Review | MeCool KI Pro (Amlogic S905D)

KI Pro is another in a series of hybrid boxes which combine the abilities of a full fledged Digital TV receiver (DVB-T/2, DVB-S/2, DVB-C) and a android TV box with Kodi. KI Pro is based on the newest iteration of Amlogic’s S905 system-on-chip (SOC) – S905D – where the D stands for Digital TV capabilities.

My thanks goes to the Leia from Videostrong, for providing me with another great review sample!

What do we get in the box?


 The KI Pro, DC Power adapter, HDMI 2.0 cable, a short user manual, and a standard IR remote control.

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Looks and design


Technical Specifications


Chipset
Amlogic S905D quad core ARM Cortex-A53 @ up to 2 GHz
GPUPenta-core ARM Mali-450MP
Memory / Storage2 GB DDR4 / 16GB eMMC flash
LAN10M/100M/1000M
WirelessDual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth4.1 LE
OSAndroid 7.1 Nougat
Video OutputHDMI 2.0a up to 4K @ 60Hz with support for HDR10 and HLG, and 3.5mm AV (composite video) jack
Audio OutputHDMI, AV (stereo audio), optical S/PDIF
PowerDC 12V/1A
Peripheral Interface4x USB 2.0 host ports, Power button and LED, IR receiver, micro SD card slot up to 32GB
Packing IncludedMecool KI Pro Hybrid TV Box, Standard remote control, HDMI 2.0 cable, DC Power 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


videostrong,mecool,ki pro,amlogic,s905d,tv box,streamer,review,android,kodi,ultrahd,fullhd,internet,hybrid,stb,digital tv,receiver,antutu,benchmarkThe 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.

GPU Mark Benchmark


A1 SD Benchmark


PC Mark Benchmark


videostrong,mecool,ki pro,amlogic,s905d,tv box,streamer,review,android,kodi,ultrahd,fullhd,internet,hybrid,stb,digital tv,receiver,pcmark,benchmark,work 2.0PC Mark suite of tests tries to measure performance in day-to-day tasks such as image processing, word processing, video playback and editing and so on. Results place the KI pro in the last third of the table – meaning it’s not a fast box for general usage. Here is the older work 1.0 results as well:videostrong,mecool,ki pro,amlogic,s905d,tv box,streamer,review,android,kodi,ultrahd,fullhd,internet,hybrid,stb,digital tv,receiver,pcmark,benchmark,work 1.0

3D Mark Benchmark


videostrong,mecool,ki pro,amlogic,s905d,tv box,streamer,review,android,kodi,ultrahd,fullhd,internet,hybrid,stb,digital tv,receiver,3dmark,benchmark,gaming3D Mark is a labor intensive 3D animation and gaming Benchmark. It runs a series of 3d heavy game and video animations. KI Pro still takes one of the last places, though performance in a demanding 3d game such as Asphalt 8 is not that bad..

Video Playback testing (Using KODI/TV Center)


ResolutionVideo FormatLocal PlaybackNetwork (Wi-Fi/LAN) Playback
720p (1280*720)AVC (High@L4.1)Playing correctlyPlaying correctly
1080P (1920*1080)AVC (High@L4)Playing correctlyPlaying correctly
 2160P (3840*2160)HEVC (H.265) – 10BitPlaying correctlyBuffering, Stutter *
4K (4096*2304)AVC (High@L5.1)Playing correctly
Buffering, Stutter *
4K TS HEVC filesHEVC (H.265)Playing correctlyBuffering, Stutter, Audio Loss

* KI Pro results were mixed as can be seen in the results table:videostrong,mecool,ki pro,amlogic,s905d,tv box,streamer,review,android,kodi,ultrahd,fullhd,internet,hybrid,stb,digital tv,receiver,video,tests

KI Pro uses a Kodi variant called “TV Center”. Playback performance does not vary much between LAN over WiFi or LAN over power-lines. However, the performance does improve if the built in media player app is used rather than TV Center/Kodi. (As is the case with most boxes)

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KI Pro performed quite well in the Antutu Video formats tests and came out with a score of 922 – unable to play only three out of the 30 samples. The in-built system specs is as follows:videostrong,mecool,ki pro,amlogic,s905d,tv box,streamer,review,android,kodi,ultrahd,fullhd,internet,hybrid,stb,digital tv,receiver,antutu,video,system,specs

These days, the viability of Kodi add-ons is very unreliable due to recent crackdowns against many of their developers. However, I tested several (pre-installed) video add-ons and the ones that are still alive (such as exodus for instance) have performed quite well – even in full HD streaming.

Network performance


Network performance has been tested using Speedtest.net Internet speed measuring app, in WiFi and in Wired (*) mode. My Internet connection is 500 Mbit Symmetric Fibre connection.

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  • Wired works over Power-line adapters and those has been upgraded now to a AV1200 kit which gives a big bump to network performance.

Issues and Bugs


  1. KI Pro reverts to korean system language shortly after each restart/boot-up
  2. Some stutter noticed in standard (H.264) 720p/1080p content
  3. TV Center (videostrong’s kodi variant) sometimes fails to start the first time
  4. 4K content over LAN/WiFi is inconsistent at best, even with 5GHz WiFi support

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Gaming performance


As usual, I test three games: Angry Birds 2Asphalt 8 Airborne, and Walking War Robots. No root solution is available, therefore I could not measure CPU or RAM usage.

Angry Birds 2, a popular 2d game. played mostly smooth with just a bit of stutter in transitions, and slightly long load times. Game cannot continue past the first level – but it seems to be a game bug and not a box related issue.videostrong,mecool,ki pro,amlogic,s905d,tv box,streamer,review,android,kodi,ultrahd,fullhd,internet,hybrid,stb,digital tv,receiver,angry birds 2,splash screen,game

Asphalt 8 Airborne , intense 3d racing game. Worked fine and smooth.. aside from not having any sound.himedia,a5,streamer,review,android,kodi,amlogic,s912,asphalt 8,airborne,game

Walking War Robots – an online 3d robot battle game. worked fine and smooth enough, but still unable to shoot with this touch-centric game.mk22,rikomagic,review,amlogic,s912,android,tv box,games,benchmarks,tests,speed,internet,kodi,4k,fullhd,ultrahd,1080p,720p,war robots,game,gamebench

Mecool KI Pro Conclusions


MeCool KI Pro started unstable with the initial firmware that came installed, but over the next few weeks as more updates came, it settled down to much better performance. It also got DDR4 and a built in Digital TV Tuner which would be a great help for those that want a all-in-one solution.

Did I like it? Some. It is relatively stable and is still getting quite frequent firmware updates (mostly manual and not via OTA). But it is not the best box for uses other than Kodi/TV Center and Digital TV watching.

Would I recommend it? It’s a pretty good combo solution for those who are interested solely in video (DTV and/or streaming).

Like to buy it? You can get this hybrid box for about 80 USD right now here: MECOOL KI PRO TV Box

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