Nvidia Shield Android TV vs Apple TV vs Roku 3 vs Fire TV vs Nexus Player – Video Capabilities and Features Comparison

Since Nvidia released the Shield Android TV box, I’ve heard several people saying Nvidia raised the bar and even disrupted the TV box market by bringing a powerful HTPC and gaming console to the market for just $199. The company has now released OTA 2.0 firmware that improves HTPC capabilities, including under Kodi and Plex, and the box supports for 10-bit HEVC, H.264, and VP9 @ 4K, and audio pass-through for HD audio codecs such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master. As part of the release announcement, Nvidia also compared the Shield TV media capabilities to the ones of other US centric media players, namely Apple TV (2015), Roku 3, Amazon Fire TV (2015), and Nexus Player. Since it comes from Nvidia, it was also going to show the Shield TV in a good light, but I’m very surprised to see that Apple, Amazon, Google, and Roku would ship a device without MPEG-2 support… Maybe most people just stream videos …

Infomir MAG Linux & Android Set-top-boxes Feature STMicro or Broadcom Processors, Support Open Source IPTV Solution

Infomir is a group of companies that specializes on the development, design, production and maintenance of equipment and client support for IPTV, OTT and VoD services, with offices in Ukraine and the US. They’ve been selling their Linux based MAG set-top-boxes based on STMicro STB SoC for a little while, and their upcoming model include either STMicro or Broadcom processor, and have support for “Stalker” open source IPTV middleware that allow their customers to setup their own IPTV services for thousands of clients. Their upcoming MAG products fit into three categories: Basic IPTV set-top boxes (no tuner) MAG257 – STMicro STiH301 single core Cortex A9 processor @ 1.5GHz with 512 MB RAM, 512MB storage, USB 2.0 & 3.0 ports, Ethernet, HDMI 1.4. The box runs Linux, and supports HEVC decoding up to 1080p. Hybrid set-top boxes MAG277 – STMicro STiH301 single core Cortex A9 processor @ 1.6GHz with 1 GB RAM, 512MB storage, USB 2.0 & 3.0 ports, Ethernet, HDMI …

Linux 4.2 Release – Main Changes, ARM and MIPS Architectures

Linus Torvalds released Linux Kernel 4.2 last Sunday: So judging by how little happened this week, it wouldn’t have been a mistake to release 4.2 last week after all, but hey, there’s certainly a few fixes here, and it’s not like delaying 4.2 for a week should have caused any problems either. So here it is, and the merge window for 4.3 is now open. I already have a few pending early pull requests, but as usual I’ll start processing them tomorrow and give the release some time to actually sit. The shortlog from rc8 is tiny, and appended. The patch is pretty tiny too. Go get it, Linus Some notable changes made to Linux 4.2 include: File systems New features for F2FS including per file encryption CIFS support SMB 3.1.1 (experimental) Cryptography – Jitter Entropy Random Number Generator, Chacha20 stream cipher and Poly1305 authentication (RFC7539),New RSA implementation. See lwn.net for details. AMD GPU driver added support for AMD “Tonga,” …

Raspberry Pi Model B+ Price Drops to $25

When Raspberry Pi 2 was launched, Raspberry Pi Model B+ kept getting sold for $35 despite the lower specifications, but a week later resellers started selling Model B+ for as low as $30 shipped. But the Raspberry Pi foundation now announced an official new price for Raspberry Pi Model B+, which now sells for just $25 on RS Components and MCM Electronics with other resellers to soon follow. This makes R-Pi Model B+ relevant again for applications that do not require the extra horse power or memory brought by R-Pi 2 quad core processor and 1GB RAM. Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011. http://www.cnx-software.com

Windows 10 IoT Preview for Raspberry Pi 2 and MinnowBoard Max

When Raspberry Pi 2 Model B was released, we were promised a Windows 10 image for the board, and today, Microsoft released “Windows 10 IoT Core Insider Preview” for both the Broadcom BCM2836 based Raspberry Pi 2 and Intel Atom E3800 series based Minnowboard MAX boards. To get started with either board, simply go to Windows IoT – Getting Started page. I’ll quickly go through the instructions for Raspberry Pi 2. Beside the board, you’ll also need a PC running Windows 10 Insider preview (Virtual machine not supported), a 5V power supply, a HDMI cable (optional but recommended), an Ethernet cable, and a 8GB micro SD card, class 10 or better. The you’ll need to configure a connect account, where I had to accept two EULA including “Windows 10 IoT Core Insider Preview EULA”, and once this is done the area of the page for EULA should just be blank, and you can go to the Download page where you’ll …

Tizen OS Ported to the Raspberry Pi 2

Tizen may not be overly used in devices, but there has been ports of the operating system on various ARM platform, mostly development boards, powered by Allwinner, Rockchip, Freescale SoCs, and more… Seeing the popularity of Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, Samsung Open Source Group decided to port Tizen to the latest version of the hobbyist board. The full instructions are rather long, and provided in the link above, but the main steps – using a Linux based computer – can be summarized as follows: Create a local copy of tizen-distro Add Raspberry Pi 2 BSP Meta repository Initialize the environment and modify some config files Start the build with Yocto: bitbake rpi-hwup-image. This should make a minimal headless? image Create an SD card image with tmp-glibc/deploy/images/raspberrypi2/rpi-hwup-image-raspberrypi2.rpi-sdimg using dd, an optional resize the parition with gparted or fdisk/resize2fs. Insert the SD card in to your Raspberry Pi 2, and have fun Don’t try to build the image on the Raspberry …

ARDHAT adds Arduino Shield Compatibility, an ISM Band Radio to Raspberry Pi and ODROID-C1 Boards (Crowdfunding)

NinjaBlocks created Pi Crust add-ons board adding a 433MHz radio and Arduino compatibility to the Raspberry Pi Model A & B a few years ago, but the product has since been removed from their store. But a startup called ubIQio has now created a similar product compatible with Raspberry Pi Model A+, B+ and B2, as well as ODROID-C1 which also comes with a 40-pin R-Pi header. The ARDHAT board is a HAT compatible add-on board with an Atmel MCU, Arduino headers, as well as an optional long range mesh ISM radio (433, 868 and 915 MHz) and various sensors. There are four versions of the board: Basic Ardhat, Ardhat-I, and Ardhat-W and Ultra, which share the following specifications: MCU – Atmel MCU @ 16MHz Headers and I/Os Arduino compatible header accepting 5V Arduino shields 12 ch PWM O/P, 6 ch analog I/P Real-time Clock Programmable Power/Navigation combo switch Programmable wakeup/watchdog ‘Zero CPU’ SmartLED driver Charge status & programmable LEDS …

Relative Performance of ARM Cortex-A 32-bit and 64-bit Cores

Many people assume newer processors will be faster, or that 64-bit processor will provide a performance boost compared to 32-bit processors, but the reality can be quite different, and I’ve decided to have a look at ARM Cortex-A cores using ARMv7 (32-bit) and ARMv8 (64-bit) architecture, and see what kind of integer performance you can expect from each at a given frequency. To do so, I’ve simply use DMIPS/Mhz (Dhrystone MIPS/Megahertz) values listed on Wikipedia. Drystone benchmark has no floating-point operating, so it’s a pure integer benchmark. I’m only looking at ARM core here, and once integrated in an SoC, other parameters like memory bandwidth, amount of cache,  GPU, etc.. will greatly affect the overall system performance. The figure above are per MHz, and it does not mean for example that a Cortex A5 processor will be slower than a Cortex A7 processor, as can be seen by the comparison between Amlogic S805 (4x Cortex A5) and Broadcom BCM2835 (4x …