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START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated Dec 2020)
(2016-04-05, 03:58)wrxtasy Wrote: - 5 years with Kodi hardware is a very very long time. Nothing is future proofed. If you don't want to burn a bunch of money on Hardware that becomes quickly outdated, only buy Hardware that:
a) You can afford to upgrade every two years in the $50-$200 price range.
b) A powerful Intel NUC machine that can Software decode everything if it does not have the required Hardware decode capabilities.

- If you want Kodi and Android Apps like Netflix, Hulu etc. on the one box you are going to have to stick with an Android device. And for zippy Kodi performance with that you are going to have to pay $$ for something like a Android market segment leader like the nVIDIA Shield.

- If you want an Appliance like Kodi device with very minimal maintenance then you go down the OpenELEC / OSMC / LibreELEC route. These are zippy fast minimal Linux OS's that run Kodi over the top.

In order of price running OpenELEC / OSMC / LibreELEC with good online support:
- RPi3
- WeTek Core
- Chromebox
- Intel Braswell box or Intel NUC's.

The RPi3 and the Core can also be controlled via the TV's remote control if it supports HDMI CEC. The Core already has a RF Wireless remote control. The Chromebox and Intel Boxes do not have integrated HDMI CEC. But these Intel Boxes can be controlled via Bluetooth remotes like a PS3 one or you can use a FLIRC programmable usb dongle with any spare IR remote you have lying around in the house.

I'm leaning toward an android box. Of course the nvidea shield looks awesome but too pricey for me.

It doesn't need to be lighting fast, but at least a bit faster than the fire tv, and a bigger HD. The fire tv 8gb hd fills up quick. I want at least double that. I forgot to add I need bluetooth capability or some type of way to use it with a headset when the wife goes to sleep and I need to use the headphones.
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I thought you could use a usb Flash drive or microSD card to save Apps etc to external storage on the Amazon FireTV 1/2 devices ?
https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/...=201739980

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(2016-04-05, 04:40)wrxtasy Wrote: I thought you could use a usb Flash drive or microSD card to save Apps etc to external storage on the Amazon FireTV 1/2 devices ?
https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/...=201739980

Yeah on the box but I've got only one box and the rest are sticks, including my family out of state.
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(2016-04-05, 04:40)wrxtasy Wrote: I thought you could use a usb Flash drive or microSD card to save Apps etc to external storage on the Amazon FireTV 1/2 devices ?
https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/...=201739980

How about the nexus player vs chromebox?
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Those FireTV Sticks should really only be used for streaming DRM Video Apps and very casual lightweight Kodi use with the included remote control.

Personally for cheapish Kodi use only you really are better off getting a Chromebox or similar to just run Kodi exclusively on that with OpenELEC. Remove Kodi from the Android OS equation completely. A Set and forget setup with OpenELEC.

Nexus Player is getting long in the tooth, if you can find one for $25 on sale, it may be worth a look at that bargain price.
Here is how external storage is treated on the Nexus with Android Marshmallow:
https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic...rshmallow/

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(2016-04-05, 05:16)wrxtasy Wrote: Those FireTV Sticks should really only be used for streaming DRM Video Apps and very casual lightweight Kodi use with the included remote control.

Personally for cheapish Kodi use only you really are better off getting a Chromebox or similar to just run Kodi exclusively on that with OpenELEC. Remove Kodi from the Android OS equation completely. A Set and forget setup with OpenELEC.

Nexus Player is getting long in the tooth, if you can find one for $25 on sale, it may be worth a look at that bargain price.
Here is how external storage is treated on the Nexus with Android Marshmallow:
https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic...rshmallow/

Thank you for your help this is great info. I'm liking the wetek core. Looks like it has everything I want and at the right price point. I found some of your other posts on here and just to confirm, this box does do Netflix in 1080hd? What about hulu, will I get at least 720 with it?

I read the wetek core has some wifi issues and might struggle if not right next to the router. Have you any knowledge of this?

Please note that yesterday was the first time I've ever heard of OpenELEC, so please help me wrap my head around this. I understand it's a dual boot box with android and OpenELEC. You recommended I remove Kodi from the Android equation, so are you saying that Kodi on this box will run on OpenELEC and not Android?

Also, how would I update Kodi on this?

It seems like anything I install from the Playstore would run on Android?

Thanks for letting me pick your brain brother and for all your generous posts.
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I have been told to ask my question on here by the hardware forum (to read the whole Q I asked please go there) This is what I want basically to ask. I want to put all my 300 + films on a external hard drives then to a media box and chose my films either from either the TV screen or from My projector screen. The media box must show the blu ray as the same quality as the original Blu Ray + 3D and of course the sound has to be top Q as well it be connected via HDMI 2.0 leads.All I want it to is play Blu ray quality picture and sound with 3d if possible and 4K if that is possible.I do not want any sort of games I do not even need netflix or amazon prime or any other of the basic apps as I have a smartTV with them on already I also do not need the media box to stream around the house to other TVs etc.All I want it to do is to store my films & if possible 3d & 4k some music and photos and be able use a external 12TB 4 bay hard drive via USB to hold my stuff on and that is it and of course be fairly reliable and have kodi built in just to add I use Make MKV as my copies i do not know much about Kodi and I do not know if this list is ok I have up to £200 to spend
HIMEDIA 10 PRO,
CHROME-BOX in & PLAY
NVIDIA SHIELD
As i have said all want to is get rid of my bookcase of films put them on the screen so it is easy for me to look though and chose + photos and some music. I want to be able to use this without having a degree in computer science to use it. P S in will be connected to the internet via a home plug in my download speed is over 75Mbps upload speed 18.55Mbps speed ping 7ms
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(2016-04-05, 16:09)Axxel6307 Wrote:
(2016-04-05, 05:16)wrxtasy Wrote: Those FireTV Sticks should really only be used for streaming DRM Video Apps and very casual lightweight Kodi use with the included remote control.

Personally for cheapish Kodi use only you really are better off getting a Chromebox or similar to just run Kodi exclusively on that with OpenELEC. Remove Kodi from the Android OS equation completely. A Set and forget setup with OpenELEC.

Nexus Player is getting long in the tooth, if you can find one for $25 on sale, it may be worth a look at that bargain price.
Here is how external storage is treated on the Nexus with Android Marshmallow:
https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic...rshmallow/

Thank you for your help this is great info. I'm liking the wetek core. Looks like it has everything I want and at the right price point. I found some of your other posts on here and just to confirm, this box does do Netflix in 1080hd? What about hulu, will I get at least 720 with it?

I read the wetek core has some wifi issues and might struggle if not right next to the router. Have you any knowledge of this?

Please note that yesterday was the first time I've ever heard of OpenELEC, so please help me wrap my head around this. I understand it's a dual boot box with android and OpenELEC. You recommended I remove Kodi from the Android equation, so are you saying that Kodi on this box will run on OpenELEC and not Android?

Also, how would I update Kodi on this?

It seems like anything I install from the Playstore would run on Android?

Thanks for letting me pick your brain brother and for all your generous posts.

I had a WeTek Core, but returned it (I could not get used to the flymouse and OpenELEC).

Netflix is in full HD (1080p) but only in stereo 2.0 (some hardware limitation, big issue for me too)

OpenELEC is dual boot, works splendid. Have a micro SD card with OE on installed, put it in de slot, boot Core, select the other boot option and it starts in OE. And from now on every time, until you press the power button on the remote while booting to select Android.

I don't know about Hulu or any wifi issues (hard wired 4 life)
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What do you guys think between ASROCK BEEBOX (N3150) and PIPO X6S, which would be better?
It seems for the same price of the PIPO X6S (X5-Z8300, 4GB RAM, 64GB, Windows 10), I would be able to able to get a Beebox and equip it with 8GB RAM and a 120GB SSD. I like both as they have the ability to add another 2.5" HDD (might equip a 2TB later on).
But I would like you opinions on both processors. Both will be running kodi on windows 10 (I need other apps not only kodi, and that's the reason of the big ram).
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For what its worth any dual core device should be adequate, I am using an MXQ
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(2015-12-21, 03:43)wrxtasy Wrote: 24p / 10-bit / HDMI 2.0 from here onwards...a peek into the future...without a Delorean !

You will need a compatible 4K HDMI 2.0 10-bit TV to take full advantage of these devices.
10-bit Video gives over 1 Billion colors vs 16,777,216 for 8-bit, see HERE for further details.
Even though these devices can decode 10-bit, video output will be 8-bit only due to lack of video player Software support (this includes Kodi)
  • The new AMLogic S905 has a fresh out of the wrapper, Android Lollipop 5.1.1 SDK, new Linux Kernel and comes with upgraded 10-bit / HDMI 2.0 tech specs compared to the S812-H's.
  • Excellent AMLogic VPU Hardware deinterlacing when using the amcodec decoder. However Android mediacodec uses inferior ff-mpeg2/h264 Software deinterlacing.
  • Speed is a tiny bit quicker compared to a Lollipop equipped S812-H device, but with a reduced number of cores in the GPU/VPU.
  • HD Audio Passthrough is activated in Android API Level 22 Firmware and will work when Kodi finally supports it in Krypton.
  • As all this is very new, users need to be aware the Firmware is immature with bugs currently being ironed out.
  • 3D MVC (half res.) is a mixed bag too.
  • Hi10P H264 Anime decoding is not supported on the AMLogic S905's.
  • Even bug free 10-bit video output is an unknown quantity at this stage, and there are Hardware Problems with current SoC's.
  • After sales support is usually a BIG problem with dirt cheap AML Android devices.
S905's can be used as Fast cheap, 10-bit decoder, HDMI 2.0 boxes for those on a budget. If you can find one with decent firmware they represent good value, just beware of the current bugs for full Kodi feature compatibility.

Anyone have any recommendations of a box with decent firmware? When I google S905 I get a bunch of results, most of which are around the $50 mark... which sounds too good to be true.
4GB ODROID N2 64GB eMMC, Asus i3 Chromebox 128GB, Nvidia Shield, Wetek Hub, AFTV
CoreELEC Nightly, LibreELEC 9.2, Kodi 18.5 
LG 65" OLED C9 and Onkyo TX-NR636 Atmos 7.2
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(2016-04-08, 05:09)jaketanev Wrote: For what its worth any dual core device should be adequate, I am using an MXQ

I just got the mxv and so far I like it. This one was $45. Performance wise, I can't tell any difference at all between it and my fire tv devices, and I have the first gen box and sticks. The remote control is sort of lousy, so I plan on buying an air mouse later on. Doing very well with Kodi so far. I will say I it's better to uninstall any preloaded Kodi and start fresh. It had a zillion addons updating that I never use so I force stopped kodi, cleared cache, cleared data (clearing cache and data before uninstalling will prevent fragments left behind), uninstall and loaded Kodi Jarvis and built my own.
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(2016-04-08, 16:00)Newbie_from_NJ Wrote:
(2015-12-21, 03:43)wrxtasy Wrote: 24p / 10-bit / HDMI 2.0 from here onwards...a peek into the future...without a Delorean !

You will need a compatible 4K HDMI 2.0 10-bit TV to take full advantage of these devices.
10-bit Video gives over 1 Billion colors vs 16,777,216 for 8-bit, see HERE for further details.
Even though these devices can decode 10-bit, video output will be 8-bit only due to lack of video player Software support (this includes Kodi)
  • The new AMLogic S905 has a fresh out of the wrapper, Android Lollipop 5.1.1 SDK, new Linux Kernel and comes with upgraded 10-bit / HDMI 2.0 tech specs compared to the S812-H's.
  • Excellent AMLogic VPU Hardware deinterlacing when using the amcodec decoder. However Android mediacodec uses inferior ff-mpeg2/h264 Software deinterlacing.
  • Speed is a tiny bit quicker compared to a Lollipop equipped S812-H device, but with a reduced number of cores in the GPU/VPU.
  • HD Audio Passthrough is activated in Android API Level 22 Firmware and will work when Kodi finally supports it in Krypton.
  • As all this is very new, users need to be aware the Firmware is immature with bugs currently being ironed out.
  • 3D MVC (half res.) is a mixed bag too.
  • Hi10P H264 Anime decoding is not supported on the AMLogic S905's.
  • Even bug free 10-bit video output is an unknown quantity at this stage, and there are Hardware Problems with current SoC's.
  • After sales support is usually a BIG problem with dirt cheap AML Android devices.
S905's can be used as Fast cheap, 10-bit decoder, HDMI 2.0 boxes for those on a budget. If you can find one with decent firmware they represent good value, just beware of the current bugs for full Kodi feature compatibility.

Anyone have any recommendations of a box with decent firmware? When I google S905 I get a bunch of results, most of which are around the $50 mark... which sounds too good to be true.

You're going to quote wrxtasy about a cheap S905 device and not expect him to yell Odroid C2 back at you?
Reply
(2016-04-08, 16:00)Newbie_from_NJ Wrote:
(2015-12-21, 03:43)wrxtasy Wrote: 24p / 10-bit / HDMI 2.0 from here onwards...a peek into the future...without a Delorean !

You will need a compatible 4K HDMI 2.0 10-bit TV to take full advantage of these devices.
10-bit Video gives over 1 Billion colors vs 16,777,216 for 8-bit, see HERE for further details.
Even though these devices can decode 10-bit, video output will be 8-bit only due to lack of video player Software support (this includes Kodi)
  • The new AMLogic S905 has a fresh out of the wrapper, Android Lollipop 5.1.1 SDK, new Linux Kernel and comes with upgraded 10-bit / HDMI 2.0 tech specs compared to the S812-H's.
  • Excellent AMLogic VPU Hardware deinterlacing when using the amcodec decoder. However Android mediacodec uses inferior ff-mpeg2/h264 Software deinterlacing.
  • Speed is a tiny bit quicker compared to a Lollipop equipped S812-H device, but with a reduced number of cores in the GPU/VPU.
  • HD Audio Passthrough is activated in Android API Level 22 Firmware and will work when Kodi finally supports it in Krypton.
  • As all this is very new, users need to be aware the Firmware is immature with bugs currently being ironed out.
  • 3D MVC (half res.) is a mixed bag too.
  • Hi10P H264 Anime decoding is not supported on the AMLogic S905's.
  • Even bug free 10-bit video output is an unknown quantity at this stage, and there are Hardware Problems with current SoC's.
  • After sales support is usually a BIG problem with dirt cheap AML Android devices.
S905's can be used as Fast cheap, 10-bit decoder, HDMI 2.0 boxes for those on a budget. If you can find one with decent firmware they represent good value, just beware of the current bugs for full Kodi feature compatibility.

Anyone have any recommendations of a box with decent firmware? When I google S905 I get a bunch of results, most of which are around the $50 mark... which sounds too good to be true.

ODroid C2 is looking promising (LibreElec builds are appearing - though early days and so they have some very rough edges)

Wetek have some S905 boxes coming soon. Believe me, Wetek's support for their boxes is in a different league to most of the other box makers. Regular updates, Android and OpenElec (could be LibreElec soon I guess) support, and a team who listen, answer posts here and on their own forums, and who deliver a quality product. They've implemented HD Audio bitstreaming and PCM multichannel in Android on the S812-based Core as a recent update for example.
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Hello!

It's been a week now that I've been looking into the iptv and media players thing, and I can't get to a conclusion. I finally found this forum and it seemed the most appropriate place to ask, I hope you can enlighten me... Wink

By the way, this thread is growing so long that it's virtually impossible to read every post in details, so I started in the first post and then sampled the rest looking for some keywords. Sorry if I missed something important.

What I have now is:

  1. An old 42" 1080p LCD TV (LG 42LG50).
  2. About 350 movies (and counting), between DVD's and BD's (roughly 2/3 and 1/3 respectively), ripped into ISO images and stored in a couple of NAS's (Zyxel NSA310, arm-based, CIFS, NFS, Twonky - no Plex).
  3. One RPi B running Openelec, does a decent job playing DVD ISO's but can't handle BD ISO's well. I have it set up with a hard disk, powered USB hub, and a USB to gigabit ethernet adapter (this will have to be replaced by a wifi adapter). Remote is on the way (Adesso).
  4. One RPi 2 that could be re-purposed as a media player (and the RPi B would then be turned into an audio player or something else).
  5. A decent DVD player and a decent BD player (both Pioneers from 2009, still working good).
  6. Two 10-month olds but only one wife... so I need to help her a lot with the babies and that leaves me very little time for playing with my own toys (main reason why #4 hasn't been done so far).

What I think I need now is:

  1. Watch free iptv (I mean legally free).
  2. A streaming solution for "casual" movie watching (for "serious" watching I can always pull out the discs and use the standalone players - besides, due to #6 above, I doubt I'll find the time for "serious" watching in the next 2 years or so). Streaming from the NAS's. Compatible with DVD and BD ISO's.
  3. Youtube, Netflix, etc. (HD is desirable but I can live without it).
  4. H.264 and H.265 hardware decoding.
  5. Lossless audio pass-through or decoding to LPCM (DTS HD-MA and Dolby True HD).
  6. Open architecture. I want some flexibility.
  7. Wife-friendly interface.
  8. Something that I don't need to put much effort on in terms of updates, re-configuration, etc., i.e., I'd like to set it up once and forget it.
  9. Up to CAD $100 (might stretch that a little bit if there's a good reason).
  10. Preferrably a standard Kodi version, not a fork.
  11. A device with a reasonable lifespan (I'd say 2 years minimum - for anything over $100, 3 years minimum).
  12. A device with decent support and the due respect to the Kodi team (I was about to take the plunge on a T***smart when I read about the GPL "circumvention").

What I think I don't care about at this time:

  1. 3D.
  2. Hi10P.
  3. DD Atmos.

I'm in Canada, so I have somewhat limited options. The Openelec in the RPi works great for me, and I guess it would be the obvious solution (I mean, after upgrading to the RPi 2). But it's not very wife-friendly, I think. And I'm not sure how it will hold up to continuous, every-day-use. I'd hate to have to rebuild the installation from scratch if it crashes. I'd rather have a ROM-based firmware.

So I'm looking into the devices I can buy from Amazon, and there's zillions of them, so it's very hard to make a decision. I'm trying to narrow down the list by the chipset - only S905 devices and Android 5. So I found the Zidoo X5 (it now says "Based upon Kodi 15.2" in the description, is that a sign of them wanting to come clean about GPL?), the Goobang Doos (suspicious descriptions), and the Matricom G-Box Q2 (more than $100). Still can't find a winner.

There are also the older models based on S805, S812, etc. that run from $50 to $80, or even $100 in case of this "Kodi TV box" sold by C-Mall (also suspicious description, but attractive specs, except for Android 4.4). I might take one of them if I can't find what I want in the newer models, just to get going for a year or so, until I find a definitive solution. At least I won't spend too much.

Any input is welcome. Thanks!

VMat
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