Power Consumption of Amlogic S812 and Rockchip RK3288 TV Boxes

The recent post comparing the power consumption of ODROID-C1 vs Raspberry Pi boards, as made me want to give another try at power consumption measurements. Regular reader already know I made a power measurement board and cables capable of hading different connectors (micro USB, mini USB, power barrels,  etc..), but eventually it failed to deliver enough current to the boards for any meaning testing. But since I now have a better power supply, and multi-meter, it was worth another try, especially since I could draw some pretty charts. I decided to test the three most popular Chinese SoCs for mini PCs namely Amlogic S812 (4x Cortex A9), Rockchip RK3288 (4x Cortex A17), and Allwinner A80 (4x Cortex A15 + 4x Cortex A7) using respectively Eny M8S, Open Hour Chameleon, and A80 OptimusBoard. If you are paying attention, you must have noticed Allwinner A80 is not part of the title, that […]

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 […]

Popcorn Hour VTEN Media Player Powered by Sigma Designs SMP8757 STB SoC Supports 4K, H.265 Codec

Cloud Media must have noticed the shortcomings of Rockchip SDK and RK3288 processor found in their Open Hour Chameleon box with pseudo 4K video playback and only partial audio pass-through capability, and the company have not given up on more traditional Linux based media players with a proven track record, as they’ve just announced Popcorn Hour VTEN featuring the latest Sigma Designs SMP8757 SoC with 4K video output. Popcorn Hour VTEN specifications: SoC – Sigma Designs SMP8757 ARM Cortex A9 processor @ 1.2 GHz with ARM Mali-400 GPU System Memory – 1024MB DDR3 Storage – 512MB SLC NAND Flash, 1x eSATA port, 1x SD card slot Video Output – HDMI Audio Output – HDMI, optical S/PDIF, and coaxial S/PDIF Video Containers – MPEG 1/2/4 Elementary, MPEG 1/2 PS, MPEG-2 TS, AVI, ASF, WMV, MKV, MOV (H.264), MP4, 3DMKV, BD-ISO, BDMV, 3D-BD Video Codecs – XViD SD/HD, MPEG-1, MPEG-2 [email protected], MPEG-4.2, […]

Review of Open Hour Chameleon Android Media Player

Open Hour Chameleon is yet another Rockchip RK3288 based Android TV box, but it comes with aluminum enclosure, and boots from SD card instead of internal storage like all other devices I’ve seen on the market so far. Cloud Media (previously Syabas) also have a long history of making Linux based media players based on Sigma Designs processor, and when I worked on IPTV products, we used their PopCorn Hour has comparison platforms. So we should probably expect some interesting customization and features from the company. I’ve already posted pictures of Chameleon box and its board, so today, I’ll focus on reporting my experience with Android 4.4, and later I may also try their Lubuntu image. First Boot, Settings and First Impressions Normally I quickly try the remote control, and get it out of the way. But this time, I’ve spent a little bit more time with the remote since […]

Antutu Video Tester Automatically Tests Video and Audio Codecs & Playback Quality in Android

When I read a review about MK808B Plus this morning, I noticed the reviewer used Antutu Video Tester to evaluate video/audio performance of the device. Somehow I had never noticed it, and Antutu developers claim it can not only check whether video or audio codec are supported, but the tool can also give an appraisal of video quality: AnTuTu Video Test is a professional tool for testing video playback capability of Android Smart TV, set-top boxes and other devices. It integrates a few featured videos and testing algorithms that can help users judge the playback performance of the devices clearly. AnTuTu video test can not only detect the video playback formats devices support, but also can test the playback quality of devices. So I decided to try it out on Open Hour Chameleon Android media player based on Rockchip RK3288 processor. The first test you click on Video Test will […]

Unboxing of Cloud Media Open Hour Chameleon Android Media Player

Cloud Media (previously Syabas) recently announced Open Hour Chameleon Android media player powered by Rockchip RK3288 processor. Compared to the many competing solutions based on Rockchip’s quad core Cortex A12/A17 processor, Open Hour comes with a metallic case to provide better casing, and instead of coming with internal NAND or eMMC flash, they provide a bootable SD card (Class 10) pre-loaded with Android 4.4.2, and they also have a preliminary Lubuntu image. They also recommend to use SPMC for video playback as “going forward, Rockchip will fully support SPMC instead of their custom Kodi”. Before writing the full review, I’ll show some pictures of the device, and take it apart to check out the hardware and their thermal dissipation solution. Open Hour Chameleon Unboxing I’ve received the box by Fedex in the following package. They list the key features on the top of the box namely RK3288, XBMC,  Android Kitkat, […]

Cloud Media OpenHour Chameleon Quad Core TV Box Boots Android or Linux from SD Card

Cloud Media, previously known  as Syabas, has been selling Popcorn Hour media players based on Linux for several years, but with OpenHour Chameleon the company is about to launch their first Android media player powered by Rockchip RK3288. The device is similar to other RK3288 TV boxes, except it does not come with internal storage at all, and instead boots Android 4.4.2 from a provided 8GB SD card, with later plans to have support for Linux operating systems such as Ubuntu. Another particularity is that they’ll use an aluminum casing for better heat dissipation of the Rockchip RK3288 processor which can get pretty hot… OpenHour Chameleon specifications: SoC –  Rockchip RK3288 quad core ARM Cortex A12 / A17 processor with ARM Mali-T764 quad-core 3D GPU supporting OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0/3.0, and OpenCL 1.1 System Memory – 2GB DDR3 Storage – No Internal storage + SD card slot with 8GB card (including […]

$79 STACK Box Home Automation / IoT Gateway Supports Wi-Fi, Ethernet, BLE, XBee, X10, Z-Wave and More (Crowdfunding)

Cloud Media (Syabas) is better known for their Linux based “Popcorn Hour” media players, and last year I reviewed their FreeOTT streaming media player powered by a Cavium ARM11 processor. The company is now entering the home automation market with the STACK Box (aka XuanBox) also powered by a Cavium ARM11 processor, and supporting various connectivity options to interface with popular smart “things” such as Belkin Wemo and Philips Hue, as well as a Raspberry Pi Bus (26-pin header) to support add-ons. STACK Box specifications: Processor – Cavium ARM11 processor @ 640 MHz (possibly Cavium CELESTIAL CNC1800L. TBC) System Memory – 256MB DDR3 Storage – 512 MB flash + SD card slot Connectivity 10/100M Ethernet Wi-Fi 802.11n with WPS Bluetooth LE 4.0 (included) Z-Wave (included) Dust Networks (extra module required) XBee  (extra module required) X10 (extra module required) Insteon (extra module required) RF433/315 (coming soon) EnOcean (coming soon) ZigBee(coming soon) DCLink(coming […]