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START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated July 2020)
whats the chepest box i could use for tv in bedroom to be able to play x264 and mp4, mkv etc with remote. dont need h265 or dts etc

i need usb support
dont require internet
easy enough for wife to use.

just want something what works better than my tv which doesnt play mkv etc and hopefully will last a little while.

im in uk been looking on ebay and amazon lots their but reviews mixed.

thanks
NUC5I5RYH
yamaha RX-V777
BenQ w1070
samsung ue55nu7100

Reply
(2018-12-15, 09:39)haxel666 Wrote: whats the cheapest box i could use for tv in bedroom to be able to play x264 and mp4, mkv etc with remote. dont need h265 or dts etc

just want something what works better than my tv which doesnt play mkv etc

thanks

Plug n Play...

WiFi only:
USA = Mi Box S, I think they have been on sale for as low as $39

+ Ethernet and more USB ports....
USA JetStream 4k Ultra HD

Other options:
MECOOL Pro L or Pro W or A95X Pro (weak WiFi on the S905W chipsets):
(both can also run the superior LibreELEC / CoreELEC Kodi)


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(2018-12-13, 22:17)AlleV8 Wrote: What cpu should i looking if i want 4k hdr/1080p sw decoded for netflix/amazon add on? We know amlogic s905x does only 720p but there is another option for 4k/1080p with intel cpu? Even for libreelec is fine, not just under win10.

Any of the i Series Intel or AMD Ryzen iron would be able to CPU Software decode 1080p h264 Netflix using the Kodi Leia Netflix Addon.
You will not get any HDR with X86_64 Linux / LibreELEC Kodi Leia.

Not sure about 4K HEVC Netflix CPU software decoding using X86_64 Kodi Leia. Not even sure if anyone has tested that yet.
4K Netflix uses HEVC video compression.

A Fire TV Stick 4K would be a much much cheaper and more reliable 4K HDR Netflix alternative.

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I have an Odriod C2 with a hard drive connected via USB 2.0.  It plays h265 perfectly where it's 24fps but when I tried 60fps it was choppy sometimes.  Is this because there is a bottle neck at the USB 2.0 or is it something else?

I was thinking of getting the Mecool Ki Pro and connecting my hard drive via USB 2.0 will it have the same issue while using Leia?

Thanks in advance for any help
Reply
(2018-12-15, 17:07)Pepe999 Wrote: I have an Odriod C2 with a hard drive connected via USB 2.0.  It plays h265 perfectly where it's 24fps but when I tried 60fps it was choppy sometimes.  Is this because there is a bottle neck at the USB 2.0 or is it something else?

I was thinking of getting the Mecool Ki Pro and connecting my hard drive via USB 2.0 will it have the same issue while using Leia?

Thanks in advance for any help

I'm assuming LibreELEC or CoreELEC is being used ?
You will have the same issues with the Mecool due to it using the same Linux Kernel and Kodi Leia will be the same.

USB 2.0 has enough data transfer bandwidth to simultaneously stream two high bitrate 4K Bluray Rips with HD audio.
You do not have a USB 2.0 issue.

You really have not provided enough detail.
4K [email protected] needs a HDMI 2.0 connection because HDMI 1.4 is limited to [email protected]

You may even need to select ALL the Whitelist resolutions and Hz in Kodi Leia System settings first.
Your TV should be switched on before booting the C2 as well.

Reply
(2018-12-16, 10:52)wrxtasy Wrote:
(2018-12-15, 17:07)Pepe999 Wrote: I have an Odriod C2 with a hard drive connected via USB 2.0.  It plays h265 perfectly where it's 24fps but when I tried 60fps it was choppy sometimes.  Is this because there is a bottle neck at the USB 2.0 or is it something else?

I was thinking of getting the Mecool Ki Pro and connecting my hard drive via USB 2.0 will it have the same issue while using Leia?

Thanks in advance for any help

I'm assuming LibreELEC or CoreELEC is being used ?
You will have the same issues with the Mecool due to it using the same Linux Kernel and Kodi Leia will be the same.

USB 2.0 has enough data transfer bandwidth to simultaneously stream two high bitrate 4K Bluray Rips with HD audio.
You do not have a USB 2.0 issue.

You really have not provided enough detail.
4K [email protected] needs a HDMI 2.0 connection because HDMI 1.4 is limited to [email protected]

You may even need to select ALL the Whitelist resolutions and Hz in Kodi Leia System settings first.
Your TV should be switched on before booting the C2 as well. 
Thanks wrxtasy, your right.  I have the wrong cable.  I would have never figured that out.
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Hello,

I'm completely lost , there're so many boxes or options  :-\

What box could be recommended for my needs :
- Gigabit Ethernet  (don't need WiFi)
- 4K (HDR) playing  (files are on a DS218+ NAS just next)
- KODI  (Kryton/Leia with LibreELEC/CoreELEC)
- Limited budget if possible

I'm familiar with Odroid C2 running LibreELEC 8.2 + KODI Krypton (that died days ago)..

Thanks a lot  :-)
Reply
(2018-12-12, 19:01)bankarsonist Wrote:
(2018-12-12, 03:50)wrxtasy Wrote:
(2018-12-11, 18:49)bankarsonist Wrote: My Must haves: Good Wifi (wired isn't an option, dual ac preferred.),
Dual Boot (hopefully relatively easy once set up, cause my wife will be using as well while on mat leave so anything more than dual booting with the remote is too much) because..
1080p Netflix (I don't mind using a tablet version of the app in android, we've been using one on a TX3 mini for months now) 
I'll be running LibreELEC but no crazy files or anything.

I've narrowed it down to the following list:
Mecool BB2 Pro - DDR4 Ram (is there a libreelec build for this? Can it get 1080p Netflix? Is the DDR4 worth it?)
Mecool M8S Pro L - (AC wifi? Can it get 1080p Netflix?)
Mecool KI Pro - (AC wifi? Can it get 1080p Netflix?)
Wetek Hub/Play2 (Go for the AC Hub? or the 2GB RAM Play2?)
Minix U1 (Can it get 1080P Netflix?)

All are about the same price (give or take $10, I'm in Canada). I'm leaning towards the KI Pro or the Play 2. Any suggestions? I officially hit analysis paralysis. Doesn't help that you guys have so much helpful information.  Tongue
If you could order the above from which one you would get firs to which one you would get last and why, I would be eternally grateful.  Tongue

1080p Netflix needs a device with Widevine L1 DRM and HDCP 1.x

The MINIX U1 does not have that, the others do.
The Android TV OS App of Netflix no longer works on uncertified Netflix devices which is all of the above devices on the list.
A modded tablet version of the touchscreen Netflix App still works.

The MINIX U1 / U9 products have the best AC WiFi vs all the other AMLogic devices simply because they have two Antennas for AC MIMO WiFi.
They also have the best Wireless air mouse keyboard remotes - the MINIX A2 lite is the best one to get.
They also have the best heatsinks of the entire AML family.

The WeTek Play2 has B/G/N WiFi only. Avoid the WeTek Hub for anything Android. 1GB RAM causes issues with Android, its fine with LibreELEC.
You will need a Wireless Air mouse remote to use the Netflix tablet App.

You can get 1080p Netflix using the Kodi Leia Netflix Addon (click) on Android device with Widevine L1 DRM. (reliability may be an issue)
You also get 5.1 DD+ or 5.1 DD audio from that Kodi Leia Netflix Addon as well.

Only the MINIX U9 and the Play2 have working Android Kodi Leia auto refresh switching for silky smooth 24p Android Kodi Leia Netflix playback.

What would I get for dual boot ?
A MINIX U9 simply because of superior hardware and the high quality integrated Wireless remote.
Otherwise the Mecool's that have Widevine L1 DRM, HDCP 1.x and AC WiFi, and add a Wireless Air Mouse remote to them.

Netflix and AC WiFi the main priority - seriously consider a 3rd option the 2018 Amazon FireTV 4K Stick that has superior AC MIMO WiFi plus a real easy to use, reliable 1080p 4K HDR Netflix App. The 4K Stick's Wireless remote is the best one in the business.
Then simply sideload Kodi Leia.   
I just wanted to say thank you! This is exactly what I needed. The U9 is close to $100 more so I think I will go Mecool. Now just to figure out which one.  Confused Appreciate the help!  
 Accccctually.
I realized that I will get the Amazon Fire Stick and also get a Khadas Vim2, so Libreelec/android. My wife has prime so this makes the most sense. 
Thanks Again.

Do I need coreelec Leia to run the netflix addon you mentioned, so can I install it on Libreelec?
Reply
(2018-12-18, 23:56)tealc Wrote: Hello,

I'm completely lost , there're so many boxes or options  :-\

What box could be recommended for my needs :
- Gigabit Ethernet  (don't need WiFi)
- 4K (HDR) playing  (files are on a DS218+ NAS just next)
- KODI  (Kryton/Leia with LibreELEC/CoreELEC)
- Limited budget if possible

I'm familiar with Odroid C2 running LibreELEC 8.2 + KODI Krypton (that died days ago)..

Thanks a lot  :-)

GDay,

Shame about the C2 - it's the fastest CoreELEC Leia device I use when Overclocked and running from eMMC.

See THIS post (click) for a decent combo.

Reply
(2018-12-19, 06:25)bankarsonist Wrote: Do I need coreelec Leia to run the netflix addon you mentioned, so can I install it on Libreelec?

Netflix Addon only works with Kodi Leia v18

For Android Kodi Leia and to get hardware decoded 1080p from the Android Leia Netflix Addon all you need is an Android device with Widevine L1 DRM.

ARM devices running LibreELEC / CoreELEC Leia are limited to CPU Software decoded 720p when using that Netflix Addon.
The Netflix Addon not work properly on AMLogic S912 devices running LibreELEC / CoreELEC, Netflix playback will stutter with that specific combo.

Intel devices that have more powerful CPU packages can do Software decoded 1080p Netflix Leia.

There is more info in this post....

The Best Of - categorised - media players on the market (click)

Reply
I've been running Kodi on a Minix U1 for years.  It has been perfect with auto resolution and refresh switching on LibreElec.

However I am now contemplating an upgrade.  My non-negotiables are :
  • 4K HDR
  • Auto resolution & refresh switching
  • Automatic colourswitch spacing for SDR, HDR10 and HLG
  • DTS-HD / DD / DD+ passthrough
  • Gigabit Ethernet
I have no need for Netflix, Prime etc as I can view those with other equipment.

I was thinking the NVidia Shield, Vero 4K+ and Minix U9 meet my criteria, although they are a bit more £££ than I would prefer to spend.  If possible I'd like to come under £60 - but if I need to spend the rest, I will.  Quality comes before cost for me.

Looking through Amazon, I see the Beelink GT1 Ultimate also seems to fit the criteria (although also S912 based).
And the oft-recommended Tanix TX9 Pro which comes in at a little less cash.

The Shield seems to have some issues with Colourspace switching.  I'm not sure if there is a CoreElec / LibreElec version for it and if that sorts out the problems.

The Vero 4K+ runs OSMC.  I'm not sure if OSMC is an OS & Media playback (like LibreElec / CoreElec).  Can it run normal Kodi with Transparency skin?

I've had great performance from my Minix U1s (ethernet & wifi), so although the U9 is S912, I am quite tempted by it.

Main thing is seamless usage once set up, and the ability to handle 4K well now that I am in the process of upgrading media to that format.
Am I missing any units that could meet my requirements well?  Would some of the cheaper S912s do it?

I am aware that S912 support is not guaranteed moving forward, which is a bit of a downer if I go that route, but it seems like the S912 is the best option for me right now.

Any suggestions / advice from wise forum dwellers?
Cheers,
Xpr
Reply
(2018-12-19, 07:46)wrxtasy Wrote:
(2018-12-19, 06:25)bankarsonist Wrote: Do I need coreelec Leia to run the netflix addon you mentioned, so can I install it on Libreelec?

Netflix Addon only works with Kodi Leia v18

For Android Kodi Leia and to get hardware decoded 1080p from the Android Leia Netflix Addon all you need is an Android device with Widevine L1 DRM.

ARM devices running LibreELEC / CoreELEC Leia are limited to CPU Software decoded 720p when using that Netflix Addon.

The Netflix Addon not work properly on AMLogic S912 devices running LibreELEC / CoreELEC, Netflix playback will stutter with that specific combo.

Intel devices that have more powerful CPU packages can do Software decoded 1080p Netflix Leia.

There is more info in this post....

The Best Of - categorised - media players on the market (click)

 
 I've read that post a bunch of times, and read up in a bunch of places, and I've never seen anything about the Netflix add-on not working with S912.
Is it because of the work around for the S912?

And does your comment mean that a box like the Mecool KI Pro can't do Hardware Decoded 1080p with the addon?
I though that Addon could do 1080p on Widevine L1 DRM boxes?
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(2018-12-22, 04:44)bankarsonist Wrote: I've read that post a bunch of times, and read up in a bunch of places, and I've never seen anything about the Netflix add-on not working with S912.
Is it because of the work around for the S912?

And does your comment mean that a box like the Mecool KI Pro can't do Hardware Decoded 1080p with the addon?
I though that Addon could do 1080p on Widevine L1 DRM boxes?

ALL S912 devices running LibreELEC / CoreELEC Kodi Leia cannot even stream 720p Netflix smoothly using the Netflix Addon due to the Hybrid Linux/Android GPU drivers used.
S905, S905X devices have no such driver problems. Intel / AMD - Linux / LibreELEC Kodi Leia - > no problems either.

Linux Kodi Leia has to use h264 - CPU Software decoding as well when using the Netflix Addon, so the S905 and S905X - LE/CE Leia devices are limited to 720p Netflix.

ALL Android media player devices like the S912's that have Widevine L1 DRM - are capable of streaming Android Kodi Leia 1080p Netflix, using h264 hardware video decoding.

Here is some further reading regarding Netflix and Kodi Leia (click)

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(2018-12-21, 14:38)xpr982539 Wrote: However I am now contemplating an upgrade. 
My non-negotiables are :
  • 4K HDR
  • Auto resolution & refresh switching
  • Automatic colourswitch spacing for SDR, HDR10 and HLG
  • DTS-HD / DD / DD+ passthrough
  • Gigabit Ethernet
I have no need for Netflix, Prime etc as I can view those with other equipment.

I was thinking the NVidia Shield, Vero 4K+ and Minix U9 meet my criteria, although they are a bit more £££ than I would prefer to spend.  If possible I'd like to come under £60 - but if I need to spend the rest, I will.  Quality comes before cost for me.

Any suggestions / advice from wise forum dwellers?
Cheers,
Xpr

Hi Xpr,

Auto SDR / 4K HDR - HD audio capable LibreELEC /CoreELEC - with inbuilt Gigabit Ethernet:
- any AML S912 devices with naturally GigaE like the Beelink GT1, Tanix TX9 (click), H96 Pro. Cheap devices must be running Android Nougat onwards.
- Vero 4K+
- MINIX U9

Want to shut down the TV / AVR via HDMI CEC control and then power it all up again via Infra red when you boot the LE / CE media player ?
(caveat. works for me, may not be guaranteed to work for everyone due TV manufacturers CEC custom implementations.)
- MINIX U9

Want to reuse your U1 - MINIX A2 lite remote with it's integrated Infra Red (for MINIX hardware) to do just that:
- MINIX U9

Want higher quality hardware vs the cheap Chinese media players:
- MINIX U9 or
- Vero 4K+

Quote:I am aware that (Linux Kodi) - S912 support is not guaranteed moving forward, which is a bit of a downer if I go that route, but it seems like the S912 is the best option for me right now.

I would never discount what the clever Open Source - Linux ARM GPU driver guru devs. have cooking. We are a year away from Kodi v19 M. Wink

Android Kodi v19 M onwards will still continue to work, and currently v18 Leia is pretty snappy on the S912's, especially when you tweak the Mali-T820 GPU MHz clock on the Android S912's using Magisk and the AMLogic Tool Apps. Wink

Reply
(2018-12-22, 06:18)wrxtasy Wrote: Hi Xpr,

Auto SDR / 4K HDR - HD audio capable LibreELEC /CoreELEC - with inbuilt Gigabit Ethernet:
- any AML S912 devices with naturally GigaE like the Beelink GT1, Tanix TX9 (click), H96 Pro. Cheap devices must be running Android Nougat onwards.
- Vero 4K+
- MINIX U9

.....

I would never discount what the clever Open Source - Linux ARM GPU driver guru devs. have cooking. We are a year away from Kodi v19 M. Wink

Android Kodi v19 M onwards will still continue to work, and currently v18 Leia is pretty snappy on the S912's, especially when you tweak the Mali-T820 GPU MHz clock on the Android S912's using Magisk and the AMLogic Tool Apps. Wink 
 OK, Tanix TX9 ordered and expected on Monday as a result of the multiple mentions of the above-linked:-)  I prefer the price compared to the Shield & Vero 4K+.

I'll get an SD card prepped and see how it fares with all I can throw at it.  That way I can give it decent work out in Android as well as with CoreElec, although I anticipate running CE full time.  I installed to internal on my U1s.

I've never heard of the AMLogic Tool Apps.  With the mention of Magisk should I assume the device would need to be routed?  Maybe not something I would do until it is a year old at least.  However should the Open Source S912 community not have a working solution a year from now, I may venture into it at that time.

Thanks for all your informative posts @wrxtasy .  I've read many entire threads, especially the Start Here and some of the hardware specific ones, as well as several over at LibreElec.  Appreciate you sharing your considerable expertise with us.  A very Merry Christmas to you!
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