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OpenELEC Linux media player includes broadcast TV tuner

Jul 10, 2015 — by Eric Brown — 3,947 views

OpenELEC launched a version of a WeTek media player preloaded with Kodi-ready OpenELEC Linux, and a choice of DVB-S2, DVB-C/T/T2, or ATSC broadcast tuners.

The WeTek OpenELEC (Limited Edition) Linux media player is an OpenELEC-optimized version of the Android-based WeTek Play media player, which typically offers OpenELEC Linux as one of its alternative downloads. The $90.33 (99-Euro) OpenELEC version comes with a choice of satellite (DVB-S2), cable (DVB-C/T/T2), or terrestrial broadcast (ATSC) tuners.

WeTek OpenELEC, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

OpenELEC (Open Embedded Linux Entertainment Center) is a minimal, fast-booting Linux distribution popular on the Raspberry Pi that’s designed to showcase the open source Kodi (previously XBMC) media center software. The distribution debuted in 2011 on an Intel Atom-based Xtreamer Ultra mini-PC, and supports many x86 devices. OpenELEC is now increasingly found on ARM-based SBCs like the Pi or media players such as SolidRun’s CuBoxTV, CuBox-i2ex, and CuBox-i4pro.

OpenELEC Kodi interface on an HDTV, with CuBoxTV at lower right
(click image to enlarge)

The WeTek OpenELEC appears to be identical to the Android-based WeTek Play except that it lacks one of the Play’s internal USB ports. That alone can’t account for the fact that the Play costs so much more, at $99.45 without a tuner, and $117.71 with. Usually, you pay more for special Linux versions of Android or Windows devices.

WeTek OpenELEC side views
(click images to enlarge)

The WeTek OpenELEC measures 180 x 125 x 36mm, which is fairly large by modern media player standards, no doubt in order to accommodate the tuner. The box runs on Amlogic’s AML8726-MX, a 1.5GHz dual-core, Cortex-A9 SoC accompanied with a dual-core Mali MP400 GPU.

WeTek OpenELEC with standard accessories
(click image to enlarge)

You get 1GB of DDR3, 4GB NAND flash, and a microSD slot. WiFi and Bluetooth are standard along with the choice of tuners and RF radio. There’s also a Fast Ethernet port.

The WeTek OpenELEC provides an HDMI port, as well as A/V and SPDIF out ports. Three of the four USB 2.0 ports are external, and there’s a serial debug port. An IR remote also comes with the package.

Specifications listed for the WeTek OpenELEC include:

  • Processor – AMLogic AML-8726 MX (2x Cortex A9 cores @ 1.5GHz); Mali MP400 GPU (OpenGL/ES 2.0, OpenCL 1.1)
  • Memory/storage:
    • 1GB DDR3 RAM
    • 4GB NAND flash
    • MicroSD slot
  • Wireless:
    • 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz
    • Bluetooth 4.0
    • IR
    • RF (with motion RCU)
    • Choice of digital broadcast tuner:
      • DVB-S2 (satellite)
      • DVB-T/T2/C (cable/terrestrial)
      • ATSC (over-the-air)
  • Networking — 10/100 Ethernet port
  • Other I/O:
    • 4x USB 2.0 host (3x external)
    • HDMI
    • Optical audio SPDIF out
    • A/V output
    • Serial debug
  • Other features — 3x LEDs; remote control; cables
  • Power – DC in jack
  • Dimensions — 180 x 125 x 36mm
  • Operating system — OpenELEC Linux with Kodi preinstalled

Further information

The WeTek OpenELEC Limited Edition is available now for $90 (99-Euros) with free shipping. More information may be found at OpenELEC’s WeTek product page, and more on the almost identical Android-based WeTek Play may be found at the WeTek Play product page.

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2 responses to “OpenELEC Linux media player includes broadcast TV tuner”

  1. vern says:

    I am very interested in this platform. I googled to find out, if in fact, I can use the ATSC version to record tv shows. I haven’t found an answer.

  2. Rogan Dawes says:

    Would be interesting to know if it supports a Conditional Access module.

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