U5 PVR Deluxe Android Set-Top Box Review – Part 1: Specs, Unboxing, Teardown, and SATA HDD Assembly

Last year, I reviewed U4 Quad Hybrid, an Android TV box powered by Hisilicon Hi3796M quad core Cortex A7 processor and with a combo DVB-T2/C + DVB-S2 tuner. with digital TV tuner. It worked pretty well, except for a few bugs here and there, the processor is not the most powerful, and video output & decoding is limited to 4K  @ 30Hz. The company – Shenzhen Vivant Technology – is now back with a new model called U5 PVR powered by a more powerful Hisilicon Hi3798C V200 quad core Cortex A53 processor with fast interfaces like USB 3.0, SATA, and Gigabit Ethernet, as well as support for 4K @ 60Hz via a HDMI 2.0a interface. There are actually three variations of U5 PVR with Deluxe/Slim/Normal models, and the company sent me U5 PVR Deluxe model for review. As usual, after listing the specifications, I’ll start the review by checking out the hardware, before reporting my experience with the firmware in …

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NVIDIA Shield Android TV Gets Unofficial USB Tuner (ATSC/DVB) Support

NVIDIA Shield Android TV may only be available in a limited number of countries, but if you happen to live in a country where it’s officially sold, it can be one of the best options due its hard-to-beat price to performance ratio, and official Android TV software support from Google & Nvidia. One features it does not support out of the box  is support for digital TV tuner, but linux4all has released an unofficial firmware image adding USB TV tuner support to Android TV (7.0) on Nvidia Shield Android TV 2015 and 2017 models. You’ll first need a supported tuner either Hauppauge WinTV-dualHD (DVB-C, DVB-T and DVB-T2), Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-850 (ATSC), Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-955Q (ATSC, QAM, Analog), or Sony PlayTV dual tuner (DVB-T). More tuners may be supported in the future. One you’ve got your tuner connected to Nvidia Shield Android TV, make sure you have the latest Android TV 7.0 OTA update, unlock the bootloader, and flash the specific bootloader as …

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Rockchip RK3328 Quad Core 64-bit ARM SoC is Designed for 4K HDR Android 7.1 & Linux TV Boxes

Beside RV1108 visual platform for applications, Rockchip also unveiled another processor at CES 2017 with RK3328 quad core Cortex A53 processor for 4K TV Box with H.265, H.264 and VP9 codecs support, HDR, HDMI 2.0, USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet and more. Rockchip RK3328 STB SoC specifications: Processor – Quad core Cortex A53 @ up to 1.5 GHz GPU – ARM Mali-450MP2 Memory I/F – DDR3/DDR3L/DDR4 with “large memory” support (4GB?) Video Output – HDMI 2.0a with HDCP 2.x/1.4 up to 4K @ 60 Hz with HDR10/HLG support, CVBS output Video Processor 4K UHD H.264, 10-bit H.265 and VP9 video decoder 1080p H.265/H.264 video encoder Audio – Embedded audio DAC Peripherals embedded USB 3.0 interface Dual Ethernet interface: RGMII (reduced gigabit media-independent interface) + Fast Ethernet PHY 8 channel I2S interface supporting PDM/TDM TS and smart card interface, with support for CSA 2.0 Security – TrustZone, Secure Video Path, Secure Boot, OTP The new processor with support Android 7.1 and Linux, …

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Datamax DM145S Hybrid TV Box with Digital Tuners is Powered by Amlogic S905D Processor

There are already several Amlogic Android TV boxes with dual tuner on the market, but so far you could not use both tuner at the same time, for example using one to watch live TV, and another to record TV [Update: WeTek Play 1st generation based on Amlogic AML87426-MX can do that]. Amlogic S905D is supposed to change that, and Datamax DM145S is the first device I’ve seen featuring the new processor. Datamax DM145S specifications: SoC – Amlogic S905D Quad Core Cortex A53 @ up to 1.5 GHz with ARM Mali-450MP GPU System Memory – 1GB RAM Storage – 8 GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot Video Output – HDMI 2.0a + AV Audio Output – HDMI, AV and optical S/PDIF Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wifi, optional Bluetooth 4.0 USB – 3x USB 2.0 host ports Tuner – Combination of DVB-C/T2, DVB-S2, ATSC or ISDB-T Power Supply – 5V/2A Dimensions – 115 x 115 x 28 mm Weight …

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SmartHomy Hybrid TV Box with DTV Tuner Triples as a Game Console & Home Automation Gateway (Crowdfunding)

SmartHomy Homy Player is a TV box running Android TV that includes an ATSC, DVB-T2/C,DVB-S2, or ISDB-T tuner, is said to be powerful enough to be used as a 3D gaming platform, and serves as a security system and home automation gateway using Z-Wave, Bluetooth, WiFi and IR blaster to control your things. Homy player specifications [Updated on January 19th, 2017]: SoC – Amlogic S912 octa-core Cortex A53 processor with Mali T820MP3 GPU System Memory – 3 GB DDR3 Storage – 32 GB eMMC flash Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60Hz with HDCP 2.2, HDR, CEC Audio Output – HDMI and optical S/PDIF Video / Audio Capabilities – 10-bit 4K H.265 @ 60 fps, HD audio pass-through, Dolby Digital & DTS licenses DRM – Widevine Level 1, Microsoft PlayReader, Netflix license Digital TV Tuner – DVB-S2 (satellite), DVB-C/T/T2 (Cable/Terrestrial), ATSC, and ISDB-T Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, dual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, Z-Wave (Plus 500 …

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Geniatech ATV1960 Octa-core Android TV Box Comes with a Dual TV Tuner (ATSC or DVB-T2)

We now have so many Amlogic S912 Android TV boxes on the market, it becomes hard for companies to differentiate, but Geniatech is offering something different with their Geniatech/Mygica ATV1960 model thanks to a dual TV tuner support either ATSC or DVB-T2 and allowing you to watch a program, while recording another. Geniatech/Mygica ATV1960 specifications: SoC – Amlogic S912 octa-core ARM Cortex A53 processor @ up to 1.5 GHz with ARM Mali-820MP3 GPU System Memory – 2GB DDR3 Storage – 16GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot + 2.5″ SATA bay (cover on the bottom of the case) Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60 Hz Audio Output – HDMI, and optical S/PDIF Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, dual band WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports Tuner – Dual Digital TV Tuner  (ATSC/T2); one for live watching, another for recording; EPG and PVR supported. Misc – IR receiver, reset pinhole Power Supply – 5V/2A Dimensions …

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V-Bridge Muses DTV Modulator and Video Encoder Review – Part 2: Muses-β Turnkey Solution Demo

V-Bridge Muses-α and Muses-β boards can be used to respectively broadcast video to DTV standard from your PC, and as a turnkey solution taking any HDMI, CVBS, or USB inputs. The VATek SoC used in those  board support various DTV standards including DVB-T, DVB-C, ATSC/QAM, DTMB, ISDB-T/TB up to full HD resolution. I’ve received an early prototype for each, and I’ve already taken pictures and show how to assemble both Muses-α and Muses-β kits in the first part of the review. Today, I’ll show a demo with Muses-β turnkey solution taking HDMI input from an Android TV box (R-Box Pro), encoding and modulating the video to DVB-T, before broadcast it to an Android STB with a DVB-T/T2 tuner (U4 Quad Hybrid). This tool could be useful to test STB featuring ATSC or ISDB-T too, as those two standards are not supported in my country, and I could instead generate signals within my office. You could also connect it directly to …

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MUSES-α & MUSES-β DVB-T/C, ISDB-T, DTMB & ATSC Modulator Boards Review – Part 1: The Hardware

V-Bridge Muses digital TV modulator boards launched on Kickstarter earlier this month, with the cheaper $200 MUSES-α board modulating video from a PC, and $600 MUSES-β turnkey solution capable of broadcasting HDMI or AV + stereo input to various digital TV standards including DVB-T/C, ATSC/QAM, DTMB, and ISDB-T/TB without the help of a computer. The company sent me the two hardware kits for evaluation and review on CNX Software, and today I’ll start by showing off the hardware I received. I got 3 packages and a F-female to F-female cable, which means you can connect the board directly to your TV tuner without having to rely on actual RF signals, and potential legal issues that goes with it. The first package I open if for the PC modulator kit that include MUSES-α board, an “RF” board, as a USB cable to connect to your computer. MUSES-α board features Vatek A1 chip, a USB port, an Ethernet port, a power jack, …

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