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START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated January 2020)
The Celeron NUCs or Celeron Chromeboxes from the last year or so should have no issue with 1080 Hi10P videos. I was very hesitant to believe this myself, but a lot of people finally convinced me that it worked reliably.
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For the last 2 years our daily player is a ASUS CHROMEBOX-M004U Celeron 2955U (1.4 GHz) with 4 GB running LibreElec (jarvis?) It's not perfect but works with our HD Homerun over the air and plays most everything OK - we use a Flirc remote adapter. I do have a RPI2 that plays most everything really well but is extremely slow updating the library - it takes hours. We also have various Roku models that don't get used too often as they can not handle many of our home videos, and we canceled Netflix.. ( Roku does not do Kodi and we prefer Kodi)

As I get my Christmas want list together I have been considering adding the the new Xiaomi 'Mi Box'. I really can not add something very expensive like a new NUC or a new, higher powered Chromebox or even the Nvidia shield. I like the idea of Android TV, as it could also replace our main Roku 3 that we do not use too often these days. The $69.00 Xiaomi 'Mi Box' really sounds good, but I know some other low cost kodi boxes are better supported.

Would the new Xiaomi 'Mi Box' be best or Odroid c2 etc? I don't really need Netfilx but may want to sign up again.
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From Post #1, follow the Mi Box link for the review:

Q. I'm a Newbie on a $100 budget using a 1080p TV, I do not need HD Audio and have no audio/video receiver (AVR).
I just want to plug in and power up, and run Kodi with minimal fuss. I don't care about anything else ?
  • Xiaomi Mi Box, mini review HERE
  • WeTek Hub
If you need Kodi refresh rate switching for smooth video playback and HD deinterlacing for TV streams from the HD Homerun (like the Chromebox or RPi) then do not purchase the Xiaomi Mi Box.
It also has a bunch of other other stuff not working and really is targeted at the moment to the Android TV and DRM online Video streaming market, with a bit of limited Kodi use on the side. Normal 10bit (non HDR) 1080p HEVC video for example produces green screens on the Mi Box with any version of Kodi.

The ODROID C2 is a far far more competent pure Kodi Jarvis media player when running LibreELEC. eMMC storage is recommended for a pretty nippy box.
What remote control is being use with the RPi2 ?

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Thanks for the reply, I suspected the Odroid would be better.

Quote:What remote control is being use with the RPi2 ?

We don't use the RPI2 on the same TV as the Chromebox, actually don't use the RPI2 much at all. We use a Flirc remote adapter on the RPI2 as well. I saved the Flirc settings so it is was relatively easy to add a second Flirc remote adapter for the RPI2 or I guess any future Kodi box. Our real workhorse is the Chromebox (LibreElec) when we watch anything. If I were to replace our current Roku 3 with a second Kodi box on the same TV, I may have to program a new flirc to use the old Roku codes.
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A bunch or IR remote controls (MCE IR remotes, Harmony's) work out of the box with the C2. It has its own IR receiver.

You can also program your own IR remote if you fancy a bit of DIY, and maybe learn something in the process.
Then there is also comprehensive HDMI-CEC remote control built in as well. Same as the RPi2.

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(2016-11-03, 12:53)wrxtasy Wrote: A bunch or IR remote controls (MCE IR remotes, Harmony's) work out of the box with the C2. It has its own IR receiver.

You can also program your own IR remote if you fancy a bit of DIY, and maybe learn something in the process.
Then there is also comprehensive HDMI-CEC remote control built in as well. Same as the RPi2.

Once again, thanks, I am not sure how I have the Flirc set up, but think I am using Tivo codes as we replaced our HD Tivo with the Chromebox kodi box. It has been a while, if the C2 already has a IR receiver it will save buying another Flirc even if I have to use my cheap Sony learning remotes. Yes Harmony is nice but beyond our budget, and I am not sure how good the linux support is for that remote, We have a cheap HDMI splitter in the system that prevents CEC from working, but I really prefer not to spend money replacing it unless I have to do that.
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(2016-11-03, 11:29)Pajoe Wrote: I do have a RPI2 that plays most everything really well but is extremely slow updating the library - it takes hours.
If you are not exaggerating here, there is definitely an issue.
I still use a RPi2 every day and although it is definitely not the fastest device, a library update should not take too long. My library update scans 4 or 5 NFS drives and it can even be done while watching something...

Do you maybe have a very slow mSD card in the Pi?
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wrxtasy & ned - thanks for the replies. It sounds, at least, that I'm correctly understanding the various issues as I laid them out in my original post - which is some small consolation. (Though I'd rather have been wrong about there being no "perfect answer".)

It feels like the conflict isn't so much wanting hi-10P on it's own, but the combination of hi-10P and 10-bit HEVC in a single box. From the threads I've scanned, it seems like any i3/i5 NUC can do hi-10P in software - it's the 10-bit HEVC hybrid decoding that's the question mark. (There are plenty of posts saying 4k 10-bit HEVC is a no-go, but info on 1080p is thin.)

As for buying an android box, then tossing it and upgrading to a Kaby Lake NUC once the dust settles - it just seems like a waste to throw a third of my budget at something I don't plan to keep. (The Odroid is an exception, at $40). But I guess if the Cubi 2 is likely to have several months of growing pains (libreelec is apparently on kernel v4.8, which supports Kaby Lake - but who knows?), and I can't be confident in a Skylake NUC handling 10-bit HEVC, then that's the remaining option.

Maybe if I stick it out until the end of the year, there will be some reports on the Cubi 2 from Kodi users running linux.
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MOD EDIT:

Post transferred HERE to the appropriate thread.
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I see that the odroid c2 is constantly recomended with LibreElec, is there a reason for this, instead of just using the ubuntu image or even an android build?

Im asking because id prefer to have an os capable of more things, like specially using chrome/chromium, etc. I can always autostart kodi from them if needed.

Is that recomendation based on gui performance or just a few extra features?

i really am only going to use a 1080 non-cec display with hdmi audio.
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ximae : I have also been strongly considering the odroid c2 but found that fully equipped with emmc, power supply, shipping, case etc. the price is lower than the Wetec Play2 - but it the Wetec Play 2 may do more out of the box, as well as OTA/SAT TV
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(2016-11-07, 12:49)Pajoe Wrote: ximae : I have also been strongly considering the odroid c2 but found that fully equipped with emmc, power supply, shipping, case etc. the price is lower than the Wetec Play2 - but it the Wetec Play 2 may do more out of the box, as well as OTA/SAT TV

I dont mind fidling with the dev board, I actually have experience and like it as i did a diy dvs project with a c1 almost 2 years ago. Which means i already have a power supply, case, flashing tools and even a tinkering kit for it. So if i end up swapping it for something else ill find a use for it as i have knowledge with gpio tinkering or setting it up as some sort of linux server, etc.

Thing is my experience is bascially just ubuntu/debian have never run libre(open)elec or android as a pure media center. This is why i was asking, to know if libreelec for kodi is that much better as to not be running a standar linux build. even though im even considering an android build for casting stuff from my mobile/tablet.
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I understand, Ximae . I do have some experience with linux, but not a guru in any way whatsoever. I started using it after it became too difficult to get drivers for OS/2 Warp but really did not enjoy using it until the early boxed sets of Suse and later switched to Ubuntu variations somewhere around version 6 ? Not sure, my memory is not as good these days.

Our main media player is a Chromebox running LibereElec, but I also have a couple RPI's, with one Rpi2 running Libreelec. From what I can tell, LibreElec is a scaled down linux, just enough to run kodi. I am far from an expert but would guess that if you already have a good linux machine it will run Kodi just as well.

Personally, I prefer the set top boxes, also like having a few drives attached to the Chromebox as it works as a pretty good media server, maybe not as good as my regular server that uses NFS, I also have an old AIOS HD media player on the network that I only use the internal drive for TV media storage, it's good enough for that quality, prefer to keep the bluray stuff on the nfs server. It's really mess of junk thrown together but for the most part works.
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(2016-11-07, 14:08)ximae Wrote: I dont mind fidling with the dev board, I actually have experience and like it as i did a diy dvs project with a c1 almost 2 years ago.

This is why i was asking, to know if libreelec for kodi is that much better as to not be running a standard (C2) linux build....
Off the top of my head: (LE 7.1 for the C2)
  • Smooth 24p (+ more) video playback with Kernel patching.
  • Comprehensive Audio support inc. HD Audio passthrough and Multichannel 24bit PCM Audio output for FLAC and AAC audio
  • Interlaced DVD video playback fixed.
  • 3D ISO support, at least you can output that at Half - Res Top / Bottom
  • 1080p > 2160p Resolution switching and GUI and Video Scaling bugs fixed.
  • Comprehensive Kodi LibCEC support
  • Then there is the media build editions of LibreELEC supporting backported DVB drivers from far more modern Linux Kernels...
There are more, but that's enough typing...

A proper Linux Distro will always be better for server duties.

As for AML Android, well then that's a different story. WeTek have the superior Firmware for AMLogic Android Lollipop with all the DRM Bells and Whistles.

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(2016-11-07, 17:28)wrxtasy Wrote: Off the top of my head: (LE 7.1 for the C2)
  • ...

Ok thx, most of the things listed dont really affect me as i have an oldish 1080p tv without much more to it and planning of just running audio through hdmi. But it does seem good enough as to at least flashing it to give it a go.

The biggest issue i see about going libelec is not having access to a real webbrowser, damn that chromiuim launcher addon not being ported to arm.
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