Google ADT-4 could be a hybrid Android TV developer Kit with ATSC 3.0 and DVB-S2 TV tuners

Google is allegedly about to release the ADT-4 hybrid developer kit for Android TV based on Amlogic S905X4 processor with AV1 video support, as well as ATSC 3.0 and DVB-S2 tuners.

Launched in January 2020, the Google ADT-3 developer box allows developers to test their app on the latest version of the Android TV OS as soon as it is released. But 9to5Google reports the devkit has been out of stock for several months, will be deprecated, and they’ve read some documentation about an ADT-4 Hybrid Developer Kit that should replace it by the end of the year or early next year with digital TV tuners.

Google ADT-4

The documentation is private/confidential, but 9to5Google says the device looks to the DroidLogic’s Amlogic S905X4 Developer Box with the following specifications:

  • SoC – Amlogic S905X4 quad-core Cortex-A55 processor @ 2.0 GHz with Arm Mali-G31 MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR4
  • Storage – 16GB eMMC flash, MicroSD card socket
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.1 up to 4Kp60 with CEC, HDR, and HDCP 2.2 support; CVBS (composite video)
  • Video Decoding
    • AV1 MP-10 L5.1 up to 4Kx2K @ 60fps
    • VP9 Profile-2 up to 4Kx2K @ 60fps
    • H.265 HEVC MP-10 @ L5.1 up to 4Kx2K @ 60fps
    • AVS2-P2 Profile up to 4Kx2K @ 60fps
    • H.264 AVC HP @ L5.1 up to 4Kx2K @ 30fps
    • H.264 MVC up to 1080p60
    • MPEG-4 ASP @ L5 up to 1080p60 (ISO-14496)
    • WMV/VC-1 SP/MP/AP up to 1080p60
    • AVS-P16(AVS+) /AVS-P2 JiZhun Profile up to 1080p60
    • MPEG-2 MP/HL up to 1080p60 (ISO-13818)
    • MPEG-1 MP/HL up to 1080p60 (ISO-11172)
    • RealVideo 8/9/10 up to 1080p60
    • HDR – HDR10/10+, HLG, Dolby Vision, TCH PRIME
  • Tuner
    • 2x TS in, ISO7816 DVB-S2, DVB-T/T2/C, ATSC-T
    • Two options:
      • DVB-S2 + ATSC 3.0
      • DVB-S2 + DVB-T2/C
  • Audio – Stereo DACs, S/PDIF out, 2-mic array, built-in speaker
  • Connectivity
    • 10/100M Ethernet
    • Dual-band 802.11b/g/n/a/ac Wi-Fi 5 2T2R MIMO
    • Bluetooth 5.0
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port, 1x USB-C port, 1x Micro USB console port
  • DRM – Widevine, PlayReady
  • Misc – Touch buttons, reset pinhole, various LEDs, microphones on/off switch
  • Power Supply – 12V DC

Google ADT-4 specifications

The specifications from the DroidLogic’s developer box changes a bit since we first wrote about it in 2020, with a higher capacity flash (16GB vs 8GB), the addition of a MicroSD card socket and microphone switch, and a slightly different port arrangement, but otherwise, it’s pretty similar. One of our readers and Android TV box developer Stane1983 had a pretty poor experience with the company when he purchased the kit a while ago, but this should probably not be relevant anymore if Google makes it an official Android TV devkit.

That’s still just a rumor, but credence can be given to the leak as 9to5Google notes there’s an “adt4” board in the source code for Android TV and uboot source code init for ADT4 with more references to the S905X4 processor.  You should not expect a massive gain of performance switching from the Google ADT-3 with Amlogic S905Y2 quad-core Cortex-A53 CPU to the Google ADT-4, but the main benefits will be support for 4K AV1 video decoding, smart audio features with the built-in microphone and speaker, and of course the additional digital TV tuners.

DroidLogic sells two versions of the Amlogic S905X4 developer kit, one with a DVB-S2 + ATSC 3.0 tuner combo, and another with a DVB-S2 + DVB-T2/C tuner combo, and it’s not unclear whether Google ADT-4 will be offered in two versions as well to cater to different markets. DroidLogic sells it for $199, but I’d expect the Google ADT-4 to be priced lower. Considering the similar Mecool KT1 with S905X4 and a DVB-T2 tuner is currently selling for $79.99, and the earlier $79 price tag for the ADT-3, the Google ADT-4 hybrid developer kit could go for $129 to $149.

Thanks to TLS for the tip.

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12 Replies to “Google ADT-4 could be a hybrid Android TV developer Kit with ATSC 3.0 and DVB-S2 TV tuners”

  1. ATSC 3.0 in america uses dolby AC-4 so i presume this will be able to decode that which is nice as ffmpeg doesn’t currently support it.

  2. It’s interesting that they support DVB-S2 on the ATSC model as there’s nowhere I can tell that they’re used together. Maybe it’s a hardware limitation where they *have* to have the DVB-S2 decoder and only the other one is changable.

    As a ham, I’d love to see if that tuner has a direct sampling mode. 🙂 That would make these boxes–especially in the secondary market–much more useful. Given how much use the RTL USB dongles have been to the hobby, an all-in-one SDR box would be great.

    Separately, I find the choice of CPU a bit odd. Going from a quad A53 to quad A55 is a nice performance increase (especially for NEON and other operations), but that still not a lot of CPU for an Android box. Has Google done a better job of optimizing and threading things on Android TV than on the main OS? Because a quad A55 phone or tablet would be considered slow.

    Glad to see full spec AV1!

    1. I think ATSC and DVB-S2 overlaps at least in S. Korea. DirectTV in the US does use DVB-S2, but it’s apparently “modified” in some ways? I’m not really sure about the details.

    2. My understanding is that it gives the user the ability to watch satellite TV (DVB-S2) or digital terrestrial TV (ATSC or DVB-T2/C).

      1. I would undetstand that if we were in the footprint of any of the European or Asian satallites, but we’re pretty far away. In the past we could see some if we aim near the horizon, but satallites have gotten better antennas and don’t waste power off the sides as much as they used to. But Erik makes a good point, if S. Korea uses both, then that’s certainly a big enough market to make it make sense.

          1. Most of the video comes from satallites in GEO. Those satallites are far enough away that they tend to use pretty high gain antennas to have a strong signal. The consequence of that is they have a smaller beam size, so they don’t cover all of the earth that they can see. So, it may be possible for someone in NA to see a European or Asian satallite if we aim near the horizon, we’d need a very large dish to get enough signal to decode anything useful.

            You know, I don’t know what if any broadcast digital TV there is in NA or SA. I guess it’s possible that it’s using a global standard, but that would be a first, so I just assume we did something different *just because*.

  3. Why did they not work with Amlogic to get a S905X4, S922X with the same feature set and Google support for previous and forward going Android TV OS, budget tablet OS.

    Only really high end TVs might one day get a RK3588 variant, more likely a RK3566, RK3568 variant.

    IMO the TV OS and Android Box market will merge, leaving the Chinese hacked tablet OS TV box market.

  4. European satellites are all switching to DVB-S2X whitch enable much more channels on a single transponder, so reducing drasticly the broadcasting cost. So I think they will upgrade this tuner soon, even maybe before 🙂

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