An Interview with a TV Box Manufacturer: Shenzhen Tomato

Shenzhen Tomato Logo

I’ve been interviewing Jojo Zhou, Sales Manager at Shenzhen Tomato Technology, a TV box manufacturer, over email to learn a bit more about the TV box market, and various challenges encountered by manufacturers. CNXSoft: We’ve already covered several products sold by Shenzhen Tomato on CNX Software, but for readers who may not know the company yet, could you provide a short description of the company? Jojo Zhou: With over 8-years of experience, Shenzhen Tomato Technology Co., Ltd has become one of the leading OEM/ODM manufacturers specialized in developing Android TV Box, IPTV Set Top Box, Android Media Player, Hybrid Set Top Box and media solution. ODM and OEM is our main advantage, including hardware design and software customize (such as driver porting, kernel modification, etc). We have a first-class R&D team of 30 energetic engineers with rich experience to focus on that. A strict and complete quality control system is built to ensure each product has been strictly inspected before …

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HiMedia Q30 TV Box Review – Part 2: Android 7.0 Nougat Firmware

HiMedia Q30 is an Android Nougat TV box powered by Hisilicon Hi3798MV200 processor, a cost-down version of Hi3798C V200 processor with the same CPU, a lower-end Mali-450MP GPU, about the same media capabilities, and less I/Os. I’ve taken pictures of the device and board if the first part of the review entitled “HiMedia Q30 (Hisilicon Hi3798MV200) Android TV Box Review – Part 1: Unboxing and Teardown“, so today, I’ll report about my experience with the device while running Android 7.0. First Boot, Setup, and First Impressions I’ve connected a USB 3.0 hard drive to the single USB 3.0 port, and filled the two other USB 2.0 ports with a USB keyboard, and a USB hub with two RF dongles for an air mouse and a gamepad. I added Ethernet, HDMI, and power cable to start the device. A typical boot takes around 25 seconds to the Android launcher below. That’s your typical TV launcher with date and connection status on …

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Bqeel MVR9 TV Box Review – Part 1: Specifications, Unboxing and Teardown

All Rockchip RK3328 based 4K TV boxes I’ve seen so far come with Fast Ethernet, not Gigabit Ethernet, with the exclusion of Rock64, which is not a TV box, but a development board. But Nagrace sent me Bqeel MVR9 box that comes with Gigabit Ethernet, in order to write a review. I’ll start by having a look at the hardware first, before experimenting with the firmware in several weeks. Bqeel MVR9 Specifications SoC – Rockchip RK3328 quad core Cortex A53 processor with ARM Mali-450MP2 GPU System Memory – 2 GB DDR4 @ 1066 MHz Storage – 16 GB eMMC flash + micro SD card slot Video Output – HDMI 2.0a up to 4K @ 60 Hz with HDR10 and HLG support, 3.5mm AV port (composite video) Video Codec – 4K VP9, H.265 and H.264, 1080p VC-1, MPEG-1/2/4, VP6/8 Audio Output – Via HDMI, and AV (stereo audio) ports; optical S/PDIF Audio Features – Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD via RKMC …

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A95X R2 TV Box Review – Part 2: Android 7.1, Video & Audio Tests, and Benchmarks

In the first part of A95X R2 Rockchip RK3328 TV box review, I listed the specifications of the device, took a few photos, and reported about the chip used in the PCBA. I’ve now had time to play with the box, so I can report about my experience with Android 7.1, video & audio capabilities, and the performance of the device in the second part of the review. First Boot, Setup, and First Impressions I connected a USB 3.0 hard drive to the USB 3.0 port of the box, a USB keyboard to one of the USB port to take screenshots, and a USB hub with the RF dongles for my air mouse and gamepad in the remaining USB 2.0 port. I completed the hardware setup with Ethernet and HDMI cables, as well as the power supply. I then pressed the power button on the unit to start it up, the front panel display showed a “Boot” string, and the …

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HiSilicon Hi3796M V200 UHD DVB + H.265 STB SoC Showcased at Broadcast Asia 2017

Broadcast Asia international digital multimedia & entertaiment technology exhibition & conference is taking place in Singapore on May 23 – 25, and I’ve been informed that Hisilicon showcased their latest Hi3796M V200 Set-top box SoC with support for 4K DVB, H.265, and high dynamic range technology such as HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision. Key features and specifications of Hi3796M V200 processor: CPU – Quad core ARM Cortex A53 GPU – ARM Mali-450MP Memory – DDR3, DDR3L, DDR4 Video Output – 1x HDMI 2.0a Tx with HDCP 2.2 Video format – HEVC, H.264, MPEG2, MPEG4, VC1, VP9, AVS 2.0 HDR – HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision, HDR and SDR conversion HiVXE 2.0 VPU – Decoder – 4K60 10-bit; Encoder – HEVC/H.264 1080p30 or 2x 720p30 Ethernet – 1x Gigabit Ethernet, 1x Fast Ethernet USB 2.0 – 2x USB 2.0 ports SATA & PCIe & USB 3.0 – USB 3.0, SATA 3.0, PCIe 2.0 host interface (optional); cnxsoft’s note: all ports are likely …

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Android Play Store Tidbits – Blocking Unlocked/Uncertified/Rooted Devices, Graphics Drivers as an App

There’s been at least two or three notable stories about the Play Store this week. It started with Netflix not installing from the Google Play Store anymore on rooted device, with unclocked bootloader, or uncertified devices, and showing as “incompatible”. AndroidPolice contacted Netflix which answered: With our latest 5.0 release, we now fully rely on the Widevine DRM provided by Google; therefore, many devices that are not Google-certified or have been altered will no longer work with our latest app and those users will no longer see the Netflix app in the Play Store. So that means you need to  Google Widevine DRM in your device, which mean many Android TV boxes may stop to work with Netflix. You can check whether you device is certified by opening Google Play and click on settings, Scroll to the bottom and check Device Certification to see if it is Certified or Uncertified (H/T jon for the tip). I tried this in my …

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MINIX NEO U9-H Media Hub Review – Part 2: Android 6.0 Firmware & Kodi 17

MINIX NEO U9-H is the successor of MINIX NEO U1 media hub with an upgrade from four to eight cores with Amlogic S912 processor, as well as added support for VP9 and HDR. The company sent me a sample, and I’ve already checked out NEO U9-H hardware in the fist part of the review, so I’ll report by testing results in Android 6.0 and Kodi 17 in the second part. Since the user interface & many of the features have not changed, I’ll refer to MINIX NEO U1 review from time to time. First Boot, OTA Firmware, Settings and First Impressions I connected the MINIX A3 air mouse RF to one of the USB port, a USB 3.0 hard drive to another, and a USB hub to the last one with Tronsmart Mars G01 gamepad, a USB keyboard to take screenshots for the review, and a USB webcam. There’s also micro USB port, which you could use with the provided …

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Review of MINIX NEO U9-H Media Hub & MINIX A3 Air Mouse – Part 1: Specs, Unboxing and Teardown

MINIX showcased MINIX NEO U9-H TV box at IFA 2016 last year, but was not ready to launch the product or provide the full details yet. The company has now completed development of their Amlogic S912-H octa-core TV box, and sent a review sample for evaluation on CNX Software together with their latest MINIX A3 air mouse with voice command function. I’ll start by listing the specifications of the TV box, take some pictures, and tear it apart to check out how it’s been designed in the first part of the review, and test the firmware in the second part which I intend to post in a few days. MINIX NEO U9-H Media Hub specifications One of the main difference over other Amlogic S912, is the -H suffix which means Dolby and DTS licenses have been paid for so all apps will handle those audio formats: SoC – Amlogic S912-H octa-core ARM Cortex A53 processor @ up to 1.5 GHz …

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