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.
- 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.
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.