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HiMEDIA A5 Review: Android TV Box powered by Amlogic S912

Today we want to introduce you to HiMedia A5 review. HiMedia A5 is another great TV Box from HiMedia. Which one this time got one of the most popular SoC among TV Boxes – Amlogic S912. Of course, the TV Box does not have many features as the HiMedia Q10 Pro, but the TV Box is enough to provide home entertainment at a high level. Together we follow the standard stages of our review. We invite you to read.

I want to say thanks to HiMedia company (HiMedia Technology Limited – www.himediatech.com, Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/Himediatech/) for sending us a HiMedia A5 TV Box to review. The HiMedia A5 TV Box can be bought directly from HiMedia via email, TV Box can also buy on Geekbuying for $118.99 + free shipping.

HiMEdia A5

HiMedia A5 Android TV Box specifications:

  • CPU – Amlogic S912 octa-core ARM Cortex A53 processor @up to 2.0GHz
  • GPU – ARM Mali-820MP3 @ up to 750MHz
  • Memory – 2GB DDR3
  • OS – Android 6.0 with 1080p UI
  • Storage – 16GB eMMC flash and SD card slot up to 32GBVideo Output – HDMI 2.0a, AV Composite
  • Audio Output – HDMI, Composite and optical S/PDIF
  • Video codecs – VP9-10/ and H.265 up to [email protected], H.264, WMV, MPEG-1/2/4, VC-1, AVS, and RealVideo up to [email protected]
  • Audio codecs – MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, FLAC, Ogg, and programmable with 7.1/5.1 down-mixing
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, Dual Band WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 3x USB 2.0 ports
  • Misc – IR receiver
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – 15.8 * 10.5 * 2.2cm
  • Case – Aluminum
  • Weight – n/a

HiMEdia A5

What we find in the box?

  • HiMedia A5 TV Box
  • HDMI cable (with HiMedia branding)
  • Remote control (without AAA batteries)
  • Power adapter 5V/2A (EU)
  • Quick Start Guide
HiMedia A5 unboxing

HiMedia A5 and Accesories (Click to Enlarge)

The following video from our YouTube channel where you can take a look at more HiMedia A5 TV Box and bundled accessories.


First impressions, settings, overview of features

The HiMedia A5 TV Box is a made very solidly and aesthetically. The case is made of aluminum in black color. The case and the TV Box are doing a very good impression. TV Box is a really high quality. As mentioned at the beginning of TV Box is equipped with a latest SoC from Amlogic called Amlogic S912which supports VP9-10 Profile-2 up to [email protected], H.265 HEVC [email protected] up to [email protected], H.264 [email protected] up to [email protected], H.264 MVC up to 1080p @60fps, MPEG-4 [email protected] up to [email protected] (ISO-14496) and more. TV Box also runs on Android 6.0.  At the center of the top cover we find a logo HiMedia. On the front panel A5 TV Box has a IR receiver and power LED. On one side there are two USB 2.0 ports. On another side is another USB 2.0 and SD card slot. On the rear panel are: S/PDIF optical audio, Composite AV, HDMI 2.0a, Gigabit LAN (RJ45), Upgrade hole and DC jack.

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HiMedia A5

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HiMedia A5

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HiMedia A5

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HiMedia A5

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At the bottom of the device there are rubber pads to prevent shifting, also has holes for the discharge of hot air, and serial number and MAC address. Below also remote control.

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HiMedia A5 has a well-known UI from earlier models (Q10 Pro and Q5 Pro), launcher looks great and is very readable, providing quick and easy access to the most important features. We chose typical the resolution of FHD 1920×1080 (1080p 60Hz) but you can also adjust the preferred resolution or set the auto switch. In the display option, you can set (as in TV) contrast, brightness, and sharpness. Everything worked stable and very quickly without delays, Netflix also works without problems. HiMedia A5 support also DLNA and Miracast. We had no problem with Ethernet and WiFi connection to router and to Internet (Ethernet: Download – 312.46Mbps Upload – 42.49Mbps, WiFi: Download – 197.14Mbps Upload – 41.86Mbps). In addition to the remote control (that looks and works great), we used a standard keyboard and mouse and Gamepad GameSir G3s. On the remote control you can assign any application, on buttons 1 to 9.  Although the device in its specification has 16GB eMMC, storage has 11.73GB of data. Although the device in its specification has 16GB eMMC, storage has 11.73GB of data. HiMedia A5 does not have a standby mode, but we do not consider this as a disadvantage. The HiMedia A5 TV Box is another TV Box which has Kodi 17.1 “Krypton”. Below some screenshots.

Home screen (Click to Enlarge)

We have not found a dedicated smartphone app for A5 TV Box from Himedia (HiControl is dedicated to TV Boxes based on HiSilicon Hi3798C V200 SoC). But we can recommend a good app called CetusPlay. Applications (app on host and app on smartphone) are available on the Google Play store. Install CetusPlay On TV/Box app on TV box and open, Install CetusPlay on a smartphone. The application works great, below screenshots.

CetusPlay app (on TV Box)

On HiMedia A5 games from Google Play are working properly. You can play without a problem just connect gamepad or keyboard. We used GameSir G3s. The combination of HiMedia A5 with gamepad is great fun. Beach Buggy Racing, Real Racing 3 works without problem, even with high resolution works trouble free.

Operating system and components

The HiMedia A5 runs on the Android 6.0 Marshmallow, namely version 6.0.1 and the Linux Kernel version 3.14.29. HiMedia A5 TV Box comes with firmware build number HMD-2.0.1 2017-01-04.182333, but we updated the firmware to the latest version build number HMD-2.0.4 2017-03-14.102529 (you can download from HiMedia).

TV Box is equipped in the very popular a SoC Amlogic S912 octa-core ARM Cortex A53 processor @ up to 2.0GHz processor and GPU ARM Mali-T820MP3, CPU speed between 100 MHz and 2.02 GHz. On the following screens, you can see exactly the components used and their specification (Information taken from the CPU-Z app). The device is detected as q201 (q201) and board q201. Below screenshots.

After using the DRM info (app) we know that HiMedia A5 TV Box supports Google Widevine Moudlar DRM, but unfortunately does not support Microsoft Playready DRM, Marlin DRM and Verimatrix VCAS. Device does not have root access.

 

Performance tests and benchmarks

For testing, we use the AnTuTu Video Tester 3.0 app and AnTuTu Benchmark 6.1.4. The result 860. Also worthy of note is that A5 TV Box did not have not supported codecs.

Video playback by Kodi 17.1 Krypton and MX Player runs smoothly and stable.  MX Player runs smoothly and stableThe HiMedia A5 without problem seems plays movies with the resolution of 480p,720p and 1080p (24fps30fps, 60fps) and also 4K (60fps) with various codecs video such as H.264,H.265, MPEG2, MPEG4, RMVB and audio – DTS and AC3. Dolby Digital 5.1 passthrough worked fine via HDMI. Also I tested several video formats – AVI, MKV, MP4 (typical formats in which it holds the majority of movies), ISO and also videos was played fine. The tested TV Box plays video files in 4K (also 60fps) almost without any major problems. The following table of video samples tested for Kodi. TV Box Also copes well with playing the video on YouTube – videos plays in 1080p. Also, we tried to play VP9 4K video runs smoothly.

Typical 1080p KODI
MPEG2 / MP2 2.0 – 6.6Mbps OK
MPEG4 / MP3 2.0 – 7.6Mbps OK
H264 / AAC 2.0 – 7.2Mbps OK
VC1 / WMA3 2.0 – 25Mbps OK
VP8 / VORBIS 2.0 – 7.8Mbs OK
 –  –
4K Video
Sintel – H264 / AAC 2.0 – 24fps OK
BBB Sunflower -H264 – 60fps Not smooth (delays)
Honey Bees – 96fps OK
Skyfall – H264 / AAC 2.0 – 10Mbps OK
Puppies Bath – h264/AAC 2.0 OK
Cinemartin H265/HEVC OK
Tears of steel – 60fps OK
HD Club Chimei – H264 / AAC 2.0 – 60Mbps OK
Jellyfish 4k uhd HEVC 10bit – 140Mbps OK
Jellyfish 4k uhd HEVC 10bit – 200/250/300/400Mbps Not smooth
LG Demo – Istanbul 3840×2160 MP4/H264 8bit – 116Mbps OK
Sony 4K – Camp HDR MP4/HEVC 10bit – 75.8Mbps OK
Demo Samsung 2014 – USA Road Trip TS/HEVC 10bit – 51.4Mbps OK
Demo Samsung 2014 TS/HEVC 10bit – 51.4Mbps OK
H.265/VP9 Video
Tears of steel – H265-HVEC / AAC 2.0 – 15Mbps OK
Youtube – VP9 / 1080p OK
VP9 / 4k – Eye of the Storm 4K Ultra HD.webmv OK
VP9 / 4k – 10 Incredible 4K (Ultra HD) Videos.webmv OK
VP9 / 4k – Australia – Land Down Under in 4K.webmv OK

 

HiMedia A5 Benchmarks

The HiMedia A5 scored 41124 on AnTuTu Benchmark v6.1.4 The HiMedia A5 on GeekBech 4 scored: Single Core score – 505 and Multi Core score – 2488, and RenderScript score – 1863. Below screenshots.

The HiMedia A5 scored 390 on Sling Shot Extreme and Sling Shot scored 599. On Ice Storm Extreme scored 6262. 10244 scored on Ice Storm Unlimited.

Below screen with the results in Vellamo and GPUbench. HiMedia A5 TV Box has the internal memory benchmarks: Read 47.17MB/s – Write 11.81MB/s. RAM copy speed was 3358.22MB/s.

Conclusions

HiMedia A5

HiMedia A5 is another successful TV Box from Himedia. Big plus for aluminum housing. TV Box copes well with 4K video playback. Of course, the TV Box has fewer features compared to the Q10 Pro / Q5 Pro, but it is enough to provide home entertainment at a good level (video, games, browser, apps).  HIMEDIA company should provide the firmware update via OTA, then it would be more convenient. Once again I want to say thanks to HiMedia company for sending us a HiMedia A5 sample. If you are looking for a good quality TV Box for your home entertainment center and vendor support you should consider buying a HiMedia A5. We recommend a HiMedia A5 Android TV Box.

HiMedia A5

$118.99
HiMedia A5
9.1

Performance

9/10

    Usability

    9/10

      Features

      9/10

        Design

        10/10

          Value

          9/10

            Pros

            • Good video playback
            • Fast and stable work
            • High-End design
            • Simple UI

            Cons

            • No OTA Update