Phicomm N1 Android 7.1 TV Box Supports Multiple Linux Distributions

Phicomm N1

I like to look at new hardware platforms supported by Linux mainline, and recently covered MapleBoard MP130 SBC which I found in Linux 5.0 changelog.  Today, I had a look at another device. Phicomm N1 is an Amlogic S905D powered TV box running Android 7.1 with a user interface geared towards to the Chinese market. Nothing that interesting so far, but a topic on Armbian forums made it more interesting as the box comes with a larger heatsink than most other cheap TV boxes, a 12V/2A power supply which should allow you to connect several USB hard drives, and potentially more importantly, it became popular among Chinese users, with the community releasing several Linux based distributions for the device including  CoreELEC, LibreELEC, Alpine Linux, CentOS, Debian, Deepin, ArchLinux Arm, and more. Phicomm N1 hardware specifications: SoC – Amlogic S905D quad core Arm Cortex-A53 processor @ 1.5 GHz with Arm Mali-450 GPU System Memory – 2GB DDR3-1866MHz Storage – 8GB eMMC …

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4Kopen UHD Video Development Platform Features STMicro STiH418 Media Processor

4Kopen

Back in 2016, I read news about STMicro exiting the set-top box chipset market, so I just assumed all their STiHxx processors would be phased out, and I was surprised to come across 4Kopen, described as an open 4K UHD video development platform powered by STMicro STiH418 media processor, especially it was just showcased at 2019 Integrated Systems Europe (ISE 2019) at the beginning of the month. The development board comes with 2 GB RAM, HDMI 2.0 output, HDMI 1.4 input, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0, a mini PCIe slot fitted with an 802.11b/g/n WiFi module, an eSATA connector and more. 4Kopen (B2264) hardware specifications: SoC – STMicro STiH418 quad-core Arm Cortex-A9 processor @ 1.2 GHz,  quad-core Mali-400 GPU, and 4x ST231 DSP (Each Core Quad issue) @ 650 MHz System Memory – 2 GB DDR3 @ 2133 MHz Storage – micro SD socket, eSATA port Video & Audio I/O Output – HDMI 2.0 Tx up to 2160p60, 3.5mm AV jack …

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Banana Pi BPI-M4 Board Comes with RTD1395 Processor, M.2 Socket, Raspberry Pi 3B+ Form Factor

Banana Pi BPI-M4

Realtek RTD1395 processor is a lower cost version of RTD1295 / RTD1296 processors found in mid-range TV boxes often including HDMI input and output such as Zidoo X9s or LAKE I Home Cloud. The new processor comes with a lower-end Mali-470MP4 GPU and removed some interfaces like HDMI input and native SATA. So far, we had seen very few hardware platforms built around the processor, but SinoVoIP has just unveiled their latest Banana Pi BPI-M4 board powered by Realtek RTD1395 processor, following Raspberry Pi 3B+ form factor, and adding an M.2 key E socket with PCIe 2.0 and USB 2.0 signals. Banana Pi BPI-M4 specifications: SoC – Realtek RTD1395 quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 processor with Mali-470 MP4 GPU System Memory – 1 GB DDR4 (option 2 GB) Storage – 8G eMMC flash (max 64 GB), micro SD slot up to 256GB Video Output – 1x HDMI 2.0 port up to 1080p (TBC) Audio – Via HDMI port, 3.5mm audio jack Connectivity …

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LIVA Q2 Review – ECS Micro PC Tested with Windows 10 and Ubuntu 18.10

ECS LIVA Q2 Teardown

ECS (Elitegroup Computer Systems) is a Taiwanese company that has been offering mini PCs for several years now. Last year they announced their ‘pocket-sized’ model the LIVA Q. Originally featuring Apollo Lake SoCs it has now been upgraded and renamed as the LIVA Q2 and offers a choice of Gemini Lake SoCs. The distinguishing feature of the LIVA Q series however is the form-factor. Compared with Intel Compute ‘stick’ PCs and Intel NUC ‘mini’ PCs the LIVA Q2 is a ‘micro’ PC. This micro PC is like a minimalist mini PC that includes just the minimum number of useful ports namely a couple of USB ports (3.1 and 2.0) on one side, a micro SD card slot on another and finally an HDMI (2.0) and gigabit Ethernet at the rear. The resultant micro PC is beautifully small consisting of a 70mm (2.76″) square case by 33.4mm (1.31”) tall which can still be mounted on the back of a monitor using …

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Kodi 18 “Leia” Released Ahead of FOSDEM 2019

Kodi 18 Leia

As one should have expected based on the abstract of the upcoming Kodi presentation at FOSDEM 2019, Kodi 18 “Leia” has just been released a few days before the 2-day open source developer event. It’s been nearly two years since the release of Kodi 17 “Krypton”, and it took a little longer than initially expected for Kodi 18 to become stable enough for an official since there have been so many changes including half a million lines of code added by 36 open source developers, close to 10,000 commits for almost 9,000 changed files. Some of the improvements in Kodi 18 include: Retroplayer gaming with support for gaming emulators, ROMs and game controls. Digital Rights Management (DRM) decryption support to play subscription content Improved Music Library with better filtering, faster API access, and more Live TV improvements including support for new back-ends like Zattoo, Teleboy, and Sledovanitv.cz, as well as enhanced EPG and PVR support among other things. Binary addon support …

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iCatch V37 4K AI Camera Processor Features a Neural Processing Unit (NPU)

iCatch V37

Taiwan based iCatch Technology has recently announced iCatch V37 SoC for AI camera applications. The processor can capture 4Kp30 video thanks to the company’s 7th generation image signal processor (ISP) and H.264 high-performance encoder, and includes a neural processing unit (NPU) to enable features such as people detection. The V37 series includes V37A and V37M, where V37M has an embedded DRAM in the package to enable smaller form factor designs. iCatch V37 4K AI camera SoC key features: 32-bit RISC CPU Dual CIS Support HDR Combination 5-axis Electronic Image Stabilization Dewarping Engine Video Noise Reduction (MCTF) Rolling Shutter Compensation H.264 4Kp30 Video Encode Neural Processing Unit Security Engine USB 2.0, HDMI v1.4b, GMAC External WiFi/BT Support The SoC can be used to design products such as digital still camera (DSC), action camera, 360° VR Camera, digital video recorder (DVR), home security camera, or body worn camera. One example of use case for the NPU is home security camera applications, where …

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TAIHE Gemini is a 15.6″ Full HD or 4K Portable Display (Crowdfunding)

TAIHE Gemini 4K Portable Touchscreen Display

Portable displays have been available for a while, but they used to be fairly heavy, as for example, Gechic On-Lap Monitor 2501M 15.6″ portable monitor weighted 1.3 kg with cover. However in recent times, we’ve seen several such products – LAPSCREEN and DUO Add-on Display – launched with lighter designs, and the advance as USB type-C and power delivery make those even more attractive since a single cable can be used to transfer video, and power both the display and the host device. TAIHE Gemini is yet another option, but at 15.6″ is larger than the two aforementioned products, it is equipped with its own battery and kickstand, and comes in two variants with either 1920×1080 Full HD or 3840×2160 (4K UHD) resolution. TAIHE Gemini FHD & UHD portable displays specifications: Display Gemini FHD – 15.6″ 10-point touchscreen IPS display with 1920×1080 resolution, 15ms response time, 180° kickstand Gemini UHD – 15.6″ IPS display with 3840×2160 resolution, 14ms response time, …

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SEI 520 is a 2-in-1 Android TV Hybrid Set-top Box and Smart Speaker

SEI 520 Android TV Smart Speaker

SEI Robotics has showcased a new device at CES 2019 that looks like a smart speaker, and SEI 520 is indeed a smart speaker with Google Assistant support, but it also adds a digital TV tuner and a quad-core Cortex A53 processor running Android TV 9.0 operating system to allow you to watch live TV, and stream videos. Preliminary specifications for SEI 520 smart speaker: SoC – Quad core Arm Cortex-A53 processor, possibly Amlogic S905X2 System Memory – 2GB RAM Storage – 16GB eMMC flash Video Output – HDMI up to 4K UHD Video Decode – VP9 and H.265/HEVC Audio Output – HDMI audio + optical S/PDIF Input – Far-field microphone Speaker – No technical details provided Connectivity – Ethernet, 2T2R MIMO WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0 Tuner – DVB-S2X/T2/C, ATSC, ISDBT USB – 1x USB 3.0 port, 1x USB 2.0 port Misc – IR blaster Power Supply – 12V DC via power barrel jack The device will ship with a remote …

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