Himedia

HiMedia Q5 Pro Review: HiMedia Strikes Again!

The HiMedia Q5 Pro is the company’s latest Android TV box. Following in the footsteps of the excellent HiMedia Q10 Pro, the HiMedia is effectively a budget version, losing the 3.5″ Harddrives Bay  and halting the amount of onboard storage in exchange for a smaller footprint and price.

Thanks to HiMedia for providing me a sample to review. The HiMedia Q5 Pro is available from Amazon, Aliexpress, W2Comp and eBay.

Check Price at Amazon

In This Review

HiMedia Q5 Pro Technical Specifications

General

Processor Hisilicon Hi3798C V200
CPU CPU Quad-core 64bit Cortex A53 CPU
GPU ARM® Mali™-T720
Operating System Android 5.1.1
RAM 2GB DDR3
Storage 8GB eMMC
SD Card Slot
Other Features IR Reciever/Transmitter
LED Display
Aluminium Case
Power 12V/2A

Interfaces

Video Output HDMI 2.0
Composite
Audio Output HDMI 2.0
SP-DIF
Composite
Other Interfaces 1x USB 3.0
2x USB 2.0

Connectivity

WiFi Dual Band Wireless AC
Ethernet Gigabit
Bluetooth 4.0

Physical

What’s in the Box?

Himedia-Q5-Pro-Review-Inside-The-Box

Inside the box, you’ll get:

  • HiMedia Q5 Pro Android TV box
  • Power Adapter
  • Learning IR Remote
  • HDMI Cable
  • English Instruction Manual

HiMedia Q5 Pro Review: Design

The HiMedia Q5 Pro borrows its style from HiMedia’s last compact Android TV box, the HiMedia Q8. The unit is a sleek aluminium block, with its front panel broken by a large LED display. The case shows the same attention to detail as other HiMedia devices, with chamfered edges and a matte finish that hides fingerprints nicely.

Himedia-Q5-Pro-Review-Front

There are ports located all over the unit. The right side houses a single USB 2.0 port.

Himedia-Q5-Pro-Review-Right

The left side features 2 USB 2.0 ports and a micro SD card slot.

Himedia-Q5-Pro-Review-Left

As you’ve probably guessed by now, most of the ports are on the rear. Here, you’ve got optical audio output, composite video output, HDMI out, Ethernet, a reset button and DC in.

Himedia-Q5-Pro-Review-Back

The included remote is the same one included with the HiMedia Q10 Pro. It’s got plenty of functionality, including a solid set of multimedia controls, Android buttons and a mouse mode. It can also learn IR commands, allowing you to map your TV/Amp’s volume and power buttons to the HiMedia Q5 Pro’s remote.

The remote’s buttons are nice and quiet too, rather than the “clicky” feel like some of the cheap included remotes.

Himedia-Q5-Pro-Review-Remote

HiMedia Q5 Pro Review: Using It

Booting up the unit takes around 25 seconds with a keyboard and mouse connected. Standby isn’t supported so you’ll have to leave it idle or power it up every time which is frustrating. It can be powered up via the remote however.

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HiMedia have kept the same launcher as the Q10 Pro, complete with its bright colors and flat tiles. It’s definitely one of the most attractive launchers available.

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The company has included a few apps out of the box. Facebook, Skype, Netflix, a TV-friendly version of YouTube, Kodi 16.1 and Happy Cast for AirPlay support are pre-installed. Google Play works as expected too. HiMedia have opted to not root the Q5 Pro out of the box so you’ll need to root it yourself if you need it.

Himedia-Q5-Pro-Review-Android-02

HiMedia have also kept their SAMBA server on the Q5 Pro. However, without the SATA port included with the Q10 Pro, you’ll need to rely on USB harddrives to add storage.

OTA updates are supported. However, there wasn’t any firmware updates available at the time of writing. The company does regularly release new firmware updates to fix issues and add new features however.

Himedia-Q5-Pro-Review-Android-04

The HiMedia Q5 Pro’s performance was excellent when using Android 5.1.1. Whether navigating the OS, browsing Kodi or launching apps, everything felt smooth.

The firmware seems to be stable, with only 3DMark crashing on me (though this has been an issue on a few boxes recently so I’m starting to suspect it’s an issue with the app).

HiMedia Q5 Pro Review: Media Playback

Himedia-Q5-Pro-Review-Kodi

It was great to see HiMedia have included the latest version of Kodi pre-installed (16.1 at the time of writing). The company has also included the HiMedia Wrapper this time, modifying Kodi to use the HiMedia Player and enabling automatic framerate switching.

Codec Video Performance (Kodi 16.1)
1080p 3D SBS H.264 OK
1080p 3D ABL H.264 OK
1080p24 H.264 OK
1080p High Bitrate H.264 OK
1080p60 H.264 OK
720p50 H.264 OK
1080i25 H.264 OK
4K 30FPS H.264 OK
4K 60FPS H.264 NO

Unwatchable – Audio Out of Sync with Video

1080p24 HEVC OK
4K 30FPS 8-bit HEVC OK
4K 30FPS 10-bit HEVC OK
1080p VP8 OK
720p Hi10p OK
1080p Hi10p NO
Unwatchable – Decoding Issues
1080p MPEG2 OK
1080p VC1 OK
Unencrypted Bluray ISO (Sintel) OK

Deinterlacing performance was good, as long as you turn off the Imprex engine. With Imprex switched on, my interlacing test video showed clear combing. However, watching standard interlaced footage appeared artifact free so your mileage may vary.

Automatic framerate switching is supported but only if you use HiMedia’s internal player. However, the HiMedia Wrapper APK will do the config for you and you just enable it under HiMedia’s playback settings.

Himedia-Q5-Pro-Review-Android-OTA

23.976FPS content appeared to play back fine, without any obvious stuttering.

I have to mention that Hisilicon’s Imprex 2.0 processing engine is quite nice, offering realtime image enhancements. I found that it generally improved images, adding some extra sharpness and depth to the image, particularly in darker scenes.

5.1 Audio Passthrough

Dolby Digital 5.1 passthrough via HDMI worked fine via Kodi 16.1

Netflix

Netflix works via the Netflix Android app, however, playback is limited to 480p like most Android boxes.

Himedia-Q5-Pro-Review-04

AirPlay and MiraCast

Airplay via Happy Cast app worked well for both audio and video. AirPlay Mirroring worked on my iPhone 6 running iOS9 for videos and games, though streaming apps such as Netflix would cause the AirPlay stream to stop so I suspect it has something to do with DRM.

Miracast worked perfectly using my Samsung Galaxy S7.

External Storage Support

Playing back movies from my 2.5″ USB-powered HDD and USB flash drive worked perfectly.

HiMedia Q5 Pro Review: Gaming Performance

Himedia-Q5-Pro-Review-Jetpack-Joyride

To test gaming performance, I installed 2 games,1 2D and 1 3D title:

Gaming on the HiMedia Q5 Pro was great, matching the performance seen on the HiMedia Q10 Pro.

The 2D title, Jetpack Joyride, played perfectly, without any lag.

Beach Buggy Racing played decently at maximum settings, achieving around 25-30fps depending on the action on the screen. Lowing the graphical settings improved performance however.

Himedia-Q5-Pro-Review-Beach-Buggy-Racing

That said, if you’re wanting an Android box for gaming, the HiMedia Q5 Pro is probably not the ideal Android TV box for you.

Gaming Controllers and Bluetooth

My GameSir G4S (read my review) worked perfectly via Bluetooth and I was able to use it play Beach Buggy Racing.

As the box isn’t rooted, I wasn’t able to run SixAxis Compatibility Checker.

Himedia-Q5-Pro-Review-07

HiMedia Q5 Pro Review: Networking

Networking performance was tested using Wifi performance was tested using Wifi Speed Test, conducting 3 tests and averaging the results. My router is approximately 5m away, with a single wall between the router and the device. WiFi performance is heavily impacted by a number of factors so your performance may vary.

Wireless Performance

Wireless performance was fantastic on the HiMedia Q5 Pro, with upload and download speeds of 46.6Mbps and 44.6Mbps respectively on the 2.4GHz band and 102.7Mbps and 121.7Mbps on the 5Ghz band.

4K H.264 streamed fine wirelessly from an NFS share on my server.

Himedia-Q5-Pro-Review-05

Ethernet Performance

Ethernet performance was decent, with upload and download speeds of 597.9Mbps and 606.1Mbps respectively.

HiMedia Q5 Pro Review: Benchmarks

Benchmark Score
Antutu 6.0  40663
3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited  N/A
3DMark Ice Storm Extreme  N/A
GeekBench 3 Single Core  697
GeekBench 3 Multi Core  2127

I wasn’t able to complete the 3DMark benchmarks as the app kept crashing whenever I tried to swipe to the other benchmarks. This appears to be an issue with the 3DMark app rather than the Q5 Pro.

HiMedia Q5 Pro Review: Power Consumption

Off Standby Idle 1080p24 Video Under Load
 0.7W  N/A  4.0W  4.8W  7.0W

Verdict

Himedia-Q5-Pro-Review-03

The HiMedia Q5 Pro is another excellent Android TV box from the company. It takes the excellent hardware of the HiMedia Q10 Pro and shapes it into a far more compact package, keeping all the goodness intact. Whilst it’s not a gaming powerhouse, those wanting a top-quality media player won’t go too far wrong with the HiMedia Q5 Pro.

Pros

  • Well-build and designed hardware
  • Intuitive UI
  • Solid video playback

Cons

  • Requires HiMedia Wrapper to be used in Kodi to access some features which can be unintuitive for some.
  • No standby mode
  • Average gaming performance

Getting One

The HiMedia Q5 Pro is available from Amazon, Aliexpress, W2Comp and eBay.

Check Price at Amazon

Himedia Q10 Pro Review: A Premium Android Powerhouse?

The Himedia Q10 Pro is the company’s latest Android TV box and one of the few Android boxes using the quadcore Hisilicon Hi3798C V200 SoC. With a 3.5″ HDD bay, touch-enabled control panel and a premium pricetag, is Himedia’s latest device a winner? Read our Himedia Q10 Pro review to find out.

I want to say thanks to Himedia for sending me a sample to review. You can pick up the Himedia Q10 Pro from Amazon and GeekBuying.

Please note: HiMedia have released firmware 2.0.6 for the HiMedia Q10 Pro that supports 4K UHD Blu-ray navigation on Android 7.0.

Check Price at Amazon

Himedia Q10 Pro Technical Specifications

General

Processor Hisilicon Hi3798C V200
CPU CPU Quad-core 64bit Cortex A53 CPU
GPU ARM® Mali™-T720
Operating System Android 5.1.1
RAM 2GB DDR3
Storage 16GB eMMC
SD Card Slot
SATA 3.0 (Up to 8TB)
Other Features IR Reciever/Transmitter
Touch Panel
Aluminium Case
Power 12V/2A

Interfaces

Video Output HDMI 2.0
Composite
Audio Output HDMI 2.0
SP-DIF
Composite
Other Interfaces 1x USB 3.0
1x USB 3.0 Type B
2x USB 2.0

Connectivity

WiFi Dual Band Wireless AC
Ethernet Gigabit
Bluetooth 4.0

Physical

Dimensions 226 x 180 x 50mm
Weight 950g

What’s in the Box?

Himedia-Q10-Pro-Review-Inside-The-Box

Inside the box, you’ll get:

  • Q10 Pro Android TV box
  • Power Adapter
  • Learning IR Remote
  • HDMI Cable
  • English Instruction Manual

Himedia Q10 Pro Review: Design

The Himedia Q10 Pro is a seriously huge device size. Coming in at a beastly 226x180x50mm, it’s around the same size as a Playstation 4.

However, it’s massive frame is put to good use. The front panel features a large LED display, a set of touch controls and the power button.

Himedia-Q10-Pro-Review-Front

The right side has a lock that slides to open top of the unit, exposing the 3.5″ internal SATA bay.

Himedia-Q10-Pro-Review-05

Jumping over to the left, you’ve got a USB 3.0 port, 2 USB 2.0 ports and an SD card slot.

Himedia-Q10-Pro-Review-LeftMost of the ports are on the back. From left to right, you’ve got USB 3.0 Type B port, optical audio out, composite video out, ethernet, HDMI out, an firmware upgrade button and DC in.

Himedia-Q10-Pro-Review-Back

The remote that comes with the Himedia Q10 Pro is pretty much identical to the one that shipped with the Himedia H8. Thankfully, it’s pretty nice including the key Android functions, dedicated media controls and even buttons that can be learned from other controls so you can control or amp from the one remote. It’s a nice touch. The keys themselves are reasonably quiet too.

Himedia-Q10-Pro-Review-09

Himedia Q10 Pro Review: Using It

Booting up the unit takes around 25 seconds with a keyboard and mouse connected. Standby unfortunately doesn’t seem to be supported so you’ll have to leave it idle or power it up every time. It can be powered up via the remote however.

The Android launcher is a modernized version of the one seen on the Himedia H8, keeping the same bright multicolored tiles and comprehensive skinning whilst using a flatter, Material-inspired design.

Himedia-Q10-Pro-Review-Android-01

There’s a few preinstalled apps, including Facebook, Skype, Kodi 15.2 and Happy Cast for AirPlay support. Google Play works as expected but the box isn’t rooted.

You can also use the device as a fileserver using the built-in Samba server which is great, particularly given that you can chuck in a massive harddrive and get the unit to double up as a fileserver.

Himedia-Q10-Pro-Review-Android-02

Interestingly, the unit has two 12GB partitions: One with 11.46GB/12.12GB free and the other with 11.36GB/12.02GB free.

The Himedia Q10 Pro is also comes with OTA update support. I wasn’t able to test it out however, as I already had the latest firmware pre-installed. The company does have a reputation of releasing firmware updates to fix issues however.

Android performance was good without any noticeable lag, whether it’s navigating Kodi, launching apps or just using Android itself. The firmware itself feels pretty stable and the only crashes I experienced were with 3DMark (which has been giving me grief on a few boxes).

Himedia Q10 Pro Review: Media Playback

Himedia-Q10-Pro-Review-Android-Kodi

The included version of Kodi was out of date so I installed the latest version from the Google Play store to complete my tests (Kodi 16.1 at the time of writing) and used the Himedia Wrapper to enable automatic framerate switching.

Codec Video Performance (Kodi 16.1)
1080p 3D SBS H.264  OK
1080p 3D ABL H.264 OK
1080p24 H.264 OK
1080p High Bitrate H.264 OK
1080p60 H.264 OK
720p50 H.264 OK
1080i25 H.264 OK
4K 30FPS H.264 OK
4K 60FPS H.264 Unwatchable – Audio Out of Sync with Video
1080p24 HEVC OK
4K 30FPS 8-bit HEVC OK
4K 30FPS 10-bit HEVC OK
1080p VP8 OK
720p Hi10p OK
1080p Hi10p Unwatchable – Decoding Issues
1080p MPEG2 OK
1080p VC1 OK
Unencrypted Bluray ISO (Sintel) OK

Deinterlacing performance was good, without any obvious artifacting on interlaced samples.

Automatic framerate switching is supported but to get it working in Kodi, you’ll need to get it to use Himedia’s internal player as it doesn’t work using Kodi’s native player. The Himedia Wrapper APK will do the config for you and then you just have to enable it under Playback settings.

23.976FPS content appeared to play back fine, without any obvious stuttering. However, I’ve heard reports of occasional stutters on long videos.

Please note: HiMedia have released firmware 2.0.6 for the HiMedia Q10 Pro that supports 4K UHD Blu-ray navigation on Android 7.0.

Himedia-Q10-Pro-Review-Android-03

5.1 Audio Passthrough

Dolby Digital 5.1 passthrough via HDMI worked fine via Kodi 16.1

Netflix

Netflix works via the Netflix Android app, however, playback is limited to 480p like most Android boxes.

Himedia-Q10-Pro-Review-04

AirPlay and MiraCast

Using the included Happy Cast app, AirPlay worked intermittently for audio and video. AirPlay Mirroring wouldn’t function at all. However, a future app update will likely fix this issue.

Alternatively, you could pick up AirPlay/DLNA Receiver (PRO) from the Google Play Store.

Miracast worked perfectly using my Samsung Galaxy S7.

External Storage Support

Playing back movies from my 2.5″ USB-powered HDD and USB flash drive worked perfectly.

Himedia Q10 Pro Review: Gaming Performance

Himedia-Q10-Pro-Review-Beach-Buggy-Racing

To test gaming performance, I installed 2 games,1 2D and 1 3D title:

The Hisilicon Hi3798C V200’s Mali-T720 GPU so I expected decent gaming performance and the Himedia Q10 Pro performed well. Beach Buggy Racing played back perfectly at maximum settings whilst maintaining a fairly solid 30fps.

Gaming Controllers and Bluetooth

I didn’t have any issues hooking up my GameSir G3 via Bluetooth and use it to play Beach Buggy Racing.

As the box isn’t rooted, I wasn’t able to run SixAxis Compatibility Checker.

Himedia-Q10-Pro-Review-03

Himedia Q10 Pro Review: Networking

Networking performance was tested using Wifi performance was tested using Wifi Speed Test, conducting 3 tests and averaging the results. My router is approximately 5m away, with a single wall between the router and the device. WiFi performance is heavily impacted by a number of factors so your performance may vary.

Wireless Performance

Wireless performance was fantastic on the Himedia Q10 Pro, with upload and download speeds of 44.0Mbps and 36.6Mbps respectively on the 2.4GHz band and 115.3Mbps and 135.2Mbps on the 5Ghz band.

4K H.264 streamed fine wirelessly from an NFS share on my server.

Himedia-Q10-Pro-Review-08

Ethernet Performance

Ethernet performance was decent, with upload and download speeds of 595.8Mbps and 644.4Mbps respectively.

Himedia Q10 Pro Review: Benchmarks

Benchmark Score
Antutu 6.0 37326
3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited Crashed Before Benchmark Selection Screen
3DMark Ice Storm Extreme Crashed Before Benchmark Selection Screen
GeekBench 3 Single Core 687
GeekBench 3 Multi Core 2187

I wasnt able to complete the 3DMark benchmarks as the app kept crashing whenever I tried to swipe to the other benchmarks. This isn’t the first box that I’ve seen this happen on so I suspect the issue is with the 3DMark app rather than the Q10 Pro.

Himedia Q10 Pro Review: Power Consumption

Off Standby Idle 1080p24 Video Under Load
 0.8W  N/A 5.0W 6.8W  8W

Should You Get One?

Himedia-Q10-Pro-Review-10

The Himedia Q10 is an excellent Android TV box. Although the pricetag may be a little high for some, it’s exceptional performance and features make this a solid choice for those wanting a good all-round Android box that offers top image quality and respectable gaming grunt.

Where to Buy the HiMedia 10 Pro

The Himedia Q10 Pro is available from the following stores:

Check Price at Amazon

HiMedia Q10 Pro Android TV Box Impressions

The HiMedia Q10 Pro is a new Android TV box interestingly powered by the quadcore Hisilicon Hi3798C V200 SoC, feautures a 3.5″ HDD slot and runs Android 5.1.1.

I want to say thanks to Himedia for sending me a sample to review.

Check Price at Amazon

Himedia Q10 Pro Technical Specifications

General

Processor Hisilicon Hi3798C V200
CPU CPU Quad-core 64bit Cortex A53 CPU
GPU ARM® Mali™-T720
Operating System Android 5.1.1
RAM 2GB DDR3
Storage 16GB eMMC
SD Card Slot
SATA 3.0 (Up to 8TB)
Other Features IR Reciever/Transmitter
Touch Panel
Aluminium Case
Power 12V/2A

Interfaces

Video Output HDMI 2.0
Composite
Audio Output HDMI 2.0
SP-DIF
Composite
Other Interfaces 1x USB 3.0
1x USB 3.0 Type B
2x USB 2.0

Connectivity

WiFi Dual Band Wireless AC
Ethernet Gigabit
Bluetooth 4.0

Physical

Dimensions 226 x 180 x 50mm
Weight 950g

What’s in the Box?

Himedia-Q10-Pro-Review-Inside-The-Box

Inside the box, you’ll get:

  • Q10 Pro Android TV box
  • Power Adapter
  • Learning IR Remote
  • HDMI Cable
  • English Instruction Manual

Himedia Q10 Pro Impressions

Unboxing the Himedia Q10 Pro, I was surprised at the unit’s MASSIVE size. I’ve seen a number of chunky Android TV boxes but this is a beast at 226x180x50mm. I’d probably put it on par with a Playstation 4 in terms of size.

The Q10 Pro definitely puts its large frame to good use. The front panel features a large LED display and a set of touch controls plus the power button.

Himedia-Q10-Pro-Review-Front

The right side has the open button to access the 3.5″ internal SATA bay. Sliding the release switch allows you to pop open the whole top of the case and reveal the 3.5″ HDD bay.

Himedia-Q10-Pro-Review-Right

Jumping over to the left, you’ve got a USB 3.0 port, 2 USB 2.0 ports and an SD card slot.

Himedia-Q10-Pro-Review-LeftMost of the ports are on the back though. From left to right, you’ve got USB 3.0 Type B port, optical audio out, composite video out, ethernet, HDMI out, an firmware upgrade button and DC in.

Himedia-Q10-Pro-Review-Back

The included remote is pretty nice too. It’s got a full suite of controls, a mouse mode and several buttons that can be learned from other IR remotes so you can control your TV from the Q10 Pro’s remote which is nice.

Booting up the unit takes around 25 seconds with a keyboard and mouse connected. Standby unfortunately doesn’t seem to be supported so you’ll have to leave it idle or power it up every time.

The Android launcher is essentially identical to that seen on the Himedia Q10, with its bright multicolored tiles and comprehensive skinning for everything including the Settings.

Himedia-Q10-Pro-Review-Android-01

There’s a few preinstalled apps, including Facebook, Skype, Kodi 15.2 and Happy Cast for AirPlay support. You can also use the device as a fileserver using the built-in Samba server too which is nice. Google Play works as expected. The box isn’t rooted out of the box.

The Hisilicon Hi3798C V200 handles Android well and I didn’t experience any slowdowns at all.

A quick media test with the latest Kodi 16.1 from the Google Play store (it automatically updated when I logged into my Google account) saw both my 1080p H.264 and H.265 samples play back perfectly.

Automatic framerate switching is supported but you’ll need to set up Kodi to use Himedia’s internal player as it doesn’t work using Kodi’s native player. Thankfully, there’s a Himedia Wrapper APK that can do the config for you.

Himedia-Q10-Pro-Review-Android-Kodi

Video streaming via wifi seems to be good. My 4K H.264 videos streamed from my NFS share without any buffering so networking performance seems respectable at this stage.

The Hisilicon Hi3798C V200 comes with a Mali-T720 GPU so I expected decent gaming performance and the Himedia Q10 Pro performed well. Beach Buggy Racing played back perfectly at maximum settings whilst maintaining a fairly solid 30fps.

Himedia-Q10-Pro-Review-Beach-Buggy-Racing

In terms of benchmarks, the Himedia Q10 Pro scored 37326 on Antutu 6.0.4 whilst it scored 687 and 2187 on GeekBench 3’s Single and Multi-Core tests respectively.

Verdict So Far

I’m impressed with the Himedia Q10 Pro so far. Though its massive frame may not be for everyone, its performance seems to be solid at this stage and the 3.5″ bay is a massive plus for those wanting to store all their media in one place.

Getting One

The Himedia Q10 Pro is available from Amazon, Aliexpress, W2Comp and eBay.

Check Price at Amazon

HiMedia H8 Review: How good is HiMedia’s Latest Android Box?

The HiMedia H8 is an Android 5.1 TV box powered by the octacore Rockchip RK3368 processor. With a stylish design, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of onboard storage, how does it perform? Read our Himedia H8 review to find out!

I want to say thanks to Himedia for providing a sample to review

Check Price

HiMedia H8 Technical Specifications

General

Processor Rockchip RK3368
CPU CPU Octacore Cortex A53 processor at 1.5 GHz
GPU PowerVR G6110
Operating System Android Lollipop 5.1
RAM 2GB DDR3
Storage 16GB Flash
Other Features IR Sensor
Power button
Power DC 5V/2A

Interfaces

Video Output HDMI 2.0
Audio Output HDMI 2.0
Other Interfaces 2 x USB 2.0

Connectivity

WiFi 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi (2.4GHz)
Ethernet 100Mbps

Physical

What’s in the Box?

HiMedia-H8-Review-Inside-The-Box

Himedia have given you everything you’ll need to get connected inside the box:

  • 1x HiMedia H8 unit
  • 1x IR Remote Control
  • 1x Power Adapter
  • 1x HDMI Cable
  • 1x Instruction Manual

Himedia H8 Review: Design

The Himedia H8’s rectangular design is simple yet elegant. Despite looking similar to other Android tv boxes, a silver chamfered edge helps it look unique yet still blend in with your other AV equipment. The unit’s black matte finish looks nice and keeps fingerprints to a minimum.

HiMedia-H8-Review-Front

Himedia have opted for an all-metal case and it really pays off. The case adds weight to the unit which makes it feel well-made, rather than a cheap Android box.

In terms of ports, they’re located on the side and rear of the unit. On the right side, there’s two fullsize USB 2.0 ports.

HiMedia-H8-Review-Right

The left side houses a full-size SD card slot.

HiMedia-H8-Review-Left

Most of the ports are located on the rear of the unit. From left to right, we’ve got the external WiFi antenna, optical audio, composite video output, HDMI output, Ethernet and DC In.

It’s interesting to see that Himedia have opted to include the three composite video outputs rather than the single port that requires an adapter. It’s not something that’s often seen any more but I’m sure a few users will appreciate it.

HiMedia-H8-Review-Back

The included IR remote is pretty comprehensive and feels great. Aside from the typical Android buttons (namely Home, Menu, and Back), there’s also a full set of multimedia controls, a 3D button and even a TV buttons which can be learned from your TV’s IR remote.

For those that need it, there’s also a mouse mode, though I’d recommend that you fork out for an air mouse for a far better user experience.

I also think it’s important to call out that the remote isn’t clicky like those included with most Android boxes. That means that button presses are nice and silent, making the controller feel well made rather than cheap and nasty like others on the market.

HiMedia-H8-Review-06

HiMedia H8 Review: Using It

The HiMedia H8 automatically boots when plugged in to power. With a USB keyboard and mouse connected, a cold boot takes around 30 seconds. There’s no standby mode unfortunately but the unit can be powered on and off via the remote.

HiMedia have shipped the H8 with a unique TV-friendly launcher that looks like a more refined version of the MediaBox launcher we’ve seen before, with nice animations and a consistent design throughout.

HiMedia-H8-Review-Android-01

Everything animates smoothly, such as the transitions between pages to the menu selector, making the interface feel very polished.

There’s large shortcuts for key apps such as Kodi and YouTube whilst folders allow you to organise your apps so they’re readily at your fingertips.

HiMedia-H8-Review-Android-02

There’s a couple of pre-loaded apps such as Netflix, Facebook and Kodi to name a few. The Google Play store is installed and I was able to install various apps from there without issue. The box isn’t rooted from the factory but there’s methods available.

OTA updates are also available via Settings menu, making it easy to update to the latest firmware from HiMedia’s servers or local media.

HiMedia-H8-Review-Android-04

As expected from the Rockchip RK3368, the processor handles Android 5.1 well.

Firmware seemed to be stable, as I didn’t have any crashes during testing.

Himedia H8 Review: Media Playback

HiMedia-H8-Review-Kodi

Media Playback was tested using the pre-installed version of Kodi 15.2

Video Codec Video Performance (Kodi 15.2)
1080p 3D SBS H.264 OK
1080p 3D ABL H.264 OK
1080p24 H.264 OK
1080p High Bitrate H.264 OK
1080p60 H.264 OK
720p50 H.264 OK
1080i25 H.264 OK
4K 30FPS H.264 OK
4K 60FPS H.264 Unwatchable (Video lags behind Audio)
1080p24 HEVC OK
4K 30FPS 8-bit HEVC OK
1080p VP8 OK
720p Hi10p OK
1080p Hi10p Unwatchable (Decoding Issues)
1080p MPEG2 OK
1080p VC1 OK
Unencrypted Bluray ISO (Sintel) OK

The HiMedia H8 did a solid job playing back media, handling almost every file I threw at it. The usual culprits tripped the box up, with 4K 60Hz H.264 and 1080p Hi10p video samples struggling to play back like nearly every box I’ve tested.

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I was impressed to see that automatic framerate switching actually works! This is something few Android boxes actually have functioning and is a massive plus for media fans. Whether I was playing 24Hz or 50Hz content, the Himedia H8 automatically changed my display’s refresh rate to match.

23.976FPS videos seemed to play without any visual artifacts. However, I couldn’t verify if the box was rendering the video at 23.976Hz or 24Hz.

Deinterlacing performance seemed good, without any major artifacts during playback.

5.1 Audio Passthrough

Dolby Digital 5.1 passthrough worked fine via HDMI.

Netflix

Netflix worked fine on the HiMedia H8. However, video resolution was limited to 480p like most other Android boxes.

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External Storage Support

I didn’t have any issues playing back videos from my USB-powered 2.5″ HDD or USB flashdrive.

Himedia H8 Review: Gaming Performance

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To test gaming performance, I installed 2 games,1 2D and 1 3D titles:

Gaming performance was good as expected, with both Jetpack Joyride and Beach Buggy Racing playing well at 1080p on maximum settings.

Gaming Controllers and Bluetooth

Unfortunately, the Himedia H8 doesn’t have Bluetooth so Bluetooth devices aren’t compatible. That means a 2.4GHz controller such as the Tronsmart Mars G01 is a must.

Gaming using my Tronsmart Mars G01 was perfect, with the pad automatically detected as an Xbox 360 controller when plugged in and working with Beach Buggy Racing.

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Himedia H8 Review: Networking

Networking performance was tested using Wifi performance was tested using Wifi Speed Test, conducting 3 tests and averaging the results. My router is approximately 5m away, with a single wall between the router and the device. WiFi performance is heavily impacted by a number of factors so your performance may vary.

Wireless Performance

Wireless performance was reasonable, achieving 48.7Mb/s upload and 42.8Mb/s download when connected to the 2.4GHz band.

In terms of real-world performance, I didn’t have any issues playing back my 1080p and 4K H.264 samples from my NFS share.

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Ethernet Performance

The HiMedia H8 was almost able to saturate it’s 100Mb Ethernet port, achieving 95.9Mb/s upload and 94.6Mb/s download.

HiMedia H8 Review: Benchmarks

Benchmark Score
Antutu 6.0 37976
Antutu Video Tester 3.0 469
3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited 7913
3DMark Ice Storm Extreme 5125
GeekBench 3 Single Core 676
GeekBench 3 Multi Core 2317

Himedia H8 Review: Power Consumption

Off Standby Idle 1080p24 Video Under Load
0W N/A 3.8W 4.1W 6.2W

Unfortunately, as standby isn’t supported on the HiMedia H8, no power consumption values can be reported for this mode.

Should You Get One?

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The HiMedia H8 is an solid Android TV box. It’s well-built, performed well during gaming and media playback and even supports Automatic Framerate Switching in Kodi – a massive plus for movie lovers. However, the lack of Bluetooth may be an issue for some, particularly if you’re a gamer.

Overall, the HiMedia H8 is worth a look if you’re wanting a capable media player that can handle some gaming too – as long as you’ve got a USB-based controller.

Getting One

The HiMedia H8 is available for around $100 from GeekBuying, AliExpress and Amazon.

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