51
Jan 17, 15 23,000 Baht $702.59 27,264 Baht $836.51
Jan 18, 15 23,000 Baht $702.59 27,264 Baht $836.51
Jan 19, 15** 19,610 Baht $601.88 30,502 Baht $936.00

* I’ve re-allocated more funds from sold devices to the AV receiver, since I’ve been able to confirm LG 42UB820T model supports HDMI 2.0, so that’s probably the one I’ll buy for 23,000 Baht or less. The only feature missing is 3D support, but not that many people may be interested in 3D videos, and it adds a lot to the cost. I’ll also need to buy speakers with the AV receiver, and probably choose another model due to HDMI issues with Onkyo TX-NR626. So I think the crowdfunding is already successful, and I’ll buy both a 4K TV and AV Receiver, I just need to decide where, and choose another AV receiver model. *

** The crowdfunding campaign is now complete, and I consider it successful as I could buy an AV receiver (Onkyo TX-NR636 for 25,000 baht) and a 4K TV( LG 42UB820T for 19,610 Baht after getting lucky with a 10% coupon this morning), and I still have to buy some speakers.
Here’s the details of this crowdfunding with Paypal fees and shipping:

GrossNetCurrency ConversionShippingTotal
4K TV Donations$150.00$139.50฿4,417.28N/A฿4,417.28
AV Receiver Donations$90.00$84.22฿2,666.83N/A฿2,666.83
Device sales (USD)$686.00$660.07฿20,901.18฿4,026.00฿16,875.18
Device sales (THB)฿4,200.00฿4,200.00N/A฿124.00฿4,076.00
Total:฿28,035.30

So thanks to my readers, I managed to raise 28,035 Baht, and after adding device sales (9,079 Baht) made previously, and 13,000 Baht out of my pocket, I’ve got a ~50,112 Baht budget to purchase the equipment needed. I’ve already spent 44,610 for the largest expenses, and I have 5,500 baht left for the speakers. **

That’s it. I think I covered everything. Whatever happens, everybody wins. If enough money is raised, I’ll be able to purchase a 4K UHD TV and/or an AV Receiver, and my reviews will be more detailed with 4K output, HDMI-CEC, HDMI and S/PDIF pass-through testing, but if not, I’ll have a little less work to do, keep a bit more of my savings, and I’ll organize another giveaway week with some of the devices above.

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embedded_geek
5 years ago

this 4K TV is quite expensive. Mine, LG 42UB820V, was at 499€ in EU ! and there is HDMI 4K60p.

ovidiu
5 years ago

Jean Luc … would be ok an chinese brand 4k TV?

JotaMG
JotaMG
5 years ago

Jean Luc, sorry to say that you are on the wrong foot here.
You had choose the easy way but it is the wrong way.
It is a shame.
(and lookout for that prices, some of the devices are selling now for less than what you are asking… I think that is non ethical towards your loyal readers… but, of course, you may disagree)
Good luck!

Tim
Tim
5 years ago

@JotaMG
He said the price includes shipping, so I think they’re pretty fair. Do you have a specific example?

Mike
Mike
5 years ago

I have a 4K TV and ATMOS Receiver.
Just send me these devices and i will do the Audio and 4k test for you….

ovidiu
5 years ago

im thinking to raise this with the chinese companies which i am working and are reading your blog … i cannot predict success or not but at least i’ll do my best to help you out with this. I remember in Shenzen Office i had for testing 2 brands of 4k TV’s TCL aka Teclast and the second one was a MI TV from xiaomi … i sent several emails with this stuff and will keep you informed via email regarding results. This blog needs to go one step further so i will use all my connections and relationships from… Read more »

miniNodes
5 years ago

We’ll be assisting in this. =)

Let me look over the list and search back through the reviews to see what we need to test builds against.

ovidiu
5 years ago

Btw jean Luc : R.I.P for your french fellows who died in Paris on 07/01/2015 in the terrorist attacks.

schwatter
schwatter
5 years ago

@ cnxsoft

buy yamaha or denon because of hdmi passthrough energy consuming

Paul taraneh
Paul taraneh
5 years ago

it must be nice to be sent tv boxes every month for free, but to charge your readers for free tv boxes so that you can get a new tv for tests that we have all done without is ridiculous. How many people request 4k takes on a daily basis? is great you write your blog which makes for good reading but in2015 information is free, i could understand if your efforts were going to be cleared otherwise, but this is wrong. i can only speak k for me but id rather do my own tastes on my own tv… Read more »

JotaMG
JotaMG
5 years ago

Thanks Paul 😉
Jean Luc, I appreciate your blog, I’ve learned a few things reading it, so, if you want to know what I will do in your place, email me…
If you want to be a major player, you have to behave as one….

Yasir Ashfaque
Yasir Ashfaque
5 years ago

I just donated the money, you deserve more, but its strange that the guy who spend so much time for such nice reviews has to ask donation to continue his work, you should have alot of hits everyday on your website should learn some tactics from Google to make good money; not only for 4K Tv but also money for your earning 🙂

Mike
Mike
5 years ago

Guys,
Don’t blame Jean Luc for this approach, some reader told him to do it this way so he can fund for those equipment.
This was not his idea…

anon
anon
5 years ago

@Paul taraneh
@JotaMG
You really cannot see why CNX is doing this fundraiser this way?

Maybe you really should then find better location for actual reviews of these cheap boxes, as you so much dislike reader sponsored content (vs commercially sponsored kind).

And if you think you can do better job at it… Go for it.

@Mike
Involving yourself that way it way too invasive, do your own, and then try to get crosslinks going with CNX, would be better for both (and readers of these ARM articles would preciate more content/blogs).

hwti
hwti
5 years ago

The LG (at least the 42UB820V) doesn’t support 4:4:4 in 4K.
If you can get one, the Panasonic AX630 series support 4K in 4:4:4 (8bit), and 4:2:2/4:2:0 (12bit).

Someone from the other side
Someone from the other side
5 years ago

Do yourself a favor and go denon or yamaha for receiver. Onkyo is notorious for dieing of thermal issues.

Someone from the other side
Someone from the other side
5 years ago

@Someone from the other side
Having had both yamaha and denon, in general yamaha has fancier settings on their audio dsp whereas denon has better capabilities in room correction. If you want surround sound in a non perfect room, generally denon is the safer bet.

Ray Donnelly
5 years ago

I appreciate this approach far more than the usual tech blog style. To me it seems far more honest. Besides, when do you see Engadget et-al going into detail about compiling new Linux kernels for obscure arm boxes? Keep up the good work.

anon
anon
5 years ago

@Someone from the other side
I would actually look into those wonderful Yamaha soundbars, those things are amazing for the size (and the fact of having all “surround” speakers on one face only)… Sure the price is way too steep for Joe Averages… :-S

JotaMG
JotaMG
5 years ago

Sorry to tell you that, but you really missed the big picture….
But it is your choice!

Yasir Ashfaque
Yasir Ashfaque
5 years ago

I think you will raise more money than you required, but i dont get the concept, if you run this blog and give time to it, there is no shame in earning back, this is what you deserve, i dont get your point to become a saint 🙂

a1danslat3
a1danslat3
5 years ago

Hey Jean, I have no problem donating some money. You work really hard on this blog and you deserve the right equipment. 4k technology is essentially the future of television, while it may not be popular with consumers due to its expensive price and very limited content it will become the industry standard when the infrastructure is in place. I think your reviews will become even more important with this test. However I sell televisions for a living and I’m afraid the L.G UB850 is IMO a very poor panel. It only has a 200HZ panel which is very slow… Read more »

Al
Al
5 years ago

I think is a great way to fund getting equipment as we all benefit from Jean’s testing.
Much prefer donating a small amount than he puts a crapload of annoying ads on his site to get funds that way.

Tim
Tim
5 years ago

To those sending money: Remember PayPal will take fees. If you send money via credit card PayPal takes a percentage for credit card processing. It’s best if you can transfer funds from a bank account and pay that way to avoid those extra fees. Also, if you send money via the “Send Money” option in PayPal, you can select “I’m sending money to family or friends” and you _may_ be able to avoid all fees. I tried it and only had to pay the flat rate of $0.45. The alternative is that fee is taken off the amount you’ve sent… Read more »

Mike
Mike
5 years ago


I don’t mind paying for shipping.
Juc Luc email me and we can discuss this further.

Thanks!

a1danslat3
a1danslat3
5 years ago

Yamaha RX-V477 is a SUPERB reciever

fossxplorer
fossxplorer
5 years ago

, just read over at newegg that this receiver isn’t reliable and it’s known that the HDMI board fails after 24 months or so.
They recommend to go for Yamaha A820 instead.

Mike
Mike
5 years ago

All those receivers listed doesn’t support Atmos.

Get the Onkyo
If You are just using it for testing( The Onkyo support all the latest format out there.)

Yasir Ashfaque
Yasir Ashfaque
5 years ago

You have already reached to the target, better is to raise more money and buy TV with 3D feature, i think it will make difference specially 3D with true 4k.

Yasir Ashfaque
Yasir Ashfaque
5 years ago


I agree with your comment, but we dont buy TV everyday, most of the people i know have never watched “good” 3d movie or dint get chance to watch one, but things will change with 4k specially passive 3d, so no one knows where future goes but i have strong feeling that passive 3d with 4K HDR will change the way people watch movies.

Yasir Ashfaque
Yasir Ashfaque
5 years ago


Also make sure the tv you choose should have WebOS 2, not sure the one you are going to buy have it ? it would be good if you will review WebOS 2 as well would be a bonus 🙂

miniNodes
5 years ago

Congratulations! Glad it was a success, and thanks for all you do for the community!

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