Upcoming 4K HDMI Streaming Sticks – Chromecast Ultra and EZCast 4K

Google has been introducing several “MadebyGoogle” device including the latest Chromecast Ultra support 4K and HDR, but it’s not the only 4K HDMI dongle to stream videos from your phone that’s about to be release as EZCast sticks are also getting an upgrade with EZCast 4K dongle supporting 4K Miracast, DLNA, and EZCast own protocol. Chromecast Ultra Chromecast Ultra specifications: Connectivity – 802.11ac (2.4 GHz/5 GHz) WiFi, Ethernet port (on power adapter) Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K resolution, HDR support USB – 1x micro USB port for power and data Dimensions – 58.20 ⌀ x 13.7 mm Weight – 47 grams (device); 101 grams (power adapter) Chromecast Ultra ships with a power cable (2m) and a power adapter with an Ethernet port. The device can be used with devices and/or computers running Android 4.1 and higher, iOS 8.0 and higher, Mac OS X 10.9 and higher, Windows 7 and higher. It will start selling for $69 in …

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Review of Allo Vana Player Linux HiFi Audio System with Max2Play, SqueezeBox and Kodi

Last month I showcased what I called “Allo Sparky Audio Kit” with a DAC board (Piano), an amplifier board (Volt), and usually hard to find  reclocker and capacitance multiplier boards (Kali & CM), all connected to Allo Sparky ARM Linux development board powered by Actions Semi S500 quad core Cortex A9 processor, and running Ubuntu 12.04. In the first post, I just described the boards, and showed how to assemble the kit, but now that I have received the user’s manual, it turns out the kit is actually called “Vana Player” and the provided Ubuntu firmware image runs Max2Play Browser based system that’s also available for Raspberry Pi and ODROID boards. Before starting the kit, you’ll need to connect speakers to Piano DAC board and/or Kali board, as well as a 19.5V power source such as a laptop power supply to connect to the CM board. I connected some USB powered speakers to the headphone jack of Piano board, and …

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Allo Sparky Audio Kit Combines an ARM Linux Board with Amplifier, Audio DAC, Reclocker and Capacitance Multiplier Boards

Last year I wrote about Allo Sparky SBC Linux and Android development powered by Actions Semi S500 quad core Cortex A9 processor, which mostly differentiates itself from the competition by the many add-on boards for audio, VoIP, and IoT (WiFi+Bluetooth+Zigbee ). While most of development boards are manufactured in China, Allo company is based in India, and all boards are manufactured there, which could be a benefit to Indian readers who want to avoid potential custom issues with other boards. The company has shipped me their complete audio development kit, and I’ll first check out the hardware, before taking time to experiment with the kit in a few weeks or months… I could find 6 different boards in the kit, which I detailed below, as well as a 5V/3A power supply with AU and EU adapter,  a micro USB adapter, a micro SD card apparently pre-loaded with Ubuntu 12.04, a Quick Start Guide, and two Acrylic plates together with a …

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Minimal Ubuntu 16.04 Image for ODROID-C2, and C1/C1+ Boards, Ubuntu Core Image for Bubblegum-96 Board

If you’ve been wanting minimal Ubuntu distributions for your server, IoT, or other headless projects, there are some good news from Hardkernel with the release of a minimal Ubuntu 16.04 image for ODROID-C2 and ODROID-C1+ boards, and Canonical has recently announced Actions Semi S900 based BubbleGum-96 board was getting support for Ubuntu Core distribution. If you’re using an ODROID board you can download ubuntu64-16.04-minimal-odroid-c2-20160803.img.xz (196MB) firmware, which become 1.7 GB once uncompressed and flash it 2GB or greater micro SD card. After Raspberry Pi 2 and Samsung Artik 5/10, Bubblegum-96 is the third officially supported board that can run Ubuntu Core. You can download the 3.63GB beta image and instructions to flash it from an Ubuntu 16.04 machine on Mega. Bugglegum-96 is a 96boards compliant development board based on an quad core Cortex A53 processor with 2GB RAM and 8GB flash manufactured and sold by ucRobotics for $89. Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, …

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Chromium OS for SBC Aims to Turn Popular Development Boards into Chromeboxes

A team of developer has come together last December in order to provide Chromium OS, the open source project which Chrome OS is based on, to single board computers such as Raspberry Pi boards. So far, they’ve provided Chromium OS images for Raspberry Pi 2 & 3, but more boards should be supported in the future. The latest version 0.5 release is said to be usable, but WiFi, Netflix, and HTML5 video are not working. The installation procedure is standard. You simply need to download and uncompress the archive (e.g. SamKinison_v0.5_Pi3_16GB.tar.xz), and dump it on a micro SD card with Win32DiskImage or dd. They have released different images for Raspberry Pi 2 & 3, and different SD card sizes (2GB and 16GB). Chromium OS is using 12 partitions, so that may be why they don’t provide a single image and resize the file system during the first time. You can report issue on their forum or Reddit. The community has …

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$89 Bubblegum-96 96Boards Development Board is Powered by Actions Semi S900 64-Bit Processor with 2GB RAM

Bubblegum-96 development board was unveiled nearly a year ago, and finally the Actions Semi S900 quad core Cortex A53 board compliant with Linaro’s 96Boards specifications will soon go on sale for $89. Most 96Boards development boards take a while to come to market, likely due to the software requirements. uCRobotics Bubblegum-96 specifications: SoC – Actions Semi S900 quad core Cortex A53 @ up to 1.8 GHz with PowerVR G6230 GPU @ 600 MHz System Memory – 2GB LPDDR3 @ 800 MHz Storage – 8 GB eMMC 4.5 flash + micro SD v3.0 socket Video Output – HDMI 1.4 with HDCP up to 4K, MHL 2.1 up to 4K via USB connector Connectivity – Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 USB – 1x USB 2.0 port, 1x USB 3.0 port, 1x micro USB 2.0 port Expansion 40-pin LS (Low Speed) Expansion connector – UART, I2C, 12x GPIOs, SPI, PCM, 1.8V, +5V, GND… 64-pin HS (High Speed) Expansion connector – MIPI DSI, MIPI …

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Aceberry S500 is a $60 Actions Semi S500 Development Board Comprised of a Module and a Baseboard

For some hard-to-explain reasons, Actions Semi S500 processor seems to be a popular choice for makers of boards, although I don’t think it has really been a success with hobbyists and makers so far. After ActDuino S500, LeMaker Guitar, Lemon Pi, Allo SPARKY, and Roseapple Pi boards, here comes another S500 quad core Cortex A9 development board with Aceberry S500 that’s quite inspired by LeMaker Guitar as seen by its baseboard and module design. Aceberry S500 board preliminary specifications: SoC – Actions Semi S500 quad core Cortex A9r4 processor @ 1.6GHz with PowerVR SGX544 GPU @ 500 MHz Memory – 1 GB DDR3 Storage – 8GB eMMC or NAND flash (16 and 32GB optional), SPI NOR flash Video Output – HDMI, and LCD connector Audio – HDMI, headset jack, digital output (RCA). Video Codec – H.265 (HEVC) and Ultra HD (4K*2K) video playback. Encoding up to [email protected] Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 (Realtek RTL8723BS) USB …

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Linux Quick Start Guide for Roseapple Pi Board based on Actions Semi S500 Processor

Roseapple Pi is a development board powered by Actions Semi S500 processor with 2GB RAM, a USB 3.0 port and more, that is based on Actions Semi Bubblegum-S500 reference design also used by Lemon Pi board. The team behind the project sent me an early sample to try it out. I’ll take some pictures, before explaining how to install and setup Debian 8.1, and how to build and run your own minimal image from source. These instructions should also work for Lemon Pi and LeMaker Guitar boards. Roseapple Pi Photos I received the board in a bubble envelope with a thank you letter, and the board itself in an anti-static bag. No other accessories were provided. Ports, connectors, and headers from top left counter-clockwise: 4-pin UART console, two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, 10/100 Ethernet, a 40-pin Raspberry Pi comptabile header, a MIPI DSI connected, a micro USB port for power, HDMI output, AV output, and a MIPI …

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