[Updated] Review | HPH NTV8 RK3368 TV Box

NTV8 was sent to me courtesy of the kind people at Nagrace, so thank you all, and especially Candy, for the help and support!

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Nagrace is a Chinese manufacturer for over 15 years which specializes in TV Boxes – both own branded, and OEM/ODM (manufactured for other companies). They are a big Solution partner for Rockchip, and as such, produce devices based on their chipsets.

HPH (named after “Happy Home”) NTV8 is a brand new model based on the latest Rockchip SOC available, the RK3368. It has an Octa Core CPU, a PowerVR G6110 GPU (capable but not the greatest performer for gaming) and a powerful WiFi module (AP6335) that supports Dual Band 5 GHz (ac) & 2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, as well as Bluetooth 4.0.

What’s in the Box?


The box contains the standard assortment of necessities: The NTV8 TV Box (naturally), HDMI 2.0 cable, USB male to USB male OTG cable (for data connection to a PC), DC power adapter, Standard IR remote control (with a nice red and black color scheme), Quick-guide and a User manual.

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The Box is quite simply, but elegantly designed – a perfect square, shiny black top with the company embossed logo, metallic grey sides, and a black matte finished bottom. Plenty (4) of USB ports so that you may not need to add a USB hub, and many of the popular ports (Optical, AV port, micro-SD expansion and so on) are all there. Oh, there’s also a screen protector included as a part of the package – nice touch!

Specifications

Chipset Rockchip RK3368 octa core Cortex A53
GPU PowerVR G6110 GPU with support for OpenGL ES 1.x/2.0/3.1, OpenGL 3.2, DirectX 9.3, OpenCL 1.2 EP, and Renderscript
Memory / Storage 2GB DDR3 / 16GB EMMC
LAN Fast Ethernet (10/100/1000M)
Wireless Dual Band 5hz & 2.4Ghz 802.11 b/g/n/ Wi-Fi AP6335
Bluetooth v4.0
OS Android 5.1
Video Output HDMI 2.0 (4K/2K 60FPS)
Audio Output HDMI out, 3.5mm Headphone Jack, SPDIF (optical)
Power DC 5V / 3A
Peripheral Interface 2 * USB Host, 1 * Micro SD card (TF card) reader, 1 * SPDIF, 1 * 3.5mm Headphone Jack, 1 * HDMI(A type Male), 1 * RJ45 LAN Port
Packing Included 1 * NT-V8 1 * Adapter(DC 5V/2A), 1 * HDMI Cable ,1 * IR Remote Controller,1 * Manual

Benchmarks and Testing

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

Antutu Benchmark

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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. NTV8 came up on top with flying colors.

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). NTV8 is placed in both tests here on the second place. In the storage test it came second to Minix new U1, and in the RAM copy speed – to another RK3368 box (Himedia H8 Core). These are great results and push the overall performance of the box.

PC Mark Benchmark

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The PC Mark benchmark test suite is a comprehensive collection of tests designed to show ultimate performance in real-world conditions. NTV8 takes first place in the test suite. That puts it in a great position to be much more than just a Kodi TV box, but as a more versatile Android machine.

3D Mark Benchmark

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On the NTV8, even though it identified it as OpenGL 3.1 capable, it could not run the 3.1 or the 3.0 tests correctly, so I was forced to run the OpenGL 2.1 tests instead. This happened before in another RK3368 I’ve tested (the ENY EKB368), so it might be a known issue.

Video Playback testing (Using KODI)

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
 2160P (3840*2160) HEVC (H.265) Playing correctly Playing correctly
4K (4096*2304) AVC (High@L5.1) Playing correctly Buffering  and stutter
4K TS HEVC files HEVC (H.265) 10Bit Does not play Does not play

I did notice issues with video playback. It didn’t occur in every video file, but in some files the video would freeze while audio continues, and when it unfroze, the audio would be out of sync for a while till it “caught up”. The same happened when fast forwarding (the shorter period of fast forwarding the faster it would catch up) – similar to a rubber band getting back to its original size. WiFi 802.11ac performance was noticeably better (probably thanks to the AP6335 WiFi module) than the wired performance (my wired connection is AV500 Ethernet over power-line, and that means it is somewhat limited). Most 1080p/720p content played fine, and even more so on SPMC 15 rather than the included custom 15.2 RC1 Kodi version.

Gaming performance

I use an application called “GameBench” to measure frame rate and resource usage in games. However, even though the box is confirmed to be rooted, the application simply would not (or could not) “hook” into the game. It actually crashed without loading the before the game loaded in each of these cases. Therefore, I have to give a subjective opinion of the performance of these:

Asphalt 8 Airborne – a 3d graphic intensive racing game. The game loaded and played quite well, with some jerkiness in loading and cut scenes. However, the gameplay itself was quite fluid even if not completely smooth. Very playable. However, it kept detecting and undetecting a game pad when there was none connected. It did allow to play with the basic remote using the arrow keys and auto acceleration, but there is no standard button mapped for nitro, so that could not be used in the game.

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Angry Birds 2 – a popular 2d action game. The game loaded swiftly and performed quite smoothly. It also connected to google play games for my old profile, but did not restore my previous track record (as it did in Asphalt 8) – this is more to do with the game design and not the box.

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Walking War Robots – an online robot warfare game that requires a game-pad (I don’t have a game-pad). The game loaded properly, although the load screen showed a corrupted picture. The game itself had no such artifacts and run quite well, and mostly smoothly.

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NTV8 Conclusions

Did I like it? Yes, it is a powerful machine but it still some way away from smooth sailing – especially with the video issues in Kodi.

Would I recommend it? Yes, but even though it is powerful, consider that the NTV8 may take a few firmware updates to bring it to its full potential. It is not meant for gaming, even though it performs mostly well. The 8 cores are meant for video.

I give it… 3.9 / 5 and I do believe it will get better with time and firmware update rounds. The design is solid, and the support seems to be there.

So you’d like to buy this box? go here: RK3368 TV BOX NT-V8 2G/16G support 802ac Free shipping by China post (Airmail) to get the NTV8 for 99$ USD.

Let shareasale.com find sales leads for you. Only pay when it works!

Comments

Comments

  1. Marcus

    What device would you choose? The S95 Telos or the HPH NT V8? I Cant make a decision. You have tested both boxes so i would like your input. Im mainly going to stream bluray films from nas. Is it possible to run payed iptv on the s95 telos and hph ntv8 with hd content?
    /Marcus

    1. Post
      Author
      admin

      It depends on your use. Since you plan to mostly stream Bluray films, I’d go for the Tronsmart Vega S95 Telos. It is more future-proof, and it’s better aimed at video playback than the HPH NT-V8. It has some shortcomings but they’ll be less of an issue for your type of use.

  2. Marcus

    Hi!
    Tanks for your help! Getting a little confused since all your bechmarktests indicate that the HPH box outperforms the Telos. But the support for the Telos box seams to be good, there for your “future proof” mark? Do you think the the S905 and its gpu will be a good choice even in a couple years?
    Thanks again!
    /Marcus

    1. Post
      Author
      admin

      I mentioned it as “future proof” because S905 based boxes can play 10 bit TS videos unlike most chipsets before it. (not all though). as for two years from now? I wouldn’t presume to say. there will be other choices from both Amlogic and Rockchip (and even sigma designs) that might offer better/richer support. But I do think it will hold its own in terms of video playback.

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