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OpenPHT on WeTek Hub - Information and Tips

benjaminwolfbenjaminwolf Posts: 979Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
edited January 8 in OpenPHT

[ FIRST IMPRESSIONS ]
Solid little device with a smaller form factor than the Odroid C2, but with the same Amlogic 905-H chipset. It has a good weight to the case and feels like a quality device, unlike my Odroid C2, whose case is light and cheap.

It has builtin WiFi/Bluetooth and comes with it's own IR remote. An 8GB eMMC chip is sealed inside the case with a preinstalled Android Lollipop Version 5.1.1. The SD card slot is available from the outside. The design encourages running other OSes (like OpenPHT) from the SD slot alone.

The WeTek Hub has a more consumer experience to it, while the Odroid C2 feels more like a development device.

You can find someone else's tear down of the hardware here.

[ SPECS ] - http://wetek.com/product/wetek-hub

Processor (CPU): Quad Core (AMLogic S905-H)
GPU: Penta Core Mali MP-450
RAM Memory: 1 GB DDR III
Flash memory: 8 GB eMMC
Wireless LAN: 802.11 B/G/N/AC
Supported Wi-Fi: 2.4/5 Ghz
Ethernet: 1000 Mbit/s
Bluetooth: 4.0
HDMI: 1x
MicroSD: 1x
USB 2.0: 1x
Serial Debug: Yes, external
IR Extender: Yes
Power socket: DC In

[ AUDIO SUPPORT ]
Technically supports all the same passthru formats as Odroid C2

Passthrough of AC3/E-AC3/DD/DTS 5.1
Passthrough of Dolby True HD 5.1 and 7.1 / ATMOS
Passthrough of DTS-HD MA/HRA 5.1 and 7.1
Passthrough of DTS 96/24
HDMI PCM 5.1/7.1 audio output is currently supported in OpenPHT 1.7.0 and above.
8 Channel DTS-HD audio decoding to PCM

[ VIDEO SUPPORT ]
Supports all the same formats as Odroid C2 so I've copied @NedtheNerd's info

8/10-bit 720p/1080p/2160p HEVC all playback perfectly.
Refresh rate switches correctly with smooth video playback in 720p/1080p/2160p display modes.

Direct Plays virtually everything you throw at it apart from those codecs listed below:
Maybe inaccurate, I'm still testing
- Interlaced Bluray Rips containing VC-1 content have stuttering playback. Normal VC-1 Movie Rips fine.
- No VP9 decoding, will be transcoded by PMS. This is a hardware limitation shared by Odroid C2.

[ SSH ]

UN: root
PW: openpht

[ WIFI STREAM EXPERIENCE ]
2.4ghz speeds were disappointing. However, this maybe because I wasn't using AC on my WiFi access point. I had good throughput over my 5ghz with 20Mbs+ streams, but I had to specify a 5ghz network name. On a WLAN with a single name for both 2.4 & 5Ghz antennas, defaulted to the 2.4ghz, even though I use WiFi Band Steering.

[ MY FAVORITE FEATURE ]
The included Android version has Uboot compiled into it. This let's you dual boot OSes right out the box without any special compiling of your own! Finally, I can boot to Android if I want to watch Netflix, Hulu, etc, then boot to OpenPHT for the best Plex client experience. You'll want to upgrade Android via their updater first to make sure this works properly.

To change between boot devices, simply hold the included IR remotes power button during boot up.

[ BUILT-IN ANDROID ]
Compared to the Odroid C2 Hardkernel supplied version, it's more full featured. They have obtained the proper licenses, so you can download apps from the Google Play Store including the Android version of Plex PMP if you like. They have Google Widevine and Microsoft Playready so DRM content is available. Android interactions do feel a little slow though. Especially at first.

Update 2016/11/28
Android is a touch deployment and does not have changes made to make it more remote friendly (like Amazon Fire TV). Included IR remote uses makeshift keyboard movements and can be tricky or inadequate to operate properly. For example, in the wife test, an airmouse had to be used to navigate Netflix as menu's had to be 'clicked and pulled' to view all the episodes in a season as there is no scroll functionality. This is a known issue and appears WeTek users have been side loading other remote friendly versions.

See their forum thread with app links here.

[ INCLUDED REMOTE ]
Works with OpenPHT and the built-in Android out of the box with no configuration. Doesn't feel like the cheapest remote but doesn't feel like the most sturdy either. Has approx the same form factor as the Amazon Fire Bluetooth remote, but feels lighter. Wife test reports she had an issue with up and left arrow buttons briefly and switched to the CEC remote. I have not had the same problem, and may have been IR line of sight obstruction. Works pretty well, but it's not as snappy as my WiFi or Bluetooth remotes.

Update 2016/11/28
IR remote signal appears to be a bit weak from more than 8 feet away. I recommend a good WiFi/Bluetooth airmouse remote for complete functionality. I'm using one that also has IR learning, so I've copied the included remote's power button signal so it reaches properly across the room and I can switch between installs.

Update 2016/12/07
Remote does not power on WeTek Hub after a power off from OpenPHT. However, the internal Android installation will power on the WeTek after a power off. This must be resolved in WeTeks code. The OpenPHT team has sent them some code and we hope WeTek will implement them in a future WeOS update. Fixed in latest WeOS and OpenPHT 1.7.2

[ USB PORT ]
Update 2017/01/08
USB power is insufficient for use of power hungry devices. You'll want to use a powered USB hub if you plan to use any USB device that requires significant power. Freezing and restarts are common complaints with the USB port in the WeTek forums.

Updates to come as they are available.

Enjoy Rasplex/OpenPHT? Consider dropping some bones into our development war chest! $25, $10, $5, or even $1 helps. All donations go toward development expenses so our volunteers spend less out of pocket. rasplex.com

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Comments

  • nielsvdpnielsvdp Posts: 60Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Very nice indeed.

    which version of OpenPHT do you have installed ? and is installation straight forward ?

  • dragonmeldragonmel Posts: 619Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @benjaminwolf

    Nice initial review.. .thanks for taking the time

    Are all those passthrough options working with the 1.7 release over HDMI?

    Good to hear about rate switching.. testing the latest PMS I am unconvinced that its switching the TV to match the content... which is half their problem with audio sync issues...

    Too many of the settings for PMS have to be made in the config files.. that is why openPHT still appeals to me... the full prefernces menu configures just about everthing...

    I have not gotten into HDR 10bit... what is the preferred format etc? Are blu rays starting to come HDR or is that only a 4k feature?

    I have not dipped my toe in the 4k game yet.. no disk player, no 4k drive on my PC.. etc.. so likely in a year or so will migrate my setup to get into the 4k game... especially when content becomes available more readily...

    What kind of flow are you using and what kind of storage numbers to you see on files.. like a typical 1080 bluray is 30-40GB and ATV3 rips of those are like 3-6GB... how about 4k?

    Thanks for the info....

  • eugovectoreugovector Posts: 86Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Does the remote work w/ OpenPHT out of the box or does it still require some LIRC scripting? If it works out of the box (or OPHT could be updated in a future version to support it), seems like we're getting very close to a turn key solution that I could offer to my less tech-savvy friends.

  • benjaminwolfbenjaminwolf Posts: 979Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited November 2016

    @nielsvdp said:
    which version of OpenPHT do you have installed ? and is installation straight forward ?

    I'm helping out in a limited capacity with testing alpha builds of 1.7.1. The installation is pretty straightforward.

    1. Boot to the preinstalled android and run the WeTek update in the upper left hand corner. This will fix some Uboot issues.
    2. Download the OpenPHT 1.7.1 embedded build for WeTek Hub, and use Win32DiskImager (or equivalent) to flash the SD card with the IMG file.
    3. Boot to the SD card and setup OpenPHT like normal.

    @dragonmel said:
    Nice initial review.. .thanks for taking the time

    You're very welcome. ^_^

    Are all those passthrough options working with the 1.7 release over HDMI?

    Yes. Some of these are reported but personally unverified because I don't have a receiver that supports every format. I'll update the first post for clarity in case that information is wrong, but it "technically" should support them all.

    Good to hear about rate switching.. testing the latest PMS I am unconvinced that its switching the TV to match the content... which is half their problem with audio sync issues...

    I'm not clear on exactly how streaming brain plays into that if at all. Before, the Plex client would alter the frames (adding or removing to support faster or slower rates) so I'm uncertain if PMS has anything to do with it at this time unless a transcode is required/requested. Do you mean the PMP client?

    Too many of the settings for PMS have to be made in the config files.. that is why openPHT still appeals to me... the full prefernces menu configures just about everthing...

    PMP?

    I have not gotten into HDR 10bit... what is the preferred format etc? Are blu rays starting to come HDR or is that only a 4k feature?

    The HDR10 media profile is only supported by standard on UHD 4K at this time as far as I know.

    I have not dipped my toe in the 4k game yet.. no disk player, no 4k drive on my PC.. etc.. so likely in a year or so will migrate my setup to get into the 4k game... especially when content becomes available more readily...

    I just tested on a friends TV with some free sample footage. I'm not really a pixel pig since I've gotten older and have less time and room in the house. When I had my theater built at my old place, it was a different story. (Though if anyone wants to buy me a 4k TV to test on however, I'm open to it. ^_^ )

    For space and bandwidth reasons, I compress everything anymore and am willing to sacrifice some quality. I have a significant sized 'always on' array, but my users have switched from me and my previous media company's private theater to family and some disabled people I allow access. They've become my primary focus as it really makes their lives better since they cannot move much and can't afford things like a bluray movie collection.

    What kind of flow are you using and what kind of storage numbers to you see on files.. like a typical 1080 bluray is 30-40GB and ATV3 rips of those are like 3-6GB... how about 4k?

    I personally haven't ripped any 4k disks, but the space usage is closer to 1080p when it uses the H265 codec.

    Blu-ray specs will give you an idea of the maximums we could be looking at:

    The 4K-Blu-ray specification allows for three disc sizes, each with their own data rate: 50 GB with 82 Mbit/s, 66 GB with 108 Mbit/s, and 100 GB with 128 Mbit/s

    So... somewhere in there.

    @eugovector said:
    Does the remote work w/ OpenPHT out of the box or does it still require some LIRC scripting? If it works out of the box (or OPHT could be updated in a future version to support it), seems like we're getting very close to a turn key solution that I could offer to my less tech-savvy friends.

    It works right out of the box. It's an IR remote of course, so it's not quite as snappy as my WiFi airmouse keyboard remote. But it's still very nice if simple. I'd definitely recommend it to non-tech people.

    Enjoy Rasplex/OpenPHT? Consider dropping some bones into our development war chest! $25, $10, $5, or even $1 helps. All donations go toward development expenses so our volunteers spend less out of pocket. rasplex.com

  • dragonmeldragonmel Posts: 619Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @benjaminwolf

    Thanks for the detailed replies.. and yes.. all those PMS were supposed to be PMP... typing too fast on an ipad in a rush with holiday inlaws around.

    Call me old school but the soap opera effect on movies does nothing for me.... but I have also seen DVD upscaled on 4k that looks real bad so as everything moves 4k.. wondering where my happy place will be .. my dvd rips will likely be far too blurry and 4k content unless directors and cinematography changes the way its shot and post processed to ensure it still looks like a 'movie' and not 'general hopital'

  • Arch30nArch30n Posts: 5Members ✭✭

    Hi,

    Is it possible to install OpenPHT directly on the Hub's NAND ? like the NAND release of LibreELEC ?

    Thx

  • benjaminwolfbenjaminwolf Posts: 979Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @Arch30n said:
    Is it possible to install OpenPHT directly on the Hub's NAND ? like the NAND release of LibreELEC ?

    It is possible, but there is not an OpenPHT release for it at this time and no immediate plans for the future.

    Enjoy Rasplex/OpenPHT? Consider dropping some bones into our development war chest! $25, $10, $5, or even $1 helps. All donations go toward development expenses so our volunteers spend less out of pocket. rasplex.com

  • tickticktickboomtickticktickboom Posts: 6Members, Plex Pass ✭✭

    I ordered one after this review, blackfriday deal aswell. Hopefully it will work just as good as the C2, less RAM though but we will see. Hopefully 1Gb RAM is enough for most plays.

  • Arch30nArch30n Posts: 5Members ✭✭

    When I turn Off my HUB, I can't power ON with the IR remote. The only way is to re-plug the power cable. Am I the only one with this problem?

  • benjaminwolfbenjaminwolf Posts: 979Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @Arch30n said:
    When I turn Off my HUB, I can't power ON with the IR remote. The only way is to re-plug the power cable. Am I the only one with this problem?

    I've experienced this twice but I don't shut it down everyday. Is it recurring? The IR emitter is a bit weak on my included remote. The receiver has been fine though.

    Enjoy Rasplex/OpenPHT? Consider dropping some bones into our development war chest! $25, $10, $5, or even $1 helps. All donations go toward development expenses so our volunteers spend less out of pocket. rasplex.com

  • Arch30nArch30n Posts: 5Members ✭✭

    @benjaminwolf said:

    @Arch30n said:
    When I turn Off my HUB, I can't power ON with the IR remote. The only way is to re-plug the power cable. Am I the only one with this problem?

    I've experienced this twice but I don't shut it down everyday. Is it recurring? The IR emitter is a bit weak on my included remote. The receiver has been fine though.

    The problem occurs everytime I shutdown the Hub (everyday for me :( ). Yes the IR receiver is fine, I'm using an Harmony remote (much better than the included remote :) ).

  • benjaminwolfbenjaminwolf Posts: 979Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited December 2016

    @Arch30n said:

    @benjaminwolf said:

    @Arch30n said:
    When I turn Off my HUB, I can't power ON with the IR remote. The only way is to re-plug the power cable. Am I the only one with this problem?

    I've experienced this twice but I don't shut it down everyday. Is it recurring? The IR emitter is a bit weak on my included remote. The receiver has been fine though.

    The problem occurs everytime I shutdown the Hub (everyday for me :( ). Yes the IR receiver is fine, I'm using an Harmony remote (much better than the included remote :) ).

    Does it only not work from OpenPHT or when you shutdown from Android does it fail to start as well?

    [EDIT] - Confirmed. OpenPHT 1.7.1 does not support the remote power on function, but the included Android does.

    Enjoy Rasplex/OpenPHT? Consider dropping some bones into our development war chest! $25, $10, $5, or even $1 helps. All donations go toward development expenses so our volunteers spend less out of pocket. rasplex.com

  • Arch30nArch30n Posts: 5Members ✭✭

    Yes, I confirm that :)

  • benjaminwolfbenjaminwolf Posts: 979Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited December 2016

    The power-on function requires some WeOS changes to be made by WeTek. @Kwiboo has submitted some changes to them, but the fix is in their court now. ^_^

    Enjoy Rasplex/OpenPHT? Consider dropping some bones into our development war chest! $25, $10, $5, or even $1 helps. All donations go toward development expenses so our volunteers spend less out of pocket. rasplex.com

  • tickticktickboomtickticktickboom Posts: 6Members, Plex Pass ✭✭

    Been testing the Wetek hub for two weeks now, everything seems to work just fine. Only downside is the remote, it's cheap as hell. I'm probably gonna go get another remote later on, flirc?

  • benjaminwolfbenjaminwolf Posts: 979Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @tickticktickboom said:
    Been testing the Wetek hub for two weeks now, everything seems to work just fine. Only downside is the remote, it's cheap as hell. I'm probably gonna go get another remote later on, flirc?

    I use this WiFi remote. It has 5 IR learning buttons, so I just mapped one to the WeTek Remotes Power button. It also gives a real airmouse in Android which is really helpful.

    Enjoy Rasplex/OpenPHT? Consider dropping some bones into our development war chest! $25, $10, $5, or even $1 helps. All donations go toward development expenses so our volunteers spend less out of pocket. rasplex.com

  • nielsvdpnielsvdp Posts: 60Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Thinking of getting this box in a few weeks.
    My current Chromebox doesnt do 60hz at 4k.

    Also im really curious about the x265 part - bij Chromebox uses a lot of cpu just to play a 1080p file - a 4k file in x265 is a no go.

    4k in x264 does the Chromebox fine - but limits at 30hz (making menus not smooth)

    @benjaminwolf do you have x265 4k files to play ? would like to get this tested.

  • WilhelmStrokerWilhelmStroker Posts: 1,615Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    I picked up one of these the other day to tinker with. Not had a chance to run OpenPHT on it yet though but my thoughts:

    • the remote is very very bad. I'm now using my Harmony Touch instead and that is a lot better
    • my setup (Hub into HDMI hub into Sonos sound bar) caused audio dropouts in every app I used in Android (the Wetek media player, Kodi and Plex). I flashed the beta build of Android 6 on it and have not had any issues since. Plus it seems a lot snappier and quicker with that build.
    • not a fan of the new launcher, but that's easily resolved (Android 6 has the old launcher anyway)
    • If you want to use Plex for Android, use the version from the Play Store. I tried the Aptoide version and that version just kept crashing.
  • nielsvdpnielsvdp Posts: 60Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @WilhelmStroker would be great if you can test it with OpenPHT ! Specially playing a 10bit HEVC file

  • benjaminwolfbenjaminwolf Posts: 979Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited January 19

    @nielsvdp said:
    @WilhelmStroker would be great if you can test it with OpenPHT ! Specially playing a 10bit HEVC file

    It direct plays them at 1080P. ;-) 4K HEVC 10bit is not working at the moment though.

    Enjoy Rasplex/OpenPHT? Consider dropping some bones into our development war chest! $25, $10, $5, or even $1 helps. All donations go toward development expenses so our volunteers spend less out of pocket. rasplex.com

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