10-bit H.264 and H.265 Video Playback in MXQ-4K Rockchip RK3229 TV Box

Rockchip RK3229 is an exciting media processor because it’s found in ultra low cost TV Boxes such as MXQ-4K, outputs up to 4K @ 60 Hz, and supports 4K video decoding of 10-bit H.264, 10-bit H.265 and VP9, including videos with very high bitrates (200+ Mbps). That’s the theory, which I’ve put to the test with MXQ-4K TV box.


Since the network interfaces of the device are limited to 100M Ethernet and 802.11n WiFi, and some videos are well above 100 Mbps, I’ve decided to test video playback from a USB hard drive instead. I’ve tried the three pre-installed video player apps: Kodi 15.1, “Video”, and “Video Player” , and they all have similar capabilities except Kodi is a little less stable on this device.

The system detected my 4K TV (LG ) and automatically set the resolution to 3840×2160 @ 60 Hz, which I used for the remainder of this test.

I’ve started with 10-bit H.264 videos at 720p and 1080p resolution that no other devices I’ve reviewed could play properly:

  • [Commie] Steins;Gate – NCED [BD 720p AAC] [10bit] [C706859E].mkv – OK with video, audio, and subtitles.
  • [1080p][16_REF_L5.1][mp3_2.0]Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu BD OP.mkv – Black screen only

That’s 50% success. better than nothing.

Then I switched to some 4K videos:

  • Beauty_3840x2160_120fps_420_8bit_HEVC_MP4.mp4 (H.265) – OK (at least the first time)
  • big_buck_bunny_4k_H264_30fps.mp4 – Choppy and massive audio delay, followed by audio cuts from time to time.
  • BT.2020.20140602.ts (Rec.2020 compliant video) – Not smooth and some audio cuts
  • Fifa_WorldCup2014_Uruguay-Colombia_4K-x265.mp4 (4K, H.265, 60 fps) – Slow motion
  • Samsung_UHD_Dubai_10-bit_HEVC_51.4Mbps.ts (10-bit HEVC / MPEG-4 AAC) – Difficult to judge 100%, because the video is a time lapse, but it appears to suffer from the same issues
  • 暗流涌动-4K.mp4 (10-bit H.264) – Video and audio play, and subtitle are shown, but video is again not smooth

If you want to get a better idea of the performance, you can watch all those videos played in MXQ-4K below.

I’ve also tested other 4K videos, and most have the same problem. I’ve also tried to switch to 1080p60 video output instead, but the results are only a little better. I’m not exactly sure what may cause the choppiness, and I first thought about memory bandwidth issues, but I’ve noticed the problem is not really constant, and get worse overtime, and very quickly (about one minute), so overheating, or an over sensitive scheduler, may be the reason. My room temperature is around 28 to 30 C so this may affect the results too, since some other people told me they were satisfied with the device.

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