Today we present the review of TV-Box UncoreX a device that comes to us from Germany and has integrated DVB-S2 satellite receiver, this model has a quite worked software as we can see throughout our review. A device that has a European guarantee, OTA updates by the brand and its own website to support its customers. A device that counts for example a specific application to order the channels that we have available and the possibility of downloading the list of channels for our satellite directly. Let’s see how this model behaves at the hardware and software level in our review.
|CPU||Amlogic S905D Quad Core Cortex-A53 1,5GHz|
|OS||Android 7.1.1 (32bit)|
|RAM||2 GB DDR3|
|Storage||8 GB eMMc|
|WiFi||WiFi ac 2,4/5GHz|
|Ports||2x USB 2.0|
Satellite card reader
12V 1.5A (18W) DC adapter
Measures: 16 x 13 x 3 cm
Weight: 0.5 Kg
The TV-Box UncoreX comes in a cardboard box with the logo of the brand on top. Inside the box we find the TV-Box in his higher zone, in a lower area we have the accessories, we have the default IR control (we can buy a official flymouse with keyboard as a alternativa), manual in English and German as well as a 12V 1.5A (18W) adapter.
The UncoreX box is made of plastic and has good ventilation at the top, in the front area we have a USB 2.0 port and the status LEDs that tell us if the device is on or off.
On one side we have a series of ventilation slots and a satellite card reader.
On the back we find the other ports, the DVB-S2 antenna connector, 10/100 Ethernet port, HDMI 2.0 connector, microSD card reader, USB 2.0 port and 12V power connector.
In the lower part of UncoreX we have four rubber feet, the sticker that identifies the model, two laces that allow us to mount the TV-Box in a holder and a hole for the reset button.
CONNECTING THE DEVICE
Connection and desktops
When you turn on the UncoreX, a setup wizard automatically starts up to configure the equipment quickly, in the first steps we select the system language, the network and screen settings.
Once the basic settings are finished, we can start the scanning of satellite channels, enter the Google Play Store with our access data or go directly to the start of the system.
At the end of the UncoreX configuration wizard we have a Nestv launcher based on squares with different categories and a superior line with shortcuts to different functions. On the left we have a preview of the satellite receiver, access to the TV app, access to IPTV or VOD, internet browser, YouTube, KODI, applications and NeStore store. The resolution of the system is 1080p 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 there are not many, AppInstaller, FileBrowser, gallery, IPCamera, media player, another store called Nestv StarShop, access to Google Play Store, Prime Video, TV-Box settings and update app.
At the level of performance we can say that the UncoreX is a TV-Box that wroks smoothly, the Amlogic S905D processor moves the system and the most common apps well. The system apps are clearly seen thanks to the resolution of Android with 1080p. 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 since it is not very accessible, if we want more performance in Android we can change the launcher for something more functional.
In the UncoreX we have two different settings, the ones shown by default are the Android 6.0 classics that give us access to a large part of the TV-Box’s configuration, among these settings we find quite interesting special preferences.
Dentro de las opciones de Backup podemos hacer una copia de las apps del sistema y acceder al sistema de actualizaciones, un ajuste interesante para recuperar nuestra configuración personalizada en un instante.
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.
By default as operating system in the UncoreX we have Android 6.0.1, a system that is already old but functional. The kernel as we see is specifically version 3.14.29 and the compilation is dated 03-23-2018, a firmware that we can update easily. With this version we have made the review that you can read in the following pages.
Storage and RAM
Installed by default the UncoreX includes 8 GB of eMMc storage memory, from this storage memory we have actually available about 4 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. We can always expand the internal space using an SD card since Android 6 allows it.
On this hardware we also have 2 GB of DDR3 RAM and 1.1 GB that are free after a long navigation through the system, so it allows us to correctly open several tabs in a browser.
We past some testo to the RAM and internal storage that is integrated in this device, we used the SD bench app as usual. The results of the UncoreX are good compared with other products in this sector.
Consumption and temperatures
At the power consumption level the UncoreX 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 9 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.
Within the settings of the system we have the option of scanning Media when connecting our external units, this is positive to have quick access to those contents but it can slow down the system if we connect many contents at the same time.
Google Play and Amazon App Store
Within UncoreX we have three different stores, something a little confusing but in the end we will use as a general rule only two. The first NeStore that gives us access to a small selection of apps that we can install directly, we access from the market icon in the launcher.
The second store is Nestv StarShop and have the style of the Android TV store, we can see large selection of apps among which we find the version of Netflix that works with this TV-Box, all the apps tell us if they need a mouse or gamepad, something quite useful.
We also have the conventional Google Play where we find most apps without problems. With the Amazon Appstore we also have a good result, an alternative to the Google system.
The firmware installed in the UncoreX is NOT 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
TIn UncoreX we do not have a shutdown menu or options, it simply shuts off completely when you press the button on the remote control, it turns on again in the same way.
Video and audio connections.
Integrated into UncoreX, we have the new SoC Amlogic S905D, a chip that supports HDMI 2.0a video output and supports a maximum resolution of 4K@60fps with HDR information and 10 bit color. We have a Deep Color Mode option but we are not sure if it is the RGB mode for old screens.
In this system we have automatic refresh option, we have a menu that allows us to activate it globally, something that is interesting since it avoids us to play content with the annoying Judder effect.
Within the screen settings we have image quality control for brightness, contrast or saturation, some values that will help us adjust the overall image quality with respect to our screen.
DLNA and Miracast
By default with UncoreX we can share multimedia contents through the DLNA service using for example the BubbleUPnP app from our mobile or tablet. From NeStore there is the HappyCast app to make Miracast and Airplay but it has not worked for us.
We test several videoconferencing apps with the UncoreX, 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
With the UncoreX 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 35 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 66 mbps which is a correct transfer speed for this hardware.
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 with 4K or HDR quality.
As we seen the Wi-Fi coverage tests with the device located at a distance of about 5 meters as always and with a wall in between we verified that we have connection without cuts, the signal reaches a level of about 45 dBm a figure that indicates we have a good range.
The UncoreX has Bluetooth 4.0 adapter that we can use without problems with gamepads or wireless headphones with this type of connection through the Android settings.
Together with the TV-Box UncoreX we have a fairly conventional IR remote control, it is an important control since it has direct access to the sections of TV, EPG, Apps, Subtitles, Audio and recording in addition to the classic colored buttons for the TV functions. We also have mouse mode that emulates with the crosshead the mouse pointer, controls for multimedia playback and four function keys that we can use to program shortcuts in the TV app.
Within 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 results depending on our TV models.
Remote control app
If you want to remote control the UncoreX 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
We test some Android games on the UncoreX connecting a Wired Gamepad and the device recognizes it without problems, it also works correctly the 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.
At hardware level the UncoreX 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 1.51 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 test as we can see we have similar values to other models with the same type of hardware, perhaps somewhat better by the speed of memory.
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 perform our usual video playback tests with the UncoreX, 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. As we have seen in the connections section we also have automatic refresh change.
- This model IS compatible with LibreELEC as we have checked using our LibreELEC a quick installation guide.
|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||Frozen|
|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||Frameskip|
|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 UncoreX 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 in the device we have audio pass through for DD 7.1 and DTS up to 5.1 without problems.
|Dolby Digital 5.1||Correct||Correct||–|
|Dolby Digital Plus 7.1||Correct||Correct||–|
|Dolby True HD 7.1||Correct||Correct||–|
|Dolby Atmos 7.1||Correct||Correct *||–|
|DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1||Correct||Core||–|
|DTS-HD High Resolution 7.1||Correct||Core||–|
|DTS-X 7.1||Correct||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
We pass some test on the TV Box UncoreX and the results are quite good 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.
As for the DRM certificates needed for some Streaming apps we check that we have Google Widevine L1 installed by default, an interesting point that would allow us to play Netflix in HD quality but as we will see it is not possible yet.
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 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.
Using the app on Nestv StarShop
|Amazon Prime Video||SD (480p)||Stereo||Correct|
|HBO nordic||HD (720p)||Stereo||It works but we have the pause|
button in the middle of the screen
- 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
Within the applications we also have an IPTV service manager that allows us to enter the data of the services that we have contracted within this option.
Starting the UncoreX is very simple, if we enter the DVB-S2 channel scanning system we can do it in an automatic conventional way, load the channel file from a local file or load the channel file from the internet that we have to say that it works excellent form, in a few seconds we can have the entire list of satellites without having to perform the scan.
Within the TV app we have a menu with different adjustment options and system configuration.
- Satellite Installation, with settings for tuners
- Edit Channels, to manage the channels of the two tuners at the same time
- PVR and Timers, to see the programming or to program recordings of the tuners
- Add-on, to add extras that we do not know
- TV Settings, to change general settings tuners, recordings and others
Within this setting we can configure the satellite system and scan the list of channels if we have not downloaded them directly with the online option.
With this menu we can adjust the channel list of our system, we have to remember that we can also edit the channel list using a PC with the editing program that can be downloaded from the UncoreX website.
PVR and Timers
It allows us to see the files of recordings that we have in our connected external units or modify the clock.
This section seems interesting but we have no information on how it works or modules available.
Within these settings we have resources to backup and retrieve our channel lists, PVR settings, languages, on-screen information, time settings, screen aspect settings, parental control security and reset or system data.
As we have seen in the settings we have the Channel Data menu that allows us to make a copy of our channel list or download them from the UncoreX server, we also have them available from their website. We have the option to import Enigma 2 information, activate automatic update or download channel icons.
In the channel list we have several options to list or manage our channels, with the colored keys we can directly filter the satellite channels, distributor and favorites, with the function keys we can use the search, sort, filter or add to the list of favorites.
If we press the EPG key in the remote we can see the list of broadcasts at this moment or those that are programmed, within this list we can program the recordings and read the detail of the programs.
From the PVR feature we can record a program that interests us at the time we select, the device can be turned off and it will turn on when the time comes, in addition we can record and watch another channel at the same time although we can only move one channel up or down from where we are recording. It is necessary to have an external unit connected to record contents.
The quality of the recording system supports up to 4K with resolution 3840×2160 pixels Main 10 Level 5.1, we need to connect an external memory to do it, inside a folder will be created DTBRecordFiles with recording in TS format, the ratio is 17Mb per minute with stereo sound.
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.
In each channel we can access the audio menu where we have been able to select audio in DD format that plays correctly directly in stereo quality.
We can download the CAM app for this device that allows us to configure a server from the Net Client option to enter the data of our service, we have all the classic options for this type of TV-Box.
After the analysis of UncoreX we can say that we are possibly before the TV-Box Android with DVB-S2 tuner that works best in that aspect. A model that allows us to perfectly schedule recordings with TV-Box turned off, which manages the channels very well and we even have an external editor for this. The start-up is very simple with the download of channels from the internet and the use of the tuner is fast and efficient, in addition the design of the box avoids any type of overheating.
The hardware mounted by UncoreX works efficiently and makes the system move at all times agile, we also have automatic refresh for the video playback and fine adjustment of image quality, no doubt a very careful aspect. A model that has Widevine L1, a certificate to playback Netflix HD in the future, but for now it is not possible. We miss the possibility of having Android navigation bars and more audio connectors in the box. In short, an excellent TV-Box in the section of satellite receiver with improvement field in the Android section, globally a remarkable device and so it seems it will have good support.
- You can compare this device with our Recommended Android TV models