Today we present the review of the TV-Box H96 MAX H2, a model that integrated the extended Rockchip RK3328 SoC that is making a good space in the low cost. This colorful TV-Box works with Android 7.1 has 4 GB of DDR3 RAM and 34 GB of internal storage expandable by microSD card. This processor gives good results as a media player in next generation formats with HDR and 10 color bit encoded using for example h.265. Continue reading our review to see all the details, advantages and disadvantages that this colorful TV-Box hides.
|Model||H96 MAX H2|
|CPU||Rockchip RK3328 Quad Core Cortex-A53 1,5GHz|
|RAM||4 GB DDR3|
|Storage||34 GB eMMc|
|WiFi||WiFi a/b/g/n – 2.4/5Gz|
|Ports||3x USB 2.0|
1x USB 3.0
5V 2A (10W) DC adapter
We open the black box of the H96 MAX H2 and in the first plane we find the TV-Box, down in a compartment we have the HDMI extension cable, a 5V / 2A power adapter (10 W) and a small manual.
The TV-Box H96 MAX H2 is made of plastic and has a rather striking decoration, on the perimeter we have a series of ventilation slots. On the front we have a status LED and IR receiver.
In one of its sides we have two USB 2.0 ports, another USB 3.0 connector, the SD card reader and several ventilation slots.
In the rear area we have a USB 2.0 port, SPDIF jack, AV jack that hides the button to enter in flash mode, HDMI 2.0 port, Ethernet 10/100 and a round power connector.
In the lower area we only have four small rubber feet, a series of ventilation slots and a sticker with the basic data of this model, little more to highlight in this area.
CONNECTING THE DEVICE
Connection and desktops
When we start the H96 MAX H2 for the first time we have a configuration wizard where we can choose the language, adjust the screen size, connect to the wifi and launcher options although it does not let modify this section.
When starting the H96 MAX H2 we find the classic launcher in this type of TV-Box and we have a panel of boxes that we can not customize, in the part lower we have an area where it is possible to include the app that we want to have on the first screen. Interestingly, we can not change the launcher since the three that we have tried when executing makes an error. The Android system is natively rendered at 1080p, something that is appreciated to see the contents of Android well.
- Boot time: 19 seconds
The list of installed applications by default is short, Chrome browser, ES File Explorer to manage files, MediaCenter which is a system for mounting media, Google Play store, Modbro, Filmon, CloudTV apps and WiFiDisplay for Miracast.
The system after making several updates by OTA we see that it has Android shortcuts bar and top notification curtain, something useful to use for example with a mouse.
If we check the system settings we see that we can change the language to another without problems, we also have the usual list with all the languages of the Android system by default.
As we have been able to check in general lines the performance of the H96 MAX H2 is correct thanks to the Rockchip RK3328 SoC and its 4 GB of RAM, wthis this amount of memory we can load a good number of applications in multitasking without being closed, in the bar shortcuts of Android we have an icon to activate this function. In general a stable and relatively fast system that has not given us many problems running the most common apps, although the internal storage and slows the load of apps a little bit.
By default installed on the H96 MAX H2 we have the Android 7.1.2 system and as usual in this environment we have a side menu where the settings are displayed while we have the desktop in the background.
If you use the menu “More settings” we also have the classic settings of Android that allow us to further refine our configuration, within this section the different categories of options are distributed in the conventional way.
In the model H96 MAX H2 we have Android 7.1.2 as operating system, an interesting point since we are to the last in compatibility. The kernel is 3.10.104 and the compilation is dated 01-05-2018, with this version of firmware we have done the review.
The model H96 MAX H2 like all of this kind of TV-Boxes does not have a known support and the firmware appear without warning through the network thanks to stores or users, for our part we will publish what we see available, don’t expect much support.
Storage and RAM
The H96 MAX H2 includes 32GB of eMMc storage memory, from this storage memory we have actually available 27 GB, a figure enough to install a good number of apps. As a device with AMLogic SoC this has a single partition in the storage memory which facilitates the management of our files.
As we have check we also have 4 GB of DDR3 RAM and 1.1 GB that are free after a long navigation through the system, so we can load quite a lot of content in this amount of RAM.
We check the memory and internal storage testing the hardware that is integrated in this device, we used the SD bench app as usual. The results of the H96 MAX H2 give us very low figures something we can feel on the long installation time for the apps.
Consumption and temperatures
The power consumption performance on the H96 MAX H2 with the RK3328 SoC shows results within the range of other devices, even putting the SoC to the brim with games with 3D graphics only 6,2 W peak are reached in consumption, the temperatures are low in general.
Google Play and Amazon App Store
If we search for apps on the Google play we had no problem finding the most common apps in our tests except we only had some inconvenience with specific apps, we can always download the APK’s we are interested in and install them manually. With the Amazon App Store equal result, no problem noticeable with this new TV-Box.
In the H96 MAX H2 TV-Box we have root access in the firmware so we can have full access to the file system of this device.
Power Off / Standby / Power On
By default in the H96 MAX H2, by pressing the power button on the remote control the TV-Box asks us how we want to turn it off, in the off mode we are left with a minimum consumption of 0.1 W, if we press restart the system will reboot.
Video and audio connections.
Installed on the H96 MAX H2 we have the new Rockchip RK3328 SoC with video output by HDMI 2.0b which gives us the option to see content with a maximum resolution of 4K@60MHz with 10 bit of color, in theory this system is compatible with HDR but we have not seen any option in the settings. In this system we do not have automatic refresh rate option, something very interesting since it avoids us to reproduce content with the annoying Judder effect.
In the settings at Android development level we have support to change the RGB mode something that is necessary in some old TV models that have incompatibility with the current color modes.
Within the advanced settings of HDMI we have quality controls for Brightness, Contrast, Saturation and Tone, something that will help us fine-tune the image quality with respect to our TV.
DLNA and Miracast
By default in the H96 MAX H2 firmware we can share the screen using the WifiDisplay app and we have NO problem using a Smartphone LG G3, as we know this type of connections depends on many factors. With this system we can access the multimedia content that we have in our device easily using an app like BubbleUPnP from an Android mobile or from a PC with Windows’ file explorer.
We ran several videoconferencing tests with the H96 MAX H2, with Skype we have been able to video conference without any notable problems using a simple webcam Logitech C170, a model very compatible with Android.
Wi-Fi and Ethernet
By default in the H96 MAX H2 we have a a/b/g/n 2.4/5Ghz Wireless Wi-Fi Adapter and Gigabit Ethernet chip, with which we have connected with an ASUS RT-AC1200G+ Router, a mid range device. We transferred files over a SAMBA network connected through 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi and achieved a speed of about 31 mbps (only detects the 40 MHz band), on the 5 GHz network we can reach 50 Mbps. This model has a 10/100 Ethernet connector with which we used a Category 6 network cable to guarantee the speed, using this connection we reach about 56 mbps which is a common speed with this kind of adapter.
We also ran tests on the network adapters for streaming using the iPerf measurement tool with which we have the maximum connection speed in each type of network. With this figure we have how far we can reach using the available connections, the final performance will depend on our internet provider, the contracted speed, the distance of our Wi-Fi network and other factors. The results are correct for this hardware but as you can see other solutions are more powerful.
During the Wi-Fi coverage tests with the device located at a distance of about 16 ft as always and with a wall in between we verified that we have connection without cuts, the signal reaches a level of about 48 dBm a figure that indicates we have a basic range.
In the WiFi adapter of the H96 MAX H2 we have integrated Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity with which we have no major problems in detecting other devices.
Included with the H96 MAX H2 TV-Box we have a default IR remote control powered by two AAA batteries, giving us access to all the functions of the TV Box. The keys are correctly mapped for use with KODI and other similar apps.
Within the screen settings we have the option to activate the HDMI CEC controls but we do not have specific settings to configure it in a basic way.
Remote control app
To control the H96 MAX H2 we can use the alternative CetusPlay to control it from our mobile or tablet, we only need to install the server in our TV-Box and the client app in or desired device.
Gamepad and games
To control games on the H96 MAX H2 we try to connect a Bluetooth Gamepad and it works without problems, we can use this control in games with this type of support, in general we will not have problems with conventional PC control. As for power the Mali-450MP2 GPU that is incorporated in this Rockchip RK3328 SoC runs any Android game without problems at medium level.
At the power level, the H96 MAX H2 defends itself correctly with its Rockchip RK3328 SoC, a model with Quad core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 processors and a Mali-450MP2 GPU. A low-end SoC that theoretically reaches up to 1.51 GHz although it is really limited in real use an usually is limited to 1.3GHz. This SoC incorporates hardware decoding support for the H.265 video codec, VP9, 10-bit color and even HDR, it is capable of playback video at 4K@60fps thanks to the HDMI 2.0a video output connector. This processor can be used without problems to move most Android apps, the 4 GB of RAM does not contribute much at the level of performance.
With this famous test we get an idea of the general performance of the device and we can compare it with others. Since this tests changes a lot of scale we can not use it in our graphics.
A new benchmark in SoC testing that offers fairly reliable numbers of CPU’s working in a single core or multiple cores ate the same time, it also has a section of GPU computing that gives us an overall result of the processing capacity.
The graphical performance test par excellence with a fairly solid continuity in the results which helps us to compare the performance of GPU’s historically.
This benchmark tests the device in various scenarios of image processing, web browsing and other everyday uses of our device, the results are useful to check if you defend well in these areas.
VIDEO AND AUDIO TEST
Video format test
We passed our usual video playback tests on the H96 MAX H2, thanks to the Rockchip RK3328 SoC we have quite good results in this regard. We can reproduce the most common files without problems at native resolution in a fluid way. We can watch videos at 1080P resolutions or also in 4K format encoded with the h.265 codec, this SoC also supports HDR modes and 10 bit color files, an option that we can not control from the system menus but it seems to work correctly in the native media player. The system performs well both using KODI and the native media player in its native resolution at 1080p or 4K, as we can see KODI by default comes full of add-ons of dubious legality.
|H.264 format||Default player||KODI|
|BBB – H.264 8bit – 1080p@25fps – 7 Mbps||Correct||Correct|
|Birds – H.264 8bit – 1080p@24fps – 40 Mbps||Correct||Correct|
|Samsung Oceanic Life – H.264 8bit– 1080p@30fps – 40 Mbps||Correct||Correct|
|Anime – H.264 10bit – 1080p@24fps – 10 Mbps||Artifacts||Frame skip|
|Skyfall – H.264 8 bit – 4K@24fps – 10 Mbps||Correct||Correct|
|Timelapse – H.264 8bit – 4K@24fps – 43 Mbps||Correct||Correct|
|Tears of steel – HVEC 8bit – 1080p@24fps – 17 Mbps||Correct||Correct|
|Beauty – HVEC 8bit – 4K@120fps – 12 Mbps||Correct||Correct|
|Anime – HVEC 10bit – 1080p@24fps – 21 Mbps||Correct||Correct|
|Samsung UHD Dubai – HVEC 10bit – 4K@24fps – 51 Mbps||Correct||Correct|
|Life of Pi HDR – HVEC – 4K@24fps – 45 Mbps||Correct||Correct|
|TravelXP HDR HLG – HVEC – 4K@24fps – 20 Mbps||Correct||Correct|
|Planet Earth II – HDR HLG – HVEC 10L5 – 4K@25fps – 31 Mbps||Correct||Correct|
- The MKV, Blu-ray ISO and BDRemux formats are only containers, inside we can have different codecs, resolutions, audio channels, chapters or subtitles. To play the Blu-ray format menus we need KODI or a compatible program.
Audio format test
In the H96 MAX H2 we have the Rockchip RK3328 SoC Quad core that as we know it is NOT licensed for the use of audio pass through for DD and DTS. For the sound tests we use our Yamaha RXV-577 AV receiver and we naturally check that in the device we have audio pass through for DTS 5.1 and DD 7.1.
|Dolby Digital 5.1||Correct||Correct||Correct|
|Dolby Digital Plus 7.1||Correct||Correct||Core|
|Dolby True HD 7.1||Correct||Core||Core|
|Dolby Atmos 7.1||Correct||Core *||Core|
|DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1||Correct||Core||Core|
|DTS-HD High Resolution 7.1||Correct||Core||Core|
|DTS-X 7.1||Correct||Core *||Core|
- PCM – Stereo downmix from DD or DTS
- Core – Only the core of the format Dolby / DTS is played
- * Our AV receiver does not support these native formats but we check that it does downmix fine
WEB NAVIGATION AND STREAMING
The TV-Box H96 MAX H2 can navigate in a quite good way opening a good number of tabs using Chrome, something normal since it includes 4 GB DDR3 RAM and manages them quite well. The contents that are reproduced in HTML5 do not have major problems with the included default browser which has a good general compatibility, we can install the browser that we like.
At the level of DRM certificates needed for some payment Streaming apps as we see we do not have any of them, as a novelty we see that we have CENC ClearKey.
Youtube and streaming apps
We installed some of the most common Streaming apps to watch TV online that we downloaded from the Play Store, we don’t have problems. This TV-Box can play Youtube up to 1080p without any problems with the version installed from Google Play.
Streaming services with subscription
We do our battery test as usual on the most popular streaming services to verified if can work correctly, the power of this device is more than enough to see any type of content on this services, although as we know we are limited on the streaming quality for the restrictions of each company.
- NOTE: We remind that these TV-Box do not have official support for these streaming apps, the compatibility with these services can vary depends of any new limitations imposed for this companies. The tests are perform with the indicated firmware and the version of the streaming app at the date of the review.
|Amazon Prime Video||SD (480p)||Stereo||Correct|
|HBO nordic||HD (720p)||Stereo||Correct (Since HBO v3)|
- For more details consult our Guide for Netflix on Android, inside you can found a solution for Error 0013 and installation method on rooted devices or chinese TV-Boxes.
After performing the detailed analysis of the H96 MAX H2 we can say that we are facing a TV-Box quite correct but with some gaps that make you lose points. As always happens with this kind of devices do not have any official support and we will have to get used to survive with some leaked firmware, we will not have anyone to complain to if something fails. On the other hand we have a decent hardware set that stands out for its 4 GB of RAM that help us load many apps or tabs, but this amount of memory does not help a general improvement in performance.
On the other hand the H96 MAX H2 has a generous 32 GB of storage but as we see in the test results this memory is quite slow and it shows in the performance when reading or writing in it. On the other hand the network performance is in the line of the adapters that it assembles but they are not very high figures, the Ethernet adapter is limited to 10/100. In general the Rockchip RK3328 SoC behaves correctly and we can run KODI or any Android app without problems but not at the maximum speed. In short, a TV-Box that not highlights but that perfectly serves as a 4K multimedia player of local files or streaming content.
- You can compare this device with our Recommended Android TV models