WIP MINIX NEO T5 - Android TV Pie 9.0 & MINIX NEO U22-XJ - tablet/touchscreen Pie
#16
(2019-09-16, 02:23)hdmkv Wrote: Hi @wrxtasy, is this the Android TV ROM you were referring to?

Yes for the UGOOS AM6

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#17
Questions emerging:

Will they do proper HDR meta passtrhough? I know the new Odroid and VIM with CE can finally do, but what will be the case on Android?

Will there be proper HDR->SRD conversion, or that we can still forget on the Amlogic SOC line in general?

Google Certified - Android TV Pie 9.0 inc. Chromecasting & legit DRM-> What will it mean in practice? YT 4K / HDR? Also for their pay-for-stream content?

MINIX NEO T5: NO CoreELEC / LibreELEC Kodi possible at all in a dual boot setup. -> That's odd, but only if CE would have some worth to mention advantages over the stock Android Player (like PQ, format support, etc...).

Previous MINIXes had always used their own special KODI fork for playback. What will be the case this time? Official KODI?

I guess there still will be no real FHD 3D MVC support... (As it's still some AML SOC limitation).Huh

MINIX NEO U22-XJ: SoC licensing for DolbyVision-> Sounds great, but what would it mean in practice? Some partial support, only for single layer (demo) local videos and no real double layer DV support, like on the ATV 4K? I would be really surprised if it would turn out with full function as it never happened before with any Media Boxes.

Dolby Audio Licensed: What makes this particularly important to mention? All serious Boxes have full SD/HD audio passtrough capabilities, including all kind of Dolby formats. I would naturally expect the same from all kind of newer non-noname Boxes.

That's so far from trigger to the news, more may emerge later, Thanks!
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#18
(2019-09-27, 13:03)Mount81 Wrote: Questions emerging:

Will they do proper HDR meta passthrough? I know the new Odroid and VIM with CE can finally do, but what will be the case on Android?

Yes it will because the AMLogic modded Linux Kernel v4.9 that both devices will be running supports the full monty HDR Metadata passthrough.

Quote:Will there be proper HDR->SRD conversion, or that we can still forget on the Amlogic SOC line in general?

What do you call "proper" ?

I'm yet to see ANY device that can do "proper" HDR > SDR colourspace conversion and produce that same picture quality as a SDR release of the same material, when viewed on a SDR TV.

People need to buy a HDR TV if they want HDR video output to look half decent from HDR source material.

Quote:Google Certified - Android TV Pie 9.0 inc. Chromecasting & legit DRM-> What will it mean in practice? YT 4K / HDR? Also for their pay-for-stream content?

Meaning virtually all (except Netflix) copy protected DRM Android TV streaming Apps should work.
YouTube 4K HDR and very likely 4K HDR Google Play movies can be output in HDR because the S905X2 chipset can support Google's VP9 profile 2

Quote:MINIX NEO T5: NO CoreELEC / LibreELEC Kodi possible at all in a dual boot setup. -> That's odd, but only if CE would have some worth to mention advantages over the stock Android Player (like PQ, format support, etc...).

It's not odd at all if you are running a AMLogic chipset - Google Certified Android TV device.
The Mi Boxes / Jetstream for example have their bootloaders locked, meaning no dual boot. There is a slim chance MINIX might leave theirs unlocked on the T5. But I highly doubt it.

There are LOTS of advantages when running CoreELEC Kodi vs Android Kodi on recent AMLogic Android devices. Like HD audio, inc. Atmos, properly working deinterlacing, much better legacy video decode support (VC-1 for example). Auto Frame Rate and Auto Resolution switching, and I could go on...

Quote:Previous MINIXes had always used their own special KODI fork for playback. What will be the case this time? Official KODI?

Doubt it. MINIX may code their Firmware correctly to add Android Kodi auto Frame Rate Matching and possibly Android Kodi HD audio passthrough.

Quote:I guess there still will be no real FHD 3D MVC support... (As it's still some AML SOC limitation).Huh

The SoC can support it. Firmware and Kodi software is the problem. Honestly no one can be bothered on such cheap media devices supporting FP 3D.

Quote:MINIX NEO U22-XJ: SoC licensing for DolbyVision-> Sounds great, but what would it mean in practice? Some partial support, only for single layer (demo) local videos and no real double layer DV support, like on the ATV 4K? I would be really surprised if it would turn out with full function as it never happened before with any Media Boxes.
Android Pie does not even support DV. That comes with Android Q, then you need DV streaming Apps support.
Dual layer DV support is a pipe dream on any mainstream media player at this point in time.

It's likely just Single Layer DV support if the Firmware supports it.

The only AMLogic Chipset device that may get DV streaming App support is the S922Z in the upcoming Amazon FireTV Cube.

Quote:Dolby Audio Licensed: What makes this particularly important to mention? All serious Boxes have full SD/HD audio passtrough capabilities, including all kind of Dolby formats. I would naturally expect the same from all kind of newer non-noname Boxes.

I'm yet to see any AMLogic Chipset device running anything Android support a Dolby Audio Licence properly - in the same way you can get FireTV and Apple TV devices remixing / downmixing all audio into highly compatible 5.1 DD to support older DD only audio equiptment. Even copy protected Apps streaming and 5.1 SPDIF audio output is non existant.

Proper Dolby Audio support on ALL Android TV media player platforms is pathetic.



I'm more concerned with MINIX actually - this time - doing actual Android OS upgrades on their devices, are they going to provide any assurances this time around ?
Google's Project Treble is supposed to provide a much easier OS upgrade path for developers.

MINIX's business plan always seems to be one OS release for each hardware device and then that is it. Too bad if you want new OS features and better OS optimisations a more recent Android OS provides.

As an example there is already Android 10.0 Q developer support emerging on devices like the ODROID N2 (click)

A quality Wireless Voice remote is also required if you are releasing any new Android TV device.

W.

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#19
Quote:What do you call "proper" ?

I'm yet to see ANY device that can do "proper" HDR > SDR colourspace conversion and produce that same picture quality as a SDR release of the same material, when viewed on a SDR TV.

People need to buy a HDR TV if they want HDR video output to look half decent from HDR source material.
I would call proper what any other serious Boxes, with different chipsets can do, like HiMedia or Zidoo. I know that there's no "perfect" HDR->SDR conversion as there's no standard method to do this, but at least these Boxes can result in quite seamless conversion. I can compare the original  FHD SDR and the UHD HDR video versions converted to SDR on my setup (Himedia Q10 Pro, FHD SDR TV) and most of the time they're quite similar looking. And that's where we know Amlogic Boxes have failed so far with any OS implementation, as their conversion results are far from unnoticeable and much worst. That's where I hoped that the new Amlogic chips, or maybe the OS kerner have developed.
Quote:YouTube 4K HDR and very likely 4K HDR Google Play movies can be output in HDR because the S905X2 chipset can support Google's VP9 profile 2    
I guess both HiMedia and Zidoo supports that codec, as local VP9 videos with HDR are playing fine. But there's still no way to get HDR working on them directly with YT apps at all. Guess it need some special permission from Google to be able. So the question remains. 
Quote:There are LOTS of advantages when running CoreELEC Kodi vs Android Kodi on recent AMLogic Android devices. Like HD audio, inc. Atmos, properly working deinterlacing, much better legacy video decode support (VC-1 for example). Auto Frame Rate and Auto Resolution switching, and I could go on...
I'm a bit confused by this answer, as it suggests that you except that these new Minix boxes would lack all of these features with their original Android OS and player. Specially as these (except maybe the auto res switching) are working fine on their previous U9 and U1 Amlogic based Players with Android. But I can see you really don't. Maybe you meant other noname "cheap" Brands Boxes, but that's so obvious, and my question particularly concerned only these new Minix Boxes.
Quote:I'm yet to see any AMLogic Chipset device running anything Android support a Dolby Audio Licence properly - in the same way you can get FireTV and Apple TV devices remixing / downmixing all audio into highly compatible 5.1 DD to support older DD only audio equiptment. Even copy protected Apps streaming and 5.1 SPDIF audio output is non existant.

Proper Dolby Audio support on ALL Android TV media player platforms is pathetic.    
Oh, so you meant under the licencing and the proper support is that the Player can convert any other audio formats to SD DolbyDigital 5.1 and passthrough from streaming apps?
Ok, I got it now, but it was a bit misunderstandable while you missed to specify.
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#20
(2019-09-28, 06:04)Mount81 Wrote: I guess both HiMedia and Zidoo supports that codec, as local VP9 videos with HDR are playing fine. But there's still no way to get HDR working on them directly with YT apps at all. Guess it need some special permission from Google to be able. So the question remains.

Yes you really need Google's blessing for HDR anything from them when using their Apps. Even the HDR capable SmartYoutube App is about to be hobbled at the knees with recent YT Leanback changes.
Proper Google Certification is at least the first step to getting Google video streaming Apps working properly.

Quote:There are LOTS of advantages when running CoreELEC Kodi vs Android Kodi on recent AMLogic Android devices. Like HD audio, inc. Atmos, properly working deinterlacing, much better legacy video decode support (VC-1 for example). Auto Frame Rate and Auto Resolution switching, and I could go on...
Quote:I'm a bit confused by this answer, as it suggests that you except that these new Minix boxes would lack all of these features with their original Android OS and player. Specially as these (except maybe the auto res switching) are working fine on their previous U9 and U1 Amlogic based Players with Android.

No you are wrong for U1 / U9....
Android Kodi Leia deinterlacing (mpeg2 especially) does not work properly with Mediacodec hardware decoding. VC-1 decoding is not working properly.

These are long standing old bugs with AMLogic Android. They do not work properly with new Android AMLogic devices running the new v4.9 Kernel either.

I doubt MINIX have the capacity to bug bust the v4.9 Kernel to get those long standing bugs working with Android Kodi. The Linux OS Kodi guys do.
They would be low priority for Android anyway.

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#21
Quote:No you are wrong for U1 / U9....
Android Kodi Leia deinterlacing (mpeg2 especially) does not work properly with Mediacodec hardware decoding. VC-1 decoding is not working properly.
I didn't know that. I mean in the case if you mean that these also apply to their special XBMC fork and not just to the original KODI..?? I was expecting, that these popular, modern Boxes have these basic playback features working like charm with at least their own kind of (modded) playback application. (I know the vanilla KODI has dropped AMlogic specific support a long while ago, so that's not the surprise and I wasn't expected it to fulfill.) 

I my case, the lack of these two basic features would be an absolute deal-breaker. I have many older DVD's and also interlaced FHD videos, that are sometimes even coded in VC-1. So buying an U9 for example would have been a big disappointment in my case...? (Except if I would use it with CoreElec, but lets just first stick with the "original" Android capabilities).
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#22
(2019-09-28, 09:00)Mount81 Wrote:
Quote:No you are wrong for U1 / U9....
Android Kodi Leia deinterlacing (mpeg2 especially) does not work properly with Mediacodec hardware decoding. VC-1 decoding is not working properly.
I my case, the lack of these two basic features would be an absolute deal-breaker.
I have many older DVD's and also interlaced FHD videos, that are sometimes even coded in VC-1.
So buying an U9 for example would have been a big disappointment in my case...? (Except if I would use it with CoreElec, but lets just first stick with the "original" Android capabilities).

One of the things we have found is that as AMLogic SoC's get more powerful ARM CPU's - you can now Software decode problematic old video content.

The S905X2 now has an ARM A53 Quad Core running at 1.8GHz
The S922X (rev b) is a beast with ARM A73 Quad Core @ 2.2GHz + Dual Core ARM A53 @ 1.8 GHz

I would think the S905X2 now has enough CPU ponies to Kodi Software decode and software deinterlace SD mpeg2 DVD's or SD mpeg2 Interlaced TV.
Not sure about VC-1 / H264 1080p Bluray Rips, but it would likely be close.
This can be configured with Android Kodi Leia's decodefilter.xml (click)

As an example the S922X chipset running CoreELEC Kodi Leia can CPU software decode everything except 4K h.264/ 4K h.265 HEVC.

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#23
Hi wrxtasy, I've always wondered if 2GB DDR3 RAM (Minix Neo T5) is sufficient for streaming purposes on android 9.0 (ultimately the future OS comes with larger size). 
Seeing that we have few boxes out there, e.g. Mecool KM3 that is equipped with 4GB DDR4 RAM, what is your advice/suggestion on this?
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#24
(2019-10-19, 09:11)imcrazyz Wrote: Hi wrxtasy, I've always wondered if 2GB DDR3 RAM (Minix Neo T5) is sufficient for streaming purposes on android 9.0 (ultimately the future OS comes with larger size). 
Seeing that we have few boxes out there, e.g. Mecool KM3 that is equipped with 4GB DDR4 RAM, what is your advice/suggestion on this?

Actually the opposite is true.
Each subsequent Android TV OS release is being further optimised to run on low RAM devices.

2GB RAM is just fine for Oreo and especially Pie devices these days.

More important is high quality fast DDR4 RAM and a modern ARM GPU for a graphics intensive snappy Android TV device.

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#25
(2019-10-19, 12:14)wrxtasy Wrote:
(2019-10-19, 09:11)imcrazyz Wrote: Hi wrxtasy, I've always wondered if 2GB DDR3 RAM (Minix Neo T5) is sufficient for streaming purposes on android 9.0 (ultimately the future OS comes with larger size). 
Seeing that we have few boxes out there, e.g. Mecool KM3 that is equipped with 4GB DDR4 RAM, what is your advice/suggestion on this?

Actually the opposite is true.
Each subsequent Android TV OS release is being further optimised to run on low RAM devices.

2GB RAM is just fine for Oreo and especially Pie devices these days.

More important is high quality fast DDR4 RAM and a modern ARM GPU for a graphics intensive snappy Android TV device. 
Too bad that the new 905X2 cheaper Boxes still have crappy, unpredictable Android FW's. Minixes will be reliable for sure, but I still wonder how usable and stable is the Android on the N2 and on the WIM3. (For general purposes and NOT for local video playback, as CE will do that job).
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#26
(2019-10-19, 12:36)Mount81 Wrote: Too bad that the new 905X2 cheaper Boxes still have crappy, unpredictable Android FW's. Minixes will be reliable for sure, but I still wonder how usable and stable is the Android on the N2 and on the WIM3. (For general purposes and NOT for local video playback, as CE will do that job).

Well I've had been playing around with LineageOS 16 - Android TV Pie ROM - based on Hardkernel's Android Pie 9.0 release on the Odroid N2 and it's pretty stable as far as I'm concerned for Android usage. Really snappy when running from eMMC flash.

I don't think there really is a lot of change vs Oreo 8.0, and that has been out for quite a while.
AMLogic have had a long time to bed down the underlying v4.9 Linux Kernel for Android Oreo & Pie.

There should not be many OS surprises really here from MINIX I would think - they will no doubt add extra personal tweaks.

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#27
(2019-10-19, 16:10)wrxtasy Wrote:
(2019-10-19, 12:36)Mount81 Wrote: Too bad that the new 905X2 cheaper Boxes still have crappy, unpredictable Android FW's. Minixes will be reliable for sure, but I still wonder how usable and stable is the Android on the N2 and on the WIM3. (For general purposes and NOT for local video playback, as CE will do that job).

Well I've had been playing around with LineageOS 16 - Android TV Pie ROM - based on Hardkernel's Android Pie 9.0 release on the Odroid N2 and it's pretty stable as far as I'm concerned for Android usage. Really snappy when running from eMMC flash.

I don't think there really is a lot of change vs Oreo 8.0, and that has been out for quite a while.
AMLogic have had a long time to bed down the underlying v4.9 Linux Kernel for Android Oreo & Pie.

There should not be many OS surprises really here from MINIX I would think - they will no doubt add extra personal tweaks. 
Still waiting for a cheap "miracle" version Amlogic Box. A friend of mine would pay like max 40$, but only if it also have a reliable and stable Android system, mostly for YT, Browsing and for such general apps. I've been around this for a while, but most of the time I've been informed regarding the current best-buy Boxes, that their Android won't jump the expectations. I guess that won't change that much in the future, and Minixes, tho' still the most affordable, are in a completely different price-range.
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#28
Thinking towards:

Ok, so DV is likely to be neglected due Android OS limitation on these new Minixes, but what about HDR10+? Both new chipsets are HDR10+ capable on hardware level, and requires no strict licencing, so what can we expect to see working from it on Android?  Any clues/guesses regarding?
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#29
(2019-10-19, 17:17)Mount81 Wrote: Still waiting for a cheap "miracle" version Amlogic Box. A friend of mine would pay like max 40$, but only if it also have a reliable and stable Android system, mostly for YT, Browsing and for such general apps.

You should not be Web browsing on a dirt cheap Android Box full stop. Especially if it's one with an old, slow ARM GPU with poor quality, slow RAM.
Web browsing needs mouse type interactions and that is simply horrible on a TV screen. Far to much concentration required, use a tablet, Laptop or PC/Mac.

Quote:I've been around this for a while, but most of the time I've been informed regarding the current best-buy Boxes, that their Android won't jump the expectations.

Bang for the buck the 2018 FireTV Stick is the closest. Get really demanding for Kodi tho and you have to do a bit of DIY and use a Linux OS based Kodi - and avoid cheap Android completely.

Quote:I guess that won't change that much in the future, and Minixes, tho' still the most affordable, are in a completely different price-range.

Affordable - Hmmm....

Well there is the much cheaper FireTV Stick 4K, cheaper Google Android TV certified MECOOL KM3 / KM9 Deluxe (that can also run CoreELEC) - those are very similar in spec to the MINIX T5, and then there is the cheaper Ugoos AM6 - again very similar to the MINIX U22-XJ, but it missed out on DRM certificates.

Competition has never been so fierce.

An optimised Google Oreo / Pie OS combined with a bug busted, AMLogic modded v4.9 Linux Kernel used with recent AML Android (TV) devices is now pretty stable, fast and snappy on S905X2/X3 and especially S922 chipsets that also have great ARM-Mali "G" series GPU's.

This is really going to make a difference in the budget end of the Android market going forward.

Not sure about HDR10+ on recent AMLogic chipsets running an Android Oreo or Pie OS.

Really the only HDR10+ sources are Amazon Prime (good luck finding such content) - and even the AML S922Z equipped - 2019 FireTV Cube tests I've seen have not even prioritised it, which really shows how important that type of HDR is to people.

Everyone is concentrating on DolbyVision with Netflix, VUDU, Prime Video and iTunes video streaming it seems.
With AppleTV+ and Disney+ DolbyVision to come.

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#30
(2019-10-19, 12:14)wrxtasy Wrote:
(2019-10-19, 09:11)imcrazyz Wrote: Hi wrxtasy, I've always wondered if 2GB DDR3 RAM (Minix Neo T5) is sufficient for streaming purposes on android 9.0 (ultimately the future OS comes with larger size). 
Seeing that we have few boxes out there, e.g. Mecool KM3 that is equipped with 4GB DDR4 RAM, what is your advice/suggestion on this?

Actually the opposite is true.
Each subsequent Android TV OS release is being further optimised to run on low RAM devices.

2GB RAM is just fine for Oreo and especially Pie devices these days.

More important is high quality fast DDR4 RAM and a modern ARM GPU for a graphics intensive snappy Android TV device. 
Thanks for your reply! Smile
Another concern of mine, currently Gearbest is offering Minix Neo T5 at $89.99 (w/ coupon), is it considered overpriced as compared to the cheaper boxes out there w/ better specs and Netflix certified or is it just nice (reasonable)?
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