Videostrong’s (manufacturer) Mecool Kx series is well known for its versality not only as an Android media player but also as a DVB T/S tuner. That was proved to be true in our previous K1 S2 Plus review here.
The latest model is KIII Pro and adds 4K support in all key areas. Let’s see below how it performs.
Packaging – Specifications
The KIII Pro model arrived in a white box. Interestingly, no DVB T/S features are mentioned/written on the box.
Specifications list is very good and on par with every S912 SoC based with 3GB of RAM media box we have seen so far.
So besides the aforementioned S912 8-core Amlogic CPU and the Mali t820 GPU, I/Os feature 4 x USB 2.0, 1 x optical out, HDMI 2.0a (4K and HDR support), one A/V out and a SD slot.
Dual band Wi-Fi, gigabit wired Ethernet and BT4.0 complete the networking setup in a very adequate manner. Gigabit Ethernet is a nice upgrade compared to previous generations.
Dual tuners (T/S) are included with up to 4K support.
For a hybrid set top box, the specifications are impressive and among the best you can find in the market.
Android 6.0 is the selected operating system.
Media Player – Remote
KIII Pro model looks exactly the same as the K1 Plus. Differences can be found in the “softened” edges and the soft skin provided by an additional skin on top of the casual plastic one.
Other than that, the squared black design is rather plain, which is not a bad thing.
All four USB ports are located on the side so cable management will be required in case you storage your videos/photos in external drives. All other I/Os are at the back including the connections for the antennas.
A light blue led is lit during operation but it will not distract you during viewing.
The remote is quite big and it is exactly the same as the one found in (same manufacturers) YOKA TV KB2 Pro reviewed here. It reminds us of older ones used for TV’s since the numeric keys are on top and there are dedicated TV buttons. Four generic colored buttons are also included that can be customized from a special application included (it adds application shortcuts)
Grip is obviously good and you will have to be precise when you push a button due to the long distance of it. There were times were we had to push again with more power.
Menus – Settings
Menus are exactly the same in all Videostrong’s lineup. We have seen it again in all Mecool and Yoka TV products.
The main menu is simple with one main screen, only featuring the basic options (KODI fork, File manager, Settings, Web Browser and apps) with the possibility to add shortcuts. It is clean and simple, with a useful clock widget in the middle.
Settings menu is the classic grey themed one that we find in all recent media players. Classic Android menu is also present for extra settings.
Big informative icons will help you find and adjust the settings you want very quickly.
All modern display options are also here (4K screen resolutions, HDR and HDMI CEC among others) and the Android classic menu also exists for more advanced settings.
Terrestrial and SAT viewing is handled from a dedicated application named DTV.
As expected, audio files playback flawlessly (mp3, flac) in all audio players, KODI (named as TV CENTER) and the external one.
Video playback was handled very nice. S912 SoC provides 4K acceleration and the majority of “popular” encodings were supported with very good playback. Only some rare encodings had issues (4K VP9@60 fps) but this will not affect the majority of users since video files of this type are very hard to find. 1080p playback was flawless, even for high bit-rate BLU RAY backups.
Audio bit-stream was as expected with core output in all multichannel scenarios. No HD Audio is supported. Down mixing to stereo was perfect in all cases, even from HD Audio sources.
For those who care, Videostrong’s fork of KODI has many add-ons pre-installed.
Network performance is great and as expected based on the spec list. 1080p video files can be streamed perfectly (if you have of course a good AP) and through the Gigabit wired interface playback of very high bit-rate files is also handled with ease.
Hybrid T2/S2 performance was more than great.
Via the DTV application (practically the same as the one in K1 Plus model) you can browse through both tuners. The major difference with the KIII Pro model is the support of 4K SAT channels.
The menu systems is easy and will not require special knowledge from the casual user. There are available options for all type of satellite dishes. In our unit, scanning of both T2 and S2 content was handled quickly and quite successfully even in cases with a not so great signal/strength.
Switching between channels takes the expected amount of time and channel information is rich in both S2 and T2 material. EPG appears correctly in all languages selected (English and Greek)
CCam, BISS and PowerVU are supported for those interested through a smart data manager menu that is not easily accessible.
Recording is of course supported and you can schedule it if you wish but the KIII Pro will not wake up from standby mode in order to do so.
Once again, the Marshmallow version of Google’s platform is here to make your time spent with KIII Pro more playful and fun.
All popular applications and games from Play Store can be selected and installed (~12GB of free space after first boot) and the powerful S912 SoC will make the overall experience really pleasant.
The same applies to gaming, since the majority of 3D games will perform issue free with no major lags or stutters.
For a Hybrid set top box like this one, support is crucial and this is an area where Videostrong really shines with a plethora of OTA updates and fixes.
You just can’t go wrong with Mecool KIII Pro. For a very decent price considering the impressive spec list, you get dual T2/S2 tuners with UHD support, and great media player performance in a single package. The dual tuner performance is really good and is easily compared to dedicated S2/T2 boxes from traditional companies.
Add to the above Videostrong’s amazing support and you end up with a hybrid set top box that will keep you company for a very long time.
We would like to thank Videostrong for providing the unit for an unbiased presentation.
- Special thanks to Kostas for his great help in the SAT testing!
- If this review helped you towards making your decision, we would appreciate if you made your order through the previous affiliate link(s). This way we will be able to review more products in the future.