Updated Preview: "Zidoo X" 4K UHD Hi End Media Player

Discussion in 'HDD Media player(RTD 1296)' started by Nice Monkey, Sep 12, 2019.

  1. Nice Monkey

    Nice Monkey Well-Known Member Beta test group

    Introduced at the IFA Berlin exhibition in Germany in 2019 is the "4K UHD Hi End Media Player". It is now simply being called Zidoo X.

    Realtek RTD1619 SOC as the basis (= RTD1395 alike but including A55 CPU/GPU)
    Cortex-A55 6-Core CPU + DDR4 RAM
    5" LCD Touch Screen, supports Screen Mirroring + different Screens Display
    4K HEVC/H.265 12bit BT.2020 4:4:4 Color Space
    DolbyVision / HDR10+ / HDR10
    23.976, 59.94, 25, 30, 50, 60 Automatic Frame Rate and Resolution switching
    XMOS + AKM4497 Audio Decoding Solution, native DSD and MQA Decoding
    High-Precision Temperature Compensated Clock Crystals Support Accurate Audio Playback
    Dual Channel DSD 512 and PCM 768-kHz 32-bit Hardware Decoding
    Digital Audio Broadcasting, Lossless Playback and Cue Track
    Built-in High Performance Power Amplifier and Pré-Amplifier
    XLR/RCA Pré-Amp Output and 6.35/4.4 Balanced Headphone Output
    Dual toroidal transformer linear power supply

    What does that new RTD1619 SOC bring us?
    - Support for VP9 Profile 2 e.g. used by YouTube 4K HDR
    - 77% added CPU processing power using a Cortex 6-core A55
    - 50% added GPU processing power via the
    Mali-G51 MP4 GPU
    - Widevine L1, Playready & Verimatrix Ultra DRM support
    - HDR10, HLG, TCH Prime, Dolby Vision & HDR10+ HDR support
    For sure some other not documented smaller improvements over RTD1296 (Realtek never is open about these). I expect at least HDR => SDR downscaling to be improved being the weakest point of RTD1296. HDMI2.1 and 8K video are not part of its specs.

    It seems to be specifically meant for the Audiophiles coming with a high-end DAC being built in. This time Zidoo went for the XMOS + AKM4497 chipset combination which also makes it an excellent DAC very close to the XMOS + ES9038 combination used for the UHD2000 model. Some may prefer the one or the other.
    This time for the real Audiophile it includes a front panel with a 5 inch display and a Headphone Amplifier and Trigger panel also being bundled. Also the main line outputs seems to be pré-amplified for straight input to any end amplifier.
    No need for a TV to be turned on or even a remote control, which for pure audio listening is the best condition. It also includes MQA support and expected support for popular audio streaming services (Roon Ready, Tidal, Spotify...).

    It has no SATA external connector. Unfortunately this does not allow to attach a SATA Optical Drive for CD-Audio playback, but a USB3 Optical Drive should work. Using this unit for physical CD-Audio playback too should appeal to some. Prefer a SATA drive myself as these are front loaders which can be stacked and are a lot cheaper to get.

    A real big difference with UHD2000 would be DSD output via HDMI including also MCH DSD for multi-channel SACD sound. "DSD512/PCM768KHz@32bit hardware passthrough and decoding" is specified explicitly but what does "passthrough" mean here exactly? This is unlikely though but getting MCH DSD => MCH PCM is somewhat more likely and would be also a significant step.

    The front panel screen is actually a 5 inch touch-control screen making many APP's designed for smartphones controllable via the screen directly. Crucial to potentially make some excellent Music Players with USB DAC support designed for smartphones run perfectly on this media player. A good example is HibyMusic which may even come bundled (like Dune does). I then expect HibyMusic to be controllable either via the front panel or a bundled BT Pointer Mouse (again like Dune does).

    Looking at the Inside Picture it reveals also to include a 3.5 inch HDD bay with access from the right side. For audiophiles great to put a SSD (or 2.5 inch HDD) inside making no audible noise. It is a bit restricted on connectors as there is no External SATA and just 2x USB2 (front) + 1x USB3 (back) with lacking an additional USB3c as available on other high end models.
    Personally I would have designed it full width matching typical HiFi rack equipment by including a front Dual HDD Bay to the right. Obviously on top of each other this time. Should not be so difficult to change the design as we are talking empty space in that area.

    Some speculations on features and Zidoo strategy initiated with Zidoo X;
    - I am pretty convinced the formal option of installing ZDMC will be removed. Internal Players (Video, Music , Picture) are replacing that functionality integrally. Specifically the new HT3 should move current fans over to native Zidoo deployment. KODI/XBMC could still work as just another APP? This to move out further of the grey legal area in which media players mostly reside. No support for illegal IPTV APP's and related plugins to be facilitated anymore via that route.
    - There is real hope for value add by Android TV OS with VOD like Netflix, Prime TV etc including all certifications and licenses (The HW can do it all for sure). Running Android TV OS e.g. instead of Android Leanback OS will confirm that direction. This if launched with it which I frankly do expect to happen. In fact Realtek RTD1395/RTD1619 SOC/SDK were clearly developed with Android TV 8+ implementations as a specific market target. Even Realtek's own demos use it.
    - We need to wait and see what happens with DV. UHD ISO reading with optionally playback of the DV 1080P stream on 4K HDR discs is not expected by me. All products offering it (with illegal CFW added) are being banned. Netflix with DV is far more likely specifically combined with Android TV.
    - HDR10+ is an entirely different ballgame and is expected by me to be included with the initial or a later FW update.

    To whom should the Zidoo X player appeal then?
    So this is a player for the Audiophile which likes to add top quality Audio capabilities to an already excellent Video player. This is an interesting move and personally think it is a fairly good moment to launch (not talking corona).

    I don't think it will appeal very much to the purist Audiophiles with very expensive gears almost exclusively setup in 2CH Stereo and purely used for music. They probably are using another setup for Video in parallel (in other room's). They also tend to buy all their electronics from a single fancy brand.

    But there are enough music enthusiasts without neither the space nor the money like the previous group has which still like to improve the audio quality for music on their hybrid setup using MCH for Video and 2CH for music. They typical either use a soundbar or a Home Theater Amplifier/Receiver with matching speakers for that. It is my personal experience that actually MCH Music from SACD, DTS-CD and Concert BD's can sound amazing adding an extra dimension to the regular Stereo sound too. Don't recommend hobbyist upscaled (DTS-CD) versions as modern HT AMP's do mostly a better job there with DD, DTS, THX and other Digital Signal Processing MCH upscaling options.
    But also those using a quality stereo setup may benefit from this model using the excellent audio quality for both video and music sources. Obviously all can use a matching quality headset with it when desired straight away.

    Also my practical experience is that you can only squeeze out maximum MCH sound quality using a consistent choice of speakers (same brand and even model range). Using a mix of speakers for fronts, center and back channels never gives satisfactory audio results. It may result acceptable for movies (getting the effects) but definitely not for quality music. I know it is very temptative to use simpler/cheaper speakers for center and back channels, but frankly you should not do so when targeting for MCH Music listening too. Learned it myself the hard way.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 19, 2020
    skelton and gymnos like this.
  2. Nice Monkey

    Nice Monkey Well-Known Member Beta test group

    Last edited: Sep 28, 2019
  3. Tof78

    Tof78 New Member

    That's a terrific device.
    But guys at Zidoo, I guess you aren't a big company? So please focus on the software or work with an external vendor. Music Player 5.0 is just a nightmare. You can't attract audiophile with your terrible (and I want to stay polite...) player. While these guys are using Audirvana, Roon, Volumio and others apps that have all the basic features your software is totally missing.
    Come on!
     
  4. Nice Monkey

    Nice Monkey Well-Known Member Beta test group

    I tend to agree with you. This is a much more demanding clientele. :D
     
  5. zarathoestra

    zarathoestra Member

    Thanks for the link , it looks very promising and probably at a high end price. Hopefully zidoo makes a more affordable model with the same chip so we can enjoy all the latest video standards.
    Yup a fan but a critical one ! Grtz
     
  6. Hola
    esto.es.un nuevo reproductor.multimedia ??
    tendra mapeo dinamico hdr10+?
     
  7. Nice Monkey

    Nice Monkey Well-Known Member Beta test group

    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
  8. manifesto1969

    manifesto1969 Member

    What I want more than anything is Forced Subtitles to work.....will this chip be able to do this basic requirement?
     
  9. gymnos

    gymnos Member

    The hardware and specifications are awesome, but Zidoo team must improve the software development and leave behind RTD1296 issues.

    Regards.
     
  10. Nice Monkey

    Nice Monkey Well-Known Member Beta test group

    I understand from Zidoo that it is supported also by the current RTD1296 chipset. They just thought it was not needed for BD just for MKV sources.
    The most recent FW should work with MKV forced subtitles.
     
  11. LarryZ

    LarryZ New Member

    The forced subtitles are still a problem.
     
  12. skelton

    skelton Member

    Would be nice if this had dynamic tone mapping for HDR content. I might upgrade my X20 if the improvements are worth it. Dolby Vision alone is not enough for me but let’s see when the first reviews come out if it will be worth it.

    Love the design of the player!
     
  13. myzidoo

    myzidoo Member

    ...when this comes out : one sold already...
     
  14. skelton

    skelton Member

    Does anyone have the dimensions of this player?
     
  15. zid2019

    zid2019 Member

    Zidoo X comes with internal HDD or just stream media?
     
  16. Nice Monkey

    Nice Monkey Well-Known Member Beta test group

    It will act as a media player and streamer, but has no Internal or External SATA connections. So HDD via NAS or USB only. Unfortunately this does neither allow to attach a SATA Optical Drive for CD-Audio playback only USB3 Optical drives.
    It is primarily intended as a very advanced Music/Audio Player. UHD2000 is positioned as the truly combined player.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
    gymnos likes this.
  17. gymnos

    gymnos Member

    Yes, another reason is that the Zidoo X doesn´t have a secondary HDMI Out for audio only.
     
  18. Leo

    Leo New Member

    But NOT for the Dutch subtitle scraper (Opensubtitle.org)
    Can you please integrate this for the Dutch users.
     
  19. manifesto1969

    manifesto1969 Member

    For me to pay a premium price there has to be Forced Subtitles working for iso and mkv files for both 2D and 3D movies - if it has that then I'll defo buy it.
     
  20. Nice Monkey

    Nice Monkey Well-Known Member Beta test group

    Updated the original post with an inside picture. This time coming with a real surprise! :cool:

    Looking at this Inside Picture it appears also to include a 3.5 inch HDD bay with access on the right side, which is totally new for me. :p
    The HDD opening can also clearly be seen on the added facebook picture. I am just not very sure yet if it is meant for fixed mounting or if it is swappable?

    @zid2019 Apparently gave you the wrong answer. :oops:
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
    Ubylive likes this.

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