The new Amlogic S905x chipset is already available, found inside some select media players, while the Amlogic S912 chipset is yet -about- to make its splash into the market.
The Amlogic S905X Chipset is almost identical to the -by now oldish- S905 Chipset which can be found, since Q4 2015, on several TV Boxes out there, like the T95 and MXQ pro TV Boxes we reviewed last week.
The only -and quite interesting- difference resides in the addition of the VP9 video streaming codec and the HDR10 (high-dynamic-processing standard, already available in several 4K TVs) into the S905x Chipset.
VP9 Video Codec and HDR10 video processing engine
The VP9 video codec is filed into public domain, an open source codec created by Google, adding an alternative to the almost omnipresent (but closed, licensed) h.265 codec.
Both VP9 and h.265 are capable of decoding 4K and even 8k video, perfectly capables on paving the path for the future.
When comparing the video output quality on both codecs, the h.265 seems to win, according to testings performed by a media player brand. On the other hand, the VP9 is easier to stream over Internet (according to the same source).
Will you ever need to decode a VP9 video ? It may not matter: if you search for an Amlogic S905X based media player, you will be covered; but frankly, given the popularity of the h.265 codec, already an integral part of all 4K and 2K media players out there, I would argue that the VP9 codec will follow the Betamax path.
What about Amlogic S912 chipset ?
The Amlogic S912 chipset is one step higher on processing power, compared against the S905 and S905x chipsets: The S912 includes an ARM cortex A53 octa-core processor paired with a high performance gaming 3D GPU. Each processing core is clocked at
It also includes hardware support for DOLBY VISION and HDR10 high dynamic range image processing.
All things said, if you are out in the hunt for a new media player OTT (Over-The-Top) TV Box, then you may want to wait a couple of months and buy an Amlogic S912 based one. It may be a perfect upgrade for replacing that aging Fire TV 2nd Generation you may have.