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Posts Tagged ‘android tv’

CCC Air Stick 4K TV Stick Runs Android TV, Supports HDR10, aptX HD Bluetooth Audio (Japan)

January 19th, 2018 1 comment

It’s been a while since I have seen an Amlogic S912 TV stick, and so far none of them would run Android TV operating system. But CCC Air Stick 4K does, meaning it supports Google Cast like a ChromeCast, as well as Voice Commands through a remote control.

The company also claims support for aptX and aptX HD Bluetooth audio, as well as online services such as Hulu, Netflix, Spotify, and some Japanese specific services, since the TV stick only targets the Japanese market.

Air Stick 4K specifications:

  • SoC – Amlogic S912J 64-bit octa core Arm Cortex A53 @ up to 1.5GHz with Arm Mali GPU
  • System Memory – 2 GB
  • Storage – 16 GB flash
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0a up to 4K @ 60 Hz with HDR10, CEC support
  • Audio – HDMI audio output, aptX / aptX audio over Bluetooth
  • Connectivity
    • Dual band (2.4 GHz/5 GHz) 802.11b/g/n/ac WiFi
    • Bluetooth 4.1
    • Ethernet via power adapter
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 port via power adapter
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port
  • Dimensions – 70.0 mm × 30.0 mm × 11.0 mm
  • Weight – 30g

The dongle runs Android TV 7.1.2 Nougat, and should be upgrade to Android 8.x Oreo in the future. It ships with a remote control with a microphone for voice commands, a short HDMI male to female adapter, and an interesting power adapter with Ethernet (RJ45), and a USB type A port. The Ethernet port allows the TV stick to be used as a WiFi hotspot for up to 8 devices.

I had never heard about S912J, and web searches all point to the stick discussed in this post, so either it somehow got inserted by mistake, or there’s somehow a special version of Amlogic S912 processor for Japan, or TV sticks.

CCC Air Stick 4K is sold for 9,800 Yen(or 10,584 Yen with VAT), or the equivalent of $88.6 US on shops such as Rakuten or Yahoo Shopping Japan. More details can be found in the product page (in Japanese)

Via Android Police and thanks to Dave for the tip.

$38 MECOOL M8S PRO W “with Voice Control” TV Box Runs Android TV 7.1 OS

January 19th, 2018 2 comments

There was a time when most TV boxes would run Android operating system for mobile with lots of modifications to make it suitable for the big screen, except for a few models that would run the official Android TV operating systems. But things are now changing, with announced from Geniatech, WeTek, and others all announcing certified Android TV set-top boxes and media hubs.

We’ve even been told Amlogic will now only provide Android TV SDK from now on with no support for “normal Android”, and the good news is that inexpensive TV box running Android TV will become common place, and one of those devices, MECOOL M8S PRO W is the cheapest I’ve seen so far going for $37.99 shipped with coupon DSJMVRWB (pre-order)

MECOOL M8S PRO W specifications:

  • SoC – Amlogic S905W quad core ARM Cortex-A53 processor with penta-core Mali-450MP3 GPU @ 750 MHz
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3
  • Storage – 16GB eMMC flash + micro SD card slot up to 32GB
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI 2.0a output, 3.5mm AV port (composite + stereo audio)
  • Video Codecs – [email protected] H.265, MPEG1/2/4, H.264, HD AVC/VC-1, RM/RMVB, Xvid/DivX3/4/5/6 , RealVideo8/9/10
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports
  • Misc – IR receiver, front panel LCD display
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – 10.20 x 10.20 x 2.10 cm
  • Weight – 110 grams

Beside Android 7.1 OS, the device is also said to be preloaded with Kodi 17.3, and StbEmu app making it compatible with most MAG25X IPTV stalker protocols. The device ships with a voice remote control, a power adapter, a HDMI Cable, and a user manual.

There are some reviews of MECOOL M8S PRO W on the web, but all the ones I’ve checked run “normal” Android 7.1, while the page on GeekBuying mentions “Android TV 7.1” several times and even show Leanback launcher, so the firmware must have been updated. It’s also worth noting only the “M8S PRO W with voice control” shows “Android TV 7.1” as the operating systems, and other option with the voice remote control only seems to run “Android 7.1”, and are already for sale instead of pre-order.

Via AndroidTVBox.eu

WeTek Unveils Hyperion 4G LTE Set-Top Box & Nix OTT TV Box Running Android TV OS

January 12th, 2018 5 comments

When Geniatech announced Android TV certification for their ATV598Max set-top box with digital TV tuners compliant with DVB-T2, DVB-C, ATSC, or ISDB standards earlier this week, we noticed how few official Android TV STB there was on the market.

But more may be coming, as Wetek will showcase two Android TV products at CABSAT in Dubai on January 14-16 with Wetek Hyperion Amlogic S905D 4G LTE set-top box, as well as WeTek Nix OTT box powered by Amlogic S905X processor.

WeTek Hyperion

Specifications:

  • SoC – Amlogic S905D quad core ARM Cortex-A53 SoC up to 1.5 GHz, with penta-core ARM Mali-450 GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3 RAM
  • Storage – 16GB eMMC 5.0 flash
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI 2.0a (CEC, HDR, HDCP 1.4/2.2), mini jack analog AV output
  • Connectivity
    • Gigabit Ethernet
    • Dual band 802.11 ac/b/g/n WiFi (optional 802.11ac MiMo)
    • Bluetooth 4.0
    • 4G LTE modem – LTE-FDD: B2/B4/B5/B12/B13/B17/B25/B26; LTE-TDD: B41; Download up to 150 (Mbps). Upload up to 50 (Mbps)
  • Power Supply –  5V/2A

Hyperion does not appear to come with tuner, so we’ll have to see since S905D processor is well-suited for tuners. I think 4G LTE is popular in the Middle East since that’s how many people get their broadband Internet, so it’s possible this model mostly targets the MENA market. The device is promoted as a “complete home hub capable of providing the best video quality, user’s favorite Android applications and routing all Internet traffic at home”.

The set-top box currently runs Android TV 7.1.2, but Oreo 8.0 will also be supported, and DRM is enabled using ARM TrustZone SecureOS with Google Widevine Level 1 and Microsoft PlayReady 2.5 & 3.0 for secured, premium content playback. It will ship with a power supply, a 1.2m HDMI cable, and an optional one meter IR extender cable.

WeTek Nix

The second device appears to include lots of ventilation holes, and is a more traditional OTT TV box with the following specifications:

  • SoC – Amlogic S905X quad core ARM Cortex-A53 SoC up to 1.5 GHz, with penta-core ARM Mali-450 GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3 RAM
  • Storage – 16 GB eMMC 5.0 flash
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI 2.0a (CEC, HDR, HDCP 1.4/2.2) up to 4K @ 60 Hz, mini jack analog AV output
  • Connectivity – 100 Mbit Ethernet, dual band 802.11 ac/b/g/n WiFi (optional 8902.11ac MiMo), Bluetooth 4.0
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A

Like Hyperion, Nix support Android TV 7.1.2 / 8.0, as well as Widewine L1 and PlayReady 2.5/3.0, but also adds Verimatrix VCAS for IPTV. The TV box with also ship with a power adapter, HDMI cable, and optional IR extender cable.

Both device seem to be targeted to OEM partners, and it’s unclear whether those models will be sold direct to end users like previous models such as Wetek Hub or WeTek Play 2. We’ll probably find out more in a few days.

Thanks to Ron for the tip

Geniatech ATV598Max is a Certified Android TV Hybrid TV Box with ATSC, DVB-T2, DVB-C, or ISDB-T Digital TV Tuner

January 10th, 2018 7 comments

Geniatech ATV495 Max was the first model from the company to get official Android TV certifications. There now a bunch of those ATV OEM devices, but if you want one with a digital TV tuner, then the choice is much more limited, and so far, I only heard about ARRIS set top boxes.

Geniatech ATV598 Max can now be added to the list, as the company informed me the Amlogic quad core hybrid TV box with ATSC, DVB-T2, or DVB-C tuner had just received official Android TV certification from Google too.

ATV598Max specifications:

  • SoC  – Amlogic S905D quad core Arm Cortex-A53 processor up to 1.5 GHz with penta-core Mali-450MP GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3 (optional 1GB)
  • Storage – 16GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot up to 32GB
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0a;
  • Audio – Via HDMI, optical output, optional Dolby support
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi or 802.11 b/g/ac WiFi module, Bluetooth
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports
  • Tuner – Optional ATSC/DVB-T2/DVB-C/ISDB-T tuner, 75 Ohm antenna input (coaxial or F-connector)
  • Power Supply – 5.0V/2A
  • Dimensions – 132 x 126 x 27.5 mm
  • Weight – 250g

The box ships with a HDMI cable, a user manual, a power adapter, and a remote control

ATV598Max runs Android TV 7.1, and the certification also includes Google Mobile Service (GMS) with the Play Store and other Google apps, as well as support for features such as Google Cast and Google Voice Search. The tuner software supports EPG, schedule recording, timeshift and parental control functions.

More details can be found on the product page.

Popcorn Hour Transformer Media Computer / NAS Launched for $95.90 and Up

January 4th, 2018 11 comments

Last month, we wrote about Cloud Media’s Popcorn Hour Transformer, a platform based on Rockchip RK3328 processor that could be used a 2.5″ drive NAS, and/or a 4K HDR TV box, and looked like an interested alternative  to ODROID HC1 NAS system.

The company has now officially launch the device, and is taking orders for $95.90 or $115.90 for respectively the 2GB RAM/16GB flash, or 4GB/32GB versions.

Click to Enlarge

Popcorn Hour Transformer specifications:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3328 quad core Cortex A53 processor with Mali-450MP GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB or 4GB LPDDR3
  • Storage
    • micro SD slot
    • 16 or 32GB eMMC flash (removable and upgradeable)
    • 128 Mbit SPI NOR flash
    • SATA interface via USB 3.0 to SATA bridge chipset for 2.5″ HDD/SSD
  • Network Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0a up to 4K 60Hz with HDR (HDR10/HLG) support
  • Audio Output – Via HDMI, and 3.5mm audio jack (analog stereo or optical S/PDIF)
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 type A ports including one OTG port
  • Misc – Power button, IR receiver, RTC
  • Power Supply – 5V/3A via power barrel jack
  • Dimensions & weight – TBD (aluminum casing with passive cooling fins)

The transformer ships with a 5V/3A power supply, and an IR remote control.

Two variants are offered with exactly the same hardware, but while the “Media Computer” version is pre-loaded with Android 7.1.2, the NAS version comes with OpenMediaVault instead. The company also mentions community supported images for the device, which should be (mostly) software compatible with Pine64 ROCK64 development board, including Lakka (RetroArch) for retro-gaming, open source Android TV and Xenial Mate Desktop both maintained by ayufan, LibreELEC maintained by Raybuntu, and others.

At first, I found the price gap to ODROID-HC1 (sold for $49) ludicrous, but Transformer does include 16GB storage, and a power supply, which needs to be purchased separately for the Hardkernel mini NAS, so while the gap is still there, it’s not as large as the advertised prices entail. Popcorn Hour Transformer also supports video output, and comes with a fully closed case.

Geniatech ATV495 Max TV Box Gets Google’s Android TV Approval

December 1st, 2017 9 comments

Last year, I wrote about Geniatech working on getting official Android TV support for ATV495 Max and ATV598 Max set-top boxes with Google Play GMS certification. The certification for the Amlogic S912 model with tuner (AT598 Max) is still being worked on, but the good news is that Amlogic S905X based ATV495 Max has now received Google’s Android TV approval.

The case design has changed a little since this first announcement with a more rounded and large design, but other Geniatech ATV495Max specifications have not changed:

  • SoC – Amlogic S905X-B quad core ARM Cortex-A53 processor up to 1.5 GHz with Mali 450MP GPU @ up to 750MHz
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3
  • Storage – 16GB eMMC flash + micro SD Slot up to 32GB
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI 2.0a up to 4K @ 60 Hz with CEC, HDCP, HDR; 3.5mm AV port (CVBS + stereo audio); Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus multichannel HD audio
  • Video Codecs – VP9 Profile-2 up to 4K @ 60 fps, H.265 MP-10 @ L5.1 up to 4K @ 60 fps, H.264 AVC HP @ L5.1 up to 4K @ 30 fps, other codecs up to 1080p60.
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi or 802.11 b/g/ac WiFi module, optional Bluetooth
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports
  • Power Supply – 5.0V/2A
  • Dimensions – 100 x 98 x 22 mm (or 82 x 82 x 19 mm?)
  • Weight – 159g

The box runs Android TV 7.1, and ships with a user manual, a HDMI cable, a power adapter, and an IR remote control with voice function by default.

That means the device will now support features such as Google voice search, Google Cast, and TV versions of apps such as YouTube, Hulu, Sling, and more. The product page also links to a specification sheet that shows Leanback launcher or other custom launcher can be implemented into Android TV. There’s no mention about DRM or apps like Netflix however.

I asked Geniatech if they had any documentation or link from Google showing certifications, but yesterday, they told me they only got a email from Google, and asked if they had any document, but no feedback so far. ATV495 Max is however listed with other OEM devices on the unofficial list of Android TV devices.

As for ATV598 Max, certification is still ongoing since more testing is required due to the included TV Tuner. [Update Jan 10, 2018: Geniatech ATV598Max is now certified for Android TV]

Popcorn Hour RockBox Basic TV Box To Leverage ROCK64 Board Firmware Images

October 2nd, 2017 10 comments

Pine64 launched ROCK64 development board powered by Rockchip RK3328 processor a few months ago. The board exposes fast interfaces like Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0, and support 4K video playback, and runs Android 7.1 or various Linux distributions such as Ubuntu 16.04 and others.

Pine64 and Cloud Media companies share some of the same owners, and RK3328 being a TV box processor, it should not come as a surprise that Cloud Media has introduced Popcorn Hour Rockbox Basic TV box based on the processor. While the box is running Android 7.1 by default, it will also be support alternative operating systems such as LibreELEC, Android TV OS, Ubuntu, etc… thanks to the work of Pine64/Rock64 community.

Popcorn Hour RockBox Basic specifications are quite standard:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3328 quad core Cortex A53 processor @ 1.5 GHz with Mali-450MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 1 GB LPDDR3
  • Storage – 8 GB eMMC flash + microSD card slot
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0a up to 4K @ 60 Hz with HDR10 and HLG support
  • Video Codec – 4K VP9, H.265 and H.264. 1080p VC-1, MPEG-1/2/4, VP6/8
  • Audio – Via HDMI, optical S/PDIF output
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 OTG port, 1x USB 3.0 port
  • Misc – IR receiver
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – TBD

The box is not based on ROCK64 board per se, but the hardware will be similar enough, so that community firmware will work without too many modifications. The box will run Android 7.1.2 by default with RKMC (Kodi 16.1 fork) supporting HD audio pass-through, automatic framerate switching, and BD ISO. Kodi 17.4 installed from the Play Store will also work,but maybe the aforementioned features may not perform a well as in RKMC for now.

Other firmware image will be posted on Rockbox firmware page as they become available. For now, only Android 7.1.2 firmware can be downloaded.

The device ships with an IR remote control and a 5V/2A EU or US power supply, and can be purchased for $44.90 with free shipping to some countries like the US and Eurozone countries, while others may be charged an extra $9.99 for shipping. For comparison, A95X R2 TV box has similar specifications and sells for around $33 shipped, but build quality might be lower – for example the eMMC flash used is a bit slow -, and you’d likely have to spend more time figuring out how to run alterntive operating systems.

[Update: There will be another RockBox model with more memory and storage, Gigabit Ethernet, and stackable aluminum casing]

ARRIS Showcases Android TV Set-Top Boxes at IBC 2017

September 22nd, 2017 4 comments

Just last week, we found out there was a fair amount of TV boxes running Android TV with certification from Google, with most of them from PayTV providers or OEMs. Today, I’ve come to better understand what that means thanks to ARMDevices.net interview of ARRIS at IBC2017.

I used to think getting a device with official Android TV support would mean getting Google’s Leanback launcher, but there’s more to it, as Google also offers “operator tier” Android TV certifications, which allow manufacturer to use Android TV operating system with their own launcher/user interface, and official support for Google services like Google Play Store, Google Play Music and so on.

ARRIS International has a whole family of certified Android TV devices with 4K UHD set-top boxes and DVR systems as shown in the table below, all likely based on Broadcom SoCs.

Wi-Fi Set-Tops
Wi-Fi Processor DMIPS Type Size
Zx4430 2×2 802.11ac Dual core (7000 DMIPS) DVB-C, DVB-T, DVB-S 120mm W x 120mm D x 40mm H
Zx4515 2×2 802.11ac Quad core (15000 DMIPS) DVB-C, DVB-T, DVB-S 120mm W x 120mm D x 40mm H
Zx4517 4×4 802.11ac Quad core (15000 DMIPS) DVB-C, DVB-T, DVB-S 120mm W x 120mm D x 40mm H
VIP5202W 2×2 802.11ac Dual core (7000 DMIPS) IP 120mm W x 120mm D x 20mm H
VIP5402W 2×2 802.11ac Quad core (15000 DMIPS) IP 120mm W x 120mm D x 20mm H
VIP6102W 4×4 802.11ac Quad core (15000 DMIPS) IP 156mm W x 137mm D x 21mm H
Wi-Fi DVRs
Wi-Fi Processor DMIPS Type Size
Px5517 4×4 802.11ac Quad core (15000 DMIPS) DVB-C, DVB-T, DVB-S 120mm W x 120mm D x 45mm H
VIP6162W/WM 4×4 802.11ac
MoCA2.0 (VIP6162WM)
Quad core (15000 DMIPS) IP 270mm W x 137mm D x 25mm H

The company then use those platforms to customize the launcher, DVR and DVB functions for their customers, and potentially integrate it with the customers’ IPTV system, and/or DRM solution.

As mentioned in previous posts, more and more OEMs are getting Android TV certification, with Geniatech working on it, since this morning SDMC Tech also contacted me claiming they had obtained Google’s certification for Android TV.