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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MediaTek MT8581 Media Processor Supports 4K UHD Blu-rays, 10-bit H.265, VP9, and HDR Imaging

Mediatek has unveiled MT8581 processor for UHD Blu-ray players at CES 2016, with support the latest 10-bit H.265 and VP9, as well as  High Dynamic Range (HDR) for better video quality. The press release provides limited info, but I found a temporary? page with more details (screenshot), and MT8581 specifications should be as follows: CPU – Quad core ARM Cortex A53 processor GPU – N/A, but could be ARM Mali-820MP2 according to AndroidPC.es Optical Disks support – Blu-ray, DVD and CD playback, including the latest BD-ROM format, such as BD-Live and BonusView. When combined with MT8577A Video Codecs – HEVC/H.265 10-bit, H.264 and VP9 Profile 2, Ultra HD 60p video decoder (3840×2160), MPEG-1/2/4, VP8 and VC-1 for Full HD 60p. Encode: H.265 and H.264. High Dynamic Range – HDR10 open standard and Dolby Vision IP Audio – AAC, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, and DTS HD Network Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet USB – USB 2.0 and USB …

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Dune HD Solo 4K is a High-End Media Player with a SATA Bay, a DVB-T2 Tuner, and Sigma Designs SMP8758 Processor

Dune HD, a company specializing in “high-performance digital media players”, has just unveiled Dune HD Solo 4K media player based on  Sigma Designs SMP8758 dual core Cortex A9 processor, supporting 10-bit HEVC video decoding up to 2160p @ 30 fps, HD audio pass-though, and including a SATA tray. Dune HD Solo 4K 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, internal HDD rack with hot swap function for a 2.5″ SATA drive, SD card reader (TBC) Video Output – HDMI 1.4b up to 1080p60 and 4K @ 30 Hz (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 port). 24-bit /192 KHz audio support Video codecs – MPEG2, MPEG4, XVID, WMV9, VC1, H.264, H.265, H.265 Hi10p; support for very high …

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Xiaomi Mi 3 TV Box Board’s Pictures Reveal Amlogic S905-H Processor

Xiaomi unveiled Mi 3 TV box based on Amlogic S905 processor a while ago, but since we’ve got so many Amlogic S905 boxes on the market, and the interface is only in Chinese, I did not find it that interesting. But somebody did a teardown of the device, and sent me some good pictures revealing that the device uses Amlogic S905-H with DTS and Dolby licenses paid for and enabled. So that means just like for Amlogic S812, where there’s a S812-H with Dolby and DTS, there are two versions for Amlogic S905. I understand the silicon might be the same, but the SDK will differ (TBC). Other main components include a 4GB Toshiba THGBMBG5D1KBAIT eMMC 5.0 flash, two NANYA NT5CB256M16DP-EK 512MB DDR3 chips (1GB in total), a Broadcom wireless chipset (BCM4345) for 802.11ac Wifi and Bluetooth 4.1, and Ricoh RN5T567A PMIC. There are few connectors as on other Xiaomi TV boxes: power jack, HDMI 2.0 and AV outputs, and …

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Zidoo X6 Pro Android TV Box Review

Zidoo X6 Pro is a 64-bit ARM Android TV Boxes  based on Rockchip RK3368 processor, promising support for HDMI 2.0 and video decoding up to 4K2K @ 60Hz. While the others I’ve tried so far, such as Beelink i68,  are pre-loaded with some version of Kodi 14.2, X6 Pro comes with a modified version of Kodi 15.1. I published pictures of the Zidoo X6 Pro TV box and board a few days ago, and today I’ll review the box’ features, performance, and capabilities. First Boot, Settings and First Impressions I’ve connected a USB hard drive to one of the two USB ports, as well as a USB hub with two RF dongles for Tronsmart Mars G01 gamepad and MeLE F10 Deluxe air mouse, a USB keyboard, and a USB webcam. I’ve also inserted an Ethernet cable, an HDMI cable, an optical audio cable, a Class 10 micro SD card, as well as the power adapter. The boot time takes just …

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Open Hour Chameleon RK3288 TV Box Gets (Partial) DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD HDMI Pass-through Support

People owning AV receivers capable of outputting 7.1 channels or more have had a hard time finding Android TV boxes that supports HD audio pass-through via HDMI. Many devices can pass through 5.1 codec like DTS or Dolby Digital (AC3 / E-AC3), but so far, none of the boxes I’ve tried could manage content with DTS-HD (MA / HR) and Dolby TrueHD with 8 channels properly. The one that came close was Zidoo X9 with support for Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and 7.1, but it downmixes 7.1 channels to 5.1 channels. So the only cost effective options to get proper 7.1 channel pass-through were Intel based mini PCs running Linux such as Asus Chromebox M004U or Intel NUCs. But recently, I’ve seen some progress. For example, yesterday Cloud Media released a new firmware for their Open Hour Chameleon media player based on Rockchip RK3288 processor. Their Android 4.4.2 firmware (version 1.0.23) is promises support for HD audio pass-through, albeit with some …

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