Getting Started with Orange Pi PC, Pi 2 and Pi Plus Development Boards

I’ve recently received a kit based on Orange Pi mini 2 development board powered by Allwinner H3 quad core processor, but contrary to most other devices or boards I reviewed, this one what sent to me by one of my reader (thanks Jon!) as for various reasons he did not need to get it shipped to him. Today, I’ll start by showing off the kit I received, before writing a quick start guide showing how to install a Debian, and build your own Linux image. The instructions will work for all Orange Pi Allwinner H3 boards, including Orange Pi 2, Orange Pi Plus, and the recently launched Orange Pi PC, which has been rather popular thanks to its low $15 price tag. Orange Pi mini 2 Board Kit and CSI Camera This is what I got in the package… The board with a regulatory compliance and safety information sheet, as well as a 5V/2A power supply, that was bought as …

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Orange Pi PC Allwinner H3 Board Is Now Available for $15

Orange Pi 2 is a board powered by Allwinner H3 quad core processor that sells for $25. Shenzhen Xunlong Software has now launched a lower cost version with Orange Pi PC, still based on Allwinner H3 SoC, but getting ridiculously cheap at $15 + shipping ($3.43 in my case). Orange Pi PC specifications: SoC – Allwinner H3 quad core Cortex A7 @ 1.6 GHz (likely 1.2 GHz instead) with an ARM Mali-400MP2 GPU up to 600 MHz System Memory – 1GB DDR3 Storage – micro SD card slot (up to 64GB) Video Output – HDMI with CEC and HDCP support, AV port Audio I/O – HDMI, AV port, on-board microphone Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet USB – 3x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port Camera – CSI Interface Expansions – 40-pin Raspberry Pi compatible header with 28 GPIOs, UART, I2C, SPI, PWM, CAN, I2S, SPDIF, LRADC, ADC, LINE-IN, FM-IN, and HP-IN Debugging – 3-pin UART header for serial …

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Zidoo X1 Android Firmware 1.0.7 Fixes Critical Kodi Playback Issues

I was quite disappointed when I wrote Zidoo X1 review, as Zidoo provided decent firmware with their Zidoo X9 recorder (albeit with some caveats), but Zidoo X1 with firmware 1.05 was a disaster while playing videos in Kodi either from the network or a USB hard drive, as even most H.264 videos could not play smoothly…  I recommended prospective buyers to skip the box for now, as Kodi was not acceptable when Zidoo’s ZDCodec hardware decoding implementation was enabled. But the developers have quickly worked to fix critical bugs in Kodi, and provided a test APK that indeed fixed H.265, H.264, and MPEG2 videos, and improved greatly 4K video playback in Kodi with ZDcodec implementation. Since then, they’ve also fixed some other playback issues for video using VC1 codec, and released firmware 1.0.7 with the following changes: Kodi Fixed choppy video problems with online videos, such as YouTube Fixed choppy video issues with some videos that are in samba and …

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How to Install and Run Linux on Zidoo X1 TV Box

Now that I’ve completed Zidoo X1 review, I’ve decided to try out Ubuntu on the mini PC following a tip from one reader that Orange Pi 2 images can run on the platform since it’s based on the same Allwinner H3 processor, but with some limitations such as WiFi not working. There are three Linux firmware images for Orange Pi 2 on the download page: Lubuntu, Raspbian, and Debian server. I decided to go with Lubuntu image. First you need to download Lubuntu_1404_For_OrangePi2-mini2_v0_8_0_.img.xz image from Google Drive or Baidu, uncompress it, and then flash the image to a Class 10 micro SD card in Windows or Linux. I ran the following command line in a computer running Ubuntu 14.04: Where X in sdX is the letter of your micro SD card, which you can find with lsblk. In some platforms, it might be /dev/mmcblkX instead of /dev/sdX. Once it’s done, insert the micro SD into Zidoo X1, connect a mouse …

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Zidoo X1 Android Media Player (Allwinner H3) Review

In theory, Allwinner H3 is supposed to be a better alternative to Amlogic S805 processor thanks to more powerful Cortex A7 cores, and support for 4K video output and playback, while Amlogic S805 only features four Cortex A5 cores, and support H.265 up to 1080p60 only. Zidoo X1 is one of the TV boxes recently released with H3 processor. If you’ve not read my two previous posts yet, you may want to check out Zidoo X1 specifications, as well as the unboxing and tear-down post. In this post, I’ll focus on testing performance, stability, and video playback capabilities with Kodi. First Boot, Settings and First Impressions I’ve connected an Ethernet cable, an HDMI cable, a USB hard drive, and a USB hub with a USB webcam, an two RF dongles for an air mouse and a wireless gamepad.  The box will boot automatically as you connect the power adapter. Boot takes just under one minute, which is fairly normal for …

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Cubieboard 5 (aka CubieTruck Plus) Development Board is Powered by Allwinner H8 SoC

Merrii unveiled H7 Hummingbird board based on Allwinner H8 octa core Cortex A7 processor a few days ago, but it turns out they’ve not been the only ones working on a board with that processor, as Cubietech also showcased prototypes of Cubieboard 5, which they also call CubieTruck Plus, around mid July. They’ve only shown pictures of the board, without much more information, but we can derive most specifications from the pictures: SoC – AllWinner H8 octa-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor @ up to 2.0GHz with PowerVR SGX544 GPU @ up to 700MHz System Memory – 2GB RAM (4x H5TQ4G63AFR-PCB DDR3 chips) Storage – FORESEE eMMC or NAND flash + micro SD card slot + SATA port (via GL830 USB 2.0 to SATA bridge) Video Output – HDMI and DisplayPort Audio – HDMI, optical S/PDIF, 3.5mm headphone jack, built-in microphone Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet (RTL8211E),  dual band WiFi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 (AP6330 module) USB – 1x USB 2.0 host …

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Zidoo X1 Android TV Box Unboxing and Teardown

Zidoo X1 is an Android media player powered by Allwinner H3 quad core processor with support for 4K videos up to 30Hz and H.265 / HEVC video codec. The company sent me one unit for review, and today I’ll start by unboxing and tearing down the device, before further testing to get the review posted in a few days. Zidoo X1 Unboxing I’ve received the package by (MY)DHL a few days after it was shipped. The package shows some of the main features like 4K and 3D support, H.265/HEVC codec, Kodi support, and ZIUI which must be the name given to Zidoo user interface. The box comes with an HDMI cable, a user’s manual in English, a warranty card, a 5V/2A power adapter, and a standard IR remote control with IR learning function for 5 keys: Vol +/-, power, AV/TV, and SET so that you can control your TV with a single remote control, in case HDMI CEC does not …

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$90 H7 Hummingbird Development Board Features Allwinner H8 Octa-core Processor

Allwinner announced Allwinner H8 octa-core Cortex A7 processor in Q4 2014, which targets game console and TV boxes,but since then I had not really heard about hardware based on this new SoC. Merrii Technology has now launched a development board powered by Allwinner H8, and confusingly called it H7 Hummingbird. H7 Hummingboard development board specifications: SoC – AllWinner H8 octa-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor @ up to 2.0GHz with PowerVR SGX544 GPU @ up to 700MHz System Memory – 1GB DDR3 Storage – 4GB eMMC flash + micro SD card slot or SD card slot (option) up to 32GB Video Output / Display I/F – HDMI up to 1080p, MIPI DSI connector, LCD  connector for RGB/CPU/LVDS LCD including a 6-pin header for backlight. Capacitive touch panel header Audio – HDMI, headset/microphone jack, audio speaker connector, Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet (Despite the processor support Gigabit Ethernet),  WiFi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 via optional AP6210 module USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, …

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