Pick the Right Kodi Box (UPDATED FEB 2015)

  Thread Rating:
  • 24 Vote(s) - 4.29 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Post Reply
MrCrispy Offline
Senior Member
Posts: 281
Joined: Sep 2008
Reputation: 1
Post: #331
What is the actual speed difference in GUI on ARM vs x86 (i.e. Android vs Chromebox/HTPC) ? Is it really night and day for large libraries?

There has been lot of talk in the other threads about how some of these boxes have their own internal players that can playback 3D ISO as well as HD passthru.

Quote:The only way it does what it does is by replacing the default Kodi video player, like we used to do with DS Player. That means that it is a dead end, and as soon as we get Kodi 15 or whatever it will be a piece of abandonware most likely as Himedia moves onto the next box. I only like recommending solutions with fairly broad community support that use standard Kodi features, because that means it will work fine with future versions of the software. The Himedia box is a hack designed to get around current limitations that will be like a time capsule of our current limitations years from now. A Chromebox will improve with every update. The VidOn Box isn't perfect, but I feel they are providing better community support than Himedia and at least they aren't pretending they have a Kodi solution.

I agree with this, but I don't understand why current boxes will become abandonware with the next version of Kodi? Is that generally what's happened in the past? AFAIK they just run the regular Android version of Kodi, with the only 'hack' being the workaround to use the external player, which is fully supported in Kodi.
find quote
nickr Online
Donor
Posts: 12,645
Joined: May 2009
Reputation: 239
Location: Christchurch NZ
Post: #332
(2015-02-20 00:31)bym007 Wrote:  I just ordered my chromebox, although delivery will require some time.

In the meantime, I am looking for a easy to follow guide to convert it into a standalone htpc.
The wiki has the guide from the chromebox guru Matt Devo. Once you have installed openelec or kodibuntu, it is like setting up any other kodi htpc. Again see the wiki.

If I have helped you or increased your knowledge, click the 'thank user' button to give thanks :) (People with less than 20 posts won't see the "Thank you" button.)
find quote
poofyhairguy Offline
Resident Hardware Guru
Posts: 3,197
Joined: Apr 2010
Reputation: 58
Post: #333
(2015-02-20 07:20)MrCrispy Wrote:  What is the actual speed difference in GUI on ARM vs x86 (i.e. Android vs Chromebox/HTPC) ? Is it really night and day for large libraries?

Yes, it is HUGE. A Haswell core is over 40% more powerful at the same clock speeds than a ARM A15 core. Also you have to figure that Kodi's GUI has demands on the GPU too, which is about twice or more powerful in a Chromebox. Add in the fact many GUI events are dependant on single core performance and its not close even if the ARM/AMD box has like 8 of those weaker cores.

It is night and day. If you want an elite Kodi experience it is an Intel chip or bust.


Quote:I agree with this, but I don't understand why current boxes will become abandonware with the next version of Kodi? Is that generally what's happened in the past? AFAIK they just run the regular Android version of Kodi, with the only 'hack' being the workaround to use the external player, which is fully supported in Kodi.

You brush it off, but the external player hack is a BIG deal. Why?

1. You don't know the quality of that internal player today. When I get a box I run like 20 test clips through it to determine its power- all the worst stuff. That is why I sign off on a Chromebox- it survived Poofyhairguy's test. Sure that external player can decode a 3D Blu Ray ISO, but will it play a high bitrate VC1 file? How about properly deinterlacing a 1080i file? Will it decode a 720p Hi10 file? I bet the answer is No, No, and No seeing as how that wasn't the marketing checkboxes the player creator was going for. So what you end up with is a "futureproof" box that can't even play today's stuff.

2. Kodi updates its internal play over time for better media compatibility, codec compatibility and better picture quality. With an external player you get none of those improvements, you are stuck with whatever that external player did the day you bought it. That is what I mean by abandonware.

3. (the big one for me) If these box makers really wanted to improve the Kodi experience they would work to build the opensource libraries so this stuff can be done in main Kodi (like Intel does quite frankly). Instead they take the easy way out of an external player to make a buck. I don't mind someone making money, but that means the motivation of those who craft the future for your box is lost as soon as they release the next model. Meanwhile the Chromebox will be used/loved by years of Kodi fans, and the community will craft the support needed to keep the boxes running at top shape with every feature possible.

Honestly it is not close to me.
(This post was last modified: 2015-02-20 17:16 by poofyhairguy.)
find quote
s0kkiplast Offline
Junior Member
Posts: 6
Joined: Feb 2014
Reputation: 0
Post: #334
What about the Vero box with OSMC? http://www.getvero.tv
According to this page http://progress.getvero.tv/2015/02/11/the-big-update/
it will have Netlix and an app store in which you can import Android apps.

Any thoughts?
find quote
Rickt1962 Offline
Member
Posts: 93
Joined: Oct 2013
Reputation: 0
Post: #335
Found this while doing a search for the BEST BOX that can do everything and Do not see the category.......... A Set Top Box stb that can do Kodi/XBMC .... And Live TV tuner since I am in the U.S. the tuner can be 2 choices DVB-s2 which works for small dish satellite FTA or ATSC for antennas both as a option would also have DVR capabilities.

I have one of each now Vigica C70s running Android the only problem is not enough on board storage and XBMC stops working so hoping others have found better boxes Smile

One HTPC with HDhomeRun on Comcast 3 tuners
Two Raspberry Pi boxes
4 STB Vigica with 8' C-band and 3' ku band dvb-s2 FTA
1 STB Vigica ATSC OTA
Been at this since the first PC came out and before DOS 1.0 and OS2
find quote
poofyhairguy Offline
Resident Hardware Guru
Posts: 3,197
Joined: Apr 2010
Reputation: 58
Post: #336
(2015-02-20 20:12)Rickt1962 Wrote:  Found this while doing a search for the BEST BOX that can do everything and Do not see the category.......... A Set Top Box stb that can do Kodi/XBMC .... And Live TV tuner since I am in the U.S. the tuner can be 2 choices DVB-s2 which works for small dish satellite FTA or ATSC for antennas both as a option would also have DVR capabilities.

So Kodi actually doesn't do any PVRing. It relies on some sort of backend to deliver the Live TV content. That changes where you need the power.

The trick is to have a more powerful system be the backend (and probably be the NAS too) and have smaller boxes like a Chromebox be the thing in the livingroom that actually is the set top box. Then you can load that backend box up with all the tuners and storage and other stuff that needs a large case, while each TV connects through the small Chromebox via your network.

That is the way to do it right.
(This post was last modified: 2015-02-20 20:43 by poofyhairguy.)
find quote
poofyhairguy Offline
Resident Hardware Guru
Posts: 3,197
Joined: Apr 2010
Reputation: 58
Post: #337
(2015-02-20 19:14)s0kkiplast Wrote:  What about the Vero box with OSMC? http://www.getvero.tv
According to this page http://progress.getvero.tv/2015/02/11/the-big-update/
it will have Netlix and an app store in which you can import Android apps.

Any thoughts?

My thought is that box is just loading the Netflix Android app. That is a sub-optimal solution for ANY Netflix use, as the Android app expects touch (not a remote) and it will probably be locked at 480p.

If you want Kodi and Netflix on the same box the answer is the only box that has a remote-driven version of Netflix made for it: aka the Amazon FireTV.
find quote
nickr Online
Donor
Posts: 12,645
Joined: May 2009
Reputation: 239
Location: Christchurch NZ
Post: #338
(2015-02-20 20:12)Rickt1962 Wrote:  Found this while doing a search for the BEST BOX that can do everything and Do not see the category.......... A Set Top Box stb that can do Kodi/XBMC .... And Live TV tuner since I am in the U.S. the tuner can be 2 choices DVB-s2 which works for small dish satellite FTA or ATSC for antennas both as a option would also have DVR capabilities.

I have one of each now Vigica C70s running Android the only problem is not enough on board storage and XBMC stops working so hoping others have found better boxes Smile
Wetek are a sponsor of openelec and have a box with built in dvb-s (not sure if it is s2).

If I have helped you or increased your knowledge, click the 'thank user' button to give thanks :) (People with less than 20 posts won't see the "Thank you" button.)
find quote
poofyhairguy Offline
Resident Hardware Guru
Posts: 3,197
Joined: Apr 2010
Reputation: 58
Post: #339
(2015-02-20 20:47)nickr Wrote:  Wetek are a sponsor of openelec and have a box with built in dvb-s (not sure if it is s2).

The wetek also de-interlaces well. I think for the price it is the best all in one box we got. I will eventually add it to the OP.
(This post was last modified: 2015-02-20 20:55 by poofyhairguy.)
find quote
hdmkv Offline
Posting Freak
Posts: 1,072
Joined: Dec 2011
Reputation: 9
Post: #340
I'm reading Wetek is sluggish with large libraries though, even under OpenELEC. Otherwise, sound good.
find quote
poofyhairguy Offline
Resident Hardware Guru
Posts: 3,197
Joined: Apr 2010
Reputation: 58
Post: #341
(2015-02-20 21:10)hdmkv Wrote:  I'm reading Wetek is sluggish with large libraries though, even under OpenELEC. Otherwise, sound good.

Yeah that is the whole single core IPC thing I harp on. Nothing ARM is good enough yet, except maybe the A8X.

But I would think anyone with a large library wouldn't mind having a tuner somewhere else and a Chromebox frontend. The Wetek is a good solution for those with moderate needs.
find quote
nickr Online
Donor
Posts: 12,645
Joined: May 2009
Reputation: 239
Location: Christchurch NZ
Post: #342
Using a server with your media and your pvr backend is truly the best solution. I can't imagine wetek has enough storage for a decent pvr setup. My backend has 3T just for mythtv recordings.

If I have helped you or increased your knowledge, click the 'thank user' button to give thanks :) (People with less than 20 posts won't see the "Thank you" button.)
find quote
tredman Offline
Fan
Posts: 374
Joined: Oct 2006
Reputation: 4
Post: #343
You don't need a powerful machine for a pvr backend, unless doing things like com skip.

I ran tvheadend on a basic synology nas for a few years and, even with 1ghz processor, it barely got above 10% cpu usage.

Now got a wetek running dual dvb-s2 recording to a newer nas accross the LAN and it works very well, even running oscam on it.

And the PQ is fabulous for live TV on the wetek. My TV library is fairly large but easily navigable (all scanning is doing on one of my other machines to a shared sql db though).

The cost of a dual dvb-s2 to IP box would be about the same as the wetek, it's fantastic value if you want live TV.
(This post was last modified: 2015-02-20 23:37 by tredman.)
find quote
nickr Online
Donor
Posts: 12,645
Joined: May 2009
Reputation: 239
Location: Christchurch NZ
Post: #344
Recording over the network certainly alleviates the storage problem. As far as nases go, I have a fear that I'll find some program that wont run on the nas. I prefer the flexibilty of a pc with linux, but a nas is right for some people.

If I have helped you or increased your knowledge, click the 'thank user' button to give thanks :) (People with less than 20 posts won't see the "Thank you" button.)
find quote
tredman Offline
Fan
Posts: 374
Joined: Oct 2006
Reputation: 4
Post: #345
(2015-02-20 23:41)nickr Wrote:  Recording over the network certainly alleviates the storage problem. As far as nases go, I have a fear that I'll find some program that wont run on the nas. I prefer the flexibilty of a pc with linux, but a nas is right for some people.

Me too, my new NAS is a HP microserver running esxi, hopefully that will cover all eventualities Smile
find quote
Post Reply