Building a Compact Digital TV Transmitter with Raspberry Pi Zero, Pi Camera, and LimeSDR Mini USB SDR Board

There are few affordable standalone systems that allow you to transmit video over the air, and back in 2016, I had the chance to check out V-Bridge Muses-β MPEG-2/-4 encoder and DTV modular taking HDMI or composite video input. It was easy to use and worked fine, but it would still cost close to $600, and might have been a little smaller. Evariste Okcestbon has now created its own digital TV transmitter prototype, combining LimeSDR Mini USB SDR board with Raspberry Pi Zero board, and instead of supporting external input from HDMI or AV ports, he used an official Pi camera for video, and was able to transmit the video over a 1.2 GHz connection to a Raspberry Pi 2 with an RTL-SDR dongle, with the Pi 2 board also taking care of displaying the video signal.   The full flow of transmission can be summarized as follows: Video from Pi Camera AVC2TS software for H.264 encode and transport stream …

Geniatech ATV598Max is a Certified Android TV Hybrid TV Box with ATSC, DVB-T2, DVB-C, or ISDB-T Digital TV Tuner

Geniatech ATV495 Max was the first model from the company to get official Android TV certifications. There now a bunch of those ATV OEM devices, but if you want one with a digital TV tuner, then the choice is much more limited, and so far, I only heard about ARRIS set top boxes. Geniatech ATV598 Max can now be added to the list, as the company informed me the Amlogic quad core hybrid TV box with ATSC, DVB-T2, or DVB-C tuner had just received official Android TV certification from Google too. ATV598Max specifications: SoC  – Amlogic S905D quad core Arm Cortex-A53 processor up to 1.5 GHz with penta-core Mali-450MP GPU System Memory – 2GB DDR3 (optional 1GB) Storage – 16GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot up to 32GB Video Output – HDMI 2.0a; Audio – Via HDMI, optical output, optional Dolby support Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi or 802.11 b/g/ac WiFi module, Bluetooth USB – 2x USB …

Mecool KII Pro Set-Top-Box Upgraded to Amlogic S905D Processor, Android 7.1.2

VideoStrong is making some of the most popular – at least on this website – Android set-box boxes with digital TV tuner on the market with products like Mecool KIII Pro, or KI Pro, mostly because of their affordability. Software may be hit or miss depending on your local requirement (e.g. AC3 on DVB-T2, language encoding issues, etc..), so there’s fairly large number of users and some community tools or firmware such as DVB Channel Editor or Vitmos OS that may make them better devices. Most models are based on Amlogic S905 or S912, but Amlogic launched S905D processor some time ago with better tuner support (multiple demodulator support) which for example allowing me to watch terrestrial TV (DVB-T2) while recording satellite TV (DVB-S2) on Sen5 TV box. VideoStrong decided to upgrade their KII Pro Android set-top box  with S905 processor, DVB-T2/T/C and DVB-S2/S tuners to the new Amlogic S905D processor, and the new version of the device also get …

Dune HD Unveils 5 Entry Level to Premium 4K HDR Linux + Android Media Players & Set-Top Boxes

Dune HD is known to make high-end digital media players that often costs several hundred dollars such as Sigma Designs based Dune HD SOLO 4K or Dune HD Solo Lite. The company has now sent out an email announcing new models classified into three categories with most models based on Amlogic processors: Neo Series – Entry level Dune HD Neo 4K – 4Kp60 HDR media player + Android Smart TV box Amlogic S905X 1GB RAM, 8GB flash 802.11ac Wi-Fi, 100Mbit Ethernet, Bluetooth Dune HD Neo 4K T2 – 4Kp60 HDR media player + Android Smart TV box + DVB-T/T2/C receiver Amlogic S905D 1GB RAM, 8GB flash 802.11ac Wi-Fi, 100Mbit Ethernet, Bluetooth Dune HD Neo 4K T2 Plus – 4Kp60 HDR media player + Android Smart TV box + DVB-T/T2/C receiver Amlogic S905D 2GB RAM, 16GB flash 802.11ac Wi-Fi, 100Mbit Ethernet, Bluetooth Sky series – Models with satellite receiver Dune HD Sky 4K Plus – 4Kp60 HDR media player + Android …

How to Use Khadas VIM2 Board with VTV Expansion DTV Board as a Live TV Streaming Server

Khadas VIM2 is the first and only Amlogic S912 based hobbyist development board on the market, which makes it interesting by itself, but the company also added some interesting features such as an SPI flash for network boot, Wake-on-LAN support, and more. Last month the company sent me a sample of the Khadas VIM2 Basic (2GB RAM/16GB flash) together with VTV Extension DTV Board featuring a DVB-T2/C and DVB-S2 tuner. I’ve already checkout the hardware and shown how to assemble the kit, so for the second part of the review it seemed like a good idea to use the board as a Live TV streaming server broadcasting satellite, cable or terrestrial TV to devices connected to the local network. At first I wanted to use Linux operating system, because I could have run other Linux server services, but SuperDVB, the company that makes and supports the tuner board, only have Android software for their board. So I changed plan, and …

Magicsee C300 is a $70 DVB-T2/C & DVB-S2 Android Set-Top Box Powered by Amlogic S905D SoC

Amlogic S905D processor is an evolution of Amlogic S905X with Gigabit Ethernet support, and TS interfaces for digital TV tuners. That explains why most devices launched with the processor come with tuners. So far, we’ve covered or reviewed a few including Sen5 STB (2x DVB-T2/C), Mecool KI Pro (T2/S2), and TX95D TV box with a single DVB-T2 tuner. Magicsee C300 is another Amlogic S905D Android STB that comes with DVB-T2/C (Terrestrial & Cable), and DVB-S2 (Satellite) tuners, and sells for just under $70 on Aliexpress, and can be found on other shops such as GearBest. Magicsee C300 specifications are quite similar to the ones for Mecool KI Pro: SoC –  Amlogic S905D quad core ARM Cortex-A53 @ up to 1.5 GHz with penta core Mali-450MP GPU System Memory – 2 GB DDR3 Storage – 16GB eMMC flash + micro SD card slot up to 32GB Video Output – HDMI 2.0a up to 4K @ 60Hz with support for HDR10 and …

Giveaway Week Winners – November 2017

Like every year, I’ve organized a giveaway week to send some of the items I’ve reviewed in the past year or so. There was a good mix of devices this year starting with a mini Linux NAS kit, following by some ESP32 boards, and Amlogic development boards among others. The results are in, and instead of 10 winners, I actually have 11 winners due a “timing issue”, and to make for one missing ESP32 board, a LinkIt Smart 7688 Duo board was also given away. While it started strongly for Eastern Europe, We have winners from 3 continents this year: NanoPi NEO2 NAS Kit – Hap Hapablap, Serbia Muses Beta DVB Encoder and Modulator Board – Luka, Slovenia ESP32 PICO Kit v3 boards (5 Winners): Andrius Kurtinaitis, Lithuania (2x ESP32 boards) Kebab, Turkey (2x ESP32 boards) Zoobab, Belgium (2x ESP32 boards) Sollie, Germany (2x ESP32 boards) BobR, USA (1x ESP32 PICO Kit + LinkIt Smart 7688 Duo) NanoPi K2 board …

Giveaway Week – Muses-β DTV Modulator and Video Encoder

The next item for giveaway is rather specialized hardware, as V-Bridge Muses-β allows you to take raw video input via HDMI or video composite, encode it and module to your DTB standard (DVB-T, ATSC… ) and get the video through your TV tuner via a cable, or over-the-air if you add your own an amplifier and antenna. The system is controlled by an STM32 board with LCD display and button, and you can operate directly from the board, selecting various option. I used a TV box as input, and U4 Quad hybrid set-top box to get the video signal and output it to my TV when I reviewed the system with DVB-T / QPSK modulation. The system is limited to MPEG-2 up to 1080p30 encoding since it’s what the SoC supports. I’m giving away the complete “turn key solution” shown in the first photo to one lucky winner. To enter the draw simply leave a comment below. Other rules are …