WeTek Play2 Website HERE
Price: €109.90 excluding Taxes and delivery fees.
Released: September 2016
10 December 2016:
The Mini setup guide for WeTek Hub / Play2 - Android Lollipop - WePlayer / SPMC (Kodi) devices.
Custom Android TV OS ROM (v1.1) by Ricardo...changelog here
(this is what I now use for Android because of these features compared to WeOS 3.1)
Voice Searching also comes in very handy when used with a SPMC (Kodi fork) media library and other ATV Apps.
[ROM] [WeOS 1.3 BASED] Android TV v1.1 Released - click here
- DVB-S2, DVB-C/T/T2 and ATSC Single Tuners available
- AMLogic S905-H Revision C.
- Mali-450MP Penta Core GPU/VPU (Penta=5)
- 8GB eMMC 5.0 Flash memory - Samsung
- 2GB DDR3 RAM
- Gigabit Ethernet and Dual Band B/G/N WiFi (AP6330), Internal Antenna
- BT 4.0
- HDMI 2.0 + S/PDIF Optical
- Micro SD + USB2.0 (2 Internal + 3 External)
- Dual boot Android Lollipop 5.1.1 / LibreELEC, Ubuntu optional
- Google Widevine Level 1 , Microsoft Playready + HDCP.
- 1080p DRM video streaming Apps such as Netflix (Netflix audio 2.0)
- Dolby and DTS Licences
- 10-bit [email protected] HEVC decoding.
- HD Audio Passthrough & Multichannel PCM (>2.0)
Draghmar's Play2 Review found HERE - Updated 15 Sep.
I'm not going to regurgitate a review of the quality Android Lollipop 5.1.1 OS implementation WeTek uses, nor the Dual boot Android / LibreELEC system as basically its the same as its little brother the S905 WeTek Hub, found HERE
Play2 differences vs the Hub:
- + 2GB RAM
- + 3 external USB2 ports
- + Single DVB-S2, DVB-C/T/T2 and ATSC Tuners available, includes RF passthrough.
- + S/PDIF optical out
- - Dual Band 2.4/5GHz B/G/N WiFi with an Internal Antenna
- + A nicer, better IR sensitive, remote control with more buttons, for TV use.
What I am going to concentrate on with the Play2 is the WeTek custom Android WeTV App to use with the tuner as a possible PVR.
WeTV App - what I like:
- + Quick Scan and Tune of my DVB-T channels
- + Fast channel zapping/changing even if there is a mini video playback slow down whilst the OSD is briefly visible
- + A decent remote control with numerical buttons for quick channel selection
- + Positive Haptic, click feedback when you press a button on the remote control.
- + Excellent deinterlacing of TV streams
WeTV App - what I'm having issues with:
- ~ Easy Editing of scanned TV Channels lists (bouquets)
- ~ The ability to list in numerical order or custom sort the channel lists.
- ~ Audio pops and crackling with Android Digital Audio settings set to HDMI
I'm even having occasional Audio popping sounds with PCM Audio selected
There is widely reported Audio Sync - drift over time with live TV streams with HDMI Audio selected in Android settings
WeTV App - what is missing or simply does not work:
- - A single page presentation, 7 day, comprehensive EPG. In the Linux TvHeadend software I simply select EIT EPG for a full, Auto, Over the Air, dynamically updated EPG.
- - Not all remote control buttons are sensibly mapped, Eg. Red should pull up Recordings, Green for the EPG
- - No easy ability to Add Channel Logos (PicIcons). I still cannot work it out, nor find an easy to follow guide.
- - No Dual Tuner capabilities, that limits TV channel selection whilst Recording
WeTV App - what is a real PITA:
- - 4 or 5 remote button presses just to pull up a Whats On - Now and Next programme listing for each individual channel.
- - No 7 day Grid Style EPG, for easy setting of Timers and more as implemented in TvHeadend.
- - A slow Infra-red Air Mouse implementation that really is virtually un-usable with regular Playstore Android Apps.
- - Nerd speak un-neccessary abbreviations used, like LCN and others that make no sense to Joe average consumer.
To be tested yet:
- - Timeshifting PVR features and USB / HDD Recording use
So do I like the WeTek Play2, well yes mostly. Its a decent quality product that is fast and responsive with well sorted Android Firmware and a decent IR remote control that does not need to be pointed directly at the box. There are improvements to the custom WeTek Media ( Kodi Jarvis) Player App and A/V sync and playback of virtually all codecs is good with this version of Kodi.
You can also use a bunch of tweaked Android TV OS Apps that work on the Play2 too, like 1080p Netflix and 1080p YouTube. Which means you don't have to use the PITA, slow IR Air mouse function of the remote control at all. There is auto 24p video sync available when using Netflix as well on WeTek devices. In fact its a Global - Android, auto, video sync setting that can be used with any App.
Nicely sorted LibreELEC Kodi Jarvis images are available for DualBoot LE / Android Lollipop use too. LE TvHeadend PVR server/client usability is much better than the WeTV App. TV Streams coming from the TvHeadend server can be sent to other Kodi boxes connected to a local Home network setup. There is also Multichannel PCM (>2.0) audio output and comprehensive HD Audio passthrough support added to LE 7.1 too. 5.1/7.1 FLAC ( > 48kHz) & AAC content consumers, will be satisfied with LE Audio support.
The current PVR focused, Play2 custom Android WeTV App I would consider Beta Software at the moment due to numerous problems already listed and missing features. The most important one I consider is the missing 7 day comprehensive Over The Air - Grid Style EPG. Day to Day usability is pretty poor as well, 4 or 5 remote button presses to pull up a What's On individual Channel programme list is not very well thought out.
I would like WeTek to sit down and think about the end user actually using this WeTV App with the remote control in Hand.
Users want minimal button pressing for quick activation of features, Eg. Green Button for EPG, Red button for Recording listings and so on.
Also please map ALL the remote buttons when used with the WeTV App, some on the round outer dial do nothing at the moment.
Until improvements to the WeTV App are forthcoming I'm going to rate the PVR, DVB centric - WeTek Play2 a B- with room for improvement, even though the rest of the device works reasonably well.
WeTek Play2: A/V Performance & TV/DVR (ATSC) Review
(Updated October 17, 2016)
(Updated October 17, 2016)
Overall Verdict: B
(WeTek's TV app needs serious functionality & UX improvements, but for live TV viewing & A/V playback, Play2 is mostly good)
(Based on firmware WeOS v1.3)
- A/V performance: B+ (occasional stability issues w/HD audio, and occasional lip synch error w/live TV)
- TV/DVR app: C+ (clunky; needs work)
- User experience (UX) overall: B- (Only somewhat intuitive. Reading up, researching on Kodi & WeTek forums really a must)
- Value for money: B ($124 approx)
- Support: B+
My focus for this review is primarily A/V playback performance, followed by usability of the WeTV app for over-the-air (OTA) (USA ATSC) TV viewing and recording. I won't be testing OpenELEC or LibreELEC as the real appeal of Play2 is under Android, with the combined WeTek Media Player (Kodi fork) coupled with its plug-and-play live TV/DVR solution w/o need for backend PVR w/any kind (nor a complicated set-up). In the U.S., Android TV boxes with DVR's are few and far between. I can only think of Aura Live (now defunct), SkyStream ONE and Geniatech boxes. Haven't tried any of them due to poor ratings or lack of decent reviews.
Big thanks to WeTek for sending me a Play2 unit (ATSC version) for review.
I relied on WeTek's latest firmware WeOS v1.3 for this review, with WeTek Media Player (WMP) 16.1-Jarvis-WeTekMediaPlayer-v5 for a/v tests. WMP is WeTek's own customized fork of Kodi 16.1 for optimal performance out of its AMLogic S905-based boxes (Play2 and Hub).
For tests below, please note that not all types are claimed as being officially supported by WeTek. But, as Kodi A/V enthusiasts, we expect (or at least wish) any media player would support everything. These are the recommeded video settings I used.
WeTek's TV/DVR App:
The app's wizard, upon first use, was straightforward for scanning for ATSC over-the-air channels in my area using default settings. But, using the TV app itself is clunky, and takes getting used to. Still, being in the U.S. and having such limited choices for Android boxes with OTA TV/DVR capabilities, a box like Play2 is a welcome solution.
I say the WeTV app is clunky for a couple of reasons:
- It crases randomly (occasionally)
- The functionality options shown and settings are cryptic, hard to decipher. The manual posted online helps however
- The remote (which I'll cover in a bit) is unintuitive with the TV app. It's easy to press a button on the inner D-pad ring when you actually want to press something on the outer ring, and vice versa
- Some menu options in the TV app knock you out to the main UI (a crash), and you have to re-launch it. This is especially the case when trying to record an upcoming show via a channel's EPG (more on this in a bit)
The nice part is that TV quality looks great, with proper deinterlacing. Channels broadcasting in 480i, 720p and 1080i all look very good. Audio, both 2.0 and 5.1 source, both sound great. The only issue is that channels broadcasting in 1080i have a slight lip synch issue (audio behind video). But, quitting out and re-launching the TV app fixes lip synch. Or, channel up and back down also fixes it. Actual recordings are fine, with no lip synch issues.
Clicking on an upcoming show in a channel's EPG does nothing, and in fact freezes and eventually crashes the TV app (see my video above). (WeTek has asked me to send them a dubug log on this, which I'll need to do.) Scheduling recordings manually is a pain as you have to go to the TV app's settings, choose the schedule function and input the necessary values (like channel, time start/end, etc.) to create the timer. You can change the recording location from the default internal flash storage (which has only around 4GB or less available) to an attached USB hard drive or (if mounted) your NAS. I chose USB as I couldn't figure out WeTek's Net Mounter app (it's difficult to use).
Finally, you can create a "boutique" of channels, basically your list of favoite channels. But, the EPG is a real shortcoming for now. You can only bring up the EPG on the highlighted channel while in the default or boutique channel list. You can't get to the EPG with a quick single-button press while you're watching that channel, and overall it's very limited as just a flat list of upcoming shows.
Hopefully, WeTek will put some real effort into the TV app. Don't think any of us are expecting TiVo quality, but making it easier to use, more intuitive, with improved fuctionality to address the gaps I've noted, would make Play2 a real value-added Android box for the U.S. market. Especially for cord cutters who've gone (or are going) OTA in big numbers.
The Remote Control:
The remote is more full functional type than the one included with the Hub. Its range, responsiveness are noticeably better as well. What I want more out of WeTek's remote and even media boxes' UI overall are better labeled buttons or icons, and detailed manuals (like that for WeTV, and easier to find on WeTek's site). I can appreciate WeTek's stance on simplicity, but when I'm (and I bet most users are) looking at buttons or icons, if we can't figure out what does what fairly quickly or easily, it's a little frustrating. Minimalism can be nice, but has to be balanced with intuitive.
I love WeTek the company, but for a serious A/V enthusiast wanting a solid media box w/DVR, Play2 (at least the ATSC version, w/OTA use) isn't quite ready for primetime yet. I mean this w/DVR use, as for just live TV viewing and on-the-spot recording, it's fine. But, if you didn't need the integrated TV/DVR part, you'd be better off w/the Hub. Play2 is a really promising combo box for sure, and I hope (and expect) WeTek will get it to where it needs to be for mass appeal.