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START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated August 2020)
(2016-07-06, 07:31)Ned Scott Wrote:
(2016-07-06, 03:50)jhight Wrote: This is a bit of an odd question, but what box do you think is best that can be purchased through Amazon Prime (in the US)? I know the Fire TV has some issues and the Wetek Core is not available in the US on Amazon, so what would you suggest besides the $200 Nvidia Shield?

Thanks for any help!

You need to read the thread, see what meets your needs, etc. There's the Pi 3, Chromebox, and so much more.

Sorry for the ignorance, I'm truly new to the idea of a TV box and as such, even the first post (which I read through twice) seems like it is in a foreign language. Basically, I'm looking for a box that will run 1080p and has solid streaming for Kodi and potentially Amazon Prime or Netflix. I don't need 3D, super high quality audio, or 4k resolution, but I do want a dependable box that is easy to set up with Kodi (I've installed it on computers, tablets, etc.) and won't break down in a month.

I asked for Amazon specifically because I have some gift cards I'm looking to use in order to cut cable out of my life.
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Easy answer....

Amazon Prime in 1080p or 4K then the only option is the FireTV2.
None of the other Android based Kodi devices will give you Prime in 1080p or 4K, I'm sure you have seen this link...

Compare Android Streaming Media Players HERE


@DrFaust, Live TV means you need a DVB Tuner to feed Kodi the decoded Live TV streams. Unless you are doing IPTV streaming across the internet.
The only nicely integrated device with built in tuners in the one box is the WeTek Play, its pretty old hardware and will be superseded by the very soon to be released WeTek Play 2.

Personally if I wanted Ultra portability in a Kodi device for travelling that also includes Worldwide power adapter plugs. I would grab a WeTek Hub combined with a large USB Stick or a very modern power efficient USB3 2.5 HDD. The Hub is so tiny it will fit into a shirt pocket easily !

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Thanks a lot!

Actually I just do IPTV. So I am thinking about the Amazon FireTV2 (or the stick?). I have a VPN which works for USA that should allow me to watch Amazon prime right? (And I have a prime account)
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Hello All,

I'm looking for some insight in replacing/upgrading my aging HTPC.

My current hardware setup:
Win7 HTPC running WMC with a 6 tuner Ceton card for PVR duty (.wtv files, No DRM) streamed out to 3 Xbox360's running WMC plugin (hardwired Cat6).
8 TB NAS with movies (mostly .mp4 and .mkv @ 720 and 1080), TV shows (.mp4 and .wtv @ 720 and 1080).

I've been using this setup since 2010 and have gotten my wife and kids accustomed to it. As I'm sure you know, MS was nice enough to kill support for WMC last year, which has left me looking for a viable replacement ever since. I'd like to keep as much of my existing hardware as possible, so I'm planning on using my Win7/WMC HTPC as a backend for LiveTV/PVR, using ServerWMC to stream LiveTV to Kodi throughout the house and my existing NAS setup for movies, etc. I've been tinkering with Kodi on both a Win7 Laptop (2.4ghz i5, 4gb RAM) & Nexus 6 Android phone (both using Wifi) and I believe Kodi (with Aeon Nox 5 skin and a few addons) will fit my needs while keeping the WAF high.

Based on reviews and specs, I think an RPi3 running OpenELEC or OSMC will work well as a media player/TV frontend for my setup, but obviously the Rpi3 specs differ greatly from the hardware I've been testing on. Before I take the plunge and purchase the Rpi3, I'm wondering if anyone here has any experience with using the Rpi3 in a similar setup. Will the Rpi3 running Kodi be able to handle the LiveTV streams from ServerWMC? I've read and searched through the forum but couldn't find much about this, so any help/insight is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Yes RPi3 should satisfy your needs, but buy just one and try it.

However it isn't strong on wifi, I would run ethernet cable if you can at all, or get dome powerline connectors.
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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I'm going to disagree with buying a RPi3, why - simply because its now looking like pretty old hardware and you will have to upgrade again very soon to satisfy future decoding needs. I would be considering more than just a 1080p Live TV streaming hardware platform in 2016.

The RPi3 has no 8/10bit HEVC hardware decoding, no HDMI 2.0, no 2160p support, no HD Audio passthrough, weak 2.4GHz only WiFi, no dual band AC WiFi, no IR receiver, no GigaE Ethernet, no fast eMMC memory and you have to supply your own case and power supply plus mpeg2 and VC1 licences. The SoC GHz clock rate is relatively slow as well compared to other hardware platforms.

I would still use the RPi3 for cheap multichannel FLAC 5.1 24bit 192kHz Audio, 1080p 3D, VC1 Bluray playback and to attach all manner of external hardware and dongles - which will come with excellent support.

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(2016-07-08, 04:21)wrxtasy Wrote: I'm going to disagree with buying a RPi3, why - simply because its now looking like pretty old hardware and you will have to upgrade again very soon to satisfy future decoding needs. I would be considering more than just a 1080p Live TV streaming hardware platform in 2016.

The RPi3 has no 8/10bit HEVC hardware decoding, no HDMI 2.0, no 2160p support, no HD Audio passthrough, weak 2.4GHz only WiFi, no dual band AC WiFi, no IR receiver, no GigaE Ethernet, no fast eMMC memory and you have to supply your own case and power supply plus mpeg2 and VC1 licences. The SoC GHz clock rate is relatively slow as well compared to other hardware platforms.

I would still use the RPi3 for cheap multichannel FLAC Audio, 1080p 3D, VC1 Bluray playback and to attach all manner of external hardware and dongles - which will come with excellent support.

Which hardware would you recommend?
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Nvidia Shield might be a good optioneel.
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If you don't need 1080p 3D or comprehensive VC1 Bluray playback then the Chromebox is a more powerful, solid Hardware solution than the RPi3. It will also have better deinterlacing for TV viewing and be able to software decode a lot more 8/10bit HEVC content going forward. The Chromebox will be faster too due to its SSD, a far better solution for a large media collection long term than the RPi3.

Ultimately even software decoding of 8/10bit HEVC will run into a bitrate Software decoding wall where you need 8/10bit Hardware HEVC decoding.
AMLogic, this year in particular have really hit the sweet spot with their excellent bang for your buck S905 SoC.
AML Linux Kernel and Kodi Jarvis / LibreELEC support has finally caught up to the Hardware.

If you don't want to upgrade Hardware for a while and spend around $100, then the WeTek Hub is the current bang for the buck choice for a Kodi only media playback solution.

I would use a FLIRC IR USB receiver on both the Hub or Chromebox, with a remote control of your choosing and run LibreELEC Kodi as well.

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(2016-07-08, 08:13)wrxtasy Wrote: I would use a FLIRC IR USB receiver on both the Hub or Chromebox, with a remote control of your choosing and run LibreELEC Kodi as well.

I'd also suggest the PS3 Blu-ray remote for the Chromebox or the Pi 3 - as both boxes have integrated Bluetooth, and you can thus use the Bluetooth PS3 remote with no external USB receivers. The PS3 remote has a good selection of buttons that work well in Kodi. It's my go to remote solution for Bluetooth boxes, unless you need to use something with IR specifically.

(The new version also has TV and AVR control via IR)
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(2016-07-08, 04:21)wrxtasy Wrote: I'm going to disagree with buying a RPi3

Just a note that wrxtasy produces builds for AMLogic so may be somewhat biased.
I am also biased as I maintain the raspberry pi 3 builds so I'll put forward another viewpoint.

The raspberry pi is a very mature and stable platform. It has been running xbmc/kodi for four years.
The four year old Pi1 is still supported, and receives regular firmware/kernel updates and still runs the latest kodi.
I don't think there are any other 4 year old ARM devices that can still run the latest kodi.
The raspberry pi has something like a 70% share of openelec/libreelec users, for good reason.

Sure, if a feature is essential that the Pi doesn't support, then you should look elsewhere.
But for the vast majority of users, the Pi3 does everything that is required and runs kodi very well.
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Thanks for the insight and opinions everyone. I may decide to go with something more powerful than an Rpi3 for my main setup (70" 4k) in my living room, but for now I'm trying to find a low cost replacement for the current (WMC, Xbox360) setup that my wife uses in my master bedroom (42" 1080p) and my kids use in our den (55" 1080p). They couldn't care less about 8/10 bit HEVC hardware decoding, 2160p resolution or 24bit audio, so I'm not going to spend the cash just so my kids can watch Disney channel in 4k.

I have a Pi1 that I experimented using Kodi with but, of course, the hardware couldn't handle the LiveTV streams or most of the 1080p I tested with it. I have a Pi3 coming from Amazon tomorrow, hopefully it will fit my needs for the wife and kids. It'd be great if I could get 2 low cost Pi3's for them and save the big bucks for my 70" 4k setup.
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(2016-07-08, 00:46)lords8n Wrote: Hello All,

I'm looking for some insight in replacing/upgrading my aging HTPC.

My current hardware setup:
Win7 HTPC running WMC with a 6 tuner Ceton card for PVR duty (.wtv files, No DRM) streamed out to 3 Xbox360's running WMC plugin (hardwired Cat6).
8 TB NAS with movies (mostly .mp4 and .mkv @ 720 and 1080), TV shows (.mp4 and .wtv @ 720 and 1080).

I've been using this setup since 2010 and have gotten my wife and kids accustomed to it. As I'm sure you know, MS was nice enough to kill support for WMC last year, which has left me looking for a viable replacement ever since. I'd like to keep as much of my existing hardware as possible, so I'm planning on using my Win7/WMC HTPC as a backend for LiveTV/PVR, using ServerWMC to stream LiveTV to Kodi throughout the house and my existing NAS setup for movies, etc. I've been tinkering with Kodi on both a Win7 Laptop (2.4ghz i5, 4gb RAM) & Nexus 6 Android phone (both using Wifi) and I believe Kodi (with Aeon Nox 5 skin and a few addons) will fit my needs while keeping the WAF high.

Based on reviews and specs, I think an RPi3 running OpenELEC or OSMC will work well as a media player/TV frontend for my setup, but obviously the Rpi3 specs differ greatly from the hardware I've been testing on. Before I take the plunge and purchase the Rpi3, I'm wondering if anyone here has any experience with using the Rpi3 in a similar setup. Will the Rpi3 running Kodi be able to handle the LiveTV streams from ServerWMC? I've read and searched through the forum but couldn't find much about this, so any help/insight is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Check out MDL forums for WMC hack to add it to newer OSes
Reply
(2016-07-08, 18:49)crashnburn Wrote: Check out MDL forums for WMC hack to add it to newer OSes

I realize hacks exist to add WMC to Win8/WIn10, but I am done with Microsoft. With the exception of the CableCard functionality of WMC, the basic usability and customization options of WMC have always been incredibly lacking behind Kodi, Plex, etc. The concept of WMC was brilliant, but the execution, implementation, and support are downright awful. My only reason for even using WMC as a backend with Kodi is for it's CableCard support, and even that is only because my wife won't let me cancel Cable until I can find a viable source for Live streams of HGTV, Bravo, and NCAA Football. Personally, I'm tired of the Cable industry overcharging us for technology from the 80's because they can't figure out a way to update their business model to this century.

**Edit: I apologize for deviating from the original thread topic with my rant about WMC and cable, although my contempt for them is the reason I'm here. Pi3 is being delivered today from Amazon. I will update with results for those interested. Thanks again for the insight.
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(2016-07-08, 15:49)popcornmix Wrote: Just a note that wrxtasy produces builds for AMLogic so may be somewhat biased.
I am also biased as I maintain the raspberry pi 3 builds so I'll put forward another viewpoint.

The raspberry pi is a very mature and stable platform. It has been running xbmc/kodi for four years.
The four year old Pi1 is still supported, and receives regular firmware/kernel updates and still runs the latest kodi.
I don't think there are any other 4 year old ARM devices that can still run the latest kodi.
The raspberry pi has something like a 70% share of openelec/libreelec users, for good reason.

Sure, if a feature is essential that the Pi doesn't support, then you should look elsewhere.
But for the vast majority of users, the Pi3 does everything that is required and runs kodi very well.

popcornmix - Can you offer some insight into OSMC vs OpenELEC vs LibreELEC? I tinkered with OSMC a bit with my Pi1 but I seemed to notice in the forums a lot of users leaning toward LibreELEC. Any signifcant difference (performance or otherwise) between them? Thanks.
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