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Wetek Hub Android TV Media Player Review

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Pocket-sized power

by Mark Hodgkinson Sep 9, 2016

  • SRP: £90.00

    What is the Wetek Hub?

    The Wetek Hub is the latest 4K Ultra HD Android Media/ TV box from a company which has impressed us more, as time has gone by. Unlike many in the sector, Wetek has a history in releasing product to the market with already well developed firmware (and software) and, as shortcomings and bugs do appear, they’re proactive in addressing them via updates. They’re not alone in this level of support and service - notably Minix are even more prolific with post-release software releases – and, the Hub is broadly comparable to that company’s latest Android player, the U1. There are differences but the main processor in the Wetek is a revision of that in the Minix with, we are told, an improvement in the support of certain 10-bit HEVC Ultra HD files, although there’s no advertised support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) video.

    The Wetek Hub is priced (August 2016) at 89.00 Euro on Wetek’s online store, with delivery options to the UK currently starting at 10 Euro. Compared, specs-wise, to the nearly countless selection of Android TV Boxes you see over various online outlets, it might look pricey, but our experiences would tell us that it’s almost always worth paying a little more for something that (hopefully) works very well out of the box and doesn’t require hours of online frustration to get around inherent bugs in the software. Like its sister product, the Wetek Core, the Hub has the necessary licensing and accreditation to stream up to 1080p Netflix (and other services) which does make it quite unusual, although no match for the UHD HDR capabilities of the NVIDIA Shield Android TV.


    The Hub is powered by an AMLogic S905-H Revision C processor and while it might seem pedantry to go in to such detail on revisions, and such, it’s actually pertinent to how capable the device will be in terms of delivering 10-bit Ultra HD video. Unusually, and potentially worrying, is the fact that there’s only 1GB of RAM on-board but Wetek seems confident they’ve optimised the Hub to run smoothly, despite the relative lack of memory available. On-board storage is limited, also, to 8GB of eMMC although that’s less of a concern. The Wetek Hub is Bluetooth 4.0 compliant and comes running Android 5.1.1 out of the box. Note: all testing was performed using Wetek OS 1.0.2.

    Design, Connections & Control

    The Wetek Hub takes the term, little black box to a whole new level with its tiny form factor. So small and lightweight is it that the device is supplied with a sticker that can be used to affix it to the back of your TV, should you wish, with an infra-red extender supplied so it can receive commands from the supplied remote. The exact dimensions are 71 x 71 x 20mm (WxDxH) so you really shouldn’t have any problems slotting it in to your set-up somewhere. Despite the size, the Hub still feels pretty sturdy and doesn’t seem to overheat, even under heavy loads, although it naturally gets quite warm to the touch.

    Wetek Hub
    Connectivity options are limited by the dimensions and, therefore, are pretty sparse. There’s one HDMI 2.0 and USB 2.0 port each, a gigabit LAN connection, a Micro SD card slot and a screw-on connection for the Wi-Fi antenna which allows for up to 802.11ac connections. The Hub is also supplied with an RS232 Serial cable that can be plugged in to the UART (Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter) jack on the side in case you’re in need of debugging assistance from Wetek.
    Wetek Hub
    While the remote control looks the part, it doesn’t really cut the mustard in an operational sense. It’s difficult to say whether the problem lies with the infra-red transmitter in the remote or the receiver on the device but controlling the Hub using the handset is a very ‘directional’ task, meaning you need to be aiming dead at it, else commands can and will be missed. Update: It's the receiver on the Hub as we had no issues when using the remote in conjunction with the IR extender. The button layout is pretty standard with the directional and enter keys placed centrally, a volume rocker at the bottom just below the ‘back’ and menu buttons and the power, home and mouse control buttons at the top. As well as not being all that effective, we found the buttons to also be unpleasantly ‘clicky,’ although that’s more of a personal preference. All in all, it had us wishing the Hub came with the same controller that’s supplied with the Wetek Core as it’s a far superior example.

    Features & User Interface

    The Wetek Hub is blessed with a number of very useful features, some of which were only enabled in the latest software update. There’s a useful-ish Web UI allowing you to check the status of the Hub from a browser although it offers only limited control options. For more comprehensive and remote control there is the option of activating the VNC (Virtual Network Computing) Server which could be useful in two scenarios – a) if you need to allow remote access for Wetek (or someone else) to control the hub in the case you are having issues and b) you are giving remote assistance, yourself, to a less capable friend or relative; we’d imagine some reading this might have experienced scenario ‘b’. The sub-standard remote control is at least partially atoned for by the existence of the WEcontrol remote app for Android mobile devices. It can be a bit sluggish to react but offers full button replication plus text input and a mouse pointer control far better than that of the handset. One very handy app the Hub includes is the WeTek Netmounter which allows Android level mounting of NFS and SMB Network shared drives and comes in extremely handy when setting up KODI/Wetek Media Player/Whatever.
    Wetek Hub Features & User Interface
    Wetek Hub Features & User Interface

    Like all the better Android TV devices on the market, the Hub can be software updated OTA (Over the Air) and the device is Widevine Level 1 certified (as well as meeting other DRM standards) to allow streaming of 1080p content from various services, including Netflix; as we said in the intro, this makes the Wetek players very unusual against the majority of Android boxes although sound is limited to stereo. The Netflix app – and others – benefit from the company’s Display Refresh Rate app which, in conjunction with the Automatic Refresh Rate option in Display Settings, ensures your TV is operating at the correct output signal to match the framerate of the video content at hand. The app is switched on by default for all other apps although, arguably, you probably want to disable it for Wetek Media Player which is the company’s hardware optimised fork of KODI and another noteworthy feature in itself. In a similar vein, Wetek officially back LibreELEC which is a JeOS (Just enough Operating System) designed to run KODI, although there is, as yet, no official version but there is at least one very good unofficial build.

    MORE: Kodi - A Beginners Guide

    The User Interface (UI) is very clean and minimalist with the ability to easily customise the launcher (homescreen) with any apps you like by using the menu button or long-pressing the OK button on Wetek’s pre-installed selection at the top. The icons at the bottom include one for power/reboot & recovery, one for the Network connection, an option to unmount attached storage, one to open up the customisation options, a (usually depressing) weather app and another to provide a list of the available widgets. Overall we admire the thought and care that Wetek has put in to the Hub’s launcher and interface and, on a side note, it’s good to see they’re trying to keep things consistent by updating the older Core model to match that of the Hub.
    Wetek Hub
    Wetek Hub

    Video & Audio Performance

    After some initial testing and to-ing and fro-ing between the built-in Wetek Media Player, SPMC, KODI and LibreELEC we actually went with the Wetek Player as being the best all-round, although LibreELEC runs it close and is slightly better in some areas, especially in terms of snappiness of navigation around menus and auto-switching between Ultra HD and 1080p resolutions. In fact, were it just a pure media player you wanted and none of the Android features appeal, it would be an excellent choice in its own right.

    Testing was carried out via a NAS over a wired Gigabit network, as well as from a USB 3.0 hard drive, on a Samsung UE65JU700 via a Yamaha RXV-679 AV Receiver. Starting with the Ultra HD/4K tests…

    4K Tests

    Wetek Media Player (Android)

    3840 x 2160/AVC/MP4/23.976fps
    No auto-switching from 1080p -applicable to all below
    3840 x 2160/AVC/MP4/24.000fps
    3840 x 2160/AVC/MP4/25.000fps
    3840 x 2160/AVC/MP4/29.970fps
    3840 x 2160/AVC/MKV/59.940fps
    3840 x 2160/AVC/MP4/23.976fps
    3840 x 2160/HEVC/MP4/29.970fps
    3840 x 2160/AVC/MP4/59.940fps
    10-bit 3840 x 2160/HEVC/TS/59.940fps
    10-bit 3840 x 2160/HEVC/TS/23.976fps
    3840 x 2160/AVC/MP4/50.00fps
    4096 x 2160/AVC/MP4/24fps

    The Wetek Hub made mincemeat out of our Ultra HD files, including 10-bit HEVC at up to 60 frames per second material. It should be noted that the chipset is not HDR capable, in any of its flavours, but for now it’s kind of a moot point as there are no legal/moral means of obtaining anything beyond test files. We guess the same could be said for Ultra HD content as well, although that should change more quickly. As stated above, the Hub wouldn’t automatically switch between resolutions using Android so it’s something you would probably want to do manually - for sub UHD resolutions - as the quality of the 2160p ‘up-scaling’ in the Wetek is likely not as good as that in your TV; that was certainly the case with the UHD TVs we tested it with and against.

    Now for some more modest fare but it’s probably far more important the Hub can take care of the bread and butter with competence. We’ve actually seen some issues with some of the tests and the AMLogic S905 previously, albeit not with this revision of the processor.


    Wetek Media Player (Android)

    720 x 576/MP2/mpg/25.000fps - Interlaced
    Good deinterlacing
    1280 x 720/AVC/MP4/29.970fps
    1920 x 1080/AVC/MKV/25.00fps - Interlaced
    Good deinterlacing
    1920 x 1080/AVC/MKV/23.976fps
    1920 x 1080/AVC/MKV/24.000fps
    1920 x 1080/AVC/MKV/25.000fps
    1920 x 1080/AVC/MKV/29.970fps
    1920 x 1080/AVC/MKV/30.000fps
    1920 x 1080/AVC/MKV/59.970fps
    1920 x 1080/HEVC/ISO/23.976fps
    1920 x 1080/HEVC/MKV/23.976fps
    1920 x 1080/VC-1/MKV/23.976fps
    1920 x 1080/VC-1/MKV/29.970fps - Interlaced

    The Hub actually performed slightly better than some with an S905 inside but still struggled with VC-1 encodes at anything other than 24/23.976 frames per second by exhibiting a stutter with the video. The quality of the deinterlacing was better than some, also, although not as good as the likes of the Chromebox, which is still an excellent choice if you have ‘Live TV’ integrated in to your media hub.

    High Bitrate

    Wetek Media Player (Android)

    1920 x 1080/AVC/M2TS/23.976fps & 90mbps
    1920 x 1080/AVC/MKV/23.976fps @ 100mbps
    1920 x 1080/HEVC/MKV/23.976fps @ 110mbps
    3480 x 2160/H264/MKV/23.976fps @ 120mbps
    10-bit 3840 x 2160/HEVC/MKV/23.976fps @ 120mbps
    3840x 2160/H264/MKV/23.976fps @ 140mbps
    10-bit 3840x2160/HEVC/MKV/23.976fps @ 140mbps
    3840x 2160/H264/MKV/23.976fps @ 200mbps
    Stuttering playback form HDD and NAS
    10-bit 3840x 2160/HEVC/MKV/23.976fps @ 200mbps
    Stuttering playback from HDD and NAS

    Fed over our Gigabit network from attached storage and from a USB HDD, the Hub had no problems with video content at up to 140Mb/s but struggled at anything beyond that. As the bitrate for Ultra HD Blu-ray tops out at 128Mb/s, this is perfectly reasonable performance.

    AMLogic, as a chipset manufacturer don’t seem to have a great deal of interest in 3D video, which is probably fair enough as there are new fish to fry in the video world, so it follows that the Hub is not the media player for devotees of the format.


    Wetek Media Player (Android)

    1920 x 1080/AVC/ISO/23.976fps Frame Packed
    Plays in 2D
    1920 x 1080/AVC/MKV/23.976fps Frame Packed
    Plays in 2D
    1920 x 1080/AVC/MKV/23.976fps Side by Side
    Need to manually engage TV 3D mode
    1920 x 1080/AVC/MKV/23.976fps Top & Bottom
    Need to manually engage TV 3D mode

    Like most, the Wetek won’t natively play frame-packed 3D ISO or MKV which is how most rip their 3D discs but it does play each well in 2D, at least. Files encoded top and bottom or side by side played fine, provided we manually engaged the TV’s 3D mode but, to reiterate, the Wetek Hub is not the best 3D player on the market. In terms of the Android players, HiMedia is probably the best for 3D, while dedicated players from Zappiti and Popcorn Hour are flawless here.

    We know the software and development team behind Wetek has put a deal of work in to getting the audio side of their devices right and its reaped its rewards with the Hub…


    Wetek Media Player (Android)

    AAC (Dolby Digital) 5.1
    AC3 (DTS) 5.1
    Dolby Digital Plus 7.1
    Dolby True HD 5.1
    Dolby True HD 7.1
    DTS HD-MA 5.1
    DTS HD-HR 7.1
    DTS HD-MA 7.1
    LPCM 7.1

    It actually played/passed through everything we threw at it and, although we don’t currently have the means to test, should have no issues with Dolby Atmos or DTS:X pass-through.

    How future-proof is this video streamer?

    4K Ultra HD playback up to 60 frames per second
    HEVC decoding Full HD
    HEVC decoding Ultra HD
    7 Channel HD Audio pass-through
    Netflix HD/4K
    3D ISO playback
    HDMI 2.0
    Over The Air (OTA) Software Updates
    Manufacturer version of KODI

    Video Review


    OUT OF


    • Great UHD playback
    • HD audio passthrough
    • Minimalist but easy to use UI
    • Well developed software & excellent manufacturer support


    • Sub-par remote control
    • No HDR support
    You own this Total 0
    You want this Total 0
    You had this Total 0

    Wetek Hub Android TV Media Player Review

    Should I buy one?

    As a relatively budget media player, the Wetek Hub has a lot going for it including replay of just about every file type you could wish for, well developed interfaces and operating software with very good manufacturer support and some genuinely useful value adding features. It’s also easily the most compact device of its type we’ve reviewed so, if space is at a premium, it has that on its side. It’s so small and lightweight, in fact, that its supplied with an adhesive tab and an infra-red extender so you could just attach it to the back of your TV and hide it away completely. Speaking of infra-red, the supplied remote control is the undoubted low-light of the package as it needs to be pointed directly at the receiver or it can feel like it’s not sending commands, at all.

    MORE: Read more Android Media Box Reviews

    The Wetek Hub is relatively unusual in the Android media player market in having the necessary ‘security clearance’ to play 1080p Netflix and in having an app that will automatically switch all video content in to the appropriate signal to match the framerate. Other appealing features include the ability to switch between Android and LibreELEC operating systems, being able to remotely manage by VNC and browser, as well as over the air manufacturer software updates to improve functionality and performance. The NetMounter app, which mounts networked storage in the operating system, under Android, is also another potential godsend that will prove very useful to some. The Wetek Hub is a well-designed little device, both inside and out, that should serve the media needs of most for some time to come and, given its fairly low entry price, it’s one we’re happy to term as a Best Buy.

    The Rundown

    Build Quality




    Networking, Internet, Streaming quality




    Set up, Menus, Remote


    Value for Money




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