Updated Review of Tronsmart Prometheus with Android 4.2 and XBMC

Earlier this month, a new firmware for Tronsmart Prometheus with Android 4.2 and XBMC with hardware acceleration has been released. Several users left divergent opinions about this firmware, so I’ve decided to give it a try, and write an updated review of Tronsmart Prometheus. I’ll focus on the new features and performance of Android 4.2, XBMC video testing, and see if some of the bugs I found in my earlier review have been fixed. Android 4.2 Features and Benchmarks The firmware file and instructions are available on Tronsmart website. The procedure is straight forward so I won’t repeat it here. During the first boot after the upgrade, you’ll be taken through a wizard to configure your device (e.g. Ethernet, WiFi,…). The first think you’ll notice is a slightly different Home Screen in Android 4.2. There are several small UI improvements / modifications, but the most interesting features for me in Android 4.2 for this type of device is multi-users support. …

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OpenELEC 3.0.0 on Raspberry Pi – Installation and Video Tests

Yesterday, OpenELEC developers announced the release of OpenELEC 3.0.0, a lightweight OS running XBMC Frodo 12.1 for several platforms including the Raspberry Pi (OpenELEC stands for Open Embedded Linux Entertainment Center). When the Raspberry Pi was initially released, I did not feel like testing it as a media center, mainly because of codecs limitations. But over time, this has improved with the availability of MPEG-2 and VC-1 codecs (for a fee), and GPU accelerated support for free codecs such as VP6 and VP8, so today I’ve tested to give a try and install OpenELEC 3.0.0 on my Raspberry Pi. I’ll first give installation instructions, then test several types of videos container formats, and video / audio codecs, as well as give some quick impression about the performance and stability of OpenELEC on this low cost board. Installing OpenELEC on Raspberry Pi To install OpenELEC, I basically followed the instructions provided on OpenELEC site in a Linux (Ubuntu 12.04) PC. If …

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Review of Egreat H5 mini PC Powered by Nufront NS115

W2COMP sent me a new toy to play with: Egreat H5 mini PC built around Nufront NS115 dual core Cortex A9 SoC with 1GB RAM and 4GB Flash, and (theoretically) running Android Jelly Bean (4.1). Since it’s the first time I write about this device, let’s start with the specifications as shown in W2COMP: SoC – Nufront NS115 dual core Cortex A9 @ 1.0GHz + Mali-400 GPU System Memory – 1GB DDR3 Storage – 4GB Nand Flash  (2 GB for OS, 2GB available space) + micro SD slot. Video Output – HDMI (720p / 180p) Video Containers- AVI, RMVB, MKV& FLV Audio Codec – Dolby, DTS, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD, PCM (DTS-HD MA, RAW not supported), MP3, WMA, AAC, FLAC and OGG Connectivity – Built-in WI-FI 802.11 b/g/n USB – 1x USB host port, 1x micro USB Misc – 1 IR port Power – 5V/2A Dimensions – 122 x 34 x 17 mm Weight – 40g It’s available …

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Wandboard Dual Unboxing and Quick Start Guide

I’ve just received Wanboard Dual development board together with an enclosure, and Wi-Fi antenna. This board is powered by Freescale i.MX6 Duallite Cortex A9 processor, and comes with 1GB RAM, HDMI output and Ethernet. There’s also a version based on Freescale i.MX6 Solo with 512 MB RAM. You can refer to my earlier post for more detailed specifications. I’ll start by showing some unboxing pictures of the board, and write a quick start guide (casing assembly, Ubuntu & Android boot, and development). I also planned to run some benchmarks and test videos, as according to a poll on Wandboard website many people want to use it as a media player, but I’ll do that a bit later since the current Android image is not up to the task yet. Wandboard Dual Unboxing The package I received contained 3 boxes: one for Wandboard Dual board, one for the enclosure, and one for the Antenna. The complete kit below should cost around $120, …

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ARMBRIX Zero Cortex A15 Development Board Unboxing Pictures

I’ve just received an early sample of ARMBRIX Zero (aka ARMBRIX-5250-A), a development board based on Samsung Exynos 5250 dual cortex A15 processor with 2GB RAM, a microSD slot, 1x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0 Host, 1x USB Device, 10/100 Ethernet, HDMI output, SATA 3.0, some Audio I/O ports, and 3 expansions headers. This is basically a low cost version of the Arndale board, with things such as eMMC 4.5 (Sorry I’ve missed the eMMC socket at the back of the board) sensors missing. Today, I won’t turn the board on (I’ll explain why at the end of the post), but instead show some pictures of the development and debug boards. If you had previously seen the board picture before, you’ll noticed it has a grown a heatsink. The heatsink is probably here to stay, but may be slightly different (e.g. lower) when you receive your board. The bottom acrylic plate won’t be part of the board you’ll receive in …

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Infineon Hexagon Application Kit (XMC4500 Enterprise Edition) Overview and Quick Start Guide

A few months ago, Infineon sent me XMC4500 Relax Lite Kit for review, and I wrote a short Getting Started Guide about this 10 Euros Cortex M4 devkit. This month, I’ve received another XMC4500 kit with more features and expansion abilities: XMC4500 Enterprise Edition which is one of their Hexagon Application Kit. I received two packages: CPU Board XMC4500 General Purpose (CPU_45A-V2) with accessories (55 Euros) – This is what you get when you order to Basic Kit. J-Link Lite Cortex-M Debugger (40 Euros) Let’s open the packages and see what’s inside. In the first package, we’ve got XMC4500 CPU board, a pin extension board that can be used on any of the 3 extension connectors of the CPU board to access the signals easily, and a microUSB to USB cable for power. The JLink debugger comes with a 10-pin ribbon cable, and a microUSB to USB cable to connect to the CPU board and start debugging. A closer look at the …

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Tronsmart Prometheus Review

Now is the time to review another device sent to me by Geekbuying. Tronsmart Promotheus is an Android 4.1 Android set-top box powered by AMLogic AML8726-MX (aka AML8726-M6) with 1GB RAM and 4GB Flash, 3 USB ports, as well as Wi-Fi and Ethernet for connectivity. This device, which looks like a spaceship (my wife said it looks like a buffalo), has the potential to run XBMC with full hardware acceleration in Android and/or Linux. Tronsmart Prometheus Unboxing I’ve received the box in the package below. Apart from Promotheus media player, the package contains a 12V/1A power supply, an HDMI cable, an AV cable and a user manual in English that appears to be useful for once. It explains how to connect to device to the TV, to the networks, and to the power, how to do firmware upgrade, and how to troubleshoot it. It is presented in a way that may actually may want you to read it. Time for …

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Review of Measy U2C Rockchip RK3066 Mini PC With Built-in Camera

I’ve received 2 new devices to play with this week, as Geekbuying sent me Tronsmart Promotheus set-top box and Measy U2C, a mini PC with a webcam, so that I can test and review them. Today, I’ll leave the “Spaceship” set-top box parked in another galaxy, and I will review Measy U2C mini PC. This HDMI dongle is powered by Rockchip RK3066, runs Android 4.1.1, and comes with 1 GB RAM, 8GB Flash, Wi-Fi & Bluetooth connectivity, and a built-in 2MP Webcam. For complete specs, you can check my post about B12 mini PC since this device uses the same board internally. Geekbuying sells this all-in-one mini PC for $74.99 including shipping. As usual, I’ll post some unboxing pictures, and then review the device, this time, with a section dedicated to the webcam, since this is the key selling point of this mini PC. Measy U2C Unboxing Measy U2C comes in the prettiest package I’ve ever received for a mini …

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