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START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated August 2020)
(2017-02-17, 20:47)distracto Wrote: Hi guys, really long time user here, just popping in to vent

Wondering why all the love for the Android boxes? I purchased a Minix Neo X8-H Plus thinking I would be good for years, but now there is no support for the latest Android and I am stuck with Jarvis until I buy a new box. Rather frustrating to say the least.

Now I could point fingers at KODI and I could point fingers at Minix, but that won't change the fact that I am left behind in the ever evolving world of digital media playback.

I get the whole minimalistic approach as I don't do anything other than stream from my NAS (Netflix would be nice for viewing random documentaries, though my smart TV takes care of this decently) and I need HD pass-through/FLAC and 4K support without having to buy a new box every time android upgrades. This makes me feel that a windows/Linux solution would be best, no? with two little kids at home I don't have time to fiddle around with things, so i tend to shy away from Linux.

Are the windows solutions simply too messy and "sluggish"? I had used them for years and the reason I switched to Android was that I use Android phones (and am comfortable with rooting and flashing) and was tired of being kicked out of XBMC/KODI for windows updates etc., then pulling out the keyboard to navigate to the desktop click the icon and start again. The Minix just keeps KODI running.

I think I am talking myself back into Android/Linux dammit :/

tl;dr - Any ideas/advice for a future-proof tiny box for KODI with HD audio/FLAC and 4K playback?



(oh, and how about advice on a 7.1 receiver to go with it? My Marantz isn't capable of 4K pass-through unfortunately - poor purchase decision on my part)
Get off the Android roundabout and constant upgrade cycle. Ditch the limitations as well that saddle Android.
Simply boot straight into Kodi and be done with it.

Use LibreELEC Kodi. It's dead easy. Buy Hardware, flash pre made .images to a SD card or eMMC with easy to use Software. Plug in and power up. There are many Choices. See Post #1 for the easiest ones to get up and running.

AND if you get officially supported LibreELEC devices they will even Autoupdate for you. No fiddling needed.
An AMLogic S905 LibreELEC device like the C2 is all you will need

EDIT: One thing I will agree on is that it is a pretty poor effort on MINIX's part to not upgrade Android on what was once their "premium" product the X8H-Plus. This device runs a AML S812-H - the same as the WeTek Core - which WeTek had Android Lollipop 5.1.1 running on over a year ago. MINIX's just do not want to devote the developer resources to providing OS upgrades.

It's no wonder users have been purchasing nVIDIA Shields that get actual Android OS upgrade support, or buying devices that easily run LibreELEC.

Reply
(2017-02-17, 21:01)wrxtasy Wrote: EDIT: One thing I will agree on is that it is a pretty poor effort on MINIX's part to not upgrade Android on what was once their "premium" product the X8H-Plus. This device runs a AML S812-H - the same as the WeTek Core - which WeTek had Android Lollipop 5.1.1 running on over a year ago. MINIX's just do not want to devote the developer resources to providing OS upgrades.

It's no wonder users have been purchasing nVIDIA Shields that get actual Android OS upgrade support, or buying devices that easily run LibreELEC.

This is what pushed my away from minix. They just left users high and dry, stuck with what they thought were premium devices.
Reply
(2017-02-18, 14:49)safcsat Wrote:
(2017-02-17, 21:01)wrxtasy Wrote: EDIT: One thing I will agree on is that it is a pretty poor effort on MINIX's part to not upgrade Android on what was once their "premium" product the X8H-Plus. This device runs a AML S812-H - the same as the WeTek Core - which WeTek had Android Lollipop 5.1.1 running on over a year ago. MINIX's just do not want to devote the developer resources to providing OS upgrades.

It's no wonder users have been purchasing nVIDIA Shields that get actual Android OS upgrade support, or buying devices that easily run LibreELEC.

This is what pushed my away from minix. They just left users high and dry, stuck with what they thought were premium devices.

+1
Reply
(2017-02-10, 12:20)Pajoe Wrote: We purchased 2 WeTek Play 2 units about 3 months ago, one for our house plus one as a gift, but now truly sorry. I wished we had chosen the Nvidia Shield. We chose the WeTek Play 2 as it is advertised as a plug and play type of purchase with an ATSC tuner, but it has not been working that way for us. It has been far more work than setting up our Chromebox and RPI/RPI2 combined. The included remote is terrible, and they still do not have a working epg for the USA ATSC terrestrial tuner using WeOS 2.02. Perhaps other areas of the world are better supported than USA. LibreElec is much better than WeOS, but of all our boxes, nothing works better than our Chromebox/LibreElec for daily entertainment.

The US is a trickier market for OTA tuners AIUI. In most of Europe/Aus/NZ and parts of Asia - where DVB-T/T2 is used for OTA - there are usually well implemented OTA EPG broadcasts (carrying 7+ days of listing for all channels, on all channels). In the US the EPG is implemented using PSIP - where often (always?) only channel listings for the channels and sub-channels tuned to are carried, and even then some broadcasters aren't great at carrying more than a couple of hours, days (and some are only now / next I believe)?

I think many TV Headend users in the US use XML-type listings for their EPG instead, which can take significantly more work to configure?

Also - there is a lot less support for US OTA development in Linux it seems, so whereas TV Headend and other PVR backends get lots of development for DVB sources with plenty of sources of tuners around, there are fewer developers and tuners for OTA.
Reply
Actually. with LibreElec, the epg guide works pretty good, especially on the Chromebox. I run a script with zap2xml.py that gets, creates and copies the finished xmltv.xml to our LibreElec boxes. All our TVs with OTA ATSC tuners have no problems with the epg - yes it is mostly just a few days. I even had two $39 Channel Master digital to analog tuners/converters that I used back when US made the conversion and they had good epg. The WeTek using WeOS can not handle any of it, now with version 2.02 there is no information at all. The sole USA customer support person posted that it is a lot of trouble because he is the only one and it takes so much work to hook up an antenna and realign it to test the patches etc.

on edit: It does seem that USA customers should be made aware of the problems, rather than advertising all is well.
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Ironically the best implementation for most Android Play2 users that want decent TV with a proper Grid EPG is Ricardo's Android TV ROM combined with his implementation of the TvHeadend server in there as well.
However Android Kodi Krypton breaks Live TV on AMLogic with unreliable deinterlacing when using TvHeadend. At least Kodi Jarvis still works.

Ultimately people are better off booting into LibreELEC on the Play2 if they want to use Kodi properly and use all the PVR functionality without the issues that Android entangles everything with. Leave Android for Apps only and only Android TV ones unless you want to torture yourself with that crippled, slow IR D-Pad remote mouse implementation.

@Pajoe, last time I checked I could still not get a full Automatic 7 day EPG from the OTA data streams for all channels on the Play2 when using WeTV - like I see with TvHeadend. And yes that remote is infuriating. I was always mis-pressing buttons due to the poor remote button layout. That Play2 remote is far too complicated for its own good. That double round centre dial layout is terrible. Who designs these things ?

Reply
We have not found any android apps ( we like ) work well with the Play2. My son has the same experience with his. For right now, the Wetek Play 2 is almost worthless for anything other than using LibreElec.
Reply
(2017-02-17, 21:01)wrxtasy Wrote:
(2017-02-17, 20:47)distracto Wrote: Hi guys, really long time user here, just popping in to vent

Wondering why all the love for the Android boxes? I purchased a Minix Neo X8-H Plus thinking I would be good for years, but now there is no support for the latest Android and I am stuck with Jarvis until I buy a new box. Rather frustrating to say the least.

Now I could point fingers at KODI and I could point fingers at Minix, but that won't change the fact that I am left behind in the ever evolving world of digital media playback.

I get the whole minimalistic approach as I don't do anything other than stream from my NAS (Netflix would be nice for viewing random documentaries, though my smart TV takes care of this decently) and I need HD pass-through/FLAC and 4K support without having to buy a new box every time android upgrades. This makes me feel that a windows/Linux solution would be best, no? with two little kids at home I don't have time to fiddle around with things, so i tend to shy away from Linux.

Are the windows solutions simply too messy and "sluggish"? I had used them for years and the reason I switched to Android was that I use Android phones (and am comfortable with rooting and flashing) and was tired of being kicked out of XBMC/KODI for windows updates etc., then pulling out the keyboard to navigate to the desktop click the icon and start again. The Minix just keeps KODI running.

I think I am talking myself back into Android/Linux dammit :/

tl;dr - Any ideas/advice for a future-proof tiny box for KODI with HD audio/FLAC and 4K playback?



(oh, and how about advice on a 7.1 receiver to go with it? My Marantz isn't capable of 4K pass-through unfortunately - poor purchase decision on my part)
Get off the Android roundabout and constant upgrade cycle. Ditch the limitations as well that saddle Android.
Simply boot straight into Kodi and be done with it.

Use LibreELEC Kodi. It's dead easy. Buy Hardware, flash pre made .images to a SD card or eMMC with easy to use Software. Plug in and power up. There are many Choices. See Post #1 for the easiest ones to get up and running.

AND if you get officially supported LibreELEC devices they will even Autoupdate for you. No fiddling needed.
An AMLogic S905 LibreELEC device like the C2 is all you will need

EDIT: One thing I will agree on is that it is a pretty poor effort on MINIX's part to not upgrade Android on what was once their "premium" product the X8H-Plus. This device runs a AML S812-H - the same as the WeTek Core - which WeTek had Android Lollipop 5.1.1 running on over a year ago. MINIX's just do not want to devote the developer resources to providing OS upgrades.

It's no wonder users have been purchasing nVIDIA Shields that get actual Android OS upgrade support, or buying devices that easily run LibreELEC.

Thanks @wrxtasy for your reply, and your edit. I know I am not the only one who feels left behind by Minix, and I am not going to rush out to purchase or support them again with so many other options out there.

How does the XU4 stack up or is the C2 good enough? Is the Wetek Hub more than what I outlined in my requirements for a media streamer with 4K and HD audio pass through?

Is LibreELEC basically OpenELEC?

Cheers
Reply
(2017-02-20, 20:39)distracto Wrote: Is LibreELEC basically OpenELEC?

Cheers
Not exactly the right place for this thread, but I know you had it as a question in amongst your other hardware-related questions.

LE is a fork of OE. In a nutshell, OE came first, and then some developers decided to split off and create LE.

Today, I would always use LE because it's newer/faster/better-supported than OE

So, when the fork happened they were identical, but since then LE has gotten more development and is now very different.
Reply
(2017-02-21, 07:04)KoopaTroopa Wrote:
(2017-02-20, 20:39)distracto Wrote: Is LibreELEC basically OpenELEC?

Cheers
LE is a fork of OE. In a nutshell, OE came first, and then some developers decided to split off and create LE.
Slight correction - virtually ALL the developers left, Apart from the founder of OpenELEC over various reasons that do not belong being explained in this thread.

XU4 has no Official LibreELEC support like you find with the AML S905 devices Hub / Play2 and the C2. The XU4 is more of a Mini Linux Desktop than a 4K HD Audio Kodi media player. More details Here

An S905 device is all you need for 4K Video and HD Audio passthrough. LE on S905's has matured really nicely for the Kodi Krypton release.

Reply
Thank you @wrxtasy, I'll give that set up a go, appreciate your advice and time. Cheers.

LE and OE sounds a lot like what happened with SickRage a while back.
Reply
Hello All,

After reading the original post, im more confused than ever!

I received a SlyBox MXV (MX5) Android 4.4 box around a year ago and got kodi up and running on it. I only watch live sport and it was decent. Picture quality was ok, but there is lots of stuttering, buffering and stopping of live tv which can get frustrating. I did some research and i added the acestream build to the box in order to get a better hd feed which also worked well. Im stuck on karvis 16.1 on this box and given its limitations, I now want an upgrade to Kodi Krypton release but the box cannot be upgraded.

Im in the UK, and would like some new kit to run live sport. Anything under £50, I will jump at but ill consider better options. I was considering the Greatever T95Z Amlogic S912, but after reading reviews the mods on here have advised to "do NOT buy AML S912 devices"

If i have to do a but of DIY in order to get the box to perfection. Im for that, as long as there is a guide.
Reply
I cannot help you with Live Sport - particularly if its the illegal free kind. That is completely against forums rules. So are Kodi Video Addons that stream free Pirate content..

With that out of the way at the budget end of the market we know what works well. If you need Android device get a supported device with decent Firmware. That being a Xiaomi Mi Box which may even get Android Nougat on it soonish too. It will crap all over the other cheap unsupported Android junk out there on the market.

https://www.thesolutionshop.co.uk/product/mi-box/

If its just Kodi you want get a AMLogic S905 device - Android Box - they are all clones of each other - and internal hardware Specs seem to change like the wind. Then Flash LibreELEC Kodi on to a Samsung EVO or Sandisk UHS-1 Class 10 microSDHC card. You will have to do some simple DIY but you will have a superior Kodi Krypton setup that runs with speed and will play virtually anything you throw at it:

https://forum.libreelec.tv/thread-5274.html

Reply
Thanks for the reply and I apologies for the forum rule breaking in my first post.

Given the impending upgrade, its worth going for the 2GB RAM rather than the 1GB correct? I just want it to run kodi and kodi only. Nothing else matters too me. The AMLogic S905 device option sounds good. Any particular device you would suggest?
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No rules were broken but I could see where the posts were heading Wink

Its really hard to say with these type of AML boxes as the internal componentry can change month to month and they all seem to be clones of one another. Even ones with the same name can be slightly different.

LibreELEC Kodi does not need much RAM at all, even for 4K streaming. 1GB devices are fine.

The only list I can find for AML S905 for LibreELEC is this one:
https://forum.libreelec.tv/thread-1982.html

I personally use a 2Gb S905 ODROID C2. Probably more than your budget tho.

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