Author Topic: HiMedia Q5/Q10 Pro 4K HDR Review  (Read 22587 times)

Offline Sunblock

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HiMedia Q5/Q10 Pro 4K HDR Review
« on: October 26, 2017, 14:52 »


Took the time to play with the HiMedia Q5 Pro, which was purchased in my recent trip to Shenzhen for 550 Yuan, for about a month before writing to provide an inside of what this Chinese localized version is capable instead of the international version. Hope this short review would benefit someone that intends to buy it, so will try to cover as much as possible.

The packaging consists the Q5 Pro unit, a remote controller, HDMI cable and a universal power adapter. The unit has no ON/OFF switch and has no stand-by function like the Popcorn media player. The unit is power ON or OFF by the remote controller.

This model has no option to install internal hard disk whereas the Q10 will allow you the flexibility to install internal disk or not. The Q5 Pro is suitable for those having their media files located in a NAS.

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However the unit has enough USB ports (ver 2.0 and 3.0) for your external drives and there is even a sata port available should you desire to install a hard disk. It even has Bluetooth capability, a TF card slot, optical audio and the standard CVBS which don't understand why is there since the unit is capable of support 4K. HDMI version 2.0a and gigabit lan connections are located at the back of the unit.

There are two versions of firmware … one for the Chinese market and the other is for International. You don’t have to worry which firmware to install because the unit will detect and prompt you if there is a newer version available to upgrade meant for your device.

You also have the option to download to a USB drive and upgrade the unit firmware which is much easier than those Realtek-based media players.

Booting takes about 20 seconds which is pretty fast and the main menu shown does not have Apps like Kodi, Youtube unlike the International version.



The "standard" IR remote has the usual navigation arrows and Android keys (Home, Menu, Return) and like with any other Android Mini PC, using an air-mouse with qwerty keyboard is far more convenient than the IR remote with the on-screen keyboard. However understand from the shop (demonstrated to me) that there is an Andriod App for the Q5/Q10 which allows you to interact with the device using you Android phone's touchscreen. Unfortunately being a IOS fanboy, didn't take the challenge to try out this feature.

You can see from the 1st picture above that there is no Kodi, Chrome or Play Store from the local version whereas the 3rd pic with Kodi, Netflix, Chrome. Play Store which yours truly installed these Apps.

Somehow was quite skeptical from the text on it's box, which mentions the 10-bit H.265/HEVC and 4K x 2K @60fps and the Imprex 2.0 processing engine with HDR and the very impressive 7.1 HD audio passthrough with Dolby Atmos, DTS-HD and True HD - not to mention 192K/24 bit audio decoding, which is very rare among devices with Android. Does it really works?



Setting Samba is as easy as ABC, just do a auto search in the LAN App and it will detect all available network shares. Just name your shortcut and you are good to go provided all the rights and privileges are allocated to the device.

However, NFS is a little tricky as it took me considerable amount of attention because the same concept of rules for NFS (applies to Dune and Popcorn) are thrown out of the window.  The same set of Synology rights and privileges works with my Dune HD and 3D HD, and Popcorn C-200, A-400 and A-500 media players but NOT with the Q5 Pro.

This is really absurb!!!!  ............ All Wells That Ends Well with a little extra "tweet" at the Synology side and it went smoothly without the characteristics of our MRT system.

On the main screen most of the space is occupied by video-related apps and you must prepare to roll up your sleeves if you are buying the "local" instead of the international version which I believe is just plug and go. For the "local" version, most likely you need to use some tips and tricks for 3D & 4K contents in order to unlock their full potential:
- If you want to use Kodi you must install the Kodi wrapper that forces Kodi to use the Himedia Media Center, which is optimized for the unit and gets the most out of it
- if you want to watch 4K videos on Youtube you need to install OGYouTube



This unit works on Android version 7 which is Nougat unlike the international version which is running on Lollipop.

Conclusion
Out of the box the device almost lives to it's promises, with all usual file formats that I usually test being rendered without hiccups, and this time the firmware is very stable and the image quality is the best from all Android boxes (got only 2 boxes before and it sucks big time) tested so far - but this was expected from the HiSilicon SoC's which have a good reputation for their image quality and  used by Q5/10 Pro is currently one of the best in this regard.

Also it should function equally well as a gaming machine but as a avid gamer there are better devices available, but for a multi-purpose living room device Himedia Q5 Pro can do a great job as well.

While it's hard to show here the image quality on Q5 Pro is simply better than on other Android devices I had owned so far and the advanced controls for tuning image and sound makes the unit suitable for a movie-centric TV box. It has the processing power to render high bitrates flawlessly from the NAS or internal HDD using SAMBA/NFS and it does so beautifully.

IMHO, Chinese-made media players has arrived and better in terms of quality (no heat issues), firmware update and picture quality. But my overall ranking still remains especially with picture quality with Popcorn A-500, HiMedia and Dune 3D HD in this order and believe others may differ in their opinion.
 
« Last Edit: February 26, 2018, 09:50 by Sunblock »

Offline desray

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Re: HiMedia Q5 Pro 4K HDR Review
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2017, 19:42 »
Thanks bro Sunblock for the concise review on the Himedia Q5 Pro. Appreciated. I didn't realize that there is actually 2 firmware versions (one from PRC and the international version). I'm happy to see that Nougat 7.0 Android has already been implemented on Himedia media players and this is definitely an encouraging sign for other MIC media players like the Egreat and Zidoo as well.

I agreed with you that Sigma chipset still produces the cleanest PQ as I've made an "AB" comparison with my PCH A-500. I also agreed that MIC media players have come a long way when it comes to design, interface and programming/fine-tuning the software aspect of the media players...For those who still sceptical about MIC media players, the fear is really unfounded. The only gripe I have with MIC media player is conveying the message across to the developers. It can be quite a challenge to make them understand. So rule of thumb when reporting a bug (if any) is to stick to state your problem in the most simplest English terms as possible. Long winded story unlikely to receive a response.


Offline finclk

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Re: HiMedia Q5 Pro 4K HDR Review
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2017, 10:07 »
Thx bro Sunblock for the nice writeup. Do you think it's possible to do a comparison review of other high end 4k HDR media players?

Online Tiktokape

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Re: HiMedia Q5 Pro 4K HDR Review
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2017, 11:10 »
Good write-up, that is part of my reason to keep my Nvidia SATV Gen 1 in inventory though it does not yield the best PQ against sigma chipset from PCHA500. Recently, i took Nvidia SATV out for a quick update, it seems that it is possible to playback 4k bdmv under mt2s file format with native 4k resolution. Got to explore more.

Offline desray

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Re: HiMedia Q5 Pro 4K HDR Review
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2017, 13:42 »
For those interested to get this wonderful media player after reading Sunblock's review. Here's a chap selling the Q10 version at Carousell - https://goo.gl/ZUGkgF
I'm not affiliated to this seller.

Offline eggz

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Re: HiMedia Q5 Pro 4K HDR Review
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2017, 13:53 »
Are you using SPMC with this player?

Offline Sunblock

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Re: HiMedia Q5 Pro 4K HDR Review
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2017, 16:08 »
Thx bro Sunblock for the nice writeup. Do you think it's possible to do a comparison review of other high end 4k HDR media players?

Sorry not being able to review other 4K HDR media players cause only have the A-500 and Q5 Pro in my portfolio of 4K HDR media players.

Any sponsors out there ??? ;)

Offline Sunblock

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Re: HiMedia Q5 Pro 4K HDR Review
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2017, 16:10 »
Are you using SPMC with this player?

No ... only installed Kodi as it is supported by Himedia which has a wrapper for it.

Offline Sunblock

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Re: HiMedia Q5 Pro 4K HDR Review
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2017, 18:31 »
Thanks bro Sunblock for the concise review on the Himedia Q5 Pro. Appreciated. I didn't realize that there is actually 2 firmware versions (one from PRC and the international version). I'm happy to see that Nougat 7.0 Android has already been implemented on Himedia media players and this is definitely an encouraging sign for other MIC media players like the Egreat and Zidoo as well.

I agreed with you that Sigma chipset still produces the cleanest PQ as I've made an "AB" comparison with my PCH A-500. I also agreed that MIC media players have come a long way when it comes to design, interface and programming/fine-tuning the software aspect of the media players...For those who still sceptical about MIC media players, the fear is really unfounded. The only gripe I have with MIC media player is conveying the message across to the developers. It can be quite a challenge to make them understand. So rule of thumb when reporting a bug (if any) is to stick to state your problem in the most simplest English terms as possible. Long winded story unlikely to receive a response.

To be frank, for the most part, using Q5 Pro is an enjoyable experience and was very pleased by the availability of a dedicated remote Android App for this device which is a small known feature not mentioned.

Unfortunately, I can't install the remote apk (HiControlAndroidN.apk) being an IOS fanboy and will come back to this review if I decided to lay my hands on the Pixel 2 XL regarding this app ability.

Long story short, I expect Himedia and EGreat, in my opinion, will still be in the top 2 Android 4K HDR media player available at this time, no matter what other devices get launched every month. Just my two cents. ;)
« Last Edit: October 27, 2017, 20:23 by Sunblock »

Offline Waterzoo

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Re: HiMedia Q5 Pro 4K HDR Review
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2017, 18:57 »
Bro Sunblock, thank you for the great review and since it is an enjoyable experience using the Q5 Pro then must hoot the Himedia :D

Offline Sunblock

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Re: HiMedia Q5 Pro 4K HDR Review
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2017, 17:04 »
Most of us are aware that the majority of Android TV boxes sold today are running Android 4.4 to Android 6.0, but with the release of Android 7.0 for smartphones and tablets earlier this year, it was just a question of time before the OS got ported to these Android TV boxes.

Himedia appears to be the first company to have officially released Android 7.0 for their Hisilicon Hi3798CV200 based TV boxes, namely Q5 Pro and Q10 Pro and others soon to follow.

The changelog for the new firmware includes:

Android N OS running stable and smooth
Support for Android N Google Play version
Support for Samba UPnP
System function perfectly upgraded from 5.1 to Android N with compatibility
Youtube updated to 4.10.7 and Netflix to 1.3.11
Homepage, Application Management, Media Center optimized, focus movement are more swift and smooth
Media Player upgraded and support mouse operation
Local Media Playback Improved; Certain rare videos black screen, display ratio of 3D to 2D abnormal, and occasional subtitle defect issues fixed
Blu-ray video slow loading conditions improved and speed up
Local Audio output improved and certain audio tracks unable to decode and output issue fixed
Revised some UI language
Support for Widevine L3

I assume most HiMedia users here are running Android 5.1.1 right now, but for those who are using an Android N beta version, a different firmware file is required

Himedia Q10 Pro firmware
Android 5.1.1 to Android N Final
Android N Beta to Android N Final

Himedia Q5 Pro firmware
Android 5.1.1 to Android N Final
Android N Beta to Android N Final

The update procedure is basically the same as most others Android TV boxes on the market:

Download a new firmware and copy the file update.zip to the root directory of a USB drive.
Plug the USB drive into the TV box
Go to Settings→System→System upgrade to select/click the letter of the USB drive.
The TV box will then begin upgrading the firmware from the USB drive.
Wait for the TV box to complete the upgrade. Please be patient, as it may take around 5 minutes to complete.
The TV box will then automatically reboot, and boot to Android N Final

Just bear in mind that changing Android version often leads to some new bugs, even though the company claims “perfect compatibility” and that everything is running “stable and smooth”.


Offline FookLai

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Re: HiMedia Q5 Pro 4K HDR Review
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2017, 21:57 »
Hi, am not sure did I miss it, is Himedia pro able to playback full BD menu for BD-ISO file?

Offline Sunblock

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Re: HiMedia Q5 Pro 4K HDR Review
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2017, 09:00 »
It can’t display a full BD-Menu and if you are playing from BDMV folder, it will plays the main movie without any trailers. You can on the fly change the audio & subtitles options of the movie.
In addition, by activating the MENU key on the remote, you will have the Bluray Menu giving you the various options:

1) the audio options available for the movie
2) the respective subtitles of your preference
3) the playlist chapters of the movie

In the same menu, you can also set:

1) Audio Settings
2) Subtitle Settings
3) Play Settings
4) PQ Settings
5) Subtitle download.

Hope this info helps and the above are from the player itself - not Kodi player

Offline keai

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Re: HiMedia Q5 Pro 4K HDR Review
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2017, 10:16 »
It can’t display a full BD-Menu and if you are playing from BDMV folder, it will plays the main movie without any trailers. You can on the fly change the audio & subtitles options of the movie.
In addition, by activating the MENU key on the remote, you will have the Bluray Menu giving you the various options:

1) the audio options available for the movie
2) the respective subtitles of your preference
3) the playlist chapters of the movie

In the same menu, you can also set:

1) Audio Settings
2) Subtitle Settings
3) Play Settings
4) PQ Settings
5) Subtitle download.

Hope this info helps and the above are from the player itself - not Kodi player
now menu display feature seems available (i might be wrong). if you purchase through taobao, you can ask them to add in full BD-Menu display function by indicating the need in the remarks before you place order. this is what i read from the update on 10/24. shop name is 海美迪旗舰店, if this is true, guess we can also activate the feature by our own.


Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk


Offline Sunblock

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Re: HiMedia Q5 Pro 4K HDR Review
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2017, 10:28 »
If it has the ability to have full BD MENU then it completes the puzzle. :D