WeTek Core is the latest media player from WeTek Electronics, based on Amlogic S812-H processor with 2GB RAM, and 8GB flash. By default, it will ship with Android 5.1 using DRM libraries enabling Netflix HD, but you’ll also be able to install OpenELEC, and later on Lubuntu once/if the community gets involved like for WeTek Play. The company sent me one sample, and I’ll start by checking out the device and internal hardware.
WeTek Core Unboxing
That’s the package which lists the specifications and provides links to WeTek Facebook page and forums.
The box ships with a 12V/1A power adapter with clippable US, EU and UK plugs, an HDMI cable, WeTek’s IR and RF 6-axis remote control with voice search function, a small (and cool) tool for firmware updates, and a blue document showing the device’s ports.
The power button and LED are located on one of the corners at the top. One side has a micro SD slot and two USB 2.0 host ports, with the rear panel featuring an AV jack, a Gigabit Ethernet port, HDMI output, optical S/PDIF, and the power jack.
You can have a better look in the unboxing video.
WeTek Core Teardown
There are only two screws to remove, and only one is hidden under a sticky rubber pad. You’ll likely break the warranty if you open the box though, as the other screw has a sticker. You’ll also notice WeTek Core is one of the rare TV box supporting wall mount.
Once you’ve loosened the screws, you’ll need some plastic tool to pop out the top cover.
There’s a small heatsink covering Amlogic S812 processor, the board name is S812_KI_Rev1.3, and the MAC Address suffix E8:18:63:50 looks up to Wetek Electronics registered in Hong Kong. Main components include four NANYA NT5CB256M16BP-EK DDR3 chips (2GB RAM in total) , SKHynix H27UCG8T2ETR 8GB NAND flash, and Ampak AP6330 wireless module for dual band WiFi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0. Gigabit Ethernet is implemented with Realtek RTL8211F transceiver and Pulse H5007NL Gigabit magnetics module. Three header are unpopulated: a 4-pin J1 header for serial console, a 26-pin header (J9), and an 8-pin header (J3).
Two internal USB ports can be found inside the case, with one used by the remote control’s RF dongle, and one free to use.
Remove two more screws to completely take out the board. The bottom of the board features the micro SD slot and Genesis Logic GL850G USB 2.0 hub controller.
WeTek Core is not up for sale just yet, but the price is rumored to be around 109 Euros including EU VAT. If you already own WeTek Play or an older Informir MAG STB, you can however apply for a 10% discount code by providing your WP membership number, or trading your MAG device. Based on the counter on that page, I understand WeTek Core will launch at the beginning on November.
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.
27 Replies to “WeTek Core 4K Media Player Unboxing and Teardown”
Its quite obvious that Christian Troy a long time lonewolf developers from early allwinner days and several other chinese socs knows what he is doing as all i see in the future is greatness to WETEK company.
They know what to bring to the market and how to support a product properly. Anything you buy from these guys cant go wrong.Support wise is like the Nexus for the masses, you know is coming because common what else can you want from openelec official support and latest android version running smooth and buggless on your device with updates down the lane 😉
So face it! WETEK rocks!
And no i have no affiliation to any of them am just a simple users that dont own any wetek product at all
Would be interesting to compare the performance with some mainstream media players like the new Amazon firetv with mediatek chip.
Amazon FireTV and Roku 4 might be great when you live in the US, but they are not easy to get and a bit expensive outside of the US, as you need to purchase via US forwarding service, and pay import taxes too. I’m not quite sure how versatile they are, as people outside the US may not care about US video streaming services that much, so they’d have to be able to install their own apps.
I wish some Chinese manufacturer would make a Mediatek MT8173 TV box too, it might be easier to get than Tegra X1 processor.
Agree but how do you think the Amlogic 812 performs against the MT8173 ? Does it stand a chance or it gets completely annihilated ?
I’m not sure about video playback, but MT8173, being based on Cortex A72, should be much faster than Amlogic S812 CPU wise.
I seen a review of the new fire tv box. They said it is running a lot hotter than the first box. Performance wise was a lot faster. It can be bought on amazon uk but they wont ship it to me here in ireland.
Most of the review are pretty short, with more blabla, than anything else.
Android Police one is short too, but at least there’s some info.
They report the box is laggy at time, and has more bugs than the previous model.
Another link @ http://www.htpcbeginner.com/amazonfire-tv-2014-vs-fire-tv-2015/ says that HD audio pass-through is not working, everything is PCM 2.0.
Chinese manufacturers are not the only ones to sell half-baked products…
Anybody can point me to Lubuntu for this device.
That’s what I got in one email from the company:
So you’ll have to wait for Lubuntu.
They have an OpenELEC image:
You just need to learn how to LIE a little better, ok??
Does is have Widevine DRM implemented?
DRM: Google Widevine Level 1, Level 2 & Level 3.
Awesome. That’s good to hear.
@cnxsoft How does the sound part compare versus a squeezebox receiver or touch?
Sorry I don’t know. I’ve never used Squeezebox.
@cnxsoft, where is the lubuntu image you mentioned in the first paragraph? You clearly mention this device has Lubuntu support, so your article is one of the reasons I purchased it, so I could run Lubuntu and Android in dual boot config. Or do I just download a standard ARM64 image and burn it to the sdcard and boot from that using the OpenELEC instructions?
The company told me Lubuntu support was expected from the community, just like for WeTek Play @ http://www.cnx-software.com/2014/08/24/linux-enlightenment-and-lubuntu-in-wetek-play-amlogic-tv-box/, but I can’t find any images for WeTek Core yet, and their forums currently only shows Android and OpenELEC for WeTek Core.
Amlogic S812-H is a 32-bit processor, so you’d need a 32-bit image instead, and it might possible to come up with an image based on WeTek Play Ubuntu image + WeTek Core OpenELEC bootloader + Linux kernel. but don’t expect hardware video decoding and 3D accelerated graphics.
Yeah understood. Its just that your article here made me believe it already had support for Lubuntu, which is one of the main reasons I purchased it. I would remove the word “Lunbuntu” from the above article because no one at Wetek looks interested in bringing the support to the Core. Do you know of any “other” cheap box that has “confirmed” Linux desktop support? Maybe GeekBox or something? I have one more un-populated HDMI port I could use on my TV. Was hoping to get it all in one box, dual boot etc, but if that’s not possible yet, then its simply not possible yet. Thanks
Assuming you need Ubuntu or other Linux distributions together with hardware video decoding and 3D accelerated graphics, the best options are likely Raspberry Pi or ODROID development boards.
I did try GeekBox in Linux a while ago, but without video hardware decoding nor GPU support, and at the time I was going to post about my results somebody announce they had those two working. But I have not checked it out since.
Thanks for the edit. I don’t need a powerful Linux distro, just something that can double for a desktop for simple things like Android device flashing, adb work, fastboot, Internet browser, text editor, skype, just simple things when I’m not feeling like firing up the main rig.
One more question. Do you think that free USB port inside this Core box is usable? I assume it is with the dongle working next to it. I want to permanently install a SanDisk Extreme I am not using, but I don’t want to take up the outer facing ports. I figure it would be a great spot for some added storage.
I’ve talked to them, and they said they were buss, but plan to publish an image very soon. No ETA provided, so I don’t know how soon that is.
Very interesting news. Maybe they were waiting for someone to show a little interest in it. Lol
I think I should just give up my idea of having a decent media box + Lubuntu box in one unit and accept the fact I will always need to run two boxes on my TV. I have a Beelink M18 with eMMC 5.0. Be nice if I could convert that into a Lubuntu box, lol. I mean the S905 is a more appropriate SoC anyway I would think. The newer Odroid’s use S905 too.
Hey bud when you had this device open, did it look like the heat sink could be replaced with something better? Or at least the TIM replaced with something better? I have a larger copper heat sink made just for items such as this. According to CPU-Z my S812 runs at 70C and I think that is insanely high. It should be around 40-50C, and mid 50’s tops during video playback. Just curious. Thanks
No, I have not checked if the heatsink could easily removed.
Hi there i have the same wetek core with same motherboard, i neex help finding proper firmware wetek support are no help , i have tried everything thing i can find online about it and nothing works can you please help me , when i turn it on blue light and black screen . I cant seam to get amything to install .