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Orange Pi Development Boards

Realtek RTD1295 based X2 Android TV Stick Comes with HDMI Output, HDMI Input

January 3rd, 2018 9 comments

Realtek RTD1295 processor is found in mid to high end 4K HDR TV boxes with interfaces like SATA, USB 3.0, as well as HDMI input used for PiP or video recording features. Devices equipped with the processor that come to mind include Zidoo X9S or EWEAT R9 Plus TV Box + NAS, both of which are full featured and fairly large devices, running Android 6.0 and OpenWrt.

Shenzhen Tomato has unveiled another type of device based on RTD1295 processor: X2 HDMI TV dongle that features both HDMI output & HDMI input ports, and runs Android 6.0 (but not OpenWrt).

X2 TV stick specifications:

  • SoC – Realtek RTD1295 quad core Cortex A53 processor @ 1.40 GHz with ARM Mali-T820MP3 GPU
  • System Memory – 1 or 2GB DDR4
  • Storage – 8 or 16GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot
  • Video & Audio I/O – HDMI 2.0a output, and HDMI 1.4 input
  • Video Codec – 10-bit HEVC/H.265 up to 4K @ 60fps, H.264 up to 4K @ 24 fps, VP9 up to 4K @ 60 fps (30 fps in my experience)
  • Connectivity – WiFi
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 port
  • Misc – IR receiver, UART pins (3.3V/Tx/Rx/GND) on PCB
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A via micro USB port
  • Dimensions – TBD

C2 V1.0 Board – Click to Enlarge

Interestingly, the company was unable to provide exact dimensions, nor details about the supported WiFi module(s), but the confirmed HDMI input can be used for picture-in-picture (PiP), and recording video to USB mass storage. Network broadcasting may be supported too (TBC).

Shenzhen Tomato also mentioned they do not have a case for now, and could not provide sample / MOQ pricing information. Nevertheless, the company is still looking for OEM/ODM partners that may be interested in the solution, and you can get more details on the product page. We’ll probably find this TV dongle show up in various places once it starts selling at the retail level.

H96 Mini TV Box with HDMI Input Sold for $40 (Promo)

December 21st, 2017 4 comments

H96 Mini is a TV Box powered by Amlogic T962E quad core Cortex A53 processor that supports both HDMI output and input. When I first covered the device, it was not very clear what was possible with the HDMI input port on this particular device, and I’ve just got a confusing answer from GearBest, which implies video recording may not be working yet, or may it is…

The device was first launched for about $55 in October, and the good news is that you can now purchase it for $39.99 with coupon AH96MS. The bad news is that price is only available during daily flash sale, where 30 units are offered at 10:00 UTC until December 25, so you’d have to be right in time to get the deal. Maybe with the 30 units available per day, it will be easier than some other flash sales with a lower number.

H96 Mini hardware specifications:

  • SoC – Amlogic T962E quad core ARM Cortex-A53 processor with ARM Mali-450 MP3 GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB LPDDR3
  • Storage – 16 GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot up to 128GB
  • Video I/F –  HDMI 2.0a output with HDR, CEC, and HDCP 2.2 support, HDMI 2.0 input, AV port (composite)
  • Audio I/F – HDMI In/Out, AV port (stereo audio), optical S/PDIF
  • Video Playback – 4K HDR; 10-bit H.265 up to 4K @ 60 Hz, VP9 Profile 2 up to 4K @ 60 Hz, H.264 up to 4K @ 30 Hz, H.263, MPEG-4 codecs
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, dual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports
  • Misc – IR receiver
  • Power Supply –  TBD
  • Dimensions – 10 x 10 x 1.9 cm
  • Weight – 130 grams

The box runs Android 7.1, and ships with the usual HDMI cable, remote control, power adapter, and user manual. GearBest has a video showing the box in action, but they forgot to showcase the key selling point: HDMI input. What we can see is that there’s no Video In, or HDMI In app in the launcher… not really reassuring. But if you can get it for $40, it’s still not a bad deal even if the recording or PiP function may not be working.

Amlogic T962E SoC Powers $55 Alfawise H96 Mini TV Box with HDMI Input, HDMI Output

October 25th, 2017 24 comments

HDMI input can be a useful addition to Android TV boxes, or media centers, as they allow for functions such as PiP (Picture in Picture), PVR/DVR  (Personal / Digital Video Recording), and potentially video broadcasting with the box taking input from your set-top box (or other HDMI device), and broadcasting the video over your network in order to make it accessible to other computer or mobile devices on your home network, or the Internet.

We started to see HDMI input on devices powered by Mstar MSO9810 processor a few years, and more recently Realtek RTD1295 processor has become more popular with products such as Zidoo X9S, Beelink SEA I, or EWEAT R9 Plus.

Amlogic appears to have joined the fray with Amlogic T962E processor, a family normally used for TVs instead of TV boxes, found in Alfawise H96 mini 4K TV box with HDMI In and Out, 2GB RAM, and 16GB flash.

H96 Mini specifications [Updated based on comments]:

  • SoC – Amlogic T962E quad core ARM Cortex-A53 processor with ARM Mali-450 MP3 (GearBest says Mali-T820MP3)
  • System Memory – 2GB LPDDR3
  • Storage – 16 GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot up to 128GB
  • Video I/F –  HDMI 2.0a output with HDR, CEC, and HDCP 2.2 support, HDMI 2.0 input, AV port (composite)
  • Audio I/F – HDMI In/Out, AV port (stereo audio), optical S/PDIF
  • Video Playback – 4K HDR; 10-bit H.265 up to 4K @ 60 Hz, VP9 Profile 2 up to 4K @ 60 Hz, H.264 up to 4K @ 30 Hz, H.263, MPEG-4 codecs
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, dual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports
  • Misc – TBD
  • Power Supply –  TBD
  • Dimensions – 10 x 10 x 1.9 cm
  • Weight – 130 grams

The device runs Android 7.1, and ships with a power adapter, a remote control, a HDMI cable, and an English user manual.

While Amlogic T962 is listed on Amlogic website, T962E is not, and provided the info on GearBest is correct, it appears to be a bit different with a least the GPU being Mali-T820MP3 instead of Mali-450MP3. The solution is quite not as powerful as RTD1295 since it lacks Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0, and SATA interfaces.

You’d think that with a fairly unique feature such as HDMI input, even claiming “the only one with HDMI IN / HDMI OUT”, that they’d explain the capabilities of the port, but nothing. Worse case it’s just a mostly useless built-in HDMI switcher, and best case, it rivals Realtek feature set with PiP, DVR and video broadcasting features. We could assume it support DVR since it’s likely derived from a TV SoC, but honestly we just don’t know. I’ll try to see if I can find more info.

What we know for sure is that the price is much cheaper, with H96 Mini selling for just $54.99 on GearBest with coupon GBH96MINI.

Via AndroidPC.es

PROBOX2 AVA 4K TV Box, NAS, and HDMI IN DVR Sells with an Optional Air Mouse

July 18th, 2017 2 comments

We’ve recently come across several TV boxes based on Realtek RTD1295 SoC which offers not only typical 4K Android TV box features like H.265 & VP9 video playback, and HDR support, but acts like a NAS function thanks to a SATA interface and OpenWrt, and provides an HDMI input port that allows for DVR, PiP, and UDP broadcasting functions. PROBOX2 AVA is another one of those device with the hardware extremely similar to Beelink SEA I model, but with an external antenna, and a different user interface. The box can also ship with an optional Remote+ air mouse, which could allow you to turn on the device without using the IR remote control (TBC), as I have to do with other boxes.

PROBOX2 AVA specifications:

  • SoC – Realtek RTD1295DD quad core ARM Cortex-A53 processor @ 1.4 GHz with ARM Mali-T820MP3 GPU
  • System Memory – 2 GB DDR4
  • Storage – 16 GB eMMC flash, SD card slot, and 2.5″ SATA III bay
  • Video I/F
    • HDMI 2.0a output with HDR, CEC, and HDCP 2.2 support up to 4K @ 60 Hz (23.976 and 29.94Hz frame rates are also supported)
    • HDMI 2.0 input with HDCP 2.2 support for PVR, PiP, and UDP broadcasting
  • Audio I/F – HDMI with support for Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD 7.1, optical S/PDIF
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, dual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 port, 1x USB 3.0 port
  • Misc – Power LED, RTC + battery, IR receiver
  • Power Supply –  12V/1.5A
  • Dimensions – 200 x 125 x 21 mm

While many of the ports are placed in the same position as Beelink SEA I, the box is larger due to the external WiFi antenna. By default, the box ships with a power adapter, an IR remote control, a HDMI cable, and a user guide. The optional PROBOX2 Remote+ air mouse can be used as a game controller, an audio input for voice control, and of course an air mouse over a 2.4 GHz connection. The company (W2COMP) has sold TV boxes with Remote+ remote control for several years, and I used it during my review of PROBOX2 EX TV box in 2014.

Probox2 Remote+ with RF Dongle and User guide (Click to Enlarge)

At the time I liked the air mouse, including gaming and voice input modes, but missed the QWERTY keyboard on the back, and play/pause and trick modes keys that are useful in media players like XBMC (now Kodi). At the time, I could not turn on the device with the air mouse, so hopefully it’s something that has been addressed since then.

The device runs Android 6.0 and OpenWrt with support for Samba server, iTunes (DAAP) server, DLNA (UPnP) server, FTP server, AFP function (for Apple TimeMachine) and BitTorrent download functions as in most other RTD1295 devices. The change is the company’s APEX UI / launcher.

Click to Enlarge

PROBOX2 AVA is now up for pre-order on W2COMP for $135.00, or with Remote+ air mouse for $149.99. Amazon and eBay purchase links will be up on July 28th. More details may be found on the product page.

Xnano X5 4K TV Box with Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI Input, USB 3.0, and SATA Goes for $68 and Up

July 12th, 2017 12 comments

Realtek RTD1295 processor allows for 4K TV boxes with DVR and PiP function through HDMI input, and USB 3.0 and SATA 3.0 storage interfaces. I previously reviewed Zidoo X9S and EWEAT R9 Plus based on the solution, and I especially liked support with NAS function through OpenWrt running side-by-side with Android 6.0. Those are high-end devices that cost well over $100, but we’ve recently seen cheaper models, likely with less refined firmware, no metal case, and possibly lacking OpenWrt that go as low as $78 shipped with LAKE I Home Cloud TV box. We can now get an even cheaper model, albeit with just 1GB RAM and 8GB flash, thanks to Xano X5 sold for $68.32 including shipping on Aliexpress. There’s also a 2GB/16GB version on the same page going for $82.76.

Xnano X5 Smart Box specifications:

  • SoC – Realtek RTD1295 quad core Cortex A53 processor with ARM Mali-T820 MP3 GPU
  • System Memory – 1 or 2GB DDR4
  • Storage – 8 or 16GB eMMC flash, SATA 3.0 connector for external drives, micro SD card slot up to 64GB
  • Video I/O – HDMI 2.0a output with HDR support, AV output (composite), and HDMI input
  • Audio I/O – HDMI in and out, AV out (stereo audio), 1x S/PDIF output
  • Video Playback – 10-bit HEVC/H.265 up to 4K @ 60fps, H.264 up to 4K @ 24 fps, VP9 up to 4K @ 30 fps
  • Audio Features – 7.1 channel audio pass-through
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, dual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 with one 5dB external antenna
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port, 1x USB 2.0 port
  • Misc – IR receiver, front panel display, RTC with battery
  • Power Supply – 12V/2A
  • Dimensions – 132 x 85 x 19 mm

Based on the documentation on the Aliexpress page, the box appears to run both Android 6.0 and OpenWrt, and ships with a HDMI cable, an IR remote control, a user’s manual, a high gain WiFi antenna, and a power adapter. HDMI input support DVR, Broadcasting over UDP, and PiP functions.

The company also published a picture of the board, and for people who want to develop U-boot or Linux on the board (mainline for RTD1295 is in progress), the 4-pin header on the right between the USB 3.0 port and micro SD slot could the UART header to access the serial console. We’ve previously seen USB 3.0, SATA, and Gigabit Ethernet performance is excellent on such box, so it could also make an interesting Linux device/board if more people work on it.

Other Aliexpress sellers offer the box for a few dollars higher, GearBest is not quite as competitive here, as it sells the device for $78 including worldwide shipping [Update: GBCNA coupon brings that down to $67.19].  If you do a group buy of at least five, DHGate sells it for  $62.29 per unit including DHL shipping.

Thanks to Danman for the tip.

$45 Hisilicon Hi3535 Based Network Video Recorder Board Comes with HDMI, VGA, Dual SATA, GbE, and USB 3.0 Ports

July 5th, 2017 37 comments

Network Video Recorder (NVR) boards allow you to record videos from IP cameras to a SATA drive, and display them in a mosaic for monitoring & security. One of such boards is XiongMai NBD7024T-P powered by a Hisilicon Hi3535 dual core Cortex A9 processor, and featuring Gigabit Ethernet, SATA, and USB 3.0 interfaces, on top of HDMI and VGA video output and stereo audio output. With such features, this type of board could likely be re-purposed for other applications, such as a NAS setup too,and they are fairly inexpensive going for $45 including shipping on Aliexpress.

Click to Enlarge

NBD7024T-P NVR board specifications:

  • SoC –  Hisilicon Hi3535 dual core Cortex A9 processor @ 1.0 GHz
  • System Memory – 4Gbit (512MB) RAM
  • Storage – 2x SATA ports up to 8TB each, maybe some SPI flash for firmware
  • Video Output – 1x HDMI, 1x VGA
  • Audio Output – 2x RCA jacks for stereo audio
  • Video Input (IP) – 8x @ 5M, 16x @ 4M, 32x (24fps), 16x, 8x @ 1080p, 32x @ 960p, 16x @ 720p up to 192 Mbps bandwidth
  • Video & Audio Compression – H.264, G.711A
  • Display & Playback “Quality” – 1280×1080 max display resolution, playback: 5M/4M 1080p/960p/720p
  • Video Preview – 1/4/8/16/24/32
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet port + 4ch WiFi ???
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 port, 1x USB 3.0 port
  • Misc – RTC battery, some expansion headers
  • Power supply – 12V/4A
  • Power Consumption – <10W (without HDD)
  • Dimensions – 164mm x 80mm
  • Weight – ~130g
  • Temperature Range – 0°C-+55°C
  • Humidity – 10%-90% RH

You can use the built-in interface shown above, a Windows based CMS app, XMeye mobile app to manage the video streams, or any ONVIF compliant apps. The board is said to run some kind of embedded Linux distributions. The seller of the board on Taobao, also “sells” the SDK for various Hisilicon processors for 5 RMB. But since the name of the SDK is shown a search for Hi3535_V100R001C01SPC020 led me to that direct link on baidu where it looks like you can download it for free, until you find out the archive is password protected… The SDK is said to be based on Linux 3.14, and you’d have to use this, since I could not see any activity about Hi3535 in LKML.

HiSilicon Hi3535 Block Diagram – Click to Enlarge

The manufacturer of the board is Hangzhou XiongMai Technology, and you can find a product brief here. If you find $45 is too high for your use case, some cheaper 4-channel NVR boards based on HiSilicon Hi3520D ARM Cortex A9 processor @ 660 MHz can be found for about $17 shipped with Fast Ethernet, one SATA 2.0 interface, and HDMI & VGA output.

HiSilicon Hi3535 processor sells for about $8 in quantities, so in case software support is acceptable, and HiSilicon helps with the release of the SDK, it might be possible to make low cost boards for headless applications. It still remains to be seen how SATA, Ethernet, and USB 3.0 interfaces perform on the processor.

Thanks to Jon for the tip.

LAKE I Home Cloud TV Box with HDMI Input, SATA Bay Sells for $78

June 28th, 2017 3 comments

Realtek RTD1295 based Android TV boxes are usually interesting devices as they play 4K videos relatively well – minus 4K H.264 @ 30 fps -, support HDMI input with PVR and PiP functions, and often come with a SATA interface for NAS functions handled with OpenWrt. Zidoo X9S and EWEAT R9 Plus are examples of such devices, and I found them to work pretty well in my reviews, but they are quite pricey with prices ranging from $130 to $200 (with internal SATA bay) including shipping. A cheaper option is Beelink SEA I, which I started to review, but one firmware update wiped out the HDCP key, and the product became unusable with the company unwilling/unable to provide the HDCP key. There’s now a new even cheaper model with LAKE I Home Cloud TV box sold for $77.99 on GearBest with GBLAKEI coupon.

LAKE I Home Cloud TV box specifications:

  • SoC – Realtek RTD1295 quad core Cortex A53 processor with ARM Mali-T820 MP3 GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR4
  • Storage – 16GB eMMC 5.1 flash + SD card slot up to 128 GB + SATA hard disk bay for 2.5″ drives with 9.5mm / 7.5mm thickness
  • Video I/O – HDMI 2.0a output, and HDMI input (recording and streaming up to 1080p @ 60 Hz)
  • Audio I/O – HDMI in and out, 1x S/PDIF output
  • Video Playback – HDR, 10-bit HEVC/H.265 up to 4K @ 60fps, H.264 up to 4K @ 24 fps, VP9 up to 4K @ 30 fps, BDISO/MKV, etc… automatic frame rate switching
  • Audio Features – 7.1 channel audio pass-through
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, dual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 with two external antennas
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0, 3x USB 2.0 ports
  • Misc – IR receiver, front panel display, RTC with battery
  • Power Supply – 12V/1.5A
  • Dimensions – 132 x 124 x 27 mm
  • Weight – 210 grams

The “HardDisk” bay shown in the first picture allows you to add a 2.5″ drive inside the box. The box is said to run Android 6.0, but again we don’t know if it also runs OpenWrt just like on Zidoo and EWEAT boxes. One of the picture also indicates “Intel HD Graphics 400” is used to provides 3840×2160, so the information on GearBest page can not be fully trusted. This fanless TV box ships with a HDMI Cable, a power adapter, an infrared remote control, and a user manual.

I asked GearBest for some confirmations, but I did not get a reply in time for the article. Finally, I found out the box on Alibaba, and it is sold by SHenzhen AZW Technology better known as Beelink, and the system is sold a dual OS TV box with Android 6.0 and OpenWrt there.

Via AndroidPC.es

TX95D Android Set-Top Box with Amlogic S905D SoC, DVB-T2 Tuner is Selling for $52

June 10th, 2017 8 comments

We know have a decent choice of affordable Android TV boxes with tuners, but TX95D model powered by Amlogic S905D processor, and a single DVB-T/T2 tuner, appears to be a few dollars cheaper than the competition, as it sells for $51.99 shipped on Acemax’ Aliexpress store.

TX95D Android STB specifications:

  • SoC –  Amlogic S905D quad core ARM Cortex-A53 @ up to 1.5 GHz with Mali-450MP GPU
  • System Memory – 1 GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8 GB flash + micro SD card slot
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0a up to 4K @ 60Hz with HDR support, and 3.5mm AV (composite video) jack
  • Audio Output – HDMI, AV (stereo audio), optical S/PDIF
  • Video Codecs – 10-bit H.265, and VP9 Profile 2 up to 4K60, H.264 up to 4K30, AVS+ and other codecs up to 1080p60
  • Tuner – DVB-T/T2 tuner with one coaxial RF input
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports
  • Misc – Front panel display, power LED, IR receiver
  • Power Supply –  DC 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – 130 x 102 x 30 mm

The box runs Android 6.0 with Kodi 17, and supports timeshifting and PVR functions likely using the usual – for AMlogic STBs – DVB app. The packages include TX95D hybrid TV BOX, one HDMI Cable, a power adapter, a remote control, and a user manual.

While searching for the product name, I found an FCC filing indicating the manufacturer should be Shenzhen Oranth Technology. They have not updated their website for a while, since the listed products are only based on Amlogic S805, and without tuner.  The Chinese version of the website lists only TV box boards without cases, as well as power adapter testing board.

Via AndroidPC.es