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START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated November 2020)
Looks like the C2 is the way to go then... I'm just getting it to play with really since I have a Sheild Tv, FireTv2, Core, Fire sticks and a Pi2.....lol
ADT-1 Developer Kit / Nvidia's Shield TV / Xiaomi 4K HDR 'Mi Box' / Beelink GT1 / Amazon Fire TV 2 / Wetek Core / ODROID-C2 / Raspberry Pi 2 / Nexbox A5
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I'd love some hHelp buying a HPTC for kodi. I'm not sure I could build my own so I am looking to buy something pre-built.

Requirements:
Windows OS
HDMI 2.0
802.11ac
GB Ethernet
HDMI CEC
7.1 HD Audio passthrough
Fanless or super silent


Budget c. 900 euros
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- No HDMI-CEC on Intel boxes, you can add a Pulse8 HDMI-CEC adapter by replacing the Lid on some NUC's:
http://www.gorite.com/nuc-6th-gen-lid-wi...ec-adapter

You need an Intel Skull Canyon NUC for HDMI 2.0, you can read all about the problems for early adopters here:
http://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=277862

Really even an Intel i3 is overkill for Kodi use only.
HTPC's really are dinosaurs, excluding Windows - there are now powerful ARM devices priced around $100 that can pretty much do all the A/V that is required in a Kodi media player.



Comprehensive Update of Post#1 with new Hardware added

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(2016-07-19, 11:26)wrxtasy Wrote: - No HDMI-CEC on Intel boxes, you can add a Pulse8 HDMI-CEC adapter by replacing the Lid on some NUC's:
http://www.gorite.com/nuc-6th-gen-lid-wi...ec-adapter

And you can add CEC to any Intel box with an HDMI output (including nVidia and AMD GPUs) using an external Pulse8 converter (HDMI Pass through with USB data connection). Works brilliantly - though costs more than a Pi...
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It may not suit everyone but I found it easier to use a learning remote + Flirc combo and ignore CEC, getting both more remote driven features (including a mini keyboard) as well as a simpler overall setup, since CEC seems to be flakey/limited sometimes depending on the devices involved.

As a minimum, as least it's another option to consider Smile
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For YouTube questions see the OFFICIAL THREAD here.
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(2015-12-21, 03:52)wrxtasy Wrote: HD Audio and 3D

7.1 HD Audio Passthrough (bitsteam) or lossless Multichannel PCM Audio Kodi devices.
(updated July 2016)

Want to run your own suite of Audio / Video Test clips ?
Well then hdmkv has kindly written up a Wiki page just for that very purpose:

Audio & Video Test Clips HERE


5.1 / 7.1 Multichannel PCM (RPi) audio output info, from the esteemed Mr Noggin... (updated by wrxtasy)

Raspberry Pi 2/3 (and various other hardware platforms) have 5.1 / 7.1 PCM audio output capabilities 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 2/3 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 lossless 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.


Dolby Atmos Confirmed Platforms
- Mac's running Windows, see HERE
- Intel Chromeboxes / Braswell's running OpenELEC / Kodi
- Intel NUC's
- WeTek Core running the WeTek Jarvis 16.x mediaplayer
- Basically any Platforms that support 7.1 HD Audio Passthrough (Bit streaming)


7.1 HD Audio Passthrough (Bitstreamed) capable from within Kodi

- ODROID C2 (LibreELEC), also various AMLogic S905 boxes running specific versions of OpenELEC.
- WeTek Hub
- Chromebox, Braswell
- Intel NUC's and Mac's running Windows (via Bootcamp) as well.
**Note: HD Audio driver issues when using Windows with Celeron Braswell's and the ASUS Chromebox


NOTE: With Android HD Audio passthrough, potential purchasers should check in the relevant thread to ask if their AVR is supported first, as all this Android Audio development is very new, some platforms still have HD Audio passthrough issues.

7.1 HD Audio Passthrough using custom versions of Android / Kodi
- MINIX NEO U1 running XBMC MINIX with limitations, see HERE
- WeTek Core running custom version of WeTek's Jarvis 16.1 Mediaplayer, see HERE
- WeTek Hub running WeTek's Jarvis 16.1 Mediaplayer


Experimental 7.1 HD passthrough support using development versions of Android / Kodi
- nVIDIA Shield, see HERE


7.1 HD Audio decoding to lossless Multichannel PCM audio output:
- Apple devices running OSX / Kodi
- Various Intel devices - NUC's, Chromebox, Braswell
- Intel Cherry Trail microarchitecture, running Windows.
- RPi 2/3
- nVIDIA Shield (can do full HD Audio passthrough using native Android Apps).
- Google Nexus Player
- WeTek Core running WeTek's Jarvis 16.1 Mediaplayer, see HERE
- WeTek Hub running WeTek's Jarvis 16.1 Mediaplayer and also LibreELEC 7.0.2



3D

Excellent 3D rundown by hdmkv, the man who dreams in 3D Eek
(V4)

3D video and formats come in several flavors:
  1. Anaglyph, viewable via red-cyan glasses (now a dated technology)
  2. Side-by-side (SBS), also known as HSBS (half-SBS), commonly found in Blu-ray re-encoded MKV's
  3. Top-and-bottom (TAB), also known as HTAB (half-TAB) or HOU (half over-under), commonly found in Blu-ray re-encoded MKV's
  4. Full MVC MKV, usually Blu-ray rips via MakeMKV (retains main movie only)
  5. Full 3D ISO, usually full disc rips (or, can also be movie-only extractions via tsMuxeR)
  6. Full SBS or TAB, which retains the same full resolution as #4 and 5, but not via the more efficient MVC method. Full SBS/TAB is uncommon, are usually much larger filesize of MVC, and only certain HTPC's will be able to play properly
For all intents and purposes, we really only care about #2 to #5 above.

3D HSBS and HTAB videos can be played by almost any media player, even those not advertised to. Almost all 3D-capable displays will be able to join the two halves and render a complete 3D picture. But, it's half resolution of what's found in Blu-rays as you're just getting a total resolution of 960x1080 (with HSBS) or 1920×540 (with HTAB).

However, a full 3D Blu-ray is encoded using a technology called MVC (Multiview Video Coding). It has 2x full 1920x1080 frames for each eye. When decoded, then rendered as "frame packing," you will have a total resolution of 1920x2205, with an effective display resolution of 1920x1080 for each eye. 3D Blu-ray players can obviously handle this, but home theater enthusiasts here obviously want Kodi-capable media players that can play MVC MKV's and/or 3D ISO's with full MVC decoding and full frame-packed output, bitstreaming of full HD audio, and flawless playback. Demanding bunch aren't we?! Smile

Kodi 3D media players fall into 5 camps:
  1. [Linux] Decodes MVC in full and renders 3D in full, natively via Kodi: the one and only Raspberry Pi. Pi3 is recommended as 3D performs better with its extra horsepower.
  2. [Windows] Decodes MVC in full and renders 3D in full, natively via Kodi MVC builds for Intel hardware. This has now become the ultimate 3D solution for many as it's native Kodi, with full HD audio bitstreaming, all framerates output perfectly, and with added benefit of Netflix/Amazon HD streaming via Windows app or web browser.
  3. [Android] Decodes MVC in full and renders 3D in full, via an external player, with Kodi as just the front-end. HiMedia Q5/Q10 Pro works this way, as does previous-gen Q5/Q10 4K3D. There also are custom Kodi-integrated 3D players like Zidoo X6, HiMedia H8 Octa, but they suffer from key issues (like macroblocking, no 23.976) to really be taken seriously.
  4. [Android] Decodes MVC in full, but renders 3D in half (so resulting quality will be similar to HSBS and HTAB). This uses Koying's MVC hack and works to varying degrees on AMLogic Sxxx boxes like WeTek Core, Minix U1, etc. and nVidia Shield TV.
  5. [Android] VidOn solution (offered by Minix and Tronsmart). VidOn is a GPL and trademark infringer, and they rely on a proprietary solution for MVC 3D. Their 'Pro' payware Kodi fork provides Blu-ray menus, 3D and HD audio... however, 3D is similar to #4 (half-rez). My recommendation is to avoid VidOn altogether, not only because of GPL/trademark violations, but because their solution exhibits several key issues (no 23.976, and in fact all videos output at same resolution as UI, unstable, and basically unreliable).
Thanks to all talented Kodi developers (@popcornmix, @Koying, @afedchin, et al) for their work on MVC 3D.

Questions? Need recommendations?
What are the best full resolution 1080p 3D Kodi media players?

Please see this dedicated 3D thread.

HD Audio?
I don't see any non-movie specific HD Audio support/test.
DSD/DFF
SACD multi channel ISO support
DVDA multi channel ISO support
Bit perfect output for 44.1, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 KHz sampling rates. I think for SACD 88.2 is important.
Gapless playback.
Software players for music?

Which hardware support the above sampling rates (in full)?
Which android software can play the above formats? Maybe convert SACD/DVDA to lossless HD multi channel LPCM or bitstream.
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(2016-07-19, 19:59)Bill4 Wrote: HD Audio?
I don't see any non-movie specific HD Audio support/test.
DSD/DFF
SACD multi channel ISO support
DVDA multi channel ISO support
Bit perfect output for 44.1, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 KHz sampling rates. I think for SACD 88.2 is important.
Gapless playback.
Software players for music?

Which hardware support the above sampling rates (in full)?
Which android software can play the above formats? Maybe convert SACD/DVDA to lossless HD multi channel LPCM or bitstream.

Most boxes that support PCM Multichannel output over HDMI will support all sample rates up to 192kHz over HDMI - though the Pi series are limited to 4.0 at 192kHz - and I guess 176.4 - (they are 7.1 capable for 96kHz and below)

Intel x86 boxes of most recent flavours (including those without HD Audio bit streaming like some Braswell, Bay Trail, Cherry Trail etc.) will also support PCM at most bitrates and bit depths.

Don't know of any Kodi boxes with native DSD/DFF bit streaming (though I've not investigated thoroughly) - though Kodi does - I think - include transcoding to PCM.
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Thanks noggin

Does "Boxes" include Shields TV? Someone said the shields tv does not support 88.2 and 176.4 KHz.
Which is the best player for SACD and DVDA?
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Frankly I am of the view that kodi is sub-optimal for music*. I'd look at squeezebox alternatives.

*I mean, who wants to turn the TV on to listen to music?
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(2016-07-20, 09:25)Bill4 Wrote: Thanks noggin

Does "Boxes" include Shields TV? Someone said the shields tv does not support 88.2 and 176.4 KHz.
Which is the best player for SACD and DVDA?

No experience of the Shield I'm afraid, and very little of SACD or DVDA.

Kodi really is more of a movie/TV player than an audio player I'd suggest.
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Thanks.
The idea was to connect the box to my amp then to the TV. Select create play list, start playing music then switch the TV off.
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(2016-07-20, 11:21)nickr Wrote: Frankly I am of the view that kodi is sub-optimal for music*. I'd look at squeezebox alternatives.

*I mean, who wants to turn the TV on to listen to music?

IMO Chromecast Audio is a near perfect solution for music streaming.
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I am a squeezebox fan, but if I was starting again I'd probably go Chromecast Audio.
If I have helped you or increased your knowledge, click the 'thumbs up' button to give thanks :) (People with less than 20 posts won't see the "thumbs up" button.)
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(2016-07-20, 22:45)Bill4 Wrote: Thanks.
The idea was to connect the box to my amp then to the TV. Select create play list, start playing music then switch the TV off.

I'm using Kodi 16.1 on a Haswell i3 NUC and can do this with all my multichannel HD Audio (SACD, DVDA, BDA etc) at all typical sample rates. I use an iPad remote control app (or iPhone) to run without a TV, create playlists bla blah.

However, all my HD audio has been converted to MCH FLAC. I have not found anything in Kodi that will allow me to play ISO files for those music disc formats (yet). The thing with FLAC is that tracks are tagged and that data is used to create the Kodi Music Library, which leads to all sorts of nice database type features plus enables auto find and display of heaps of other metadata and downloading of fanart art, disc images etc.

I've started 'blogging' about Kodi and Multichannel surround music over on QuadraphonicQuad:
http://www.quadraphonicquad.com/forums/s...usic-Video
http://www.quadraphonicquad.com/forums/s...-and-Cons)
http://www.quadraphonicquad.com/forums/s...-hardware)
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Best place to get a C2 in the US and is there any other parts I need to buy with it
ADT-1 Developer Kit / Nvidia's Shield TV / Xiaomi 4K HDR 'Mi Box' / Beelink GT1 / Amazon Fire TV 2 / Wetek Core / ODROID-C2 / Raspberry Pi 2 / Nexbox A5
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