Netflix 4K certified MECOOL KM2 S905X2-B TV Box runs Android TV 10

Mecool KM2 Netflix 4K TV Box

There are plenty of Amlogic TV boxes around, but unless you buy from the big players, most devices won’t support Netflix FullHD/4K because certification is hard to get for smaller companies. The Hailstorm device scaling program launched in 2018 aimed to make the process easier on Amlogic and Hisilicon processors, and HiMedia S1 TV dongle was one of the first to get approved. But now MECOOL KM2 joins the rank of Netflix 4K certified devices. The TV box is powered by an Amlogic S905X2-B processor running Android TV 10, also known as Android TV on Android 10. MECOOL KM2 specifications: SoC – Amlogic S905X2-B quad-core Cortex-A53 processor System Memory – 2GB DDR4 Storage – 8 GB eMMC flash, MicroSD card slot Video Output – HDMI 2.1 up to 4Kp60 with HDCP 2.3, HDMI-CEC support Codecs – H.264/AVC, H.265/HEVC, VP8 & VP9 HDR – HDR10+, HDR & HLG DRM – Widevine L1, Playready 3000 Audio Optical S/PDIF, digital audio via HDMI; Codec […]

Google Chromecast with Google TV Runs Android TV OS, Ships with a Remote Control

Chromecast with Google TV

When Google Chromecast first launched in 2013, it was based on a stripped-down version of ChromeOS and was meant to be used controlled via your Android phone, iPhone, Windows PC, or Mac computer to stream audio and video, and even more recent versions like Chromecast Ultra were not standalone media players. But Google’s “Chromecast with Google TV” changes all that as it’s based on Android TV OS and supports all 6,500 apps designed for the operating systems, and ships with a remote control to playback videos from YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and other apps without the need for your phone or a computer, although it still support all existing Chromecast features. Chromecast with Google TV hardware specifications: SoC – Quad-core processor @ 1.8GHz with ARM Mali-G31 MP2 GPU, likely Amlogic S905X2 or even S905Y2 since there’s no Ethernet. [Update: It’s Amlogic S905D3 according to a screenshot provided by Android TV rumors.] System Memory – 2GB RAM Storage – 8GB flash Video […]

MINIX NEO T5 Google Android TV Certified Media Hub Launched for $85

MINIX NEO T5 & Voice Remote

MINIX has been pretty busy in the last few months with the launch of their NEO J50C-4 (64GB) and NEO G41V-4 mini PCs, and the company has now just officially launched MINIX NEO T5, their first Google Android TV certified media hub for $84.90 on Aliexpress or Amazon. MINIX NEO T5 specifications: SoC – Amlogic S905X2 quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 processor with Arm Mali-G31 MP2 GPU System Memory – 2GB DDR3 Storage –  16GB eMMC 5.1 flash, microSD card slot Video Output – HDMI 2.1 output up to 4K @ 60 Hz with HDR10+ support Audio – 3.5mm audio jack, optical S/PDIF, HDMI digital audio; Dolby Digital support; Dolby TrueHD / Atmos and DTS-HD pass-through is also supported Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, dual-band 802.11ac WiFi 5 2×2 MIMO, Bluetooth 4.2 USB – 1x USB 2.0 port, 1x USB 3.0 port Power Supply – 5V/2A NEO T5 ships with an IR remote control or optional NEO A3 voice remote control, keyboard & […]

NVIDIA Launches Upgraded Shield TV with Tegra X1+ Processor

Shield TV 2019 vs Shield TV Pro 2019

Ever since NVIDIA launched the Shield TV in 2015 it features in lists of best Android TV boxes in the $200 budget range, although it can raise to close to $300 if you do not live in a country where the Shield TV is not officially sold. The company launched a more compact version in 2017, and NVIDIA just officially announced upgraded Shield TV and Shield TV Pro 2019 models with a more powerful Tegra X1+ Processor delivering a 25% boost, as well as  Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision support. As you can see from the photo above the Shield TV now has a completely different cylindrical design, while the Shield TV Pro keeps the traditional design of the box. However, both share many of the same specifications: SoC – NVIDIA Tegra X1+ processor with a 256-core NVIDIA GPU Memory & Storage Shield: 2 GB RAM; 8GB eMMC flash; MicroSD card slot Shield Pro: 3GB RAM; 16GB eMMC flash; MicroSD card […]

Beelink GT-King (Amlogic S922X) TV Box Review

Beelink GT-King YouTube App

Rant Karl here. I have been playing around with Android boxes for several years. Unfortunately, some fundamental issues from when I first started playing around with these boxes are still there. They have come a long way since the MK808 with Rockchip RK3066 processor. The MK808 was my first endeavor into Android on the TV in 2013.  I can’t believe it’s been nearly 6 years. In 2014 Google introduced Android TV and the Nexus Player. It was designed for a TV and controller. The first boxes/sticks adapted the stock Android experience to run on a TV, but without a touch interface the experience was/is not optimal. Sure you get thousands and thousands of apps but a lot of them don’t work. Unfortunately, this hasn’t changed much. If these boxes came with Linux and Android I don’t think I would complain as much. I would consider it a tinkering box. But these boxes are targeted at the average home user and […]

An Interview with a TV Box Manufacturer: Shenzhen Tomato

Shenzhen Tomato Logo

I’ve been interviewing Jojo Zhou, Sales Manager at Shenzhen Tomato Technology, a TV box manufacturer, over email to learn a bit more about the TV box market, and various challenges encountered by manufacturers. CNXSoft: We’ve already covered several products sold by Shenzhen Tomato on CNX Software, but for readers who may not know the company yet, could you provide a short description of the company? Jojo Zhou: With over 8-years of experience, Shenzhen Tomato Technology Co., Ltd has become one of the leading OEM/ODM manufacturers specialized in developing Android TV Box, IPTV Set Top Box, Android Media Player, Hybrid Set Top Box and media solution. ODM and OEM is our main advantage, including hardware design and software customize (such as driver porting, kernel modification, etc). We have a first-class R&D team of 30 energetic engineers with rich experience to focus on that. A strict and complete quality control system is built to ensure each product has been strictly inspected before […]

Google OTT Turnkey Solution to Deliver Fast-to-Market Pre-Certified 4K HDR Dongles

Google OTT Turnkey

Despite Google offering Android TV for an optimized big screen experience, many TV boxes are still running a heavily modified version of Android for smartphone, since it’s not that trivial for manufacturers and TV operators to get certification for Android TV. Operators normally just want their own branded hardware with their own streaming app and/or launcher, and “Google OTT Turnkey” aims to help this section of the market by providing pre-certified OTT (Over-The-Top) hardware with low investment and a quick time to market. The dongle/TV box will come with a voice remote control, include certified for Google services and Netflix, receive firmware from Google, while still allowing operators’ customization. The solution would allow a time to market of about 2 to 3 months. We learned about Google OTT Turnkey in the first part of “the Android TV Workshop” at the Connected TV World Summit 2019. The solution is quickly mentioned at the 6:03 mark. That’s not an awful lot of […]

HiMedia S1 TV Dongle Runs Android TV, Supports Netflix 4K

HiSilicon Hi3798MV200 media processor was announced in 2016 as a cost-down version of Hi3798CV200 processor for 4K TV boxes, and the next year I reviewed HiMedia Q30 TV box powered by the processor. Video playback was great with good 4K support and excellent video quality, although WiFi could have been better. Anyway, the processor has been around for a while, so yet another model with the SoC would not normally be newsworthy. Except HiMedia S1 is a little different, as the company confirmed the TV box is part of Netflix Hailstorm device scaling program meaning it officially supports Netflix 4K out of the box. HiMedia S1 specifications: SoC – HiSilicon Hi3798M V200 quad-core Arm Cortex A53 processor with Arm Mali-450MP GPU supporting OpenGL ES2.0/1.1, OpenVG1.1, EGL System Memory – 1 GB or 2 GB DDR3 Storage – 8 GB eMMC flash Video & Audio Output – Micro HDMI 2.0a up to 4K @ 60 Hz with HDR/HDR10 support Video Engine […]