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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MINIX NEO U9-H 4K HDR Amlogic S912-H Android TV Box Coming in October

MINIX may have officially announced MINIX NEO Z83-4 Cherry trail mini PC at IFA 2016, but they also showcased NEO U9-H Android TV box based on an “Octa-core cortex A53 processor with ARM Mali-820MP3 GPU”, which the company confirmed to be Amlogic S912-H processor with Dolby and DTS licenses. I also asked the company whether they had specs sheet for the new model, but the replied they did not have finalized specifications to share, nor exact pricing and release date. But we can still derive info from a video on HDBlog.it showcasing an early development model at IFA 2016. MINIX NEO U9-H preliminary specifications: SoC – Amlogic S912-H octa-core ARM Cortex A53 processor @ up to 1.5 GHz with ARM Mali-820MP3 System Memory – 2GB DDR3 Storage – 16GB eMMC flash and micro SD card slot Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60Hz with CEC, HDCP 2.2, and HDR/HDR10 support Audio Output – HDMI, optical S/PDIF, 3.5mm …

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Rockchip RK3229 Video Playback Take 2 – 10-bit H.264 & H.265, Audio HD Pass-through with Zidoo X1 II

A few weeks ago I tried to play 4K videos in MXQ-4K TV box powered by Rockchip RK3229 processor. The device costs only about $30 including shipping, and it would have been if it could indeed play 10-bit H.265 and 10-bit H.264 videos for that price point, but sadly the results were catastrophic, and most of my 4K videos were unwatchable, either playing in slow motion, or with many slow downs and audio cuts. This happens in all players be it Kodi or Androids Video Player with the worst results occurring when playing from USB hard drive with network share video playback being a bit better. But I have now tested another Rockchip RK3229 based TV box – Zidoo X1 II – and the results are much better, so I also decided to show the results of HD audio pass-through over HDMI too. I played the videos from USB hard drive instead using Zidoo Media Center, as Kodi 16.1 (actually …

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WeTek Hub Android & OpenELEC TV Box Features Amlogic S905-H Revision C Processor

WeTek has been working not on one, but two four new devices recently. I’ve already covered WeTek Play 2S (previously known as WeTek Play+) based on Amlogic S905 Rev. C , running Android 5.1 or OpenELEC, and featuring digital TV tuners (ATSC, DVB-S2, DVB-T2/C), which should become available in Q2 2016. The company has unveiled another model called WeTek Hub with features closer to the ones found in other Amlogic S905 TV boxes I’ve reviewed so far, except it is based on Amlogic S905-H revision C,  comes with Widewine and Microsoft PlayReady DRM, and supports both Android 5.1.1 and OpenELEC. WeTek Hub specifications: SoC –  Amlogic S905-H revision C quad core ARM Cortex-A53 @ up to 2.0GHz with penta-core Mali-450MP GPU @ 750 MHz System Memory – 1 GB DDR3 Storage – 8 GB eMMC flash + micro SD card slot Video & Audio Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60Hz with HDCP 2.2 support Video & Audio …

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Ugoos UT4 Android 5.1 TV Box Review

Ugoos UT4 is one of many Rockchip RK3368 TV boxes available on the market today, but it’s one of the model with higher-end specifications including  2 GB RAM, and 16 GB flash, as well as Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11ac WiFi, Ugoos offers regular firmware updates for their devices, and as I found out in Ugoos UT4 specs and teardown post, the mini PC features a fan to keep the device cool at all times. Today, I’ll focus on reviewing the firmware including video playback capabilities, performance and whether advertised features work as they should. First Boot, Settings and First Impressions Before powering on the device, I connected some cables (Ethernet, HDMI, optical audio, AV to speakers), and made use of all four USB ports with a USB hard drive, a webcam, a keyboard, and a USB hub with two RF dongles for MINIX NEO A2 Lite air mouse and Tronsmart Mars G01 gamepad, and to power my external speakers that …

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