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WeTek Play2 - TV/PVR - 24p HD Netflix - HD Kodi Audio - 10bit HEVC - 4K - Full Review
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Because I was lucky enough to receive new WeTeK Play2 to test things before release and I’ve got permission to post my experience with it, I wrote them here.

Important! Even though hardware is final, the software is still being at dev state so if there’s a bug keep in mind there’s a chance that it will be fixed before release. I’ve got few updates already. They went really smooth. Only booting after factory reset (it was not required, I just wanted to have clean start) was very long because Android had to build up cache (like when you update your phone).

Honest warning – there is a lot of text in here. There is no TL;DR section. Don’t like reading stuff? It happens – deal with it. :P

Side note about me – I can’t be consider in any case as a Kodi Power User and I’m not guru on Android devices. Yes, I know many technical things but this review shift more to the experience of normal user that tends to plug his box and start to watch without too many additional steps. :P This means that besides some codec testing there are also my overall observations about overall usability.

This is my hardware setup:
  • TV – Sony KDL-46EX500
  • Yamaha RX-V673
Everything is connected with HDMI like this: Play2->AVR->TV.
In my country terrestrial TV uses DVB-T.
Play2 is connected with 1Gb LAN.

My main comparisons are DuneHD Prime 3.0 (Sigma chip) and “Cheap Chinese Box” (S905) that I bought some time ago to test few things.

Package and its contents
Box looks good. Personally I don’t care how package looks like and I don’t think the way device is packed should be considered in reviews and more importantly shouldn’t affect final score but I think there are people that like to know things like that so…Here you go.

Whole package gives premium feeling. Everything inside has its place and there’s a lot of sponge for protection. Quick Guide and a little card with some web addresses are made really good.

Power supply has many adapters for most (if not every) power socket out there in the world.

What I'm missing most is full manual. Yes, there is Quick Start Guide but it has only some few basics. For example I still don't know what is the purpose of the button right beneath D-pad (one with four squares)...With so many options in the OS and Kodi there really should be some thorough explanation on how to set different things. I know that there is internet out there but when I sit comfortably on my sofa, right in front of TV I'd really like to have some manual right beside me. And no, I don't have tablet (that is actually not true anymore as I have Cube i7 Book for few days :)) or laptop unfortunately for that. :P

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Exteriors and connecting
The device itself feels big...Maybe that sounds weird since in reality it not so big at all but I've seen hub on some pictures and it is so tiny that I subconsciously expected to get device similar in dimensions. :P It's about 2-3x size of hub. And the size is not in any meaning negative thing. I just didn't thought about this too much before. ;)

We have three USB ports: two on the back and one on the right. MicroSD slot is also on the right. There are some cooling grill there. On the back we can find LAN, micro-Jack (for debug cable that has RS port on the other side), power connector and antenna in and out ports.

There is blue light at the front that is quite bright. I always wonder what’s the point of mounting such a bright LEDs as a status LED and why it has to be blue – the color that our eyes are most sensitive to. I’m going to use black duct tape to hide it a little. :P

There was nothing special with connecting. I just plugged in HDMI, LAN and power and turned device on. Knowing that I'd have to log in into Google I also plugged my keyboard (Logitech K700) to make this task easier.

First start
On the beginning (there was only chaos ;)) I was greeted by simple wizard which in a few steps made basic configuration like HDMI passthrough or creating/log-in to the Google (this was the place where full keyboard came in handy).

The process was simple, fast and painless. Had some nice animations.

Only issues I found here was Google account where it would be hard without physical keyboard or mouse and with 'Start' button at the beginning of the wizard. As a matter of fact all native Android button has this issue. It's really hard to see that button has a focus on it because focus makes button only slightly lighter. The Start button didn't have focus on it so it needed two clicks to go to the next step.

Nevertheless after short while I've got to the main screen/desktop.
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Remote
Yeah...so there is one. :) One of the most important thing – it has STOP button! And it works! Which is not so obvious when looking at other devices. :P

I don't understand the decision that led to choosing remote that have micro-contacts on D-pad and buttons around it instead of normal, rubber one. They're noisy, take more force to work press and are irritating when using a lot (like long navigation or typing on virtual keyboard).

I'm really missing proper manual here that would explain what all the buttons are for. Especially in the app context they are used in. There is small info on the booklet but that's not enough. As a normal user I'd like to know from the start that yellow button will change sound track in TV mode and not have to guessing that. And to point that out even more – the only reason I know how to get EPG for specific channel is because droidelec told me. :P But I still don’t know how to bring up EPG with all channels (I've seen on screens on this forum that there should be something like that) and it took me some time to find button to show channel list at all (I found it by accident really).

Overall build quality is decent. I have remote that is much better but I also have some that are worse (for example one from Prime 3.0). Unfortunately navigation in Android is just horribly hard. Without some remote with gyroscope or some with touchpad you will have really hard time doing anything. Of course Kodi and apps designed for TV will work great with standard remote.

I really like the idea that there is dedicated button just to take screenshot of whatever there is on the screen at the moment.

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Main screen (aka desktop), navigation and some settings
Main screen, designed by WeTeK is really nice. My wife even told me that looked really readable, which I agree with.

There is one thing weird here though. Something that brought up in Hub. Desktop has few main icon and widgets below them. Main icons are: TV, web browser, apps, file manager and Kodi. You can choose what widget are displayed but what’s important – this is the place where WeTeK Media Player (Kodi fork) resides. So this means that by default there are two apps doing same thing. The one attached to main button is just version 17 (Krypton) which is in alfa stage at the moment and the second is based on stable 16.1 (Jarvis). And this is weird decision by WeTeK. I mean…it’s great and that they give us opportunity to check this new version but it should in no way selected as a main app! WeTeK Media Player should be placed there. And because it’s possible to define whatever app we like this decision is even weirder because it's not like there's some technical restrictions.

Here we have another example of missing manual. Because of this forum I knew that I can bring up desktop settings where I could change background for example. And only because of that I clicked buttons on the remote until I found how to do it. Without this knowledge I just wouldn’t looking for it because I wouldn’t know that there is anything to look for.

Default file manager could be better. :P It can’t browse net shares being FTP, SMB or whatever someone would like. There is however option to add some cloud storage like OneDrive.

We can change app that is attached to the main icons but by doing so the icon will change itself too. Of course this is to be expected because if I’d like to change WeTV to Gallery default icon (TV) would not fit too much. The problem is when I choose default app the icon would not back to be default as well.

Default background can be changed. It can be color, picture of your choice or picture from Bing. I really like that last option. But sometimes, when pic is to bright, icons tends to be hard to see. There should some dim effect when using pictures. I think setting transparency would more than enough.

Additional settings…well…there’re there. ;) I did: change default resolution from 720p to 1080p, check if sound is really going by HDMI, turn on CEC, look what overall can be found there…and that’s it. ;)

I had few time some problem with resolution – visible picture was smaller than physical dimension of my TV. It looked like 720p wasn’t stretched to the whole available area (1080p). See the photo to get the idea. I had this once right after turning on and what’s weirder – while using Kodi – I’ve turned on movie, stopped, start another and then picture was small. After that I turned off Kodi and then turned it on but subtitles where in wrong position – they were placed like the picture was still too small. Only full restart of the device helped here.

It’s really frustrating that device won’t remember that I’ve set 1080p and often goes back to 720p after turning on. Even leaving Play2 turned on whole time and only turning on TV and AVR would force change to 720p. Maybe that has something to do with communication between Play2 and my AVR?
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I think it’s kinda lame but I can’t find a way to use app for mount net shares. :D I did put proper IP where Samba server is but after clicking on connection there’s nothing happening. Maybe I should check if I can use mount command in some terminal emulator…

WeControl
This will be short – can’t use it because app stops at ‘connecting’.

VNC
So there is VNC server built in that needs to be activated in order to use it. Tried that – works. :) It could help a lot when I’d have to use keyboard for some tasks. So it’s great addition. It would be even more great if it would be more stable – I’m getting disconnections quite often.

Web interface
So there is something like this. You need to use local IP address of your device with 8080 port. And it look really good. You can make screenshots of whatever is at the display at the moment. But what is even most fun – you can watch TV through your browser! You can select what channel will be streamed and put it even in fullscreen. :)
At least in theory because even though it should work in FF (which I use) it didn’t. Browser says I’m missing proper plugin. In order this to work you’ll need VLC installed with FF plugin. But it didn’t install it for me (Windows 10, FF49.0b7).

You can also do some simple navigation because there is simple software remote and earth time you click on it screenshot is taken do you can see current content of the screen.

Some of the elements suggests that they can be clicked but nothing happens after. For example – there is settings icon there but clicking it won’t do anything.
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TV
I’m using terrestrial TV DVB-T. Scanning went fine and was a little bit faster than my TV. It found the same number of channels that TV did.

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At first I had a little problem with navigation because I was using menu to choose channel and not up/down button in my TV and I didn’t know how to bring menu like that on Play2 (manual missing :P). After a while I’ve found it by pressing right on the D-pad. Now I also know that being at this list and long pressing Enter will show small menu where we can find EPG for this specific channel. I wonder if there’s a EPG that lists all the channels at one screen…

Changing channels is quite fast. I think it’s faster than my TV. There’s a 1-2s after changing when picture is not smooth. Like there was some kind of link stabilization.

Besides up/down channel button you can also change channels by pressing up and down on D-pad.
I don’t know if it’s coincidence but using D-pad to change channels makes cracking sound on new channel. Changing audio track fixes this.

Here we have another example that manual would make great addition. I was clicking each and every button on the remote to see if there some hidden option there…and it shouldn’t be this way. Yes, I’m patient and curios but I think there are lots of customers that won’t be like that and they just think that something doesn’t work or there are feature missing because they can’t find it.

Anyway I was a little surprised when I discovered that I could change audio tracks. :) I mean I know that digital TV have things like that in specification but I didn’t know that it’s actually used because there was no option to do that in my TV. Although other tracks are quieter then default one but I think it’s not Play2 fault.

I don’t know why but there are very few languages in TV settings concerning default audio tracks and subtitles. Mine is missing. :(

There are settings in there that I’m not sure what to do with them. Like for example TS recording or Picon management.

I like Buquete thing – it’s a way to place channels in categories to make lists a little bit easier to navigate.

I checked if recording works. It works. ;) Of course without second tuner I can record only active channel but it’s better to have option then not.

You can set to record into local storage or some external. If I knew how to properly mount net share I bet I could record there. I’ve recorded 1min and it was about 19MB.
I think I don’t quite understand how Timeshift works. I thought it was something like nVidia’s Shadow Play – records in real time last N minutes so I could rewind anything I’m watching. Probably I did something wrong or make some mistake in setting (where is manual?).

There is sometimes problem with sound being out of sync with picture. I think it happens only after changing audio track from default (AVR says it’s PCM so maybe AAC?) to DD. And I’m not sure if it’s Plays2’s fault…

Occasionally I could hear some cracking sound. It was very short (0.2s). But that was too unpredictable to know if it’s Play2 fault or just some other problem.

When I was watching Disney’s Jungle Book there was some ghosting. Like there was some decoding problem. I had to check who’s fault is it.

Update 17/09/2016: After OTA update WeTeK gave us some new toys. You can now lock channel as a parental control measure. There is also longer EPG for each channel but there is no space between days so if you scroll for some time you won't know what day are you at.
The soud is still cracking from time to time. And I had problem when sound had some artifacts on each channel within mux. It was fixed after I changed audio in one channel.


Kodi – WeTeK Media Player
Overall using WeTeK Media Player is…like using Kodi. ;) It’s much faster comparing to Cheap Chinese Box. It would be great if the option of HDMI passthrough would check that option in WeTeK Media Player by default.
Update 12/09/2016: I would only remap home button to Kodi's home instead of Play2's home and use WeTV power button for Play2's home.

Kodi – Krypton
I’d really like to get this version as a stable one with WeTeK’s magic on it. I like skin so much more than the old one. :P While using Krypton I had one big freeze where I had to power off box and that was when I was trying to enter some setting…so no. You should not use it as your default media player. ;)

Update 17/09/2016: After bumping Krypton to beta 1 I change my mind about it's usage. See Playback section for additional notes.

Benchmarks
I did some benchmarks because there are probably people that would like to use Play2 for more than playing movies. So here are the results:
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Moonlight (game streaming)
I thought I’ll give it a try and used my PC to stream games to the Play2. It worked. :) Not as good as it could but that was my PC’s fault – I don’t have 1080p display so I couldn’t stream in this resolution, only in 720p. I couldn’t force h265 as a codec. It was only in h264. But that’s probably because I have GTX660 which doesn’t support it from what I remember.

Playing media
I have to postpone my codec testing because there are some issues with Play2 and my AVR that I need to sort out before I can test things like that properly. All I can say now is I’ve downloaded almost 8GB of movie samples from wiki and they mostly work. The ones that didn’t work somehow were ones that shouldn’t work in a first place.

Update 12/09/2016:
Ok, so I’ve made some tests. At the moment I did them on Android but I’m going to to them also on LE by WeTeK and wrxtasy and Kodi Krypton under Android. Important note – there is some communication/sync problem with my AVR and Play2. Almost each time I turn on TV and by that also AVR, Play2 is in 720p. I have to manually switch to 1080p. Setting Auto resolution in Android also gives 720p. As an additional effect there some audio issues from time to time. At most time I can’t reproduce them so I’m not sure when do they happen but if they occur HD audio won’t work – my AVR tells that there are no sound at all. There is one file however (Safari_ Dolby_Digital_Plus) that gave this result almost all the time.
Sometimes switching resolution helps here but at most cases I have to reboot Play2 (good it doesn’t take too much time ;)).

Sometimes those problems shows up when playing something that don't work like hi10p file. I had this once and I think besides resolution android lost it HDMI sound setting - it was switched back to PCM.

It looks like turning on CEC helped with resolution because it forced 1080p at the beginning. But I don't like turning off Play2 while turning off TV and disabling this setting creates another problem when after turning on TV and AVR there is no signal from Play2...I mean it was detected but there still was default AVR background. Switching HDMI from the AVR remote didn't help. I had to turn off/on Play2.

My tests are listed by file I was using to test. All of them were downloaded from wiki . If there were something to comment about playback I put that in the corresponding field. There are only two types or results: ok and not ok. First one has green background and second one has red. Be aware that I have only 5.1 setup and my AVR doesn't support ATMOS and DTS-X. So with them 'ok' means that it properly falls back to older technology. The same thing goes with 4k as I don't have 4k setup and only 4k passthrough.

Update 13/09/2016: Enabling passthrough in Kodi Kryptondon't have all the capable options like in WeTeK Media Player. There is only DD and DTS.

Similar thing goes with WeTeK's LE build. I'm a little bit disappointed with it. I tought it would work the same or even better then Android version but for some reasons it works really bad in HD audio aspect. I hope future builds will be better.
There's is also matter of TV. Maybe I don't understand something but it looks like Kodi doesn't have support for playing TV from build-in tuner. So what's the point of using LE builds with Play2 at all?

Update 13/09/2016 v2: After all the tests I can honestly say that at the moment of writing this review I'd pick wxtrasy LE build if I'd like to use Play2 only as a Kodi player. Even CEC seems to work a little bit better.

Update 17/09/2016: There was an OTA update that boosted Krypton to beta 1 and updated Jarvis a little. I did additional tests for beta 1, rerun failed test for Jarvis and add one additional file to the list that sits between 110Mbps and 400Mbps. Overall I think I'm going to start using Krypton as a main app :P.

Anyway here you go: WeTeK Play2 Codec Test


Closing thoughts
At the end I had to turn off CEC because it made some problems – volume would not change on AVR and I couldn’t turn off TV alone (sub section for that was turned off in settings) because Play2 constantly was turning TV on. On the other hand when CEC Power Off was turned on I could turn off TV and Play2 was also turned off…but I couldn’t turn it on this way.

I was also using WeTeK Play2 in a normal, non-testing way. And by that I mean watching normal stuff with my wife like we’re doing every day. And everything was fine (except problem with 720p). I think this device will be thing I was looking for – something to replace my Prime 3.0 and TV tuner and I’m really happy because of that. It's really great piece of device. :)

If you have some questions regarding this device don’t hesitate to ask. I’ll try to answer them as good as possible. :P
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#2
Reserved for future reviews so everything will be at the top.
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#3
WeTV DVB Player Manual

WeTV - DVB Player Quick User Guide v1.1

WeTek Play 2 - Video Tutorials

http://tutorials.wetek.com
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#4
Sorry, my web browser didn't updated the droidelec answer.

It was the same info has him.
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#5
Now if only all those things were available in physical form so I could study it while clicking on the remote Wink Yeah I know that there are many things online that would help me. But I always think about lazy audience that needs to get everything from the start.
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#6
Nice. Thank you for sharing your experience with Play 2.

I, for one, am waiting for the codec testing and especially how the box performs with 10bit HEVC files.
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#7
I'm going on vacation starting from Saturday so I won't have time to do tests then but I'll try make those test today, in the late evening (that will be in ~13h).
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#8
(2016-08-31, 12:40)Draghmar Wrote: Now if only all those things were available in physical form so I could study it while clicking on the remote ;) Yeah I know that there are many things online that would help me. But I always think about lazy audience that needs to get everything from the start.

When I visited the WeTek offices once and talked to everyone, this was mentioned as one of those really hard things to do. They want to include a manual, but then something comes up a month later that needs to change (for one reason or another), and you'll have tons and tons of unsold boxes with the old manual.

While WeTek is striving to be as turn-key/noob-friendly as possible with the resources we have, I tend to think our biggest market is with the slightly more technical users. People buying Rokus, Fire TVs, and Apple TVs typically aren't looking for an internal TV tuner or dual boot options :)

This is still good feedback to have. I think it will push us more to finding out what is long-term about the software that is safe to include in printed materials, and then everything else will be online.
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#9
Yes, changes are bad for printed stuff. It's harder to make one for device like that. Especially since you're really tight on schedules with development.

Maybe something else then - digital one but not like you have now (at least not directly) and not as a pdf (that would be good though if I wanted to print it or part of it) but as a app. My TV has something like that buit-in. Everything is right there in TV. I can bring it up whenever I need it. I even used in when testing Play2 because I needed to check where are CEC settings in my TV (there were called HDMI control).
This way you could update manual if there are some changes but it's sill right there, within simple reach.
As a reference games on both Xbox and Playstation has something like that as a requirement and they do this even better because e-manual is made as a layer over activated game.
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#10
Looks like my wetek play 2 will be with me Monday. First point of call will be trying to setup my harmony remote
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#11
LibreELEC 7.0 IMG for microSD for WeTek Play 2

LibreELEC 7.0 WeTek Play 2 microSD installation
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#12
Finished a near complete image of LE 7.1 for the Play2 - too, posted in the WeTek Forums Wink

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#13
(2016-09-01, 00:21)SuperLuigi Wrote: Nice. Thank you for sharing your experience with Play 2.

I, for one, am waiting for the codec testing and especially how the box performs with 10bit HEVC files.

fine under *ELEC here Wink
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#14
So we should expect similar performance as the HUB? Auto refresh rate switch etc?

Then that's great.

Thank you for the feedback.
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#15
Yep, pretty much the Hub with a different "body" (ports, tuner, and some extra RAM).
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WeTek Play2 - TV/PVR - 24p HD Netflix - HD Kodi Audio - 10bit HEVC - 4K - Full Review00