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START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated Dec 2020)
I placed an order on Vero 4k! Thank you so much. I was very close to buying a NVidia Shield before learning about my other options. Don't think it's any better than a Vero 4k. Your advice has been very detailed and thorough. Thank you for assisting me.


Next project!!!! NAS machines.

Sent from my Nexus 6P
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Does anyone know of a US supplier/distributor for the Vero 4k ?
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(2017-04-24, 20:39)sandyw371 Wrote: Does anyone know of a US supplier/distributor for the Vero 4k ?

https://osmc.tv/vero/

my mistake, not usa, but there is world wide shipping
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Was about to pull trigger on U1 but saw some post about troubles flashin it with Libre, so started looking at Vero 4k and it looks like a good suspect with full load of features, but sure would like to find it from a US distributor...

Anyone with real time experience with the Vero 4k, and/or further comments on flashing the U1's
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In the market for a new box myself for kodi usage. This vero 4k looks tempting. I am debating between that and the shield. Is the 2gb of ram in the vero 4k enough to ruin kodi even with the heaviest of skins?

Sent from my LG-H910
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If you are talking about a Heavy Skin that has a bucket load of Textures and Artwork, then 2GB (or even 1GB) AMLogic S905(x) boxes are fine when running the lean and mean OSMC or LibreELEC Kodi Krypton.

RAM quantity has nothing to do with it when we are talking about streaming video. Even 1GB is plenty.

DDR RAM Speed however will have an effect on Media Player Box speed when combined with a fast internal bus to move around all the data.

All those textures and artwork rely on three things to display them at at decent, usable speed:
a) DDR RAM speed.
b) Fast Flash storage - SSD is faster than eMMC and that is faster than a microSDHC card.
c) A decent GPU to draw it all onscreen

So in order of the best for really Heavy Skins:
1) Modern Intel Machines with SSD storage & decent GPU's. LibreELEC preferred.
2) nVIDIA Shield
3) Other eMMC Flash Storage based Hardware like AMLogic S905 boxes running OSMC or LibreELEC

In general the Android OS will add some system resource robbing overheads due to the number of Apps that are minimised at any one time, which then requires low level memory management and garbage collection routines to keep everything running smoothly. There can be some system slowdowns (not video playback slowdowns) on 1GB Android devices for example when these routines are running in the background, killing Apps when RAM runs low.

Each Android OS release gets a speed bump as the OS itself gets further optimised. So Nougat > Marshmallow > Lollipop

You usually don't get that with OSMC or LibreELEC devices, because the sole focus is on running Kodi as efficiently and quickly as possible.
Last time I tried the Aeon MQ7 Skin on the S905 LE ODROID C2 with eMMC for example, there were not any annoying slowdowns.

Combine all that with a Wireless remote control, and you get quick Graphic User interface responses, without annoying missed button presses or slowdowns.

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Hi wrxtasy,

I think my question (Post: #1545) got a bit lost as it was the last one on page 103.

Could you please have a look and let me know what you think? Although I am tech-oriented I am a newbie in the video/sound field so I am a bit lost in your last post.

Thanks in advance,
Alex
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(2017-04-24, 14:08)fortunebogi Wrote: In general I just want to watch 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.

You already have Hardware for Netflix and Amazon so avoid Android all together. Run Kodi without compromises, use LibreELEC.
Especially for Auto Resolution switching 1080p <<-->>2160p(4K)

Simply get a AML S905(x) box like everyone else and run LibreELEC Kodi Krypton on it. Some come with Wireless remotes.
Otherwise buy something like a MINIX A2 Lite Wireless remote.

Eg:
S905 MINIX U1
S905 WeTek Hub and Play2 then buy a Wireless remote.
S905(x) Vero 4K

4K Netflix and Amazon = FireTV2 or nVIDIA Shield. You need a Dolby Digital Plus Audio receiver (TV / Soundbar) to get Netflix and Amazon 5.1 Audio out of the Shield. Amazon FireTV2 has better Audio handling for these Apps due to having an actual Dolby Audio licence.

I believe the FireTV2 can do 5.1 Audio just fine with Kodi. HD Audio is decoded to Multichannel PCM.

I do not recommend cheap AMLogic boxes for Kodi usage. Those generic Android boxes are NOT Android TV devices.
Android TV = Shield and Mi Box + Sony/Philips TV's.

Touchscreen Android Apps usage is a PITA with an Air mouse remote on generic Android Boxes. Not recommended.

Use Android for Android Apps only.

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(2017-04-25, 05:45)wrxtasy Wrote: If you are talking about a Heavy Skin that has a bucket load of Textures and Artwork, then 2GB (or even 1GB) AMLogic S905(x) boxes are fine when running the lean and mean OSMC or LibreELEC Kodi Krypton.

RAM quantity has nothing to do with it when we are talking about streaming video. Even 1GB is plenty.

DDR RAM Speed however will have an effect on Media Player Box speed when combined with a fast internal bus to move around all the data.

All those textures and artwork rely on three things to display them at at decent, usable speed:
a) DDR RAM speed.
b) Fast Flash storage - SSD is faster than eMMC and that is faster than a microSDHC card.
c) A decent GPU to draw it all onscreen

So in order of the best for really Heavy Skins:
1) Modern Intel Machines with SSD storage & decent GPU's. LibreELEC preferred.
2) nVIDIA Shield
3) Other eMMC Flash Storage based Hardware like AMLogic S905 boxes running OSMC or LibreELEC

In general the Android OS will add some system resource robbing overheads due to the number of Apps that are minimised at any one time, which then requires low level memory management and garbage collection routines to keep everything running smoothly. There can be some system slowdowns (not video playback slowdowns) on 1GB Android devices for example when these routines are running in the background, killing Apps when RAM runs low.

Each Android OS release gets a speed bump as the OS itself gets further optimised. So Nougat > Marshmallow > Lollipop

You usually don't get that with OSMC or LibreELEC devices, because the sole focus is on running Kodi as efficiently and quickly as possible.
Last time I tried the Aeon MQ7 Skin on the S905 LE ODROID C2 with eMMC for example, there were not any annoying slowdowns.

Combine all that with a Wireless remote control, and you get quick Graphic User interface responses, without annoying missed button presses or slowdowns.
Thank you for the response. Much appreciated. I think I do want to go the libreelec route. So the vero 4k or the wetek box are my thoughts. If you were to pick one what would you get.

Sent from my LG-H910
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The Vero 4k does look like a soild reliable box and when compared to the OD C2 by the time you finish off teh C2 with case PS 16g eMMC WifiRemote ... its up there in $$ compareable to the Vero 4k which comes loaded...

Minix U1 comes Android and heeding the warnings "Android yuk", if there are any issues jumping to xxxELEC or OSMC that could be a hassle.

U1, commonly availabel in the US with US power supply
C2, commonly available from US vendors
4k, UK purchase availability only

All about same price, when featured similarly... what to do, what to do, close eyes and jump in or just pick up a $50.00 Android box and hope for the best.
I've got Kodi 3 versions running now 14/16/17, 2 on bootable usb sticks 1 Libre and 1 Kunbu, and another version running on my lap-top.. so I've tested the waters and want in before it all collapse's, but alos want a box that could be repurposed with what ever is next or simply something else, for now I want to get streaming on the big screen.
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(2017-04-22, 04:09)wrxtasy Wrote:
(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.

Thanks wrxtasy! Now I'm all set to go upgrade shopping! Wink
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(2017-04-22, 04:09)wrxtasy Wrote: 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.

I can't recommend the KBL/APL devices currently, so long as HD-audio bitstreaming is not completely working in Linux, and as long as the firmware updates for the HDMI 2.0 output require booting Windows to perform. My KBL i3 NUC does indeed handle 10-bit 1080p h264, but then again so does my Celeron Chromebox. And the latter bitstreams all HD audio formats without issue Smile
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I'm looking to build something on Librelec that does 4k60p, HDR and capable of 10bit HEVC also. Cost is no object and I have no problems being elbows deep in PC parts so I'm perfectly fine with a specialized machine. Any suggestions? Passthrough HD audio and Dolby Atmos and DTS X etc support is obviously a must.
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Read the post above yours first. Even the most recent HDR capable Intel Hardware has problems with HD Audio Passthrough and Linux / LibreELEC.

LibreELEC AMLogic S905X boxes can do what you want.

BUT HDR output from Kodi may not actually be sending the required HDR Metadata for proper HDR10 video playback when using LibreELEC anyway.

@wesk05 would be the man to confirm this.

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(2017-04-24, 07:18)discordian666 Wrote:
(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.

I'm just not impressed by their lack of support, and a 200.00 box from what I though was a reputable company. In hindsight spending more on an Nvidia shield probably would have been a better option for long term upgrades, or a 39.00 box and buy a new one every 2 years.

I can't even find anyone on the user forum or from the company itself to explain a proper way to boot into a USB stick. Very frustrating to say the least.

Could you provide the link to the custom Rom? Can't seem to find the one for the plus.

Cheers
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