Open Hour Chameleon RK3288 TV Box Gets (Partial) DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD HDMI Pass-through Support

People owning AV receivers capable of outputting 7.1 channels or more have had a hard time finding Android TV boxes that supports HD audio pass-through via HDMI. Many devices can pass through 5.1 codec like DTS or Dolby Digital (AC3 / E-AC3), but so far, none of the boxes I’ve tried could manage content with DTS-HD (MA / HR) and Dolby TrueHD with 8 channels properly. The one that came close was Zidoo X9 with support for Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and 7.1, but it downmixes 7.1 channels to 5.1 channels. So the only cost effective options to get proper 7.1 channel pass-through were Intel based mini PCs running Linux such as Asus Chromebox M004U or Intel NUCs. But recently, I’ve seen some progress. For example, yesterday Cloud Media released a new firmware for their Open Hour Chameleon media player based on Rockchip RK3288 processor. Their Android 4.4.2 firmware (version 1.0.23) […]

How to Easily Install Popular Add-ons in Kodi

You can use Kodi to watch videos locally, but various add-ons can be installed to also access videos online, but finding and installing add-ons might be a pain if you don’t know where to start. TVaddons.co, previously known as XBMCHUB, is providing add-ons allowing to do just that, more or less legally [Update: You may want to read comments for details about the legality of these add-ons], as well as a method to install a bunch of popular add-ons in a few clicks. These add-ons are completely unrelated to Kodi project, and have been developed and maintained by third parties. The installation requires Fusion Installer and Config Wizard with detailed instructions available there with every screenshot, which makes it more complicated than it really is, but it can be summarized as follows: Go to System->File Manager, and click Add source You’ll get the following pop-up window, where you need to […]

Mygica ATV1900AC Quad Core Media Player Runs Android 5.0 Lollipop

Geniatech has launched a new Amlogic S812 quad core media player that should be one of the very first to run the full version of Android 5.0. It comes with 2GB RAM, 16GB internal flash and fast connectivity options with a Gigabit Ethernet port and 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO. Mygica ATV1900AC specifications: SoC – Amlogic S812 quad core cortex A9r4 @ 2 GHz with Mali-450MP6 GPU System Memory – 2GB DDR3 Storage – 16GB  eMMC flash + micro SD card reader Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi 2T2R Video Output – HDMI 1.4 Audio Output – HDMI, optical S/PDIF Video Codec – H.265 up to 4K2K, H.264, etc… USB – 4x USB 2.0 host ports Misc – IR receiver, reset pinhole, power button, network and power LEDs Power Supply – 5V/2A Dimensions – 168 x 132 x 21 mm Weight – 300 grams. The Android 5.0 Lollipop firmware will […]

Kodi 14.2 Linux Tested on MeLE PCG03 with Ubuntu 15.04

I’ve already tested Kodi 14.1 on MeLE PCG03 running Windows 8.1, with the Intel Atom Z3735F device performing greatly for 1080p videos, working DTS and Dolby pass-through (no HD Audio though) and automatic frame rate switching working at all frequencies I tested. Later I installed Lubuntu 15.04 on the mini PC, and I had planned to test Kodi 14.x in Linux to compare the performance in Windows 8.1. Unfortunately, I did not manage to mak HDMI audio, nor the audio jack work in Linux, so instead I purchased a cheap USB sound card from DealExtreme for around $2 US, and connected a pair of USB powered speakers to enable audio output. The USB sound card performs pretty well, and out of the 80 or so videos I used for testing, only one had some saturation issues likely due to the sound card itself. I installed Kodi 14.2 using the recommended […]

Kodi 14.2 Final and Kodi 15 Alpha 2 Released

Kodi developers have recently announced two release for Kodi: the stable version of Kodi 14.2 Helix, which should be the last Kodi 14 release, and Kodi 15 Alpha 2 Isengard with some interesting new features. Since Kodi 14.2 is a minor release, no new features have been added, but they fixed several bugs: Application stopped responding on Windows Gap-less playback on MP3 Playback of rtmp protocol Scanning of newly added episodes Fix multipath source scanning Loading external subtitles in some cases packaging of PIL module on Android. This fixes some script error when using weather add-on Fix video playback on all platform after refresh rate change Various bugs that were present in PVR add-ons. Save weather location Fix filtering of foreign add-ons ftps handling Use LastWrite instead of ChangeTime for file system on Windows As usual, you can download the release via Kodi download page for Windows, Linux. Mac OS […]

Kodi 15 Alpha 1 Adds Support for H.265 on Android, Drops Some Older OS Versions and Hardware

Kodi 15 Isengard got its first public Alpha release, with 400 pull-request for code merges, 1322 commits and thousands of code lines changed compared to Kodi 14 release with modifications of all operating systems ports, and changes to newer OS versions. Major changes for Kodi 15.0 Alpha 1 include: Added adaptive seeking through audio and video playback, also know as “skip steps” Android HEVC H.265 HW decode support for some chipsets Improved webserver caching control External subtitles over UPnP Allow scanning of new sources and marking as watched during other library operations such as “update library” Allow different sort orders for different sort methods Start of integration binary add-ons and changing the build system around it Improved CC (Closed Captions) support for Live TV ffmpeg 2.5.4 update Remove remaining SDL code New OS Requirements: Minimal Mac OSX 10.7 Lion requirements (Only OSX 64-bit builds provided, no more 32bit builds) Minimal […]

Egreat A9 Quad Core Android Media Player Comes with HDMI Input, a 3.5″ SATA Bay

Egreat A9 was first shown in spring last year with a Realtek RTD1195 processor, but it’s only now that I could see it for sale. But just like Zidoo X9, the device is now powered by Mstar MSO9810 quad core processor, and features an HDMI input port with PVR capabilities, but adds an internal 3.5″ SATA bay, double the internal storage (16GB eMMC), as well as a Gigabit Ethernet port. Egreat A9 specifications: SoC – Mstar MSO9180-DB2 quad core Cortex A9 processor up to 1.5GHz with an ARM Mali-450MP GPU System Memory – 2GB DDR3 Storage – 16 GB eMMC flash + 3.5″ internal SATA bay Video Output / Input –  HDMI 1.4b output up to 4K30, HDMI input (1080p) with PVR support Audio I/O – HDMI Out and In, and optical S/PDIF Video Containers & Codecs DAT, MPEG, MPE, MPG, TS, TP, VOB, ISO, AVI, MP4, MOV, 3GP, FLV, […]

Review of Zidoo X9 Android Media Player and Video Recorder

Zidoo X9 is quite a unique product on the market, as it’s the only low cost Android platform that I know of that features an HDMI input port with recording capabilities. The hardware is actually based on Kaiboer F5, with some modifications, but the latter focuses on the Chinese market, while Zidoo X9 targets oversea markets with an English firmware by default. I took pictures of Zidoo X9 and its board about a month ago, but a busy schedule and some initial issues with Google Play Store delayed the review. Finally, I’ve completed testing of the device, and ready to share my findings about performance, stability, and features in this review. OTA Firmware Update I’ve had to go through two firmware updates before carrying on with the review, and this part is working great, and they even include a detailed changelog with each release, which they also publish on their […]

ASUS Tinker board - Raspberry Pi alternative