Ebox T8 V Octa-Core Android TV Box Review – Part 2: Android Firmware, EBMC, and Benchmarks

EBox T8 V (version 5) is the new EntertainmentBox.com  TV box specially geared towards the UK market with its choice of apps and online shop based in the United Kingdom. It’s an upgrade to EBox T8-4 I reviewed last year, replacing Amlogic S905 quad core processor by Amlogic S912 octa-core processor, but keeping most of the same features including the SATA bay and EBox user interface. Since we’ve already checked out the hardware, likely based on Zoomtak U Plus, I’ll focus on the firmware in the second part. It will be a shorter reviewed than usual since I have already tested many Amlogic S912 TV boxes, and I’ll refer to T8-4 review when the user interface is identical, and instead focus on what has changed, and the usual suspects like audio pass-through, 4K video playback, DRM support, WiFi performance, etc… EBox T8 V Setup Wizard, Setup, OTA Firmware Update, and […]

Review of Ebox T8 V Amlogic S912 TV Box with SATA Bay – Part 1: Specs, Unboxing and Teardown

Last summer I reviewed Ebox T8-4, an Android TV box based on Amlogic S905 processor sold by entertainmentbox.com and geared towards the UK market. Although it had some of the typical issues with HDMI audio pass-through, I found the box easy to setup, and potentially interesting for UK viewers since popular IPTV apps were pre-installed. It also came with a SATA bay but for some reasons I never managed to have either a 1TV HDD or 128 GB SSD recognized by the system. Nevertheless, the box is now used full time by another person who seems to be quite happy about it, especially since it comes with an air mouse and a gamepad, and good support. The company has now sent me their updated model, Ebox T8 V, with very similar features but instead equipped with Amlogic S912 octa-core processor. Before checking the firmware, I’ll have a look at the […]

Matricom G-Box Q2 Android TV Box Review

Another guest review from Karl, this time, with Matricom G-Box Q2 Android 5.1 TV box based on Amlogic S812 processor. First Impressions Today I will be reviewing the G-Box Q2 by Matricom. This is a follow up device to the popular G-Box Q. The first day I plugged it in and did some basic first impressions I thought it was laggy…..but after using it and setting up the way I am accustomed to using it…I found it very fast and responsive. From the time power is applied to launcher is loaded is about 33 seconds. The software seems solid and I ran into only minor issues. It got very respectable scores between 38000 and 42000 on Antutu. The box does have a lot of software that I am not a fan of, but these can be easily uninstalled. The launcher that comes with it is ok but I prefer a […]

Xiaomi Mi Box 3 Enhanced Review

We’ve already taken Xiaomi Mi Box 3 Enhanced TV box apart in the unboxing and teardown post, and after changing the language to English, seen the performance is excellent thanks Mediatek MT8693 hexa-core processor, so I’ve done further experiments and tests with the device, and will report my findings in this review. Settings and Power Handling and Consumption Mibox 3 Enhanced boots reasonably fast I can get to the user interface within 30 seconds. We’ve already the main GITV user interface in previous posts, but I had not gone through the settings yet. There are eight main sections: Display Resolution settings – 3840×2160 @ 60/50/SMPTE24/30/24 Hz, 1080p @ 60/50 Hz, 720p @ 60/50 Hz, Scale and position – For overscan adjustment Sound Button sounds – On/Off Sony/Philips Digital Interface Format – PCM/Raw data (actually used for HDMI audio pass-through) System_update – MIUI TV firmware OTA update Device & Bluetooth – […]

SPMC 16.1.1 (Kodi 16.1 Android’s Fork) Adds Bluray 3D ISO Playback, HD Audio Pass-through, and Other Improvements

You may remember SPMC (Semper Media Center), a fork of Kodi/XBMC, was released a few years ago to fix some issues with Rockchip processors that would not make it to Kodi mainline code. Koying, the project’s developer, has now forked Kodi 16.1 to add some bug fixes and experimental features, and released SPMC 16.1.1. Changelog compared to Kodi 16.1: Based on Kodi 16.1 HD Audio pass-through (Nvidia Shield AndroidTV + some Amlogic devices such as Minix U1 & Wetek Core at least) Autostart at boot (xbmc.autostart=true in xbmc_env.properties) GUI size setting (Allows 4K GUI on Nvidia Shield) Only give codec priority to Mediacodec (Surface) for 4K Only stop video on minimize for Mediacodec (Surface) “System” screensaver to enable daydream; all other screensavers disable daydream Get removable storage names from system Basic Bluray 3D iso playback (experimental; amlogic) Android TV recommendations and voice search (experimental) SSL enabled MySql Stop video playback […]

Review of Open Hour Chameleon Android Media Player

Open Hour Chameleon is yet another Rockchip RK3288 based Android TV box, but it comes with aluminum enclosure, and boots from SD card instead of internal storage like all other devices I’ve seen on the market so far. Cloud Media (previously Syabas) also have a long history of making Linux based media players based on Sigma Designs processor, and when I worked on IPTV products, we used their PopCorn Hour has comparison platforms. So we should probably expect some interesting customization and features from the company. I’ve already posted pictures of Chameleon box and its board, so today, I’ll focus on reporting my experience with Android 4.4, and later I may also try their Lubuntu image. First Boot, Settings and First Impressions Normally I quickly try the remote control, and get it out of the way. But this time, I’ve spent a little bit more time with the remote since […]

SPMC 13.3.3 Release Adds H.265 Video Playback and Android TV Support

SPMC (Semper Media Center) is a fork of XBMC for Android with some modifications, that you can easily install from Google Play or Amazon AppStore. The latest version is particularly interested as it adds H.265/HEVC codec support for platforms such as Rockchip RK3288, and Amlogic S805/S812, and other SoCs making use of MediaCodec API and libstagefright should also work, including Realtek RTD1195 and Hisilicon K3V2. This version is also the first to support Android TV based on Android 5.0 Lollipop. SMPC 13.3.3 Changelog: Preliminary support for h265 (including RK3288) Preliminary support for Android TV Allow sleep and Daydream to kick in (e.g. on Amazon Fire TV) Add setting to scrape all videos, even if they failed Add “sd” & “hd” to the advanced settings of libstagefright (and mediacodec) for fine tuning Allow fullscreen on Jelly Bean Hide irrelevant video & audio settings Another possible fix for start crash Make the […]

Review of Kingnovel K-R68 (R6) Android Mini PC

I’ve already listed specs, and shown a few pictures of Kingnovel K-R68 (R6) Android media player based on the latest Rockchip RK3288 quad core processor. I’ve now gone through all my usual tests, so today, I’ll write the review, going through the user interface, testing video playback, reporting one various performance benchmarks including network and storage performance, tested most hardware features, and played a few games. First Boot, Settings and First Impressions Albeit there’s an infrared remote control with the device. I’ve not used it all, especially, as we’ll see below the default user interface is the stock Android home screen. As usual, I’ve connected an RF dongle to use Mele F10 Deluxe air mouse. Before powering up the device, I’ve also connected an HDMI cable, a USB hard drive, and an Ethernet cable. Albeit there’s a power button, the device will boot automatically as you connect the power adapter, […]