Pick the Right Kodi Box (UPDATED FEB 2015)

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JustAnotherUser Offline
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Post: #1426
As 2015 closes out, would I be right in concluding there isn't a single Android+Kodi media box that can yet playback 2D 1080p (from a NAS) any better than a basic non-Kodi box from 2012?

ie Video (native framerates ,stuttering ) or HD Audio (bitstream,pcm, lip sync, channel mapping...) issues

Sadly, modern video with (all or some of) Full HD 3D, 4K, 10bit and HDR will only distract from trying to get the very basics right as makers try to keep up with checkbox features, getting non of them right.

So, whats your goto media box (non HTPC), Kodi or non-Kodi, when you want to watch a film with playback that just works?
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falc410 Offline
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Post: #1427
Thanks for the replies! You are correct - I have found the Minix on eBay - a little bit cheaper than the Shield as well. Apparently it also works with the Harmony, however there doesn't seem to be a complete profile available for it yet.

Somehow I still don't trust those Android Boxes compared a HTPC running Openelec. I bought my father a Amazon Fire Tv since he needs Kodi and also streams TV but we weren't satisfied with Kodis performance on it. It didn't play all the videos from various Camcorders so we ended up buying a Braswell Box just for Openelec.

My use case is also a bit complicated as I have a NAS that goes into standby when Kodi IP adress is no longer reachable on the network. When Kodi starts up it will send a Magic Packet (Wake-on-LAN) to the NAS and all the SMB / NFS shares are instantly available. This wouldn't work with the Fire TV since there is no shutdown option - it's always online. How about the Shield and the Minix? I kinda expect their behaviour to be the same - then again the Minix Original Remote has something that looks like a power button. Can anyone please clarify this for me?
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nickr Online
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Post: #1428
(2015-12-18 13:14)JustAnotherUser Wrote:  As 2015 closes out, would I be right in concluding there isn't a single Android+Kodi media box that can yet playback 2D 1080p (from a NAS) any better than a basic non-Kodi box from 2012?

ie Video (native framerates ,stuttering ) or HD Audio (bitstream,pcm, lip sync, channel mapping...) issues

Sadly, modern video with (all or some of) Full HD 3D, 4K, 10bit and HDR will only distract from trying to get the very basics right as makers try to keep up with checkbox features, getting non of them right.

So, whats your goto media box (non HTPC), Kodi or non-Kodi, when you want to watch a film with playback that just works?

Depends what you call an htpc, but chromebox will do what you ask for. It is in fact an x86 computer with intel cpu/gpu , but isn't a traditional htpc in the sense of an expensive box with a tuner, large hard drive, expensive graphics card machine that doubles as a gaming machine and storage device.

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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wrxtasy Offline
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Post: #1429
(2015-12-18 13:14)JustAnotherUser Wrote:  So, whats your goto media box (non HTPC), Kodi or non-Kodi, when you want to watch a film with playback that just works?
NOTE: 24p = 23.976 PLUS 24fps nicely synced video output.
So consequently Rockchip / FireTV's / Sticks / Google Nexus / Macs running OSX / ATV4 are all not listed here, even tho the ATV4 is showing great potential with a fork in the Kodi media player Software for it called MrMC This is a first for a Kodi derived App to make it into the Apple TV App Store.
- Cue the MC Hammertime music Mr DJ !

Kodi important, core features should include: dynamic refresh rate switching, 5.1 Audio Passthrough, 3D SBS/HSBS playback (Half resolution), H264/AVC/mpeg2 Hardware video decoding, 23.976fps video output and finally quality video deinterlacing for Live TV and to support PVR users.

Bonus features on some platforms, some of which are fast becoming mainstream:
Full 1080p 3D, H265( HEVC) hardware decoding, 4K video decoding, HDMI 2.0, VP9 decoding for 4K YouTube, HD Audio passthrough and HDMI CEC remote control.

24p / 2D video playback only....no HD Audio passthrough considered...
The two carryover 2015 Kodi reigning champs still have a lot to offer...

(hint for Newbies - click the blue Device Name hyperlinks)

- Most flexible, best supported Kodi media player device = RPi2, running OpenELEC or OSMC. It may be a bit slow for some, lacking 4K and hardware HEVC decoding, but good full 1080p resolution 3D is a bonus. Nice quality deinterlacing when Overclocked running Kodi Jarvis. Excellent bang for your buck ($$)

24p / 4K devices from here onwards....
- Chromebox architectures running OpenELEC = much faster than RPi2, due to its powerful GPU/VPU. Very mature Intel Haswell platform, Very good deinterlacing.
Great bang for the buck, and Very popular. Excellent support from Kodi's own - Mr Chromebox aka Matt Devo. Smile

24p / H265 (HEVC) Hardware decoders start from here...

- Intel Microarchitecture, Skylake, Braswell & Cherry trails. Great support as well shown from the Kodi devs. You get what you pay for here, which is massive flexibility and a lot of grunt in the higher priced NUC's. Top Spec, Top of the Tree deinterlacing. Software decoding of any problematic video codecs on i3/ i5 / i7 NUC's, means virtually all video playback problems are covered here.

- Then we get to the very cost effective AMLogic devices like the S812-H SoC's. MINIX NEO X-8H+ and the WeTek Core to name two. Faster than the RPi2, with the Core nearing Chromebox speeds, especially when running OpenELEC. Both do 24p H264/AVC playback well. Deinterlacing, really is excellent.
Both will have problems with Kodi playing old DVD ISO Rips containing mpeg2 .vob files. This is a well known Kodi AMlogic issue on all platforms. Apps such as MX Player will have no .vob playback problems.

Android Lollipop as you would see on the WeTek Core means a faster Android OS due to modern ART Android runtime optimisations, compared to Android KitKat you get on an older MINIX X-8H+. I would no longer recommend any expensive Android device running KitKat because of this in 2016

AMLogic devices to keep an eye on would be the very recently released AMLogic S905 series like the new Lollipop equipped MINIX U1. Other S905's will be coming in 2016, from well known reputable manufacturers. Devices that are not rushed to market, like dirt cheap stuff from Asia with lots of Firmware bugs and NO support.
Quote:You need all the after sales support you can get with new Android Hardware. I cannot stress this enough.
Naturally the best Android device support comes from the 3 Kodi Diamond Sponsors - MINIX, nVIDIA and WeTek. Smile

24p / 10-bit / HDMI 2.0 from here onwards...a peek into the future...without a Delorean !
You will need a compatible 4K HDMI 2.0 10-bit TV to take full advantage of these devices.
Also to note here is Kodi cannot do true 10-bit video output for increased color depth, video output is 8-bit only.

The new AMLogic S905 has a fresh out of the wrapper, Android Lollipop SDK, new Linux Kernel and comes with upgraded 10-bit / HDMI 2.0 tech specs compared to the S812-H's.
Speed is pretty similar to a Lollipop equipped S812-H, but with a reduced number of cores in the GPU/VPU. As all this is very new, users need to be aware the Firmware is immature with bugs currently being ironed out.
Even 10-bit video output is an unknown quantity at this stage.
As an example MINIX with their U1, provide proper support with this device to the usual high standard which is definitely needed on brand new gear like a S905.

Family friendly with Apps that are specifically built for remote control usability on a big screen TV....
Is this the Android Kodi Champ ?


- The nVIDIA Shield is a slick, fluid 10-bit HDMI 2.0 - Android Kodi media player & games machine. Small bugs are still being ironed out here as well for better Kodi compatibility, HD Audio passthrough not activated yet in Kodi. 25/50fps mpeg2 TV is still causing problems. Hardware Deinterlacing quality not the absolute top shelf, but still pretty good.

However, Kodi users have fallen in love with the superbly remote control friendly - Android TV OS
This OS has been designed with the primary consideration, being ease of use from the couch with a remote control in hand. Flexibility and App variety is quite limited compared to the regular Android Lollipop OS and may be a Big problem for some. Android Marshmellow upgrade to come soon and massive potential when a mature solid platform emerges in 2016.

** @ Matt Devo please check your PM.
(This post was last modified: 2015-12-21 03:39 by wrxtasy.)
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noggin Offline
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Post: #1430
(2015-12-19 05:48)wrxtasy Wrote:  24p / 2D video playback only....no HD Audio passthrough considered...
The two carryover 2015 Kodi reigning champs...

(hint for Newbies - click the blue Device Name hyperlinks)

- Most flexible, best supported Kodi media player device = RPi2, running OpenELEC or OSMC. It may be a bit slow for some, lacking 4K and hardware HEVC decoding, but good full 1080p resolution 3D is a bonus. Nice quality deinterlacing when Overclocked running Kodi Jarvis. Excellent bang for your buck ($$)

Also worth mentioning that the Raspberry Pi 2 (and Pi) have 5.1/7.1 PCM audio output over HDMI, allowing for HD Audio lossless decoding to 7.1 PCM for Dolby True HD, DTS-HD MA, FLAC and PCM multichannel audio tracks, as well as support for AAC and other multichannel audio formats (AAC is the Freeview HD audio standard in the UK) to be output without a lossy transcode to DD 5.1. The Pi 2 is recommended for HD Audio decode (as the Pi 1 can run out of CPU horsepower)

If you have a 7.1 audio system in particular then this is a useful thing to know - as other systems with limits to 5.1 DD/DTS (*) and 2.0 PCM will only give you 5.1 sound. (This is a different argument to that of whether you can hear the difference between lossy compressed DD/DTS and losslessly compressed Dolby True HD/DTS HD-MA/PCM/FLAC)

(*) Apart from a small number of 6.1 DTS-ES tracks, which are far from widespread.
(This post was last modified: 2015-12-19 12:31 by noggin.)
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wrxtasy Offline
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Post: #1431
Thanks Noggin,

I was waiting for HD Audio input, just wanted to keep it brief at the moment and leave out the HD audio stuff for Knowledgable people that know more on the subject than me. When I get control of this thread, I will make Page #2 all about HD Audio and 3D as it can get a bit detailed.

Really just want a brief list of devices for Page #1, those that can do HD Audio passthrough using Kodi right out of the box, and of course those that do HD to multichannel PCM like the RPi2 and nVIDIA Shield.

So all the Intel gear I believe does HD Audio passthrough, the HiMedia Q5/Q10 with a wrapper, MINIX U1 does only Dolby TrueHD at the moment using their custom XBMC version. It may do HD to multichannel in Kodi but I need more definitive info. Does the Intel gear do Dolby Atmos ?

Did you want to add anything for the RPi2 and 3D features that you have played around with ?
There is quite a bit of detail on hdmkv's thread already.
hdmkv could add a brief synopsis for HiMedia Q5/Q10 as well if he gets the time.
Either that or I can Hyperlink everything.
(This post was last modified: 2015-12-19 14:14 by wrxtasy.)
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VanZan Offline
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Post: #1432
Bit late to the party but I'm just curious about something. I have an Intel NUC Haswell i3. Would this be much of an upgrade or would performance be the same? Thanks.
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nickr Online
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Post: #1433
Would what be an upgrade?

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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VanZan Offline
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Post: #1434
Oh sorry I meant the Chromebox! Apologies.
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Matt Devo Offline
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Post: #1435
(2015-12-20 23:03)VanZan Wrote:  Oh sorry I meant the Chromebox! Apologies.

no, they're essentially identical in capability and performance. A ChromeBox is essentially a Haswell Celeron NUC.

Questions about Kodi on a ChromeBox/Chromebook? See:

Chromebox (wiki)
http://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=194362
https://mrchromebox.tech


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Matt Devo Offline
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Post: #1436
thread closed, discussion moved to http://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=252916

Questions about Kodi on a ChromeBox/Chromebook? See:

Chromebox (wiki)
http://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=194362
https://mrchromebox.tech


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