Home > Android, Hardware, Realtek RTD > Zidoo X8 Android TV Box, OpenWrt NAS, and HDMI Recorder Sells for $109

Zidoo X8 Android TV Box, OpenWrt NAS, and HDMI Recorder Sells for $109

I posted my review of Zidoo X9S Android TV box, HDMI recorder and OpenWrt NAS a few days ago, and despite some limitations with regards to 4K video playback, the device is working pretty well. The $140 price tag might be a little more than some people are ready to pay, and the good news is that the company has now launched a cheaper model based on the same processor called Zidoo X8, without the external SATA port, and less storage.

zidoo-x8

Zidoo X8 specifications:

  • SoC – Realtek RTD1295 quad core Cortex A53 processor @ 1.4 GHz with ARM Mali-T820 MP3 GPU
  • System Memory – 2 GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8 GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot + SATA 3.0 interface
  • Video I/O – HDMI 2.0a output, AV output and HDMI 2.0 input (Support up to 4K60 input, but record/stream up to 1080p @ 30 Hz)
  • Audio I/O – HDMI in and out, AV, S/PDIF output
  • Video Playback – HDR, 10-bit HEVC/H.265 up to 4K @ 60fps, H.264 up to 4K @ 24 fps, VP9 up to 4K @ 30 fps, BDISO/MKV, 3D videos, etc… automatic frame rate switching
  • Audio Features – DTS HD and TrueHD 7.1 channel audio pass-through
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 (RTK8821)
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0 ports
  • Misc – IR receiver, VFD display, restore pin hole.
  • Power Supply – 12V/3A
  • Dimensions – TBD

The media center runs Android 6.0 and OpenWrt simultaneously, and ships with  a remote control, an HDMI cable, a power adapter, and a user’s manual.

zidoo-x8-ports

So the only thing really missing compared to Zidoo X9S is the external SATA port, but since there’s still a USB 3.0 port, you’ll still have decent storage performance. I’d expect the firmware to work as well as on Zidoo X9S with HDMI audio pass-through up 7.1, automatic frame rate switching, and 4K video playback to work very well with Media Center app, but a little less well, especially for videos, using ZDMC (Kodi 16.1 fork) internal player. HDMI input will also you to setup a PiP window, record videos to your hard drive, or stream videos to the network, while OpenWrt will add support for NAS functions such as SAMBA share, FTP, Bittorrent downloader, and more.

Zidoo X8 is currently selling for $109 on GeekBuying, or about $30 to $40 cheaper compared to Zidoo X9S. You’ll also find a few sellers on Aliexpress, and it should be sold on Amazon US soon.

  1. tkaiser
    October 24th, 2016 at 11:55 | #1

    X8 has just a single antenna. Might that negatively impact Wi-Fi performance?

  2. October 24th, 2016 at 14:10 | #2

    @tkaiser
    Since it’s dual band there must be an internal antenna too. I have not seen a clear pattern showing that external antennas are better in terms of performance compared to internal antennas, but maybe it can affect the range.

  3. theguyuk
    October 24th, 2016 at 14:32 | #3

    @cnxsoft

    I recall your reviews of some boxes where the second antenna was found to not even be connected…

  4. October 24th, 2016 at 14:42 | #4

    @theguyuk
    Yes, correct, it was just for aesthetic purpose only on Qintaix Q912, but Zidoo X9S has both, with one for 2.4 GHz, and the other for 5.0 Ghz.

  5. tkaiser
    October 24th, 2016 at 14:52 | #5

    @cnxsoft
    In the meantime I visited your Geekbuying link and on the bottom both a table explaining differences between X8 and X9S and a PCB picture exist. It seems they’re using one internal antenna (enclosure is made out of plastic and not metal like with X9S) and it also seems SATA is available via solder iron.

  6. October 24th, 2016 at 15:39 | #6

    @cnxsoft Most of these devices have a plastic case which is effectively transparent to RF, which is why metal bodied cell phones always have a plastic or glass “window” for the antennas. The only real argument for using external antenna’s at this point is that antenna’s are more effective when they are a whole multiple of the wavelength (~6.25 cm for 2.4ghz and 6cm for 5ghz). So an external antenna would provide the appropriate length. My guess is that the 5ghz antenna is internal as that’s still not as common as 2.4ghz so to cut costs they make it internal and put the extra material/build cost into the antenna that will make a difference for almost everyone. An external antenna probably adds about $0.25-0.50 to each unit which is pretty substantial at these price ranges.

  7. tkaiser
    October 24th, 2016 at 16:41 | #7

    @The Sandbender
    I would guess the internal antenna is connected to an u.FL header anyway since 2 different PCB revisions would be more costly?

    At least looking at Geekbuying’s PCB image lets me believe that (half-assed photoshopped in the lower right area):
    http://image4.geekbuying.com/content_pic/201610/geekbuying-ZIDOO-X8-Realtek-RTD1295-Android-6-0-OpenWRT-NAS–TV-BOX-390808-.jpg

    Given the PCB layout, PSU requirements and power scheme of the board (12V/3A) I would assume they will come up with another variant with a slot for internal 3.5″ SATA disks.

  8. paul
    October 24th, 2016 at 19:45 | #8

    Is not that a pair of u.FL sockets on the far left of the pcb image inline with the DC in socket ?

    During initial breakdown review I commented on external eSATA being a bit of a waste with there being so much unused space inside, and the potentially outrageous energy consumption.
    Have not had time to keep up with review of this item, but was energy consumption measured under idle & typical usage ?

  9. tkaiser
    October 24th, 2016 at 20:17 | #9

    @paul
    There’s no eSATA (specified for up to 5000 matings), that’s just plain internal SATA exposed externally on Zidoo X9S (connector rated for 50 matings max by SATA specs). If you take into account that the USB ports have to provide up to 10W (USB2 = 500 mA per port, USB3 = 900 mA @ 5V) and 3.5″ disks are rated for up to 2A/12V spinup current then the 3A/12V PSU looks already a bit weak 😉

  10. October 24th, 2016 at 20:41 | #10

    @paul
    Power consumption number from Zidoo X9S review:

    Power off (no HDD) – 0.2 Watt
    Standby (No HDD) – 0.4 Watt
    Idle (No HDD) – 5.2 ~ 6.1 Watts
    Power off + USB HDD – 0.2 Watt
    Standby + USB HDD – 0.3 Watts
    Idle + USB HDD – 8.4 Watts
    Power off + SATA HDD – 0.2 Watt
    Standby + SATA HDD – 0.4 Watt
    Idle + SATA HDD – 7.2 Watts
    Idle + SATA HDD + USB HDD – 9.4 to 10.4 Watts
    SATA HDD (Copy file to SAMBA share) + Play 4K video from USB HDD – 13.4 Watts

  11. Wes
    October 24th, 2016 at 20:48 | #11

    Finally, a Google TV box with HDMI in! However, is it missing Google Cast? Would a USB web cam work with the device?

  12. mo123
    October 24th, 2016 at 21:54 | #12

    @Wes
    No Google TV, only Android 6.

  13. Fossxplorer
    October 25th, 2016 at 01:54 | #13

    I’m thinking whether it could be a good NAS box, but the price is too high. Better with OPI PLus 2E or HP Microserver Gen8.

  14. tkaiser
    October 25th, 2016 at 02:30 | #14

    @Fossxplorer
    Did you miss the Marvell ESPRESSOBin?

  15. Olivertrst
    October 25th, 2016 at 07:08 | #15

    Does this only record OTA TV or will it work with something like HDHomeRun Prime?

  16. October 25th, 2016 at 09:30 | #16

    @Olivertrst
    The PVR function is built-in into the PVR app, so whether HDHomeRun Prime works is independent from the video recording function in Zidoo X8.

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