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 […]

VidOn Box Android XBMC TV Box Unboxing

Vidon.me has sent me one of their Vidon Box (without asking). The box features an Allwinner A31s processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage, and more. You can check my previous post for Vidon Box specifications. The company is also providing a membership for extra services such as HDMI / SPDIF pass-through, and Blu-ray menu navigation, among others, as you can see from the table below. The item with ** are upcoming features. VidOn Box Features Subscriber Non Subscriber Blu-ray Menu Navigation Y N Access to VidOn XBMC Pro Y N Access to VidOn Media Center Beta* Y Y Access to VidOn XBMC* Y Y Free XBMC Add-ons Y Y Media Library Info Collection Y Y Access Home Sharing Server Y Y 1080p Hardware Acceleration Y Y Blu-ray ISO Playback Y Y 3D Blu-ray Playback Y Y Firmware/Software Update Support Y Y SPDIF/HDMI Passthrough Y N Mobile Transfer** Y N Photo Backup** […]

Tronsmart Draco AW80 SATA Performance in Android

When Allwinner A80 TV boxes with SATA port were first release, some people hailed SATA performance, especially while seeking during video playback. But at the time, I was skeptical of these claims since Allwinner A80 SoC does not have have a SATA interface, so a USB to SATA bridge must be used, and the performance should be the same as USB hard drives. Unfortunately, I was unable to confirm these doubts, and test SATA performance in my review of Tronsmart Draco AW80 Meta, because at the time, I did not have any spare SATA hard drive or SSD. But since I’ve received CubieTruck Metal Case kit, which include a 120 GB SSD, so I could finally test the device SATA interface. This CHUANG JIU SSD achieves write and read speeds of respectively 8.7 MB/s & 50.5 MB/s for NTFS, and 36.31 MB/s & 179.45 MB/s for EXT-4 using CubieTruck with […]

CubieTruck Metal Case Kit Getting Started Guide and Review

I’ve received CubieTruck Metal Case kit just over a month ago, but just like for Ubuntu on ODROID-XU3 Lite, the board could not get HDMI EDID info from my Panasonic TV, which led to a crash at boot time. CubieTech has now fixed the issue, so I’ve finally been able to complete the review with Cubieez (Cubie Easy) distribution, pre-installed on the board, and based on Debian 7.6. You can get the full hardware specs on my previous post, but the kits is comprised of four parts: CubieTruck development based on Allwinner A20 dual core processor, a rugged metallic enclosure, a 128GB SSD, and a 5,300 mAh battery acting as a UPS. I’ll start by showing how to setup the board, test SATA and Gigabit Ethernet performance,  check if the battery acts as expected, try to use the board as a desktop replacement with LibreOffice, Chromium, and so on, and […]

Unboxing of BuyForSure 4KH 2160p/H.265 Android Media Player Powered by HiSilicon Hi3798M SoC

BuyForSure (BFS) is a company that sells various item on Aliexpress and Ebay, and then might also be involved in some product development (TBC). A couple of weeks ago I wrote about an inexpensive HiSilicon Hi3798M based TV box (quad core Cortex A7) supporting 2160 (4K UHD) video output and decoding, HEVC/H.265 video decoding, and featuring a USB 3.0 port. The company asked me if I wanted to receive a sample, and I accepted because few companies promote HiSilicon and MStar based products for oversea markets. So they send me their BFS 4KH TV box, my first HiSilicon device, and early next year, I’m likely to receive Zidoo X9 based on Mstar MSO9180 from another company, so that’s another story… Today, I’ll start by taking pictures of the media player and its board, and in several days I’ll post a review showing what this $50+ box is capable of (or […]

Unboxing of Amlogic S812 based Sunchip CX-S806 Android Media Player

Sunchip CX-S806 is my third Android media player based on Amlogic S812 processor, after Eny Technology EM8S (which I haven’t received yet, because the firmware is not really ready yet), and MINIX NEO X8-H Plus with a stable firmware, but some disappointment with regards to peripherals performance (eMMC, Ethernet,…), and poor support for H.265 / 4K videos in XBMC/Kodi, at least for now, since I’m sure they’ll work out the video issue with subsequent firmware / Kodi releases. CX-S806 has lower specs compared to NEO X8-H Plus, and does not come with an air mouse, but it costs about half of the MINIX box, so we’ll have to see how it performs. For now, I simply post pictures of the device and the internal board, since I’ve already posted CX-S806 specifications previously. CX-S806 Unboxing Sunchip sent me the box via DHL, and I received it in the black and gold […]

A Quick Look at SAMART Strong Black “Free” DVB-T2 Receiver in Thailand

Thai government has made digital television a priority, so they’ve launched a program to give a 690 Baht voucher ($21) to all households in Thailand. The voucher is send by registered mail to your home, and delivery has to be signed by a Thai person. Then you can go to a shop equipped with a Thai ID card and house registration book copy, present this voucher, and get a free (except for tax payers of course) DVB-T2 receiver, or use it to buy something a more advanced set-top box or digital TV package with 690 Baht discount. We decided to get a free DVB-T2 receiver, and ended up with a box called SAMART Strong Black supporting SD and 1080p video streams over DVB-T2, EPG (Electronic Program Guide), and with a USB port to connect devices for recording programs or time-shifting. SAMART is a Thai company whose name means “can” (formal) […]

Infocus CS1 A83 (C2107) Android Tablet Review

I’ve already shown some pictures, listed specs and reported Antutu benchmark results for Infocus CS1 A83 Android tablet powered by Allwinner A83T octa core processor. I’ve been using this tablet as my main mobile device for about a week, and for about 3 to 5 hours a day, and I’m now ready to write a full review reporting my experience with this Full HD tablet. General Impressions I mainly use a tablet to browse the web, check emails, play some casual games like Candy Crush Saga, watch some YouTube videos, and Skype calls, and I could not really fault the tablet for any of these applications. Having said that, my reference device is only ThL W200 smartphone powered by Mediatek MT6589T processor with a 5″ display @ 1280×720, and for all the tasks listed Infocus tablet is much better because it’s more responsive, the 1920×1200 is crisp, and the cameras […]