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WeTek Hub - 24p HD Netflix - HD Kodi Audio - 10bit HEVC - Lollipop - 4K
#61
(2016-06-23, 13:47)danfloss Wrote: Forgive my ignorance Wrxtasy but as your the one sitting with the Hub, would it be possible to see if the 'massaged Netflix for the core" would work on the Hub (maybe as you say it will work right out of the gate)
Already answered, works fine for say 5 minutes or so then hangs....

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#62
cheers for that
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#63
@wrxtasy

The one that was shown with the Play 2S. With the air mouse, keyboard, and headphone jack.
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#64
Last updated July 12, 2016

==============================================
Review of WeTek Hub (AML S905-H Rev C) Android Kodi Media Player
==============================================

Overview:

This will be an evolving review based on users' and developers' feedback, and upcoming firmware updates. Huge thanks to WeTek for sending me a review unit Big Grin.

When I posted my initial impressions, I had issues with DTS-HD MA and Dolby ATMOS not working properly, or just not working (no audio). I also had issues with Hub's UI (launcher) blanking out after playing 4K videos, either forcing me to physically un-plug/re-plug the HDMI cable or the power supply. WeTek developer @ChristianTroy reached out and suggested I do a full factory data reset, and use 'Level 2' for the automatic refresh rate setting.

I've also upgraded to the newer 2016-06-24 build/firmware WeTek shared with me.

Did all of the above, sideloaded the latest WeTek Media Player, and re-did all tests below... with much better results this time. The 1080p <> 2160p (4K) switching, while improved, is still slow to synch/re-synch, and I also still get occasional lock-ups forcing un-plug/re-plug of power. When wired, network sometimes comes up as disconnected when it is connected, with reboot resolving the issue. I expect Hub to get more stable, reliable with firmware updates over the coming weeks by WeTek.

Using @wrxtasy's LibreELEC build, performance is even (mostly) better; read below.


Overall verdict: A-

This is my combined score for Hub for Android and LibreELEC performance. Pretty damn neat even at this pre-release stage! Based on WeTek Media Player Kodi fork under Android, and @wrxtasy's LibreELEC build under Linux.


Photos and screenshots gallery:

watch gallery



The player and remote:

@wrxtasy already covered this well in post #1 of this thread, so I'll only mention a couple of things. Had seen photos of the Hub, but holding it in the palm of your hand, you realize how tiny it is (see photo in gallery above). The build quality is better than I'd expected, with what appears to be a mix of brushed aluminum and hard plastic. It feels really solid, and heavier than you initially expect. As usual with WeTek, they've taken great care in packaging and contents, with inclusion of worldwide compatible plug adapters, IR extension cable, and RS232 cable, none of which you normally expect from other manufacturers. With WeTek, with Hub being the 3rd generation player I've evlauated, you mostly just feel a sense of overall professionalism with h/w, s/w and reliable support. A HDMI cable is also included, but it's one of the thinnest I've seen. Maybe still okay for [email protected], but I opted to use my own 'premium' 26AWG HDMI cable.

I did notice that the top metallic surface of the Hub gets rather hot after about 45 minutes or so of use. But, temperature remained steady (not any hotter) after that. I didn't notice any ill-effects on usability or performance.

The IR remote is as @wrxtasy described, and its range is also kind of poor. It needs a direct line of sight. But, when you're close and pointing directly at the Hub, the remote is responsive and works well. But, I don't bother with manufacturer remotes anyway as I rely on my Harmony Ultimate with Hub, which takes care of 99% of almost all remote functions well. Also, having IR made it easier to teach my Harmony all of Hub's remote functions. With the Core and its RF remote, I ended up having to a FLIRC attached in order to use with my Harmony.


User experience:

The Hub boots up quickly (haven't timed it yet), and WeTek's Android launcher (home screen UI, settings) are simple and intuitive (once you get used to it; unless you've used Core, then it's the same). The Hub is snappy, and I haven't noticed any lags. This includes usage in WeTek Media Player (WMP) and SPMC, including navigating large movie/TV libraries, like mine with 2K+ titles.

The OTA update feature is handy, easy for updating the Hub. There is no new firmware as of this writing. The useful refresh rate switcher introduced with the Core is also carried over to Hub. Make sure you have Kodi and Kodi forks (like WMP and SPMC) selected (highlighted in blue), as you want Kodi itself to manage refresh rate switching. The refresh rate switcher app should be used instead for YouTube, Netflix and, in my case, sideloaded Amazon Instant/Prime Video app.

@wrxtasy had mentioned a 1080p to/from 2160p auto-switch and video display sizing problem, which I also noticed. On my 4K display, the picture blanks out, forcing me to un-plug the HDMI cable and plug it back occasionally between video playback/stop and being in the UI. Bit of a pain, until this issue is fully resolved. For now, using 'level 2' setting in the automatic refresh rate setting helps. In addition, as I mentioned, another annoying issue, Hub craps outs (for lack of a better description) every once in a while, with no picture on screen, forcing physical un-plug/re-plug of power supply.


Using LibreELEC:

With @wrxtasy's LibreELEC 7.0.2 build, the 1080p <> 2160p (4K) switching synch issues are no more, and even DolbyVision* videos surprisingly play! Not to mention AAC and FLAC 5.1 and LPCM 5.1/7.1 multichannel capabilities also working (as under Android, see chart below). This is apparently a first on any AMLogic platform. I haven't kept up, but good to know Hub breaks new ground for AML audio performance.

(* While HDR10 and DolbyVision (a form of HDR) videos do play, they do so in standard mode. No ultrawide color gamut (Rec 2020 color space). No AML S905 SoC's support actual HDR output.)

Only thing is the supplied WeTek remote does not function with LibreELEC. Had to use my Logitech K400 keyboard.

3D MVC MKV didn't play well. Initially, my projector switched to 3D mode, sensing a proper 3D signal, but then it went out of 3D mode and the picture was blank. When I pressed the 'Enter' key on my K400, I could see it was in SBS mode. 3D ISO just played in 2D mode. Honestly, I'd stop worrying about 3D MVC for AML S905... looks like S905X/S912 may finally support it properly, if Xiaomi's Mi Box specs are to be believed.

Didn't notice any real performance bump in LibreELEC, maybe except for 200Mbps Jellyfish bitrate clip now playing fine (vs. 180Mbps max w/Android), after initial pre-buffering. VC-1 29.970 for example played about the same, with slight judder as w/Android. @wrxtasy mentioned loading LE to the internal NAND would yield that performace bump.

Once you have the mSD card loaded with LibreELEC on it, on subsequent reboots and power-on's, Hub now asks you if you want to load from internal NAND. If you do nothing, it boots into LE. With Core, I recall having to press 'power' to boot from OE upon each boot. This behavior seems different, but I think better. Basically, just pop the mSD card out if you want Android, or leave it in if you want to continue using LE.


A/V Tests:

A/V test suite results...




4K choices round-up: WeTek Core vs. nVidia Shield vs. HiMedia Q5/Q10 Pro:
  • PQ: About all equal
  • AQ: Q5/Q10 Pro > Shield = Hub
    Why? Slight edge to Q5/Q10 Pro, which bitstream HD audio very reliably overall, and support 192kHz multichannel fully
  • Usability performance: Shield > Q5/Q10 Pro > Hub
    Shield is the most powerful, fastest. Q5/Q10 Pro is perhaps a couple notches below, and Hub a couple of more notches below that
  • Versatility: About all equal, for different reasons
    - [The bang-for-the-buck option!] Hub only costs about $100, supports Netflix HD, allows easy Android/OpenELEC switching, and there's excellent support by WeTek
    - [The powerful and almost all-in-one option] Shield cost almost twice Hub, but does Netflix 4K, and is much more powerful for gaming to running a Plex server. Just lacks MVC 3D, which doesn't appear will ever come
    - [Top choice for your own 4K and 3D videos] Q10 Pro costs about as much as Shield or more (with Q5 Pro about $160), lack 4K or even HD online streaming apps, but support all types of 4K formats, have HDR output, and play 3D ISO's. But, refresh rate switching and 23.976 still need work, unlike Shield and Hub, which already do this well. Also, Q5/Q10 Pro use a wrapper via Kodi to play videos (external player solution); not a native solution

Basically, the best option all depends on your needs and priorities.


Wrap-Up:

The WeTek Hub is a very exciting and relatively cheap (at just about $100) AMLogic S905-H Revision C media player. It has improved h/w over all those Chinese-manufacturer S905-based players we've seen to date, and even Minix U1 (at $130). It gets most things already right at this pre-release stage, but there are some stability/reliabilty improvements for WeTek devs to work on. As with the Core, I expect WeTek to mature with firmware updates, and be one of the best S905-class media players on the market (if not the best). Just need to be a little patient as users get their hands on their Hubs and as WeTek continues to tweak performance and reliability.

And, as I've mentioned @wrxtasy several times in above review, his inputs for the Hub, obviusly with @CT's and others at WeTek doing the heavy lifting, have really all contributed to making Hub that versatile bang-for-the-buck 4K media box it is.
[H]i-[d]eft [M]edia [K]een [V]ideosaurus
My Family Room Theater
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#65
Thank you hdmkv!

Interesting that DTS-HDMA is not working yet (same with DTS:X and Atmos). I would have thought they'd be ok at this late stage.

I would also hope you add a test for DTS-HDMA 24 bit 192kHz since there are multichannel music releases at this resolution (I can get you a sample if required, 10 second intro) - Edit: Test now added (Thanks hdmkv)
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#66
@hdmkv, Request, can you put a review Update date at the top of your post above and I will dynamically copy and paste each update into Post #2 of this thread ?

Also I would not be bother reviewing any Kodi Krypton releases (inc. OE 8.0). There have been so many changes to the Kodi master code for AMLogic devices that its pointless when a bunch of features simply will not work properly. For OE 7.0 Jarvis, I would wait till the HD Audio patches go in as well.

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#67
(2016-06-24, 03:19)hdmkv Wrote: A/V Tests:
Partially completed, so here is what I have so far...
For the DTS:X Gravity clip, the default track is DTS-HD Master Audio. It is the second track that is DTS:X. You will have to manually select it.
Interesting that it passes more than PCM 2.0. Something that the other S905 boxes can't do at this time.
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#68
Yes interesting indeed, I did not expect PCM greater than 2.0.

Whilst we are on the Audio subject, can someone (maybe Koying) explain what advantages, additions etc IEC Audio passthrough provides ?

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#69
(2016-06-24, 05:22)wrxtasy Wrote: Yes interesting indeed, I did not expect PCM greater than 2.0.

Whilst we are on the Audio subject, can someone (maybe Koying) explain what advantages, additions etc IEC Audio passthrough provides ?

HDMI audio is packetized according to IEC-61937-xx specs. Kodi can packet the stream, but Android expects raw stream and want to do the packeting by itself. Amlogic uses IEC passthrough. Not following Android standards turned out to be good in this case. @fritsch had mentioned that the upcoming Android N will be using IEC passthrough like all other OSes. (I think I got this right).
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#70
Hm...I'm not sure how to interpret this...I thought at this stage of development there won't be any issues left. At least not the major ones. And for me it looks like the soft needs some additional months to be fully ready. I'm really looking forward to OpenELEC part of the review and hope it will be better.
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#71
Just to add a note: on my local build (that I have provided to hdmkv in PM right now), I have the same HD audio passthrough experience as on WeTek Core, that is what was expected as they were developed together.
I also suggested him to keep "Level 2" for Kodi as well and let the kernel handle the refresh rate switch because on Android using Amlogic Kodi tries to jump to the best matching resolution (for example if you play a 4k movie and are at 1080p but have a 4k resolution available) instead of staying withing the currently selected resolution and just changing refresh rate, this will not work because you have to use the framework to change resolution like that.
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#72
Thanks for your PM @CT. I'll try a factory reset as you suggested, keep Level 2 for Kodi / WMP, and re-test.

(2016-06-24, 04:14)HomerJau Wrote: I would also hope you add a test for DTS-HDMA 24 bit 192kHz since there are multichannel music releases at this resolution (I can get you a sample if required, 10 second intro)
Yes, please share a sample, at least about 45 seconds in duration. Thanks.

(2016-06-24, 04:45)wrxtasy Wrote: @hdmkv, Request, can you put a review Update date at the top of your post above and I will dynamically copy and paste each update into Post #2 of this thread ?

Also I would not be bother reviewing any Kodi Krypton releases (inc. OE 8.0). There have been so many changes to the Kodi master code for AMLogic devices that its pointless when a bunch of features simply will not work properly. For OE 7.0 Jarvis, I would wait till the HD Audio patches go in as well.
Date added. So, for OE, there isn't any build for now that does HD audio fully? Sorry, haven't kept up on progress.

(2016-06-24, 05:17)wesk05 Wrote: For the DTS:X Gravity clip, the default track is DTS-HD Master Audio. It is the second track that is DTS:X. You will have to manually select it.
Interesting that it passes more than PCM 2.0. Something that the other S905 boxes can't do at this time.
And, you're right about the 'Gravity' clip...

Code:
eneral
ID                                       : 0 (0x0)
Complete name                            : Y:\AV Test Clips\HD Audio Tests\DTS-X Gravity.m2ts
Format                                   : BDAV
Format/Info                              : Blu-ray Video
File size                                : 388 MiB
Duration                                 : 1mn 27s
Overall bit rate mode                    : Variable
Overall bit rate                         : 37.2 Mbps
Maximum Overall bit rate                 : 48.0 Mbps

Video
ID                                       : 4113 (0x1011)
Menu ID                                  : 1 (0x1)
Format                                   : AVC
Format/Info                              : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile                           : [email protected]
Format settings, CABAC                   : Yes
Format settings, ReFrames                : 4 frames
Codec ID                                 : 27
Duration                                 : 1mn 26s
Bit rate mode                            : Variable
Maximum bit rate                         : 26.5 Mbps
Width                                    : 1 920 pixels
Height                                   : 1 080 pixels
Display aspect ratio                     : 16:9
Frame rate                               : 23.976 (24000/1001) fps
Color space                              : YUV
Chroma subsampling                       : 4:2:0
Bit depth                                : 8 bits
Scan type                                : Progressive

Audio #1
ID                                       : 4352 (0x1100)
Menu ID                                  : 1 (0x1)
Format                                   : DTS
Format/Info                              : Digital Theater Systems
Format profile                           : MA / Core
Mode                                     : 16
Format settings, Endianness              : Big
Muxing mode                              : Stream extension
Codec ID                                 : 134
Duration                                 : 1mn 26s
Bit rate mode                            : Variable / Constant
Bit rate                                 : Unknown / 1 509 Kbps
Channel(s)                               : 8 channels / 6 channels
Channel positions                        : Front: L C R, Side: L R, Back: L R, LFE / Front: L C R, Side: L R, LFE
Sampling rate                            : 48.0 KHz
Frame rate                               : 93.750 fps (512 spf)
Bit depth                                : 24 bits
Compression mode                         : Lossless / Lossy

Audio #2
ID                                       : 4353 (0x1101)
Menu ID                                  : 1 (0x1)
Format                                   : DTS
Format/Info                              : Digital Theater Systems
Format profile                           : X / MA / Core
Mode                                     : 16
Format settings, Endianness              : Big
Muxing mode                              : Stream extension
Codec ID                                 : 134
Duration                                 : 1mn 26s
Bit rate mode                            : Variable / Variable / Constant
Bit rate                                 : Unknown / Unknown / 1 509 Kbps
Channel(s)                               : Object Based / 8 channels / 6 channels
Channel positions                        : Object Based / Front: L C R, Side: L R, Back: L R, LFE / Front: L C R, Side: L R, LFE
Sampling rate                            :  / 48.0 KHz / 48.0 KHz
Frame rate                               : 93.750 fps (512 spf)
Bit depth                                :  / 24 bits / 24 bits
Compression mode                         :  / Lossless / Lossy

Audio #3
ID                                       : 4354 (0x1102)
Menu ID                                  : 1 (0x1)
Format                                   : DTS
Format/Info                              : Digital Theater Systems
Format profile                           : MA / Core
Mode                                     : 16
Format settings, Endianness              : Big
Muxing mode                              : Stream extension
Codec ID                                 : 134
Duration                                 : 1mn 26s
Bit rate mode                            : Variable / Constant
Bit rate                                 : Unknown / 1 509 Kbps
Channel(s)                               : 2 channels
Channel positions                        : Front: L R
Sampling rate                            : 48.0 KHz
Frame rate                               : 93.750 fps (512 spf)
Bit depth                                : 24 bits
Compression mode                         : Lossless / Lossy

So this doesn't trip others or me going forward, I just muxed a new build w/solely the 2nd (X) audio track. Now in the A/V samples wiki...

Code:
General
Unique ID                                : 195902915320325220203334824460634764463 (0x93618771D7268683B1218011E10B34AF)
Complete name                            : Y:\AV Test Clips\HD Audio Tests\DTS-X Gravity.mkv
Format                                   : Matroska
Format version                           : Version 4 / Version 2
File size                                : 294 MiB
Duration                                 : 1mn 26s
Overall bit rate mode                    : Variable
Overall bit rate                         : 28.4 Mbps
Encoded date                             : UTC 2016-06-24 12:39:45
Writing application                      : mkvmerge v9.2.0 ('Photograph') 64bit
Writing library                          : libebml v1.3.3 + libmatroska v1.4.4

Video
ID                                       : 1
Format                                   : AVC
Format/Info                              : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile                           : [email protected]
Format settings, CABAC                   : Yes
Format settings, ReFrames                : 4 frames
Codec ID                                 : V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC
Duration                                 : 1mn 26s
Bit rate mode                            : Variable
Bit rate                                 : 22.2 Mbps
Maximum bit rate                         : 26.5 Mbps
Width                                    : 1 920 pixels
Height                                   : 1 080 pixels
Display aspect ratio                     : 16:9
Frame rate mode                          : Constant
Frame rate                               : 23.976 (24000/1001) fps
Color space                              : YUV
Chroma subsampling                       : 4:2:0
Bit depth                                : 8 bits
Scan type                                : Progressive
Bits/(Pixel*Frame)                       : 0.446
Stream size                              : 229 MiB (78%)
Default                                  : Yes
Forced                                   : No

Audio
ID                                       : 2
Format                                   : DTS
Format/Info                              : Digital Theater Systems
Format profile                           : X / MA / Core
Mode                                     : 16
Format settings, Endianness              : Big
Codec ID                                 : A_DTS
Duration                                 : 1mn 26s
Bit rate mode                            : Variable / Variable / Constant
Bit rate                                 : 6 199 Kbps / 6 199 Kbps / 1 509 Kbps
Channel(s)                               : Object Based / 8 channels / 6 channels
Channel positions                        : Object Based / Front: L C R, Side: L R, Back: L R, LFE / Front: L C R, Side: L R, LFE
Sampling rate                            :  / 48.0 KHz / 48.0 KHz
Frame rate                               : 93.750 fps (512 spf)
Bit depth                                :  / 24 bits / 24 bits
Compression mode                         :  / Lossless / Lossy
Stream size                              : 64.1 MiB (22%)
Default                                  : Yes
Forced                                   : No

Re: Hub passing more than PCM 2.0, I'm kinda doubting myself now, so let me carefully re-test this. I use Dolby Surround Upmixer and DTS Neural:X, so will make sure neither played a role, setting output to straight/through.

(2016-06-24, 09:14)Draghmar Wrote: Hm...I'm not sure how to interpret this...I thought at this stage of development there won't be any issues left. At least not the major ones. And for me it looks like the soft needs some additional months to be fully ready. I'm really looking forward to OpenELEC part of the review and hope it will be better.
Hold on partner Wink. Let me re-test in light of all of the above. Even if I end up confirming some of the issues, I believe they're fixable sooner than later. Some formats I tested aren't being claimed as supported by Hub, so can't hold those against it... like DolbyVision, VP9 and 3D MVC. Reason I test with as wide variety of a/v types as possible is to see how versatile a media player is, not that everyone will need every type of format supported for practical uses.
[H]i-[d]eft [M]edia [K]een [V]ideosaurus
My Family Room Theater
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#73
(2016-06-24, 15:01)hdmkv Wrote: Date added. So, for OE, there isn't any build for now that does HD audio fully? Sorry, haven't kept up on progress.
There will be soon I hope, getting the required code resources together is proving a lot more difficult at the moment ...!

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#74
(2016-06-24, 15:01)hdmkv Wrote: Hold on partner Wink. Let me re-test in light of all of the above. Even if I end up confirming some of the issues, I believe they're fixable sooner than later. Some formats I tested aren't being claimed as supported by Hub, so can't hold those against it... like DolbyVision, VP9 and 3D MVC. Reason I test with as wide variety of a/v types as possible is to see how versatile a media player is, not that everyone will need every type of format supported for practical uses.
I know about things that we should not expect to work but I hoped that this will be the box that will run flawlessly from the very start with things that should work. I've seen your test before so I know you're doing them really thoroughly.
I'm hoping that you're making those tests on some beta/prerelease version so before they ship Hub to the customers everything will be as it should be. Tongue
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#75
(2016-06-24, 05:32)wesk05 Wrote:
(2016-06-24, 05:22)wrxtasy Wrote: Yes interesting indeed, I did not expect PCM greater than 2.0.

Whilst we are on the Audio subject, can someone (maybe Koying) explain what advantages, additions etc IEC Audio passthrough provides ?

HDMI audio is packetized according to IEC-61937-xx specs. Kodi can packet the stream, but Android expects raw stream and want to do the packeting by itself. Amlogic uses IEC passthrough. Not following Android standards turned out to be good in this case. @fritsch had mentioned that the upcoming Android N will be using IEC passthrough like all other OSes. (I think I got this right).

Does this mean Andriod N will enable audio such as 24bit 92khz and 24bit 192khz files to be passed through Kodi? Right now it my understanding Andriod limits Kodi on that type of audio but Openelec works because it is Linux based.

Trying to decide on a streamer that can passthrough 24/92 and hardware decode hevc. I have a chromebox with Openelec, like the audio passthrough it but software decodes hevc. Also have a Shield that does the opposite.

Thinking the Hub could be the one of it will pass the audio properly with Openelc.
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