Table of Contents
The Android TV-Box Mecool M8S Plus S2 comes in a standard cardboard box with a generic 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.
This Android TV-Box Mecool M8S Plus S2 has a very compact plastic case, perhaps too much to dissipate the heat. On the front we have the status LED while on the sides and in the back we have all the connectors. This box includes a basic IR remote with the tuner keys, that remote allows us to perform basic functions in apps like KODI but is limited to more complex ones that require a pointer.
Inside the audio jack we can find the update button in case it is necessary to update the firmware. On the motherboard we can see the Wifi b/g/n (AP6236) which has one internal antenna. The cooling system is simple, a block of thermal rubber that contact an external metal plate.
- Remote Control: Basic IR Remote with copy keys/ NO microphone / We can choose other alternatives.
- Alternate control: Don’t have its own control app / We can try Cetusplay in our smartphone.
SYSTEM AND PERFORMANCE
Environment and Android system
If we power-on the Mecool M8S Plus S2 boots automatically, we arrive at a simple launcher based in cubes, it is valid for use with the default remote, it has a upper row that we can customize with the icons of the apps we want. The installed apps include DTV (sintonizadores), Manual, StbEmu and Airpin. The performance of Android 9 is good at the desktop level or with heavy apps, it works stable and without forced app closures. In the settings we do not have remarkable extra options that attract attention.
- Launcher: As an alternative we have Pixel launcher to use mouse or Ugoos for IR control / Android UI rendering at 1080p.
- Multitasking and access: Multitasking NOT available / NO Android bars.
- Languages and Google Play: All the international Android classics / Google Play installed.
- On/Off Controls: If we keep press the power button we have reset and power off option / Configurable in settings.
- System version and root: Android 9 Pie (32 bit) / NO root by default / NO root menu / Build 2020-01-03 / Model M8S Plus.
- Support: Mecool have a site with firmwares / Firmware not available yet / Custom firmware not available yet.
Network, storage, RAM and ports
The TV-Box Mecool M8S Plus S2 has eMMC memory for internal storage and DDR3 RAM, it has one USB 3.0 port, one USB 2.0 and SD card reader. In the network section it has a wireless adapter Wifi b/g/n (AP6236) and Ethernet 10/100 port. As we can see in the tests the results are low, the wifi does reach decent speed figures although the range is normal for a model with one internal antenna.
- Storage: Total 9GB – Free 16GB / NTFS + exFAT compatible / Expandable with a USB or SD external memory.
- RAM: Total 2GB – Free 1GB / DDR4.
- Network: Good speed with one internal antennas / Range 50dBm, low. / Bluetooth NO.
- We recommend reading our Tutorial SAMBA on Android networks if we are going to use files from our network PC.
|USB 2.0||USB 3.0||microSD||SATA|
|Read / Write||23/18 MB/s||82/37 MB/s||21/19 MB/s||–|
Power and performance
At level of performance the Mecool M8S Plus S2 defends itself quite well and allows us to run any mid-level Android app or game, the Amlogic S905X2 Quad Core SoC with ARM Cortex-A53 processors with its Mali-G31 MP2 GPU is in the mid-range. This SoC is manufactured in 12nm and has a low consumption, temperatures are somewhat high due to the box design so compact and without air vents.
- CPU performance: Min 800 MHz / En uso 1GHz / Max. 1.7 GHz.
- Check our Amlogic S905X2 SoC Comparison against all SoCs in the sector for more details.
- Thermals: Min. 59ºC / Working 70ºC / Max. 95ºC / Maintains performance up to 100% / Heat zone on the top / Noise 0db
- Consumption: Off 0.6W / Min4.2W / Working 5.2W / Max. 12W
- Games and emulators: IS possible to play titles such as PUBG with low settings / Emulators up to Wii / NO Vulkan support.
- Controls: Compatible with Gamepads by cable or bluetooth.
VIDEO AND AUDIO TEST
Video playback test
The playback aspect in the Mecool M8S Plus S2 performs quite well thanks to the Amlogic S905X2 SoC with the Amlogic S905X2 SoC it integrates an Amlogic TruLife Gen8 VPU compatible with most modern video formats such as h.265 and VP9, support native 4K HDR resolution and does not have a video quality settings app.
Media players like KODI or PLEX can be used without the any problem, we can install KODI using Google Play. At the audio level we can reproduce DD and DTS sound up to 5.1 through the HDMI or SPDIF port if we have an AV receiver. See our Amlogic S905X2 SoC Comparison Guide for more Audio / Video details on this SoC.
- Video Settings: Image quality settings / RGB and SDR / HDMI-CEC available, see manual / Automatic refresh rate, no root = no AFRd.
- Audio Settings: HDMI and SPDIF up to 5.1 audio / Stereo Jack.
- Media sharing: GoogleCast NO / Miracast YES* / DLNA with BlubblePnP / Airplay YES* / *With AirPin.
- LibreELEC: This model can be compatible with LibreELEC or CoreELEC.
- 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.
|h.264 / 1080i / 8bit||Frameskip|
|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||Frameskip (SW)|
|VP9 P2 / 8K@60fps / 10bit HDR||Frameskip (SW)|
|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.
Audio test results
|Formats||DD / DTS 5.1||DD+ / DTS MA||DD True / DTS HR||DD Atmos / DTS X|
|HDMI||OK / OK||Core||Core||Core*|
|Optical||OK / OK||Core||Core||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 / DTS base system
* Our AV receiver does not support these native formats but we verify that it is played back to 7.1
Passing our usual tests with streaming services we check how the most popular services work. The Mecool M8S Plus S2 presents the classic configuration without certifications which limits us in quality in several streaming services, luckily if it is compatible with most services even if they are in its most basic quality of SD video
- DRM: Google Widevine L3
- 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||Result||Manual|
|Youtube||FullHD (1080p) / Stereo||OK||–|
|Google Play Movies||HD (720p) / Stereo||OK||–|
|Netflix||SD+ (540p) / Stereo||OK, installing the apk with mouse||Netflix on Android|
|HBO||FullHD (1080p) / Stereo||OK, with mouse||HBO on Android|
|Amazon Prime Video||SD (480p) / Stereo||OK, with mouse||Amazon Prime video on Android|
|Disney+||HD (720p) / Stereo||OK (see audio trick), with mouse||Disney+ on Android|
|DAZN||HD (720p) / Stereo||OK, with mouse||–|
|IPTV||FullHD (1080p) / Stereo||OK||–|
Start-up and management
The TV-Box MECOOL K7 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.
- DVT Preferences: Management of PVR recordings, child control, network, A / V, EPG and favorites settings.
- EPG: control of the EPG grid, programming from the grid, access by key on the remote control.
- Channel manager: Channel management, favorites and recording schedule.
The swap between the different channels we have a good speed 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 verify that at the reproduction level we have an excellent image quality and without frameskip in HD channels, in the 4K channels we have some frameskips, 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
After analyzing the Mecool M8S Plus S2 we can say that we are dealing with a classic low-cost Android TV-Box but in this case with an integrated satellite tuner. This box has the Amlogic S905X2 SoC that has more than enough power to move classic apps, powerful games like PUBG, emulators up to 16bit, apps for IPTV or use KODI where we can play 4K video in the usual formats. It is also compatible with all the streaming apps that we have tested such as Netflix, Disney+ or HBO, although many remain in basic quality due to the absence of certificates from these companies.
At the connectivity level, the Mecool M8S Plus S2 is quite limited, we have Wifi b/g/n without Bluetooth with a fairly basic speed and we only have a 10/100 Ethernet network adapter. This device, as we have verified, gets quite hot and its closed box does not allow ventilation. As a system we have Android 9, in general it is stable and moves smoothly but it does not include Android navigation bars or root selector. A firmware does not offer additional improvements to the one we have in any Chinese Box.
In conclusion, to say that the Mecool M8S Plus S2 is a TV-Box with a low-cost satellite tuner that can work for us if we are going to focus it on the use of satellite or KODI, but we cannot ask for much more in other aspects.
Where to buy
- Consult our recommended models to see other alternatives.