Let's open up the AMLogic 8726-M3 boxes
Peter Steenbergen here from: J1nx .:Hackable Gadgets:.
Some folks already know me the gathering of tweakers community, some from the XBMC community, others from the Allwinner community, but maybe most of you don't know me at all. For the last couple of years I am active in the "hackable" gadgets world. The last year and a half running the community website and very recently webshop www.j1nx.nl
At J1nx.nl we have very strong affinity with open source and we fully support the concept of open hardware aka hackable gadgets.
We aim to be your number 1 gateway of gadget hacking information and the corresponding hardware and at this moment we have set our focus on the AMLogic 8726-M3 hardware. A LOT of hardware uses this specific SoC, but up till now most released related software sources were not fully matching the hardware (MBX - f16ref).
After an extensive search and weeks of communication with the far east we succeeded to find a supplier who can deliver;
- A Set Top Box, with external wifi antenna
- A populated UART connector on the inside
- The willingness to support the box by releasing the FULL software build system
- This included the Linux kernel sources and drivers
- The U-Boot bootloader system sources including the proper def_config file.
As the hardware (f16ref) is the same as for instance the OvalElephant Smart TV Box / Stick and the GBox Midnight / dyno we are very confident the software sources can flow back into those development projects as well.
Imagine what we can do with that !
But it does not come for free!
We have to talk the world wide universal language "$"
We live in a commercial world so for us to get "our hands" on the software sources we have to buy some related hardware. We are talking about the above mentioned Set Top Box. If we manage to fund raise enough to buy a minimum quantity of 500, the vendor is willing to release the sources.
So to break it down;
- Buying 500 boxes
- Sea freight shipment
- Import Duties
- pre-paying the EU taxes over hardware, shipping and import duties
- Costs for warranty and DOA's
- Crowndfunding platform costs
- Small costs to be able to "(re)sale" the received boxes.
Total of : $43.753,-
So how do we get there?
$5,- Thanks for the support!
By supporting us with your $5, you're making a statement. A statement that you believe in open software, open hardware, hackable gadgets, and ofcourse you will receive our eternal gratitude. We will keep you up to data about all the developments, so you don't miss a thing.
$25,- Development Supporter!
In addition of the above, we'll put your name (or Pseudonym of your choice) on the project / product page on our website. Secondly you will receive a USB->TTL PL2303 serial console convertor, with which you are able to start hacking into many boxes.
$99,- Developers Package
Receive all of the above including the Set Top Box it self. The box on it self can boot straight into Android and already make your TV a whole lot smarter.
$500,- | $1000,- | $2500,- Business packages.
Are you a business and want to support us while still making some money out of this project? Contact us to see how we can cooperate and get the best out of it for all parties.
Some folks came to me stating the price is rather high. This is indeed so if you compare it to any Chinese box, which you might import "illegally" into your country on your own. (I don't accuse anybody here ;) )
Our price is based on EU (Netherlands) laws and include all the import taxes and VAT.
So if you order it within the EU, some bucks might be added for shipping but that's about it! (I am working out some plans to minimise the shipping costs)
IF you order the box from outside the EU, you are responsible for the tax in your own country, so the VAT will be deducted from the price. Shipping might be more expensive, but overall the price should stay around the same. (I don't have hard numbers as of yet)
The Smart TV Box
The Set Top Box has greyish metalic finish. Two full size USB ports on the front for easily connecting any stick with your media. A SD/MMC/MS 3 in 1 card slot. But more important, a fully populated UART connector on the inside of the box. Just like the famous Allwinner Mele A1000/A2000. Hook up the UART TTL to USB convertor and you have a full serial console. Happy hacking!
- Amlogic-8726M3 Cortex A9, CPU Max 1GHz.
- Mali-400 GPU
- 1 GB memory
- 4 GB flash storage
- WiFi: 802.11b/g/n
- 10/100Mbps LAN
- 2 USB
- Cardreader slot
- Coaxial Jack / Optical Socket / HDMI Socket
- Remote control
|CPU||:Cortex A9, CPU Max 1GHz.|
|Operating System||:Google Android 4.0 OS|
|Power Supply Specifications|
|Power Supply(Adapter)||:DC 12V/1A|
|Power Indicator (LED)||:Power ON : Blue; standby: Red|
|Support decoder format||:H.264, VC-1, MPEG1,MPEG2,MPEG4,Divx,Xvid, FLV,RM/RMVB|
|Support Media format||:mkv, ts, m2ts, mts, tp, wmv, ifo, iso, vob, dat, avi, mpg, mp4,mov, rm, rmvb, divx, xvid, flv|
|Support MUSIC format||:MP3, WMA,MIDI,WAV,OGG, AAC, LPCM, FLAC,DTS, AC3|
|Support PHOTO format||:JPG/JPEG, BMP, PNG,TIFF, GIF|
|USB HOST||:High speed USB 2.0 support U DISK and USB HDD|
|Support Subtitle||:sub, smi, ssa, srt, idx + sub|
|High Difinition video output||:720P, 1080I, 1080P(1920X1080) and RM/RMVB|
|OSD type of languages||:English/Japanese/French/German/Spanish/Italian/ etc multilateral languages|
|Hard disk driver||:Support external HDD to 2TB|
|DOLBY TrueHD and DTS HD||:DOLBY TrueHD and DTS HD Bypass through HDMI|
|Android 4.0 OS||:Support download and install android APK freely|
|Wireless Lan||:Support built-in Wifi and external USB Wifi dongle|
|Card read||:1PC(3 in 1)|
|Component / Composite Jack||:1PC|
|DC input Jack||:1PC|
|AC-DC SPS Adaptor 12V/1A||:1PC|
|REMOTE control with Battery||:1PC
The possible projects
The great people over at Pivos did an amazing job by starting the linux port of XBMC on their Meson1 device. From that project the last pieces of the puzzle where found for the Android port of XBMC.
Having the sources for the Meson3 MBX f16ref hardware means we can extent that amazing work with support of these boxes. The end results can be a fully stand alone linux buildroot environment booting straight into XBMC.
Of course the project has to be fully open, allowing any changes to flow back into the original XBMC code and of course to flow back even to the older hardware of the Pivos XIOS.
With the full linux kernel sources and the ability to boot any filesystem we want. The device can also be used as light weight desktop system.
Linux desktop such as Ubuntu might be a bit to much for the GPU, but the lighter variants like the Xubuntu release or hence even the ALIP version of the Linaro releases will work like a charm.
Just like on the Allwinner A10 devices. You can find more information about these possible projects on our website. Allthough most development up till know has only be done on the Allwinner devices. We are always looking for enthousiastic people to work on these projects.
The box will be delivered from the factory with Android Icecream sandwich.
This will provide all the needs to transform your TV into a Smart TV.
With access to Google play you can install all your favorite APP's without restictions.
Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Browsing and or games should be no problem.
With the help of the full software sources the custom ROM developers out there can work their way into the best possible Android experience possible. Potential NO WiFi probelms. NO network problem, NO status bar, Etc ...
It is all possible because of the released sources
So what do we get and when?
After the campaign is finished it will take up to 10 to 15 days for the funds to be released.
After that we will immediately order the Set Top Boxes. It will most likely take a couple of days to get them onto transport to the Netherlands, but as soon as they are on the way; The factory will release the source code.
When the sources are available they will be uploaded to our github account. Anyone who already own a MBX r16ref type of AMLogic 8726-M3 box can start hacking if they want!
The shipment of the boxes will most likely take up 4-6 weeks. When they arrive, they will be checked / tested and shipped to the first initial buyers as soon as possible.
Other ways you can help
If you cant donate or buy one of the initial boxes. Don't worry, Don't feel bad.
We only ask that you share this indiegogo page everywhere you can. Post it to your twitter, facebook, tumblr, reddit, pintrest or where ever else you can spread the word!
If you want to get into contact with us, you can alway send us an email; firstname.lastname@example.org
For other contact details or any further information please feel free to visit our website.