Review

U4 Quad Hybrid Review: Android TV Box with DVB-T2/T/C and DVB-S2 Tuner

Recently we showed you reviews TV Boxes equipped with the SoC Amlogic S905. Today, for a change, we want to show you a review TV Box called U4 Quad Hybrid equipped with Hisilicon Hi3796M processor, who also has a built-in tuners: DVB-T2/T/C and DVB-S2. We have already had the opportunity to test similar devices with DVB-T2/T/C tuner – Mygica ATV586 and WeTeK Play. How will with U4 Quad Hybrid you will read in this review. In this review we want to bring you the the features and impressions of using U4 Quad Hybrid TV Box and answer the questions: how U4 Quad Hybrid works in normal use as copes with video playback at 4K and that we stumbled upon some problems. Together we follow the standard stages of our review. We invite you to read.

I want to say thanks to Vivant Tech company for sending us a U4 Quad Hybrid TV Box to review. Now U4 Quad Hybrid is available on Aliexpress.com in the Vivant Tech official store  for $106.69 + free shipping.

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U4 Quad Hybrid

U4 Quad Hybrid specifications:

  • CPU – Hisilicon Hi3796M quad core Cortex A7
  • GPU – Mali-450MP GPU
  • Memory – 1GB DDR3-1600 MHz
  • Storage – 8GB internal storage and micro SD slot
  • OS – Android 4.4
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4a up to 4K @ 30Hz + AV port (CBVS)
  • Audio Output – HDMI, AV and coaxial S/PDIF
  • Video Decoding – Up to 4K @30 fps for H.265, H.264, MPEG-4, AVS, VC-1, VP6/8
  • DVB-S2 Tuner – Hi3136 demodulator; freq range: 950 to 2,150 MHz; symbol rate: DVB-S: 1~55 Mbps; DVB-S2: 1~44 Mbps; Input level: -65 to -25 dBm; LNB IN connector
  • DVB-T2/T/C Tuner – AVL6762 demodulator; freq range: 43 to 1,002 MHz; bandwidth: 6/7/8/1.7 MHz; signal level: -80 to -25 dBm, ANT IN connector
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 host port, 1x USB 2.0 host port
  • Misc – 2x LED, IR/LED connector (looks like mini USB)
  • Power Supply – 12V/1.5A
  • Dimensions – 135 x 135 x 33 mm
  • Weight – 900 g

U4 Quad Hybrid

What we find in the box? The box included everything that you need to get started:

  • U4 Quad Hybrid Android TV Box
  • HDMI cable
  • Power adapter 12V/1.5A (EU)
  • Remote control (without AAA batteries)
  • WiFi Antenna
  • AV Cable
u4 quad hybrid unboxing
U4 Quad Hybrid and Accesories (Click to Enlarge)

The following video from our YouTube channel where you can take a look at more U4 Quad Hybrid TV Box and bundled accessories.

First impressions, settings, overview of features

The outer casing is solidly constructed and aesthetically pleasing. Apart from the fact that the device has a built-in DVB-T & DVB-S2 TV Tuner Box is well equipped with I / O ports.

U4 Quad Hybrid
Click to Enlarge

As we said at the beginning of his heart is a Hisilicon Hi3796M quad core Cortex A7 processor which supports 
HiVXE Video Decoding:

Device runs on Android 4.4 KitKat. The front panel has IR receiver and power LED. On one side is the micro SD slot, USB 2.0 host port and a USB 3.0 host port. Also we find AV port, and a mini USB port for an IR/LED extension cable (not included). On the rear panel of the TV Box is ANT IN and LNB IN antenna connectors, coaxial S/PDIF, the WiFi connector, HDMI output, 10/100M Ethernet, and a DC jack.

U4 Quad Hybrid
Click to Enlarge
U4 Quad Hybrid
Click to Enlarge
U4 Quad Hybrid
Click to Enlarge
U4 Quad Hybrid
Click to Enlarge

At the bottom of the device there are four rubber pads to prevent shifting. The U4 Quad Hybrid also has holes for the discharge of hot air. Below also remote control.

U4 Quad Hybrid
Click to Enlarge
U4 Quad Hybrid
Click to Enlarge

On the front panel U4 Quad Hybrid has an LED display that displays in addition to the time (in standby mode), and information about the status (during operation).

Booting Android to the “home screen” takes about 00:24.8 seconds. “Home screen” launcher looks very simple and is called eOn Center. UI is easy to use and intuitive. In addition to theremote control I used a standard keyboard and mouse and Xiaomi gamepad

home screen

The device worked in the resolution of FHD 1920×1080 (1080p 60Hz) but you can also adjust the preferred resolution (max 2160p 24Hz ).  The main screen has six tabs: TV, EPG, File Manager, Fav App, App All, Setup. Under the TV tab, we find digital TV and IPTV. IPTV operates on an application that requires a special code. At EPG we have access to the Electronic Program Guide for digital TV. Through which we can set the record channel. File manager does not need to explain. Fav App – your favorite applications. All Apps do not need to explain. The setup we can find all the most important settings. In a very easy way to configure tuners, set search preferences and search all available digital TV channels. 

The device has the access control function, setting the PVR (personal video recorder), and more. Recording is very easy. Below are a few screenshots.

As we wrote recording is easy and works without a problem. After starting recording in the upper left corner of the red dot appears. When you stop recording, the recorded file is saved in a fixed location. To play back the recorded sample, you have to enter through the File Manager and select the tab PVR.

Below more real photos.

Tuners are working properly, the detection channels of digital television and radio channels is correct. We do not have any objections. The device is not fast, but it works stably. The U4 Quad Hybrid TV Box has also DLNA and Miracast. We had no problem with Ethernet and WiFi connection to router and to Internet. Below other screenshots.

The U4 Quad Hybrid TV Box also has SAMBA service. Which works without a problem. You can easily share files at home. You can also set password when you need to login from PC / Smartphone to any resources on the TV Box. Below screenshots.

samba

The U4 Quad Hybrid in the local network (home network) was recognized as ANDROID_523880. I had no problems getting to “share” through my Smartphone Xperia Z1 and laptop. Below screenshots.

The U4 Quad Hybrid has a pre-installed kodi 15.2 Isengard. For the tests, we chose version with added TV Addons. For the tests, it was also installed version 16.1 kodi Jarvis.

kodi 15.2

Unfortunately, a lot of applications in Google Play showed the information “Your device is not compatible with this version”, therefore it failed to install some applications for testing. On the U4 you can run simple games such as Beach Buggy Racing and Jetpack Joyride. They work without a problem and stable. The problem occurs when controlling games using a mouse and keyboard, the lack of compatibility. Unfortunately, there is a problem with bluetooth and we could not pair the TV Box with Xiaomi Gamepad. When you turn ON bluetooth, after 2 seconds, turn off bluetooth. When you try to search for devices, turn off bluetooth. This is probably a bug, which should be repaired as soon as possible by manufacturer.

zidoo x1 game

Operating system and components

The U4 Quad Hybrid runs on the Android 4.4 KitKat, namely version 5.1.1 and the Linux Kernel version 3.10.0_s40. Received device has firmware build number Hi3796MV100-eng 4.4.2 KOT49H eng.ukheeham.20160328.135543 test-keys. TV Box is equipped with a Hisilicon Hi3796M quad core Cortex A7 @ 1.50 GHz and GPU Mali-450MP, CPU speed between 600 MHz and 1.50 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 Hi3796MV100 (HiSTBAndroidV6) and board bigfish. Below screenchots.

After using the DRM info (app) we know that U4 Hybrid TV Box does not support Google Widevine Moudlar DRM, Microsoft Playready DRM and Verimatrix VCAS.

drm

Performance tests and benchmarks

AnTuTu Video Tester 3.0 is incompatible with U4 Quad HybridUnfortunately, failed to perform a test video the earlier version. During testing samples from Sorenson codec, the application AnTuTu Video Tester application stops at this codec and it was necessary to reset the device. Of course, this has no impact on the user experience. At the beginning of the TV Box has surprised us smooth playback of samples – Chimei HD Club – H264 / AAC 2.0 – 60Mbps. After the update to Kodi 16.1 version was worse. For most samples 4K had only sound or play not smoothly. Despite the return to version 15.2, nothing has changed once again we have installed version 16.1 Jarvis. Video playback by MX Player runs smoothly and stable. The U4 Quad Hybrid TV Box without problem seems plays movies with the resolution of 480p, 720p and 1080p (24fps, 30fps,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 films) and also videos was played without any problems. The following table compares Kodi and MX Player for some video samples. TV Box copes well with playing the video on YouTube.

ypical 1080pKODIMX Player
MPEG2 / MP2 2.0 – 6.6MbpsOKOK
MPEG4 / MP3 2.0 – 7.6MbpsOKOK
H264 / AAC 2.0 – 7.2MbpsOKOK
VC1 / WMA3 2.0 – 25MbpsOKOK
VP8 / VORBIS 2.0 – 7.8MbsOKOK
 – – –
4K Video
Sintel – H264 / AAC 2.0 – 24fpsblack screen, only soundOK
BBB Sunflower -H264 – 60fpsblack screen, only soundOK
Honey Bees – 96fpsnot smoothOK
Skyfall – H264 / AAC 2.0 – 10Mbpsnot smoothOK
Puppies Bath – h264/AAC 2.0not smoothOK
Cinemartin H265/HEVCblack screen, only soundOK
Tears of steel – 60fpsblack screen, only soundOK
HD Club Chimei – H264 / AAC 2.0 – 60Mbpsblack screen, only soundOK
Jellyfish 4k uhd HEVC 10bit – 140Mbpsblack screen, only soundOK
 – – –
H.265/VP9 Video
Tears of steel – H265-HVEC / AAC 2.0 – 15Mbpsblack screen, only soundOK
Youtube – 720pOKOK

 

U4 Quad Hybrid TV Box Benchmarks

The U4 Quad Hybrid scored 15760 (MyGica ATV586 – 18588WeTeK Play –14665on AnTuTu Benchmark v5.7.1. TheU4 Quad Hybrid on GeekBech 3 scoredSingle Core score – 322 and Multi Core score – 1034Below some of screenshots.

No Ice Storm Extreme tests, the problem with application compatibility. Below screen with the results in Vellamo. U4 Quad Hybrid TV Box has the internal memory benchmarks: Read 22.64MB/s – Write 35.34MB/s. RAM copy speed was 854.39MB/s.

vellamo

Conclusions

U4 Quad Hybrid

The U4 Quad Hybrid TV Box is a solid and well-made TV Box which has two tuners: DVB-T2/T/C and DVB-S2, that work perfectly and allow you to watch digital TV. The device has several features, for example, Access Control, EPG, PVR, Samba and more. The device does not work quickly, but stable. Unfortunately, the resulting sample was not working bluetooth and not all applications from Google Play are compatible, probably a problem with the firmware. The device has Android 4.4. TV Box plays typical video content in 1080p and copes well with the video in 4K (also with 60fps) via MX Player. The U4 Quad Hybrid has nice and an easy to use UI which provides quick and intuitive access to key features. Once again I want to say thanks to Vivant Tech for sending us a U4 Quad Hybrid review sample. Kodi requires optimization. We hope that the manufacturer will prepare a firmware update soon. If you are looking for TV Box for digital TV, U4 Quad Hybrid it is for you. When it comes to broader entertainment device must receive the necessary corrections.

U4 Quad Hybrid

$106.69
7.8

Performance

7.0/10

Usability

7.5/10

Features

8.5/10

Design

8.0/10

Value

8.0/10

Pros

  • DVB-T2/T/C & DVB-S2 Tuner
  • Stable work
  • Digital TV Features
  • Samba service

Cons

  • Problem with Bluetooth
  • Problem with compatybility apps
  • Some issues
  • Problem with Kodi

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