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 – […]

Unboxing of Zidoo X9 Android HDMI Video Recorder and Media Player

Zidoo X9 Android media player is powered by Mstar MSO9180 quad core Cortex A9 processor, supports 4K video output and decoding, H.265 codec, a USB 3.0 port for (hopefully) fast external storage, and in HDMI input port that allows you to record video from another HDMI input device to a USB mass storage device, or micro SD card. GearBest sent me one of the first sample, so let’s have a look at the device itself, and its boards, because getting to the full review next week. Zidoo X9 Pictures I received the parcel the exact same day, GearBest provided the tracking number, together with some invoice for custom duty, DHL duty handling fee, and VAT. The large black package has a few scratches, and makes it clear the device is called X9. Some of the main features are also mentioned on the package: 4K, 3D video, quad core, Bluetooth 4.0, […]

How to Take Screenshots and Record Videos in Android mini PCs without Root Access

I’ve started to test BFS 4KH Android TB box featuring HiSilicon HI3798M processor. I’m also the first things I normally do is to check for built-in screenshot support, and if not, I simply install a screenshot app like Screenshot Ultimate. This normally works pretty well, but the firmware is not rooted, and the usual root method for HiSilicon devices does not work, as it fails at the adb root stage with the message: “aabd cannot run as root in production builds”. So I was out of luck, and people who sent the sample for review do not seem to check / answer their email in a timely manner. ScreenShot Ultimate provides “No Capture Method Help“, but I found the instructions long, and it required me to install download and install something extra. So instead I check if I could do something with adb instead. adb can connect via USB or […]

Xtreamer Prodigy 4K Android Media Streamer & Recorder Comes with a 3.5″ SATA Bay

Last month, we discovered Zidoo X9 Android TV box powered by Mstar MSO9810 quad core processor, and featuring an HDMI input for PVR function. There’s now an alternative with Xtreamer Prodigy 4K based on the same Mstar processor, but adding an internal SATA bay for 3.5″ Hard drives. Xtreamer Prodigy 4K specifications: SoC – Mstar MSO9180D1R quad core Cortex A9 processor up to 1.5GHz with octa-core ARM Mali-450MP6 GPU System Memory – 2GB DDR3 Storage – 8GB eMMC flash + 3.5″ SATA bay up to 3TB + multicard slot Video Output / Input – HDMI output up to 4K @ 30HZ, HDMI input with PVR and Time Shifting support up to 4K @ 30 Hz Audio I/O – HDMI Out and In, and optical S/PDIF Video Codecs & Containers – H.264, H.265, MPG/MPEG/MP4, TS, M2ts, AVI, BD-ISO, 3D-MVC, DVD-ISO, WMV, FLV, F4V, MKV, Xvid, DAT, VOB, AVS, 3GP, WebM, OGM, […]

WeTek Play Giveaway with DVB-S2 or DVB-C/T/T2 Tuner

WeTek Play is dual core set-top box officially supporting Android 4.4 and OpenELEC 5.0, and with support for several other Android or Linux distributions. I’ve recently written an updated review of WeTek Play with the latest Android 4.4 firmware, and it’s a pretty good device to watch Live TV either from the Internet via WeCloud Antenna app with over 180 free-to-air channels, or from satellite, cable or terrestrial TV thanks to the DVB-S2 or DVB-C/T/T2 tuner included in the box. EPG, PVR and timeshifting functions are all working very well, except some display issues with Asian languages. The company proposed to give away two WeTek Play STB to CNX Software readers. My model comes with a DVB-S2 tuner, but winners will be able to chose either DVB-S2 or DVB-C/T/T2 tuner as per their preference. Here’s what you have to do to enter the contest, and some terms and conditions: To […]

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 […]

WeTek Play Review with Android 4.2.2 Firmware v1.1.1

I had already reviewed WeTek Play Android DVB-S2 STB this summer, but at the time it was still an early sample, so the company asked me to review it again with the latest firmware that includes bug fixes and new features such as WeCloud Antenna IPTV service with over 180 Live TV channels, now that they’ve officially launched WeTek Play with either a DVB-S2 tuner as in my sample, a DVB-T/T2/C tuner, or no tuner at all. You can find pictures of WeTek Play in my unboxing post. As usual the review will include my first impressions, video testing, and various benchmark, but I’ll also have sections for WeCloud Antenna Live TV over IP service, and WeTek Theater for live TV from my satellite dish. OTA Firmware Update But first of all, I’ll test OTA firmware update, as many companies claim to support OTA updates, but you often end up […]

Kodi 14.0 Helix Release

XBMC (name) is definitely dead, as developers of the popular open source “entertainment center” project have announced the first stable Kodi release – the new name of XBMC – with XBMC 14.0 Helix. Key changes and new features include: Update to FFmpeg 2.4.4 – Adds H.265 / HEVC and VP9 video codecs support. Software decode only. Library Improvements – Scanning speed greatly improved, better UPnP support including with PlanOn and MediaBrowser servers. New Configuration features – Add-on update controls, choice of virtual keyboard layouts for tablets and remote control users in order to support multiple languages. Android, iOS and Embedded – 4K support for Amlogic S802, more ARM SoCs are now supported in Android, fast forward/rewind improvements. Airplay support fixed, except for Android. Freescale i.MX6 support for Kodi Linux. Windows, OSX, and Linux – Audio playback improvements. DXVA video playback has been improved for Windows too. A critical Kodi Linux […]

ASUS Tinker board - Raspberry Pi alternative