NXP Immersiv3D Enables DSP-Free Dolby Atmos & DTS:X Audio Systems

NXP Immersiv3d audio reference design

High-fidelity audio systems such as soundbars, smart speakers, and AV receivers have traditionally relied on DSPs (Digital Signal Processors) to deliver low-latency audio processing, and enable audio and video synchronization. DSPs add to the cost of the overall design however, and with Immersiv3D technology, NXP has leveraged Arm Cortex-A53 and M4 cores in their NXP i.MX 8M Mini processor to completely remove the need for DSP in audio systems, shaving the BoM cost by up to 20%  according to an article on EETimes. Immersiv3D also enables immersive audio support with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, advanced audio pre/post processing, advanced features like voice control for the smart home. Immersiv3D audio solution was designed to help OEMs to bring to market affordable consumer audio devices with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, and beside the audio processing software, NXP is also offering an Immersiv3D audio reference design to help them delelop sound bars based on the solution. The press release further explains: The NXP …

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HiMedia Q10 Pro 4K TV Box Review – Part 2: Full Blu-ray Navigation & Playback

HiMedia Q10 Pro is an Android TV box powered by HiSilicon Hi3798CV200 SoC that was launched in March 2016, but the company recently provided a firmware update with support for Full Blu-ray navigation, and asked me to review that part. I received the device last month, posted the first part of the review with HiMedia Q10 Pro unboxing, and also explained how to install a 3.5″ SATA drive at the time.  I’ve now acquired a few Blu-ray RIPs in order to test 4K Blu-ray video playback and navigation specifically. Initial Setup, Firmware Update, and Copying 4K Blu-ray Videos to the Hard Drive I connected the TV box to Onkyo TX-NR636 AV-Receiver, itself connected to LG 42UB820T 4K UHD television. If you’ve ever owned an HiMedia TV box the Android launcher should be familiar. If you want more details about the launcher, and user interface, checkout my HiMedia Q30 review. It’s a lower cost device based on Hisilicon Hi3798MV200 processor, but …

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Dolby Digital (AC3) US Patent Has Expired on February 1, 2017

Many TV boxes cannot play videos with Dolby Digital (AC3 ) audio because they lack the license, except if you use software like Kodi that downmixes the audio, but most apps won’t, and MX Player developers had to remove AC3 support from the Android app previously. But based on a forum post by Popcorn Hour, Dolby Digital AC3 US patent (that one?) has expired at the beginning of this month, so they can legally enable AC3 downmixing in their TV box that previously lacked the license including Popcorn Hour A410U/VTEN-U/A-500U/A-500 PRO-U. That’s probably good news for other TV boxes too, as going forward, there’s no need to have Dolby Digital license to play AC3 content. Hopefully, apps and firmware images will be updated to reflect this change. You’ll still need a license for newer formats like Dolby True HD and Dolby Atmos however. Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as …

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Kodi 17 “Krypton” Released, Kodi 18 “Leia” Development Started

Although not officially announced yet, Kodi developers have finally released Kodi 17 “Krypton” which you can download for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Android, and iOS, as well as Raspberry Pi and some other development boards, and several Linux versions specific to TV box such as Nvidia Shield Android TV, Amazon Fire, or WeTek Hub. The most visible changes of the update are the new Estuary and Estouchy default skins, and people who have bought recent Amlogic based Android TV boxes may have already experienced them as several TV boxes shipped with Kodi 17 Beta versions. There’s a long list of changes, but some noticeable ones include: Lots of changes and updated to the Live TV and PVR (Personal Video Recorder) include PVR backend clients addons New Settings user interface Media library improvements with multiple sources support, more filtering & rating options, and better scanning & database performance Audio Engine improvements on most platforms using ActiveAE New default web interface …

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Zidoo X9S Android Media Center Review – Part 2: Android Firmware & OpenWrt (NAS Functions)

Zidoo X9S is more than a simple Android TV box, as it supports NAS function via OpenWrt running simultaneously with Android 6.0 and its USB 3.0 and SATA ports, as well as HDMI input function capable of recording and broadcasting videos, and supporting Picture-in-picture, so I find “Android Media Center” better fit the description for this device. I’ve already taken pictures of the Zidoo X9S and its board in the first part of the review, so I’ll test both Android 6.0 & OpenWrt firmware, and the most of the features in the second part of the review. Initial Setup and First Boot I connected the usual accessories and cables to the box including a USB 3.0 hard drive, HDMI and Ethernet cables, USB RF dongles for MINIX NEO A2 Lite air mouse and Tronsmart Mars G01 gamepad, and a USB keyboard to take screenshots. I also added a 1TB SATA drive, and connected K1 Plus T2/S2 Android TV box to …

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4K Video Playback and HDMI Audio Passthrough in Realtek RTD1295 based Zidoo X9S TV Box

Zidoo X9S is a high-end 4K TV box and HDMI recorder based on Realtek RTD1295 processor. I’ve already checked its hardware, and run some benchmarks, so after a successful OTA firmware update, I decided to test 4K videos and HDMI audio pass-through capabilities of the device with ZDMC, Zidoo’s fork of Kodi 16.1, and “Media Center” internal player. Before starting playing 4K videos and testing HDMI audio pass-through, you’ll want to make sure to configure video output to a 4K UHD resolution and framerate such as 3840×2160 @ 60 Hz, as well as change HDMI output audio in Sound & notification settings. The options are a little different from the other boxes as beside RAW and 2-channel LPCM, Zidoo X9S also supports multi-channel LPCM. In order to test HDMI audio pass-through, it must be set to RAW. You may also want to check Playback options to switch to 24 Hz or 29.97/59.94Hz for videos shot at that frame rate. I’ll …

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Kodi 17 Setup and Audio/Video Support in Amlogic S912 TV Boxes (as of September 2016)

Most people installing Kodi are going to select Kodi 16.1 as of today, since it is the latest stable release. But I’m currently reviewing Qintaix Q912 TV box based on Amlogic S912 octa-core processor, whose Android 6.0 firmware includes Kodi 17 Alpha 3, so since that’s the first time I run Kodi 17 “Krypton”. I’ve decided to report my experience about the interface, and the current status about audio and video support by testing some 4K videos, and audio files. I used the latest available firmware for the test. Kodi 17 can be found on the main launcher, and for the first launch, we’ll see the default skin has been replaced from Confluence to the new Estuary skin. It’s a little confusing a first. We can access the setup menu by going to the icon on the bottom left, just on the right on the power button, and then select System Information to confirm Kodi 17 Alpha 3 is installed …

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Dune HD SOLO Lite is a Cheaper Sigma Designs SMP8758 based 4K Media Box

Launched at the very end of  last year, Dune HD SOLO 4K media player and NAS with Sigma Designs SMP8758 processor, a 2.5″ SATA bay, and a DVB-T2 tuner has high end specifications, but the price is also steep at 349 Euros inc. VAT. So the company has come up with a newer and cheaper version, Dune HD Solo Lite without the SATA bay, Z-wave support, nor the tuner card, but that keeps many of the same features, and sells for 199 Euros inc. VAT (MSRP). Dune HD Solo Lite specifications: SoC – Sigma Designs SMP8758 dual core Cortex A9 processor @ 1.2 GHz with an ARM Mali-400 GPU and VXP image processing engine System Memory – 1GB Storage – 4GB flash for firmware, SD card reader Video Output – HDMI 1.4b up to 1080p60 / 4K30 (including 23.976, 25, 29.97, 50, 59.94Hz refresh rates), and composite video Audio Output – HDMI, analog stereo audio, coaxial S/PDIF (shared via AV …

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