REVIEW: Mecool KT1 with tuner, Android TV and S905X4 SoC


Mecool KT1 is a new TV-Box that we present today its analysis or review. A TV-Box with Android that this time has two versions depending on the tuning we choose.

In this new Android TV-Box we have as a novelty the inclusion of the SoC Amlogic S905X4-B with quad-core CPU ARM Cortex-A55 which is similar to the previous Mecool KT1 with S905X4-B but with support for AV1 codec. The version we are going to analyze has DVB-T2+C tuner but there is another version with DVB-S2 for satellite. We have this time with Android TV 10 OS with Google Certification and 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage, enough for multimedia. Let’s see in our review how this device behaves and how it fares against its rivals.

  • Mecool KT1 T2+C is available at Aliexpress or Geekbuying for about $74.99 (64€) with shipping (NNKT1 coupon for Europe).
  • Mecool KT1 S2 is available on Aliexpress for about $97 (81€) with shipping included.

PRODUCT DETAILS

Mecool KT1
SoC: Amlogic S905X4-B Quad Core Cortex-A55 @ 1.5GHz (64bit) / GPU Mali-G31 MP2 / 12nm
System: Android TV 10 (32bit)
Memory and network: 2GB RAM DDR3 + 16GB eMMC / Wifi ac Dual + BT 4.2 / Ethernet 10/100 / DVB-T2+C or DVB-S2
Ports: HDMI 2.1 4K@75fps / AV Jack / 1x USB 2.0 / 1x USB 3.0 / MicroSD / Power Button
Extras: IR Remote Control / HDMI Cable / Manual / DC 12V 1A Adapter
Materials and dimensions: Plastic / LEDs state / 115 x 110 x 25 mm / 130 gr.

Unboxing

The new Android TV-Box Mecool KT1 comes in a generic cardboard box with a image of the device in the top, inside we found the TV-Box, BT remote, HDMI cable 4K@60fps compatible, Manual and a DC 5V 2A adapter.

Description

On the front of the Mecool KT1 we have several LEDs that light up when connected. We have all available connections on the sides and rear area, highlighting the DVB-T2+C tuner connector. This box includes a Bluetooth remote control that allows you to use some functions of the TV-Box directly and has multiple functions for tuners, it also has a microphone to give orders to Google Assistant.

When we open it on the motherboard we can see the Wifi aC Dual + BT 4.2 chip that has two internal wifi antennas. The cooling system is an aluminum heatsink glued to the processor. On the audio jack we find the update button to reinstall firmware from PC if necessary.

  • Remote Control: BT remote with mic / Compatible with keyboard and mouse / App control for Android TV.

SYSTEM AND PERFORMANCE

Environment and Android system

We plug the Mecool KT1 to the power supply and it boots automatically, we get to the configuration wizard where we can set the Wi-Fi connection, define which apps will be installed by default and select the type of content we want to see on the main screen. Once configured we get to the new Android TV launcher based on rows with tabs of the contents or shortcuts to the installed apps. By default the system has an app for Live TV with which we will configure the tuner installed. The overall performance is very good and we can move smoothly and quickly between options.

  • Launcher: We can use another launcher installed from Google Play / Android UI rendering at 10800p.
  • Multitasking and access: Multitasking NOT available / Notifications on top icon.
  • Languages and Google Play: All the international Android classics / Adroid TV store installed.

System

We check the system data and the options included in terms of root, we also observe that power systems allows us this device. If we find any firmware we will publish it on our website, usually only updated by OTA.

  • Power on/off: Power off and sleep mode / Additional options in settings.
  • Version and root: Android TV 10 (32 bit) / NO Root / NO Root selector / Build 20210129 / Model KT1.
  • Support: Mecool does NOT offer firmware on their website, only by OTA / Firmware NOT available yet.

Network, storage, RAM and ports

The Mecool KT1 has a RAM memory of 2 GB DDR3 RAM and for its internal storage we have options with 16 GB eMMC. It has a USB 3.0 port, another USB 2.0 and microSD card reader. In the network section it has a Wifi ac Dual + BT 4.2 wireless adapter and Ethernet 10/100 port. As we can see in the tests the results give good figures and the wifi reaches a sufficient speed for use with 4K streaming and web browsing.

  • Network performance: correct speed with two internal Wifi antennas / Range 48 dBm, good / Bluetooth OK.

Power and performance

In terms of raw performance the TV-Box Mecool KT1 has a Quad Core SoC Amlogic S905X4-B with ARM Cortex-A55 processors and in the graphics section a Mali-G31 MP2 GPU which is in the mid-range, this version have license for Dolby sound. In performance we have good figures similar to any other conventional S905X4 box.

This SoC is manufactured in 12nm, has a fairly low power consumption. The cooling system is basic but works quite well and keeps temperatures at bay. The processor manages the speeds correctly but it is not recommended to leave this box locked especially if we use the tuners in a prolonged period but with a basic use the performance is correct.

  • Thermals: Min. 53ºC / Working 61ºC / Max. 72ºC / Maintains performance up to 100% / 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 the video playback section and the Mecool KT1 is compatible with most modern video formats such as h.265, VP9 and AV1 with native 4K@120fps HDR resolution support. It even supports 8K@60fps, it doesn’t have a video quality settings and don’t have auto refresh rate switching. In the base firmware of this SoC S905X4 we do not find the settings for Dolby Vision, it is possible that it lowers the quality of this system to normal HDR10.

We can use players like KODI or PLEX without the slightest problem by installing them directly from the Android TV store. As for audio we can play DD sound up to 7.1 and DTS up to 5.1 through its HDMI port. The Chromecast system works but only with compatible apps like Youtube, with services like Netflix we can not use it.

Video and audio results

FormatsResult
h.264 / 1080i / 8bitOK
h.264 / 1080p / 4K / 8bitOK
h.264 / 1080p / 10bit (anime)Frameskip (SW)
h.265 / 1080p / 8bitOK
h.265 / 1080p / 10bit (anime)OK
h.265 / 4K@24fps / 8bitOK
h.265 / 4K@60fps / 10bit HDROK
VP9 P1 / 4K@24fps / 8bitOK
VP9 P2 / 4K@60fps / 10bit HDROK
VP9 P2 / 8K@60fps / 10bit HDRSmall rameskip (Only with Kodi)
AV1 / 4K@24fps / 10bitFrameskip (SW)
Max. Bitrate100 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.
Audio FormatsResult
Dolby5.1 / Plus = OK || Atmos / True HD = Core
DTS5.1 / 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

Streaming services

We conducted tests on streaming services to check how the most popular services work. The Mecool KT1 offers some compatibility with all current streaming services. As we have found Netflix is only compatible using a modified app, this means that we depend on this third party app and Netflix can ban at any time the app or even the device as has happened with other Box Mecool previously. We have Disney+ without sound problems and Amazon Prime video in good quality but we have to install the app manually because it does not appear in Google Play if we look for it.

Streaming serviceVideo / Audio
Youtube4K (2060p) / Stereo
Google Play Movies4K (2060p) / Stereo
NetflixFullHD (1080p) / Stereo / Installing the apk with mouse + sideload / Netflix Guide
HBOFullHD (1080p) / Stereo / HBO Guide
Disney+HD (720p) / Stereo / Disney+ Guide
Amazon Prime Video4K (2060p) / Stereo / Prime Video Guide
DAZNHD (720p) / Stereo
IPTVFullHD (1080i) / Stereo

INSTALLED TUNERS

Start-up and management

The new TV-Box Mecool KT1, has DVB-T2+C or DVB-S2 tuners as standard, to manage and view content we have the app Live TV, a very easy to use app that guides us throughout the process of implementation. When we start it we are shown an installation wizard where we select the system we are interested in configuring.

  • Installation: Complete DVB-T2/C or DVB-S2 configuration.
  • DVR: Management of PVR recordings and programming grid.
  • Digital TV: Channel management, favorites and programming of recordings.

EPG and channel management

In the video playback section we have an excellent image quality and without jumps even in 4K channels, the system supports AC3 audio and we can listen to the content of these channels. From the app we can also record with the PVR function the 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.
  • Servers: In the DVB-S2 version it will be possible to activate servers, check with the store.

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.

CONCLUSIONS AND BUY LINKS

Score

Mecool KT1

0.00
7.5

Design

7.0/10

Hardware

8.5/10

Conectivity

8.5/10

Software

6.5/10

Price

7.0/10

Pros

  • Android TV 10 fast
  • Efficient tuner
  • Bluetooth remote control
  • Chromecast
  • Various HD streaming services

Cons

  • No certified Netflix
  • Lack of audio and video options

Opinion

After testing for a few days the Mecool KT1 we can say that we are facing a TV-Box with pretty good tuners. This is a Box that has enough power thanks to the S905X4-B SoC to run any app, powerful games, emulators up to 16/32bit, 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 such as Netflix up to 1080p but with temporary hack quality and other popular ones. Undoubtedly its most attractive point is the DVB-T2+C or DVB-S2 tuners that integrates to tune our channels and behaves well in this section.

In terms of connectivity the Mecool KT1 has a Wifi aC Dual Band adapter with correct speeds although if we want to connect it by local network we must take into account that its port is only Ethernet 10/100. This Box, as we have found, heats up very little in continuous use, which is essential in devices with integrated tuning. As a system we have Android TV 10 with Google Certification, which in general is very stable and moves very smoothly, also has Chromecast and Bluetooth remote control with integrated microphone.

We can say in conclusion that the Mecool KT1 is a TV-Box with tuners that works very well in general. The new TV software and Android TV system with this SoC gives us a very smooth experience.

Where to buy

  • Mecool KT1 T2+C is available at Aliexpress or Geekbuying for about $74.99 (64€) with shipping (NNKT1 coupon for Europe).
  • Mecool KT1 S2 is available on Aliexpress for about $97 (81€) with shipping included.

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T-C

Fake AV1

curious.boi

Hello, first of all thanks for this wonderful site, thanks to this site I can see the most detailed analysis for android boxes. My question is could you recommend a android box that supports Full HD resolution [1080P] for IP TV? Because almost all boxes I’ve seen have 1080i IP TV resolution. What is the best box that has 1080P resolution for IPTV? It would be nice if it has Google and Netflix certified, but it’s not essential. I was going to buy MeCool KM2, it was a perfect device for me in general but I see that it has… Read more »

curious.boi

Thanks a lot. I’ll go for KM2 then.