Review

ZIDOO X9S Review: Smart TV Box with Dual HDMI powered by Realtek RTD1295

Today we want to introduce you to ZIDOO X9S review. ZIDOO X9S TV Box is a flagship TV Box from ZIDOO. Indeed, the device has everything you should have a flagship TV Box. As usual, we do not want reveal too much but ZIDOO X9S with a new Realtek RTD1295 is the TV Box with huge potential. More you will find out in the review. In this review (typically) we want to bring you the the features and impressions of using ZIDOO X9S TV Box and answer the questions: how ZIDOO X9S powered by Realtek RTD1295 chip 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 ZIDOO for sending us a ZIDOO X9S Smart TV Box to review. Now ZIDOO X9S is available on Geekbuying for $149 + free shippingAmazon (UK) for £119 or other Amazon stores.

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ZIDOO X9S unboxing

ZIDOO X9S Android TV Box Specifications:

  • CPU – Realtek RTD1295 ARM Cortex-A53 Quad-Core with floating-point unit and NEON SIMD engine embedded
  • GPU – ARM T820 MP3(3-core)
  • OS – Android 6.0 + OpenWRT(NAS) dual system run simultaneously
  • Memory – 2GB DDR3
  • Internal Storage – 16GB eMMC
  • Wifi Connectivity – IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n, 802.11AC,4.900 GHz ~ 5.845 GHz (5.0 GHz ISM Band) RTK8821 dual-band WIFI
  • Ethernet – RJ-45 Ethernet Jack (10/100/1000Mbps)
  • Bluetooth – BT4.0
  • HDMI Out – HDMI2.0a output, Support [email protected] Support HD Audio(7.1CH), support 23.976 and 29.94
  • HDMI In – HDMI2.0 input, support PIP, HDMI IN stream recode and stream output via UDP etc…
  • Video decode – HDR, 10-bit HEVC/H.265 up to 4K @ 60fps, VP9 up to 4K @ 60 fps, H.264 up to 4K @ 24 fps, automatic frame rate switching
  • Audio decode – Support HD audio(7.1ch) decode and passthrough Redesigned Native player,Blu-ray better compatibility,Powerful subtitles ,Support MVC ISO,MVC MKV. Built in ZDMC(Base on kodi 16.0)
  • USB – 1x USB3.0, 2x USB2.0
  • Power – 12V/3A
  • Other interface – TF card reader SD card interface (Support 1GB/2GB/4GB/8GB/16GB/32GB), IR receiver, Composite video and audio port (Cvbs output), S/SPDIF (2CH, 5.1CH), SATA3.0, VFD display
  • Shell – Aviation Aluminum alloy case in smoke-colored
  • Dimensions – 187x127x27mm
  • Weight – n/a

zidoo x9s box

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

  • ZIDOO X9S Android TV Box
  • HDMI cable
  • Power adapter 12V/3A (EU)
  • Remote control (without AAA batteries)
  • Simple Manual
  • SATA cable
  • 2x external WiFi antenna
  • Guarantee card
  • Qualified certificate
ZIDOO X9S unboxing
ZIDOO X9S and Accesories (Click to Enlarge)

The following video from our YouTube channel where you can take a look at more ZIDOO X9S TV Box and bundled accessories.

First impressions, settings, overview of features

The ZIDOO X9S has a good quality aluminum housing. Visually, it looks like a high-end device. Indeed ZIDOO attaches great importance to design and quality. The whole case looks very aesthetically.  X9S TV Box runs on Android 6.0, but the most important features are an HDMI In with PiP (Picture in Picture) and DVR – video recording function. As we said at the beginning of his heart is a new Realtek RTD1295 which offers the latest generation HEVC/VP9 4Kp60 video decoding technology with HDR10 capability to deliver wider color range and greater contrast for an enhanced viewing experience. On the front panel X9S has LED display, IR receiver with Power LED.

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ZDOO X9S
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On one side there is a SATA 3.0 port, USB 3.0 port and 2x USB 2.0 port. On another side of the device there are holes for the discharge of hot air. On the rear panel are: 2x External WiFi antenna, Gigabit LAN  (RJ45), HDMI 2.0a Output, HDMI IN, AV port, Optical port, Restore hole, TF card slot, DC jack 12V, Power button (switch ON/OFF).

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ZIDOO X9S
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At the bottom of the device there are holes for the discharge of hot air. Below also remote control and a photo illustrating the connection of 2.5-inch HDD via the SATA cable.

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Below we include the ZIDOO X9S photos in combination with a matchbox and other small flagship TV Box from ZIDOO called ZIDOO X6 Pro, so it was easier to see the size of ZIDOO X9S Android TV Box.

Booting Android to the “home screen” takes about 00:32:01 seconds. As always ZIDOO launcher (ZIUI) is clear and nicely designed, allowing easy available in the most important features. Also, easy access to the status bar where you can find PIP function.

The device worked in the resolution of FHD 1920×1080 (1080p 60Hz) but you can also adjust the preferred resolution or set the auto switch. Everything worked stable and very quickly without delays, Netflix also works without problems. ZIDOO X9S support also DLNA, Miracast and AirPlay. We had no problem with Ethernet and WiFi connection to router and to Internet. In addition to the remote control I used a standard keyboard and mouse and Gamepad GameSir G3s ZIDOO X9S has a lot of settings HDMI and video playback (auto switching to 1080p 24Hz and other). Although the specification is 16GB of storage on the device it is available about 9GB of internal storage. Not constitute a problem because device has a SATA port, so you can connect an external drive. Remote control from X9S looks great and works great, has two buttons to which you can hook up your preferred applications (Shortcut Key-setting). TV Box can also be controlled (such as previous models) dedicated application on smartphona – Box RC. Below a some screenshots.

As mentioned earlier TV Box has many features important to also include – support OpenWRT with NAS and HDMI IN. With enabled OpenWRT service X9S TV Box, can serve as a router and a NAS with multiple services, such as Samba, FTP, Bittorrent Client and others. You can easily find ZIDOO (with NAS servicec) on the LAN. You can mount the disk partition on your PC, the smartphone without a problem reading a network share. Copying file from the NAS to the PC is fast. Below screenshots.

Another strong advantage X9S TV Box is a HDMI IN port through which you can receive live images from the DVB-T Digital TV tuner. The device easily displays an image via PIP, records and allows live streaming via broadcasting. To play a video broadcast on the LAN on your smartphone well suited to the application GoodPlayer for Android. PIP window can be positioned anywhere on the main screen. Below screenshots of the available settings.

goodplayer_screen
Screenshot from GoodPlayer for Android

ZIDOO X9S like other model from ZIDOO has ZDMC app based on Kodi 16.1 Jarvis (the exact version ZDMC 16.4-8). On TV Box can play popular games available on the Play Store. Just connect the gamepad. This combination really makes it ideal for entertainment. Real Racing 3 and Beach Buggy Racing work great.

zdmc

Operating system and components

The ZIDOO X9S runs on the Android 6.0 Marshmallow, namely version 6.0.1 and the Linux Kernel version 4.1.17. TV Box comes with firmware build number v1.1.20 It was enough to connect the TV Box to the Internet, and we have access to updates via OTA (Big plus!). We updated device via OTA (zip file) to latest firmware version build number v.1.2.7

TV Box is equipped with SoC Realtek RTD1295 ARM Cortex-A53 Quad-Core processor and GPU ARM Mali-T820MP3. On the following screens you can see exactly the components used and their specification (Information taken from the CPU-Z app). CPU-Z app does not recognize too well RTD1295. The device is detected as ZIDOO_X9S (rtk_kylin32) and board kylin. Below some screenchots.

After using the DRM info (app) we know that ZIDOO X9S TV Box doesn’t support Google Widevine Moudlar DRM, Marlin DRM and Verimatrix VCAS, but support Microsoft Playready DRM.

Performance tests and benchmarks

For testing I use the AnTuTu Video Tester 3.0 app and AnTuTu Benchmark 6.1.4. The result 894.

antutu video

ZIDOO X9S Antutu video

In addition ZDMC based on Kodi, ZIDOO prepared a great app called Home Theater. This is a very good movie player. Scans media and search movies, search movie posters of films. Home Theater app has also previously described features. Unfortunately failed to open through the app the files VP9 4K .webmv (from youtube). Other files and 4K worked well. Below some screenshots.

Perhaps ZDMC version of the firmware v1.2.7 was not optimized or something has been changed because not all video in 4K to work smoothly. In addition, other files with the resolution of 480p,720p and 1080p (24fps30fps, 60fps) with various codecs video such as H.264,H.265, MPEG2, MPEG4, RMVB plays without problem, AVI, MKV, MP4 (typical formats in which it holds the majority of movies), ISO and also videos was played fine. Audio – DTS and AC3. Dolby Digital 5.1 passthrough worked fine via HDMI. TV Box Also copes well with playing the video on YouTube – videos plays in 1080p. Also, we tried to play VP9 4K video and runs smoothly without problems.

Typical 1080pKODI
MPEG2 / MP2 2.0 – 6.6MbpsOK
MPEG4 / MP3 2.0 – 7.6MbpsOK
H264 / AAC 2.0 – 7.2MbpsOK
VC1 / WMA3 2.0 – 25MbpsOK
VP8 / VORBIS 2.0 – 7.8MbsOK
 – –
4K Video
Sintel – H264 / AAC 2.0 – 24fpsNot smooth
BBB Sunflower -H264 – 60fpsNot smooth (audio delay)
Honey Bees – 96fpsOK
Skyfall – H264 / AAC 2.0 – 10MbpsOK
Puppies Bath – h264/AAC 2.0OK
Cinemartin H265/HEVCOK
Tears of steel – 60fpsNot smooth
HD Club Chimei – H264 / AAC 2.0 – 60MbpsNot smooth
Jellyfish 4k uhd HEVC 10bit – 140MbpsOK
Jellyfish 4k uhd HEVC 10bit – 200/250/300/400MbpsNot smooth (without sound)
LG Demo – Istanbul 3840×2160 MP4/H264 8bit – 116MbpsNot smooth
Sony 4K – Camp HDR MP4/HEVC 10bit – 75.8MbpsNot smooth
Demo Samsung 2014 – USA Road Trip TS/HEVC 10bit – 51.4MbpsOK
Demo Samsung 2014 TS/HEVC 10bit – 51.4MbpsOK
H.265/VP9 Video
Tears of steel – H265-HVEC / AAC 2.0 – 15MbpsOK
Youtube – VP9 / 1080pOK
VP9 / 4k – Eye of the Storm 4K Ultra HD.webmvOK

 

ZIDOO X9S TV Box Benchmarks

The ZIDOO X9S scored 40646 on AnTuTu Benchmark v6.1.4 The X9S TV Box on GeekBech 3 scored: Single Core score – 568 and Multi Core score – 1590, and RenderScript score – 842. Below screenshots.

ZIDOO X9S antutu bench

The ZIDOO X9S TV Box scored 5516 on Ice Storm Extreme. 8867 scored on Ice Storm Unlimited, and Sling Shot – 370.

Below screen with the results in Vellamo and GPUbench. ZIDOO X9S TV Box has the internal memory benchmarks: Read 133.84MB/s – Write 27.72MB/s. RAM copy speed was 3250.95MB/s

Conclusions

ZIDOO X9S unboxing

ZIDOO X9S is one of the most advanced TV Boxes from ZIDOO. The flagship model has many different features and settings, which you will not find in a typical TV boxes. ZIDOO X9S with OpenWRT and external drive (connected via SATA) can be a home NAS (with different services). It has various options to configure and control access. Unfortunately, during testing 4K samples video playback via ZDMC did not work smoothly. But this is not a problem. ZIDOO is one of the leading suppliers, which often publishes new firmware and fixes problems. As we wrote at the beginning, ZIDOO X9S this is a device with great potential. You can record the signal from Digital TV, watch via PIP favorite channel, broadcast it in your network to other devices. You can also use the X9S TV Box as a NAS and also share them on your network. If you are looking for more advanced TV Box, which will have many, many features this ZIDOO X9S TV Box is certainly for you. We recommend a ZIDOO X9S Android TV Box.

ZIDOO X9S

$149
9.6

Performance

9.3/10

Usability

9.0/10

Features

10.0/10

Design

10.0/10

Value

9.5/10

Pros

  • OTA update
  • Fast and stable work
  • HDMI IN + features
  • OpenWRT + NAS services
  • Many settings, features and ZIDOO apps

Cons

  • 4K video playback via ZDMC not smoothly

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