We tried the Dune HD Pro 4K media player!

After unpacking the Dune HD Pro 4K media player in a white cardboard box, you will find the media player itself with detachable antennas, the power supply, HDMI cable, backlit remote control, instruction manual and 2xAAA batteries for the remote control. Compared to the previous model, no wall mount kit, A/V jack->RCA cable and IR extension cable are included. The SATA cable for connecting an external drive was also missing.

Dune HD Pro 4 K features

It runs on Google Android operating system and has a storage capacity of 16 GB. The basic features of the media player are Bluetooth connectivity, a memory card reader, and Wi-Fi connectivity. The memory RAM size is 2 GB. Available in black. The dimensions are 187 mm x 29 mm x 140 mm.

Dune-media player-remote control

The remote control is a standard accessory.

It has analogue, digital optical outputs, Ethernet LAN, HDMI, HDMI 2.0, composite video, MicroSD slot, optical outputs, USB 2.0, USB 3.0 ports. Supported resolutions are 4K Ultra HD, Full HD, HD Ready. Supported audio formats are AAC, ALAC, APE, Apple Lossless, ASF, FLAC, LPCM, MP3, MP4, OGG, WAV, WMA, supported video formats are AVI, H.264, MP4, WMV.

What can we use media players for?

Media players are designed to play movies and music on TVs that don’t have DLNA or USB ports. Once Smart TVs came on the market, which already had an integrated operating system, internet browsing and streaming became incredibly easy.

However, not everyone has a Smart TV, so the rationale for media players has been further developed. Even the best and most expensive Smart TVs are recommended to use a media player, because the playback quality of Smart TVs is not up to the quality of media players.

The primary function of media players is to play music or video content from another device. This requires a DLNA or HDMI connection. Media players can also be connected to video cameras or still cameras if you want to be able to view pictures or video content on your TV screen. As the media players are also equipped with USB connections, you can also connect a USB stick or an external hard drive. They play standard video formats, but can also handle more modern formats.

You can also use the TV to access the Internet via Ethernet cable or Wi-Fi. The HDMI connectors are only for transferring images, you cannot connect to the internet via them, only via the media player.

Technical properties

The media player runs on Android operating system, and the quad-core Realtek RTD1295 media processor ensures high-performance video playback. With 2 GB DDR3 RAM and 16 GB ROM, overall performance is excellent. Unfortunately, the new model does not include a video processor like the VXP found in its predecessor, the Solo 4K.

dune-media player-inside

4K and HDR are also supported, as well as HD audio bit-streaming (Dolby ATMOS, DTS X), automatic frame rate and resolution switching. There is also the option to organise your movie collection in the “My Collection” function. Full Blu-ray support is promised for the future, as a firmware update will be added to the device.

Design and construction

Dune-Pro-4K-player-inputs, outputs

The aluminium housing of the Dune HD model has a sleek design and premium quality. The remote control is large, but also very comfortable and easy to hold. It has a handy numeric keypad and differentiated buttons for all key functions, such as volume control, menu, setting, sound and subtitle selection, pause, play, fast forward and chapter skip.

The biggest advantage is the remote control’s backlighting, which can be switched on by a dedicated button in the top left corner. The subtle orange light helps you distinguish each button in dim or darkened rooms. IR-based, but the range is nevertheless very good.

Menus – Settings

Although this media player is an Android device, the manufacturer’s software engineers have managed to provide a standalone player user interface that is much more user-friendly than any other Android media player we’ve seen so far.
There is a wide range of themes and customisation options to choose from when setting up. You can also load your own custom themes. The new quad-core processor makes browsing menus faster and much smoother.

New menu items have also been added to the player. Some Android apps are pre-installed and more can be added via the Aptoide marketplace.
The settings menu is exactly the same as we’ve seen on previous Dune players. The brand has always been impressive when it comes to settings, so we won’t be disappointed in this area either.


Dune has switched from SIGMA SoC to Realtek in the production of HD Pro 4K for better playback quality.

We tested the media player in a living room of about 20 square metres, where the acoustic treatment had not yet been carried out. Our measurements showed that the room was quite reverberant, so we suggested to the customer that he should install sound absorbers and acoustic panels with diffusers on the walls and ceiling to dampen the reverberation. We also recommended leather membrane bass traps behind the speakers and in the corners.

It is very important to pay attention to the acoustic treatment of rooms, because the sound quality of video and music contents can only be good if the acoustics are optimal. Walls and ceilings reflect sound, as do windows, so unpleasant echoes can be created, leading to a degradation of sound quality. So don’t take room acoustics management lightly, choose professional acoustics specialists and products!

The playback of music files (mp3/flac) was problem-free and we have no criticisms or complaints to make regarding it.
However, our experience with video playback performance was not that obvious. The basic firmware is quite sufficient. The default player selection ensures that even the highest bit-rate 4K/HDR content is played back in perfect quality.

We also get automatic frame switching, and automatic resolution switching, proper 23.976 motion handling and HD Audio bitstream including the latest Dolby ATMOS and DTS X codecs.

The only thing missing from the perfect experience was the support for full Blu Ray/UHD menus. Fortunately, the manufacturer has promised that this will be supported in future firmware updates. ISO (including UHD) and Blu Ray playback are supported, although we found that at times BD folders were not properly recognised and could not be automatically replayed.

It should be noted that the internal player is not the default Realtek player, but a brand new type redesigned by Dune and Realtek. The picture quality is fantastic, although we did encounter the occasional Realtek 4K banding error, but this is easily prevented by manually selecting the 4K@23.976, 12-bit and 4:2:2 video options.

3D playback is also supported with SDR->HDR and HDR->SDR conversions.
Jumping, fast forwarding or rewinding while playing content is as easy as possible using the arrow keys or number keys. The (external) subtitles are also very easy to adjust (height, length, font, colour, delay and size) in the movie settings menu.

What is missing compared to the previous model (Solo 4K) is the VXP image processor. It’s not really needed for Blu Ray and UHD content, but it does a very good job of enhancing SD material, especially DVDs. The heyday of DVDs is over, but those with DVD collections will get a better picture with older media players.

There are, however, some innovations that compensate for any shortcomings compared to previous models. Perhaps most important was the acquisition of a full licence (Widevine DRM L1) for You-Tube and DRM video streaming content such as Netflix. Both are capable of 4K resolution. It is the first high-end media player that does not use the official Android TV user interface. This makes the Pro 4K unique, as users do not need to have a separate device to play high-end video files and 4K Netflix. We’re hopeful that a future firmware update will include 5.1 audio for Netflix, as it is now limited to stereo audio only.

The HDMI In app doesn’t support recording for some inexplicable reason.
Wired LAN performance was amazing as we experienced no signs of buffering or network dropouts. Wireless performance was also very good as the 802.11ac Dual Band 2T2R module can handle 1080p remux files.

Movie catcher

To download the information, you need to have our film collection properly arranged on your hard drive. This requires a single Film (or Movies) folder, in which each film has its own folder, and the folder or video file name contains the full title of the film, to avoid possible title conflicts.
Pro 4K uses the same scraper as Solo 4K.

The results are impressive and really precise. There is a wealth of information about each film, such as the synopsis, interesting information about the main actors/directors/story, and you can also view the trailers for each film.

The default file manager also has an integrated automatic movie detection feature, which works well if the folder name makes it easy for the scraper to analyse.

Android operating system

Dune’s user interface is based on an Android 7.1 operating system. The familiar Android menu is only visible by selecting the ‘system’ menu item in the settings. Previously, it was not possible to add existing (or new) Google Accounts, but thanks to the latest FW updates, the Google Play Store is now available. The influence of the Android OS has been minimised to ensure smooth, high-quality video and audio playback. This is important because updating apps in the background can actually degrade playback stability (by limiting network bandwidth, etc.)

Dune has an alternative store, the Aptoide TV marketplace, within which you can find almost all known applications.

However, browsing with Google Chrome browser is challenging when using only the player’s remote control. You have to switch to mouse mode to make certain settings, and inserting web addresses with the on-screen keyboard is not the best solution. So far, the Dune HD Pro 4K was the only Android-based media player that failed to properly recognise the Logitech K400 keyboard/mouse combination. However, it can work well with other types of devices.

The Dune HD Pro 4K also runs Android and Dune HD software simultaneously with the OpenWRT operating system. OpenWRT OS offers various NAS (Network Attached Storage) features such as SMB server, FTP server, DLNA server, etc.

This modern, up-to-date and premium media player supports all currently available video standards.

The switch to Realtek SoC and Android operating system was a big gamble on Dune’s part, which turned out pretty well in the end. The only thing we miss compared to its predecessors is the VXP processor and the SD upscaling options. Full Blu Ray menu support has not yet been implemented, but the manufacturer has promised that it can be expected in the future.

We can say that this is the best media player on the market today. If Blu Ray support isn’t that important, you won’t find a better one than the Dune HD Pro 4K. The high-end video playback features (automatic frame and resolution switching, 3D, high bit rate 4K/HDR support, excellent scrapper, HD Audio), as well as proper 4K You-Tube and Netflix support also make this device unique.

The user interface looks great, the backlit remote control is superb, and 4K You-Tube and Netflix support is adequate. Android 7.1 gives access to all the latest APIs.


Written by Róbert Polgár

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