WeTek Play+ Amlogic S905 Android Set-Top Box Features a Tuner with a SmartCard Reader and an mSATA SSD Bay

When WeTek announced the WeTek Core, some people were disappointed that they did not include a tuner like in the original WeTek Play, but the company has been working on a successor called Wetek Play+ that is based on Amlogic S905-H quad core processor and supports DVB-S/S2, DVB-C/T/T2, ISDB-T and ATSC tuners with a smartcard reader, as well as an extra store with an half-size SSD slot.

WeTek Play+ (Click to Enlarge)
WeTek Play+ (Click to Enlarge)

WeTek Play+ specifications:

  • SoC –  Amlogic S905-H (Revision C) quad core ARM Cortex-A53 @ up to 2.0GHz with  penta-core Mali-450MP GPU @ 750 MHz
  • System Memory – 2 GB DDR3
  • Storage – 16 GB eMMC 5.0 flash + micro SD card slot + mSATA SSD socket (implemented via USB to SATA)
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60Hz with HDCP 2.2 support, and AV port
  • Audio – HDMI, AV (stereo), optical S/PDIF
  • Tuners – Support for DVB-S2, DVB-C/T/T2, ISDB-T and ATSC tuners
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports (external), 2x internal USB 2.0 ports
  • DRM / CAS – Playready and Widewine included, Smartcard reader for tuner
  • Misc – 3.5mm jack RS-232 port (TBC)
  • Power Supply –  DC 12V
  • Dimensions – N/A
Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

The TV box will run Android 5.1, but while I don’t have much more details about the software, I’m pretty sure it will run a recent version of Kodi, WeTek Theater for live video via the tuner, and WeCloud Antenna for IPTV channels, just like on WeTek Play.

Amlogic S905-H means the box with have the DTS and Dolby license to downmix audio on any apps, and not only Kodi, and Revision C is a new revision of the chip that apparently fixes bugs with 4K 10-bit HEVC DVB-S2 streams. I did notice the video freezing for a few seconds before resuming with some 4K DVB-S2 samples on two Amlogic S905 boxes, respectively K1 Plus and MINI MX, but I could not reproduce the issue with MINIX NEO U1 and XBMC for MINIX. I’m sure the MINIX box did not have the revision C of the processor since it’s very new, but it’s quite possible there are several bugs, and there must be a reason for Amlogic to create a new revision, so it will be something to check in the future if you want to make you sure you don’t have this bug, and want to buy a device with the latest revision.

The smartcard reader shown on the left of the first picture will be useful for people needed to have premium channels via the tuner. I’ve not been told which standard it supports yet. Since USB to SATA implementations are not exactly equal, with some Genesys Logic chips providing really poor performance, I’ve been informed that the performance was good enough to record 4K DVB streams, but I don’t have raw numbers.

I often see HDCP 2.2 and DRM mentioned in product specs, even for cheap Amlogic S905 devices, but usually they don’t have the right keys and firmware for this, and again WeTek Play+ will definitely support both.

I don’t have pricing nor availability information, but WeTek Play+ looks like a pretty good device on paper.

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33 Replies to “WeTek Play+ Amlogic S905 Android Set-Top Box Features a Tuner with a SmartCard Reader and an mSATA SSD Bay”

  1. 2160p DVB HEVC raw streams are not massively high bitrate. The BBC DVB-T2 tests were <40Mb/s, and some of the DVB-S2 stuff is <30, occasionally <20Mb/s.

    Convert those to MBs and you are in the 3-5MB/s range. That's a a pretty low transfer rate even for USB 2.0 solutions (which you’d expect to deliver 15-20MB/s?)

  2. Potentially a brilliant box. Hope it gets OpenElec support too, and that the smart card reader is implemented as it is in Dreamboxes, so even if there is a bundled CAM implementation, you can also use the reader to use your subscription card with additional software-implemented CAMs.

  3. mSSD is a very bad idea, it will considerably rise the price for no potential benefit for such type of devices

  4. @natsu
    I think the SSD is not included, so it will increase the price but just with the USB to SATA chip, mSATA connector and other small components. I think they included it to let people record video to internal storage, instead of having an external USB drive. A 2.5″ SSD would have probably been more suitable though, I’m not sure why they did not go that route.

  5. I think there are sometimes cooling issues with 2.5″ slots in boxes like this (particularly if people install HDDs) – and it would probably have made the box a bit bigger. (And for low cost construction and shipping small boxes are good)

  6. 1. Is AMLogic S905-H rev.C the version that would finally bring VP9 support?
    or maybe not, and we’ll have to wait for a different model – s905M or s908 or whatever it would be named?

    2. No news / new announcements from AMLogic/RockChip at CES 2016?

    3. This Wetek model seems like THE unit to have. Hope it would be available soon and not only within a few months, and that it would be reasonably priced. Wetek have always had potential, but had a drawback of using old SOCs. so if this unit would come soon, it would be very attractive and competitive!

  7. @Ron
    1. No. S905M/S908, now likely called S905X (They don’t seem to be able to make up their mind on the name) will be another chip.
    2. Nothing special. I only noticed RK3229, apparently a quad core Cortex A7 with many similarities with RK3288. I will look into it in the next few days.

  8. @cnxsoft
    Do you know when will devices with S905X be available?
    And other news about s912 – was it cancelled? if not – when will devices with it be available?

  9. @Ron

    Think Wetek wait until they get the software right before they release. It may appear that they are late releasing – but those who release early often release with buggy implementations, but you don’t get any upgrades, so are stuck with the latest hardware with a poor quality implementation that never changes. I’m happy to wait for a decent firmware, with updates, on an older SoC…

  10. 1. Things are getting more complicated: I am waiting for a SOC that would support VP9 (in addition to HEVC 10bit), but now I found out that very soon there’s going to be VP9-profile2 that would bring HDR (high dynamic range) color support – and it would be implemented in YouTube.
    And most probably, VP9-profile2 would need a new SOC!
    But OK, i can pass on HDR for now, and settle for 4K…

    2. Kudos to cnxsoft for the scoop! (I forgot to bless you in my previous posts).

    3. I think Wetek needs to change their strategy. Their Achilles heel is that they release models with SOCs that are less capable than the rest of the market, and are always behind – because they want to perfect the software before the release, and it takes time…

    So what I suggest is that they would release the new hardware much sooner, and tweak+perfect+fine tune the software only after the release to the market. Of course, they must commit decisively and publicly to their customers that they would perfect the software to the highest possible level, and provide updates for at least 3 years, for example.

    If they would do this well, they will gain a good reputation within the community, and people would trust them in advance.

    Of course they shouldn’t release a half-baked product and only then start to make it to work properly through software updates… But I just mean that the small tweaks could be done after the release. Or maybe this is already the situation?

  11. for this reason i like companies such as wetek as they respect their customers and users by releasing product with propper software but also drm as well, so as defice will have hdcp 2.2 and drm probably we will have streaming apps like netflix in 4k with this new model

  12. @Ron
    I’m not sure about the ETA for S905X and S912.
    I think WeTek did not want to ship a product with a buggy SoC for 4K DVB-S2 stream, so they must have waited for the new revision.

  13. all below 200 usd would be fine for me as i already have play model for one year and it is very good device with quality and perfrct support at android and openelec. I will wait of course for review from Cnx before buying

  14. That is good device and cheap than other 4k dvb receiver. amlogic no fix hw decoder for mpeg2 video picture quality. I compared brodcam dreambox cpu with amlogic. Amlogic very very bad pictures quality but good than rockchip. Amlogic no fix own kernel for usb tuner (amports and dvbcore). No any update amcodech. But easy pory ubuntu and etc. Ubuntu works perfectly 1080p on s812. Tvheadend works like tvh server on ubuntu. But 812 has bug for hd stream for usbtuner. Last word any dev share enigma stb proc fs kernel driver. Enigma needed find to device info with e2procfs.ko

  15. I know that used s905 cpu. But all the same (amlogic vpu driver and kernel bug) 🙂 but its very cheap than europen devices.

  16. Ti sigrineis edo re file? An katalava kala Amlogic(ARM) vs Broadcom(MIPS). Sosta?
    Kamoia sxesi kai me broadcom eise ypoxreomenos na xrisimopoias mono enigma2 eno me amlogic mporeis na valeis oti theleis

  17. @cnxsoft
    Not enough clear details about RK3229 to post about it yet.
    Some products listed on Alibaba (MXQ+ Rockchcip or MXQ-RK) indicate it’s a quad core Cortex A7 with HDMI 2.0 (4K), H.265, VP9 and H.264 support. http://vplus.en.alibaba.com/product/60388868578-801058081/Vplus_MXV_Rockchip_RK3229_quad_core_Mini_MX_android_tv_box_Factory_price_RK3229.html

    I actually saw a RK3229 poster on a video at CES 2016, but it was not talked about at all. Looks like the press did not care about Rockchip at the event…

    An HDMI patch also made it to mainline kernel for the new processor: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/linux.kernel/ZR4KF-40FHw

  18. I hope to see soon the s905-h or the s905X. There has to be more than the only s905.
    How’s that Wetek got the s905-h (rev.C) and the others don’t ? Those DD and DTS licences are helpful.

  19. Hie!
    Does it support AVCHD 3D folders?

    I would like to play my 3d cam blueray avchd (3d) backup folder…

    , CLIPINF folder have .CPI file format.

    As I read .CPI is the AVCHD standard since 2006
    Clip information file created by various high definition (HD) digital video camcorders; containsmetadata describing an AVCHD video stream, such as the frame rate, frames per second, and aspect ratio; used to describe an .MTS video stream
    CPI files are commonly found in the AVCHD/BDMV/CLIPINF directory of HD digital video recording media.
    The AVCHD video format was developed jointly by Sony and Panasonic and first released on the Sony Handycam HDR-UX1 digital camcorder in 2006.

    More info: http://www.avsforum.com/forum/192-3d-source-components/1437294-avchd-3d-thread.html
    More info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AVCHD

    Is there anyway to play AVCHD?

  20. Sad that there are still no native PVR backends like Tvheadend or VDR running nativly for Android OS yet so that we can run Kodi / XBMC on very the same Android device under the same Android OS so to PVR client to PVR backend (TV tuner server) access to the TV tuner from inside Kodi yet still run Android to have Netflix and other apps on it too.

    Checkout http://kodi.wiki/view/PVR and http://kodi.wiki/view/PVR_backend#Android

    Really love the backend (server) to frontend (client) concept that Kodi has to PVR, but it is still missing those crucial native PVR backends for Android OS so that you could get a true DVR set-top box experience on-top of the Android OS inside Kodi without having to launch other seperate client apps on Android than Kodi just to watch television.

  21. @Harley
    I agree about the PVR backends, but it’s possible

    However i assume someone would have to rework TVH or VDR from the ground up to work on android and play by it’s rules, and at that point you would have a different app with the same name.

    TvInputService is added in API 21 http://developer.android.com/reference/android/media/tv/TvInputService.html

  22. @meme
    nice, google is pushing on that way for a native tuners integration on android, but still need a lot of effort to get it work properly, maybe in one year or two, we will see some good implementations with native apps

  23. @Harley
    Wetek have a version of TVHeadend running on Android, it can be found on their forum and I can also vouch for the fact that it does work. Bodes well for the future of the plus, count me in.

  24. Man the Play S2 really looks fantastic to me. Although I don’t really care about tuners, I surely love the idea of having a box with a mSATA port.

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