Mecool KD3 Android 11 TV HDMI dongle supports 4K Netflix, Prime Video

Mecool KD3

We noted some Android TV dongles with Amlogic S905Y4 Cortex-A35 processor in January 2021, and one of the first Amlogic S905Y4 devices available in this form factor is the Mecool KD3 with a certified Android 11 TV operating system. The KD3 is equipped with 2GB RAM, 8GB storage, and the minimal design only offers only one HDMI 2.1 port and a Micro USB port used for power, and of course WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity. Mecool KD3 specifications: SoC – Amlogic S905Y4  quad-core Arm Cortex-A35 processor with an Arm G31-MP2 GPU System Memory – 2GB LPDDR4 Storage – 8GB eMMC flash Video Output – HDMI 2.1 port up to 4Kp60 Video decoder AV1 MP-10 @ L5.1 up to 4Kx2K @ 60fps VP9 Profile-2 up to 4Kx2K @ 60fps H.265 HEVC MP-10 @ L5.1 up to 4Kx2K @ 60fps AVS2-P2 Profile up to 4Kx2K @ 60fps H.264 AVC HP @ […]

$55 Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max supports 4K AV1 videos, Wi-Fi 6

Amazon will release new Fire TV Sticks from time to time, and most are only mildly interesting, but the Amazon Fire TV Stick TV 4K Max brings two new interesting features with 4K AV1 video playback, as well as Wi-Fi 6 connectivity which should prevent buffering for higher bitrate 4K videos. The new device builds upon the MediaTek MT8695 based Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K released in 2018, with a more powerful MediaTek MT8696 processor clocked at 1.8 GHz, more memory (2GB vs 1.5 GB), and the same 8GB of storage for the Android 9 based Amazon Fire 7 OS. Amazon claims the new stick is 40% faster, despite a frequency bump from 1.7 GHz to 1.8 GHz only, and MT8696 relies on Cortex-A73 cores Cortex-A55 cores (See comments), instead of the Cortex-A53 cores found in MediaTek MT8695, so the performance improvement probably refers to the faster GPU. Amazon Fire […]

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

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 […]

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

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.] […]

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

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 […]

NVIDIA Launches Upgraded Shield TV with Tegra X1+ Processor

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 […]

Beelink GT-King (Amlogic S922X) TV Box Review

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 […]

An Interview with a TV Box Manufacturer: Shenzhen Tomato

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 […]