4K AV1 Android TV dongles surface with Amlogic S905Y4 Cortex-A35 processor

Amlogic S905X4 is a quad-core Cortex-A55 SoC for 4K TV boxes and set-top boxes with H.265, H.264, VP9, and AV1 hardware video decoding. The silicon vendor usually provides a lower cost version of the processor for dongles without Ethernet, but keeping most of the same features, as we’ve seen in the past with S905X2 and S905Y2 processors for instance. S905X4 has now its own cost-down version with S905Y4 for Android TV (certified) dongles relying on WiFi for connectivity, but instead of keeping Cortex-A55 cores, the processor features four low-power Cortex-A35 cores. We do not have the full details about S905Y4 processor just yet, but it has start to show in dongles from SEI Robotics and SDMC that appears idendical. SDMC DV6071Z / SEI Robotics  SEI450 TV dongle specifications: SoC – Amlogic S905Y4 quad-core 64-bit Arm Cortex-A35 processor with Mali-G31 MP2 GPU System Memory – 2GB DDR (4GB optional) Storage – 8GB eMMC flash (16GB optional) Video & Audio Output – […]

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Mecool KM6 Deluxe (Amlogic S905X4) TV Box Review

Back in September 2020, Jean-Luc wrote about the Mecool KM6 TV Box. This comes with the Amlogic S905X4 with AV1 support and preloaded with Android TV 10. Since Jean-Luc could not review the KM6, I offered to do this for him. It was already mentioned the box was delayed in the previous article published in September. After that, it was further delayed until January 2021. So last week I received the Mecool KM6 deluxe for review. It comes with a remote, a 2A/5V PSU, and an HDMI cable. My deluxe version has 4GB LPDDR4 and a 64GB eMMC flash. They also sell the KM6 Classic which comes with 2GB LPDDR4 and a 16GB eMMC flash. Under the moto, don’t turn it on, take it apart. I opened the box to see its internals. There were 4 screws to undo under its rubber feet. It comes with a metal plate on the bottom which has a thermal pad making contact to […]

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Year 2020 in review – Top ten posts and stats

It’s this time of the year when we look back at what happened, and what may be next. 2020 did not pan out as planned in more ways than one, but there were still some interesting developments. Based on 2019 announcements, 2020 was promising to be an exciting year for Amlogic and Rockchip with the expected launch of RK3588 and S908X high-end processors for 8K capable devices,  but we’ll have to wait for 2021 for this to happen. Instead, the most interesting processor of the year from the Allwinner, Amlogic, and Rockchip offerings was probably Amlogic S905X4 processing adding AV1 hardware decoding. As pointed out in our “RISC-V 2020 highlights” post, it was a fairly eventful year for RISC-V architecture, although there’s still a long road ahead, especially for application processors. We had seen some general-purpose and Bluetooth RISC-V MCUs in 2019, but 2020 saw the launch of the first WiFi IoT RISC-V chips with ESP32-C3 and BL602, Alibaba making […]

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Amlogic S905X3 vs S905X4 – Features Comparisons

AV1 capable Amlogic S905X4 processor has been expected for more than a year, and only now are we starting to see announcements of S905X4 TV boxes and development kits. So it may be a good time to compare the features of the new Amlogic S905X4 processor again its predecessor, namely S905X3, and see if there are other notable differences apart from support for AV1 open video codec. We’ll use data from S905X3 specifications,  S905X2 vs S905X3 comparison, and a post on SDMC LinkedIn page. Amlogic S905X4 will be slightly faster due to the higher (default) maximum CPU frequency of 2.0 GHz, but most people will not notice the difference.  S905X4 is supposed to support Vulkan 1.1, while S905X3 does not, but I believe this is just due to more up-to-date Android SDK, and not differences in the silicon itself. S905X4 supports Nagra DRM, a more recent version of HDCP, and integrates a dual-core audio DSP which may be why there’s […]

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Allwinner H6 SBC offers dual Ethernet, four display outputs, M.2 expansion

While the processor was introduced in 2017, there are only a few Allwinner H6 SBC’s on the market with, for instance, Orange Pi 3 or Pine H64 boards, and it never became as popular as solutions based Allwinner H3 processor. But Boardcon has now launched its own Allwinner H6 SBC targeting professionals with Boardcon EMH6 board combining a carrier board and a computer-on-module that can be integrated into products. Boardcon EMH6 specifications: Core module SoC – Allwinner H6 quad-core Arm Cortex A53 processor with Arm Mali-T720 GPU with support for OpenGL ES3.1/3.0/2.0/1.1 System Memory – 1GB LPDDR3 Storage – 8GB eMMC Storage – MicroSD card slot, M.2 slot for NVMe SSD Video Output 1x HDMI 2.0a up to 4Kp60 1x CVBS interface 1x RGB interface or 2x eDP interface via NCS8801S RGB-to-eDP converter Backlight header Camera – 24-pin connector compatible with 13MP OV13850 camera sensor Audio – Optical S/PDIF output, 3.5mm jack for audio in/out, 2-pin header for speaker, built-in […]

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Amlogic S905X4 Android TV & RDK developer kit ships with ATSC, DVB, or ISDB tuners

We were expecting Amlogic S905X4 TV boxes with products like Ugoos X4 or Mecool KM6 by the end of last month, but due to supply issues manufacturing has been delayed. However, if you’d need a device to get started with your own project as soon as possible, for example, to work on AV1 hardware decoding implementation, SEI Robotics has launched an Amlogic S905X4 developer kit for Android TV & RDK development under their DroidLogic brand. The devkit looks like a standard TV box, and the company also provides a choice of tuners with DVB-S2, DVB-T2/C, DVB-S2+DVB-T2/C Combo, ISTB-T, or ATSC-T. DroidLogic Amlogic S905X4 developer kit specifications: SoC – Amlogic S905X4 quad-core Cortex-A55 processor with Arm Mali-G31MP2 GPU (Amlogic S905X3 as option) System Memory – 2GB DDR4 Storage – 8GB eMMC flash Video Output – HDMI 2.1 up to 4Kp60 with CEC, HDR, and HDCP 2.2 support; CVBS (composite video) Video Decoding AV1 MP-10 L5.1 up to 4Kx2K @ 60fps VP9 […]

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How to develop Gstreamer-based video conferencing apps for RDK & Linux set-top boxes

CNXSoft: This is a guest post by Promwad that explains the basic steps to develop a video conferencing app with Gstreamer on TV boxes running Linux. The COVID-19 pandemic has become a catalyst for new online services. For example, Zoom became so successful that it overtook IBM in terms of capitalization this month. The software engineers at Promwad were inspired by this success and decided to go even further: what about implementing video conferencing on Smart TV and STBs? Then the users of such an application will have an opportunity to communicate not only at work but also to enjoy remote meetings with friends, cheer for a soccer team, watch a movie together, or do sports with a coach. For some reason, most digital TV operators do not have such a service, although, from an engineering point of view, all these features can be implemented on set-top boxes based on Linux/Android and RDK. Let’s analyze the architecture of a Zoom-like […]

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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.] System Memory – 2GB RAM Storage – 8GB flash Video […]

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