Unboxing of MXQ S85 Android Media Player Powered by Amlogic S805 Processor

Gearbest sent me MXQ S85 Android media player powered by Amlogic S805 quad core processor with 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage, and Ethernet/Wi-Fi/Bluetooth connectivity. MXQ S85 looks very similar to EM6Q-MXQ, another Amlogic S805 based Android STB, which I reviewed last week, but these are two distinct hardware platforms. Today, I’ll take some pictures of the devices, and the board to see which components are used, and who made the board, and I’ll write a full review in a few days. MXQ S85 Pictures I’ve received the parcel via DHL in the nameless package below where they just indicate it’s and Android TV box with a quad core processor, quad core GPU, pre-loaded with XBMC, and supporting HEVC / H.265 The package contains the box, HDMI and AV cables, an OTG adapter, a 5V/2A power supply, an IR remote requiring two AAA batteries, and a user’s manual in English. The […]

Review of Nagrace HPH NT-V6 Android Mini PC Powered by RK3288 with 4GB RAM, 32GB Internal Storage

Last week-end, I finally received TP-Link TL-WDR7500 router (Chinese variant of Arched C7) router, so I could complete my review of Nagrace HPH NT-V6 including 802.11ac Wi-Fi. I’ve already listed the specifications, and taken a few pictures of the device and the board, and today I’ll focus on the test results. I’ll start by giving my first impressions, going through the user interface and settings, before testing video playback, as well as benchmarking networking, storage and overall system performance, playing some games, and testing most hardware features of this mini PC. First Boot, Settings and First Impressions A simple infrared remote control is provided with the device, and I’ve quickly tried it by inserting two AAA batteries, and it works fine, but for the rest of testing I switched to Mele F10 Deluxe air mouse to control the device, as it’s much more user friendly than any IR remote. Before […]

MINIX NEO X6 H.265 Android Media Player is Available for Pre-order for $99

Android media players based on Amlogic S805 such as MXQ S85 or EM6Q-MXQ are currently available for $50 to $70, but MINIX NEO X6 has now been listed for pre-order on sites such as DealExtreme. Geekuying, Aliexpress, and Amazon USstarting at $99 including shipping, with some sellers providing an extra gift (SD card or flash drive). MINIX devices are usually a bit more expensive than other equivalent products, because of potentially better hardware, and the company provides regular firmware updates and a support forum. The specs remain the same as the initial announcement: SoC – Amlogic S805 quad core ARM Cortex A5 @ 1.5GHz with quad core Mali-450MP GPU System Memory – 1 GB DDR3L Storage – 8 GB eMMC + micro SD slot Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz) with external antenna, Bluetooth 4.0 Video Output – HDMI 1.4 up to 1080p with HDMI-CEC support Audio […]

MediaTek MT8127 SoC to Bring H.265 Video Support to Mid-Range Android Tablets

MediaTek has just announced MT8127, a quad core ARM Cortex A7 processor @ 1.5 GHz with Mali-450MP GPU, that provides hardware support for HEVC (H.265) video playback, and targets “super-mid” range Android tablets. HEVC/H.265 video codec will allow to half the required bandwidth and/or storage for a given quality compared to H.264, or to greatly improve quality at the same bitrate. The latest Mediatek processor will also support 1080p video playback and recording, and up to 13MP cameras, as well as  1920×1200 LCD screen display. As with other Mediatek SoCs,  a Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, FM receiver and GPS combo-chip can be coupled with MTK8127. The company also claims Miracast and NFC support. The first tablets to integrate this solution will be ALCATEL ONETOUCH PIXI 7 and Cube U25GT, as well as ALCATEL ONETOUCH PIXI 8, which will be launched later this year. Via Liliputing Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)Jean-Luc started CNX Software […]

New ARM Set-Top Box SoCs – Sigma Designs SMP8734 / SMP8756, STMicro STiH312 / StiH412, and Entropic EN7310 (Videos)

Broadcom and STMicro has the two companies that dominate the set-top box SoC market with respectively 44.7% and 34% market share by revenue in 2012, followed by Ali, a distant third at 6.9%. Other companies include Entropic, who has acquired Trident Systems, (4.4%) and Sigma Designs (1.4%) which has suffered in recent years. MIPS was the predominant architecture in the STB SoC market, but with the advent of Android, most companies have announced ARM based STB SoC for better compatibility with Android apps. TV Connect 2014, an event gathering stokeholder involved in Connected TV such as STB manufacturers, content providers, and SoC vendors, took place on March 18-20 in London, and Charbax, armdevices.net, interviewed three companies who promoted their latest ARM based STB SoCs: Sigma Designs with their SMP5734 & SMP8756/58 SoCs featuring single or dual cores Cortex A9 and a Mali-400 GPU STMicro with their STiH312 Cannes and STiH412 Monaco […]

BrightSign 4K Digital Signage Player Delivers 4K 10-bit HEVC Video Playback at 60 fps via HDMI 2.0

When you buy a media player advertized as supporting 4K (aka 2160p, 4K2K, or UHD), you have to read the fine print to find out what you really get. First on the market were media players capable of decoding 4K videos put outputting to 1080p60 maximum such as Mele M9, then we’ve been shown some media players such as Geniatech ATV1800, decoding 4K video using 2160p resolution (3840×2160) as expected, but with a framerate limited to 24 fps or 30 fps due to limitation of HDMI 1.4. However, if you want to experience 4K video with the maximum framerate (60 fps) or “True 4K”, you’ll need a player and a TV support HDMI 2.0 standard. There are not many players currently supporting 4K @ 60fps, but BrightSign 4K digital signage media player is one of them, and it also happens to support  HEVC/H.265 video codec. The company did not disclose […]

Play HEVC/H.265 Videos and Embed HEVC Streams into MP4 and TS Files with openHEVC and GPAC

I wrote an introduction to H.265 (aka HEVC) at the end of last year, including instructions showing how to encode videos to HEVC using the reference implementation. It worked but since it was not optimized for speed, it was extremely slow. Today I’ve stumbled across openHEVC, a open source compliant HEVC video decoder written in C, created as a fork of Libav. This is supposed to work pretty well as the implementation was used at Roland Garros Tennis tournament to playback an 720p50 HEVC stream transmitted over DVB-T2, IPTV, and MPEG DASH. Today I’ll mainly tried out the instructions provided on openHEVC github repo including: Build the source and playing a raw HEVC stream with hevc utility Build GPAC (open source multimedia framework), to get MP4Box, mp42ts, and MP4Client utilities. Import a raw HEVC stream into MP4 and TS containers, and play it back with GPAC tools. I’ve performed the […]

Xiph Daala Codec Aims to Better H.265/HEVC Video Codec

H.265 (aka HEVC) video codec will eventually supplement H.264 over the years as it offers better compression at the same bitrate, or better quality for the same compression ratio. There’s a already some experimental implementation that allows to (slowly) decode and encode H.265 on your PC, as well as some HEVC implementations optimized for ARM SoCs. At least two other codecs aim to compete against, and better, HEVC: Google VP9, and Daala codec (temporary codename) developed by Xiph.org, the open source community that brought Vorbis or Theora open source codecs to the world. The Xiph developers explains that next generation codecs such as VP9 and HEVC are incremental improvement of codec designs using DCT (Discrete Cosine Transform) that have been used for years, and they’ve decided to take a new approach with lapped transforms, a technique that is also used in audio codecs such as MP3 and Vorbis. Lots of […]

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