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    Zidoo H6 Pro (Allwinner H6) TV Box Review

     

     

    The company has slightly changed the design of their retail package. It also shows some icons with the main features like 4K, 3D,  H.265, 2GB DDR4, Android 7.0 with ZIUI, etc…

    We can peak inside the device after loosening four screws on the bottom of the case.

    If we take out for more screws we can completely remove the board from the case. We’ll find the WiFi antenna attached to a sticky surface (if you look closely, an ant also got captured, not sure a Chinese or Thai ant though :)), and cooling is achieving with a small heatsink placed on top of Allwinner H6 SoC.

    Two 8Gb (512MB x 16) SKHynix H5AN8G6NAFR-UHC DDR4-2400 brings us 2GB RAM, while a 16GB Samsung KLMAG2GEND-B031 eMMC 5.0 flash is used for storage. Its theoretical performance is: 230/50 MB/s for sequential R/W, and 6.5K/6K R/W IOPS, which should allow for a responsive system, free of “app not responding” issues. Ampak AP6255 module enables 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2, while Realtek RTL8211E transceiver and SG24002 transformer are used for Gigabit Ethernet. X-Powers AXP805 should be Allwinner H6 companion chip to handle power management.  Other potentially details include the recovery button hidden behind the AV port, and the 3-pin connector close to the processor should be the serial console.

     

    Looking into storage options, I had 418MB free out of 10.22GB internal storage partition at the very beginning of the review, and NTFS and exFAT partitions of my USB hard drive could be mounted, but not the EXT-4 and BTRFS partitions.

     

    Power Consumption & Temperature

    Power control is just like on Zidoo X7 with a short press on the remote control power button bringing a menu to select between Power off, Standby, or Reboot. A long press will allow you to configure the behavior of the power button: Off, Standby, or Ask (default).

    I measured power consumption in various mode, and here it works better than X7:

    • Power off – 0.0 Watt
    • Standby – 3.2 Watts
    • Idle – 4.0 ~ 4.4 Watts
    • Power off + USB HDD – 0.0 Watt
    • Standby – 6.0 to 6.4 Watts
    • Idle + USB HDD – 6.0 to 6.4 Watts

    With regards to temperature, the box itself stays fairly as after playing a 2-hour video in Kodi, I measured 45 and 43ºC max measured on the top and bottom with an IR thermometer, and 47ºC on both sides after playing Beach Buggy Racing & Riptide GP2 for about 30 minutes. However, right after playing, CPU-Z reported respectively 86°C and 80°C CPU & GPU temperatures, which should be close to limit of the SoC. The ambient temperature was around 28°C, and 3D performance was contant while playing.

     

    Let’s carry on testing with PCM 2.0 (stereo) output to my TV, and HDMI audio pass-through

    with some advanced audio codec in Media Player.

    Audio Codec in Video PCM 2.0 Output HDMI Pass-through
    AC3 / Dolby Digital 5.1 OK OK
    E-AC-3 / Dolby Digital+ 5.1 OK OK
    Dolby Digital+ 7.1 OK OK
    TrueHD 5.1 OK OK
    TrueHD 7.1 OK OK
    Dolby Atmos 7.1 OK TrueHD 7.1 (OK)
    DTS HD Master OK DTS 5.1
    DTS HD High Resolution OK DTS 5.1
    DTS:X OK DTS 5.1

    Audio works pretty well with the only downside being a lack of support for DTS HD MA/HR which all fallback to DTS 5.1. My receiver does not support Atmos, so the box outputs TrueHD 7.1 as it should.

    I’ve also tested HD videos with various bitrates:

    • ED_HD.avi (MPEG-4/MSMPEG4v2 – 10 Mbps) – OK (except running scene that is not smooth)
    • big_buck_bunny_1080p_surround.avi (1080p H.264 – 12 Mbps) – OK
    • h264_1080p_hp_4.1_40mbps_birds.mkv (40 Mbps) – OK
    • hddvd_demo_17.5Mbps_1080p_VC1.mkv (17.5Mbps) – OK
    • Jellyfish-120-Mbps.mkv (120 Mbps video without audio) – HDD: OK

    Most Linaro media and H.265 elecard samples are playing fine in Media Center:

    • H.264 codec / MP4 container (Big Buck Bunny) – 1080p – OK
    • MPEG2 codec / MPG container – 1080p – OK
    • MPEG4 codec, AVI container – 1080p – OK
    • VC1 codec (WMV) – 1080p – OK
    • Real Media (RMVB), 720p / 5Mbps – Media Center app returns “Can’t play video”
    • WebM / VP8 – 1080p – OK
    • H.265 codec / MPEG TS container – 1080p – OK

    The full HD Blu-ray ISO files I tested (Sintel-Bluray.iso and amat.iso) played fine, so were 1080i MPEG-2 samples. I had the usual artifacts with Hi10p videos, but audio and subtitles were displayed correctly.

    app shows Widevine DRM L1 is supported, meaning one of the requirements for Full HD Netflix is fulfilled.

    Store benchmarks with A1 SD Bench.

     

    The cached read is due to the incredibly low exFAT write performance (1.52 MB/s). Read speed is quite weak to at 16.37 MB/s with this file system, but poor exFAT performance is a common to most Android TV boxes. NTFS is much better at 59.07MB/s read, and 42.12 MB/s but still far from the ~100MB/s R/W, I achieved with the same hard drive on ROCK64 board. Nevertheless the performance will be good enough for TV box use case. However, if you need hardware with fast storage (through USB 3.0) and Ethernet, RK3328 processor looks to be better.

    Internal performance is good, and helps explain relatively fast boot (when no HDD is connected), fast app loading, and the lack of “app not responding” issues.

    CPU-Z still shows a quad core Cortex A53 r0p4 processor clocked between 480 MHz and 1.80 GHz, and a Mali-T720 GPU. Note that I never saw the frequency goes over 1488 MHz, so that 1.80 GHz may only occur during short bursts if at all.

    1906 MB total memory was reported, and 10.22 GB storage. Screen resolution was 1920×1080. As with most Allwinner platform you’ll never get a recent kernel (Linux 3.10.65).

    The device achieved 40,467 points in Antutu 6.x

    Vellamo 3.x confirms Allwinner H6 is that much faster with the following scores: Browser: 2,546 points, Metal: 930 points, and Multicore (836 points).

    The Ice Storm Extreme score (3,951 points)

     

    Buy It Now

     

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