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START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated Dec 2020)
Still looking... Rasberry Pi3 is bubbling to the top...

Help me out again... searched memory but did not find.

I see many boxes advertised with 1g/8g, 1g/16g, 2g/16... understanding the technology, but in terminology of Kodi streaming video how do the 2 different memories come into play and what are the advantages or disadvantages of more of one vs. the other., then there are SD and microsd slots...
(2017-04-21, 21:59)runningnaked Wrote: 10bit HEVC
10bit h264 (anime nerd, this comprises a sizeable chunk of my library; understood SW decode only)....

Given those factors, I think a WeTek Play or a Kaby Lake i3 NUC would be what I need? There's definitely a big price difference, but I think the big question for me is: does the WeTek has the horsepower to software decode 10bit h264 with multichannel FLAC ?
You are going to have to get a Kaby Lake i3 to have enough CPU Ponies to Software decode 1080p 10bit H264 Anime aka Hi10P. The WeTek does not have enough Horsepower.
The Kaby Lake i3 will also cover your HDMI 2.0 / 4K 10bit HEVC needs going forward.

(2017-04-22, 02:09)sandyw371 Wrote: Still looking... Raspberry Pi3 is bubbling to the top...

Help me out again... searched memory but did not find.

I see many boxes advertised with 1g/8g, 1g/16g, 2g/16... understanding the technology, but in terminology of Kodi streaming video how do the 2 different memories come into play and what are the advantages or disadvantages of more of one vs. the other., then there are SD and microsd slots...
If you are looking at the RPi then to use Kodi on it, most people run LibreELEC Kodi.
The lean mean LibreELEC Operating System does not need much RAM at all. 1GB is plenty for streaming video, even for 4K.

When you see (Android) Boxes advertised as 1g/8g they refer to 1GB RAM and 8GB of onboard Flash eMMC Storage.

Those 1g/8g AMLogic S905(x) Android Boxes are pretty popular these days for cheap LibreELEC Kodi Krypton because they pretty much handle everything, including 8/10bit 1080p/4K HEVC which cannot be Hardware decoded by the RPi's.

Users are just flashing (writing) LibreELEC Kodi to microSDHC cards and plugging that into these AML S905 Android Boxes and the box then boots straight into LibreELEC Kodi Krypton.

eMMC Flash Storage is quicker then SD Card storage. Particularly for write (storage) operations.

Q. I need Android 5.1/7.1 Audio passthrough (inc. Dolby Atmos/TrueHD, DTS:X/HD-Master) when using Kodi Krypton ?
NOTE: Android devices must meet the Google IEC61937 standard, more details in Welcome to Android MediaCodec standards
WeTek Hub
MINIX U9
nVIDIA Shield running Android Nougat (**Be aware - Audio passthrough is unreliable for some users)
Xiaomi Mi Box (uses backported Nougat Audio code)


Do you guys recommend the Minix U9? Pure kodi machine, few add-ons like cinema vision, extra info, and mimic skin.

I have an AV receiver, so audio passthrough is very important. I don't need Atmos or DTS:X but do need HD-Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD. I may upgrade to an LG OLED panel in the near future if the 65' model becomes affordable. So maybe HDR support may be important? I would love to be able to control it with my harmony 650. What do you guys recommend. Budget = As cheap as possible while meeting requirements. It will be replacing an HTPC that will be repurpose to NAS machine (unraidHuh). Currently it supports HD audio and 1080P playback thanks to discrete gpu HD 6450. So that's my baseline. The new KODI box will be pulling data from my main machine (windows 10 pro, multiple hdds, multiple drive letters) and the repurpose HTPC (NAS Machine).
Pure Kodi Machine = No Android OS that will only get in the way of booting straight into Kodi itself.

So that means a LibreELEC Kodi or OSMC capable Hardware.

Candidates with working (Linux) HD Audio passthrough and HDMI 2.0 / 8/10bit 1080p/2160p HEVC decoding - Plus eMMC Flash Storage:
(Budget = As cheap as possible while meeting requirements)

- WeTek Hub
- ODROID C2
- Vero 4K (OSMC)
- Various AMLogic S905(x) boxes, where the internal Android OS / eMMC is overwritten by LibreELEC Kodi.

I have a Minix NEO X8-H Plus which I purchased last year. I was new too this Kodi idea, and I researched and seemed like Minix was the best unit on the market.

I am not happy because new Kodi v17.1 is available and apparently the Minix box can't run this software.

Seems bad as the box is only 1 year old, and my iPhone is 4 years old and software updates are still available.

I will sell this Minix box and try to find a device that has a longer upgrade life.

I have been looking at the Wetek Core and was wondering if this would be my best choice for a good product and an extended upgrade cycle.

Seems like it must be good as the development team are using this box for testing.

Thanks in advance.
Try LibreELEC Kodi, running from a Samsung or Sandisk Class 10 microSDHC card on the AMLogic S812 X8-H Plus:
https://forum.libreelec.tv/thread-2877.html

(2017-04-23, 19:48)wrxtasy Wrote: Try LibreELEC Kodi, running from a Samsung or Sandisk Class 10 microSDHC card on the AMLogic S812 X8-H Plus:
https://forum.libreelec.tv/thread-2877.html

Is it possible to us a USB stick for this method?
All support and questions for LE custom compiles over in the LibreELEC forum pls. I actually have no idea.

(2017-04-23, 19:58)wrxtasy Wrote: All support and questions for LE custom compiles over in the LibreELEC forum pls. I actually have no idea.

thank you
I've just read that the next big Windows update will bring support for the Qualcomm 935 processor. This will probably mean a completely new type of box so maybe we should hold back on buying until Christmas.
(2017-04-23, 19:33)JamesGrey Wrote: I have a Minix NEO X8-H Plus which I purchased last year. I was new too this Kodi idea, and I researched and seemed like Minix was the best unit on the market.

I am not happy because new Kodi v17.1 is available and apparently the Minix box can't run this software.

Seems bad as the box is only 1 year old, and my iPhone is 4 years old and software updates are still available.

I will sell this Minix box and try to find a device that has a longer upgrade life.

I have been looking at the Wetek Core and was wondering if this would be my best choice for a good product and an extended upgrade cycle.

Seems like it must be good as the development team are using this box for testing.

Thanks in advance.

Still they aren't totally useless, they'll still play back the majority of files anyway, its just addon support will eventually die. I'm still using xbmc 13.3 and kodi 16 (for the newer format files) and i've barely had any files refuse to play at all (mostly 10bit hevc but I have the shield for that).

I'd not get a minix ever again though, their support has been pretty damn atrocious to the point I just loaded the box up with a custom rom from Freaktab and relegated it to to the spare bedroom.
(2017-04-23, 10:23)wrxtasy Wrote: Pure Kodi Machine = No Android OS that will only get in the way of booting straight into Kodi itself.

So that means a LibreELEC Kodi or OSMC capable Hardware.

Candidates with working (Linux) HD Audio passthrough and HDMI 2.0 / 8/10bit 1080p/2160p HEVC decoding - Plus eMMC Flash Storage:
(Budget = As cheap as possible while meeting requirements)

- WeTek Hub
- ODROID C2
- Vero 4K (OSMC)
- Various AMLogic S905(x) boxes, where the internal Android OS / eMMC is overwritten by LibreELEC Kodi.

The WeTek Hub looks good, it seems like it advertises Android as the OS. Will I have to overwrite it? Also it's currently sold out. Does it usually stay sold out for a long period? I think it's very affordable! I didn't like the ODROID C2 too much. I feel like the WeTek Hub looks and is better.

Maybe it's just their beautiful website but I really dig the Vero 4k OSMC, It has 2GB of RAM, it should help with the UI, Trailers, Fanart, box-art and logos. Anything I should know before pulling the trigger? Is OSMC a custom OS? Will I go to some app store and download kodi? Will I overwrite it with LibreELEC?

Lastly thank you so much for guiding me in the correct direction. Your first post is amazing!
Cheers.

Both OSMC and LibreELEC Kodi are Linux based Operating systems, OSMC is a bit more open compared to the Appliance like LibreELEC OS.
Most parts of the LibreELEC OS are read only to prevent power failure system corruption and inadvertent user breakage. LE. tries to be as bulletproof as possible.

Both are optimised to run Kodi Krypton with minimal system resource robbing overheads like an Android OS that just gets in the way of using Kodi.
Both OS's already include optimised versions of Kodi Krypton.

https://osmc.tv/about/
http://kodi.wiki/view/LibreELEC

The Vero 4K will run Kodi Krypton out of the box. No extra installation needed.
Plug n Play, with it nice Integrated Wireless remote. It really is a complete setup with excellent after sales support.

Wireless remotes are much better than Infra Red only ones on 99% of AMLogic boxes.

LibreELEC AMLogic S905 devices will have to have the OS flashed to a microSDHC card first and that is then inserted into the box and booted:
https://libreelec.tv/downloads/

The WeTek S905 Hub / Play2 devices are dual boot - Android OS <<--->> LibreELEC Kodi. Remotes are Infra Red only.

Hi wrxtasy,

Thanks a lot for this amazing guide, I found some really useful information.

I am tech oriented but quite new on video/sound so I thought of asking your advice for my purchase:

I have a new 4k Smart TV and I can see Netflix etc there so I only need to purchase a box for Kodi. (I'd rather not have a laptop hanging around with an hdmi cable)

I used to have a first-gen Amazon stick and I was very happy with it running Kodi on my old tv, unfortunately, it freezes and reboots on my new tv so I think it's time to purchase a new device.

I am really in between a cheap 2GB Android TV box (can find ABOX A1 Plus Smart for around 40£ on Amazon.uk) or the Amazon fire TV (80£). Although Kodi was running fine on my first-gen Amazon fire TV stick, the new stick still has 1GB Ram so I think I would be better buying something with 2GB.

One main difference I have identified is that with the fire TV I will be using the remote while with the Android box I would probably need a wireless mouse as the remote doesn't really navigate properly within Kodi.

Finally in regards to audio I have a 5.1 surround system hooked on the TV, my impression is that both these 2 options would make use of it if the actual content I watch is 5.1, is that correct?

In general I just want to wach HD content (I guess 4k will be a good investment for the future since there is not much available now but will be in the future and I got the TV) with 5.1 audio. Any similar hardware that I can find in Amazon.uk is fine too.

Any advice would be very much appreciated.
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