Onkyo TX-NR636 AV Receiver Setup and Audio Pass-through with OpenELEC / Kodi

Following up on my LG 42U820T 4K TV review,  I’ll know checkout the second item purchased for my reviews thanks to the help of my readers, with Onkyo TX-NR636 7.2 channel AV receiver combined with Pioneer S-11 speaker set. As this is my first AV receiver, I still have a lot to learn, I can’t really comment on audio quality (except it sounds much better than my TV speakers, and is more powerful), so I won’t do a full review, but I’ll show some details about the receiver, explain how to it setup with speakers, show how to setup OpenELEC / Kodi for HDMI audio pass-through, and test it with various Dolby and DTS video files. Onkyo TX-NR636 Specifications But before all that, I’ll list some of the specifications of this cool AV receiver. Amplified Rated Output Power: 95 watts minimum continuous power per channel, 8 ohm loads, 2 channels driven […]

Raspberry Pi 2 / ODROID C1+ Development Boards Comparison

Raspberry Pi 2 Model B board has just been released, and although it’s not a direct answer to ODROID-C1, as Broadcom started the design for BCM2836 SoC for RPI2 a long time ago, both low cost development boards have similar specifications, with a quad core processor, 1GB RAM, Ethernet, and four USB ports, as well as the exact same price: $35. So I’ve decided to compare both in details to find out the actual differences, and which one may be more suitable to a particular application. Let’s get straight to the comparison table. [Updated on November 24 to use ODROID C1+ instead of ODROID C1] Hardkernel ODROID C1+ Raspberry Pi 2 Model B Comment Processor Amlogic S805 quad core Cortex A5 @ 1.5 GHz (Overclockable to 1.7 GHz or more) Broadcom BCM2836 quad core Cortex A7 @ 900 MHz (Overclockable to 1.1GHz or more) Despite the architecture advantage for Cortex […]

Kodi 14 Video Playback on Intel Atom Z3735F Computers Running Windows 8.1

I’ve already written a short review of Mele PCG03 mini PC powered by Intel Atom Z3735F processor, with 2GB RAM, and 32GB eMMC flash, where I found out that almost it’s not the fastest device around, it’s still usable for most tasks, albeit you can quickly run out of space with only 32GB storage, so if you really plan to use it as an actual computer using applications such as email clients, web browser and office suites, an external USB hard drive, or connection to a NAS is probably a must, or you’ll probably have to run Disk Cleaner fairly often.  Mele PCG03 also have a valid Windows 8.1 license, and a VGA port, both of which are often missing on many other Bay Trail-T mini PCs. I’ve now installed Kodi 14.1 – downloaded directly from xbmc.org – on this low cost and low power computer, in order to go […]

MeLE PCG03 mini PC Review and Benchmarks with Windows 8.1 with Bing

MeLE PCG03 is an Intel Atom Z3735F mini PC with 2GB RAM, and 32GB eMMC. I’ve already posted some pictures of the device and board, and since Windows 8.1 with Bing NTE (with proper license) is installed, I’ll first test the device with Microsoft OS as a reference, before trying Ubuntu or/and Android. MeLE PCG03 Setup The computer comes only with a power adapter, so you’ll need to find an HDMI or/and VGA cable for your display(s), and a USB keyboard and mouse to get started. Optionally, you’ll also want an Ethernet cable, and since storage is limited an extra storage device be it a USB hard drive, flash drive, or SD card. Once all is connected you can press the power button on the left side to boot the device. The boot normally takes about 20 seconds, but the first time, you’ll go through the usual Windows 8.1 setup […]

Kodi DVB and PVR Support on Android (Rockchip RK3288)

XBMC/Kodi for Android has come a long way, but it’s still missing some features of Kodi Linux, such as Live TV (DVB) and  video recording (PVR) function that so far could only be supported in Linux port of Kodi such as OpenELEC linux distributions, simply because PVR backends such as TVHeadend were not available for Android. So what’s TVheadend is exactly and what features does it bring? It’s an open source TV streaming PVR backend software application for Linux supporting DVB-S/S2, DVB-C, DVB-T/T2, ATSC, IPTV (UDP/HTTP), and Analog video (V4L) as input sources. Version 3.4 also adds support for time-shifting. Now the good news is that Freaktab user’s Taki has posted instructions to install TVHeadend server for RK3288. So if you have a compatible USB Tuner, you should be able to watch live TV on your Rockchip RK3288 based TV box. After the server is installed, you’d also need to  […]

Linux based Vu+ DVB Set-top Boxes Now Support XBMC/Kodi

Vu+ Duo2, Solo2 and Solo SE are high-end Linux based DVB receivers powered by Broadcom processors made by Ceru, and with a relatively active community of users and developers. All three models have recently received support for XBMC in their “Black Hole” firmware. Solo SE is the most recent model having been released in 2014, against Duo2 and Solo2 that have been selling since 2012 according to Wikipedia. Since I’ve never heard about these, I’ll check out Duo2, as it comes with the most features out of the three. Vu+ Duo2 specifications: SoC – Broadcom BCM7424 dual core MIPS processor @ 1.3 GHz with VideoCore IV GPU System Memory – 2GB RAM Storage – 1 GB NAND flash + SATA III interface for 2.5″ and 3.5″ HDD (internal) + eSATA + Video Output – HDMI, SCART, Composite, and Component (YPbPr) Audio Output – HDMI, stereo audio, and optical S/PDIF Tuners – […]

Review of CX-S806 TV Box Powered by Amlogic S812 Processor

I’ve already reviewed one Android media player based on Amlogic S812 processor with MINIX NEO X8-H Plus. Today, I’m going to have a look at another S812 TV box, namely CX-S806, with lower specs, and less support, but that sells for half price compared to the MINIX device. I’ve already published pictures of CX-S806 media player and board, so today I’ll focus on testing the performance and features of the device. First Boot, Settings and First Impressions The package include a simple IR remote control, so I inserted two AAA batteries to give it a try, and it seemed to work OK, but as usual I switched to use Mele F10 Deluxe air mouse for the rest of the review. Since I’ve connected Ethernet and HDMI cables, a USB hard drive, a USB webcam, and a USB hub with two RF dongles for the air mouse and wireless gamepad, and […]

OpenELEC 5.0 Linux Distribution Released with Kodi 14

OpenELEC (Open Embedded Linux Entertainment Center) is a lightweight Linux distribution aiming at turning your computer or device into a Kodi media center. So instead of installing Kodi as a program or app on a desktop OS or Android, you could have a dedicated machine, which boots faster, has lower requirements (90-125 MB required for a full installation), and supported external tuners to watch live TV, as well as PVR & timeshifting functions out of the box. The developers have now announced OpenELEC 5.0 release, the successor of OpenELEC 4.2. Key changes for OpenELEC 5.0 include: Update from XBMC 13 (Gotham) to Kodi 14 (Helix) Update from Linux 3.16 to Linux 3.17 Switch from OpenSSL to LibreSSL Freescale i.IMX6 support for SolidRun CuBox-i, CuboxTV, and Hummingboard AppleTV support has been discontinued Beside build for the CuBox devices, OpenELEC 5.0 can be downloaded for x86 (32- and 64-bit builds), and the […]

GENESYSM-TGU6 3.5-inch SBC