Xiaomi Mi Box (US) Android TV TV Box Review

Introduction The Mi Box is the first Xiaomi product I have used. I received it beginning of December and have been using it regularly since then. I have received 3 updates which went through uneventfully. I was very pleased with this box. I ended up getting one for my in-laws and one for my 4 year old sons bedroom. The UI worked as expected. I have an Nvidia Shield Android TV, and the Mi Box complements it very well. Having Plex Server running on the Shield and Plex on the Mi Box is pretty fantastic to easily share content. Not to mention way more cost effective than putting a Shield in every room. What’s Inside The build quality is good. The power supply puts out 5.2v which is not typical. I do wish it had more USB ports. A single USB is inadequate. I found myself swapping USB out frequently during testing. There is optical audio and it has the …

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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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Rikomagic MK22 Review – Part 2: Android Firmware, Video & Audio in Kodi, Benchmarks…

Rikomagic MK22 is one of the many Android TV boxes powered by Amlogic S912 octa-core processor with typical hardware specifications such as 2GB RAM, 16GB flash, Gigabit Ethernet and dual band WiFi. I’ve already taken the box apart to check out the hardware in the first part of the review, so I’ll focus on the firmware, but I’ll keep it short focusing on typical problem areas, as I’ve already reviewed a bunch of other Amlogic S912 TV boxes such as Qintaix Q912 or Beelink GT1. First Boot, Firmware Update, and First Impressions After having connected all usual cables and  accessories include a 1TB USB hard drive, and RF dongles for my air mouse and wireless gamepad, I booted the device, and after around 45 seconds (typically), I got to the main launcher. Since I received the device about a month ago, I decided to go to the UPDATE&BACKUP app to see if there was any OTA firmware update, and unfortunately, …

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Giveaway Week – WeTek Core Android TV Box

For day 2 of this giveaway week, I’ll send one lucky winner WeTek Core Android or OpenELEC TV box powered by Amlogic S812 processor, and one of the rare boxes with support Netflix HD, which is partially why I listed it as one of the best Android TV boxes. But as discussed in WeTek Core review, there are also other reasons the box stands out with HD audio pass-through and automatic frame rate switching support, support forums, regular firmware updates, and WeTek is one of the few companies providing an official OpenELEC firmware image. All accessories shown above are included, except the HDMI cable. To enter the draw simply leave a comment below. Other rules are as follows: Only one entry per contest. I will filter out entries with the same IP and/or email address. Contests are open for 48 hours starting at 10am (Bangkok time) every day. Comments will be closed after 48 hours. Winners will be selected with …

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Test Widevine & PlayReady DRM, HDCP 1.x/2.x, 4K VP9 and H.265 in Android with Exoplayer App

I first heard about ExoPlayer in an Android TV Overview presentation at Linaro Connect 2014, but I never really looked into it. The source code is available on Github, and I’ve been given ExoPlayer.apk as it can be used to test UHD H265 support, HDCP 1.x, HDCP 2.x compatibility, PlayReady & Widevine DRM using different format and so on. So I installed it on Beelink GT1 Android TV box which I’m currently reviewing, and only include basic Widewine Level 3 DRM, and certainly does not support HDCP features. There are 9 sections in the app to test various videos and DRM schemes: YouTube Dash Widevine Dash Policy Tests (GTS) – Widewine with or without HDCP, with or without secure video path Widevine HDCP Capabilities Tests – NoHDCP, HDCP 1.0, HDCP 1.1, HDCP 2.0, HDCP 2.1, HDCP 2.2, and HDCP no digital output Widevine Dash MP4, H264 – Various resolution (SD, HD, UHD) for clear or secure videos Widevine Dash WebM, …

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Qintaix Q912 Android Box Review – Part 2: Android 6.0, Kodi 17, Benchmarks, etc…

Qintaix Q912 is one of the many octa-core Android boxes based on Amlogic S912 processor. I’ve already shown photos of the device and its internal design in the first part of Qintaix Q912 review, so today I’ll report the results of my testing with Android firmware, video & audio capabilities in Kodi 17 Alpha 3 (pre-installed), features supports, benchmarks, and other comment. I will also be interesting to find out how it compares to M12N TV box, also based on Amlogic S912 processor. First Boot, Settings, and First Impressions I’ve connected all necessary cables including HDMI and Ethernet, added some USB devices including two 2.4 GHZ USB dongles for my air moues and wireless gamepad, a USB keyboard to take screenshots, and a USB 3.0 hard drive to the USB 2.0 ports of the device. Once you apply power, the LED is turn red, and you need to press the power button on the unit ot the remote control to …

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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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Tanix TX5 Pro TV Box Review – Part 2: Modding and Testing

Karl here with part 2 of Tanix TX5 Pro TV box. In the first part we peaked inside took a look at the specs and quick look at the UI. In part 2, we will get into the nitty gritty. When I first received the box there were several issues: Play Store incompatibility, issue with language reverting to Chinese, and green screen on YouTube. Tanix quickly followed up with an update and resolved these issues. Stuck in my ways So I have to admit that I am pretty stuck in my ways when it comes to the way I use Android. It started long ago with my first stick the MK808 with Rockchip Rk3066. It was basically the phone version of Android on the TV and I really liked it. We have come a long way since then and some changes have occurred in the box market UI, like the absence of the navigation bar and notification bar. It is …

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