There are very few Android TV boxes capable of recording video over HDMI. One of them is Zidoo X9 which works pretty well as long as you use the built-in apps, but playing 4K and/or H.265 with Kodi is a disaster, and despite Mstar MS09810 being a quad core Cortex A9 processor, the actual performance barely better than Amlogic AML8726-MX dual core Cortex A9 processor due to the poor memory bandwidth. But now, if you’d like a system with HDMI PVR function, but better performance and good Kodi support, Beelink i one (i826) could be an option with its Amlogic S812 processor and HDMI input support. There’s also a similar looking UBox i828 featuring Amlogic S802 processor which lacks H.265 support.
- i one – Amlogic S812 quad core ARM Cortex A9r4 at 2.0GHz with ARM Mali-450MP6 GPU
- Ubox i828 – Amlogic S802 quad core ARM Cortex A9r4 at 2.0GHz with ARM Mali-450MP6 GPU
- System Memory – 2G DDR3
- i one – 16 GB eMMC Flash + SD card slot up to 32GB
- Ubox i828 – 8GB eMMC flash + SD card slot up to 32gb
- Video I/O
- Output – HDMI 1.4b up to 4K2K @ 30 Hz
- Input – HDMI up to 1080p to switch between inputs and recording.
- Audio I/O – HDMI ports, and optical S/PDIF
- Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
- USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports + 1x micro USB OTG
- Misc – IR Sensor, Power LED, power button, and recovery/update switch (via hole)
- Power Supply – 5V/2A
- Dimensions – 11.9 x 11.9 x 2.3 cm
- Weight – 208 grams
Beside the media player, the package includes an HDMI cable, an OTG cable, a power adapter, and a remote control. Both devices run Android 4.4.2 pre-loaded with XBMC / Kodi, “original ecology and AZW custom UI” whatever that means. I guess the first means stock Android home screen, and the later is another launcher. I could not find screenshots of the user interface.
i one (i826) can be found on GearBest for $110.69, but I’ve been given BI826GB coupon lowering the cost to $99, while Ubox i828 can be purchased for $102 on GeekBuying. Please note that both companies use the same marketing material, so provided they did not make mistakes in the specifications, both products should be based on the same Beelink hardware platform, with Amlogic S812 and 16 GB eMMC in i one, replaced by Amlogic S802 and 8GB eMMC in Ubox i828. Both devices appear to be better value than Zidoo X9 ($116 or more), but we’ll have to see how well PVR and timeshifting functions work [Update: Finally, PVR is not working yet]. I’m sure some of you will ask about HDCP, but I don’t know yet, and I’ll try to find out. [Update 2: GearBest told me HDCP is working on the HDMI input port]