HD18T Android DVB-T2 Receiver Mini Review

I’ve had HD18T Android TV box with a DVB-T2 tuner for several months, but I’ve only installed a roof antenna recently, so I’ve decided to give it another try since my indoor antenna did not pick-up any signal with that box. The set-top box is also known as EM6-T2 or HD18T2, and features Amlogic AML8726-MX dual Cortex A9 processor which has been used in numerous boxes in the past, so I will only focus on my experience with the DVB app in this mini review.

Android Home Screen (Click for Original Size)
Android Home Screen (Click for Original Size)

If you want to use DVB-T2 go straight to the right and click on DVB app. Where you’ll then be greeted with a pop-up windowsasking if if you want to scan channels.

hd18t_dvb_settings_scanYou can do autoscan, manual scan (for one frequency), select the area (France/Taiwan/UK/Italy/Australia only), and enable/disable LCN (Logical Channel Numbering). At first I selected “Australia”, and the system did not find any channels, but after switching back to “UK”, the device found most, if not all, digital TV channels available in Thailand, including HD channels, meaning DVB-T2 is clearly working just fine. However, several people in Singapore complained that DVB-T2 does not work at all, and only DVB-T channels could be viewed. So your mileage may vary.

hd18t_dvb_settingsIn the program section you can delete or rename channels in the Program Edit menu, check the EPG and schedule recording, configure the PVR function (recording path and timeshitfing duration), access the PVR manager (password: 0000) to view or delete recordings, and TimeShifting to be able to pause live TV.

Using the box to watch TV works relatively well, although some of the channels marked with “$$” in the info overlay produced background noise (with the proper image), meaning I could only really watch about 25 channels, while it’s working just fine on a cheap Linux based DVB-T2 set-top box such as Samart Strong Black. I’ve also noticed some stability issues, as I may lose either picture or audio from time to time, requiring a reboot.

PVR function can be started with the “Rec” button on the remote, and you just need to input the duration. You can watch another channel at the same DVB-T2 frequency while recording. When I tried a single DVB-T2 stream could handle 6 TV channels. If you go over the boundaries, the system will ask if you want to cancel recording.

Once recording is complete, you can go to PVR manager to view the videos, but I did not manage to play any recording from there, so instead I went back to the main menu, and clicked on Movie app to access TVRecordFiles folder on my hard drive, and watch the recordings. Unfortunately all videos were recorded without audio, and I got some artifacts from time to time.

Time-shifting is working OK, but I could not find a way to manually hide the “record” button and the controls overlaid on top of the video, which can be annoying, although they’ll hide after a while (maybe one minute or so).

Other available settings are shown in the screenshot below. Picture size can be set to auto, 4:3 or 16:9, while the selectable languages for subtitle and audio are only English and Chinese. I don’t understand what “Blackout Policy” means.

hd18t_dvb_settings_avoption

The system menu has some options to enable subtitles, reset data, set password, and set the TTX region (a few more languages are available here).hd18t_dvb_settings_systemThe firmware version installed was built on May 14, 2014, with building number JDQ39.20140514. I could not find any other firmware updates.

You may want to watch the review video below for more details about DVB app.

The sample was sent to me by Shenzhen Tomato, and if you want to purchase this type of box in quantities you may contact them. I don’t recommend buying such device based on my experience, but at least it’s relatively cheap as it can be found on DealExtreme for $73.99, or Aliexpress for just under $70.

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Miguel AngelReview of Mygica ATV586 Android Set-Top Box with DVB-T2 TunerGiveaway Week – HD18T DVB-T2 Android Set-top BoxAlfred Braithewaite Recent comment authors
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onebir
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onebir

Sounds good, but that processor is looking a bit dated now…

adem
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adem

are you sure you want to do a factory reset he he 🙂

Harley
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Harley

But I assume no Live TV / PVR GUI via XBMC/Kodi?

http://kodi.wiki/view/PVR
http://kodi.wiki/view/PVR_recording_software

Alfred Braithewaite
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Alfred Braithewaite

> I’ve only installed a roof antenna

Hey, that is excellent news and I am sure you are pleased that you are now able to watch your locally transmitted TV stations with a reliable signal.

> after switching back to “UK”

I would guess that in the list of available locations this is the only one for which the software is enabled to get the tuner to lock on to any DVB-t2 signals and to process the signal. It could even be that this box has different drivers for DVB-t and DVB-t2 (as opposed to a unified driver) and the latter only gets loaded for the “UK” location.

Thanks for reviewing the box in DVB mode — the video was appreciated as it shewed some of your local stations with the station names on the “infobar”.

It looks like your local stations do not provide any EPG information, not even now and next, hence the entries “not available” on the infobar and EPG grid.

As to recording. try doing this just on its own and not switching to another station. You may also have problems recording HD on a USB 2.0 mechanical disk because the disk writing speed is too slow. For [Linux] satellite TV boxes where HD recording is commmonplace, I have read a number of times that people have problems with USB 2.0 disks and the recommendation is to use an internal SATA connected disk. Also most Linux firmwares (Enigma 2 user interface) on satellite boxes have a setting for how long the infobar remains on screen (1 – N seconds).

Looks like the people who wrote the UI software for this box did an incomplete and rushed job and you probably will never get an update — but this is reflected in the overall price of the product.

> some of the channels marked with “$$”

Are not these encrypted pay/subscription services?

Blackout policy may refer to screensaver/power saving, ie after N seconds of inactivity the screen will go blank or turn off?

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[…] has been around for a while, I haven’t done a full review, but instead I focused on the DVB-T2 part. The results were mixed, as while I could scan and watch SD and HD TV channels fine, the videos […]

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[…] already tested some Android TV boxes with tuners such as HD18T (DVB-T2) and WeTek Play (DVB-S2) , but they were all based on Amlogic AML8726-MX dual core processor. […]

Miguel Angel
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Miguel Angel

Sincerely yours please can confirm me where I can find the latest firmware for this device? is takes too much at start when it turn on.
Thank you