Giveaway Week – WeTek Core Android TV Box

For day 2 of this giveaway week, I’ll send one lucky winner WeTek Core Android or OpenELEC TV box powered by Amlogic S812 processor, and one of the rare boxes with support Netflix HD, which is partially why I listed it as one of the best Android TV boxes. But as discussed in WeTek Core review, there are also other reasons the box stands out with HD audio pass-through and automatic frame rate switching support, support forums, regular firmware updates, and WeTek is one of the few companies providing an official OpenELEC firmware image. All accessories shown above are included, except the HDMI cable. 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 …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

WeTek Play 2 Amlogic S905 TV Box Gets Ubuntu 16.04 Mate and Minimal Firmware Images

WeTek Play 2 is the latest TV box from WeTek with DVB or ATSC tuner, and powered by Amlogic S905-H processor. It ships with Android 5.1.1, but Ubuntu 16.04 Mate and Ubuntu 16.04 minimal firmware images have been released by the community. You can try Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Mate (with desktop environment) or the headless Ubuntu 16.04 LTS minimal image by uncompressing the images, and flashing them to a micro SD card with dd or Win32DiskImager.  Two default credentials (username/password) are provided:  wetek/wetek and root/wetek. This required the latest Play 2 Android firmware, so make sure you get the latest OTA update before trying Ubuntu. The Ubuntu 16.04 images should just boot from the SD card without replacing or affecting your Android installation. If this type of images for Amlogic S905 seems similar, it’s because are based on Hardkernel ODROID-C2 Ubuntu 16.04 images. You can find the Linux kernel for WeTek Play 2, against a fork of ODROID-C2 kernel, on …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

WeTek Play 2 4K Android Set-top Box with ATSC, DVB-S2 or DVB-T2 Tuners is up for Pre-order for $120

With WeTek Play 2, initially unveiled as WeTek Play+, we now have a successor to WeTek Play with the same ATSC, DVB-S2/S, DVB-T2/T/C tuners, but much better specs thanks to Amlogic S905-H processor, 8GB storage, 2GB memory, and support for HDMI 2.0 and 4K60Hz video decoding allowing you to watch 4K UHD channels via your satellite dish for example. The device can be pre-ordered for $119.90 with the tuner of your choice, and shipping is slated to start on September 6th. WeTek Play 2 specifications have changed slightly since January: SoC –  Amlogic S905-H rev. C quad core ARM Cortex-A53 @ up to 2.0GHz with  penta-core Mali-450MP GPU @ 750 MHz System Memory – 2 GB DDR3 Storage – 8 GB eMMC 5.0 flash + micro SD card slot Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60Hz with HDCP 2.2 support Audio – HDMI, optical S/PDIF Video codecs – H.265 (10bit) & H.264 AVC up to 4K60Hz, H.264 …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Android TV Box Survey Results – Kodi, YouTube, Netflix, Brands, Support, and Prices

I’ve launched a survey on behalf of a TV box manufacturer two weeks ago, and the results are now in with over 400 respondents. As promised, the company provided the results so let’s have a look. First, most of respondents use a TV box without tuner, while some have both, and a few others haven’t purchased one yet. Survey participants where then asked about the most important apps in an Android TV box with a 1 (not important) to 6 (very important) scale. The results are not really surprising with Kodi and YouTube being the most sought after apps. Netflix came a distant third, and a fair amount of respondents want their TV box to support HD resolutions. Most people could not care less about Hulu and Sling TV. The third question was about the price people were ready to pay for a TV box with the same specs, but from various brands. It looks prices listed during the survey …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Have Your Say with this Android TV Box Survey (and Potentially Win One)

While you probably know what you want in an Android TV box, it’s quite difficult to find out what the market wants exactly, so I’ve been asked to run a short survey about Android TV boxes, the importance of Android apps like Kodi, Plex, or Netflix, brands, and support. It will run for about 7 days, the results will be public, so I’ll post them once they become available. The survey is short – 5 questions -,  and anonymous, except if you want to participate in the lucky draw to win one Android TV box, as you have to leave an email address. Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011. www.cnx-software.com Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

WeTek Hub Amlogic S905 TV Box Gets Android 6.0 Marshmallow Firmware

Amlogic S905 TV boxes are currently running Android 5.1, but a few are now getting Android 6.0 support including MXQ Plus, and soon K1 Plus. VideoStrong refused to provide the firmware for MXQ Plus as I did not own the box, but WeTek has already provided their latest beta Android 6.0 firmware to testers and reviewers working on WeTek Hub, which I plan to review next week with Android 5.1 first. The main changes with Android 6.0, beside the expected better performance, are support audio HAL 61937 pack allowing HD audio pass-through on all apps, as well as Microsoft PlayReady 3.0 permitting Ultra HD 4K DRM video streaming. Eventually, Android 6.0 update will be available through OTA, but currently the beta firmware (DB-J9-wetekhub-marshmallow-ota-2016-07-06_12-00-03.zip) needs to be copied to a micro SD card, and update through Recovery after wiping data and media. Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

WeTek Hub TV Box Unboxing and Teardown

WeTek Hub is the latest TV box by WeTek running Android 5.1 or OpenELEC, with support for Widewine Level 1 allowing Netflix HD in Android as well as Microsoft Playready DRM, and featuring Amlogic S905-H Rev. C processor that fixes video playback issues on some 4K H.265 DVB streams, and includes Dolby and DTS licenses. The company has now sent me a unit for review, and I’ll check the hardware first before reviewing the TV box in a separate post. WeTek Hub Unboxing The device comes in a blue and black retail package showing some of the key features including  WiFi, Dolby, DTS, HDMI, and Bluetooth support. The QR Code on the package redirects to http://www.wetek.com/qr/201603, which just looks like WeTek main page. The top cover of the package can slide to reveal more small boxes with the device and accessories. The device ships with a basic IR remote control taking two AAA batteries, a 5V/2A with US, UK, and …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

What’s the Best Android TV Box?

[Update December 26, 2017: I’ve posted a new version of this post entitled “What’s the Best Android TV Box (2017/2018 Edition)?“. I’ll leave the post below to have an historical perspective] I often get asked which TV box to buy, or what the best Android TV box is, and the answer is the TV box that fits your needs for the lowest price point possible. Considering there are around 2 millions apps for Android, they are multitudes of use cases, and you can’t provide a single answer for everybody. So I’ll provide a list of things to look for beside the processor, and three TV boxes that I think are worth considering, before providing alternatives for people who want cheaper devices. Things to Look for There are still a few things you may want to specifically look for before purchasing an Android TV box: History of regular firmware updates – If a company provides regular firmware updates, your device is …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon