Xibo Digital Signage Running on Mele A1000 AllWinner A10 Set-Top Box

Those following my blog know that I recently bought a Mele A1000 to play around. For those who are not familiar with this device, the Mele A1000 is a $70 Android set-top box featuring an AllWinner A10 cortex A8 processor and lots of peripherals, and it can easily be hacked to run a Linux distributions. This hardware would also be a great digital signage player thanks to its video playback capabilities: up to 2160p video decoding and 1080p video output. Last year, I ported Xibo, an open source digital signage player, to ARM and ran it in the Beagleboard emulator (qemu), but I hadn’t had the opportunity to try it out in a real hardware. I’ve tried this rootfs based on Linaro ARM Linux Internet Platform (ALIP) image for BeagleBoard in the Mele A1000, by following an adaptation of the method I provided earlier. For this demo, I created a layout in Xibo dashboard with 4 zones as pictured above: […]

How to Create Your Own Debian / Ubuntu Image for Mele A1000 (AllWinner A10 Based STB)

Developers working on AllWinner A10 have released an Ubuntu 10.04 LTS SD card image (4GB) for the Mele A1000. I’ll show how you can create your own Debian or Ubuntu image based on this image for any size of SD Card using Debian 6.0 (Squeeze) and the recent Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin) as example. The current image is not perfect, for example Ethernet doesn’t work (but you can still get network connectivity with WiFi), the NAND flash can not be accessed, the system does not appear to be very stable when running X and a few more issues. But this will be fixed by the developer community over time. First download the SD card image wget http://hands.com/~lkcl/mele-ubuntu-lucid.img.lzma Install 7z (if you don’t have it yet) and decompress the file: sudo apt-get install p7zip-full 7z x mele-ubuntu-lucid.img.lzma The decompressed size is 4008706048, which might be larger than your 4GB SD Card (as it was my case). If you card is larger, […]

Ubuntu on AllWinner A10 based Mele A1000 Set-top Box

I’ve recently received and reviewed the 70 USD Mele A1000 STB powered by AllWinner A10, but haven’t been able to hack it yet since I’ve have not received the USB to Serial cable necessary for debugging the board. However, somebody else (Tom Cubie) had time to hack the box and run Ubuntu from a SD card (while still keeping Android in the flash) as you can see below. This port does not seem to include hardware accelerated GUI just yet, but this is definitely a step in the right direction. Tom said he just followed the instructions at http://rhombus-tech.net/allwinner_a10/hacking_the_mele_a1000/ and http://rhombus-tech.net/a10_mmc_boot/ to have Ubuntu working, but those do not appear to be that clear at the moment. Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011. www.cnx-software.com

Mele A1000 Android 2.3 STB Unboxing and Review

I’ve finally received the Mele A1000 media player I ordered 3 weeks ago. I mainly plan to use it as a Linux development platform for Allwinner A10 processor, but today I’ll just post some unboxing pictures and provide some feedback about the Android software running on the box. I received the device in the box below. (Sorry about the picture quality, I took pictures with my smartphone). Once you open the box, you’ll get see the set-top box, related accessories, a (not so useful) user guide in English and Chinese and what looks like a warranty card. Once you unpack everything you get the set-top box, 2.5″ hard drive case, composite cable, remote control (infrared) and 5V power supply. You’ll noticed some buttons on the remote control have markings in Chinese, this is where the user manual can be useful. You may already have seen the box itself (with clearer images), but I’ll show again the back of the box […]

Mele A2000 Android 2.3 Media Player Powered by AllWinner A10

Last month, I ordered a Mele A1000 in order to hack it to run Linux as it uses the same processor – the Cortex A8/Mali-400MP based AllWinner A10 – as the one planned for the low cost Rhombus Tech board. I have yet to receive the device, but Mele (迈乐) has already released  the Mele A2000, an Android 2.3 set-box box also powered by AllWinner A10. Here are Mele A2000 specifications: CPU: ARM Cortex A8 AllWinner A10 @ 1 GHz (It can be apparently be overclocked up to @ 1.5GHz) GPU: Mali 4000 Memory: DDR3 512MB RAM / 4GB Nand Flash OS System: Android 2.3.4 (Upgradable to Android 4.0) External Storage: Supports SD card up to 32GB, supports 2.5″ SATA HDD up to 1TB, Supports max 16GB USB flash disk Video codecs: HD MPEG-1/2/4. H.264. HD AVC/VC-1, RM/RMVB, Xvid/DviX 4/5/6, RealVideo 8/9/10, VP6 Video Formats: ts, m2ts, tp, trp, mkv, mp4, mov, avi, rm/rmvb, wmv, vob, asf, flv, dat, mpf and […]

Mele A1000: AllWinner A10 (Cortex A8) Based Hackable Android STB

The Mele A1000 is an Android 2.3 IP Set-top Box (STB) powered by AllWinner A10 (Cortex A8) CPU with 512 MB RAM and 2 GB NAND Flash.  AllWinner A10 is the CPU to be used by the 15 USD (BOM Cost) Rhombus Tech Linux Computer, an alternative to the Raspberry-Pi. Since they do not have an alpha board yet, the Mele A1000 STB is apparently the development platform chosen by developers involved in Rhombus Tech low cost board while they wait for the hardware. Let’s have a look at the device specifications: CPU: ARM CortexA8 1GHz (AllWinner A10) Memory: DDR3 512MB RAM / 2 4GB Nand Flash OS System: Android 2.3 External Storage: Supports SD card up to 32GB, supports 2.5″ SATA HDD up to 1TB, Supports max 16GB USB flash disk Video coding: HD MPEG1/2/4.H.264.HD AVC/VC-1,RM/RMVB, Xvid/DviX4/5/6, RealVideo8/9/10, VP6 Video Format: ts/m2ts/tp/trp/mkv/mp4/mov/avi/rm/rmvb/wmv/vob/asf/flv/dat/mpf/mpeg Audio Format: MP3/WMA/WMV/OGG/FLAC/MKV Subtitle Format: SRT/SMI/SSA/ASS Network interface: RJ45(10/100Mbps) WiFi: 802.11b/g/n Interfaces: SD/SDHC + 3 x USB […]