Ugoos to ship first 8K Android media player next month

Mike Wheatley

Anyone who has an 8K TV set might be interested to know that China’s Ugoos is now selling what looks to be one of the first-ever 8K media players.


The Ugoos AM8 Plus is said to run Android and is powered by an Amlogic S928X-J system-on-chip, and is able to decode 8K resolution video. However, it’s unlikely that anyone will be able to stream 8K content with it anytime soon.

The exciting news is that the AM8 Plus is one of the first 8K compatible media players around that supports AV1, VP9-2, HEVC and AVS3 decoding at up to 60 frames per second in 8K resolution. There’s a single HDMI 2.1a port available too, and that can output 8K content.

According to Ugoos, the AM8 Plus is able to decode 8K content that’s stored locally on a network device or USB drive, with support for Dolby Vision and HDR10. However, there does not appear to be any word on if it can support 8K streaming, and of course, none of the top streaming services currently offer 8K anyway.


There’s also a reason to be somewhat wary of the device. While Ugoos claims it runs Android 11, a closer look reveals that it is actually the open-source variant of Android, designed primarily for mobile devices, and not the specialised Android TV platform. So not only is it not able to access the Google Play TV store, but it is unlikely to support higher quality streams, as the OS is set up to support lower bandwidth streams for mobile devices. The media player will identify itself as a mobile device to streaming providers, rather than a TV. In addition, any apps you wish to download will have to be sideloaded.

In addition, users are warned that a number of Chinese media players recently have been found to be preloaded with malware. Earlier this year, security researchers found that numerous popular Android TV boxes were shipping with malware that connects the devices to a large botnet. It’s thought that the botnet runs a clickbot that generates cash by constantly tapping on ads in the background, without the user realizing.

It’s not clear if the Ugoos device is similar, but it is a reason to be suspicious of the device.

Ugoos said the AM8 Plus media player will become available in September with a price tag of around $249. The launch is a good sign that 8K is getting more traction, but it will still be a while before it goes mainstream, and so users may want to hold off for now.