Mini Review of MECOOL BM8 TV Box with Android 6.0 and Kodi 17.0

Orange Pi Development Boards

CNXSoft: An other review by Ray for an Amlogic S905X powered TV box provided by Videostrong.

MECOOL BM8 specifications

The specifications are pretty standard, except for the large flash:

  • SoC – Amlogic S905X quad core Cortex A53 @ 2.0GHz with a penta-core Mali-450MP GPU
  • Memory – 2GB DDR3 RAM
  • Storage – 32GB eMMC flash + card reader for SD/SDHC/MMC cards
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K*2K “super HD video” with HDR support and AV outputs
  • Audio Output – HDMI, AV, and optical S/PDIF
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, dual band WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, and Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 port
  • Supports HEVC (H.265) decoding

The TV box runs Android 6.0.

Unboxing

The box comes with 3 different Power Adapters, a HDMI cable, power supply and a completely oversized (20cm/5cm) remote control with  “learning modes ability”. No manual was inside the box.

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

The Videostrong MECOOL BM8 is a 4-core Android TV box, very small and astonishingly smart. Both its length and width are only 95mm and the height is just at a amazing 19mm. You can hold it in your palm.

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

Review / Impressions

Videostrong MECOOL BM8 is one of the new Android 6.0 TV Box models in 2016. Android 6.0 is to improve user experience compared with other versions of TV Boxes. People can install or uninstall software, games and application programs more convenient and easily. Android 6 is supposed to handle the old memory handling of older Android versions better and more effective.

Mecool_BM8_Android_Launcher

Videostrong MECOOL BM8 comes with Android 6.0.1 OS, an impressive 2GB RAM, and a massive 32GB storage. It provides users with a better experience to enjoy 4K Ultra HD video. Crispy Pictures and a fantastic sound quality are delivered by this very well designed box.

The device booted in just 13.8 seconds the first time, and the second time even faster. This box reboots in a shocking 11.4 seconds! Boot times are with a 500GB USB HDD and a MeLe F10 Deluxe remote. Those are the best results I ever saw so far with an Android box!

I tested Bluetooth with my iPhone 5S, and it worked flawlessly. MeLe F10 Deluxe air mouse also just worked with out issues. I could install all apps I wanted with the Google Play store.

Kodi is working in a glance, gone the times, where we have to wait endless time, before Kodi switched off, now in 1 to 2 seconds done. The Box comes with a Krypton 17.0 (compiled 28. July 2016.)

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

By my opinion not a good choice, Krypton Kodi is still in “pre-release” and if you want to install a “build” later on, you may have to uninstall and go for the latest Jarvis Release 16.1. Not many builds made for Krypton right now.

In the apps Section we find a Kodi ADD-ons updater. What this App really does, stays unknown, no update to find, because of the newest version already installed.

Truly one of the better boxes. I never have had any kind of “bad feeling”, by using and testing this box. Big Points collect this box in the field of IPTV and streaming. Glas clear picture, crispy sound. I connected my Samsung Dolby Soundbar, and the result was great. So it should be and has to be!

I am not a big fan of fancy lab testing, these results are often not to read or to handle for the ordinary customers. A TV Box should give no headache, so easy is that, and I must say, this box gives the buyer no headache or trouble at all. I highly recommend this box for the average use.

Benchmarks

Vellamo 3.2:  Browser 2026; Metal 1057; Multicore 1520

Mecool_BM8_Vellamo

Antutu 6.2.1: Overall 34429;  3D 3026; UX 13714; CPU 12396; RAM 5293

Mecool_BM8_Antutu

Conclusion

IPTV Fan? This Box is for you! Kodi Fan? This Box is for you!

  • Pros:
    • Speedy LAN, great Wi-Fi, perfect Bluetooth 4.0
    • Highly stable, smooth and fast firmware
    • Superfast booting
    • Nicely designed, small and compact
    • Very good value for the money
    • No temperature issues
  • Cons
    • Again the Remote, to huge, to unhandy

Wholesalers can purchase MECOOL BM8 from Videostrong on Alibaba. I could not find the device on any Chinese online stores at this time [Update: Geekbuying offers MECOOL BM8 for $68.99], but GearBest sells a similar looking – but with lower specs (1GB/8GB) – MECOOL HM8 TV box for $29.75 including shipping.

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Bruce
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Bruce

If I can make comments on the ‘editor’ side, the review is interesting but a bit heavy on superlative.

e.g.
an impressive 2GB RAM, and a massive 32GB storage. It provides users with a better experience to enjoy 4K Ultra HD video. Crispy Pictures and a fantastic sound quality are delivered by this very well designed [and astonishingly smart] box.

>[Ray is] not a big fan of fancy lab testing, these results are often not to read or to handle for the ordinary customers.
We are not ordinary customers, we are readers of CNX Software. And we do care if it plays 4K and if the WiFi is slow.

Hulk Hogan
Guest
Hulk Hogan

@Bruce

Yeah good points. This “mini review” sounds a lot like an advertisment. Except for the “Beta” Kodi there is nothing negative mentioned in this “review”. Sounds fishy.

Stane1983
Member

Scores are slightly higher (in some tests) than S802. I made upgraded AOSP based kernel for S802 (3.10) and did exactly same tests few days ago (Vellamo, Antutu).

Theguyuk
Guest
Theguyuk

Any 3Dmark tests?

And in Antutu are there artifact, square patches problems where land meets water?

Admin

@Stane1983
It’s also slightly faster than my results with NEXBOX A95X and MINI M8S II, but still slower than all Amlogic S905 TV boxes I’ve tested.

Harley
Guest
Harley

Should be noted that it comes with Kodi Kodi 17.0 Alpha, Beta or a Nightly Build, and not the final version of Kodi 17.0 …because that is not even available yet.

digeratus
Guest
digeratus

@ray
What about OTA software updates? Is it supported?

Paulo
Guest
Paulo

In the Videostrong on Alibaba site they only sell 10 pieces…

Admin

@Paulo
You can buy more if you want…

Admin

Ray gave me a few other pictures, but I did not include them all. One of them shows OTA firmware update support.
@digeratus

Peter
Guest
Peter

@cnxsoft
Just a new fancy redesigned software update, which on most TV boxes never updates anything from the date the device was bought. It just sits there reporting that the box is up to date, completely useless and firmware and security updates are never forthcoming.

Paulo
Guest
Paulo

@cnxsoft
I mean … i only want to by one 🙂

Admin

@Paulo
Alibaba is for wholesalers who buy in quantities to resell the device, but maybe you could try to purchase one sample for evaluation there by chatting with the salesperson there.

I think you’d better just be patient, and it will most probably be listed on some others websites soon for people who want to buy one.

Admin

@Paulo
You did not have to wait for too long. It’s just been added to GeekBuying for $68.99 -> http://www.geekbuying.com/item/BM8-Amlogic-S905X-Android-6-0-Marshmallow-KODI-17-1-TV-BOX-371458.html

Mr Netflixer
Guest
Mr Netflixer

@ray
This so called “Review” IS nothing but an advertisement for this Box. A blatant one at that.

eg.
“This Box do all without any kind of issues”

What absolute rubbish. You are running a bleeding edge Android 6.0 on a brand new AMLogic SoC and then using a very early Kodi Krypton pre-release. There are actually a SHITLOAD of bugs on AML Kodi, not to mention the bleeding edge AML Firmware.

I’m calling this the biggest “Pinocchio” review of the year on CNX-Software !

cobra89
Guest
cobra89

COOLEME is a re-branded MiniM8SII.
http://freaktab.com/forum/tv-player-support/amlogic-based-tv-players/s905x/others-aml-s905x/firmware-roms-tools-bx/589497-mod-for-tanix-tx5-pro-minim8sii-and-nexbox-a95x-cooleme-mb1-frankenstein-firmware-wip?p=592026#post592026
Check the MiniM8SII review also.
So it MECOOL a rebrand of a rebrand perhaps or a different brand?
Now I’m confused, but all these boxes should have the exact same boards inside.

Feelgood
Guest
Feelgood

@ray
Ray, I’m new to cnx-software, but have been actively reading for the past 3-4 months and can also find the superlative description in your article being more marketing than technology oriented.
Words like massive, impressive, crispy, shocking, flawlessly are raising a warning flag and readers today expect non-biased review from sites like this. Most of the times superlative word choice in a tech review results in skepticism with negative effect on the good product.

Admin

@cobra89
Not that model. The case dimensions are different, and the ports arrangements even more different.
There are different MECOOL models, so it’s possible one of them is similar.

From what I know, Videostrong is a manufacturer, and they have several customers using their designs.

Userkare
Guest
Userkare

Did it drm widevine support?

digeratus
Guest
digeratus

@ray
I see that they have OTA capabilities, but does it actually work? Do you know if they intend in maintaining their software and releasing it OTA? Last but not least, do you know if they have a 2G/8G version or 2G/16G version? 32 just seems like a lot and it increases the price.

Thanks

Mr Netflixer
Guest
Mr Netflixer

@ray, I’m saying your lazy as well.

Where is the 5.1 / 7.1 Audio testing ?
Where is the 720/1080p/2160p video testing ?
What about refresh switching ?
Where is the 24p testing on AMLogic devices to look for those Oh so famous “black playback screens” after the TV refresh switches at the start Kodi video playback ?
Crap AMLogic Android Firmware when used with Kodi is famous for this 24p black screen bug, especially with Kodi Jarvis.

How about HDMI CEC control which virtually every TV comes out with these days ?
If you are reviewing media players this is the shit users care about.

There are a bunch of guys over on the Kodi forum that tell it like it is with their reviews, without regurgitating Marketing crap from the device seller and manufacturer. Stop drinking the company Kool-Aid.

I would not trust a review coming from cnx-software if my life depended on it now. The site has turned into nothing better than product Marketing advertisements for sellers and Manufacturers if this is going to be the standard of reviews going forward.

theguyuk
Guest
theguyuk

@Mr Netflixer
i use KODI 16.1 @ 60hz , 720p , 1080p with a 2gb s905 box and hdmi to Samsung HD 46″ TV and I am well happy with video and my KODI is the update off Google Play.

I am not a paid reviewr either.

Feelgood
Guest
Feelgood

@ray, could you not even take a constructive feedback from the readers without taking it personally? This is not about you, it’s about your review, calm down, think about what you are writing, take the feedback and do something about it, answer it in the way of new extended review covering our concerns so you might win our trust back.
I hope the owners of this site will read these comments and act upon it before you loose too many readers.
Please don’t answer my comment, again is nothing personal …

Paulo
Guest
Paulo

@cnxsoft
Thanks

Eli Landes
Guest
Eli Landes
Dartigo
Guest
Dartigo

How is this different from the BM8 PRO that costs $79 at Geekbuying?

Admin

@Dartigo
The BM8 PRO is based on Amlogic S912, the model review above BM8 is based on Amlogic S905X SoC.

Marshall
Guest
Marshall

How do you get the remote to pair with the box again. After the update of the box, the only way i can use it is up close.

Admin

@Marshall
That’s very odd that a firmware update somehow reduced the remote control range… Can you try with new batteries?

Admin

Some new firmware files for various VideoStrong models including BM8 [Update: removed links since the images have been removed]:

S912 KM8 Pro:
S912 BM8 Pro:
S912 KB2:
S912 BB2:
S905X KM8:
S905X BM8:

Changelogs:
Changelog of S912&S905X Android TV Boxes
For Model NO.:
Amlogic S905x solution: HM8/KM5/KM8/BM8/KB1
Amlogic S912 solution: KM8 pro/BM8 pro/BB2/KB2
==================================
Changelog–2016-08-27 version

1. optimized booting videos to play more smoothly.
2. Optimized lanubcher crashing problem during working.
3. Defaulted HDMI CEC to be off.
4. Solved play services crashing problem during working.
5. Solved cursor displays unclear of some options in settings menu
6. Added some porpular add ons to KODI
==========================================
Changelog for 2016-09-09 version

1. Turned the volume of booting video to be lower
2. Changed Youtube to be TV version, which is supported to operate by remote.
3. Added some porpular add ons to KODI

===================================
Changelog for 2016-09-29 version
1. Added system navigation bar, operate “settings-Display-Statubar” ON/OFF is optional.
2. Updated KODI version to be KODI 17.0-Beta3
3. Deleted KODI add on–photo app

==================================
Changelog for 2016-10-10 version
1. Optimized system running performance
2. Compounded the latese code of Amlogic

Peter
Guest
Peter

Sounds like a good box. one thing i am not sure of is, what difference does the 32GB make to this boxes performance, compared to a KM8 box which has 16GB? Will this make any improvement in video quality or is this just for storing files, as opposed to just streaming?

Admin

@Peter
Although larger eMMC flash have usually better performance, storage capacity should not affect the performance much, and certainly not affect video capabilities or quality at all. It will mostly provide more space for apps and files. It’s like using a 1GB hard drive in a PC, instead of a 512 MB one.

theguyuk
Guest
theguyuk

The odd thing is the MECOOL HM8 TV Box Amlogic S905X Quad Core 64 Bit Android 6.0 H.265 1GB/8GB UK is going so cheap on ebay UK.

£21.00 including postage, these boxes just keep getting cheaper !

macalek
Guest
macalek

What is the last OTA version for MECOOL HM8 TV Box Amlogic S905X?

harkaman
Guest
harkaman

KM8 S905x firmware
I don’t find file which i can burn with usb tool. I need that PLease help ans share

gi
Guest
gi

Just recently bought this box (Amazon, 31 euro + 1 for shipping) and it works fabulous and most of all very easy. Smooth, fast great view.
The only thing i can’t manage is to install my vpn on this box.

Anyone there who has installed Mullvad on ?

Bob Stones
Guest
Bob Stones

Hi, I’m trying to add a file source to my box in Kodi file manager. But when I follow the proceedure it doesn’t work properly and I get a message saying it is probably due to the network not being connected. But the network is connected so what have I missed?