4K Output and Video Playback Capability Tested on 6 ARM based mini PCs and Boards

Since I’ve now got a 4K TV, I’ve decided to test 4K support for six different platforms based on Rockchip, Allwinner, Amlogic, Realtek, HiSilicon, and Mstar processors. For all these platforms I’ll report HDMI 4K output options, user interface resolution, and take close up pictures of the screen while displaying a 4K 1×1 grid picture and video with the image players, and video players such as MX Player or XBMC depending which are available in the firmware. Test Setup and Procedure I’m using LG 42UB820T 42″ UltraHD television with an HDMI cable connected to HDMI 1 port of the TV. Please note that my TV only support 8-bit color depth / YCbCr 4:2:0 which may cause compatibility issues with some boxes, at least the ones based on RK3288 processor, for 2160p 50Hz or 60Hz mode. I’ll take close-up pictures of the screen with a Canon PowerShot A2300HD camera by holding it with my hand (i.e. no tripod). This is important, …

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Best Android Mini PCs Awards of 2014

I’ve reviewed quite a few Android media players this year, and as 2014 comes to an end, I thought it might be worth writing a best of 2014. But it’s difficult to announce an overall winner since all have some flaws one way or another, I’ll classified by categories: Best Ethernet, Best Internal Storage, … a bit like for “Oscars ceremony awards, based mostly on objective results from my tests. However, and somewhat oddly for a media player, I won’t select any TV boxes based on their video playback capabilities, as so far I haven’t found one that can play most 4K / H.265 videos reasonably well in Kodi, and video playback tests are also subjective. This is obviously a flawed contest as they all are, because in order to be nominated, the media player must have been reviewed on CNX Software. But it should be fun anyway, so let’s get started. Best Ethernet Performance – Tronsmart Orion R28 Meta …

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Review of Realtek RTD1195 Based M-195 Android Media Player

M-195 is one of the new low cost Android media players based on Realtek RTD1195 processor featuring two Cortex A7 cores, and a Mali-400MP2 GPU, but providing high speed interface like USB 3.0, and Gigabit Ethernet, as well as 4K video decoding and output, including the latest H.265 / HEVC video codec. So before testing, I was expecting the box to be mainly interesting as a media player, and even maybe NAS, as Android performance for other tasks would be similar to Allwinner A20. I’ll already taken pictures of M-195 and its “902” board, so today we’ll find out how the device performs. First Boot, Settings and First Impressions I’ve used both the provided IR remote control, and Mele F10 Deluxe air mouse in this review, simply because I needed to press the Home button to come back to the Launcher from time to time, and the Home button on my air mouse is not mapped to the actual home …

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Unboxing of M-195 TV Box Powered by Realtek RTD1195 Processor

Realtek RTD1195 is a dual core Cortex A7 processor with a Mali-400 GPU, supporting fast interfaces such as USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet, and SATA, as well 4K video decoding (including H.265) and output, and HDMI input. Despite all these features, it can be found in ultra low cost Android media players, so I was eager to find out if it’s as good as it looks on paper.  Thanks to GeekBuying which sent me M-195 TV box, I’ll soon be able to find out. Today, I’ll list the technical specifications of the device, and take pictures of the device and the board, before doing a full test early next month. M-195 specifications Hardware specifications as listed in the user’s manual and GeekBuying: SoC – Realtek RTD1195 dual core ARM Cortex A7 processor @ 1.3 GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU System Memory – 1 GB DDR3 Storage – 8 GB eMMC  + SD card slot Video Output / Input  – HDMI 1.4b out …

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How to Flash Firmware to Realtek RTD1195 Media Players

Android TV boxes based on Realtek RTD1195 SoC are cheap (about $60), with a relatively slow dual core Cortex A7 processor, but include fast interfaces such as USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet, and sometimes SATA, and are said to be very good at playing videos. After several months of development since they’ve first been spotted, RTD1195 media player are finally shipping. One of the models is M-195, which had its firmware recently released, and can be downloaded from copy.com, filefactory, mediafire, or solidfiles servers. This firmware is based on Android KitKat 4.4.2, with build number rtk-phonenix-eng 4.4 krt160 eng.ton.20141024.094201. Firmware update is pretty easy, and is operating system agnostic, since all you need to do is to basically copy the firmware file to a USB flash drive. A PC is not even necessary, as you can download the file and extract it directly from the mini PC itself. The same procedure should work with all RTD1195 media players. Extract M-195 RTD …

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SPMC 13.3.3 Release Adds H.265 Video Playback and Android TV Support

SPMC (Semper Media Center) is a fork of XBMC for Android with some modifications, that you can easily install from Google Play or Amazon AppStore. The latest version is particularly interested as it adds H.265/HEVC codec support for platforms such as Rockchip RK3288, and Amlogic S805/S812, and other SoCs making use of MediaCodec API and libstagefright should also work, including Realtek RTD1195 and Hisilicon K3V2. This version is also the first to support Android TV based on Android 5.0 Lollipop. SMPC 13.3.3 Changelog: Preliminary support for h265 (including RK3288) Preliminary support for Android TV Allow sleep and Daydream to kick in (e.g. on Amazon Fire TV) Add setting to scrape all videos, even if they failed Add “sd” & “hd” to the advanced settings of libstagefright (and mediacodec) for fine tuning Allow fullscreen on Jelly Bean Hide irrelevant video & audio settings Another possible fix for start crash Make the “no launcher” version default There’s also SPMC launcher version (APK), …

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$60 EC-U6D Android Media Player Powered by Realtek RTD1195 Supports 4K/HEVC, USB 3.0 and Gigabit Ethernet

RTD1195 is only a dual core Cortex A9 A7 processor, but supports high speed interfaces like USB 3.0 and Gigabit Ethernet, as well as 4K/H.265 hardware decoding, and Realtek has a long history with set-top boxes, so video playback might be better than some other platforms, such as the ones based on Rockchip processors. Egreat and Mele are both working on Realtek RTD1195 based Android media players, but none of the models from these two companies are available yet. EC Tech has listed their EC-U6D Android TV box on Aliexpress for $59.99 including shipping, so it competes on price with Amlogic S805 TV boxes powered by a quad core Cortex A5 processor, with H.265 hardware decoding, but that only support Fast Ethernet (for now), 1080p video output and decoding, and USB 2.0. EC-U6D specifications: SoC – Realtek RTD1195 dual core ARM Cortex A9 A7 processor @ 1.4 GHz with Mali-400MP GPU System Memory – 1 GB DDR3 Storage – 8 …

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Upcoming MeLe and Egreat A-Series 4K Android Media Players to Feature Realtek RTD1195 SoC

AndroidPC.es has reported that Mele is preparing to launch a new set-top boxes based on Realtek RTD1195 STB SoC with a dual core ARM Cortex A7 (or A9) and a Mali GPU (TBC), and Egreat will also launch their A-Series STB based on the same SoC according to a video by charbax which also features older Realtek and Rockchip Android TV Boxes, and an RK3188 based game console (Egreat K3). RTD1195 supports 4K, H.265 video decoding, and products usually come with USB 3.0 and Gigabit Ethernet ports, and in some cases, even a SATA drive bay. Here are the preliminary specifications from the the upcoming (and unnamed) Mele boxes: SoC – Realtek RTD1195 dual core ARM Cortex A7/A9 @ 1.2GHz with Mali-400 GPU (TBC) System Memory – 1GB DDR3  Storage – 4GB flash (8GB optional), internal bays for 2.5″ or 3.5″ SATA drives up to 3TB Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n WiFi, and Bluetooth 4.0. USB – Support USB 3.0  Digital TV – Optional …

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