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Pick the Right Kodi Box (UPDATED FEB 2015) - Printable Version

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RE: Advice on Kodi Boxes, NASes, and Hard Drives - Superorb - 2015-01-29 03:21

Is there a post somewhere for cheaper, fanless android sticks that work well with Kodi/OpenElec? All we do is watch 720p content from my unRAID server, and occasionally 1080p content.


RE: Advice on Kodi Boxes, NASes, and Hard Drives - poofyhairguy - 2015-01-29 06:37

I would get a FireTV stick and put Kodi on there. Not a bad SoC and plays pretty much everything. With it being Amazon you get the other benefits like Netflix, Hulu, etc.

Thanks for the input, am adding to my first post.


RE: Advice on Kodi Boxes, NASes, and Hard Drives - bym007 - 2015-01-29 14:25

I am on the lookout for a new HTPC. I have a Zotac with ION2 and its still working pretty well. Now I need to add another HTPC to my home. All of my media is on a DIY NAS on the local network. Very occasionally I stream sports on it. Usually it will be used to play music/videos.

Should I go for Chromebox (and which brand) or Fire TV ?

EDIT:
I forgot to add, I prefer a full on XBMC install. Currently I am using OpenELEC, and wish to have a system which boots to XBMC (or a fork) directly, rather than messing about.


RE: Advice on Kodi Boxes, NASes, and Hard Drives - hdmkv - 2015-01-29 14:27

Didn't read through all 17 pages, but missing from post #1 (otherwise great recommendations) should be options for those who want 2D and frame-packed 3D support. Sans Kodi, that would be Mede8er's X3D series media players. With Kodi, that would be VidOn Box (for now at least) with caveats (as listed in my thread).


RE: Advice on Kodi Boxes, NASes, and Hard Drives - poofyhairguy - 2015-01-29 15:42

(2015-01-29 14:27)hdmkv Wrote:  Didn't read through all 17 pages, but missing from post #1 (otherwise great recommendations) should be options for those who want 2D and frame-packed 3D support. Sans Kodi, that would be Mede8er's X3D series media players. With Kodi, that would be VidOn Box (for now at least) with caveats (as listed in my thread).

No automatic frame switching kills those VidOn boxes for me. I just can't see a person who prioritizes 3D THAT much over 2D to sacrifice what a Chromebox can do with 2D just to get frame packed 3D. Also I hate the jumping through hoops to get the HD audio. I mean, I like what VidOn is doing in that it is something new. Some people just flip out if they can't play Blu Ray ISOs exactly as they are, and to me the current VidOn is a bandaid for that until the open source options mature. I just think it makes too many sacrifices on what really matters (aka 1080p 2p 2D content and the GUI performance) to be worth recommending at this point for most.

I will add it as a special category.

Thank you for the feedback!!


RE: Advice on Kodi Boxes, NASes, and Hard Drives - poofyhairguy - 2015-01-29 17:42

(2015-01-29 14:25)bym007 Wrote:  I am on the lookout for a new HTPC. I have a Zotac with ION2 and its still working pretty well. Now I need to add another HTPC to my home. All of my media is on a DIY NAS on the local network. Very occasionally I stream sports on it. Usually it will be used to play music/videos.

Should I go for Chromebox (and which brand) or Fire TV ?

EDIT:
I forgot to add, I prefer a full on XBMC install. Currently I am using OpenELEC, and wish to have a system which boots to XBMC (or a fork) directly, rather than messing about.

Chromebox. The Chromebox is the official replacement for ION anything.

And you can run XBMCbuntu on one. I do. Very little difference between that an Openelec though. Unless you know Linux I think Openelec has clear advantages like GUI wifi support.


RE: Advice on Kodi Boxes, NASes, and Hard Drives - bym007 - 2015-01-29 18:09

(2015-01-29 17:42)poofyhairguy Wrote:  
(2015-01-29 14:25)bym007 Wrote:  I am on the lookout for a new HTPC. I have a Zotac with ION2 and its still working pretty well. Now I need to add another HTPC to my home. All of my media is on a DIY NAS on the local network. Very occasionally I stream sports on it. Usually it will be used to play music/videos.

Should I go for Chromebox (and which brand) or Fire TV ?

EDIT:
I forgot to add, I prefer a full on XBMC install. Currently I am using OpenELEC, and wish to have a system which boots to XBMC (or a fork) directly, rather than messing about.

Chromebox. The Chromebox is the official replacement for ION anything.

And you can run XBMCbuntu on one. I do. Very little difference between that an Openelec though. Unless you know Linux I think Openelec has clear advantages like GUI wifi support.
Thanks, I gathered that from the forums that the Chrimebox is a lot better approach compared to FTV. However, do I need to up the memory to 4 GB ?

Secondly, I am thinking about getting the FTV stick replacement remote (15$) from Amazon. What do you reckon ?


RE: Advice on Kodi Boxes, NASes, and Hard Drives - poofyhairguy - 2015-01-29 18:14

(2015-01-29 18:09)bym007 Wrote:  Thanks, I gathered that from the forums that the Chrimebox is a lot better approach compared to FTV. However, do I need to up the memory to 4 GB ?

No, even at 4k I am finding 2GB is fine.

Quote:Secondly, I am thinking about getting the FTV stick replacement remote (15$) from Amazon. What do you reckon ?

I think the best remote for a Chromebox depends on your situation. I wouldn't get a FireTV remote for a Chromebox though.

You a bachelor? Just use a smartphone.I like Yatse on Android.

You have a wife and kids? Get an IR sensor and a Logitech Harmony 600+ and program it so all the hard stuff like input switching is hidden from them.


RE: Advice on Kodi Boxes, NASes, and Hard Drives- FireTVs, Chromeboxes, ARM Sticks, etc. - Matt Devo - 2015-01-29 21:28

(2015-01-29 17:42)poofyhairguy Wrote:  Chromebox. The Chromebox is the official replacement for ION anything.

And you can run XBMCbuntu on one. I do. Very little difference between that an Openelec though. Unless you know Linux I think Openelec has clear advantages like GUI wifi support.

With OE, you get GUI config of wifi, BT. BT/BT remotes work better. no need to update kernel manually (Kodibuntu ships with 3.13, 3.18.4 is needed to alleviate Intel GPU bugs).


RE: Advice on Kodi Boxes, NASes, and Hard Drives- FireTVs, Chromeboxes, ARM Sticks, etc. - poofyhairguy - 2015-01-29 21:36

(2015-01-29 21:28)Matt Devo Wrote:  With OE, you get GUI config of wifi, BT. BT/BT remotes work better. no need to update kernel manually (Kodibuntu ships with 3.13, 3.18.4 is needed to alleviate Intel GPU bugs).

Exactly. The Wifi config alone is huge. I always use Openelec when I am giving a box to someone.

I mean, I will never use it on devices I keep because I like being able to handle my own updates via apt-get, but it really is the best option for most people I would think. Especially if they barely know Linux.

It kills me when people think there is this big difference between Openelec and Kodibuntu.


RE: Advice on Kodi Boxes, NASes, and Hard Drives - bym007 - 2015-01-30 11:21

(2015-01-29 18:14)poofyhairguy Wrote:  
(2015-01-29 18:09)bym007 Wrote:  Thanks, I gathered that from the forums that the Chrimebox is a lot better approach compared to FTV. However, do I need to up the memory to 4 GB ?

No, even at 4k I am finding 2GB is fine.

Quote:Secondly, I am thinking about getting the FTV stick replacement remote (15$) from Amazon. What do you reckon ?

I think the best remote for a Chromebox depends on your situation. I wouldn't get a FireTV remote for a Chromebox though.

You a bachelor? Just use a smartphone.I like Yatse on Android.

You have a wife and kids? Get an IR sensor and a Logitech Harmony 600+ and program it so all the hard stuff like input switching is hidden from them.
I always prefer OE, just cause it has a small install base. I like to save disk space.

I always go for physical remotes, since I have a family. Also, from practicality point of view, how would I pause a movie if I am already on a call?

I already have a Harmony 1100, which I am currently using in the lounge. The new box will go in bedroom, so I am in need of a new remote. Hence the question in my mind now.


RE: Advice on Kodi Boxes, NASes, and Hard Drives- FireTVs, Chromeboxes, ARM Sticks - Hedda - 2015-01-30 15:10

Regarding NAS, here are a press release and a news article about Asustor (Asus storage division) being first manufacturer to support Kodi on NAS devices.

http://www.asustor.com/news/news_detail?id=6530
http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/01/30/asustor-first-support-kodi-nas/

Looks like Kodi is only released for Asustor AS-50xx, AS-51xx, and AS-70xx series, and HEVC support is software decode.

Some new AS-50x and AS-51x models released too which also gets Kodi, but no news on HDMI-CEC which been sadly missing so still need to purchase an IR-remote or use a smart-phone/tablet as remotes.

http://www.asustor.com/news/news_detail?id=5979
http://www.asustor.com/news/news_detail?id=6487

No news either if and when Kodi will also be made available for the lower-end Asustor AS-20x, AS-30x, or AS-60x,series models.


RE: Advice on Kodi Boxes, NASes, and Hard Drives- FireTVs, Chromeboxes, ARM Sticks, etc. - poofyhairguy - 2015-01-30 17:22

(2015-01-30 11:21)bym007 Wrote:  I already have a Harmony 1100, which I am currently using in the lounge.

I have a Harmony in every room with a TV. I just don't see the point in trying anything else once the family is used to a Harmony. I am a huge fan of the 600s or 650s.

Then you need a FLIRC or USB IR receiver to go with it (I still am a fan of the HP ones) to really maximize utility.


FireTVs - jac55 - 2015-01-30 19:48

(2015-01-29 00:28)poofyhairguy Wrote:  Ok since this is still stickied I went ahead and updated it with 2015 advice (aka FireTV and Chromebox cover 90% of people).

In your update for 2015 about the Fire TV you say that it is not recommended for HD audio. Why is that? It plays all my hi-res music files but I have been trying to find out what the hardware does to the music stream. Does it downsample hi-res to 44.1kHz (or 48kHz) 16 bit. I use the optical output but my AV receiver does not let me know what sample rates are playing. I note that the audio configuration is greyed out, showing as "Android Audiotrack". I have no idea what that means. I would be grateful for any info about what the FTV does to audio streams.


RE: Advice on Kodi Boxes, NASes, and Hard Drives- FireTVs, Chromeboxes, ARM Sticks, etc. - poofyhairguy - 2015-01-30 20:37

(2015-01-30 19:48)jac55 Wrote:  In your update for 2015 about the Fire TV you say that it is not recommended for HD audio. Why is that?

Because the FireTV can't bitstream DTS-HD or Dolby TrueHD. For both of those though you have to use HDMI with a compatible AV receiver, so the issue only matters to a small group of enthusiasts.

It is maxing out what it can do via optical. You are good.