REVIEW: Mecool KII PRO a Android TV-Box with DVB-T2, S2 and C tuners

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With the support of the Gearbest.com store today we present the review of the new TV-Box Mecool KII Pro that has the Amlogic S905D Quad core SoC focused on the sector of the models with DVB-T2 / S2 / C tuners. A device that has Android 7.1, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage eMMC, Wifi ac, Blueooth 4.1 and Ethernet 10/100. This model supports decoding of all types of H.265 and VP9 files with HDR support and supports 4K@60fps video output. Let’s see how this model that competes with its older brothers KI Pro and KIII Pro behaves, which we have also analyzed in detail.

  • Buy the Mecool KII PRO in the store Gearbest.com for only $83.99 with free shipping

SPECIFICATIONS

ModelMecool KII PRO
CPUAmlogic S905D Quad Core Cortex-A53 1,5GHz
GPUMali-450MP
OSAndroid 7.1.1 (32bit)
RAM2 GB DDR3
Storage16 GB eMMc
WiFiWiFi ac 2,4/5GHz
Bluetooth4.1
Ports4x USB 2.0
microSD reader
HDMI 2.0b
AV jack
SPDIF
Ethernet 10/100
DVB-T2 / C
DVB-S2
 OthersRecovery button
 ContentIR Remote
HDMI cable
12V 1A (12W) DC adapter
Manual
Measures: 6.4 x 5.71 x 3.37 inches
Weight: 5,3 oz

CONTENT DESCRIPTION

Package content

The TV-Box Mecool KII Pro comes in a compact cardboard box with the logo of the model on top. Inside the box we find the TV-Box in a higher section, in a lower area we have the accessories, we have a serial IR control, HDMI cable, manual in English and a 12V 1A (12W) adapter.

Product Details

The box of the model Mecool KII Pro is made of plastic and follows the line of the devices of this brand, at the top we have a status LED that integrated the power button and an IR receiver hidden behind the front black plastic.

On one side we have a microSD card reader with self-extracting mechanism and four USB 2.0 ports, the transparent power button continues on this side.

On the back we find the other ports, antenna connectors DVB-T2 and DVT-S2 / C, AV jack, 10/100 Ethernet port, HDMI 2.0 connector, optical audio output and 12V power connector.

In the lower part of the Mecool KII Pro we have four rubber feet, the sticker that identifies the model, two holes that allow us to mount the TV-Box on a VESA stand for example and a hole for the reset button.

CONNECTING THE DEVICE

Connection and desktops

Connecting to the current the Mecool KII Pro the device turns on automatically. After booting we found a very basic launcher where we can only add own shortcuts in the central area, is possible to change the launcher for which we want without problems. The resolution of the system is only 720p and it is something that can be seen in the image quality of the Android environment and streaming apps. As we have seen, we DO NOT have a navigation bar and notification bar, that is annoying if we want to use a mouse to manage the system, for example.

  • Boot time: 19 seconds

In the installed applications by default are not many, we have AirPin Pro and Miracast that allows us to share the screen of our mobile, an appInstaller, Chrome, File browser, a Netflix app, TV Center (Kodi), app to update, Youtube for tablets and DTV to see the content through the tuners.

Within the language settings we have all the classic Android languages, we can change to another language without problems.

User Experience

The user experience with the Mecool KII Pro is ok and allows us to do the basic functions correctly, the Amlogic S905D processor moves the system well without problems. Keep in mind that we are driving an Android resolution of only 720p. In this model we have 2 GB of RAM that is the minimum to move apps correctly today. Having no taskbar or direct access to the command for the multi-task function is quite uncomfortable to use this function because it is not very accessible, luckily we can at least change the launcher for something more functional.

Android Settings

Installed in the Mecool KII PRO we have two different settings screens, the fist ones that are shown by default are the lateral classics of Android 7.1 that offer us access to a large part of the configuration of the TV-Box.

Entering in the More Settings option we get to the Classic Settings of Android we have some options more than in the previous settings but they are quite limited and it seems that some menus have been cut that would have allowed us to fine-tune the system.

Android System

As operating system in the Mecool KII PRO we have Android 7.1.1, a fairly modern system today. The kernel as we see is specifically version 3.14.29 and the compilation has date of 11-27-2017. With this version we have made the review that you can read in the following pages.

Brand Support

We booted the TV-Box and surprisingly we have an OTA update, a small update for fix some issues on the system. These models have updates that are found on the network but do not have a powerful brand behind, on the other hand we have a Custom firmware with Android TV support.

Storage and RAM

Installed by default the Mecool KII PRO includes 16 GB of eMMc storage memory, from this storage memory we have actually available about 10 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.

On this hardware we also have 2 GB of DDR3 RAM and 1.3 GB that are free after a long navigation through the system, so it allows us to correctly open several tabs in a browser.

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 Mecool KII PRO are very good compared with other products.

Consumption and temperatures

In terms of power consumption, the Mecool KII PRO with the S905D SoC gives us somewhat high results as is logical in a model with integrated tuners, at maximum performance the SoC reaches the 10 W peak consumption. The temperature of the box raises a little but we have not noticed loss of performance in use, the KIII Pro model is quite hotter.

Google Play and Amazon App Store

We try to find something in the Google Play store installed by default and we find the Android TV store, this is an important error because we are going to have problems with many apps and it will only give us problems, we have to install most of the apps downloading the APKs and installing them by hand. With the Amazon App Store we have better results since it is not so limited.

Root

The firmware installed in the Mecool KII PRO is rooted by default, something that despite everything will not affect us in services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video as we will see in our analysis in the corresponding section.

Power Off / Standby / Power On

The Mecool KII PRO it offers us a menu with which we can completely turn off the device, if we want to change this behavior in the settings of the TV-Box we have a menu with two options in this area.

TEST BENCH

Video and audio connections.

Integrated in the Mecool KII Pro we have the new Amlogic S905D SoC, a chip that has video output support for HDMI 2.0a and supports maximum resolution of 4K@60fps with HDR information and 10 bit color. We also do not have image quality controls like brightness, contrast or gamma. In this system there is no automatic refresh option, something that would be interesting since it avoids us to play content with the annoying Judder effect.

Inside the advanced settings of HDMI we find control to choose the format and depth of color in detail, something that we will do well to adjust with respect to our TV, for example we can put RGB mode for old screens.

DLNA and Miracast

In this system Mecool KII PRO we can share the screen using the Miracast app and we have NO problem using a Smartphone LG G5, as we know this type of connections depends on many factors.

We can use the app AirPIN PRO we can access the multimedia content that we have in our device easily using an app like BubbleUPnP from an Android smartphone or from a PC with Windows’ file explorer, this same app allows us to use it to make Airplay.

Webcam

We test several videoconferencing apps with the Mecool KII PRO, 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.

NETWORK CONNECTIONS

Wi-Fi and Ethernet

With the Mecool KII PRO we have a ac Wireless Wi-Fi Adapter and 10/100 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 2.4 Ghz Wi-Fi and achieved a speed of about 21 mbps, with the 5 GHz Wifi band we have 32 mbps. This model has a Gigabit 10/100 connector with which we used a Category 6 network cable to guarantee the max speed, using this connection we reach about 52 mbps which is a correct transfer speed.

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 ok for this kind of hardware, if is possible we recommend to use the Ethernet port to use streaming services for 4K with HDR.

As we seen 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 43 dBm a figure that indicates we good range.

Bluetooth

The Mecool KII PRO has Bluetooth 4.1 adapter with which we had no problems when connecting any peripheral.

CONTROL SYSTEMS
Remote control

By default with the TV-Box Mecool KII Pro we have a fairly conventional IR remote control, it is an important controller since it has direct access to DTV sections such as the EPG, Info, Subtitles, Audio and PVR in addition to the classic buttons of colors for TV functions. We have shortcuts for Android applications and controls for multimedia playback.

Inside the settings menus we also have the possibility to activate HDMI CEC to be able to use the control of our TV with the TV-Box itself, a system that gives varied results depending on our TV models.

Remote control app

If you want to remote control the Mecool KII PRO we can use the CetusPlay app 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

If you want to control the Android games on the Mecool KII PRO we can connect a Xbox 360 Gamepad and the device recognizes it without problems, it also works correctly the Xiaomi Bluetooth Gamepad. We can use them in games with this type of support, in general we will not have problems with conventional PC controls. As for power the Mali-450MP GPU that is incorporated in this Amlogic S905D SoC runs any Android game without problems at medium or low level without any great issue.

PERFORMANCE TEST

SOC

Inside the Mecool KII PRO we have the new Amlogic S905D SoC that includes four processors ARM Cortex-A53 of 64bits and the classic Mali-450mp GPU. In general this is a SoC almost identical to the S905x that works between 100 Mhz and 1.42 GHz depending on the performance needs of the system. This SoC incorporates hardware decoding support for the H.265 video codec, 10-bit H.265 with HDR and Dolby Vision support, it is capable of taking video signal at 4K@60fps. In the performance tests, as we can see, we have figures somewhat superior to the S905X model, but these figures depend on several factors and do not imply a superior performance that makes a substantial difference.

Benchmarks

Antutu

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.

Geekbench 4

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.

3Dmark

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.

PCMark

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 pass some playback tests in the Mecool KII PRO, in this TV-Box we have the Amlogic S905D SoC that gives us positive results in general. As we have seen it is possible to reproduce the most common files without major problems in native resolution in a fluid way. We can watch videos at 4K@60fps resolutions encoded with the h.265 codec, this SoC also supports Dolby vision, HDR and 10 bit color files. An option seems to work in the native player and in KODI without problems. By default we have installed many streaming plugins, if we are not interested we can delete this installed Kodi and make the installation that interests us, something we recommend.

Test results

H.264 formatDefault playerKODI
BBB – H.264 8bit – 1080p@25fps – 7 MbpsCorrectCorrect
Birds – H.264 8bit – 1080p@24fps – 40 MbpsCorrectCorrect
Samsung Oceanic Life – H.264  8bit– 1080p@30fps – 40 MbpsCorrectCorrect
Anime – H.264 10bit – 1080p@24fps – 10 MbpsArtifactsFrozen
Skyfall – H.264  8 bit – 4K@24fps – 10 MbpsCorrectCorrect
Timelapse – H.264 8bit – 4K@24fps – 43 MbpsCorrectCorrect
H.265 format
Tears of steel – HVEC 8bit – 1080p@24fps – 17 MbpsCorrectCorrect
Beauty – HVEC 8bit – 4K@120fps – 12 MbpsCorrectCorrect
Anime – HVEC 10bit – 1080p@24fps – 21 MbpsCorrectCorrect
Samsung UHD Dubai – HVEC 10bit – 4K@24fps – 51 MbpsCorrectFrameskip
HDR format
Life of Pi HDR –  HVEC – 4K@24fps – 45 MbpsCorrectCorrect
TravelXP HDR HLG – HVEC – 4K@24fps – 20 MbpsCorrectCorrect
Planet Earth II – HDR HLG – HVEC 10L5 – 4K@25fps – 31 MbpsCorrectCorrect
  • 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 Mecool KII PRO we have the Amlogic S905D 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 check that audio pass through does not work on the device, we can only get stereo sound.

Test results

Formato audioPCM*HDMIOptical
Dolby Digital 5.1CorrectCorrectCorrect
Dolby Digital Plus 7.1CorrectCorrectCore
Dolby True HD 7.1CorrectCutsCuts
Dolby Atmos 7.1CorrectPCM *PCM
DTS 5.1CorrectCorrectCorrect
DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1CorrectCoreCore
DTS-HD High Resolution 7.1CorrectCutsCuts
DTS-X 7.1CorrectCore *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

Navigation

Using the TV Box Mecool KII PRO we can navigate in a quite good way opening a good number of tabs, something normal since it includes 2GB of RAM DDR3 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.

DRM

As for the DRM certificates required for some streaming apps as we check we only have Google Widevine L1 installed by default, something usual in this type of models and that allows us to see Netflix in HD quality, as a novelty we see that we have CENC ClearKey.

Youtube and streaming apps

In our test 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 2160p 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.
Streaming serviceVideoAudioPerformance
NetflixFullHD (1080p)*StereoCorrect
Amazon Prime VideoSD (480p)StereoCorrect
HBO nordicHD (720p)StereoCorrect
  • You can consult our guides where we explain in detail all the most known streaming services, what are their limitations in each platform and how to configure them to see content in HD or 4K quality if possible.
  • Guide for Netflix on Android, inside you can found a solution for Error 0013 and installation method on rooted devices
  • Guide for Amazon Prime video on Android

INTEGRATED TUNERS

Integrated in the Mecool KII Pro we have three tuners (DVB-T T2, DVB-S/S2 and DVB-C) and support up to 4K quality. The tuners share the DTV app and therefore we will have a similar use environment. At the first boot we are offered to scan channels of any of these two tuners. This model with Amlogic S905D SoC limit us in the use of tuners since we can only see channels in one tuner at a time.

This app we continue with the design that we saw in previous, when starting it we have the same environment for the two tuners something that is appreciated because before separately it was quite uncomfortable.

  • Installation, with the settings for tunners
  • Channel Manager, to manage the channels of the two tuners at the same time
  • EPG, to watch the programming or program recordings of the tuners
  • DTV preference, to change general tuner settings, recordings and others

General adjustments

Within “DTV Preference” we have general settings for TDT, SAT or Cable. We have Parental controls, PVR recording settings, list of recordings and listing of recordings.

Within the DVB-T/T2 settings we have different language settings for the audio of the broadcast, subtitles or the aspect ratio in the broadcast, by default we have the Auto start mode if we want to start by default the DTV program in this tuner.

In the DVB-S/S2 settings we can define the Area of our zone, language for the broadcast audio, LCN function, subtitle language or screen aspect ratio and other options.

In the list of default countries as we see we have Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan and others. Although other countries are not listed this tuner is compatible with areas that support DVB-S/S2 protocol.

DVB-T/T2 tuning

To tune the terrestrial TV channels we enter “Installation” where we can perform an automatic search which has no more secret, the same as in any TV. There is the option to restore them from a previous backup or create a copy of the current ones, something interesting to do when updating the equipment, as this way we will not lose, for example, the order of the channels.

DVB-S/S2 tuning

To tune the satellite channels first we have to select the satellite suitable for our area and then execute the search. In this section we also have options to save or restore the user data of a previous installation.

If we check the list of preconfigured satellites we have a wide list where we can choose the ones that most interest us depending on our location and address of our satellite dish. The automatic search of channels does not give major problems in a few minutes we have a few hundred channels on screen.

If we enter a specific satellite we can adjust more in detail the one we have selected but in theory by default it should work without problems if we have well positioned the antenna.

If in the Installation menu we press 111111 on the remote control we will have access to a hidden menu from where you can configure external servers, we have verified that it works perfectly.

DVB-C tuning

Within the DVB-C tuner settings we have automatic search mode and network settings for this service.

Channel management

We can organize our favorite channels to make a list of favorites or edit channels, we can not sort them in a classical way one by one, it is best to opt for favorites. Given the huge amount of channels that we are going to have between the satellite tuner and the television, the favorites method I think is the best option.

From the option to edit channels we can add them to favorites, block them, jump them or change their name. With blocking we can prevent adult channels from being available, for example.

EPG and recordings

From the EPG feature we can record a program that interests us at the time we select, although the device must always be on and with the DTV program activated to start recording.

We can find the recording options in the PVR settings menu, there we can select the destination of the recording file (.ts) and configure the Timeshift option.

We can also start a recording either by pressing the PVR button on the remote or from the EPG programming grid where it is possible to select the program to be recorded, within this menu we have several extra options to configure.

Within the options of recording options we have Record Type that allows us to select between Current service that will record the tuner that we are watching, if we select Whole TS theoretically it has to record the tuner that we are not seeing but as we have verified it DOES NOT WORK, it is something that they have to fix via firmware, a pity since it is one of the clear claims of this new product.

The quality of the recording system supports up to 4K with resolution 3840×2160 pixels Main 10 Level 5.2, we need to connect an external memory to do it, inside a DTVRecordFiles folder will be created the recording in TS format, the ratio is 10Mb per minute.

Playback

We test on our TV the image quality of the system in the satellite broadcast is very good if the channel supports 4K, we do not notice cuts or failures in the reception, within each channel we have different audio options and subtitles as usual.

We perform image quality tests in terrestrial television broadcast and in channels with HD quality the image is very good, the change of channels is fast either by the EPG or by the buttons of direct change in the remote control.

In each channel we can access the audio menu where we have been able to select audio in AC3 format that plays correctly directly in stereo quality.

CONCLUSIONS

Mecool KII Pro

Mecool KII Pro
6.9

DESIGN AND CONNECTIVITY

7.0 /10

HARDWARE

8.0 /10

SOFTWARE

6.5 /10

SUPPORT

5.5 /10

PRICE

7.5 /10

Pros

  • Android 7.1
  • DVB-T2/S2/C tuners
  • Fast internal storage
  • Stable
  • Netflix HD and Adnroid TV custom firmware

Cons

  • 10/100 Ethernet
  • Limited version for Google Play

Opinion

After performing the review of the Mecool KII Pro we can say that we have a TV-Box with tuners that works correctly, a model in general identical to the previous KI Pro but this time it has a 10/100 Ethernet adapter instead of Gigabit . At the software level we have few changes since the DTV app is basically identical but we find Google Play on his Android TV version installed, an error that only causes problems and is better the classic Google Play version, we hope a fix in a update.

At the hardware level, the Mecool KII Pro does not surprise us in excess, although its general stability and the internal memory that it mounts is quite good, something that makes the system move smoothly. For general use as TV-Box all in one is a good alternative because we have Google Widevine L1 certificate that allows us to see Netflix HD by default and is compatible with several custom firmware even with Android TV. In general an interesting TV-Box with integrated tuners, if we find it at good price, we must take into account that we have alternatives such as the KI Pro with Ethernet Gigabit or KIII Pro with more powerful SoC and 3GB of RAM, the decision depends on the price.

Where to buy

  • Buy the Mecool KII PRO in the store Gearbest.com for only $83.99 with free shipping

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