AV200: revolution or evolution of Android players or what can come out of XBMC if you add DVDFab to it?

How many people remember the “golden age” of media players, when all that was needed was realized, and the future seemed bright and cloudless?
It was presented to us by media players based on the legendary Sigma Designs SMP8642 / 8643 chipsets.

But, as you know, all good things come to an end sooner or later. The downward trend in piracy of non-licensed video viewing has led to the emergence of castratesimproved versions of chipsets in which the ability to play Blu-ray copies from the menu, so beloved by connoisseurs, was carefully drunk. Those who managed to jump to the step of the outgoing train, having bought the latest copies of full-fledged players, albeit sadly, but looked down on those who were late and were forced to buy modern models, the only advantages of which are Blu-ray 3D support, more precisely Frame-packed output one of the playlists, and to deal with the alteration of hospitals like Pioneer, which through a stump deck could be forced to show Blu-ray from USB and (if the planets fit in one row) even over the network. And there were no prospects, at least nothing hinting that the situation would change ...

Until information about a strange symbiosis began to appear: Android, XBMC, ... DVDFab (!). All of us, our beloved Chinese brothers, were able to lead the way out of true to conclude an agreement with the guys from DVDFab, who are known for their software aimed at removing protection from both DVD and Blu-ray. What was promised and what happened in the end? Read about it after the kat from a user who got into the first 600 lucky ones who bought the AV200 media player!

So, the most important killer-feature of the player is the reproduction of Blu-ray copies (both structure and ISO) with a full menu + Blu-ray 3D support (looking ahead I’ll say that the manufacturer is clearly in a hurry). Having studied the forums, having read the reviews of users who bought pre-release versions of the AV200 (and his younger brother AV100), I decided that I should see it with my own eyes! After completing a small quest worthy of a separate post, at the end of May the player was ordered and paid. And now, a month later, the post of RussiaThe post office notified me that the long-awaited package could be received ... but after the holidays (not only the mail does not like to work). Having run into the department in the morning, once again surprised at how the Chinese modestly evaluate their shipments ($ 15 with real $ 120 per share), he took a weighty box and skipping home to the TV!

Technical specifications (from the manufacturer's website)

CPU: Cortex ™ -A7 Quad-Core 1.3GHz
GPU: SGX544mp2 Eight-Core
Storage: 8GB
Wi-Fi: 802.11 b / g / n
OS: Android 4.2

USB: High speed USB 2.0 host x 3, micro USB x 1
Ethernet: RJ45 × 1 (10 / 100M)
HDMI: Standard HDMI1.4 × 1
Card Reader: SD / SDHC × 1
Audio Output: 3.5mm x 1
Optical Output x 1


In the neat white box with the manufacturer’s logo was the player itself in the film, a power supply (universal, 110-240V, but for some reason with an American plug and without an adapter), a remote control (without batteries) and - surprise, surprise! - HDMI cable.

It makes no sense to consider the hardware because it is almost completely identical to other Android players based on the AllWinner chipset (for example, recently reviewed on the iconBIT Toucan Stick 4K hub). The most interesting is software.

Connection and first inclusion

Without thinking twice, at first I connected the player to the AV receiver and inserted the plug into the outlet, the player turned on right away (not a pleasant feature, if you sometimes have a power outage) and it took about 30 seconds to fully load it. After contemplating the manufacturer's logo, we were met by a colorful tiled interface.

The section with the settings wasn’t happy with the variety, there is no Russian in the selection list yet, you can configure the video (the resolution and frequency are fixed) and its zoom, choose the sound output method (connect to the receiver via HDMI or optical output or to a TV with signal decoding), configure network and go into advanced settings (we see the standard Android 4.2 interface there, for example, you can remove useless applications like Skype or Facebook - which I did).

The main menu itself, although it has sections Music (music) and Video (video), there is no sense in them since You can add there only links / shortcuts to installed applications (file manager, etc.). The main section can be considered the leftmost, with an immodest name, It is after clicking on it that we launch XBMC (at the time of testing it was the 13th version).


The interface is standard for XBMC, but again we were not pleased with the Russian language. Oops!

In the settings, there is a promising Blu-ray submenu where you can select the Blu-ray playback mode (2D or 3D) and the region of the player (it really works).

It’s time to check what it’s all about, namely: Blu-ray playback. Quickly creating a link to the network folder (the player supports NFS and SMB, for obvious reason DLNA / UpNP didn’t interest me - although they work), I started to launch Blu-ray folders in sequence ...

The very first launched disc almost instantly loaded the menu and inspired hope for the same work with other drives. The disc was a musical one with complex HD tracks, and here all the shortcomings of the old SDK (Android 4.2) appeared in all their glory.


DTS-HD MA 5.1 192 kHz reached the receiver at 96 kHz (DTS-HD MA 7.1 96 kHz came as it is), and secondly, PCM 2.0 192 kHz was played on the receiver with dips in sound and at 44.1 kHz - aye! - the player does not support 192 kHz!).


Who in the subject knows that for smooth playback it is critical that the frequency of the original video matches the frequency of the video output. But in the player we are limited to 24 frequencies (purely 24, not 23.976!), 50 and 60 Hz. Therefore, the video from 23.976 noticeably twitches, regardless of the selected frequency.


Having run through the Blu-ray 3D ISO files, I found that in the mode with Blu-ray menus they start in 2D mode (the XBMC -> Blu-ray setting does not affect). If the disk is 2D / 3D - see the menu, if the disk is only 3D (3D-only) - a warning that we do not have the necessary equipment. But how so ?! That's how! On the forum, support cheerfully answers that we need to run the main playlist and we will have the correct 3D. Indeed, with this method of triggering, 3D is output at 48 Hz and the TV receives the correct and complete 3D picture. But the sediment remained!


Further verification showed that not all discs are playable, and there is a certain dependence, if the disc does not start from the menu, then it does not start in normal mode (the most unpleasant thing for the Blu-ray 3D ISO is to mount them dynamically to get to the largest file , impossible). Most of all, the player likes disks from Universal - everything that was available started up. There were no direct dependencies with the rest: something started, something not. About 3/4 of the disks start up normally and even somewhat faster than on the standard Dune HD Base 3.0 (SMP8642 chipset).


This article was conceived as a review. Many minor aspects of the player’s operation were not considered, but I’m always ready to answer both in the comments and by supplementing the article.

According to my subjective feelings, this video player is obviously damp in the software part, although the main disadvantages are related to outdated Android 4.2. For example, problems with video (auto-frequency) and sound (support 192 kHz) were solved in Android 4.4 and, according to the manufacturer, the work on such firmware is already underway. The player remotely resembles one of the first players on the Realtek 1186 chipset - XDS1003D, which at the start had much less stability, but was brought to mind within a year.

Nevertheless, support for the Blu-ray menu in Android (or rather, in a special assembly of XBMC) was pleasantly struck. For comparison, we used the assembly of XBMC 13 under Debian with the latest libbluray library and, it should be noted that the AV200 turned out to be much more omnivorous. Collaboration with DVDFab clearly benefited him! (but will changes be ported somewhere?) Thanks, and DVDFab - you returned my hope! The hope that the development of personal media players did not stop, did not go in the opposite direction! Now let them run on the new ARM (and the new chipsets from Sigma Designs are also ARM, not MIPS) rails ... Good luck!



After writing the article, the manufacturer released an updated version of XBMC, in which the omnivorousness regarding the Blu-ray menu was increased. I checked about a hundred disks, started from the 84 menu (on - 56). So the work is underway and there is hope that it will be even better further! The most important thing is not to forget about KitKat.


The manufacturer announced the third version of the player, calling it VidOn Box. Release Date: End of July 2014 (coming soon!). Preliminary specifications (in brackets of the AV200 specification, if they differ):
CPU: Allwinner A31s ARM Cortex ™ -A7 Quad-core (Allwinner A31 ARM Cortex ™ -A7 Quad-Core 1.3GHz)
GPU: SGX544mp2 Eight-Core
Storage: 8GB
Wi-Fi: 802.11 b / g / n
OS: Android 4.4 (Android 4.2 )
One can see an attempt to reduce the cost of the design due to the simplified version of A31s and only 1 GB of memory. Support for Android 4.4 out of the box can be considered a plus, but I can’t predict what will happen when the AV200 gets the same support (if it does). In principle, the A200 will then remain the top one ... In general, something tells me that the Box is like an updated version of the AV100, and another model will take the place of the AV200 and obviously it will not be Box. Let’s take a look. If Box is worthy of a separate review (yes, I'm a maniac and I made a preliminary application for VidOn Box), I will write it - otherwise, I will simply update this post.

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