Pick the Right Kodi Box (UPDATED FEB 2015)

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noggin Offline
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Post: #961
(2015-07-30 02:01)gene0915 Wrote:  H.265 file 1 was 720p and on her i3 NUC, the CPU went up to about 15-20% and the video played back perfectly. The 2nd H.265 file had a .265 extension and wasn't seen by Kodi and when I tried playing it in VLC, VLC CPU usage jumped to about 80% but nothing happened, just a black screen. I tried the nightly build of VLC (3.0.0) and same result. Guess the .265 extension just isn't ready for Kodi/VLC!?

The .265 file will be the raw HEVC/H265 video which will need to be wrapped in a container like a Matroska .mkv or an MPEG2 transport stream .ts file. (NB MPEG2 transport streams can carry video in codecs other than MPEG2. They are used to carry H264/AVC, VC-1 and H265/HEVC video in areas like broadcasting, and a modified .m2ts version is used in Blu-ray)

Looking at the Elecard site you need to download the MPEG2 Transport Streams NOT the Elementary streams (which are likely to be flagged .265) to test H265/HEVC in VLC, Kodi etc. (You may find some players correctly detect an .265 Elemental Stream, but many won't)
(This post was last modified: 2015-07-31 11:18 by noggin.)
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gene0915 Offline
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Post: #962
(2015-07-31 11:18)noggin Wrote:  
(2015-07-30 02:01)gene0915 Wrote:  H.265 file 1 was 720p and on her i3 NUC, the CPU went up to about 15-20% and the video played back perfectly. The 2nd H.265 file had a .265 extension and wasn't seen by Kodi and when I tried playing it in VLC, VLC CPU usage jumped to about 80% but nothing happened, just a black screen. I tried the nightly build of VLC (3.0.0) and same result. Guess the .265 extension just isn't ready for Kodi/VLC!?

The .265 file will be the raw HEVC/H265 video which will need to be wrapped in a container like a Matroska .mkv or an MPEG2 transport stream .ts file. (NB MPEG2 transport streams can carry video in codecs other than MPEG2. They are used to carry H264/AVC, VC-1 and H265/HEVC video in areas like broadcasting, and a modified .m2ts version is used in Blu-ray)

Looking at the Elecard site you need to download the MPEG2 Transport Streams NOT the Elementary streams (which are likely to be flagged .265) to test H265/HEVC in VLC, Kodi etc. (You may find some players correctly detect an .265 Elemental Stream, but many won't)

I downloaded some .ts files and some played and others just showed me a single image and the audio kept playing. Eh..... enough with that.

So back to my main question....... what do you experts recommend I buy based on this: (copied from my original post)

....Could care less about 4K but want something that can: (made a few small edits)

1) Handle h.265 encoded 720p/1080p files. (Should hardware decoding of h.265 be a must have feature I look at? If so, feel free to add that to your recommendations)
2) Doesn't need to support 5.1 or any fancy sound gear.
3) Needs to have Bluetooth
4) Needs to support 802.11AC (ethernet jack would also be nice)
5) Small, like a NUC
6) Quiet, like a NUC
8) Sips power
9) Must be OpenElec/Windows friendly. Don't want anything Android related.

Would be OK with spending anywhere from $100-$300 (I know that adding RAM and an SSD to a NUC might bust that budget a little bit and that's OK)

Also, a friend of mine would like the same but she strictly wants a box that runs on Android. Her price point is $100-$200. (Think the NVidia Shield is the way to go for her?)
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nickr Offline
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Post: #963
Braswell nuc or perhaps chromebox. The wiki lists the chromebox capabilities.

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wrxtasy Online
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Post: #964
(2015-08-01 03:43)gene0915 Wrote:  Also, a friend of mine would like the same but she strictly wants a box that runs on Android. Her price point is $100-$200. (Think the NVidia Shield is the way to go for her?)
If she wants plug and play in a sorted out, stress free, elegant Kodi / Android device the recommended options are:
$140 - MINIX NEO X8-H Plus (does 4K / HEVC / 23.976/59.94Hz)
$85 - MINIX NEO X6 (1080p / HEVC / 23.976/59.94Hz)

The NVIDIA Shield will likely be sorted out with the desired features like 23.976/59.94Hz video ouput and others, sometime down the track for proper video sync and Kodi use. It will be a bit more future proofed than the MINIX devices.

I personally run an AMlogic S805 device that has the same SoC aka CPU/GPU/VPU as in the NEO X6. It runs Kodi Isengard quite nicely.

BEWARE: for an Android device - be very careful with the Firmware. Don't get a cheap device with rubbish firmware. There is a flood of Android Isengard users at the moment with problems with these types of cheap Android devices with rubbish Firmware.

See this thread for Android Firmware guidance:
http://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=229161
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FlammableD Offline
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Post: #965
More a storage than a box question, please let me know if this is better suited to a new topic.

In terms of devices I use Kodi on, I currently have a Gaming PC which houses my main install and library, with my media on a 4TB External Drive.

For upstairs I have a Fire TV I use plug and play sharing to access my library. The downside of this being that the PC has to remain on.

My new downstairs TV has Android TV, so I've installed Kodi on there from the play store. I'd like this to be the main usage point, so I'm looking at a better media and library sharing option that means my gaming PC isn't on 24/7.

I'd like something networked up I can leave on 24/7 and run (I assume this is the best way?) the MySQL library sharing so I can access it from Android TV and Fire TV. I'd also like it to be able to do torrenting.

Parity/Backup/RAID is something I'd like to have in the future, but as I'm on a tight budget currently, I likely wouldn't pick up another drive(s) to do it immediately.

In terms of existing hardware I have lying around, I have a 1st gen Celeron NUC and a Raspberry Pi around, if there's a way to use these, great. Otherwise, what's the best way to get a stable system with what I'm after?

<3 Cheers guys.
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apgood Offline
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Post: #966
Unraid might be worth looking at. That will probably allow you to reuse your old pc hardware.
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nickr Offline
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Post: #967
The nuc and rpi both suffer from needing external drives to use them as a storage unit/nas. Messy. However the nuc certainly has the computing power to run mysql and samba.

I would get some external drives and install Ubuntu server LTS.

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Wintersdark Offline
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Post: #968
If you want something cleaner, grab an old desktop - pretty much anything will have the horsepower for what you need here.

Then you can cram hard drives into it as you get them, and it never gets messier. Have it run Ubuntu Server LTS, MySQL, Samba, etc.

That, anyways, is my approach.

Then, after you get more drives, you can use one of the assorted drive pooling filesystems like AUFS or mhddfs to pool your multiple disparate drives into a single filesystem.

Also, when you have more drives, you can look to software like SnapRAID to have parity protection, all at the cost of nothing, without ever needing to build arrays or anything like that - you can add or remove SnapRAID freely at any time.

I'm a huge fan of this route, because it allows you to have one ideally low power desktop in a closet somewhere acting as a server. Once they're set up, you don't need a keyboard or mouse; just forget about them. Maybe install Webmin to have a very easy web based management interface.

It's surprisingly cheap to do. Mine's running on my old Phenom AMD desktop, and has been for years. I restart it maybe once a month after installing security updates. When I start running low on space, I grab a HDD on sale and cram it in, add it to the pool and forget about it.


Then use the NUC and Raspi for HTPC's Smile
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nickr Offline
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Post: #969
(Today 02:50)Wintersdark Wrote:  If you want something cleaner, grab an old desktop - pretty much anything will have the horsepower for what you need here.

Then you can cram hard drives into it as you get them, and it never gets messier. Have it run Ubuntu Server LTS, MySQL, Samba, etc.

That, anyways, is my approach.

Then, after you get more drives, you can use one of the assorted drive pooling filesystems like AUFS or mhddfs to pool your multiple disparate drives into a single filesystem.

Also, when you have more drives, you can look to software like SnapRAID to have parity protection, all at the cost of nothing, without ever needing to build arrays or anything like that - you can add or remove SnapRAID freely at any time.

I'm a huge fan of this route, because it allows you to have one ideally low power desktop in a closet somewhere acting as a server. Once they're set up, you don't need a keyboard or mouse; just forget about them. Maybe install Webmin to have a very easy web based management interface.

It's surprisingly cheap to do. Mine's running on my old Phenom AMD desktop, and has been for years. I restart it maybe once a month after installing security updates. When I start running low on space, I grab a HDD on sale and cram it in, add it to the pool and forget about it.


Then use the NUC and Raspi for HTPC's Smile
Good post. If I hadn't been on my phone for my last post I probably would have said all of that!

I bought an older HP workstation with lots of SATA ports and space, and I use mhddfs, I share only two folders, /mnt/movies and /mnt/tv. Each of those is an amalgamation of partitions on multiple disks. It also runs a mythtv backend.

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.)
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