TELE-audiovision - Weltweit größte Digital TV Fachzeitschrift - page 20

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07-08/2014
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TELE-audiovision International — The World‘s Largest Digital TV Trade Magazine
— 07-08/2014
TEST REPORT
Mini PC for web/IPTV and live TV
Minimum size for maximum performance
Mini PCs are gaining popu-
larity all the time, and with
the Matrix ARM mini PC of-
fered by Tenow it’s easy to see
why. The first thing it does is
please the eye with its trans-
parent case made of acrylic
glass, while at the same time
offering a glimpse of all the
technical components that are
hidden inside – quite a stylish
look, and a smart idea at the
same time. What’s more, with
its small overall size of 135 x
90 x 45 mm the Matrix ARM
is set to find its sweet spot in
any room or cabinet. Tenow
selected the Quad ARM Cortex
A9 processor clocked at 1 GHz
as CPU, so that users always
have ample processing power
at their disposal. It is paired
with a Vivante GC2000 Quad
Core GPU which takes care
of the graphics performance.
The manufacturer also throws
in 2 GB of DDR3 memory,
plus an additional 16 GB of
eMMC memory to be used
by the operating system and
for user applications. As far
as connections to the outside
world are concerned, the Ma-
trix ARM mini PC comes with
three USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI
socket, 3.5 mm audio socket,
S/PDIF output, SATA 2.0 port,
SD card slot, USB OTG port
as well as an RJ45 network
interface. The system obtains
its power from an external 5V
power pack, which is one of
the reasons for the mini PC’s
small size.
Right from the first look we
found the build quality of the
Matrix ARM mini PC nothing
short of impressive – no quib-
bles whatsoever. We should
also mention the built-in Wi-Fi
receiver at this stage, which
comes very handy for inte-
grating the device into your
wireless network at home.
Three buttons on the right
side of the case can be used
to adjust the volume and to
put the mini PC into standby
mode, while a reset button
is located on the rear side.
Tenow Matrix ARM mini PC
All technical possibilities of currently available
TV reception integrated into a single solution.
What’s more, an UART port
is available for connecting an
external RS232 adapter as
well. Obviously, an infrared
receiver is part and parcel of
any multimedia device, and
in this particular case Tenow
has opted to safely position it
inside the transparent case.
Finally, there’s a small DIP
switch that calls for an ex-
planation: It is labelled ‘Boot’
and can be found on the front
of the mini PC. The two op-
tions that can be selected are
update mode for installing or
updating the device’s firm-
ware, and regular mode which
is the default setting for eve-
ryday use.
The Matrix ARM mini PC is
shipped with a Linux distribu-
tion that has been customised
by Tenow to perfectly match
the hardware in place. It is
called MatrixTV and supports
all currently available exter-
nal reception solutions (i.e.
tuners), namely TBS5922, TB-
S5922SE, TBS5980, TBS5925,
TBS5680, TBS DVB-C Stick,
TBS5220, TBS5280, TBS5281,
TBS5880, TBS5881 and
TBS5990 from Tenow. All
required drivers are pre-
installed, and for our test
we used the two external
DVB receivers TBS5990 and
TBS5925.
Once the MatrixTV system
is fully launched it allows run-
ning any Linux-compatible
software. The Xbox Media
Center (XMBC), for exam-
ple, is already pre-installed
by default. The great thing
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