Testing Hercules OTT Realtek RTD1395 4K Android STB Development Board

This is a guest post by Promwad, a software and hardware product development company with DTV & STB development expertise and know-how. Recently, they received a package from Realtek, their partner in Taiwan. There was a Realtek RTD1395 development board inside – Hercules 32-bit OTT – with 2 GB RAM and pre-installed Android 9 OS. Promwad team tested what it’s capable of and how it can be used by hardware and software engineers who design new TV set-top boxes and develop embedded software. Hercules OTT board is an Android IPTV box that plays videos of any formats with a maximum resolution of 4K. Streaming services such as Youtube, Netflix, etc. are supported via Dash and HLS. Also, the board supports other Android apps, including audio/video calls and conferencing. Realtek introduced RTD1395-based boards back in 2018. IP and cable TV operators used them in their subscriber devices. The RTD1395 chip with four ARM Cortex-A53 cores and the Mali-470 graphical processor was […]

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Review of FamiSafe Phone Tracking & Parental Control App (Sponsored)

CNXSoft here. I’ve been tasked with reviewing Famisafe parental control app for Android and iOS acting both as a parental control app and phone tracker app and designed for parents who want to track their kids’ location and better control when to use the phone and what content they may access. The first thing to get started is to download the free trial on either Android or iOS. I actually downloaded both versions for FamiSafe for this review, since I used Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 (Android 10) as the “parent” smartphone, and an iPhone 6 as the “kid” phone. Famisafe Initial Configuration We’ll have to start with the “parent” phone. After a welcome screen explaining some of the main features including offensive content detection, device & app usage rules, web filter, etc.. you’ll be asked to select whether it’s the parent or kid device. Once we select “Parent” we’ll be shown the differences between the Free and Premium version. The […]

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Perfetto Profiler Now Supports Mali GPU Hardware Counters via Panfrost

Perfetto is an open-source system profiler, app tracer, and trace analyzer for Linux, Android & Chrome platforms, and user-space apps. The program can already visualize CPU and memory usage, as well as power consumption.  GPU support is more limited with the program only capable of sampling the GPU frequency when the driver outputs that information via ftrace. When Perfetto is also extendable thanks to a Tracing C++ SDK that “allows userspace applications to emit trace events and add more app-specific context to a Perfetto trace”. Collabora made use of the tracing SDK to add support for Mali Midgard GPU performance profiling in gfx-pps project using the Mali GPU hardware counters exposed via Panfrost open-source Mali GPU driver. After following the installation instructions, you’ll be able to run the following executables for tracing and profiling: tracedtracing service. traced_probes OS probes service. perfetto command-line tool for recording traces. producer-gpuproviding the Panfrost data source. There’s also gpu.cfgconfig file to feed as input to […]

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NanoPi NEO3 and NanoPi R2S Gateways Review – Part 1: Unboxing & Teardown

This morning I received a message from DHL informing me of an incoming package from Hong Kong and sent by a company (i.e. an agent) I had never heard of. My first reaction was “Ah” shortly followed by “Why?!”. But in any case, I’ve just received the package, and after tearing the plastic out, I found a FriendlyELEC branded package. So I thought to myself it must be a NanoPi board for review. Wrong! I actually got two NanoPi “boards” namely NanoPi NEO3 with 2GB RAM, and NanoPi R2S both of which are Rockchip RK3328 powered SBC’s designed for Linux headless applications. Unboxing After opening both packages, I realized I did not get the SBC versions, but instead the complete gateways with their respective enclosure. NEO3 is really light since the case is in plastic, while R2S is a bit heavier due to the metal case.  NanoPi NEO3 gateway comes with Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0 as well as a […]

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ODYSSEY-X86J4105 SBC Review with Ubuntu 20.04 – Raspberry Pi & Arduino Headers Tested

We’ve already reviewed ODYSSEY-X86J4105 SBC with Windows 10. When combined with Re_Computer enclosure it’s a typical Intel Gemini Lake mini PC but with a twist: Arduino and Raspberry Pi header. The latter works fine in Windows, but at the time, the Raspberry Pi header does not. So Linux is our only option. I’ve now had time to install and test Ubuntu 20.04 on ODYSSEY-X86J4105 single board computer. I did not install Ubuntu on the internal eMMC flash where Windows 10 resides, but instead on a 128GB M.2 SATA SSD. I’ll first run some usual command to check system information, then run benchmarks, and check whether all features are working before focusing the review on the Arduino and Raspberry Pi headers. ODYSSEY-X86J4105 Ubuntu 20.04 System Info We can check some of the information from the system in the terminal: An Intel Celeron J4105 processor with 8GB RAM and the rootfs on a 127GB partition looks good to me. Features Testing Most […]

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AMD Ryzen Embedded SBC Review with Ubuntu 20.04

Last June, we reviewed DFI GHF51 Ryzen Embedded R1606G SBC with Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC. We had to send back the board to Taiwan, as the company wanted to double-check some of the issues we reported, and we got the board to review it with Ubuntu 20.04. So I downloaded Ubuntu 20.04.1 ISO flashed it to a USB flash drive, and could install it on the eMMC flash drive without issue. I selected to keep Windows 10, so I have a dual-boot system on a 32GB eMMC flash. Yes, I do like a challenge! 🙂 DFI GHF51 Ubuntu 20.04 System Info We can check some of the information from the system in the terminal: So I have a 7.9GB partition to play with Ubuntu 20.04.1, but I could do all tests without issues, although I had to remove Phoronix benchmark program and data after completing the benchmark. Features Testing There may also be some issues with drivers, so I tested […]

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Beelink GT-R Review – An AMD Ryzen 5 Mini PC Tested with Windows 10 and Ubuntu 20.04

Whilst Windows mini PCs have traditionally used Intel processors similar small form factor (SFF) devices using AMD based processors have recently been announced and Beelink is amongst the first manufacturers to deliver one with their newly released GT-R mini PC. Available as a barebones device and in various configurations Beelink sent a fully configured model for review. Hardware overview The Beelink GT-R is a slightly larger mini PC physically consisting of a 168 mm x 120 mm x 39 mm (6.61 x 4.72 x 1.54 inches) rectangular metal case with a plastic top. It is an actively cooled mini PC that uses a (previous generation) Zen+ microarchitecture 12 nm Ryzen 5 3550H mobile processor which is a quad-core 8-thread 2.1 GHz processor boosting to 3.7 GHz with Radeon Vega 8 Graphics. The front panel has a power button, two 3.0 USB ports, a headphone jack, and a Type-C USB port that supports video. Also on the front panel is an […]

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CrowPi2 Raspberry Pi 4 Learning Kit Review – Part 1 – Unboxing and First Boot

Last month, we wrote about Elecrow introducing CrowPi2 Raspberry Pi 4 laptop and electronics learning kit for its launch on Kickstarter crowdfunding website. The company has now sent one of its kits to CNX Software for evaluation and review. I’ll start by checking out the content of the package, and boot it up, before publishing a more detailed review in a few weeks. The package is fairly big and highlights it’s made for kids over 8 years old with close to 100 course resources and over 20 electronics modules. The back of the package list the main features and package contents with for example a 11.6″ Full HD display, Raspberry Pi 4 4GB board running a customized (Linux) system or Retropie for game emulation, electronics components and modules like servos and motors, as well as some resources for gaming including two USB gamepads. The first things we get when opening the package are some “Minecraft carton papers” and the user […]

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