H.264 & H.265 4K Video Playback on Amlogic S905 Android TV Box

I’ve almost completed my review of Videostrong K1 Plus Android box powered by Amlogic S905, and while there are many shortcomings, 4K video playback is actually pretty good with Android’s Video Player (Kodi is not really usable @ 4K).

4K_10-bit_H.265_Video
4K 10-bit HEVC Video Played in Android Video Player

I connected the device to LG 42UB820T 4K UHD TV, and set video output to 2160p @ 60Hz, and went through several video samples:

  • Beauty_3840x2160_120fps_420_8bit_HEVC_MP4.mp4 (H.265 @ 30 fps – No audio) – OK
  • big_buck_bunny_4k_H264_30fps.mp4 (H.264 @ 30 fps – MPEG1/2 and AC3 audio) – OK
  • big_buck_bunny_4k_H264_60fps.mp4 (H.264 @ 60 fps – MPEG1/2 and AC3 audio) – Video looks somewhat OK, but big audio delay or AV sync issue.
  • BT.2020.20140602.ts (H.265 Rec.2020 compliant – AAC audio) – OK (First time I can play this video on any hardware).
  • Fifa_WorldCup2014_Uruguay-Colombia_4K-x265.mp4 (H.265 @ 60 fps – AC3) – Video is very good, but no audio
  • MHD_2013_2160p_ShowReel_R_9000f_24fps_RMN_QP23_10b.mkv (10-bit HEVC @ 24 fps – no audio) – OK
  • phfx_4KHD_VP9TestFootage.webm (VP9) – 3 to 4 fps (software decode)
  • Samsung_UHD_Dubai_10-bit_HEVC_51.4Mbps.ts (10-bit HEVC / MPEG-4 AAC) – Perfect!
  • Sintel.2010.4k.mkv (H.264 @ 24 fps – AC3) – Video OK but no audio
  • Astra-11479_V_22000-Canal+ UHD Demo 42.6 Mbps bitrate.ts (10-bit H.265 from DVB-S2 stream) – Most of the time OK, but it will freeze and the same exact point every time for several seconds.

You can watch the tests in the video below.

I have to say I’m pretty pleased with 4K support on Amlogic S905 so far. 4K H.264 @ 60 fps and VP9 are simply not supported by the VPU in Amlogic S905 SoC, and the only problem I’ve seen with regards to video was with the DVB-S2 stream bug, which could be software or hardware, with the latter requiring a new silicon revision. Only time will tell. That’s not to say there’s still some work to be done, as DTS and Dolby are not supported in the device I tried, and if you are interested in Kodi, you’ll need to be a little more patient.

You can find links to the videos in the comment section of this list of video samples.

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natsu
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natsu

very strong video playback, at least that prouves that the VPU is ok, kodi must work a good implementation on the S905 otherwise all seems ok
last thing, did you try MX player with hw acceleration

Stane1983
Member

@cnxsoft
No, MX Player uses android lib wrappers for hw acceleration and that works on recent 905 SDK. Didn’t before.

Inside info: There will be another version of S905 soc before 912 which will add support for VP9 and some other stuff

natsu
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natsu

@Stane1983
exactelly for MX player
otherwise, the VP9 is very important for youtube playback, but all in all, I’m very happy with the results of this S905, the S805 with A5 cores was so anemic and sometimes crippled the hole playback and “kodi” experiences

Member
Michal Lazo

@natsu
it is really interesting as If I use flash youtube player
youtube get H264 codec
so we don’t need VP9 codec 🙂

Ales
Guest
Ales

All the websites that sell android boxes with s905 inside claim the DTS and AC3 are supported. Does it mean they lie? Also, does Kodi also fail to play those audio codecs or does it have some internal library that can handle them?

natsu
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natsu

@m][sko
who uses flash player on android anymore
and youtube uses only VP9 for 4k videos AFAIK

Txemoto
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Txemoto

Do you update the firmware before do this test?

Can you post which firmware have you use?

Teiko
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Teiko

Is 10bit depth only decoded or truly displayed also?

If your TV has good info menu, you can check bit depth of HDMI stream. Must be YCbCr 4:4:4 30bit or 36bit (not 24bit). Maybe there is somewhere a test video with 10bit color gradients. Easy to see difference if truncated to 8 bit.

Does S905 have stupid DTS/Dolby passthru blocker, same as in other low-cost models? Is there a planned S9xx variant with enabled passthru? Or only a problem in early firmware?

Steve
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Steve

My Onkyo NR616 passes through 12 bit video output from my Sony Blu-ray player, though this is 1080p and it’s an HDMI 1.x amp (it outputs 2160p upscaled but only at 30Hz or less and has no 2160p input options)

My Sony UHD set tells me the input format is 1080p 12 bit when I watch the Blu-ray player output via the Onkyo, and the Onkyo reports YCbCr 36bit 1080p as its input and output format via its OSD.

HOWEVER – some UHD sets will only accept 8 bit video at 2160/50p and 60p resolutions even though they will accept 10 or 12 bit at 1080p or less, so that might also be an issue?

FatMatt
Guest
FatMatt

I assume these tests are played from a USB harddrive?
Is it possible to use the native player with media from a NAS (samba)? otherwise that’s quite a show stopper for 4K playback for LAN based media.
What is the native player ? Stock Android, Custom (made by each box maker) or something else?
Thanks

INPHIC
Guest
INPHIC

Guys, I am watching “Chappie” 4K with 7.1 sound (passthrough to ONKYO TX-RZ800) by using KODI ;-D

INPHIC SPOT i7 (Amlogic S905)

A picture here: http://oi65.tinypic.com/24ctpbs.jpg

Work on process!

FatMatt
Guest
FatMatt

@Stane1983 another mention of another “better” S905 revision. I hope someone is going to flag up when and how to identify these revisions? It’s certainly put me off buying this year….

@cnxsoft Unfortunately the GUI of other android media players (eg MX Player, BSplayer VPlayer, VLC) aren’t very family friendly in their presentation/operation unlike Kodi, especially for network playback. but if Kodi doesn’t work that’s a major issue too. Archos Video is the best of the rest that suits network playback needs so far.

INPHIC
Guest
INPHIC

A short video here: https://youtu.be/YRauwd-qrZ0
Smooth at 4K resolution and 7.1 sound. KODI player from USB HDD.

FatMatt
Guest
FatMatt

@INPHIC nice tease. Is that a using your own custom build of Kodi? What else can you tell us about your media player ?

Daniel Bluck
Guest

Glad to see you are testing it on an LG television since you are using quite a bit of LG 4k material. Thanks from LG!

Massimiliano
Guest
Massimiliano

Can you test the box with 10-bit h264 anime (Hi10P)? They are normally decoded in software… But perhaps the AmLogic s905 is fast enough to decode it.

Marco
Guest
Marco

How work kodi? Can I play a hevc 2160p 10bit with it?

client
Guest

cest de la merde ce truc ca lit rien ca bug de partout