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Posts Tagged ‘TV box’

ARRIS Showcases Android TV Set-Top Boxes at IBC 2017

September 22nd, 2017 3 comments

Just last week, we found out there was a fair amount of TV boxes running Android TV with certification from Google, with most of them from PayTV providers or OEMs. Today, I’ve come to better understand what that means thanks to ARMDevices.net interview of ARRIS at IBC2017.

I used to think getting a device with official Android TV support would mean getting Google’s Leanback launcher, but there’s more to it, as Google also offers “operator tier” Android TV certifications, which allow manufacturer to use Android TV operating system with their own launcher/user interface, and official support for Google services like Google Play Store, Google Play Music and so on.

ARRIS International has a whole family of certified Android TV devices with 4K UHD set-top boxes and DVR systems as shown in the table below, all likely based on Broadcom SoCs.

Wi-Fi Set-Tops
Wi-Fi Processor DMIPS Type Size
Zx4430 2×2 802.11ac Dual core (7000 DMIPS) DVB-C, DVB-T, DVB-S 120mm W x 120mm D x 40mm H
Zx4515 2×2 802.11ac Quad core (15000 DMIPS) DVB-C, DVB-T, DVB-S 120mm W x 120mm D x 40mm H
Zx4517 4×4 802.11ac Quad core (15000 DMIPS) DVB-C, DVB-T, DVB-S 120mm W x 120mm D x 40mm H
VIP5202W 2×2 802.11ac Dual core (7000 DMIPS) IP 120mm W x 120mm D x 20mm H
VIP5402W 2×2 802.11ac Quad core (15000 DMIPS) IP 120mm W x 120mm D x 20mm H
VIP6102W 4×4 802.11ac Quad core (15000 DMIPS) IP 156mm W x 137mm D x 21mm H
Wi-Fi DVRs
Wi-Fi Processor DMIPS Type Size
Px5517 4×4 802.11ac Quad core (15000 DMIPS) DVB-C, DVB-T, DVB-S 120mm W x 120mm D x 45mm H
VIP6162W/WM 4×4 802.11ac
MoCA2.0 (VIP6162WM)
Quad core (15000 DMIPS) IP 270mm W x 137mm D x 25mm H

The company then use those platforms to customize the launcher, DVR and DVB functions for their customers, and potentially integrate it with the customers’ IPTV system, and/or DRM solution.

As mentioned in previous posts, more and more OEMs are getting Android TV certification, with Geniatech working on it, since this morning SDMC Tech also contacted me claiming they had obtained Google’s certification for Android TV.

Amlogic S805X Processor is Designed for Low Cost TV Boxes with 1080p H.264, H.265 and VP9 Video Support

September 20th, 2017 8 comments

The low end of the TV box market is now highly competitive with Rockchip and Amlogic battling to offer the cheapest solutions available, as we’ve seen in a recent factory price list of TV boxes with RK3229 based devices selling for as low as $17.8, and Amlogic S905W based boxes going for $17.5 and up (per unit) for orders of 200 pieces. Amlogic has been working on an even lower cost SoC with Amlogic S805X based on four Cortex A53 cores, the same Mali-450MP GPU, but no 4K support, and instead H.264, H.265 and VP9 video decoding up to 1080p60, as I found out in a document shared on Amlogic Open Linux website.

Amlogic 805X will be quite similar to Amlogic S905X and S905D with the same CPU by clocked at a lower 1.2 GHz frequency, the same penta-core GPU, TrustZone support, and Fast Ethernet. The main difference is that in order to lower costs, they limited the multimedia capabilities to 1080p video decoding, and 1080p video output. Those last two actually make it more similar to Amlogic S805 SoC, but instead of a four Cortex A5 32-bit cores, S805X comes with more powerful Cortex A53 64-bit cores, and VP9 support was added to S805X.

The processor is likely be used in both Android and Linux TV boxes, as the company’s Mbox P241 reference platform / development board based on S805X SoC, comes with either 512MB DDR3 or 1GB DDR4, coupled with eMMC flash, and an AP6255 wireless module supporting 802.11 b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.2.

I’ve yet to see any S805X TV boxes, even on Alibaba, but I’d expect them to sell retail for around $20 including shipping. The processor could also be an interesting choice for low cost development boards, competing against Allwinner H5 solutions.

Rikomagic Introduces V3 TV Stick, MK39 TV Box, R3 Projector, and DS01 Digital Signage Player

September 19th, 2017 1 comment

Rikomagic will launch four new Android devices this month with RKM V3 TV stick powered by Rockchip RK3328 processor, RKM MK39 TV box / mini PC based on Rockchip RK3399, RKM R3 projector with an octa-core processor, and DS01 digital signage player.

RKM V3 TV Stick

RKM V3 specifications:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3328 quad core Cortex A53 processor @ 1.5 GHz with Mali-450MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 2 GB RAM
  • Storage – 8 GB eMMC flash + micro SD card up to 32GB
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI 2.0a up to 4K @ 60 Hz with HDR10 and HLG support
  • Video Codec – 4K VP9, H.265 and H.264. 1080p VC-1, MPEG-1/2/4, VP6/8
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 port, 1x USB 3.0 port
  • Misc – IR receiver? (TBC)
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A via power barrel jack

The stick runs Android 7.1 OS with Google Play store, Miracast, DLNA, etc… It ships with a USB male to female adapter, and a power supply.

RKM MK39 TV box

RKM MK39 mini PC specifications:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3399 hexa core processor with 2x ARM Cortex A72 cores @ up to 2.0 GHz, 4x ARM Cortex A53 cores @ up to 1.5 GHz, and ARM Mali-T860MP4 GPU
  • System Memory – 4GB DDR3
  • Storage – 32 GB eMMC flash + micro SD card slot up to 32GB
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0a up to 4K @ 60 Hz
  • Video Codecs – 4K H.265 & VP9 decoding
  • Audio Output – HDMI, optical S/PDIF
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, dual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi + Bluetooth 4.1
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports, 1x USB 3.0 port, 1x USB type C port (no details about supported features)
  • Misc – IR receiver
  • Power Supply – 12V/2A

The device also runs Android 7.1, and ships with an HDMI cable, a simple IR remote control, and the power supply.

R3 Projector, and DS01 Digital Signage Player

We don’t have the full details about the last two devices to launch this month, but we do know RKM R3 will be an Android 6.0 smart Full HD projector powered by an Octa-core processor (maybe RK3368) coupled with 2GB RAM, 32GB storage, and delivering 220 lumen brightness, while DS01 will be a digital signage player powered by Rockchip RK3228 quad core Cortex A17 processor, and also sold with the board only.

Eventually, all details about the four new models should be provided on Rikomagic products’ page, and sold to individuals via their Aliexpress store.

Unofficial List of TV boxes Running Android TV OS

September 15th, 2017 18 comments

Most TV boxes run a modified version of Android operating system for smartphone, and devices based on Google’s Android TV are harder to find, and often country specific since they are tied to local streaming services. Yesterday, I was searching for boxes based on Marvell Armada 1500 Ultra SoC, and first found a couple in Spain and the US, but eventually found a bunch more when I discovered somebody was keeping track of all/most Android TV devices in a page hosted by Google but with no actual affiliation with Google.

The devices are sorted in three categories:

  1. Pay TV Providers, usually only sold in a specific country with programs in the local language, and a fairly long list
  2. Streaming / Gaming – Those are the most famous Android TV TV boxes like Xiaomi Mi Box or Nvidia Shield Android TV with only 6 models in that list
  3. TVs with Android TV OS

The first list is probably the most interesting as it show each device with the release year, country where it is sold, the model name / SKU and processor used with most of the devices being based on Broadcom or Marvell solutions, as well as a few Amlogic and Qualcomm Snapdragon in the mix.

Clicking on the link for each device will provide more details like specifications, official website, and more.

Factory Prices of Some TV Boxes and Accessories

September 12th, 2017 13 comments

Some companies that contact me have not read the about section of the blog, and either tell me they can give me a good price for TV boxes, and some even send me their price list. And this morning, I’ve received a EXW (Ex Works) price list this of Amlogic S912/S905X/S905W and Rockchip based TV boxes, as well as some air mice, and Android projectors.

The cheapest models are based on S905W and RK3229, with MXQ Pro 1GB/8GB going for $17.5 per unit for 200 pieces orders. For reference that models goes for around $26 shipped online before any discount coupon you may find. At the other end of the scale, you have TX2 model with 3GB RAM, 64GB flash going for $77.5 EXW for 200-unit orders, and sold online for $86 including shipping, again before coupon. Margin must be really low, or the prices above are not that competitive, but nevertheless it gives an idea of factory prices of various TV boxes. Air mice are really cheap, and backlight usually only adds 90 cents.

UFS 3.0 Embedded Flash to Support Full-Duplex 2.4GB/s Transfer Speeds

September 10th, 2017 3 comments

All my devices still rely on eMMC flash for storage, but premium smartphones, for example, make use of UFS 2.0/UFS 2.1 flash storage with performance similar to SSD, with Samsung UFS 2.0 storage achieving up to 850MB/s read speed, 260 MB/s write speed, and 50K/30K R/W IOPS. UFS 3.0 promises to roughly double the performance of UFS 2.0/2.1 with transfer rates of up to 2.4 GB/s, and separately, the UFS Card v2.0 standard should deliver UFS 2.1 performance on removable storage.

Image Source: Next Generation of Mobile Storage : UFS and UFS Card – Click to Enlarge

Several Chinese and Taiwanese websites, including CTimes and Benchlife, have reported that companies have started getting UFS 3.0 & UFS Card v2.0 licenses from JEDEC, and Phison is working on a controller to support both new standards, and scheduled to launch in 2018.

Premium smartphone SoC are only expect to support UFS 3.0 in 2019 and beyond, and hopefully by that time eMMC will have been replaced by UFS 2.0/2.1 in entry level and mid range devices. The outlook for UFS cards is less clear, as I’ve yet to see a product equipped with a UFS slot.

Click to Enlarge

Based on a recent presentation at the Flash Memory Summit, (typical) embedded storage capacity will also increase to 32GB for IoT / multimedia applications, 256GB for smart home products and drones, 512GB for mobile devices, and over 1TB for automotive applications.

Via Liliputing

H96 PRO Plus Amlogic S912 TV Box with 3GB RAM, 32GB Storage Sold for $48.49 (Promo)

September 7th, 2017 12 comments

H96 Pro+ is a Amlogic S912 TV box with 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, that’s similar to R-Box Pro 3G TV box I reviewed, and Banggood has now a promotion for the box for just $48.49 shipped with about 850 pieces left in stock.

H96 Pro+ specifications:

  • SoC – Amlogic S912 octa-core ARM Cortex A53 processor @ up to 1.5 GHz with Mali-820MP3 GPU
  • System Memory – 3 GB DDR3
  • Storage – 32 GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot up to 32GB
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0a with HDR and CEC support up to 4K @ 60 fps, and AV port for composite output
  • Audio Output – HDMI, AV (stereo audio), and optical S/PDIF
  • Video codecs – VP9-10 profile 2 up to 4K @ 60 fps, H.265 [email protected] up to 4K 60fps, H.264 AVC up to 4K @ 30 fps, H.264 MVC up to 1080p60, MPEG-4, WMV/VC-1 SP/MP/AP,  AVS-P16(AVS+)/AVS-P2 JiZhun Profile, MPEG-2 MP/HL, MPEG-1 MP/HL, and  RealVIDEO 8/9/10 all up to 1080p60
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, dual band WiFi 802.11 b/g/n + Bluetooth 4.1
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports, 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Misc – IR receiver, power button, front-panel LCD display, LEDs
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A
  • Dimensions & weight –  N/A

The box runs Android 6.0, and ships with a remote control, a HDMI Cable, a power adapter, and a user manual.

I double check the prices on GearBest and GeekBuying, and they sell the device in the same 3GB/32GB configuration for $65.99 and $61.99 including shipping respectively, which means the offer on Banggood is about $17.50 and $13.50 cheaper.

Banggood has a site-wide promotion on their store during September 7-9 for their 11th anniversary, where you may find further deals for gadgets and other products.

 

Categories: AMLogic, Android, Hardware Tags: 4k, Android, discount, hevc, TV box, vp9

Geniatech ATV495 Max & ATV598 Max TV Boxes Run Android TV OS

September 4th, 2017 7 comments

Most TV boxes coming from Chinese manufacturers are running Android operating systems based on the mobile version, which gives you more flexibility, but for some use cases such as watching online videos, is not as user-friendly as Android TV operating systems that’s developer by Google specifically for a TV experience. However, it looks like there’s a shift now, as I’ve heard several companies are in the process of applying for an Android TV License from Google, and Geniatech is one of the first to unveil two boxes running Android 6.0 TV operating system, that should soon be certified by Google, with ATV495 Max and ATV598 Max. [Update: The company has now removed the link to the press release (see cache), since certification is not complete yet]

Geniatech ATV495 Max

Those models are updated from their ATV495X and ATV598E models running Android 6.0, with apparently the same hardware but upgraded to Android TV OS.

Geniatech ATV495 Max specifications:

  • SoC – Amlogic S905X quad core ARM Cortex-A53 processor up to 1.5 GHz with Mali 450MP GPU @ up to 750MHz
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3 (optional 1GB)
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC flash (optional 16GB) + microSD Slot up to 32GB
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI 2.0a, 3.5mm AV port (CVBS + stereo audio)
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi or 802.11 b/g/ac WiFi module, optional Bluetooth
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports
  • Power Supply – 5.0V/2A
  • Dimensions – 82 x 82 x 19 mm
  • Weight – 159g

ATV598 TV Box

Geniatech ATV598 Max has beefier specs and comes with an internal digital TV USB tuner:

  • SoC  – Amlogic S912 octa core ARM Cortex-A53 processor up to 1.5 GHz with ARM Mali-T820MP3 GPU up to 750MHz
  • System Memory – 3GB DDR4
  • Storage – 16GB eMMC flash (Optional 8GB) + micro SD slot up to 32GB
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI 2.0a + 3.5mm AV port (composite + stereo audio)
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi or 802.11 b/g/ac WiFi module, optional Bluetooth
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports
  • Tuner – ATSC/DVB-T2/DVB-C digital TV tuner
  • Power Supply – 5.0V/2A
  • Dimensions – 115×114 x 27mm
  • Weight – 250g

Geniatech explains Android TV OS brings official access to the Google Play store, support for Google Cast, voice search, and Android TV remote apps to their devices. It’s a little odd there’s no mention about YouTube 4K support, Widevine DRM, Netflix support, etc… that are normally part of TV boxes running Android TV OS.

You’ll find more details about the hardware on ATV495X and ATV598E product page. Note that those pages are for Android 6.0, not Android 6.0 TV OS, as product pages for the new models. Price is unknown as Geniatech mostly sells B2B, although they sometimes sell directly to end users via their Mygica brand.