Dune HD Realbox 4K (RTD1395) Thread - Page 4 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #91 of 119 Old 05-23-2020, 02:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nice Monkey View Post
SOC functionality is the same but a total build quality has always some effect on Video/Audio performance.
Above all the power design and PSU have some effects when coming to ultimate stability and resistance to grid spikes and voltage changes. Top video/audio products spend a lot of detail to that.
Well in a real world test I just played the same scene from Gemini Man on a Cambridge Audio CXUHD, Zappiti One SE and the Realbox. Three very different devices at three different price points and you would not be able tell the difference in the audio/video output in a blind test. Once a device has reached a certain capability and reliability, plus is not doing anything nasty then the differences in video performance are likely to be marginal, if at all. The marketing guys would of course disagree

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post #92 of 119 Old 05-23-2020, 02:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nice Monkey View Post
SOC functionality is the same but a total build quality has always some effect on Video/Audio performance.
Above all the power design and PSU have some effects when coming to ultimate stability and resistance to grid spikes and voltage changes. Top video/audio products spend a lot of detail to that.

Having adequate power feeds/ports for USB3 and SATA will also appeal to many users like me (preferring even a Plus).
When spending a big amount of money on big TV's/Projectors and Amplifiers/Receivers + Speakers one should not be content using the entry model for a player despite obviously offering the best value/money ratio.

I also do expect Dune to start varying functionality with these models (beyond Android 9). But that is an educated guess thus far.
I have seen CD Audio support as a differentiator thus far.
Indeed - and I absolutely would not be using this, or to be fair, any mainstream media player for audio - I'm sure you can see by my choice of speakers I take this stuff quite seriously (and I use original M&K speakers elsewhere).

As far as video goes though, empirically I've seen no difference in like for like video quality between any of the Realtek boxes (of which I have many) over the last few years and believe me I'm fussy as hell! I don't spend my life poring over test patterns but I definitely want the image to look the best it can possibly be, and if I'm brutally honest, although value for money very much comes into the equation, budget does not.

I don't expect the 1619 boxes to provide any paradigm shift in image quality over any of the lesser models, but of course I'd love to be proved wrong - I take your point on power supplies, build quality etc, but at the end of the day they're all just SOC boxes.

That said, and again being brutally honest, having what is ostensibly a little OTT box in the theatre definitely doesn't sit well with me given the rest of the kit in there - I'll be sticking with Zidoo and I have absolutely no doubt I'll end up with the Z9X when it's released.

But certainly, where I tend to do more casual viewing, with no USB requirements, the Realbox is perfect and unless the 1619 boxes show a blistering speed increase (and the Realbox is fast as hell!) or definite shift in image quality (doubtful) it'll be staying for the foreseeable.

Until I change my mind

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post #93 of 119 Old 05-23-2020, 03:24 AM
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Agree seeing the Power supply chain influence on video is much more difficult than on audio.
You probably need test patterns or special scenes for that, which I don't bother with myself.

Probably end up with a Dune HD Pro 4K II Plus (bedroom finally replacing my Egreat A10) and a Zidoo-X (living) myself. The choice for the Zidoo X model given by its Audio qualities which I do expect to match my modest audio setup (Onkyo TX-RZ720 AMP + 7.1.2 B&W CDM-NT series speakers).

Can anybody confirm the Dune claims on Seamless Branching and Lionsgate Playlist Obfuscation not being any problem?

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post #94 of 119 Old 05-23-2020, 03:40 AM
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Just my 2 cents:

I haven't seen any evidence that PSU and other factors alter the picture quality. I'm more than happy if somebody can link me to some evidence or arguments for why this is the case. I'd also imagine that if this would be the case, the first thing to improve on the PSU would be the display device and not the player itself.
For example Zappiti shows this picture on their website to show the effect of the high quality PSU and other components:

I don't know if this really is the case or not. Would love to test it, though.

For me the most significant factor in determining the PQ is the SoC and it's decoders, algorithms for upsampling, upscaling etc.

Real world and test patterns might differ but those test patterns provide an objective way in seeing differences and they are made so that the difference are observable. These differences are there. Thats the reason why I use them and I'm puzzled why professional publications don't use them. They use things like "image is sharp...more detail there...motion is great", but that doesn't provide any real evidence.

However, the question is whether one personally can see them or cares about them.
I can see for example bad chroma upscaling algorithms quite easily on real world content with every "exit" sign in red. With bad upsampling the edges are not sharp but jagged. But I'm a pixel peeper....

BTW: I haven't heard back from Futeko. Not sure if my mails got through, as the first ones were marked as spam by his outlook which send me a notification. Now I contacted Dune directly.

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post #95 of 119 Old 05-23-2020, 03:40 AM
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Assuming Zappiti release 1619 models this year I will be replacing my current Zaps with those since it is good for scraping TV shows and seamless branching works. Will be keeping the two RealBoxes that I now have since I like the cast and crew explorer in MyCollection and Zappiti will not be introducing anything similar in their already polished media centre. Will still be using the Cambridge Audio players as main device.

I'm pretty delighted with what the RealBox does for its price. Seems solid and a pleasure to use.

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post #96 of 119 Old 05-23-2020, 04:18 AM
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PSU impact on digital circuitry is mostly on the clock circuitry. This next to obviously variations on voltage variations for any analog circuitry around.

For Audio this is much easier to perceive than on Video. What is does is make clocking more stable in absolute frequency and avoiding phase variations during transitions. For Audio on top equipment this is straight audible but for video I think it must be measured mostly. How relevant it is then after all? But bottomline a good PSU never harms.
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post #97 of 119 Old 05-23-2020, 04:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sledgehamma View Post
Just my 2 cents:

I haven't seen any evidence that PSU and other factors alter the picture quality. I'm more than happy if somebody can link me to some evidence or arguments for why this is the case. I'd also imagine that if this would be the case, the first thing to improve on the PSU would be the display device and not the player itself.
For example Zappiti shows this picture on their website to show the effect of the high quality PSU and other components:

I don't know if this really is the case or not. Would love to test it, though.

For me the most significant factor in determining the PQ is the SoC and it's decoders, algorithms for upsampling, upscaling etc.

Real world and test patterns might differ but those test patterns provide an objective way in seeing differences and they are made so that the difference are observable. These differences are there. Thats the reason why I use them and I'm puzzled why professional publications don't use them. They use things like "image is sharp...more detail there...motion is great", but that doesn't provide any real evidence.

However, the question is whether one personally can see them or cares about them.
I can see for example bad chroma upscaling algorithms quite easily on real world content with every "exit" sign in red. With bad upsampling the edges are not sharp but jagged. But I'm a pixel peeper....

BTW: I haven't heard back from Futeko. Not sure if my mails got through, as the first ones were marked as spam by his outlook which send me a notification. Now I contacted Dune directly.
You could also try contacting him on the Futeko forums - we definitely need to see some of your reviews of these 4K boxes... It's been a while...
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post #98 of 119 Old 05-23-2020, 04:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nice Monkey View Post
...But bottomline a good PSU never harms.
Absolutely agree with that with any equipment.

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post #99 of 119 Old 05-23-2020, 06:15 AM
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HDMI Cables

What I do find interesting and slightly annoying is that unlike any of my other media players, the Realbox does seem extremely picky over which HDMI cables it likes.

It actually comes with a "Premium Certified" 1M HDMI cable which is great, but I always tend to use my own and have always used SlimHDMI Premium Certified cables (https://slimhdmi.com/a-a-premium.html.php) and so far they've been bomb proof in the theatre up to 18Gbps.

The Realbox doesn't like them (dropouts and entertaining flashes) , but it's happy with its own cable and also Antiference Premium Certified cables (https://antiference.co.uk/product/pr...-leads-uhd2-2/).

Bearing in mind that this is just in the GUI and only at 4K59 10-bit 420 so thats only 11.1Gbps which is well below the HDMI 2 limit of 18Gbps so as with the previous issue of the Vertex 1 not registering 4K23 10-bit 444, there's definitely something freaky with the HDMI port - 11.1Gbps is damp piece of string territory for HDMI 2.

Not insurmountable, but certainly something to be aware of.

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post #100 of 119 Old 05-23-2020, 08:39 AM
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I have one box connected to a Yamaha 3080 and regardless of settings it plays everything smoothly. I have a second box connected to a Denon X7200WA and the same model of TV but playback is far more troublesome. I can only get it to work reliably if I set maximum HDMI colour depth to 8 bit. Anything else and I get problems ranging from audio dropouts to no picture at all. I’ve tried two premium certified cables but will next have to try the one that came in the box.

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post #101 of 119 Old 05-23-2020, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sutton8 View Post
I have one box connected to a Yamaha 3080 and regardless of settings it plays everything smoothly. I have a second box connected to a Denon X7200WA and the same model of TV but playback is far more troublesome. I can only get it to work reliably if I set maximum HDMI colour depth to 8 bit. Anything else and I get problems ranging from audio dropouts to no picture at all. I’ve tried two premium certified cables but will next have to try the one that came in the box.
Ah, so maybe it's the Denons it doesn't like...

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post #102 of 119 Old 05-23-2020, 10:39 PM
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Ah, so maybe it's the Denons it doesn't like...
Yes looks like it. I’ve played with settings on both the player and receiver and it only works for me sending an 8 bit signal, which is far from ideal. No such issues with other players attached to the same receiver.

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post #103 of 119 Old 05-23-2020, 11:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sledgehamma View Post
Just my 2 cents:

I haven't seen any evidence that PSU and other factors alter the picture quality. I'm more than happy if somebody can link me to some evidence or arguments for why this is the case. I'd also imagine that if this would be the case, the first thing to improve on the PSU would be the display device and not the player itself.
For example Zappiti shows this picture on their website to show the effect of the high quality PSU and other components:

I don't know if this really is the case or not. Would love to test it, though.

For me the most significant factor in determining the PQ is the SoC and it's decoders, algorithms for upsampling, upscaling etc.

Real world and test patterns might differ but those test patterns provide an objective way in seeing differences and they are made so that the difference are observable. These differences are there. Thats the reason why I use them and I'm puzzled why professional publications don't use them. They use things like "image is sharp...more detail there...motion is great", but that doesn't provide any real evidence.

However, the question is whether one personally can see them or cares about them.
I can see for example bad chroma upscaling algorithms quite easily on real world content with every "exit" sign in red. With bad upsampling the edges are not sharp but jagged. But I'm a pixel peeper....

BTW: I haven't heard back from Futeko. Not sure if my mails got through, as the first ones were marked as spam by his outlook which send me a notification. Now I contacted Dune directly.
This is Spears & Munsil Chroma Zone Plate test.
The Pro simply uses different chroma upsampling algorithm, not caused by PSU.
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post #104 of 119 Old 05-24-2020, 12:16 AM
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post #105 of 119 Old 05-24-2020, 12:37 AM
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How come? They both use the same SoC.
I don't know, it may be adjustable in the SDK or the Zappiti is lying
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post #106 of 119 Old 05-24-2020, 12:51 AM
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That's not adjustable. A possibility may be that Realtek improved on upsampling on some SDK an Zappiti used the old SDK as reference for the normal model and the newer SDK for the Pro. But that's just speculation.
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post #107 of 119 Old 05-24-2020, 01:48 AM
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Originally Posted by sutton8 View Post
Yes looks like it. I’ve played with settings on both the player and receiver and it only works for me sending an 8 bit signal, which is far from ideal. No such issues with other players attached to the same receiver.
In my den, I have a 7200 connected to an 85" Samsung by a 5M HDMI.

The Realbox is now connected to the 7200 by the supplied HDMI cable and I can run the GUI at 4K59 10-bit 4:2:0 (11.1Gbps) fine.

4K23 material plays out at 10-bit 4:4:4 (11.1Gbps) and it will also run at 12-bit 4:4:4 (13.4Gbps) if I set 12-bits in the settings.

As I said, this wouldn't work with my trusty SlimHDMI cables so if you mess with your cables you should be able to get more than 8-bit!

I take it that's the GUI setting and it sets to 4K60 8-bit 4:2:0 (8.9Gbps)?

What happens when you play 4K23 material?

There's also this thing about internal signal paths in Denons - can't remember if it's the ports closest to the output port that perform best or whether it's counter intuitively the farthest port, but I seem to remember reading about that in the dim and distant...

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post #108 of 119 Old 05-24-2020, 02:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sledgehamma View Post
That's not adjustable. A possibility may be that Realtek improved on upsampling on some SDK an Zappiti used the old SDK as reference for the normal model and the newer SDK for the Pro. But that's just speculation.
Sounds a bit like the "PixelMagic" smoke and mirrors....

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Yeah it does. I never got a clear answer from Zappiti regarding their “magicpixel” only that it can’t be deactivated. No mention of how they implemented it in the first place without having direct access to Realteks processing pipeline inside the SoC.
And more funny is that their highest end player is “ISF certified”. I thought that those certification means that the player is able to produce an unaltered picture. But then again, the ISF day mode on my OLED limited HDR to 300 nits brightness although it’s capable of more than double that...shows how much these stickers are worth.
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@markswift2003

I switched out one of the Antiference cables you mentioned above for the supplied. Nice of them to put a premium certified in the box. I also switched out the main cable from receiver to TV, it’s 2M and premium certified.

If I set auto resolution to Enabled then I get audio but no picture on 1080p material. 4K works as expected.

If I set auto resolution to Disabled then I get picture and audio on all sources. But I get frame skips and audio dropouts on everything.

So I moved forward a bit but the only way to get satisfactory picture and audio is to set colour depth to 8 bit. Everything works to spec then.

Very weird and now a bit time consuming. It’s only a backup player but would be nice to get the full colour depth. I have no issues with the Cambridge Audio and Zappiti players connected to the same receiver.

I moved the Dune to the CD input on the receiver., Denon suggest using the nearest to the HDMI out. Clock works better apparently.

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post #111 of 119 Old 05-24-2020, 04:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sutton8 View Post
@markswift2003

I switched out one of the Antiference cables you mentioned above for the supplied. Nice of them to put a premium certified in the box. I also switched out the main cable from receiver to TV, it’s 2M and premium certified.

If I set auto resolution to Enabled then I get audio but no picture on 1080p material. 4K works as expected.

If I set auto resolution to Disabled then I get picture and audio on all sources. But I get frame skips and audio dropouts on everything.

So I moved forward a bit but the only way to get satisfactory picture and audio is to set colour depth to 8 bit. Everything works to spec then.

Very weird and now a bit time consuming. It’s only a backup player but would be nice to get the full colour depth. I have no issues with the Cambridge Audio and Zappiti players connected to the same receiver.

I moved the Dune to the CD input on the receiver., Denon suggest using the nearest to the HDMI out. Clock works better apparently.
Just checked, and my receiver is the same WA model as yours (wasn't sure if it was just the W) so we have exactly the same kit bar the TV.

I also have my Realbox connected to the DVD input, so actually the second furthest from the output.

However, after a bit more testing I have to reappraise my view of the included HDMI cable.

I set my box back to fully auto as far as video goes, so:


Max Video Mode: Auto(EDID)
Auto Framerate: ALL
Auti Resolution: Enabled
3D Support: No (don't use 3D)

And in additional settings

Max HDMI Color depth: Auto(EDID)
Preferred HDMI Color Depth: Maximum
SDR/HDR Conversion: Auto
Chroma...4Kp50/60 8-bit: 4:2:0
Chroma...4Kp50/60 12-bit: 4:2:0
Chroma...4Kp24..30 12-bit: 4:2:2
Chroma...Non-4K 12-bit: 4:2:2
Analog A?V Out: Disabled

This gives:

GUI: 4K59 10-bit 4:2:0

4K59 material: 4K59 10-bit 4:2:0

4K23 material: 4K23 10-bit 4:4:4

2K23 material: 2K23 10-bit 4:4:4


The only cable I've tried that gives reliable playback in all modes, so no video or audio drops is a 1M Premium Certified Antiference one.

As I said yesterday, it really surprised me that a (brand new) Premium Certified SlimHDMI caused audio dropouts.

I thought the included one was fine, but on more testing today, this cable gives worse dropouts at 4K23 and 4K59 than the SlimHDMI one - audio and video.


So I think I just dropped lucky when I picked the Antiference cable when I initially connected the box.

The 10-bit problems I had with the Vertex were perhaps a clue to issues to come...

Like you, no such issues with other boxes.
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post #112 of 119 Old 05-24-2020, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Sledgehamma View Post
Yeah it does. I never got a clear answer from Zappiti regarding their “magicpixel” only that it can’t be deactivated. No mention of how they implemented it in the first place without having direct access to Realteks processing pipeline inside the SoC.
And more funny is that their highest end player is “ISF certified”. I thought that those certification means that the player is able to produce an unaltered picture. But then again, the ISF day mode on my OLED limited HDR to 300 nits brightness although it’s capable of more than double that...shows how much these stickers are worth.
Must admit I was a bit gobsmacked when they announced the ISF certification, particularly given the freaky frame rates they still have in most modes.

I guess ISF has gone down the road THX did after Lucasfilm sold them - nothing to do with quality, just how big your wallet is...

That might be a bit of a jaded view, but it's all food for thought.

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post #113 of 119 Old 05-24-2020, 11:32 AM
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@markswift2003

After trying multiple cables I finally got it working efficiently to max. Had to disable auto resolution, but everything else video wise is set to auto. This box is really fussy on cables as we’ve said. Must have just lucked out with the cable first time in my other Yamaha setup.
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post #114 of 119 Old 05-24-2020, 11:44 AM
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@markswift2003

After trying multiple cables I finally got it working efficiently to max. Had to disable auto resolution, but everything else video wise is set to auto. This box is really fussy on cables as we’ve said. Must have just lucked out with the cable first time in my other Yamaha setup.
Glad you got it sorted - I do like this little thing, but it really is a bit crazy!

What have you set as "Max Video Mode" and what does the GUI run at?

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post #115 of 119 Old 05-24-2020, 11:49 AM
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Glad you got it sorted - I do like this little thing, but it really is a bit crazy!

What have you set as "Max Video Mode" and what does the GUI run at?
Max video mode is Auto. The GUI is same as yours.

GUI: 4K59 10-bit 4:2:0
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post #116 of 119 Old 05-24-2020, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sledgehamma View Post
Yeah it does. I never got a clear answer from Zappiti regarding their “magicpixel” only that it can’t be deactivated. No mention of how they implemented it in the first place without having direct access to Realteks processing pipeline inside the SoC.
And more funny is that their highest end player is “ISF certified”. I thought that those certification means that the player is able to produce an unaltered picture. But then again, the ISF day mode on my OLED limited HDR to 300 nits brightness although it’s capable of more than double that...shows how much these stickers are worth.
When I asked them about it, I believe I remember correctly, they told me that direct out bypasses their magicpixel processing.
If that is the case, it makes sense regarding ISF certificate.

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post #117 of 119 Old 05-25-2020, 02:00 AM
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When I asked them about it, I believe I remember correctly, they told me that direct out bypasses their magicpixel processing.
If that is the case, it makes sense regarding ISF certificate.
You could easily find out, you just need one 4:4:4 HDMI capture card
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post #118 of 119 Old 05-26-2020, 02:58 AM
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You could easily find out, you just need one 4:4:4 HDMI capture card
Good luck finding one bypassing all HDMI DRMs
Even if there was one, I am quite sure I could not afford it.
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post #119 of 119 Old Yesterday, 02:51 AM
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Finally, i found a very nice review for the new Dune RealBox 4K
Take a look here....
http://mediaplayers.gr/dune-hd-realbox-4k/
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