Posts Tagged ‘stb’

Giveaway Week – AV200 Android Media Player

March 13th, 2015 164 comments

After Vidon Box giveaway earlier this week, it’s time for another box with AV200 powered by Allwinner A31 qaud core Cortex A7 processor coupled with 2GB RAM and 8GB eMMC, and a metallic body.

VidoOn.me_AV200In V200 review, I concluded the box had pretty good video decoding capabilities in XBMC, as well as fast Wi-Fi, but the box still suffered from a few stability issues, and since the device was phased out, quite unlikely to get further firmware updates.

AV200 and Accessories (Click to Enlarge)

AV200 and Accessories (Click to Enlarge)

All accessories shown above are included except the HDMI cable. You can check out more pictures here.

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
  • I’ll contact the winner by email right after the draw, and I’ll expect an answer within 24 hours, or I’ll pick another winner.
  • Shipping
    • Free EMS for winners with a shipping address in Thailand
    • $26 Registered Airmail Small packet for the rest of the world payable via Paypal within 48 hours once the contest is complete.
    • If Paypal is not available in your country, you can still play, and I’ll cover the cost of sending the parcel by Sea and Land (SAL) if you win.
  • I’ll post all 7 prizes at the same time, around the 18th of March
  • I’ll make sure we have 7 different winners, so if you have already won a device during this week giveaway, I’ll draw another person.

Good luck! AV200 is not available for purchase anymore.

DV7810-T2 is a Quad Core DVB-T2 Android Receiver with a CA Slot, Conax and Novel-SuperTV Support

March 12th, 2015 16 comments

There are a few Android TV boxes on the market with digital tuners (DVB-T2, DVB-S2, ATSC..), such as WeTek Play or VideoStrong K1, but unless you install some “special” app like OSCAM, you’ll only be able to watch Free-to-air channels. Shenzhen SDMC Technology DV7810-T2 Android set-top box adds a conditional access smartcard slot to work with the built-in DVB-T2 tuner.

DV7810-T2_BoxDV7810-T2 specifications:

  • SoC – Amlogic S812 quad core Cortex A9 processor @ 2.0GHz with an octa core Mali-450MP6 GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3 (1GB optional)
  • Storage – 8GB NAND flash (Options: 4, 16 or 32GB), SD card slot
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4b, AV
  • Audio Output – HDMI, AV, and optical S/PDIF
  • Connectivity – 10/100/1000M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi (dual band optional) with external antenna, and Bluetooth 4.0
  • Tuner – DVB-T / DVB-T2 Tuner (MXL608+AVL6762) with RF In and Out
  • Conditional Access – CA smartcard slot. Supports Conax and Novel-SuperTV solutions.
  • DRM – Verimatrix, Playready, Widevine
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports
  • Misc – IR receiver, power LED, LED display on front panel. 3.5 mm IR jack
  • Power – 12V/1A; 6W typical power consumption
  • Dimensions – 170 x 125 x 27 mm (Plastic + aluminum casing)
  • Weight – 326 grams

Amlogic_S812_DVB_ConnectorsThe box comes with a remote control, a user’s manual, a power adapter, and AV and HDMI cables by default. This set-top box is running Android 4.4, and is said to support Beenius and HbbTV middleware, but I’ve been told the European standard HbbTV has not been implemented in the box yet.  Seven days EPG, USB PVR, Timeshifting, program playback, and “timing playing” are other features supported by the system.


SD Card, USB ports, and CA Slot

This box is probably not suited for selling directly to individuals, as I assume some sort of conditional access integration with content providers is required (TBC), but the company lists its Android set-top box on Alibaba, and on its own website.

Thanks to CSylvain for the tip.

Beelink i one (i826) / Ubox i828 Quad Core Amlogic Media Player & Recorder with HDMI Input

March 9th, 2015 17 comments

There are very few Android TV boxes capable of recording video over HDMI. One of them is Zidoo X9 which works pretty well as long as you use the built-in apps, but playing 4K and/or H.265 with Kodi is a disaster, and despite Mstar MS09810 being a quad core Cortex A9 processor, the actual performance barely better than Amlogic AML8726-MX dual core Cortex A9 processor due to the poor memory bandwidth. But now, if you’d like a system with HDMI PVR function, but better performance and good Kodi support, Beelink i one (i826) could be an option with its Amlogic S812 processor and HDMI input support. There’s also a similar looking UBox i828 featuring Amlogic S802 processor which lacks H.265 support.

i_one_boxi one / Ubox i828 specifications:

  • SoC
    • i one – Amlogic S812 quad core ARM Cortex A9r4 at 2.0GHz with ARM Mali-450MP6 GPU
    • Ubox i828 – Amlogic S802 quad core ARM Cortex A9r4 at 2.0GHz with ARM Mali-450MP6 GPU
  • System Memory – 2G DDR3
  • Storage
    • i one – 16 GB eMMC Flash + SD card slot up to 32GB
    • Ubox i828 – 8GB eMMC flash + SD card slot up to 32gb
  • Video I/O
    • Output – HDMI 1.4b up to 4K2K @ 30 Hz
    • Input – HDMI up to 1080p to switch between inputs and recording.
  • Audio I/O – HDMI ports, and optical S/PDIF
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports + 1x micro USB OTG
  • Misc – IR Sensor, Power LED, power button, and recovery/update switch (via hole)
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – 11.9 x 11.9 x 2.3 cm
  • Weight – 208 grams

Beside the media player, the package includes an HDMI cable, an OTG cable, a power adapter, and a remote control. Both devices run Android 4.4.2 pre-loaded with XBMC / Kodi, “original ecology and AZW custom UI” whatever that means. I guess the first means stock Android home screen, and the later is another launcher.  I could not find screenshots of the user interface.

i_one_box_HDMI_recordingi one (i826) can be found on GearBest for $110.69, but I’ve been given BI826GB coupon lowering the cost to $99, while Ubox i828 can be purchased for $102 on GeekBuying. Please note that both companies use the same marketing material, so provided they did not make mistakes in the specifications, both products should be based on the same Beelink hardware platform, with Amlogic S812 and 16 GB eMMC in i one, replaced by Amlogic S802 and 8GB eMMC in Ubox i828. Both devices appear to be better value than Zidoo X9 ($116 or more), but we’ll have to see how well PVR and timeshifting functions work [Update: Finally, PVR is not working yet]. I’m sure some of you will ask about HDCP, but I don’t know yet, and I’ll try to find out. [Update 2: GearBest told me HDCP is working on the HDMI input port]


Categories: AMLogic, Android, Hardware Tags: Android, beelink, hdmi, pvr, stb, TV box

M9 Android TV Box Based on Amlogic S812 Sells for $63 (Promo)

February 16th, 2015 10 comments

M9 (aka E8 Plus) is yet another Android media player powered by Amlogic S812 with 2GB RAM and 8GB flash, but it’s currently selling for $62.71 including shipping on Aliexpress from a seller with positive feedback. The offer is valid for 17 hours more.
M9_TV_BoxM9 specifications:

  • SoC – Amlogic S812 quad core cortex A9r4 @ 2 GHz with octa-core Mali-450MP6 GPU @ 600+ MHz
  • System Memory – 2 GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8GB NAND flash + SD card socket
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, dual band 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4b up to 4K2K @ 30 Hz, AV port
  • Audio Output – HDMI, AV, optical S/PDIF
  • Video Codecs – 4k2k H.264, H.265 UHD, HD MPEG1/2/4, AVC/VC-1, RM/RMVB, Xvid/DivX3/4/5/6, RealVideo8/9/10,
  • Audio Formats/Codecs – MP3, WMA, WAV, OGG, FLAC, APE, AC3, AAC etc… Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD pass-through
  • USB – 3x USB 2.0 host ports
  • Misc – Power button and LED, IR receiver
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – N/A
  • Weight – N/A

The device runs Android 4.4, and ships with an HDMI cable, an IR remote control, a power supply, and a user’s manual in English.

I’ve checked some other shops, and the $63 price tag seems to be a pretty good deal, compared to $90 on Ebay, and about $80 with other Aliexpress sellers.

Thanks to Gabe for the tip.

HD18T Android DVB-T2 Receiver Mini Review

February 16th, 2015 7 comments

I’ve had HD18T Android TV box with a DVB-T2 tuner for several months, but I’ve only installed a roof antenna recently, so I’ve decided to give it another try since my indoor antenna did not pick-up any signal with that box. The set-top box is also known as EM6-T2 or HD18T2, and features Amlogic AML8726-MX dual Cortex A9 processor which has been used in numerous boxes in the past, so I will only focus on my experience with the DVB app in this mini review.

Android Home Screen (Click for Original Size)

Android Home Screen (Click for Original Size)

If you want to use DVB-T2 go straight to the right and click on DVB app. Where you’ll then be greeted with a pop-up windowsasking if if you want to scan channels.

hd18t_dvb_settings_scanYou can do autoscan, manual scan (for one frequency), select the area (France/Taiwan/UK/Italy/Australia only), and enable/disable LCN (Logical Channel Numbering). At first I selected “Australia”, and the system did not find any channels, but after switching back to “UK”, the device found most, if not all, digital TV channels available in Thailand, including HD channels, meaning DVB-T2 is clearly working just fine. However, several people in Singapore complained that DVB-T2 does not work at all, and only DVB-T channels could be viewed. So your mileage may vary.

hd18t_dvb_settingsIn the program section you can delete or rename channels in the Program Edit menu, check the EPG and schedule recording, configure the PVR function (recording path and timeshitfing duration), access the PVR manager (password: 0000) to view or delete recordings, and TimeShifting to be able to pause live TV.

Using the box to watch TV works relatively well, although some of the channels marked with “$$” in the info overlay produced background noise (with the proper image), meaning I could only really watch about 25 channels, while it’s working just fine on a cheap Linux based DVB-T2 set-top box such as Samart Strong Black. I’ve also noticed some stability issues, as I may lose either picture or audio from time to time, requiring a reboot.

PVR function can be started with the “Rec” button on the remote, and you just need to input the duration. You can watch another channel at the same DVB-T2 frequency while recording. When I tried a single DVB-T2 stream could handle 6 TV channels. If you go over the boundaries, the system will ask if you want to cancel recording.

Once recording is complete, you can go to PVR manager to view the videos, but I did not manage to play any recording from there, so instead I went back to the main menu, and clicked on Movie app to access TVRecordFiles folder on my hard drive, and watch the recordings. Unfortunately all videos were recorded without audio, and I got some artifacts from time to time.

Time-shifting is working OK, but I could not find a way to manually hide the “record” button and the controls overlaid on top of the video, which can be annoying, although they’ll hide after a while (maybe one minute or so).

Other available settings are shown in the screenshot below. Picture size can be set to auto, 4:3 or 16:9, while the selectable languages for subtitle and audio are only English and Chinese. I don’t understand what “Blackout Policy” means.


The system menu has some options to enable subtitles, reset data, set password, and set the TTX region (a few more languages are available here).hd18t_dvb_settings_systemThe firmware version installed was built on May 14, 2014, with building number JDQ39.20140514. I could not find any other firmware updates.

You may want to watch the review video below for more details about DVB app.

The sample was sent to me by Shenzhen Tomato, and if you want to purchase this type of box in quantities you may contact them. I don’t recommend buying such device based on my experience, but at least it’s relatively cheap as it can be found on DealExtreme for $73.99, or Aliexpress for just under $70.

Linux based Vu+ DVB Set-top Boxes Now Support XBMC/Kodi

January 17th, 2015 15 comments

Vu+ Duo2, Solo2 and Solo SE are high-end Linux based DVB receivers powered by Broadcom processors made by Ceru, and with a relatively active community of users and developers. All three models have recently received support for XBMC in their “Black Hole” firmware. Solo SE is the most recent model having been released in 2014, against Duo2 and Solo2 that have been selling since 2012 according to Wikipedia. Since I’ve never heard about these, I’ll check out Duo2, as it comes with the most features out of the three.

Vu+_Duo2.jpgVu+ Duo2 specifications:

  • SoC – Broadcom BCM7424 dual core MIPS processor @ 1.3 GHz with VideoCore IV GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB RAM
  • Storage – 1 GB NAND flash + SATA III interface for 2.5″ and 3.5″ HDD (internal) + eSATA +
  • Video Output – HDMI, SCART, Composite, and Component (YPbPr)
  • Audio Output – HDMI, stereo audio, and optical S/PDIF
  • Tuners – 2x S2/C/T2 (Up to 4 tuners supported)
  • Front Panel Displays – 3.2″ TFT LCD (262,000 color / 16-bit) + VFD display
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi up to 300 Mbps
  • USB – 3x USB 2.0 ports
  • Misc – IR receiver, 2x Smart card slots, RS232 port,
  • Power – 12V/1.5A

The box also supports 3DTV, PiP, on-the-fly video transcoding for mobile devices, up to 16 channels recording via four tuners, and is compliant with HbbTV providing access to TV guides, catch-up services, web video, VOD, or portable services. The Linux distributions used in Vu+ products is based on Enigma2, and it also supports OpenPLI, an open source software for set-top boxes based on Enigma2.

Rear Panel (Click to Enlarge)

Rear Panel (Click to Enlarge)

The tuner cards can also be purchased separately, and you can add satellite, cable, or terrestrial tuners as needed. Only two tuner slots are available, the last slot show on the panel can’t be used (Ultimo model support 3 tuner cards). Since the device has been around for a while, there are already reviews, and the one written by Linux TV, also includes lots of internal pictures.

Vu+ Duo2 sells for 349 Euros on Satshop.TV or 399.99 GBP on Amazon UK. The other two Vu+ set-top boxes supporting XBMC/Kodi cost a bit less, as Vu+ Solo2 goes for 299 Euros, and the new Vu+ Solo SE (Second Edition) for 220 Euros. More details can be found on VuPlus website.

Thanks to Harley for the tip.

Broadcom Unveils BCM725x SoCs for STBs and TV Sticks

January 14th, 2015 10 comments

Broadcom has recently announced two new SoCs, namely BCM7250 and BCM72502, respectively targeted at OTT streaming media player form factor and  HDMI stick or dongle applications.  Both feature Broadcom’s Brahma-B15 ARMv7-A cores, support 10-bit H.265, HDMI 2.0, MHL 2.0, and up to to 4×4 5G WiFi via BCM4366 WiSoC.

Broadcom_BCM72502_TV_StickKey features listed by Broadcom for both SoCs:

  • High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC)/H.265 compression
  • 6000 DMIPS B15 ARMv7-A CPU
  • 1.0 Gpix/s OpenGL ES 3.0 3D GPU
  • Supports HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2 or MHL 2.0 digital video output
  • PCIe connectivity to Broadcom BCM4366 4×4 carrier-grade 5G WiFi
  • 480/576p30 transcode
  • 1080p60 10-Bit HD HEVC decode and 4Kp60 upscale
  • High Performance DDR3/DDR4 system memory interface
  • Supports Android, Chromium, DIAL, DLNA CVP2, Miracast protocols
  • Supports Broadcom Trellis Multi-Application Framework and DTVKit software stack

The company can also provide reference platforms with 2×2 and 4×4 5G WiFi connectivity options via a high-speed PCIe interface, and announced that BCM7250, BCM72502 and BCM4366 are currently sampling.

SML-482 HEVC Hybrid Based on BCM7250

SML-482 HEVC Hybrid Based on BCM7250

Smart Labs is one of the first companies to have designed a products based on the latest Broadcom processors with SML-482 HEVC Hybrid box pictured above featuring BCM7250 processor, and with the following specifications:

  • SoC – Broadcom BCM7250 with 3D GPU supporting OpenGL ES 2.0
  • System Memory – Options: 512MB DDR3, 1GB DDR3 for Dual HEVC Decode, 1GB DDR3 for Android
  • Storage – 256 MB flash  (Up to 16GB as option for Android)
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI 1.4 with HDCP 1.4 and 2.0 with HDCP 2.2 (upscale 1080p60 content to 4k2kp60), CVBS + stereo audio
  • Video Codecs – HEVC / H.265, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 Part 2, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, VC-1
  • Audio Codecs – MPEG1/2, MP3, AAC, AC3, WMA, FLAC, OGG vorbis
  • Tuner – DVB-C (QAM, ITU-T J.83 Annex A, B, C)
  • Connectivity – 10/100Mbit Base-T Ethernet + optional internal 802.11n Wi-Fi or USB WiFi dongle
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 port,  1x USB 2.0 with internal Wi-Fi (whatever that means)
  • Misc – IR Receiver
  • Dimensions – 100x100x32 mm
  • Weight – 140 grams

The device runs either Linux or Android as option, with Webkit as the browser, and Verimatrix and Securemedia for security / DRM. Smartlabs does not sell to individual, so you may end-up with one, possibly re-branded, via your IPTV provider. More details can be found on Smartlabs SML-482 product page.

I could not find a TV stick with BCM72502, but the one in the top picture might be Broadcom’s reference design.


UTStarcom MC8718 is a Funny Looking Tegra K1 Based Android Game Console

January 12th, 2015 3 comments

An article about a Mediatek MT8685 based Android media player on, made me look into UTStarcom products, and beside some other MT8685 based quad core set-top boxes such as MC8685A and MC8685B, I found a weird/funny/intriguing/futuristic looking game console STB powered by Nvidia Tegra K1 quad core cortex A15 processor named MC8718.

UTStarCom_MC8718UTStarcom MC8718 specifications:

  • SoC – Nvidia Tegra K1 quad core Cortex A15r3 processor @ 2.3 GHz with Kepler GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB RAM
  • Storage – 16GB internal storage + micro SD card slot
  • Video and Audio  Output – HDMI 1.4b up to 4K @ 30Hz
  • Video Decode – H.264, MPEG-4, etc..
  • Audio Decode – MP3, AAC, optional Dolby and DTS, etc..
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, Dual band 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – USB 2.0 interface
  • Misc – IR receiver
  • Power Supply – 5V

The company claims support for TegraZone and Shield games, as well as PC streaming, and cloud gaming. An optional gamepad can also be provided. The box is said to run a customized version of Android 4.4.

MC8718 does not seem to be selling online right now, and pricing has not been disclosed. UTStarcom is a large Chinese company, part of Fortune 1000, and even listed on the Nasdaq, but somehow none of the set-top boxes listed on their products page appear to be mentioned anywhere. The product briefs do not like very professional either. The official website reported by Google is, but the site I ended-up on was, that may explain everything…