Linux 4.9 Release – Main Changes, ARM and MIPS Architectures

Linus Torvalds released Linux 4.9 on Sunday: So Linux 4.9 is out, and the merge window for 4.10 is thus open. With the extra week for 4.9, the timing for the merge window is obviously a bit awkward, and it technically closes in two weeks on Christmas Day. But that is a pure technicality, because I will certainly stop pulling on the 23rd at the latest, and if I get roped into Xmas food prep, even that date might be questionable. I could extend the merge window rather than cut it short, but I’m not going to. I suspect we all want a nice calm winter break, so if your stuff isn’t ready to be merged early, the solution is to just not merge it yet at all, and wait for 4.11. Just so you all know (I already bcc’d the main merge window suspects in a separate mailing last […]

V-Bridge Muses DTV Modulator and Video Encoder Review – Part 2: Muses-β Turnkey Solution Demo

V-Bridge Muses-α and Muses-β boards can be used to respectively broadcast video to DTV standard from your PC, and as a turnkey solution taking any HDMI, CVBS, or USB inputs. The VATek SoC used in those  board support various DTV standards including DVB-T, DVB-C, ATSC/QAM, DTMB, ISDB-T/TB up to full HD resolution. I’ve received an early prototype for each, and I’ve already taken pictures and show how to assemble both Muses-α and Muses-β kits in the first part of the review. Today, I’ll show a demo with Muses-β turnkey solution taking HDMI input from an Android TV box (R-Box Pro), encoding and modulating the video to DVB-T, before broadcast it to an Android STB with a DVB-T/T2 tuner (U4 Quad Hybrid). This tool could be useful to test STB featuring ATSC or ISDB-T too, as those two standards are not supported in my country, and I could instead generate signals […]

Review of Xtream-Codes IPTV Panel Professional Edition – Part 1: Introduction, Initial Setup, Adding Streams…

Today I’ll start the review of one of the streaming software available on the market, with version 2.2.0 EVO of IPTV Panel Professional Edition developed by Xtream-codes. The Software is mainly used for the so-called IPTV broadcasting, but also with great potential for all kind of other content delivery applications such as audio and business streaming, cloud video transcoding, and all other kind of global streams. What is IPTV? Wikipedia definition: Internet Protocol television (IPTV) is a system through which television services are delivered using the Internet protocol suite over a packet-switched network such as a LAN or the Internet, instead of being delivered through traditional terrestrial, satellite signal, and cable television formats. Unlike downloaded media, IPTV offers the ability to stream the media in smaller batches, directly from the source. As a result, a client media player can begin playing the data (such as a movie) before the entire […]

WeTek Play 2 4K Android Set-top Box with ATSC, DVB-S2 or DVB-T2 Tuners is up for Pre-order for $120

With WeTek Play 2, initially unveiled as WeTek Play+, we now have a successor to WeTek Play with the same ATSC, DVB-S2/S, DVB-T2/T/C tuners, but much better specs thanks to Amlogic S905-H processor, 8GB storage, 2GB memory, and support for HDMI 2.0 and 4K60Hz video decoding allowing you to watch 4K UHD channels via your satellite dish for example. The device can be pre-ordered for $119.90 with the tuner of your choice, and shipping is slated to start on September 6th. WeTek Play 2 specifications have changed slightly since January: SoC –  Amlogic S905-H rev. C quad core ARM Cortex-A53 @ up to 2.0GHz with  penta-core Mali-450MP GPU @ 750 MHz System Memory – 2 GB DDR3 Storage – 8 GB eMMC 5.0 flash + micro SD card slot Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60Hz with HDCP 2.2 support Audio – HDMI, optical S/PDIF Video codecs […]

U4 Quad Hybrid Android TV Box Unboxing and Teardown with DVB-T2, DVB-S2 and ATSC Tuners

Yesterday, I wrote about U4 Quad Hybrid Android Digital TV receiver based on HiSilicon Hi3796M processor, and supporting for DVB-T2/T/C, DVB-S2, and ATSC standards. Today, I’ve received the device, taken a few pictures, and torn it down to find out more about the hardware. The full review will come out in a few weeks. U4 Quad Hybrid Unboxing DHL did their job quickly as I received the set-top box in about two days in the following package. The box comes with a 12V/1.5Am AV and HDMI cables, a WiFi antenna, an IR remote control requiring two AAA batteries (not included), a user’s manual in Korean language only and… a separate tuner… So let’s check that tuner more in details… The demodulator chip is LG3390A, so an ATSC tuner is included in the package. Not very useful in Thailand, but it’s good to know it’s included. I also open the cover […]

WeTek Play+ Amlogic S905 Android Set-Top Box Features a Tuner with a SmartCard Reader and an mSATA SSD Bay

When WeTek announced the WeTek Core, some people were disappointed that they did not include a tuner like in the original WeTek Play, but the company has been working on a successor called Wetek Play+ that is based on Amlogic S905-H quad core processor and supports DVB-S/S2, DVB-C/T/T2, ISDB-T and ATSC tuners with a smartcard reader, as well as an extra store with an half-size SSD slot. WeTek Play+ specifications: SoC –  Amlogic S905-H (Revision C) quad core ARM Cortex-A53 @ up to 2.0GHz with  penta-core Mali-450MP GPU @ 750 MHz System Memory – 2 GB DDR3 Storage – 16 GB eMMC 5.0 flash + micro SD card slot + mSATA SSD socket (implemented via USB to SATA) Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60Hz with HDCP 2.2 support, and AV port Audio – HDMI, AV (stereo), optical S/PDIF Tuners – Support for DVB-S2, DVB-C/T/T2, ISDB-T and […]

Dune HD Solo 4K is a High-End Media Player with a SATA Bay, a DVB-T2 Tuner, and Sigma Designs SMP8758 Processor

Dune HD, a company specializing in “high-performance digital media players”, has just unveiled Dune HD Solo 4K media player based on  Sigma Designs SMP8758 dual core Cortex A9 processor, supporting 10-bit HEVC video decoding up to 2160p @ 30 fps, HD audio pass-though, and including a SATA tray. Dune HD Solo 4K specifications: SoC – Sigma Designs SMP8758 dual core Cortex A9 processor @ 1.2 GHz with an ARM Mali-400 GPU and VXP image processing engine System Memory – 1GB Storage – 4GB flash for firmware, internal HDD rack with hot swap function for a 2.5″ SATA drive, SD card reader (TBC) Video Output – HDMI 1.4b up to 1080p60 and 4K @ 30 Hz (including 23.976, 25, 29.97, 50, 59.94Hz refresh rates), and composite video Audio Output – HDMI, analog stereo audio, coaxial S/PDIF (shared via AV port). 24-bit /192 KHz audio support Video codecs – MPEG2, MPEG4, XVID, […]

List of Amlogic S905 TV Boxes and Sticks

Rockchip RK3368 TV boxes looked promising at the end of the summer, but ended up being disappointing, not because of their expected lower performance compared to RK3288, but simply because they could not deliver on their main selling point: 4K H.265 / H.264 video playback, and the sheer number of issues with the first devices selling for nearly the same price as equivalent Rockchip RK3288 devices. Rockchip RK3368 will soon have a worthy competitor with Amlogic S905, which won’t deliver amazing benchmark scores, but looks promising for its 4K 10-bit HEVC video playback, HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2, and historically Amlogic delivers better video playback than Rockchip. The first Amlogic S905 TV boxes should start shipping by the end of the month, and prices are starting very low, just over $40, thanks to competition between the many manufacturers launching devices based on the new Amlogic SoC. That’s why I’ve decided […]

RISC-V laptop, mini PC