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START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated May 2020)
Quote:So all in all, is the K3 best bang for buck or not?

In the Plug N Play market, if you do not need Netflix and only have basic Android TV - Kodi needs (ie No need for auto Frame Rate Matching or HD audio) then yes it would be hard to beat for the price paid.

The dirt cheap Amazon FireTV Stick 4K is also a snappy thing, Kodi can be really easily sideloaded into that. There are instructions in a link in the FireTV Stick 4K thread about that. That setup will do Kodi auto Frame Rate Matching, giving you silky smooth video playback.

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Hi wrxtasy. Hope you can help me out here. I'm using Firestick 4k with Kodi Leia currently. It works great, except for the fact that it can't pass through HD audio, and the 7.1 PCM output the sides and rear are reversed.

I'm looking for a box that can do HD audio pass through, 4k HDR, and possibly auto frame rate and resolution matching. Frok what I've read, the Mecool m8s Pro L can pass through HD audio, but can't do auto frame rate matching? If I'm not wanting auto frame rate switching, is this box a viable option? What else does it lack?

If I do want Auto framerate, the only other options I have are the Shield and Vero 4k+? I'd rather not have the Shield due to the bad picture quality. Apple TV 4K doesn't do HD audio pass through right?
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I want to upgrade my Minix neo u1, would a Mecool KM3 be a good choice?
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(2019-07-18, 10:12)blizzardreign Wrote: Hi wrxtasy. Hope you can help me out here. I'm using Firestick 4k with Kodi Leia currently. It works great, except for the fact that it can't pass through HD audio, and the 7.1 PCM output the sides and rear are reversed.

Yes known problems. Amazon really needs to be informed about the channel mapping issues.

Quote:I'm looking for a box that can do HD audio pass through, 4k HDR, and possibly auto frame rate and resolution matching. Frok what I've read, the Mecool m8s Pro L can pass through HD audio, but can't do auto frame rate matching? If I'm not wanting auto frame rate switching, is this box a viable option? What else does it lack?

I would not use it for Android Kodi because if you run CoreELEC Kodi Leia from a Class 10 U1 microSDHC card the whole world for 4K HDR Kodi video, HD & LPCM audio will open up. It nearly works for auto everything.....

However the Pro L does Not have Gigabit Ethernet, which really is needed for high bitrate 4K HDR + HD audio - home network streaming.
A USB3 > Gigabit Ethernet adapter would need to be added.

Quote:If I do want Auto framerate, the only other options I have are the Shield and Vero 4k+? I'd rather not have the Shield due to the bad picture quality. Apple TV 4K doesn't do HD audio pass through right?

To do 4K HDR correctly, MaxCLL/FALL HDR infoframe metadata also needs to be passed thru to a HDR display.
The list of devices, some with GigaE that do that is found in this 2823690 (post)

Apple TV 4K outputs HD audio, as lossless 24bit LPCM or 5.1 DD. The only thing it really misses out on audio wise is Blu-ray Rip quality lossless Atmos audio, because passthru is needed for that. It however will do lossy Netflix Atmos.

The Odroid N2 + a wireless MINIX A2 lite remote makes for a snappy 4K HDR, HD audio - CoreELEC Kodi Leia combo.
Picture quality is excellent. Smile

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(2019-07-18, 14:02)sidsilver2 Wrote: I want to upgrade my Minix neo u1, would a Mecool KM3 be a good choice?

Depends really what you want and what is important.

CoreELEC Kodi Leia for 4K SDR, broadcast TV deinterlacing + HD audio with auto refresh and auto resolution switching will be Far superior on the U1. In fact the U1 is one of the best SDR hardware setups you can get for that. The U1 packaged, A2 lite remote is my personal favorite. Smile

If you want cheap, snappy Google Certified - Android TV OS Pie 9.0 device with Chromecasting and easy to use ATV Apps then the KM3 might work OK.
It will Not do TV deinterlacing properly, no HD audio, no auto refresh or resolution switching and has no Netflix approval. The ATV Netflix App will not even work.

The Amazon FireTV Stick 4K will do most of the above, except reliable deinterlacing & no HD audio.

Do NOT rely on Android hacks to try and get 1080p Netflix streaming working. Netflix has a regular habit of stopping that sort of hacked App streaming in its tracks. Get a properly approved Netflix device if that App is really important for long term usage.
You cannot Root the Google Certified KM3 either.

Firmware suppport and updates are an unknown quantity with the KM3.

Really you need to read the Freaktab KM3 thread (click) for up to date info.

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(2019-07-18, 14:31)wrxtasy Wrote:
(2019-07-18, 14:02)sidsilver2 Wrote: I want to upgrade my Minix neo u1, would a Mecool KM3 be a good choice?

Depends really what you want and what is important.

CoreELEC Kodi Leia for 4K SDR, broadcast TV deinterlacing + HD audio with auto refresh and auto resolution switching will be Far superior on the U1. In fact the U1 is one of the best SDR hardware setups you can get for that. The U1 packaged, A2 lite remote is my personal favorite. Smile

If you want cheap, snappy Google Certified - Android TV OS Pie 9.0 device with Chromecasting and easy to use ATV Apps then the KM3 might work OK.
It will Not do TV deinterlacing properly, no HD audio, no auto refresh or resolution switching and has no Netflix approval. The ATV Netflix App will not even work.

The Amazon FireTV Stick 4K will do most of the above, except reliable deinterlacing & no HD audio.

Do NOT rely on Android hacks to try and get 1080p Netflix streaming working. Netflix has a regular habit of stopping that sort of hacked App streaming in its tracks. Get a properly approved Netflix device if that App is really important for long term usage.
You cannot Root the Google Certified KM3 either.

Firmware suppport and updates are an unknown quantity with the KM3.

Really you need to read the Freaktab KM3 thread (click) for up to date info.

Short answer is I want what the U1 does but in a newer model. 
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(2019-07-18, 15:28)sidsilver2 Wrote:
(2019-07-18, 14:31)wrxtasy Wrote:
(2019-07-18, 14:02)sidsilver2 Wrote: I want to upgrade my Minix neo u1, would a Mecool KM3 be a good choice?

Depends really what you want and what is important.

CoreELEC Kodi Leia for 4K SDR, broadcast TV deinterlacing + HD audio with auto refresh and auto resolution switching will be Far superior on the U1. In fact the U1 is one of the best SDR hardware setups you can get for that. The U1 packaged, A2 lite remote is my personal favorite. Smile

If you want cheap, snappy Google Certified - Android TV OS Pie 9.0 device with Chromecasting and easy to use ATV Apps then the KM3 might work OK.
It will Not do TV deinterlacing properly, no HD audio, no auto refresh or resolution switching and has no Netflix approval. The ATV Netflix App will not even work.

The Amazon FireTV Stick 4K will do most of the above, except reliable deinterlacing & no HD audio.

Do NOT rely on Android hacks to try and get 1080p Netflix streaming working. Netflix has a regular habit of stopping that sort of hacked App streaming in its tracks. Get a properly approved Netflix device if that App is really important for long term usage.
You cannot Root the Google Certified KM3 either.

Firmware suppport and updates are an unknown quantity with the KM3.

Really you need to read the Freaktab KM3 thread (click) for up to date info.
Short answer is I want what the U1 does but in a newer model.
Reply
The Nvidia Shield really is the premier Android device because it has both powerful hardware and more importantly proven ongoing Firmware support that includes OS updates. This is partially what you pay a premium price for.
A lot of users simply bite the bullet and pay the premium price knowing they will get support long term.

Otherwise consult the AMLogic section on the Freaktab website for devices like the current top spec AML chipset equipped S922X Beelink GT King. No idea about Android Firmware support for that non Google Certified - Android Pie 9.0 tablet/touchscreen OS device.

Ugoos have a AM6 model, snappy S922X device as well. They seem to provide some Firmware support looking at previous devices.

I cannot stress enough how important ongoing bug busting Firmware support is for Android devices.

MINIX should be ashamed of themselves charging a premium price for the U9 and not even updating it to a stable Android Nougat 7.x OS Sad

Reply
(2019-07-18, 15:54)wrxtasy Wrote: The Nvidia Shield really is the premier Android device because it has both powerful hardware and more importantly proven ongoing Firmware support that includes OS updates. This is partially what you pay a premium price for.
A lot of users simply bite the bullet and pay the premium price knowing they will get support long term.

Otherwise consult the AMLogic section on the Freaktab website for devices like the current top spec AML chipset equipped S922X Beelink GT King. No idea about Android Firmware support for that non Google Certified - Android Pie 9.0 tablet/touchscreen OS device.

Ugoos have a AM6 model, snappy S922X device as well. They seem to provide some Firmware support looking at previous devices.

I cannot stress enough how important ongoing bug busting Firmware support is for Android devices.

MINIX should be ashamed of themselves charging a premium price for the U9 and not even updating it to a stable Android Nougat 7.x OS Sad

I was going for a U9 but like you say they dont update it, just like the U1 which hasn't had a update for ages. 
I did look at the Beelink GT King, it has good reviews but not sure if it will get updates in the future.
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(2019-07-18, 14:02)wrxtasy Wrote:
(2019-07-18, 10:12)blizzardreign Wrote: Hi wrxtasy. Hope you can help me out here. I'm using Firestick 4k with Kodi Leia currently. It works great, except for the fact that it can't pass through HD audio, and the 7.1 PCM output the sides and rear are reversed.

Yes known problems. Amazon really needs to be informed about the channel mapping issues.

Quote:I'm looking for a box that can do HD audio pass through, 4k HDR, and possibly auto frame rate and resolution matching. Frok what I've read, the Mecool m8s Pro L can pass through HD audio, but can't do auto frame rate matching? If I'm not wanting auto frame rate switching, is this box a viable option? What else does it lack?

I would not use it for Android Kodi because if you run CoreELEC Kodi Leia from a Class 10 U1 microSDHC card the whole world for 4K HDR Kodi video, HD & LPCM audio will open up. It nearly works for auto everything.....

However the Pro L does Not have Gigabit Ethernet, which really is needed for high bitrate 4K HDR + HD audio - home network streaming.
A USB3 > Gigabit Ethernet adapter would need to be added.

Quote:If I do want Auto framerate, the only other options I have are the Shield and Vero 4k+? I'd rather not have the Shield due to the bad picture quality. Apple TV 4K doesn't do HD audio pass through right?

To do 4K HDR correctly, MaxCLL/FALL HDR infoframe metadata also needs to be passed thru to a HDR display.
The list of devices, some with GigaE that do that is found in this 2823690 (post)

Apple TV 4K outputs HD audio, as lossless 24bit LPCM or 5.1 DD. The only thing it really misses out on audio wise is Blu-ray Rip quality lossless Atmos audio, because passthru is needed for that. It however will do lossy Netflix Atmos.

The Odroid N2 + a wireless MINIX A2 lite remote makes for a snappy 4K HDR, HD audio - CoreELEC Kodi Leia combo.
Picture quality is excellent. Smile

What you are saying is that I can run coreELEC on the Pro L using a microsd card and I can get the kind of playback I'm looking for? Sounds great, but is there a guide on how to do that for the Pro L? And is there a difference between Libre and Core? I have a ugreen gigabit adapter that I'm using for the Firestick 4k currently, so I could use that if I get the Pro L.

However, based on your link, it then seems like the Pro L doesn't have the MaxCLL/FALL meta data pass through and the Odroid N2 does. AppleTV 4K seems out as I need Dolby TrueHD Atmos. I don't need to playback from any apps as well. I just need something to play Bluray rips with Dolby TrueHD Atmos or DTS:X and below. 4K HDR 10-bit and below for video. I'm using an LG oled TV so I don't need HDR to SDR conversion. I also forgot to add that I need to be able to use Plex on Kodi for the playback, so does N2 allow for that with all these requirements?

Given these, seems like currently the N2 is the only viable solution for me? Does it come with a case as it seems like it's just a board when I check it out? And where is a good place to buy from? Do I require the Minix a2 lite remote as well?
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(2019-07-19, 00:47)blizzardreign Wrote: Given these, seems like currently the N2 is the only viable solution for me? Does it come with a case as it seems like it's just a board when I check it out? And where is a good place to buy from? Do I require the Minix a2 lite remote as well?

As I said to do 4K HDR properly you have to look at the aforementioned list.

For the N2, you need the board (2GB is plenty), a black case, power supply and then either a Class10 U1 microSDHC or a 8 / 16GB eMMC (& adapter) for the CoreELEC OS.
I believe a USB3 Stick can also be used.

The MINIX A2 lite remote with its mini keyboard works nicely indeed with it. Any remote really can be used, but wireless remotes mean no missed button pressings and better responsiveness vs Infra Red only.

See the HardKernel website for a list of worldwide distributors for the N2.

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In your opinion wrxtasy, would the Beeklink GT King do every thing that the Minix Neo U1 does.
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Hi,

I haven't used Kodi in years but am looking to get back into it due to my requirements. I have a Plex server and want to send DTS audio to my receiver via an optical cable. Unfortunately, my Panasonic 49EX600 does not support this so I need to find an android box which will allow me to use Plex and send DTS. Is there any you would recommend for this? If it could also support wideline level 1 for netflix for instance that would be a bonus.

Thanks!
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(2019-07-19, 02:59)wrxtasy Wrote:
(2019-07-19, 00:47)blizzardreign Wrote: Given these, seems like currently the N2 is the only viable solution for me? Does it come with a case as it seems like it's just a board when I check it out? And where is a good place to buy from? Do I require the Minix a2 lite remote as well?
For the N2, you need the board (2GB is plenty), a black case, power supply and then either a Class10 U1 microSDHC or a 8 / 16GB eMMC (& adapter) for the CoreELEC OS. I believe a USB3 Stick can also be used.      

Best to use an eMMC for boot and USB for bulk storage.  The Odroid-N2 provides a u-boot or SPI boot option so it's possible to boot from USB using Petitboot on SPI, but it's a bit involved to set up.  A 16GB eMMC is inexpensive and more than adequate for the base system.  It will provide the least effort to set up.

I bought all the accessories for my 4GB N2 including a power supply, 16GB eMMC, and eMMC writer for about 130 USD shipped.  So price wise the Odroid-N2 is within reason compared to something like the Beelink GT King.  Though any Android box is going to have limitations with CoreELEC where the N2 and other SBCs are fully supported.
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(2019-07-19, 02:59)wrxtasy Wrote: As I said to do 4K HDR properly you have to look at the aforementioned list.

For the N2, you need the board (2GB is plenty), a black case, power supply and then either a Class10 U1 microSDHC or a 8 / 16GB eMMC (& adapter) for the CoreELEC OS.
I believe a USB3 Stick can also be used.

The MINIX A2 lite remote with its mini keyboard works nicely indeed with it. Any remote really can be used, but wireless remotes mean no missed button pressings and better responsiveness vs Infra Red only.

See the HardKernel website for a list of worldwide distributors for the N2.

Hey wrxtasy, thank you for the help. I checked out the website and I don't have one in my country, so I'll have to look into having it shipped.

I also read from one of your posts recently that the S905X2 boxes are now going to be supported by Coreelec. Would that be a cheaper option for me? Compared to the N2, do these boxes have any disadvantages for my use case? I.e. Using Plex for Kodi to play 4K HDR bluray rips with HD audio including Dolby TrueHD Atmos.
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