MECOOL HomePlus – A 2-in-1 smart speaker and 4K TV box with DVB Tuner

MECOOL KA1

We’ve reviewed MECOOL devices in the past, such as their hybrid set-top boxes with DVB-T2 and/or DVB-S2 tuners. But MECOOL HomePlus (aka MECOOL KA1) packs even more features as it serves as both a 4K Android set-top box with a DVB tuner and a smart speaker compatible with Google Assitant. Based on Amlogic S905X4 Arm Cortex-A55 processor, and equipped with 4GB RAM and 32GB storage, MECOOL HomePlus runs a Google-certified Android TV 11 OS with far-field voice and hands-free TV control. MECOOL HomePlus (KA1) specifications: SoC – Amlogic S905X4 quad-core Arm Cortex-A55 processor with Arm G31 MP2 GPU RAM – 4GB LPDDR4 Storage – 32GB eMMC flash Video Output – HDMI 2.1 port with HDCP 2.2 Video Codes – 4K AV1, VP9, H.265, H.264 Audio Built-in two linear microphone array 2x 5W RMS speakers Tuner – RF antenna input for DVB T/T2/C tuner (optional) Connectivity 10/100M Ethernet RJ45 port Dual-band […]

UGOOS UT8 PRO – An RK3568 TV box with 8GB RAM, 64GB storage

UGOOS UT8 PRO is the first TV box I’ve seen with a Rockchip RK3568 processor, if we exclude Firefly Station P2 that’s more like an Arm Linux mini PC. The device runs Android 11 and is equipped with 8GB RAM, 64GB eMMC flash, and offers WiFi 6 connectivity. There’s also the “UGOOS UT8” with basically the same features except it ships with 4GB RAM and  32GB flash, and a dual-band WiFi 5 and Bluetooth module. We previously had seen TV boxes and mini PCs with the similar Rockchip RK3566 SoC in T95 Plus, H96 Max, and Zidoo M6, and the only reason for going with RK3568 in UGOOS UT8 (PRO) should be the extra USB 3.0 host/OTG interface, adding to the USB 3.0 host interface found in both RK3566 and RK3568 processors. UGOOS UT8 (PRO) specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3568 with a quad-core Cortex-A55 processor @ up to 1.8/2.0GHz, Arm […]

Zidoo M6 preview with Android 11

I’ve now had more time to play with Zidoo M6 Arm mini PC powered by a Rockchip RK3566 quad-core Cortex-A55 processor. I intended to review the device with Ubuntu, but I misunderstood, and Android 11 was pre-installed on the device. I was also told since this model is mainly for industrial control, I might want to focus on performance and connectors rather than how well all functions work. So this will not be a review, but rather a preview of Zidoo M6, since as we’ll see below there’s still more work do to fix all issues. As an industrial platform. some features like Google Services may not be needed or even desirable. First boot and Settings I’ve connected a USB keyboard for screenshots, MINIX NEO A2 Lite air mouse, an HDMI cable to my 4K TV, and the power supply to get started. I also add two AAA batteries to […]

$55 Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max supports 4K AV1 videos, Wi-Fi 6

Amazon will release new Fire TV Sticks from time to time, and most are only mildly interesting, but the Amazon Fire TV Stick TV 4K Max brings two new interesting features with 4K AV1 video playback, as well as Wi-Fi 6 connectivity which should prevent buffering for higher bitrate 4K videos. The new device builds upon the MediaTek MT8695 based Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K released in 2018, with a more powerful MediaTek MT8696 processor clocked at 1.8 GHz, more memory (2GB vs 1.5 GB), and the same 8GB of storage for the Android 9 based Amazon Fire 7 OS. Amazon claims the new stick is 40% faster, despite a frequency bump from 1.7 GHz to 1.8 GHz only, and MT8696 relies on Cortex-A73 cores Cortex-A55 cores (See comments), instead of the Cortex-A53 cores found in MediaTek MT8695, so the performance improvement probably refers to the faster GPU. Amazon Fire […]

Amlogic S905W4 TV Box ships with Amlogic W1 WiFi 5 module

As I just posted about MediaTek Filogic 830/630 WiFi 6/6E chip, I was informed that Amlogic may have its own WiFi chip as “W1” module showed up in the SDK’s source code. It turns out there’s at least one TV box with Amlogic W1 802.11b/g/n/ac module/chip?, namely X96 Mini+, that also happens to come with an Amlogic S905W4 quad-core Cortex-A53 processor we’ve never covered on CNX Software. Apart from the new processor and WiFI module, X96 Mini Plus is your typical entry-level 4K TV box with up to 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, HDMI 2.0 video output, composite video output, Ethernet, and a couple of USB ports. X96 Mini Plus specifications: SoC – Amlogic S905W4 quad-core Arm Cortex A53 @ 1.2GHz with penta-core Mali-450MP GPU @ 750MHz System Memory – 1 or 2GB DDR3 Storage – 8GB or 16GB eMMC flash, microSD card slot Video Output – HDMI 2.0a up to […]

LibreELEC 10.0 minimal Linux OS for media playback released with Kodi 19.1

While most TV boxes and SBCs nowadays ship with or support a version of Android, people who just want the best viewing experience may prefer to switch to a Linux distribution such as LibreELEC or CoreELEC. The good news is that LibreELEC 10.0 has just been released with Kodi 19.1 and Linux 5.10 LTS. LibreELEC 10.0 is said to work well for Allwinner, Rockchip, and “Generic” Intel/AMD devices, while the Raspberry Pi 4 release’s codebase is rather new, and there may still be a few rough edges. Support for the previous generation Raspberry Pi boards has been dropped, and there’s no support for Amlogic platforms as CoreELEC already provides good support. Since LibreELEC 10.0 is based on Kodi 19.1, it benefits from the same features as Kodi 19 “Matrix” release including AV1 video decoding, a new skin, HDR support, and more. LibreELEC 10.1 support a wide range of single board […]

UGOOS AM7 Android 11 TV box with Amlogic S905X4, WiFi 6 is up for pre-order

When Ugoos AM6B Plus 2021 TV box was introduced with Amlogic S922X-J and WiFi 6, we noted the company was working on UGOOS AM7, a more affordable TV box that also supports WiFi 6, and comes with the latest Android 11 running on Amlogic S905X4 processor with 4K AV1 video playback. UGOOS AM7 is now available for pre-order on Aliexpress for around $128 including shipping. The device includes 4GB RAM, 32GB eMMC flash, 4K HDR video output at up to 60 Hz, Gigabit Ethernet, WiFI 6, and Bluetooth 5.0. Ugoos AM7 specifications: SoC – Amlogic S905X4 quad-core Cortex-A55 processor with Arm Mali-G31 MP2 GPU System Memory – 4GB LPDDR4 Storage – 32GB eMMC flash storage Video Output – HDMI 2.1 up to 4Kp60 with HDR, HDCP 2.2, CEC support;  3.5mm AV port with composite video (and stereo audio) Video Codecs 4Kp60 AV1, VP9, H.265/HEVC, H.264 AVC 1080p60 H264 MVC, MPEG-4, […]

Allwinner H313 HDMI TV Stick runs Android 10, features an Ethernet port

TOX2 is an HDMI TV stick powered by Allwinner H313 quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 processor that we first found in an X96Q TV box. The device runs Android 10 operating systems and happens to provide Ethernet connectivity, a rarity for this form factor. The dongle also comes with 2GB LDRR4 RAM, 16GB eMMC flash, and dual-band WiFi 5, and supports 4Kp60 video output through a male HDMI 2.0 port. TOX2 specifications: SoC – Allwinner H313 quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 processor @ 1.35 GHz with Arm Mali G31 MP2 GPU with support for OpenGL ES 3.2 and Vulkan System Memory – 2GB LPDDR4 Storage – 16GB eMMC flash, MicroSD card socket Video & audio output – HDMI 2.0a port up to 4Kp60 Video playback H.265 up to 4Kp60 H.264, VP9 Profile 2, AVS2 up to 4Kp30 H.263, MPEG-4, MPEG-2, MPEG-1, Xvid, Sorenson Spark, VP8, AVS/AVS+, VC1 up to 1080p60 Video encoding – H.264 […]