Mini M8S II TV Box (Amlogic S905X) Review – Part 2: Android 6.0 Firmware

Orange Pi Development Boards

Mini M8S II is one of the first Amlogic S905X TV box to hit the market, with the new processor adding 4K VP9 hardware video decoding and HDR support compared to Amlogic S905 processor. I’ve already taken pictures of the device and torn it apart to check its hardware & thermal design in the first part of the review, and in the second part, I’ll boot it up, check performance, features, and video playback capabilities.

First Boot, Settings and First Impressions

I plugged-in a USB hard drive into one USB port, but since the device only fetures two ports, I had to use a USB hub to connect two RF dongles for MINIX NEO A2 Lite air mouse, and Tronsmart Mars G01 gamepad, as well as a USB keyboard to take screenshots. I completed the hardware setup by connecting HDMI & Ethernet cables before starting the device by connected the provided power adapter.

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Booting takes around 40 seconds, and you’ll be greeted by the very common launcher below found on most Amlogic based Android TV boxes.

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Click for Original Size

A few seconds later, the system showed me a “USB drive connected”. It’s not to know my drive is working, but since it happened every single time I booted the TV box this was more annoying than useful.

MINI-M8S-II-USB_Drive_ConnectedThe settings are again about the same as on other TV boxes, and if you want to see an in-depth review of the launcher and settings I recommend you check out K1 Plus review. There were some noticeable differences however which I detail below.

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Click to Enlarge

The first difference is that HDMI-CEC option is missing. It’s not a feature I’d use in Android anyway, but the problem is that it seems enabled somehow, and if my AV receiver is turned on at the same time as MINI M8S II, I won’t be able to turn off my AV receiver, as the box will turn it back on as soon as I turn it off…

HDR support in the Display section is the second difference, and you can enable or disable it. It’s not something I could test however since my current 4K TV does not support high dynamic range.

Amlogic_S905X_HDR_OptionThe final difference I noticed is that the Storage & reset menu will now show removable storage too.

MINI-M8S-II_USB_Storage_File_Systems

The screenshot above show my hard drive with four partition is correctly detected (USB3_XXXX are volume names), and exFAT and NTFS partition mounted.

About_MINIM8S_IIWhile the eMMC flash has 8GB capacity, the system takes some, and the internal storage partition is just 4.70 GB in size with 598MB used at the beginning of the review.

HDMI output support a wide range of resolution and refresh rate, and my system was first automatically set to 4K SMPTE (24 Hz) despite my TV supporting 4K @ 60 Hz. I could manually change the output to that setting, but I’ve noticed the TV box does not always remembers the user-defined value, and a few times I saw video output set to 1080p60 after a reboot.

I can access Android Marshmallow settings by clicking or selecting “More settings”, where you can access some extra options like Printing, Date & Time, Backup & Reset and so on. So I went to the  “About MediaBox” to find out a bit more about the firmware, and “MINIM8S II” model number runs Android 6.0.1 on top of Linux 3.14.29. Please note that the firmware is NOT rooted.

I also quickly tested the included IR remote control, and the range is very good, as it works very well even 10 meters away. However, for most of the review I used NEO A2 air mouse as IR remote controls are completely useless outside of the launcher and Kodi in Android.

MINI-M8S-II_App_ListThe Google Play Store worked for most apps required for the review, except Antutu Video Tester, Vidonn Smart Band & Xiaomi Mi Fit (both require BLE support), BitTorrent and a few others from my list. Apps requiring GPS and/or phone/SMS support, such as Whatsapp, would not install either, but this is not really an issue. I had no troubles installing Riptide GP2 through Amazon Underground.

Power handling is OK with power on working from the IR remote control, and power off from the remote control or Power icon on the status bar. There’s no standby/sleep mode, so  I’ve measured power consumption with and without USB hard drive (HDD) in the two available power modes:

  • Power off – 1.2 watt
  • Idle – 2.2 watts
  • Power off + HDD – 1.2 watt
  • Idle + HDD – 5.0 watts

There are two good news here: USB power is turned off in powered off mode, and idle power consumption really low. The downside is that the system draws 1.2 watts in power off mode, while the best devices don’t draw anything noticeable by my power meter, or at least well below 1 watt.

MINI M8S II does not overheat, and after Antutu 6.x, the maximum temperature on the top and bottom of the case was respectively 39°C and 45°C max, and after over 15 minutes playing Riptide GP2 this went up a little to 43°C and 56°C. I did not notice any throttling / slowdowns during game play.

MINI M8S II feels responsive, and the firmware is stable, with the only small issues I had were the Windows appearing at each boot to tell me my USB drive was connected, and the box will automatically turn on my A/V receiver when I turn it off likely because of HDMI-CEC feature which can’t be disabled in the settings. The mouse pointer is also rather small when 4K output is selected.

OTA firmware update

One of the first thing I did before checking out the settings and Google Play as described above was to check out for new firmware. So I went to the UPDATE&BACKUP app, to check for new firmware, and the system did get an update for 2016-07-04 to 2016-07-07, which is kind of unexpected for a low cost device.

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I went ahead with the tiny 14.13MB download, before clicking on Update now to reboot and complete the firmware update.

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Click to Enlarge

But it did not work, and failed with error. So I decided to disconnect my USB hard drive, reboot the system, and re-try the update and it went smoothly. So remember remove external storage (USB and/or micro SD card) before upgrading the firmware to avoid this issue.

However, some people mentioned they had manually installed 2016-07-19 firmware, so I went to UPDATE&BACKUP app again, and it found another larger 2016-07-19 firmware update, which went without issue.

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Click to Enlarge

I check again for a third firmware update before carry on with the review, but that was it.

Audio & Video Playback in Kodi 16.1

Kodi 16.1 (or a fork) is pre-installed on the device, and the manufacturer also included several piracy add-ons.

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Click for Original Size

Kodi_16.1_MINI-M8S-II

All videos, except otherwise stated, were played over Fast Ethernet from a SAMBA share. I’ve first played some videos found in Linaro media samples, as well as Elecard H.265 samples:

  • H.264 codec / MP4 container (Big Buck Bunny) – 480p/720p/1080p – OK
  • MPEG2 codec / MPG container –  480p/720p/1080p – OK
  • MPEG4 codec, AVI container 480p/720p/1080p – OK
  • VC1 codec (WMV) – 1080p – 480p/720p/1080p – OK
  • Real Media (RMVB), 720p / 5Mbps – OK (software decode)
  • WebM / VP8 480p/720p/1080p – OK (ff-vp8 software decode)
  • H.265 codec / MPEG TS container  – OK

While all videos played, please note that automatic refresh rate does not work even after enabling it both Kodi and Android settings (HDMI self-adaptation).

The next step was to play some videos with various bitrates (HDD = USB hard drive):

  • ED_HD.avi (H.264 / 10 Mbps) – OK
  • big_buck_bunny_1080p_surround.avi (1080p H.264 – 12 Mbps) – OK
  • h264_1080p_hp_4.1_40mbps_birds.mkv (40 Mbps) – OK
  • hddvd_demo_17.5Mbps_1080p_VC1.mkv (17.5Mbps) – Stays in UI, but audio plays
  • Jellyfish-120-Mbps.mkv (120 Mbps video without audio) – HDD: OK

I also tested stereo audio downmixing (PCM 2.0) via Kodi and MX Player/MoviePlayer app using my TV’s speakers, and HDMI pass-through in Kodi using Onkyo TX-NR636 receiver.

Audio Codec in Video PCM 2.0 Output
(Kodi 16.1)
PCM 2.0 Output
(MoviePlayer or MX Player)
HDMI Pass-through
(Kodi 16.1)
AC3 / Dolby Digital 5.1 Audio OK but video not smooth No audio Audio OK (DD 5.1) but wrong aspect ratio (1:1)
E-AC-3 / Dolby Digital+ 5.1 OK No audio OK
Dolby Digital+ 7.1 OK No audio No audio
TrueHD 5.1 OK No audio No audio
TrueHD 7.1 OK No audio No audio
Dolby Atmos 7.1 OK No audio PCM 2.0
DTS HD Master OK No audio DTS 5.1, but two short audio cuts during playback
DTS HD High Resolution OK No audio DTS 5.1, but two short audio cuts during playback
DTS:X OK No audio DTS 5.1

So you should not have problem if you play videos directly with your TV using Kodi, but some apps won’t have any audio for Dolby/DTS, and audio pass-through is limited to 5.1 channels with some bugs (audio cuts).

Now let’s see how well 4K playback works, especially for VP9 videos. Please note that some videos have been tested at both HDMI_4K_SMPTE (default) and HDMI_4K_60Hz video outputs as I had some interesting issues:

  • HD.Club-4K-Chimei-inn-60mbps.mp4 – OK
  • sintel-2010-4k.mkv – HDMI_4K_SMPTE (24 Hz): video not smooth; HDMI_4K_60Hz: OK
  • Beauty_3840x2160_120fps_420_8bit_HEVC_MP4.mp4 (H.265) –  OK
  • Bosphorus_3840x2160_120fps_420_8bit_HEVC_MP4.mp4 (H.265) – OK
  • Jockey_3840x2160_120fps_420_8bit_HEVC_TS.ts (H.265) – OK
  • MHD_2013_2160p_ShowReel_R_9000f_24fps_RMN_QP23_10b.mkv (10-bit HEVC) – HDMI_4K_SMPTE (24 Hz): video not smooth; HDMI_4K_60Hz: OK
  • phfx_4KHD_VP9TestFootage.webm (VP9) – OK
  • BT.2020.20140602.ts (Rec.2020 compliant video; 36 Mbps) – OK. CPU usage is quite high though despite “amc-h265(S)” hardware decoding? in Kodi overlay debug window
  • big_buck_bunny_4k_H264_30fps.mp4 – OK
  • big_buck_bunny_4k_H264_60fps.mp4 – Not smooth, and audio delay (as expected since hardware is not supposed to support it)
  • Fifa_WorldCup2014_Uruguay-Colombia_4K-x265.mp4 (4K, H.265, 60 fps) – OK
  • Samsung_UHD_Dubai_10-bit_HEVC_51.4Mbps.ts (10-bit HEVC / MPEG-4 AAC) – OK
  • Astra-11479_V_22000-Canal+ UHD Demo 42.6 Mbps bitrate.ts (10-bit H.265 from DVB-S2 stream) –  OK
  • 暗流涌动-4K.mp4 (10-bit H.264; 120 Mbps) – HDD: Slow motion, and many artifacts (expected as not supported by S905X VPU)
  • Ducks Take Off [2160p a 243 Mbps].mkv (4K H.264 @ 30 fps; 243 Mbps; no audio) – HDD: Not perfectly smooth
  • tara-no9-vp9.webm (4K VP9 YouTube video) – OK
  • The.Curvature.of.Earth.4K.60FPS-YT-UceRgEyfSsc.VP9.3840×2160.OPUS.160K.webm (4K VP9 @ 60 fps + opus audio) – OK most of the time, except for ~5 seconds period with severe artifacts.

Sintek-4k.iso & amat.iso Blu-Ray ISOs could both play just fine, as well as two MPEG2 1080i videos. 10-bit H.264 is a normally an issue, but Kodi 16.1 here handle it by software decode, and the 720p video was fine (with very high CPU usage on all 4 cores), but the 1080p video was not always smooth or artifact-free. Maybe that’s something Amlogic S912 will be able to handle with its 8 cores.

My TV does not support 3D videos, but it’s still interesting to check whether videos can be decoded anyway. My A/V receiver is however capable of detecting 3D content (shows 3D icon) for MVC video as I demonstrated with Zidoo X1 II:

  • bbb_sunflower_1080p_60fps_stereo_abl.mp4 (1080p Over/Under) – OK
  • bbb_sunflower_2160p_60fps_stereo_abl.mp4 (2160p Over/Under) – Audio only, stays in UI.
  • Turbo_Film-DreamWorks_trailer_VO_3D.mp4 (1080p SBS) – OK
  • 3D-full-MVC.mkv (Full-frame packed MVC 3D MKV) – 2D only, 3D icon not shown on Onkyo receiver
  • ISO-full3D-sample.iso (Full-frame packed MVC 3D ISO) – 2D only, 3D icon not shown on Onkyo receiver

Finally I played various VOB/IFO, MKV, AVI, MP4, XViD/DViX, and MKV videos from my library and all could play fine, with the only issue occurring when using DTS or Dolby HDMI audio pass-through with audio cuts in some, but not all, videos.

Beside Kodi, I’ve also run Antutu Video Tester 3.0 benchmark, with MINI M8S II getting a decent 909 points, while the best devices get a little over 1,000 points. All videos could be played, with 3 videos not playing smoothly.

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DRM support may be important for premium video services like Netflix, and Hulu, and MINI M8S II support Widewine Level 3 for SD resolution video playback, but no Level 1 which is one of the requirement for HD and 4K video support for this type of online video services.

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Click to Enlarge

In case you wonder about YouTube, it only works up to 1080p. 4K YouTube video playback requires “Android TV” platforms.

Download links to video samples used in this review can be found in the comments section of that post.

Network Performance

I normally test both WiFi and Ethernet in my reviews, but I broke the WiFi antenna during the teardown, and could not properly re-solder it. So I only get a “fair signal” strength (about 2 bars out of 4), and throughput of around 1MB/s while using WiFi. This is quite poor, but likely due to the antenna issue. Other people also reported poor WiFi performance with earlier firmware, but firmware 2016-07-19 – used for this review – allegedly improved WiFi performance greatly. Note that only 2.4 GHz WiFI is supported by this device, not 5.0 GHz.

I’ve tested Fast Ethernet by transferring a 278MB file between a SAMBA share and the internal storage, and performance averaged 5.9MB/s placing it in the middle of the pack of devices limited to 10/100M Ethernet.

Throughput in MB/s
Throughput in MB/s

Miscellaneous Tests

Bluetooth

I could pair “MINIM8S II” to my smartphone in order to transfer some pictures over Bluetooth. However, the TV box could not find Xiaomi Mi Band 2 Bluetooth 4.0 LE activity tracker (not install any BLE app through Google Play), while the system could detect my “SH09” Bluetooth headset pairing would not work, and I had to skip Sixaxis PS3 Bluetooth game controller test since the firmware is not rooted.

Storage

We’ve already seen that a  Seagate USB hard drive was recognized in the upper part of this review with NTFS and exFAT file systems supported, and after adding a micro SD card, I could also confirm FAT32 is supported, but Android 6.0 permissions do not seem to allow write access to external storage.

File System Read Write
NTFS OK No
EXT-4 Not mounted Not mounted
exFAT OK No
BTRFS Not mounted Not mounted
FAT32 OK No

This behavior is not suitable at all for TV box, so they’ll have to find a workaround.

I had to skip A1 SD bench with USB drives due to this read-only issue, but still checked out internal storage performance with the app, and the eMMC flash achieved 34.69 MB/s sequential read speed, and 15.87 MB/s write speed. Not a bad results.

Read and Write Speed in MB/s
Read and Write Speed in MB/s

Gaming

Candy Crush Saga was a little sluggish the very first few seconds, but then it could play the game with air mouse, and without any noticeable slowdowns.

I switch to the wireless gamepad to play Beach Buggy Racing which was smooth at all time, even after settings Graphics settings to the “highest resolution”.  Riptide GP2 was fairly smooth with the default settings, but once I switched to “highest resolution” settings, the frame rate went down a bit, and while it was still playable, I did not find as quite as enjoyable. It’s pretty typical for Amlogic S905 platforms though, and the good news is that the performance was constant over the 15 to 20 minutes I played the game.

MINI M8S II Benchmarks

So is Amlogic S905X processor clocked at up to 1.5GHz (like in the specs), or up to 2.0 GHz (like in marketing materials for TV boxes)? CPU-Z agrees with the latter as the maximum frequency is reported to be 2.02 GHz just like in Amlogic S905 processors.

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Click to Enlarge

The board is p212 (useful if you want to try alternative firmware), the frame buffer resolution is set to 1920×1080, and there’s 1775MB total RAM for the system out of the 2GB RAM installed.

However, Antutu 6.1.4 score at 33,330 is slightly lower than on Amlogic S905 based devices (36,000 to 39,000 points) which looks more consistent with a lower CPU frequency… For example MINIX NEO U1 Antutu 6.0 score is 38,032 points.
MINI-M8S-II_Antutu
Let’s double checked the results with Vellamo 3.x.
MINI-M8S-II_Vellamo
M8S II got 1,491, 910 and 1,855 for respectively Multicore, Metal and Browser benchmarks, while MINIX NEO U1 achieved 1,586, 1,235 and 2,157 points. If we compared it to a cheaper model like Videostrong K1 Plus with 1,572, 763, and 2,002 the difference is not as clear, but performance of Amlogic S905 does seem higher than Amlogic S905X in most cases. We also have to take into account that all devices I tested with Amlogic S905 were based on Android 5.1, while MINI M8S II is running Android 6.0.1, which should be a little faster than Android Lollipop.

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Click to Enlarge

3D graphics performance does not seem to be affected as much as Amlogic S905 TV boxes would normally get around 4,300 points in 3DMark ICE Storm Extreme, while Amlogic S905X based M8S II got a similar 4,183 points.

Conclusion

MINI M8S II TV Box has a good performance/features to price ratio, a responsive Android 6.0 firmware, decent video playback in Kodi for 10-bit and 8-bit H.265, H.264, and VP9 videos up to 4K @ 60 fps, but there are still a few firmware issues such HDMI audio pass-throguh, Bluetooth issue, read-only USB storage, etc.. to solve.

PROS:

  • Stable and responsive device with recent Android 6.0 firmware
  • Good (although not quite perfect) video playback in Kodi 16.1 with support for 4K 10-bit H.264, H.264 and VP9 videos
  • HDR (High dynamic range support) for compatible TVs (not tested as my 4K TV does not support it)
  • Proper power handling, and low idle power consumption
  • Relatively fast internal storage leading to 40 seconds boot, few slowdowns during operation
  • OTA firmware update
  • Device stays cool under load
  • exFAT, NTFS, and FAT32 file system support for external storage
  • IR remote control working with long range (at least 10 meters)

CONS:

  • External storage (USB and micro SD) are read-only due to permissions.
  • Some Kodi issues: HDMI audio pass-through not working well, even for Dolby / DTS 5.1 or 2.0 audio, automatic frame rate switching not working, 24 fps videos may not be smooth when played using 24 Hz video output.
  • Lack of Dolby & DTS licensed for downmixing to PCM 2.0 (stereo audio) in apps other than Kodi
  • Bluetooth issues – No Bluetooth LE support, problem pairing with Bluetooth headset. (File transfer with smartphone is OK)
  • DRM: Only supports Widevine Level 3
  • Some apps (that should) can’t be installed via Google Play (e.g. Antutu Video Tester, Bittorrent…)
  • TV box will force my AV receiver to turn on, even as I manually turn it off (likely HDMI CEC issue)
  • USB device connected full screen window shows up after each boot if you have connected an USB drive

So not a bad start, but you’ll have to rely on firmware updates to get fixes for some of the issues listed above.

I’d like to thank GearBest for sending a sample for review, and if you are interested, you could consider buying the device for $35.99 including shipping (if the price has gone up, GBM8SII coupon might help) from their online shop. Other shopping options include Banggood, Aliexpress, and Amazon US, but they are roughly $10 more expensive at this time.

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174 Comments on "Mini M8S II TV Box (Amlogic S905X) Review – Part 2: Android 6.0 Firmware"

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Kris
Guest

Great review. Thanks for checking the DRM levels.

Marcel
Guest

I’m surprised that you didn’t see any x265 issues with 10 bit content. This box doesn’t play many of the same titles that my normal s905 does. Also sad about no Level 1 DRM support. (I was looking forward to 4k Youtube).

They are pushing firmware updates which is great for a box this cheap. If they get all the s905x issues sorted out then this box will be well worth the money.

Thanks for the detailed review!

piotrasd
Guest

@cnxsoft Could you check LibreELEC ?? how works ?
here is post how to: https://forum.libreelec.tv/thread-524.html, best download this zip http://kszaq.libreelec.tv/s905/7.0.2.004/LibreELEC-S905.aarch64-7.0.2.004.zip put on USB and connect to BOX.
PowerON box with holding reset button, all rest will install automatical ( and will install just beside android, so android will also in NAND with LibreELEC) and please make another test samples files based only on LibreELEC

Marduk
Guest

I wouldn’t be surprised if the 10Mbit Wi-Fi issue from the previous Mini M8S made a comeback here, but then again OTA is available right away (and not after a manual update) so the issue shouldn’t persist anyway.

gizmomelb
Guest

Lack of automatic framerate adjust (ie: 23.97fps for movies) and audio pass-thru is VERY disappointing.. can you please test with openelec or do you think the poor audio pass-thru will be the same there as well?

I just want something to replace my original WD-TV – which handles all the h264 I throw at it and passes through 5.1, DTS, 7.1 etc. quite happily. But I do want to utilise h265 encoded video so needed a newer media player.

thank you.

Marcel
Guest

cnxsoft :
@Marcel
When you say “does not play” 10-bit H.265 videos, do you mean does not play at all, or does not play them smoothly?

I mean they all play green and garbled when hardware acceleration is enabled in Kodi, SMPC, VLC etc. Disabling the hardware acceleration makes them display properly but they aren’t watchable as the box can’t keep up in software. As I mentioned my Nexbox s905 plays all the same x265 10bit files with no issues.

wesk05
Guest

HDMI output support a wide range of resolution and refresh rate, and my system was first automatically set to 4K SMPTE (24 Hz) despite my TV supporting 4K @ 60 Hz

Android Marshmallow (and possibly Lollipop) can optimize display for either the resolution or refresh rate. It looks like on the M8S II firmware, resolution is the default one. On LG TVs (and other TVs that support 4096×2160), it may default to 4K SMPTE (24Hz) because it has a higher resolution than UHD (3840×2160).

YouTube 4K has nothing to do with Widevine DRM Level 1. It is something that Google decides and for now only true Android TV devices will stream 4K 60fps (nVIDIA Shield and upcoming Xiaomi Mi box).

@Marcel: I also didn’t have any problem playing 10-bit HEVC files. In fact, almost all the HDR10 samples that I checked played back fine with HDR output on the default Movie player, Kodi and SPMC. That said, there seems to be something wrong with the Rec. 2020 output. I haven’t yet looked into it.

Greg Dalton
Guest

OTA updates is a nice surprise…

RobBrownNZ
Guest

My Nexus Player with stock firmware also shows a full-screen window related to external storage at boot. I agree that it’s really annoying but it seems it’s not the Mini M8S II’s fault.

gizmomelb
Guest

@cnxsoft Hi cnxsoft – actually I do have an Amlogix S905 based box on order – the Mini M8S I – but the lack of auto framerate adjust and terrible pass-through seems to be a common issue and I don’t know if it is bad Android, Kodi or chipset support or integration.

mdel
Guest

Well i received mine last week, haven’t plugged it in yet as i bought it by mistake, i’ll probably only use it to test linux / libreelec on s905x.

Looks very much like every average low cost box. OTA is indeed a nice surprise especially for a no brand box or is “mini mx” a brand ? But i’m really not sure how hard they’ll work on fixing things, probably not very.

The thing that can be noticed is the overall price of those android tv boxes going down a notch (allwinner, amlogic only) :

– you can find “4k h265 10bit/8G-1G/wifi 2.4/eth 100M/No Bluetooth”, h3/s905 boxes around 20$
– “4k h265 10bit vp9 hdr/8G-2G/wifi 2.4/eth 100M/Bluetooth”, s905x at 35$
and some half breeds :
– “4k h265 10bit/8G-1G/wifi 2.4/eth Gigabit/Bluetooth”, s905 mxq boxes around 35$, too bad that one doesn’t have 5GHz wifi that would have been a very nice deal.

Above that 35$ price you should really only expect full featured 2.4-5G wifi, gigabit, bluetooth, 8G-2G boxes.
You may find rockchip boxes with similar prices, specs and performances but i don’t have any as linux support is not there yet.

The only thing i can tell is that nas+kodi greatly benefits from gigabit, especially if you have a large library.
Wifi 5GHz is only good if you’re having troubles with 2.4Ghz in a crowded environment, don’t expect better performances as those flex antennas don’t really give any kind of decent performances if you’re not 10cm away from your router.

@cnxsoft
yes 1.2w box turned off is really bad, have you tested the power adapter alone, i had some surprises with those cheap power supplies. I also had some cases where unplugging the hdmi cable would drop “turned off” power draw by half.

And well it’s obvious that those boxes don’t really turn off in android but go to some sleep mode, so maybe it’s another side effect of a botched firmware.

It’s also kind of funny to see how hdmi cec is still a mess, i particularly like how every tv brand renamed it as their own “thing”.

[out of topic]
@Marcel
you can’t seriously want to watch youtube 4k videos, seeing how poor are their 1080p h264 or vp9 encodings, their 4k will have to be as pixelated as some old mpeg1 VCD.
Well i also suspect (or maybe it’s public knowledge) that they use different encoding profiles (bitrates) for “vip youtubers/channels” but well i’m not anxious to watch 4k videos from any regular uploader.

gizmomelb
Guest

@cnxsoft
thank you for testing.. that is very bad news to hear 🙁

Shimon
Guest

@mdel I don’t think I’m misremembering but this box initially had “Beelink” in the description on GB which would explain the OTA availability.

dogh
Guest

@piotrasd
That would be great. The members in that forum can’t tell anything about S905X Boxes to work properly.
The most important things to me would be proper passthrough of DTSHD MA and Dolby TrueHD and proper playback of frame packed 3D MVC in MKV or ISO. I hope the issue the S905 Boxes had with frame packed material being downsized to Full HD Top Bottom 3D videos can be resolved during the process perfecting LibreElec for this device.

Gregory
Guest

The Device plays H265 10bit

https://youtu.be/K2GM93uvyb8?t=6m7s

this is my video review 🙂

Meth
Guest

cnxsoft :
@gizmomelb
Based on your requirements, why use a TV box based on Amlogic S905X at all? Just use one of the many Amlogic S905 TV box available.

There seems to be a real lack of custom “debloated” roms for S905/905X boxes. Which S905 would you recommend with 2Gb Ram and stable rom?

Scooter2014
Guest

Lack of any stock firmware is the problem not o e if these manufactures have released a stock img as of yet.

murlock
Guest

Just received my m8s and I’m disappointed by Play Store because it is useles without mouse: with “emulated mouse” you can’t make slide the left tab and search box is unreachable with arrows.

roomie
Guest

I just received the m8s II. It keeps reseting the language from english to chinese every time I turn it on. This is so annoying, I should to change it back to english all time.

goran
Guest

from where i can download Andorid 6 for this device because OTA doesn’t work for me.
and KmediaTorrent doesn’t want to download/stream any torrent:-) why i that?
is there a root-ed version?

roomie
Guest

@cnxsoft
Yes, I updated to the last firmware, this is the version that I have: “p212-userdebug 6.0.1 MHC19J 20160719 test-keys”.

Did they solve the issue on Tanix TX5 ?

roomie
Guest

@cnxsoft
Any ideas to fix the language issue on the Mini m8s II ?

djot
Guest

I connected a gamepad. It is working in the tv box menu(s).
I installed 4 racing games. Not one was accessible (no buttons etc. were clickable, game UI completely inaccessible) neither by mouse, keyboard, remote, nor gamepad … had to hard close them all … did I miss anything?

djot
Guest

@cnxsoft
The model is “Chinese Plastics” 😉 … besides that, I don’t have any access to the games via mouse, keyboard and remote also, which would mean, the games are not designed for the box (playing at all?) … I’ll give Beach Buggy Racing a try later. I will receive another gamepad these days … thx. (I replied to you reply; does not work.)

lesly
Guest

Does anyone here have a link to download the firmware file manually? I can’t find it online and am unable to use the OTA update. Thanks in advance!

roomie
Guest

@cnxsoft
I updated the firmware provided on this link and the language issue was fixed. It’s a third firmware update signed with date 20160728.
http://www.freaktab.com/forum/tv-player-support/amlogic-based-tv-players/s905/others-ac/firmware-roms-tools-bj/586682-firmware-update-mini-m8s-ii-4k-smart-tv-box-amlogic-s905x-2-8gb-wifi-10-100-lan-bt

@lesly
You can download the firmware tested on this review (20160719) on that same link.

qwiqooq
Guest

Has anyone been able to root this device yet?

Pedro
Guest

@roomie
Sorry i can find the hird firmware update signed with date 20160728, e only found on that link, this one 20160719.

Can you please put the linl for that frimware with date 20160728

Best Regards to all

roomie
Guest

@Pedro
The firmware with date 20160728 is a google drive file on the link from my previous message and it fixes the language issue. The date is not clarified there, but you will notice it after you install it.
Anyway, I’ll copy it here for you:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-otRcubD2DtdjFtT0tQY2FIUFk/view?pref=2&pli=1

lesly
Guest

@roomie
Thanks! but the link doesn’t work I get an error. Error 522 Ray ID: 2cf0742ff4742cc9 • 2016-08-08 05:09:32 UTC
Connection timed out

roomie
Guest

@lesly
I think that the freaktab site was offline some hours. It´s working now.

cnxsoft :
@roomie
Have you already tried to reset the box to factory settings? I wonder if it could fix your language issues.

Regarding to the language issues, someone reported on the same freaktab link that the language fix is available through a new OTA update, so no manual install is needed anymore: p212 userdebug 6.0.1 MHC19J 20160805 test-keys

http://freaktab.com/forum/tv-player-support/amlogic-based-tv-players/s905/others-ac/firmware-roms-tools-bj/586682-firmware-update-mini-m8s-ii-4k-smart-tv-box-amlogic-s905x-2-8gb-wifi-10-100-lan-bt/page3

Mandar Hawaldar
Guest

Hi,

Did anyone try a webcam with this device?

I tried using Logitech C320 with Skype. But it did not work.

Thanks

IntelliMedia
Guest

anyone succssful witha root for these devices. I couldve easily gone with an android 5.0/S905chipset device already rooted but went with the “bigEYE” for wow android 6.0/905x and now no root access none of my utitlity apps can run from play store

Mandar Hawaldar
Guest

Are you aware of any utility app to enable Google Cast on such devices? Any luck with enabling Google Cast on this device? Or does that also need root?

IntelliMedia
Guest

webcams dont work on most boxes its a feature that the motherboard has to have enabled to communicate to an external usb device cant remember the “tech name” for that being enabled

gbabu
Guest

The language issue was fixed by the OTA update on Aug 5th.

I was also able to connect a logitech USB webcamera and it was detected immediately without any issues. I was able to skype but the other person was not able to see/hear me though. But “Zoom” video conferencing was working and I was able to make video calls and the call quality was great too.

The other issue I noticed was, occasionally kodi was buffering even when playing a local file (from a SD card).

tns
Guest

I was able to load the tanix TX 5 (not pro) firmware on to the mini M8S II ( with amlogic usb burning tool) as they have the same wifi chipset.
as far as playback goes , i was having problems with green screen on 10 bit hevc files with the m8s II firmware but with this firmware ther is an added option in kodi playback setting (amcodec) besides media codec. using this amcodec, hevc 10 bit plays perfectly. This firmware also comes rooted. !!!!!!!yay. I was able to change the cpu governor from hotplug to performance. The language issue is unfortunately still present in this firmware too. but CEC works.

Mandar Hawaldar
Guest

Can you share the instructions you used for this?

tns
Guest

@Mandar Hawaldar
use this link to download the correct TX5 firmware (not TX 5 pro) and usb burning tool.
http://www.cnx-software.com/2016/08/08/tanix-tx5-pro-tv-box-review-part-1-unboxing-teardown-and-hands-on/#comment-530273
there are many videos on the net which show you how to flash using Amlogic usb burning tools.
dude I am not responsible if you brick your device. follow the procedure correctly and you should be ok.
after disabling the CEC feature on my LG 42″ TV the language issue plaguing this firmware also disappeared.
using the advancedsettings.xml i am now able to stream high bitrate 10 bit hevc from my NAS. they play correctly now.
will keep updating as i continue to use this firmware. till the time a Libreelec version for this SOC is released.