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Full Version: Limitations of Android as a Kodi platform?
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Just wondering if anyone, in practice, is finding any real world limitations imposed by Android in their Kodi experience, compared to say, Windows?

I've been reading various comments about refresh rates and HDMI Audio but I haven't been able to be figure out if this is something that's been recently overcome or one might bump into normally.

So where are we at right now with Android: are we there yet?

Thanks,

Rod
We're getting there, but there's some slight fragmenting issues caused by a lack of universal standards for Android hardware. For example, refresh rates and on-demand rate switching, as well as HDMI passthrough of "HD audio", can be done on a lot of Android hardware, but not all hardware. As time goes on these things are improving, because Android itself is improving and Google is starting to provide more APIs that create a universal standard. So it's possible to get an Android box with all you need, but not every Android box has those features just yet.

On Windows such things are a little bit easier simply because Windows and other OSes are a little more mature when it comes to display and audio hardware and software. They still have occasional issues, but they don't happen as often on Android.

As far as being "there" yet, I think that depends on what people need out of a specific platform. While Android might be playing catchup when it comes to something like HD audio, Android is better than other OSes in having a remote-control friendly interface for other apps. This is why Android still stands out if people also need Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.

At any given time, I have at least two of the four TVs in my house using Android, simply because it's easier to access a complimentary Netflix client along side Kodi. Any shortcomings of Android don't really effect those TVs, as I don't have an HD sound system on them, nor do I need to do any advanced upscaling, or handle a lot of videos using 24FPS. So for those TVs Android is "there".

On another TV I don't need a remote-freindly Netflix client or anything like that, so I'll use something like an x86-based miniPC. My main HTPC is actually a little Intel ATOM based unit. The picture quality is a little better and it handles more exotic video formats if I need it to. These are areas where Android isn't quite "there" yet.

Over all, I think Android is either on par with the other platforms now, or really really close to it. All of the platforms have their pros and cons based on what requirements the user has, but it's to a point where probably 80% of the users out there wouldn't be able to tell a difference.
Yes Ned has summed it up pretty well. You really need to choose the media box thats right for the given task, being aware of any limitations.

I would like to add that one area at the moment where Android and certain S805 Amlogic SoC media boxes are excelling, is decoding of the new H.265 codec at a cost effective price.

I'm getting perfect 23.976fps (24p) video Sync on my Android - S805 when playing H.265 video content at 24Hz. Unheard of for an Android device running KitKat 4.4.2 I was led to believe.
The other revelation is that I'm also getting perfect 24p - Netflix video sync as well at 24Hz.

I don't know if this is by accident or design, but it is certainly an encouraging sign moving forward. Especially with Kodi Isengard and Kodi / SPMC allowing dynamic refresh rate switching for certain Amlogic and Rockchip SoC's. Which works well even if it is a Android workaround. Smile
Some more info here in this other thread 202878 (thread)

If you want to speculate then I'm guessing Android 6.0 on 2016 hardware "will be there"
I like using android for my tvs. It's not perfect, but it has come a long way from where it was. The main draw backs for me, aside from what has been mentioned already, is the lack of 120hz refresh rate output and not all devices/apps handle passthrough correctly.
Thanks everyone.

Some food for thought there.

At the moment I have an AFTV running Helix 14.2 outputting to a UK (PAL) TV that, as far as I can tell, doesn't support 24p natively. The AFTV is set to automatically choose a display resolution.

I've read this thread: 219796 (thread)

and the Wiki: Settings/Videos (wiki)

and more or less understand the variables, but I'm not sure I'm any closer to knowing how to put it to practice.

My questions are:

1. Is the AFTV still as good as it gets on Android, or is something like the Nexus Player ahead of it on refreshing switching etc?

2. What would be the best playback settings (Adjust display refresh rate to match video, Sync playback to display, A/V sync method, etc)?

3. Should I enable Hardware Acceleration?

4. Is there anything in the Nightlies or SPMC that has improved things in the refresh switching department on Android?

Rod
Amazon Fire TV (box or stick) is just a good bang for your buck and has a nice Netflix and Amazon Prime Video client. For actual playback and quality, the Fire TV is acceptable but not the best. I would look at something that uses AMLogic or Rockchip SoCs for something that is slightly better and able to do refresh rate switching on the fly.
Something else to consider...

If you were even thinking of adding 25i/50i / 50Hz Live TV to an Android media box I highly recommend something with an AMlogic S805 in it. The S805 has very good hardware deinterlacing in its VPU. I would think other AMlogic VPU's are likely to be similar.
(2015-04-20, 22:34)Ned Scott Wrote: [ -> ]Amazon Fire TV (box or stick) is just a good bang for your buck and has a nice Netflix and Amazon Prime Video client. For actual playback and quality, the Fire TV is acceptable but not the best. I would look at something that uses AMLogic or Rockchip SoCs for something that is slightly better and able to do refresh rate switching on the fly.

Fair enough. Could you point me towards an example or two, please?


(2015-04-21, 04:53)wrxtasy Wrote: [ -> ]Something else to consider...

If you were even thinking of adding 25i/50i / 50Hz Live TV to an Android media box I highly recommend something with an AMlogic S805 in it. The S805 has very good hardware deinterlacing in its VPU. I would think other AMlogic VPU's are likely to be similar.

That would be desirable. Are there any boxes you could recommend?