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

gstreamer zoom video conference

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 […]

Google Chromecast with Google TV Runs Android TV OS, Ships with a Remote Control

Chromecast with Google TV

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.] […]

Mecool KM6 Amlogic S905X4 Android TV box plays 4K AV1 videos, supports WiFi 6

Mecool KM6 Deluxe Amlogic S905X4 TV Box

We’ve heard about Amlogic S905X4 processor for 4K TV boxes with AV1 support for about year, and while we’ve written about upcoming S905X4 TV boxes such as SDMC DV8919, none of them have launched so far, as silicon design and/or software development have taken a bit longer than expected, and we’re now far from the Q4 2019 launch date shown on the roadmap. But we may not have to wait much longer, as I have been offered a review sample – which sadly, I may have to refuse due to local import regulations – for Mecool KM6 TV box based on Amlogic S905X4 quad-core Cortex-A55 processor coupled with up to 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, Gigabit Ethernet and WiFi 6 connectivity, and running Android 10 on Android TV (Android 10.0 ATV). The company will sell two models with Mecool KM6 Deluxe and Classic editions with the following specifications: SoC – Amlogic […]

Amazon Fire TV Stick 3rd Gen is Powered by MediaTek MT8695D SoC

Amazon Fire TV Stick MediaTek MT8695D

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K powered by a MediaTek MT8695 quad-core SoC for launched for $50  about two years ago. The company has now introduced two cheaper variants with Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite and Fire TV Stick powered by a similar MediaTek MT8695D quad-core processor designed for 1080p (Full HD) HDR video playback. Both devices are basically the same for Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite goes for $29.99, and Amazon Fire TV Stick for $39.99 as the Lite version includes a cheaper Alexa Voice Remote Lite that lacks hardware buttons for controlling the volume and power on your TV and does not support Dolby Atmos (except via HDMI pass-through). New Amazon Fire TV Stick (Lite) specifications: SoC – MediaTek MT8695D quad-core Cortex-A53 processor @ 1.7 GHz with Imagination PowerVR GE8300 GPU supporting OpenGL ES 3.2 System Memory – 1GB DDR4 Storage – 8GB eMMC flash Video Output – HDMI […]

Android 11 on Android TV Launches for the Big Screen

Android 11 for Android TV

Android 11 may have been released for smartphones on September 8th, but Google has just only announced the launch of Android 11 on Android TV for an optimized experience on the big screen. The version of the TV-optimized operating system builds on the many new features introduced for Android 11, but also adds performance and privacy improvements, new features tailored for the TV, and updated developer tools. One of the notable TV-related improvements in Android 11 includes HDMI 2.1’s Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) which allows the latency setting to be automatically established depending on the applications, as for instance, many games require the lowest possible latency, while it’s not really an issue for movies and videos. Android 11 on Android TV also adds low latency media decoding, a new Tuner Framework with updated Media CAS support, extensions to the HAL implementation of HDMI CEC, extended gamepad support, silent boot […]

Low-cost Amlogic S905L2 TV Boxes Show Up on Aliexpress for $20+

X7 Amlogic S905L2 TV Box

Amlogic has plenty of variants to its S905 processors, and so far I had never heard about Amlogic S905L2 processor that can be found in some Android 9.0 TV boxes sold for a little over $20 including shipping. [Update: I’ve been informed people are not getting boxes with S905L2, but just S905L, nor the advertised amount of memory or storage, notably from Shop5779464] There are only two such TV boxes listed with the quad-core Cortex-A53 processor so far, and they are basically the same X7 model except for different storage and memory configuration. X7 TV box specifications: Amlogic S905L2 quad-core Cortex-A53 with Arm Mali-450 MP GPU System Memory – 2 or 4GB DDR3 Storage – 16GB or 32GB flash storage Video Output – HDMI up to 4Kp60 with HDR support, and AV port Video  Decoding – 4K H.265, H.264 Networking – 10/100M Ethernet and dual-band 802.11b/g/n WiFi 4 USB – […]

Amlogic S905X3-B SoC Powers Android 9.0 TV Boxes with Dolby Audio License

AX95-DB TV Box

Amlogic S905X3 quad-core Cortex-A55 processor has been found in various TV boxes and single board computers such as ODROID-C4 for about a year.  But I’ve just been informed some new TV models come with Amlogic S905X3-B processor adding a Dolby Audio license. AX95 DB is one of those with the S905X3-B Android 9.0 TV box equipped with 4GB RAM, up to 128GB storage, HDMI 2.1 output up to 4Kp60, as well as Fast Ethernet, and USB 3.0/2.0 ports. AX95 DB specifications: SoC – Amlogic S905X3-B quad-core Arm Cortex-A55 processor @ 2.0 GHz with Arm Mali-G31MP2 GPU, Dolby audio license System Memory – 4GB DDR3 Storage – 64GB flash (32GB or 128GB optional), MicroSD card slt up to 32GB Video & Audio Output HDMI 2.1 up to 4K @ 60Hz or 8K @ 24Hz 3.5mm AV jack for composite video and stereo audio Optical S/PDIF with Dobly Digital audio support Video […]

Testing Hercules OTT Realtek RTD1395 4K Android STB Development Board

Realtek RTD1395 Development Board

This is a guest post by Promwad, a software and hardware product development company with DTV & STB development expertise and know-how. Recently, they received a package from Realtek, their partner in Taiwan. There was a Realtek RTD1395 development board inside – Hercules 32-bit OTT – with 2 GB RAM and pre-installed Android 9 OS. Promwad team tested what it’s capable of and how it can be used by hardware and software engineers who design new TV set-top boxes and develop embedded software. Hercules OTT board is an Android IPTV box that plays videos of any formats with a maximum resolution of 4K. Streaming services such as Youtube, Netflix, etc. are supported via Dash and HLS. Also, the board supports other Android apps, including audio/video calls and conferencing. Realtek introduced RTD1395-based boards back in 2018. IP and cable TV operators used them in their subscriber devices. The RTD1395 chip with […]