Rho Board $35 Mstar MSO9280 Development Board Supports an Optional DTV Tuner (Crowdfunding)

Futarque A/S, a Danish company specializing in digital TV (tuners, IPTV), DVD and Blu-ray solutions, has developed the Rho Board powered by Mstar MSO9280 quad core ARM Cortex A7 processor with 1GB RAM and 4GB NAND flash, and featuring HDMI 2.0 output, a Raspberry Pi 2 compatible expansion header, and  a TV tuner connector for an optional DVB-T2/C tuner.

Rho_BoardRho board specifications:

  • SoC – Mstar MSO9280PBM quad core Cortex A7 processor with an hexacore (4+2) Mali-450MP GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3-1666
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot up tp 128GB
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0 and AV ports
  • Audio Output – HDMI, AV and optical S/PDIF
  • Video Codec – MPEG 1/2, 4K @ 60 fps AVC and 4K @ 30 fps H.265
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports, 1x micro USB port
  • Expansion
    • 40-pin “Raspberry Pi” header
    • TV tuner connector
    • SDIO expansion connector
  • Misc – IR Receiver, reset button, RS232 minijack
  • Power Supply – 12V via power barrel
  • Dimensions – TBD
Rho Board Controlling a GertBoard for RPi
Rho Board Controlling a GertBoard for RPi

The board supports Android only, and the company has provided a tutorial showing how to get started, control the GPIOs from Android, and more. Some Java source code can be found in Github, and a support forum has already been setup.

If you do get the tuner, the company has also installed the full version of Aurora TV, an Android app developed by the company that allows you to watch live TV via  DVB-T2 or DVB-C. You can also try the app before getting the board, since it also works with HDHomeRun or Sat>IP networked tuners, and that means the Rho Board can be used to stream live TV to any of your other Android devices at home.

Rho_Board_Tuner

The company is looking to raise 100,000 DKK (Danish Krone) or close to $15,000 on Kickstarter to fund mass production of the board. Pledges starts at $35 for the Rho Board only, and up to $79 for the board with the tuner, a 12V power supply, an air mouse, and a plastic case. Shipping adds 100 DKK (~$14.72), and delivery is scheduled for May 2016.

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