In this version of this saga TV-Box has as newness the inclusion of SoC Amlogic S905X3 with four cores CPU ARM Cortex-A55 that gives much more power than the previous Mecool K7 with S905X2. We have the Android 9 Pie operating system, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, enough for multimedia or use their DVB-T2/S2/C tuners. Let’s see in our review how this device behaves and how it defends itself against its rivals.
Unboxing Mecool K5
The new Android TV-Box Mecool K5 comes in a generic cardboard box with a image of the device in the top, inside we found the TV-Box, IR remote, HDMI cable 4K@60fps compatible, Manual and a DC 12V 1A adapter.
On top of the Mecool K5 we have a LED that lights up when connected. We have all the connections available on the sides and the rear area, the connectors of the DVB-T2+C and S2 intonizers stand out. This box includes a simple IR remote that allows to use some functions of the TV-Box directly and has multiple functions for the tuners.
- Remote Control: Basic IR Remote / NO microphone / We can choose other alternatives.
- Alternate control: Does not have its own control app / We can try Cetusplay in our smartphone.
On the motherboard we can see the Wifi aC Dual + BT 4.2 chip (RTL822CS) which has two internal wifi antennas. The cooling system is an aluminum heatsink attached to the processor, very basic. This TV-Box surprises us because it has NO upgrade button, usually is located behind the audio jack but you can see perfectly that they have not welded, theoretically you can haer bridge and use it.
SYSTEM AND PERFORMANCE
Environment and Android system
We connect to the current the Mecool K5 that starts automatically, we arrive at a simple launcher with a customizable row with our apps, it is valid to be used with the remote control included. In the installed apps we can highlight StbEmu, Miracast, Netflix, Airpin and KODI. The system Android 9 performance is quite good at desktop level or with heavy apps, it works stable and without hangs in the apps. The system comes with Google Play by default, but there are many apps that do not appear, the firmware needs a review in this regard..
- Launcher: As an alternative we have Pixel launcher to use mouse / Android UI rendering at 10800p.
- Multitasking and access: Multitasking NOT available / NO lower or upper Android bar.
- Languages and Google Play: All the international Android classics / Google Play for mobile installed.
We check the system data and the options it includes as far as root is concerned, we also observe what boot options this device allows us. If we find any firmware we will publish it on our website.
- On/Off Controls: Off and Sleep mode / Off from rear physical button available.
- System version and root: Android 9 (32 bit) / NO rooted / NO root menu / Build 20200825 / Model K5.
- Support: Mecool does NOT offer firmware on its website / NO firmware available yet.
Network, storage, RAM and ports
This new Android TV-Box Mecool K5 has eMMC memory for internal storage and DDR4 RAM, it has one USB 3.0 port and SD card reader. In the network section it has a wireless adapter Wifi ac Dual + BT 4.2 (RTL822CS) and Ethernet 10/100 port. As we can see in the tests the results give correct figures and the wifi arrives at a sufficient speed for use with streaming and web browsing.
- Storage: Total 16GB – Free 10GB / Expandable with a USB or SD external memory.
- RAM: Total 2GB – Free 1GB / DDR4.
- Network: Low speed with two internal wifi antennas / Range 42dBm, low. / Bluetooth OK.
- Read/Write Ports: USB 2.0 = 24/18 MB/s / USB 3.0 72/40 M/Bs
- We recommend reading our Tutorial SAMBA on Android networks if we are going to use files from our network PC.
Power and performance
In the performance section the TV-Box Mecool K5 offers us the SoC Amlogic S905X3 Quad Core with ARM Cortex-A55 processors and in the graphics section a Mali-G31 MP2 GPU which is in the mid-range. In performance we have good figures similar as any other conventional S905X3 box in the sector.
- CPU performance: Min 500 MHz / Working 1.2 GHz / Max 1.9 GHz
- Check our Amlogic S905X3 SoC Comparison against all SoCs in the sector for more details.
This SoC is manufactured in 12nm, it has a quite low consumption. The cooling system is basic, temperatures can rise considerably, the box is very closed and the heat produced is not properly evacuated. The processor manages the speeds correctly but it is not recommended to leave this box closed especially if we use the tuners in a prolonged period and in a basic use the operation is correct.
- Thermals: Min. 53ºC / Working 68 ºC / Max. 80ºC / Maintains performance up to 85% / Heat zone on the top / Noise 0db
- Consumption: Off 0.5W / Min 5.5W / Working 8W / Max. 9.5W
- Games and emulators: IS possible to play titles such as PUBG / Emulators up to Wii / YES Vulkan support.
- Controls: Compatible with Gamepads BT or cable.
VIDEO AND AUDIO TEST
Video playback test
We tested this TV-Box in its video playback aspect, the Mecool K5 has the classic SoC Amlogic S905X3 performance and an Advanced Video Engine Gen10 VPU supporting most modern video formats like h.265 and VP9 with native 4K HDR resolution support and even supports 8K@60fps, it does not have a video quality adjustment app. We can use players like KODI or PLEX without the slightest problem. At audio level we can play DD and DTS sound up to 5.1 through the HDMI port.
- Video Settings: NO image quality settings / RGB and SDR / HDMI-CEC available, see manual / Automatic refresh rate with root + AFRd.
- Audio Settings: HDMI 5.1 / SPDIF 5.1 / Stereo Jack.
- Color and HDR: 10Bit / RGB / HDR 10.
- Media sharing: GoogleCast No* / Miracast YES* / DLNA with BlubblePnP / Airplay YES* / *With AirPin.
- LibreELEC: NO compatible with LibreELEC or CoreELEC for now.
- Tutorials: Install add-on in KODI / Judder effect, how to fix it / Multi-channel audio guide / Correct dark video playback in Android.
- We recommend reading the Setup Guide of our TV to get the best picture quality.
Video and audio results
|h.264 / 1080i / 8bit||OK|
|h.264 / 1080p / 4K / 8bit||OK|
|h.264 / 1080p / 10bit (anime)||Frameskip (SW)|
|h.265 / 1080p / 8bit||OK|
|h.265 / 1080p / 10bit (anime)||OK|
|h.265 / 4K@24fps / 8bit||OK|
|h.265 / 4K@60fps / 10bit HDR||OK|
|VP9 P1 / 4K@24fps / 8bit||OK|
|VP9 P2 / 4K@60fps / 10bit HDR||OK|
|VP9 P2 / 8K@60fps / 10bit HDR||Small rameskip (Only with Kodi)|
|AV1 / 4K@24fps / 10bit||Frameskip (SW)|
|Max. Bitrate||100 Mbps = 12,5 MB/s.|
- The maximum bitrate depends on the port used to connect or the limitations of SAMBA Networks.
- SW = does not have hardware acceleration and may have have some frameskip in very heavy files.
|Dolby||5.1 / Plus = OK || Atmos / True HD = Core|
|DTS||5.1 / MA = OK || HR / X = Core|
- PCM – Stereo only doing downmix from DD or DTS
- Core – Only the core of the format is played back with what we passed to the Dolby or DTS base system / More info
We perform several tests on streaming services to check how the most popular services work. The Mecool K5 has the classic configuration without certificates which limits us in quality in several services.
- DRM: Google Widevine L3
- Audio certification: No
- Tutorials: Change the size of the captions and the mouse pointer on Android / Install Addons in KODI in a simple way
|Streaming service||Video / Audio|
|Youtube||4K (2160p) / Stereo|
|Google Play Movies||HD (720p) / Stereo|
|Netflix||SD+ (540p) / Stereo / Installing the apk with mouse / Netflix Guide|
|HBO||SD (480p) / Stereo / HBO Guide|
|Disney+||HD (720p) / Stereo / Disney+ Guide|
|Amazon Prime Video||SD (480p) / Stereo / Prime Video Guide|
|DAZN||HD (720p) / Stereo|
|IPTV||FullHD (1080i) / Stereo|
Start-up and management
The new TV-Box MECOOL K5 have installed DVB-T2, DVB-S2 and DVB-C tuners, to manage and view content we have the DTV app, a very simple to use app that guides us through the first setup process. When boot the first time the installation wizard shown us a satellite configuration tool to select our satellite, after that we can start the channel search automatically.
- Installation: Complete configuration of DVB-S2 satellites and zones for DVB-T2 / C.
- Channel manager: Channel management, favorites and recording schedule.
- EPG: control of the EPG grid, programming from the grid, access by key on the remote control.
- DVT Preferences: Management of PVR recordings, child control, network, A / V, EPG and favorites settings.
EPG and channel management
The have good speed changing between the different channels and we can access all the functions in a fluid way, the EPG list is updated normally. Within the list we can control our favorite channels to access quickly, we can not sort by channel number directly.
- Channel management: Live list, EPG, Favorites and manager to schedule recordings.
- Channel search: With the OK key we access the channel list, then with the yellow key we can search by name.
Image and audio quality
We check that at the reproduction level we have an excellent image quality and without jumps even in the 4K channels, the system is compatible with AC3 audio and we can listen to the content of those channels. From the app we can also record the playback content of the broadcast in its original quality up to 4K.
- Image and audio quality: Up to 4K in playback and recording / Supports AC3 sound.
As usual in these devices we always have an option to activate servers that give us access to several services, in this case it is necessary to enter a code in the DTV app menu to see the extra options.
- Within the Installation menu we must press six times 1 (111111) to display the Smart Data Manager menu.
CONCLUSIONS AND BUY LINKS
Once the Mecool K5 has been tested, we can see that this is a very continuous version of the TV-Box with Mecool tuners. This is a box that has enough power to move any app, powerful games like PUBG, emulators up to 16bit, IPTV apps or use KODI where we can play 4K video without problems. It is also compatible with some streaming apps that we have tested as Netflix in SD+ quality and other also popular. Undoubtedly its most attractive point is the DVB-T2/C/S2 tuners that it integrates to tune our channels, they behave well in this aspect.
In the connectivity section, the Mecool K5 has a Wifi aC Dual Band adapter with correct speeds, although if we want to connect it via a local network, we must bear in mind that its port is only Ethernet 10/100. As we have seen, this box heats up in intensive use due to its closed box, although this does not have to be a problem. As a system we have Android 9, which is generally very stable and moves very smoothly, although it has no navigation bars. A negative point is the absence of a physical reset button to reinstall a firmware in case of problems.
As a conclusion we can say that the Mecool K5 is a TV-Box with DVB-S2/T2/C tuners that works well in general. But if you buy this model control the thermals, maybe is not the best option for 24/365 use.
Where to buy