What’s the News From the First Android 4.4 TV BOX

S82 Amlogic S802 Quad Core up to 2.0GHz (Cortex-A9) Android TV BOX. The S82 TV BOX with 16GB flash and built-in antenna for WIFI/Bluetooth. I’ll start by giving my first impressions, going through the user interface and settings.

S82 comes with an IR remote, but the two required AAA batteries are not included, so you’ll need to purchase some separately. As we’ll soon see the user interface has been designed to be used easily with an IR remote, but once you start using Android apps, you’ll probably want to use another input device. So I’ve also used air mouse during testing. I’ve connected an Ethernet cable, the HDMI and AV cables. The user interface shown below.

There are also six main menus: Online Video (YouTube, Netflix, and XBMC), My recommend (favorite apps), Setting, My Apps (all installed apps), Music, and Local. The last two are some apps to access/play local files with a not-so-slick interface that you are unlikely to use. There are smaller icons at the bottom. You can add and remove the ones you want as you wish

The “Setting” menu gives you access to the settings shown in the same Metro-style with four sub menus: Network, Display, Advanced and Other.

When you first boot the device, there’s no network at all, so you need to go to the Network settings, and select whether Ethernet or Wi-Fi, and both are working just fine.

In the display settings, it will detect the maximum resolution for your TV, 1080p60 in my case, and it’s supposed to support UHD / 4K output, but I don’t own a 4K TV to check this out. Other options allow you to hide or show the status bar; adjust the display position/size, and whether you want to use a screensaver.

The Advanced menu will let you start Miracast (Source only, not a display), enable the software Remote control, set your location (unfortunately only Chinese cities are available), set the screen orientation, and select digital audio output (PCM, SPDIF pass-through, HDMI pass-through).

The Other button will give some details about the Android version (4.4.2), kernel version (3.10.10) and provides access to OTA System Update, which is not enabled.

I started with the videos from samplemedia.linaro.org, and I added some Big Buck Bunny videos with H.265/HEVC codec from another source (Elecard):

H.264 codec / MP4 container (Big Buck Bunny), 480p/720p/1080p – OK

MPEG2 codec / MPG container, 480p/720p/1080p – OK.

MPEG4 codec, AVI container 480p/720p/1080p – OK

VC1 codec (WMV), 480p/720p/1080p – OK

Real Media (RMVB) – Failed. Only shows “Click OK when playback has ended”.

WebM / VP8 – 480p/720p OK, 1080p is very choppy. Most probably software decode.

H.265 codec / MPEG TS container, 360p/720p/1080p

XBMC – Audio only

MX Player – Can play and audio works, but everything is in slow motion with many frames skipped. The number of frame skips does not seem to be related to the resolution.

The Wi-Fi test consists in transferring a 278 MB files between a SAMBA share and the internal flash, and vice versa. The first time I tried the transfer speed was catastrophic, sometimes running at up to 2MB/s, but most of the time hovering around 50KB/s, and in some cases even stalling, with the transfer taking 11 minutes and 30 seconds. I went outside, and came back 2 hours later, to repeat the test, and I was unable to reproduce the problem I had during the first test, so I discarded it, but this may be something to keep in mind. The transfer times averaged a decent 2:35 (1.79 MB/s), which bring Vega S89 in the upper middle of the field, with performance similar to MK908.

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