Review | VideoStrong KII Pro DVB-T2/S2 TV Box

KII Pro is one of the latest models Videostrong released, but it is simply a slightly different version of the KI Plus model I reviewed before. The advantage of KII Pro (aside from the Amlogic S905 chipset and integrated DVB-T2 and DVB-S2 digital TV tuners) over the previous model are the 2GB of RAM and 16GB of Storage (versus the 1GB/8GB offer of the KI Plus) as well as the support for 5Ghz WiFi.

KII,Pro,android,dvb,digital tv,s905,streamer,review

This review unit was sent to me courtesy of the lovely people at Videostrong, so thank you very much, and especially Leya, for the help!

Videostrong Technology Co. Ltd. was founded in 1998. They produce a line of android based TV boxes and dongles, as well as hybrid boxes. Hybrid boxes are TV boxes which incorporate other abilities such as DVB tuners of different standards (T2, S2, ATSC and others) as well as capabilities such as HDTV recording (PVR).

What’s in the Box?


As can be seen both in the unboxing video and the photo below, the package is pretty standard, with the DC power adapter, HDMI 2.0 cable, and a standard IR remote control as well as a quick manual. It contain most all of what you’ll need, aside from a Digital TV antenna, which is not included.

KII,Pro,items,remote,user guide,power adapter,review

Looks & Design


The KII Pro is a of a very similar (but not identical) design to that of the KI Plus: black plastic, with the model name printed in white (but also red) letters on top of it. On the left we can see the indication LED/Power button. The KII Pro can also be turned off and on from the included Remote control.

I also took a screenshot of the app screen, but the rest can be found in the almost identical KI Plus review:KII,Pro,apps,remote,user guide,power adapter,review

Specifications


Chipset Amlogic S905 Quad core 64-bit Cortex A53 Up to 2.0GHz
GPU Penta-core Mali-450 Up to 750MHZ
Memory / Storage DDRIII 2GB / Nand Flash 16GB (4~32GB Optional)
LAN Support LAN 10/100M
Wireless 2.4Ghz / 5Ghz WiFi
Bluetooth Optional
OS Android 5.1.1
Video Output HDMI 2.0 4Kp60 10-bit HEVC, 4Kp30 MPEG / VC-1 / AVS+ / H.264
Audio Output HDMI Data Output / SPDIF / AV 3.5 mm output
Power DC 12V/1A DC-in
Peripheral Interface
  • HDMI 2.0 4K 2K HDMI2.0 , HDCP2.2
  • 4 * USB HOST 4 High speed USB 2.0,support U DISK and USB HDD
  • 1 * TF CARD Support 1~32GB
  • 1 * AV output port (CAVS)
  • 1 * SPDIF Audio output
  • 1 * RJ45 10/100 BaseT, 1000M( Optional)
Packing Includes
  • DC Power Adapter
  • IR remote control
  • HDMI 2.0 Cable
  • User Manual

Benchmarks and Testing


 All benchmarks have been repeated 3 times and results have been averaged to give a more accurate reading:

Antutu Benchmark



KII,Pro,antutu,remote,user guide,benchmark,review

The Antutu benchmark tests single core performance over multi-core as it is a better indication of the performance of one device over others in most situations. The test went well, unlike with the KI Plus, and the result puts the box in a nice mid location on the table – two places above the KI Plus, and one under the more powerful YokaTV KB2 (also from Videostrong) – which is based on S912.

GPU Mark Benchmark


GPU Mark tests 3d gaming performance and also provides a normalized score according to the used screen resolution (for a more accurate result). The test is quite short and should be taken as a supporting result to that of the more serious 3D Mark benchmark. The test shows an issue with the box’s optimization as it places it under the KI Plus in both tests, and showed inconsistent results in repeat tests.

A1 SD Benchmark


A1 SD Benchmark tests RAM and flash memory speeds. As can be seen in the provided graphs, RAM is much faster (by a factor of about 40) than flash memory – that is why it’s in smaller amount and is also volatile (does not keep its contents after a reboot). The KII Pro takes a good place a few notches above the KI Plus in the middle of the chart, thanks to the higher amount of RAM and a better usage of it.

PC Mark Benchmark


KII,Pro,amlogic,s905,pcmark,remote,user guide,benchmark,review

The PC Mark benchmark test suite gives a more task/day oriented picture of performance. Things like photo editing, web browsing and video playback are tested. The KI Plus takes a nice middle seat as it shows it is more than capable at performing day-to-day android tasks. The KII Pro shows surprisingly good results and is placed above both the KI Plus and the YokaTV KB2 at a good mid-position.

3D Mark Benchmark


KII,Pro,amlogic,s905,3dmark,read,write,remote,user guide,benchmark,review

3D Mark benchmark is considered as one of the best ways to test 3d performance on Android (and other platforms). Interestingly, unlike GPUMark, 3dmark shows the KI Plus a medium score that makes it a descent box for casual gaming. This is supported by actual gaming I tested as mentioned later. In 3dmark, KII Pro shows better placement than the KI Plus, but much lower than the S912 YokaTV KB2 due to the inferior GPU it uses.

Usage and Performance


KII,Pro,rooted,internet,speed,wifi,LAN,wired,amlogic.s905,remote,user guide,review

As can be seen, the KII Pro comes pre-rooted, and is able to run most any program out there.

Video Playback testing


Resolution Video Format Local Playback Network (Wi-Fi/LAN) Playback
720p (1280*720) AVC (High@L4.1) Playing correctly Playing correctly
1080P (1920*1080) AVC (High@L4) Playing correctly Playing correctly
4K/UHD (4096*2304) AVC (High@L5.1) Playing correctly Buffering  and stutter
2160P (3840*2160) HEVC (H.265) Playing correctly Buffering and stutter
4K TS HEVC files HEVC (H.265) 10Bit Playing correctly Partial Results

KII,Pro,amlogic,s905,antutu,video,remote,user guide,benchmark,review

There is a noteable improvement with the KII Pro over the KI Plus, as the antutu video results show (916 vs. 897 results).

KII Pro plays 10 bit files better than KI Plus, and uses the newer Kodi 16.1 to do so. It is also much more stable, and includes several add-ons pre-installed.

Digital TV performance


This is a special addition, as this box supports DVB-T2 and DVB-S2 digital TV protocols, and does it well. This capability is accessible both from the app list, and from the remote by pressing a button labeled “DTV”.

It uses a special app that comes pre-installed, called “DTV”. Upon opening the app (each and every time) you’re presented by the choice of one of the tuners: DVB-S2 or DVB-T2.

You’re also presented, only on the first time, with the option of scanning for channels. You’ll need to make sure you get an external antenna (not included in the package) or have an existing digital TV antenna at hand. The scanning process was fast, and reception was quite great, even if I left the small antenna I used in the room rather than placing it outside the near window.

KII,Pro,dtv,amlogic.s905,remote,user guide,review
Electronic Program Guide Screen

Picture and sound quality are both great, especially in HD, but standard SD quality is good and stable as well. Recording is possible – either to the (Micro)SD card, or to an external USB drive. This can be set in the app settings, and record schedules can be set from the EPG by clicking on the desired program to set recording, or within a program – clicking on the remote control record button to initiate. I have successfully recorded a test segment of a Full HD program.

I did notice two issues: the first being that certain HD channels could not produce sound, even though they recognized the audio track (usually AC3 encoding), and the second – de-synchronization between the video and the audio. The audio did slowly catch up with the video in time.

Bugs & Issues


  1. Kodi Add-ons did not always install properly at first time each time. Some required repeat attempts to get installed.
  2. 4K playback over WiFi from the local network was spotty at best.
  3. Digital TV – AC3 audio on some HD channels would not play sound.
  4. Kodi 16.1 does not always close properly and requires exiting via the remote’s Home button.
  5. Buffering was observed sometimes on 1080p content over LAN network.(mostly when using 2.4Ghz Wifi, but sometimes also with the faster 5Ghz Wifi connection)

Network performance


Network performance has been tested using Speedtest.net Internet speed measuring app, in WiFi and in Wired mode. My Internet connection is 200 Mbit Symmetric Fibre connection. 5Ghz speed is great, and Wired speed is (relatively) good, but the 2.4Ghz speed is lacking at around 20 MB/s speeds:KII,Pro,speedtest,internet,speed,wifi,LAN,wired,amlogic.s905,remote,user guide,review

Gaming performance


Asphalt 8 Airborne – a 3d graphic intensive racing game. The game run fine, and almost completely smooth.KII,Pro,asphalt 8, airborne,racing,amlogic.s905,remote,user guide,review

Angry Birds 2 – a popular 2D action game. Runs smoothly most of the time, with just a bit of slowness in the loading screens.KII,Pro,angry birds 2.game,amlogic.s905,remote,user guide,review

Walking War Robots – an online robot warfare game that requires a game-pad (I don’t have a game-pad). The game has been updated a few times. WWR ran mostly smooth, although with a less than perfect frame rate. The issue that existed with the KI Plus (persisting audio bug) does not exist with this box.KII,Pro,wwr,walking war robots,game,mechs,amlogic.s905,remote,user guide,review

KII Pro Conclusions


Did I like it? Yes, I did. KII Pro is an improvement in almost all areas over its weaker, older brother.It offers good (but not perfect nor great) performance, and the built-in Digital TV support adds a lot to its value. For many Kodi enthusiasts this box will give an almost perfect all-around solution which gives them crisp HD terrestrial digital channels which do not depend on internet availability on top of the good video decoding ability offered by the Amlogic S905 chipset.

Would I recommend it? Definitely. It has a few issues to patch up, but all in all it’s a great combined solution for a very good price.

So you’d like to buy this box? You can find it here for a mere 85 USD:

KII PRO Android TV Box Amlogic S905 Android 5.1.1 Solution DVB-T2 DVB-S2

from: DealExtreme

Or, if you’re interested in 20 units or more, buy it wholesale (and cheaper) here: Latest Arrival ! Amlogic S912 Octa core Android 6.0 TV box 2GB ram 32GB flash KODI 17.0 pre installed smart tv box

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Comments

Comments

  1. Lavi

    Thanks for the detailed review.

    I noticed a behavior for for this box where after I minimize Kodi, upon return it launches Kodi again and not simply return to the application as any other android device usually does, including my other android TV box.

    I checked a few configurations under developer options and could not get it to work. Are you experiencing the same issue? were you able to get this resolve?

    Any assistance will be appreciated,

    Thanks, Lavi

    1. Post
      Author
      admin

      Thanks for visiting!
      Why do you minimize Kodi? Do you mean when you hit “home” button on your remote?
      Yes, I have encountered this issue with this box as well as others. It seems to be a programming mis-step, and may be corrected in a future update. You are welcome to try and get the company to correct this issue by contacting them here: http://www.videostrong.com/contact.asp
      As I said, I have encountered this issue in other boxes and it may be related to the way the home button is utilized – in proper android programming you can suspend a program in memory when you move to home screen, but that takes space in memory. So it is possible that this was done intentionally in order to ensure that the RAM is not bogged up. Either way, see if you can change their minds.
      Cheers!

      1. Lavi Landman

        Thanks for your response.
        Yes, I meant hitting “home” on the remote. I wanted to let you know that I got an advise that worked for me: as long as you work with the supplied remote, if you press the APPS button, it will allow you to switch to a different app, and when you click the APPS button again and get back to Kodi it will be restored (without initialization). I wish it could work with other remotes, such as the popular rii i8+, and I will follow your advice and suggest to videostrong

        1. Lavi

          Hi, I wanted to update that I found a neat way to minimize Kodi using the rii i8+ remote in a method that when reopenin Kodi it does not reinitialize: step 1. Click the button with the shape of triangle in a circle (upper left corner of touchpad), step 2. Click the explorer (“e”) button.

          1. Post
            Author
  2. Rudi

    Hi Guys,

    Can you help me with the same problem? more generally speaking, how can I close background applications? I use the Rii i8 remote.

    Many thnaks for your assistance

    1. Post
      Author

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