Wechip R69 Allwinner H3 TV Box goes for $19 Shipped

A few years ago, it was relatively easy to purchase sub $20 TV boxes with some patience, but with the increase in RAM and flash prices, it’s been more difficult to find those ultra-cheap TV boxes.

It turns out there’s such a deal now on Aliexpress where Wechip R69 TV box is sold for just $18.99 shipped. Now with an Allwinner H3 processor, 1GB RAM, and 8GB flash, I would not necessarily recommend such device for your media needs, but they can be useful for some specific use cases like a simple digital signage, or even to run Linux with some efforts. Wechip R69 also looks to be similar to Sunvell R69 TV box that is officially supported by RetroOrangePi, but with the pin-to-pin compatible Allwinner H2 processor, so it could make an inexpensive retro gaming console as well.

Wechip R69Wechip R69 specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner H3 quad-core Cortex A7 processor with Mali-400MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8GB flash + micro SD slot up to 32GB
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI 1.4 output up to 1080p60, AV port (composite video + stereo audio OR YPbPr)
  • Video Codec – H.265 / H.264 up to 4K @ 30 fps
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports
  • Misc – IR receiver
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – 9 x 9.5 x 1.8 cm
  • Weight – 200 grams

Normally, Allwinner H3 is similar to Allwinner H2+, except the latter is limited to 1080p60 video output and decoding. So I’d expect Wechip R69 to support 4K 30fps video output over HDMI 1.4 and H.265/H.264 video decoding, despite the specifications claiming video output only works up to 1080p60.

Cheap Allwinner H3 TV Box

Sunvell R69 is sold with Android 4.4, but Wechip R69 runs a relatively recent Android 7.1, which should be a definite plus if you plan to run Android. The Wechip box ships with a power supply, an HDMI cable, an IR remote control, and a user manual. If you decided to go ahead, and purchase the box, you should be aware the company is now on holidays for Chinese New Year, and they’ll only start processing orders on February 12.

Thanks to theguyuk for the tip.

Support CNX Software - Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon
Advertisements
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
49 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
tkaiser
tkaiser
1 year ago

Why do you feature garbage on this blog?

tkaiser
tkaiser
1 year ago

The advertisement for this cheap box consists only of BS: ‘H3 at 1.5GHz’, ’64bit CPU’, ‘Mali-T820MP3 GPU’. If this box really comes with Android 7.1 then it’s based on Allwinner’s latest BSP (using kernel 4.4 lacking DVFS capabilities and limiting CPU cores to 1GHz, u-boot able to deal with ultra crappy RAM chips). Most probably RAM will only work heavily underclocked (adjusted dynamically by u-boot) so good luck with video at high resolutions. Most probably the 8GB ‘flash’ is raw NAND and not eMMC. Experiences with this kind of crappy hardware exist already: https://forum.armbian.com/topic/8179-sunvell-h3-2gb-ram-16gb-rom-tv-box/

Benjamin Hojnik
1 year ago

this is what you get for the money. expecting top notch box for less than 20$ is not realistic really.

aside from the obvious typos in the description, its just a run of the mill h3 box.
i wouldnt call raw nand a bad thing really.

tkaiser
tkaiser
1 year ago

> i wouldnt call raw nand a bad thing really. It’s about the software support situation. If you run vendor’s Android (most probably never getting any more updates ever — ‘you get what you pay for’ as usual!) then type of internal storage doesn’t matter of course. But unfortunately a lot of users are interested in getting the cheapest garbage possible to then run Linux on it. Good luck with a lot of ingredients that are no problem when running the Android that’s pre-loaded on internal storage compared to what will work with Linux later. I mean it’s 2019 in… Read more »

Benjamin Hojnik
1 year ago

A lot of users want to run linux on these boxes ? Sir, i think you need a reality check 🙂
10 people on forums is _not_ representative of what people want.

What people buying cheap boxes actually want is just that; a cheap box. A newer android version is a bonus, but lot of people wont care, as long as it does what it suppose to; run video.

hyphop
1 year ago

i like make something nice from this crap 😉
sure for android tv box its not best choice, but
boxes like this very nice solution for many other cases!
for this price its a cool gift for DIY fans !!!
https://github.com/hyphop/miZy

tmunzer
tmunzer
1 year ago

For a year, that garbage (Sunvell R69) ran wonderfully Pihole and Domoticz (on Armbian).

Jonathanscott21
Jonathanscott21
1 year ago

tkaiser, I think we all understand your point, especially given your contributions to the community, but the tone of your post seems a bit neck-beardish. After all, this post has a big flashing OrangePi ad at the top, so writing about garbage means everybody wins!

val
val
1 year ago

so what if his tone is that? is it bad? should he behave like all? like you? I think those pussies constantly, crowdly and cowardly minusing him in every of his post are the real stinkies. and he expressing his opinions the way his character defines is OK. those extrasensitive ones could apply some anti-butthurt cream.

theyguyuk
theyguyuk
1 year ago

Puerile language used when spitting dummy out, result of being frustrated by lack of ability, knowledge, interpersonal skills. A trait called brat on degree courses.

theyguyuk
theyguyuk
1 year ago

Well even the Eachlink Allwinner H6 is now going for £25.08 inc p+p on Aliexpress. Allwinner TV box prices seem to be being driven down.

theyguyuk
theyguyuk
1 year ago

From watching the videos on the similar Sunvell R69 H3 . I expect it can play up to 1080p , struggle with anything higher. Play basic google store games llike Crissy road, surf the web with a browser, play from USB storage and use twitter or Facebook. So ideal for a cheap second 1080 player with no high end support.

In UK it should run BBC iPlayer, itv, blaze, the blaze, UK play etc and maybe Now TV .

Ideal for steaming without draining phone or tablet battery.

theyguyuk
theyguyuk
1 year ago
TheLinuxBug
1 year ago

Guys, I am willing to bet the $20 this costs that it is new-old product and its actually just the R69 being resold under a new brand. There have been constantly a large leftover amount of the old R69 on Banggood and other e-tailers and since the case, remote, box its boxed in, etc all look identical, there is no reason to think this isn’t the identical H2+ device as was sold previously under Sunvell. I will say this, at least the older R69 (not the new 2GB one which is literally a door stop unless you intend to use… Read more »

s. hippy
s. hippy
1 year ago

@TheLinuxBug

1. Read your R69 blog…why spend $35 with a lot of pain when a great X96mini 1/8G Amlogic S905W ( Vontar label) is available from Ali for $28 plus shipping? 😏😏

2. Does anyone know if RAM prices are coming down in the next few months? Any “official” forecasts?

3. If only 720p media streaming ( e.g., KODI-18 Leia) is needed, will this “new” box still heat up with its Android 7.1?

4. Any chance an ATV ROM might become available for this/R69?
(I don’t expect a LibreElec JeOS for Allwinner at all.)

tkaiser
tkaiser
1 year ago

> If only 720p media streaming ( e.g., KODI-18 Leia) is needed, will this “new” box still heat up with its Android 7.1? @TheLinuxBug already mixed this up. It’s not about ‘correct handling of thermals’ but that Allwinner removed support for DVFS (voltage regulation) with their recent Android/kernel and as such the hardware manufacturers followed and don’t allow to feed the H2+/H3/H5 CPU cores with lower voltages when idle. Two consequences at the same time: Shitty performance due to lower CPU clockspeeds and higher consumption + heat generation at the same time. These things will throttle pretty early and heavy… Read more »

theyguyuk
theyguyuk
1 year ago

So remember buy cheap, buy twice due to cheap quality, stay away from those nasty cheap Orange Pi boards !

Matt
Matt
1 year ago

4- You can always start contributing to the allwinner branch of the JeOS instead of just expecting things…

tkaiser
tkaiser
1 year ago

> You can always start contributing to the allwinner branch of the JeOS Once one device of a specific Allwinner SoC family is supported all that’s needed to add all the other devices using the same SoC featuring same basic set of features is just adopting fex or DT stuff. Problem could be that specific hardware only works (reliably) with proprietary code (see ‘DRAM from hell’ and ‘raw NAND’ requiring the use of Allwinner’s smelly BSP u-boot/kernel so if your project relies on upstream u-boot you’re already lost). And the whole job is totally unrelated to anything KODI, it’s just… Read more »

s. hippy
s. hippy
1 year ago

@Matt,

Given the good development of LibreElec/ CoreElec/ AlexElec including by @balbes150 ( of Armbian fame) and others for Amlogic and now Rockchip, why bother with Allwinner?

Both Amlogic and Rockchip seem to have released good enough code upstream unlike Allwinner.

jernej
jernej
1 year ago

I guess you don’t follow *all* of LibreELEC development. Allwinner port is very near of being included in master. Initially only for H3 and A64 and soon for H6. So there is no reason why to discourage people from using AW boards.

s. hippy
s. hippy
1 year ago

@jernej

I have been hearing this “near completion/just miss” for 2+ years.

Do you have an ETA? I hope AW happens for sake of market competition !

But will AW be really competitive price/performance wise with AML or RK in the media space anymore?

theyguyuk
theyguyuk
1 year ago

His post here answers those questions

https://forum.libreelec.tv/thread/13228-very-early-community-images-for-h3-and-a64/

Seems those cheap nasty Orange Pi are lacking !

jernej
jernej
1 year ago

I’m not sure who did you hear talking about “near completion/just miss” and in what context. Definitively not for LibreELEC, because only now it has decent H264, HEVC and MPEG2 support (I did some work on top of Bootlin patches). If you mean old OpenELEC ports (2-3 years ago), then it was clear from the beginning that it has no future. But it was nice learning experience (what hardware supports and how to connect everything together). I didn’t know much about this topic at the time. BTW, mainline VPU drivers for AW, RK and AML are all work in progress… Read more »

slackstick
slackstick
1 year ago

With Chinese high end phone market struggling, I expect significantly lower RAM prices.

TheLinuxBug
1 year ago

It was done to bring H3Droid compatibility to some TV Boxes, I also have the Beelink X2 H3 device and have perfected it working as well. If you want a H3 based TV Box the best option by far, hands down, is the Beelink X2. It still runs hot but they give you ‘quality’ components (ram/etc) that at least run at the suggested speeds and seem to actually be QC checked. However, its getting quite hard to find the Beelink X2 anymore because of it actually being a decent box so the supply has mostly been purchased and it doesn’t… Read more »

tkaiser
tkaiser
1 year ago

> there is no reason to think this isn’t the identical H2+ device as was sold previously under Sunvell

If these things are leftovers from 1.5 years ago (I provided @tmunzer an Armbian image for the first garbage iteration in late 2017) then somebody must have opened the package boxes, connected the plastic boxes via USB/FEL mode to another host to flash Android 7 just to repackage the whole stuff again directly afterwards. And there should still be profit possible with such stunts?

Netomx
Netomx
1 year ago

Wait, what? H3droid is yours?!

manuti
1 year ago

The original Sunvell R69 can reach 1080p at 24Hz with kernel 4.19 in armbian 5.72. Search Suschman the Nerd Google Drive images on armbian forum ► https://forum.armbian.com/topic/4877-h2-sunvell-r69-android-tv-box-aliexpress/?page=8&tab=comments#comment-60773

TheLinuxBug
1 year ago

Only if you are very lucky and bought at the beginning of the batches where they supposedly used QC checked memory in the batch. Further batches, especially with the newer version of the unit with 2GB, in most cases have super crap RAM modules which can’t support the speeds needed to handle high rate video. I believe Tkaiser mentioned about this in a few of his posts already, so I won’t recap again. @tkaiser thanks for correcting me, but I do disagree that H3 isn’t usable at this point as a reasonable system. I for sure wouldn’t suggest the TV… Read more »

theyguyuk
theyguyuk
1 year ago

Buy cheap buy twice! Cheap nasty Orange Pi

Karl
Karl
1 year ago

Imo these types of boxes are good for certain projects. For example octoprint. If you get a raspberry pi power supply and SD card there is a considerable cost savings going this path.

theyguyuk
theyguyuk
1 year ago

Wechip main company site

http://www.wechipbox.com/

toz
toz
1 year ago

@tkaiser: love your post and technicaldetails and information.

BUT it would be good habit to mention also the alternative to your citics..
what is the better board/product in your opinion?
you may shorthand mention directly the board (and only addtionally linking to armbian-threads)?
i buy a better sbc for modern android and armbian. What is it?

thx,
(keep on comments, despite all other critics, i appreciate them)

tkaiser
tkaiser
1 year ago

> it would be good habit to mention also the alternative

The alternative to generating more e-waste? While I understand that blogs like this are required to use affiliate links I simply feel sad that people are encouraged to buy such garbage that will be thrown away shortly anyway.

The ‘buy cheap, buy twice’ principle has more than one downside…

toz
toz
1 year ago

you mean:
buy no SBC’s anymore? criticise this one here, means dont buy it?
(or which would you buy? is there any good one you would buy?)

Or do you recommend completely something else?
Good living is without commenting blogs ? Or take long time off-line? ;-))
your point is a bit miracoulous to me..

tkaiser
tkaiser
1 year ago

> buy no SBC’s anymore? Huh? It’s not about SBC here. It’s about a crappy TV box on sale in 2019. What does crappy mean? See @TheLinuxBug’s link above. The hardware is a problem in itself due to no voltage regulation and overall poor thermal design, Allwinner’s Android/kernel adds to this somewhat strange ‘throttling’ behavior since it will not throttle cores but simply kill them so you end up with a dual or even single core TV box in no time. AW hardware + AW software –> disaster. I tried to explain the ‘throttling’ problem few years ago telling partially… Read more »

toz
toz
1 year ago

like your exhausted explanation of details, as normal. really.
overall still reading as in the first post: what you _dont_ like.

besides your normal citicism, try to be positive, give it a try:
What (cheap,modern) SBC would you personaly buy – in early 2019?
a h6? nothing? spend money for holidays?
got the impression you dont wont come up with a risky recommendation?

among all other,
really thanks for the usual detailed and competently post.
i read them always completly.

theyguyuk
theyguyuk
1 year ago

What double standards, you spent years singing praise of Orange Pi cheap as cheap gets but with no software support from vendor. Now you use again ” Buy cheap buy twice !” .

Orange Pi which come from the land of recycled, refurbished and faked parts.

You are just cherry picking a opinion, as suites your mood.

theyguyuk
theyguyuk
1 year ago

Yesterday Monday, I did a search on Aliexpress and with some persistence managed to find two RK3229 1gb Android TV boxes for sales for $19.99 including p + p ( there is only 18hrs left of the sale ) . Also I know of no Linux for RK3229.

bee
bee
1 year ago

Hi….yeah …i was infact looking at the OCTA CORE boxes with AMlogic chips….that are just 20 odd dollars new….they indeed have a proper linux for them and a lovely media-center linux build also…plus the android 7.1 they arrive with. Youtube shows that the Android works relatively ok…..

https://www.cnx-software.com/2019/01/04/mecool-km8-p-octa-core-tv-box-promo/

The OS builds are listed below in the comments.

theyguyuk
theyguyuk
1 year ago
theyguyuk
theyguyuk
1 year ago

There are also two MXQ PRO s905w 1gb 8 GB ROM , TV boxes on Aliexpress on 20hrs left sale @ $20.50 and less inc p + p

Schmurtz
Schmurtz
1 year ago

It’s also an excellent retrogaming console thanks to retrorange distrib :
http://orangepi.club/showthread.php?tid=2497

theguyuk
theguyuk
1 year ago
theguyuk
theguyuk
1 year ago

Just how cheap can a R69 Allwinner H3 ( warning someone is selling a RK3229 in exact same case, colours and R69 badge ) go. Well now available for $16.72 ( £12 .97 ) inc p+p for next 19 hrs

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Android-7-1-tv-box-R69-smart-tv-box-1-GB-8-GB-Allwinner-H3-Quad/32983518598.html?

theguyuk
theguyuk
7 months ago
Advertisements