Mini PC Polls: Networking Connectivity, Video and Audio Outputs

It’s always interesting to find out how people use their devices, and I recently discovered Google+ support Polls as Droidmote posted a poll to find out whether people used Wi-Fi or Ethernet with their mini PCs, and I followed up with polls about video and audio outputs. Around 50 people have answered to each poll up to now, so even if it may not representative, let’s have a look at the results so far. About half of the people are connected via Ethernet, and the other half are using Wi-Fi after 43 votes. Wi-Fi is normally more convenient, but may not be as reliable, and for users playing high bitrate videos Ethernet is a must, unless you find buffering enjoyable…. After 58 votes, most people still connect their mini PC to a Full HD television via HDMI, with a few connecting it to a 4K UHD TV, and nobody using […]

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 […]

Unboxing of Nagrace HPH NT-V6 Android TV Box with HDMI In, Rockchip RK3288 Processor

Thanks to Nagrace Times Technology, I’ve got a new Rockchip RK3288 Android mini PC to play with. HPH NT-V6 model is higher end compared to the other ones I’ve received including Uyesee G1H, Kingnovel R6 and Orion R28 Meta, because it comes with 32GB eMMC, HDMI In, and a AP6335 Wi-Fi module providing 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity. I’ll start by listing the device specifications, take some pictures of the device and the board, and I’ll write a full review probably next week as I have some other hardware to test first. Nagrace NT-V6 specifications The company provides various memory and storage options for this product, and if Linux based operating systems such as Ubuntu or Chrome OS end up being properly supported on Rockchip RK3288, Nagrace NT-V6 could end up bring a very nice mini PC: SoC –  Rockchip RK3288 quad core ARM Cortex A12/A17 processor @ 1.8 GHz with ARM […]

HDMI to VGA Adapters Now Cost About $10

I remember when the Raspberry Pi first got out, many people wanted to connected it to a VGA display, and at the time, a cheap HDMI to VGA adapter would have cost $30, about the same price of the low-cost ARM11 board. Since then things have changed since it’s possible to find HDMI to VGA adapters for less than $10, and even less than $7 on Aliexpress. The one linked and pictured above has an HDMI male connector and a VGA female connector, and the following  features listed in buyincoins: Support 1080p and 720p. Built-in chipset. No external power required, power supply from HDMI signal. Don’t support audio output. Can use for connecting devices with VGA port to HDTV. HDMI – standard type A port male. VGA – VGA video port, female. The title seems to imply it’s an HDMI to VGA adapter, but the description tells you it’s for […]

Quick Review of YS-189 HDMI Switcher

Since I have quite a few devices with HDMI, and I got tired of getting behind the TV to plug or unplug the device, and sometimes I may want to cycle through them for testing, I bought an HDMI switch from Dealextreme for about $11. The device, called YS-189, features 1 HDMI output and 3 HDMI inputs so that you can connect 3 devices to one HDMI port of your TV. There’s also a 5V power jack, which is normally not needed, or so they say, and a small remote control (battery included!) with three buttons to switch between the inputs. First I’ll show a few pictures of the device, and talk about my experience connecting 3 Android mini PCs. Here’s the package with the black box and the remote. At the back there are more details about the device including specification and “user’s manual”. Now a picture of the […]

Always Innovating Unveils Open Source Android 4.0 HDMI Dongle STB

Always Innovating announced the “HDMI Dongle”, an open source portable STB that runs Android 4.0 on a Texas Instruments OMAP4 processor clocked between 1 and 1.8GHz with 256MB to 1GB of RAM, a microSD slot, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a remote control that provides NFC & accelerometers. The HDMI Dongle is a device of the size of a USB stick that can be plugged into any HDMI port to transform a any HDMI (and USB) capable TV into a smart TV. The USB port is used to power the device. The company says the HDMI Dongle is “technically compatible with GoogleTV”, which probably means it is not yet supported, but a software upgrade could enable Google TV for Android 4.0. The device provides a full-compatible Android experience and any application for this operating system can run on the dongle. The HDMI Dongle can stream and decode from the Internet 1080p H.264 […]

Roku Streaming Stick HDMI/MHL Dongle

Roku has unveiled the Roku Streaming Stick – an HDMI dongle about the size of a standard USB flash drive that will simply plug into a TV to instantly transform it into a Smart TV. It basically includes everything you’d find in a Roku player (built-in WiFi, processor, memory and software) and will deliver all the channels present on the Roku platform. It will be possible to use just one remote for the TV and for streaming and no cables or power adaptor are needed. Another advantage of the Roku stick, is that when it becomes outdated and the hardware needs to be upgraded to be able to take advantage of new software capabilities, it’s possible to simply purchase a new low cost Roku Streaming Stick (or another equivalent product) without having to replace the much more expensive TV. The Roku Streaming Stick will plug into MHL-enabled HDMI ports on […]

MHL (Mobile High Definition Link) Turns Your Phone into a Set-Top Box, Game Console and more

MHL (Mobile High Definition Link) was introduced at Mobile World Conference 2011, some progress has been done since then. For now Two HDTVs are MHL compliant: the Toshiba WL800A and the Samsung UN46D7000. The Toshiba TV already have a firmware upgrade that provides MHL support, a firmware upgrade will come later for the Samsung HDTV. MHL provides market disruptive features that such as the ability to charging MHL compliant phones and tablets, control them with the TV remote through one simple MHL connector (micro-USB to HDMI). In the demo below, they show the phone connected to the Toshiba WL800A and being controlled with the TV remote control to play videos (including trick modes: pause, ffwd, etc..), play Android games and use a web browser. Once you install Google TV 2.0 in your phone (you’ll probably need Android 4.0) or tablet, you can get a great TV experience via your mobile […]

EmbeddedTS embedded systems design