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Android media player supports 4K video, Miracast

Aug 1, 2014  |  Eric Brown
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W2Comp unveiled a faster, 4K-ready version of its Probox Android media player with a quad-core SoC, a Mali-450 GPU, Miracast, and a gaming-oriented remote.

Hong Kong based reseller W2Comp, which previously introduced a dual-core Rockchip RK3066 based Probox2 Ultimate media player that runs Android 4.0, has now launched a faster model, called the Probox2 EX (Extreme), that runs Android 4.4 (“KitKat”). The new mini-PC is open for pre-orders at $150, with shipments beginning Aug. 8. There’s no mention of any support for Google’s upcoming remix of Google TV called Android TV, but the Probox2 EX would seem to have the advanced hardware to run it.



Probox2 EX
(click image to enlarge)

Compared to the $95 Probox2 Ultimate stick computer, which is sold out, the EX is a slightly larger, squarer box that switches to a faster quad-core processor from Amlogic. It also offers enhanced dual-band wireless features. The WiFi in the original model was already better than most other low-cost Android media players, according to a Brad Linder hands-on review at Liliputing. The device was “one of the best Android TV sticks I’ve tested so far, thanks largely to excellent build quality and strong WiFi reception,” wrote Linder.

The new Probox2 EX shifts to dual-band 802.11 b/g/n, with the upper range occupying the 5.8GHz band instead of 5GHz, thereby offering less interference, according to W2Comp. It also advances from Bluetooth 2.0 to 4.0.



Probox2 EX Android launcher
(click image to enlarge)

The Amlogic S802 is one of three quad-core Cortex-A9 system-on-chips among over a dozen Amlogic ARM Cortex SoCs aimed at tablets, set-tops, smart TVs, and media players. The SoC integrates the octa-core Mali-450 graphics processing unit, which helps the Probox2 EX support 4K TV resolutions. The Probox2 EX also supports Miracast, DLNA, and Airplay streaming, says W2Comp.

The 115 x 115 x 26mm Probox2 EX ships with 2GB of DDR3 RAM, 16GB of eMMC flash memory, and an SD-card slot. Ports include Fast Ethernet, HDMI, AV, a micro-USB port, and dual USB 2.0 host ports.



More views of the Probox2 EX
(click images to enlarge)

According to Liliputing’s Linder, in a new post on the Probox2 EX, the device stands out with its feature-rich Remote+ controller, which normally sells extra for $32, but is initially offered as part of the standard $150 price. The IR device includes a gyroscope, air mouse support, the usual Android buttons, and D-pad and Y, X, B, A gaming buttons. There’s even a microphone. W2Comp also provides optional Bluetooth or WiFi gamepad controllers and keyboard/mouse combos, as well as a USB hub.


Ugoos UT3 PCB

Ugoos is also nearing production of an Android 4.4-based media player, known as the Ugoos UT3. The UT3 follows an earlier Android 4.2.1-based UT2 model, which we recently covered in a hands-on review here at LinuxGizmos. While the UT2 is based on a 1.6GHz quad-core Rockchip RK3188 SoC, the UT3 moves up to a quad-core, Cortex-A17 based RK3288, and like the Probox2 EX, will offer 4K video output plus Miracast support. Although Ugoos has yet to state the clock rate supported by its new UT3 media player, Rockchip’s RK3288 SoC can be clocked at speeds in excess of 2GHz.

 
Summary of Probox2 EX specs

Specifications listed for the Probox2 EX include:

  • Processor — Amlogic S802-H (4x Cortex-A9 cores @ 1.6–2.0 GHz) with Mali-450 MP GPU @ up to 600MHz
  • Memory:
    • 2GB DDR3 RAM
    • 16GB eMMC flash (12-13GB user available)
    • TF (SD) card reader
  • Wireless:
    • 802.11b/g/n dual-band (2.4Ghz/5.8Ghz)
    • Bluetooth 4.0
    • IR receiver
  • Video support — AVI, RMVB, MKV& FLV; supports 1080p and 4K playback; Adobe Flash 11.1 support for YouTube
  • Audio support — MP3/WMA/WAV/APE/AAC/FLAC/OGG; Dolby/DTS
  • Networking — 10/100 Ethernet port
  • Other I/O:
    • HDMI port
    • AV port
    • 2x USB 2.0 host ports
    • Micro-USB OTG port
  • Other features — Remote+ controller (IR) with air mouse, gyroscope, gaming, and mic; Miracast, DLNA, and Airplay streaming support
  • Hardware options — Bluetooth or WiFi (2.4GHz) keyboard/mouse combo; Bluetooth or WiFi (2.4GHz) gamepad controller (2.4GHz); USB 2.0 hub
  • Power — DC 5V, 2A adapter included
  • Weight — 200 g
  • Dimensions — 115 x 115 x 26mm
  • Operating system — Android 4.4 (“KitKat”)

 
Further information

The Probox2 EX is available for pre-order at $150, with shipments beginning Aug. 8. More information may be found at the Probox website, as well as at W2Comp’s Probox2 EX shopping page.
 

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