Tanix TX5 Pro TV Box Review – Part 2: Modding and Testing

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Karl here with part 2 of Tanix TX5 Pro TV box. In the first part we peaked inside took a look at the specs and quick look at the UI. In part 2, we will get into the nitty gritty. When I first received the box there were several issues: Play Store incompatibility, issue with language reverting to Chinese, and green screen on YouTube. Tanix quickly followed up with an update and resolved these issues.

Stuck in my ways

So I have to admit that I am pretty stuck in my ways when it comes to the way I use Android. It started long ago with my first stick the MK808 with Rockchip Rk3066. It was basically the phone version of Android on the TV and I really liked it. We have come a long way since then and some changes have occurred in the box market UI, like the absence of the navigation bar and notification bar. It is split both ways some people dislike and some like it. I really like them so I usually do what I can to enable them. This box is no different. It doesn’t come with either. I feel it should be a setting that can be easily switched on and off but that is not the case right now. So here is where the fun begins. Over on Freaktab we put together a pretty nice mod of the original firmware and that is what I will base this review on. I am thankful to those guys that helped test and give feedback.

What we tweaked

We started with notification and navigation bars taken from the Mini M8S II. It took a while to dial that in and get all the kinks worked out. We changed over the root application to SuperSu from SuperUser because the root worked better for some applications. Cleaned out all the unnecessary apps, and Kodi build that loads on initial boot. Pass-through didn’t work with DTS and it clipped a lot. itsmeedoofer found a way to enable it by doing a small change on every boot. I tried to fix with a script but was unsuccessful and ended up writing a small app to fix on every boot. gtznutz got the last of the boxes up and working. We ended up getting it to work on Tanix TX5 Pro, MINI M8S II, Nexbox A5, Nexbox A95X (All models), and COOLEME MB1 with a few caveats. For example, the only box that the stock remote will turn the box on is the Tanix.

Apps

Working Not Working
Plex Quicksupport
Kodi
Netflix
Google Play Movies
Crackle
Chrome
YouTube(1080)

Kodi

Audio

Kodi works really well. After using the pass-through fix I could play every test audio file I had with digital audio passing through to my receiver over spdif. I had confirmation that it was the same with HDMI pass-through as well. Below are the test videos and formats. I did notice that Kodi didn’t always report the correct format but my receiver always showed a digital input with 5.1 channels.

Audio-HD_File_List

4K

I am keeping my testing to strictly Kodi because I had very good luck. I could play just about every test video that I have with Amcodec disabled. The Amlogic S905X does not supports h.264 60 fps above 1080p so those 2 are expected. For the remaining, I Installed MX Player and added this playercorefactory to my userdata to play the rest. Playercorefactory is a file to allow you to use external players in Kodi. Just copy to the userdata directory. This makes it super easy to stay in Kodi’s interface and a realistic option and not have to jump around using different players for different files. I need to look at my VP9 test file…it might be corrupt. Every player had artifacts at the same point.

Test

File Name

Amcodec disabled

Amcodec Enabled

23.976fps (in MP4)

GoPro Epic Russian Wingsuit in 4K

Good

No Video

24fps (in MP4)

SPRING 4K (ULTRA HD)

Good

No Video

25fps (in MP4)

Burj Khalifa Pinnacle BASE Jump – 4K

Good

No Video

29.970fps, 51Mbps (hdmkv’s iPhone 6S 4K clip)

iphone6s_4k

Small Stutter at one point (MX Player Good)

No Video

59.940fps (in MKV)

samsung_seven_wonders_of_the_world_china_uhd-DWEU

Dropped frames

No Video

60fps (in MP4)

COSTA RICA IN 4K 60fps (ULTRA HD) w Freefly Movi

Good

No Video

H264, up to 30fps

Sony_Alpha_7R_II_video-test-4K

Good

No Video

H264, 50-60fps

linkin_park_ultra-hd

Dropped frames

Dropped frames

H265 8bit, up to 30fps

LG_4K_View-the-Feeling

Stutter

(MX Player Good)

Good

H265 10bit, up to 30fps

Samsung_UHD_Dubai

Good

Good

H265 10bit, 50-60fps

Samsung_UHD_7Wonders_of_the_World_Italy

Good

Good

VP9

Eye of the Storm 4K Ultra HD

Small Stutter and artifacts at one point

(MX Player Stutter and artifacts same point)

No Video

Wifi Test

Setup I have an Ubiquiti Unifi network setup (by the way this is a fantastic product) with 1 AP in my office and 1 AP at the other end of the house. I only have a 2.4GHz network. I performed 2 tests:

  1. Box within 6 feet of AP in office mounted in ceiling
  2. I go into my controller and reboot my office AP and force everything over to the other one and start the copy over. This second test is tough for any device. Lots of obstructions and about 50’ feet.

After the device peaks I took a screenshot.

Case 1
Case 1
Case 2
Case 2

Misc – Benchmarks, DRM Info, and Storage

Tanix TX5 Pro achieved 34,327 points in Antutu 6.x, a typical score for an Amlogic S905X TV box.

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

Vellamo 3.x results are also within the expect range.

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

The device supports Widewine Level 3 like most of its peers.

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

A single 11.40GB partitions is available for apps and data out of the 16GB flash, and external storage is also supported and convertible to device storage (feature of Android 6.0).

Tanix_Pro_TX5_Storage

Closing Random Thoughts

I really like this box after modding and could easily recommend it to anyone. I am really pleased with the UI with the switch to 6.0. Adaptive storage is great. Video playback is really good. Wifi was solid. There is still some work to be done on the video side. Let’s see if Tanix will post some updates.

Unfortunately, I only have a 1080p TV and an older receiver with a single SPDIF only. So I am not able to perform every test I would like. Maybe one day I will talk my wife into a new one.

Thank you GearBest for sending a review sample. You could consider purchase the device from them for $46.35 including shipping. Tanix TX5 Pro can also bought from eBay, GeekBuying, and Banggood among others.

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theguyuk
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theguyuk

@Karl

I think you will have people complaining that real world buyers will not get the modified software you used for your tests. Real world buyers will have a different experience and problems?

Firmware flashing is not for a novice, or perfect method due to sometime bricking of the product ( make product dead, unusable ).

paul
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paul

I am pleased you stated you conducted your WiFi testing at both short 6ft and long 50ft distances as not everyone has all their kit in the same room.

Your Part 1 states WiFi-AC is at 5.8GHz. Are not the most common AC channels well below that, nearer 5.2GHz ?

Your Part 1 stated the box runs at 2GHz, which we now know is untrue for many Amlogic SoCs. I think it is worth a line in ALL NEW Amlogic reviews to correct the error. The publicity may persuade Amlogic to correct the false clam.

Regarding @theguyuk ‘s comment, true, perhaps a reasonable solution is for the seller to obtain the software version from the maker and publish it in their advert, or at least state they have the version number on request.

Karl Johnson
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Karl Johnson

@theguyuk

I can understand that point….but the only difference between stock and this is really the nav and notification. The passthrough fix can be applied to any box that has root. See the freaktab post for instructions on how to use.

Karl Johnson
Guest
Karl Johnson

paul :
I am pleased you stated you conducted your WiFi testing at both short 6ft and long 50ft distances as not everyone has all their kit in the same room.
Your Part 1 states WiFi-AC is at 5.8GHz. Are not the most common AC channels well below that, nearer 5.2GHz ?
Your Part 1 stated the box runs at 2GHz, which we now know is untrue for many Amlogic SoCs. I think it is worth a line in ALL NEW Amlogic reviews to correct the error. The publicity may persuade Amlogic to correct the false clam.
Regarding @theguyuk ‘s comment, true, perhaps a reasonable solution is for the seller to obtain the software version from the maker and publish it in their advert, or at least state they have the version number on request.

That was a copy and paste…https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_WLAN_channels looks like it is possible.

I saw that….i will do some rudementary testing and use setcpu to hard set the cpu and compress some files and see what happens. See if the s905x is affected as well

aleha
Guest
aleha

@Karl,
How about autoframerate at S905X SoC? Can You take a test?

Karl Johnson
Guest
Karl Johnson

No I am sorry

rebeL
Guest
rebeL

In Audio-Specs is named: “Stereo digital microphone PDM input”
Can somebody explain me, how I can use this feature, witch extern-hardware do I need for this?

Dartigo
Guest
Dartigo

Not bad for $43 at Geekbuying.

Dennis
Guest
Dennis

Hi, can you help me? In the settings menu I change the audio output to SPDIF, but there is no signal coming from the device. I checked everything, wires, receiver, other sources. Its definitely the box… I also installed that passthrough fix but it doesnt seem to help.

Karl Johnson
Guest
Karl Johnson

If you are using kodi. Turn on passthrough in kodi under audio

Mark
Guest
Mark

I just got a new TX5 pro and the language keeps resetting. I removed the Kodi on the box because it was not an official version and reinstalled the official one. When I update it gives me an error. Suggestions?

Admin

@Mark
Language resetting could be an HDMI CEC issue, try disabling it in the box and/or your TV.
Kodi in Android TV box is often modified to fix some issues.
If the official Kodi release gives you troubles, try SPMC app instead. It’s a fork a Kodi with some improvements for Nvidia & Amlogic TV boxes.

Mark vandu
Guest
Mark vandu

My Tx5 pro stooped responding…always giving red lamp after installing power and not respondin further….could you please help me guys

Admin

@Mark vandu
I’ve got several feedback of the cheapest TV boxes stopping to work after a few months.
So it’s possible the build quality is not that good. You could still try to reinstall the firmware, but I’m not sure it’s feasible if the box does not even turn on.

Your box is probably damaged (power circuit). If you really want to look into it, you could open the box, and connect a debug board to the Tx/Rx/GND pin to see if there’s any serial output. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, better give up…