(2016-01-11 00:17)Ned Scott Wrote: You can't really compare ARM and x86 devices like that. 1GB of RAM is still considered normal in the ARM world.
How is it any different if they're running the same Application? Does Kodi use less RAM just because it uses a different processor? I've got 1GB in my FireTV Stick, but only 500MB is available for Kodi and when all is said and done there's like 120-140MB free. Want to turn up the cache setting due to poor WiFi? Too bad. Only 8GB of space on the drive? You can't read ahead either. No Ethernet, so you're stuck with whatever WiFi gets you. On the other hand, none of those thing SHOULD be an issue with the FireTV Stick, but it "hiccups" or "stutters" every couple of minutes anyway for reasons unknown and it has 2 cores and hardware decoding. And I don't just mean videos; music stutters/skips as well. Watching the CPU meter, it pegs 100% on a core even when playing nothing every 2-3 minutes for no discernable reason. I don't know what Amazon's flavor of Android is doing in the background, but it's not helpful and makes me think twice about buying another Android-based platform.
There's also the future to consider if I'm going to spend beyond a certain amount. I figured why buy the new AppleTV 4 when it's $150 and can't do 4K and the $99 Amazon unit can do 4K. Then I figured, I don't need 4K right now, so why not just get a FireTV Stick for now and wait until 4K matures since they're so cheap (as little as $25 over the holidays). But because of the above strange "stutters", I'm finding myself already shopping for something else. Apple TV Gen1 + CrystalHD may not start as fast and the menus may not respond as fast and the audio sync is often "off" at first (until I switch audio tracks or enable/disable passthrough to force it to re-sync), but once it's playing, it appears smooth and stutter-free. Digital output is bit-accurate (e.g. DTS Audio CDs play correctly; on FireTV they play at a higher pitch because it's outputting it at 48kHz since it won't support any other rate). Those are all Android issues. Android doesn't impress me much so far.
Quote:Most ARM set top boxes only support 100 meg ethernet, because there's no video standard that would require or benefit from a faster speed.
From what I've read the new Bluray UHD (4K) discs will read at 82 Mbps, 108Mbps and 128Mbps for 50, 66 and 100GB discs respectively. If you want to stream one of these discs later this year (assuming they can rip them) without recompressing, you're going to be hard pressed to do it over 100Mbps Ethernet. You MIGHT be able to get away with the 50GB sized disc (overhead makes it close since 100Mbps is a theoretical speed only; real world usable speeds are typically 85-90% at most for Ethernet and that's assuming that's the only traffic across that branch. There's other uses for Gigabit as well, like moving files over to a media box that has good local storage. When I was still using a PowerPC server, I encoded movies on my Windows machine and Macbook Pro (at the same time) when I moved my DVD collection over and when one was done I sent to to the PowerMac server hard drive (1.5TB Barracuda Sata at the time capable of 120MB/sec write speeds so with the real world speed limits, it actually transferred files right around the 105-108MB/sec range (almost saturating the hard drive write speed). And that was in 2008-2012. In mid-2012, I moved to a Quad-i7 Mac Mini Server. It has RAID0 that can do 250-300MB/sec on rotational drives, which means that I'd need to use USB3 or Thunderbolt to saturate it for file transfers.
The point is that even Gigabit Ethernet is now outdated ancient technology (as I said, my PowerMac had Gigabit in 2001). There is simply no excuse to NOT have Gigabit. It's pennies on the dollar in 2015. WiFi is typically faster than 10/100 Ethernet even, even with a "so-so" connection. But then even the new ATV 4 only has 10/100 Ethernet. But let's glance at the specs comparisons there since they're the same price ($150 US). Vero2 has 1GB of ram (same as my $40 FireTV Stick). ATV4 has 2GB of ram. Vero2 has 8GB storage (same as my $40 FireTV Stick). ATV4 has 32GB (at $150) with 64GB available for $199). Vero2 has 802.11N WiFi. ATV4 has 802.11AC WiFi. Vero2 has a normal remote. ATV4 has a trackpad remote. There's a LOT of people saying the ATV4 is overpriced (e.g. compared to FireTV 4K), but it seems clear to me it's a bargain next to the Vero2. Now the Vero2 does support H265, which ATV4 does not officially (not sure what it can do unofficially with an App).
Quote:That's not to say that the Vero2 is good or bad, but those specs are just fine for Kodi use.
If I'm going to buy yet another device after this FireTV Stick issue, I don't want "just fine". I've got "just fine" in my FireTV Stick and some way, some how, it's not fine in everyday use (odd stutter). I'd rather have overkill and not ever have to worry about some task in the background interrupting the video with dropped frames than count on it being just enough to handle things, particularly if it's running Android since obviously something odd is going on in the background on that FireTV Stick. I'd feel better with Gigabit and 2-3GB of RAM. It's not like RAM is real expensive these days. 2GB is dirt cheap. A $150 box should have more than 1GB of ram is all I'm really saying since Apple is known for being overpriced and expensive and even their box has 2GB of ram in it and NVidia Shield (which is Android) has 3GB in it (and it was on sale over the holidays for $150 as well!)
Frankly, given it's giant App store, I'm thinking it's probably the most appealing option in the long run, given MrMC is on their App store and Kodi can be side-loaded (bugs being worked out now on that). Rumor is an Amazon Video app is forthcoming as well, which would mean Apple would have almost every major streaming source on their device at that point (any any remaining could be added). If they added 4K, it could be perfect.
(2016-01-11 05:08)wrxtasy Wrote: You really have to install either OS to the internal HDD to get semi decent performance. There are no two ways around it with the resource constrained ATV1.
I've got an extra 2.5" drive sitting around here (200GB at that). I'll probably try installing it on that drive and save the other in case I don't like it. But really, it's behaving a lot better with the movies fixed (i.e. removed the Subler "add on" DTS soundtracks and re-encoded movies using DTS from Handbrake instead where I really want them).
If only it didn't mis-sync the audio half the time starting. Setting it to sync the display to the media avoids the problem, but takes forever to start even with SD video. It's the only remaining real issue (other than I'm having trouble getting the keymap to use my select button as a "pause" during slideshows in Kodi. The add-on for keymaps doesn't work at all with OpenElec as far as I can tell and thus far, my own manual edits haven't worked either. It's almost like it's not even looking at the file in the userdata directory. I've also noticed some add-ons that work with FireTV Stick Kodi don't work with OpenElec Kodi. I don't know if they're processor specific somehow or what (certainly seems that way for visualizers and screensavers, anyway). FireTV Stick is nice in that the remote is WiFi and doesn't need line of site like AppleTV's remote (but then I could use an iOS remote app).