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START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated July 2020)
Ok, very good explanations.

One last understanding question:

I have at home the one or the other BluRay. I was playing with HandBrake and other apps. But do they really deliver 4K/HDR Output or is it just a "copy of the screen"? In other words - makes it sense to backup my BluRays and getting better quality for audio/video compared to the verisons on Netflix/Amazon?

Br,
Johannes
Reply
Hi, bear with me – fairly new to this and looking for some advice. 

First, my “wants” are 4K and HDR playback over ethernet and a generally a snappy box. Netflix, amazon etc I’ve got other ways.

I’m trying to decide between OSMC (Vera 4k+) and Coreelec, and the pros/cons of each. Particularly regarding support going forwards ie. with metadata handshaking for HDR etc. 

Also, if going down the coreelec route I am trying to get to grips with the various kernals, drivers and challenges you folks are facing for the future. Looks like the main AMLogic options are s905x, s912 and a droid n2 with the new s922x (or even s905x2??). 

Is development moving away from S912, and therefore best to avoid? Because of issues with libMali/using android. Is S922x seemingly the way forward? I don’t mind waiting till April to get a droid n2 if this is where the action will be going forward….I dont really know what people mean when "moving to mainline linux", good or bad thing?!

Any input much appreciated.
Reply
(2019-03-22, 09:48)ebnerjoh Wrote: Ok, very good explanations.

One last understanding question:

I have at home the one or the other BluRay. I was playing with HandBrake and other apps. But do they really deliver 4K/HDR Output or is it just a "copy of the screen"? In other words - makes it sense to backup my BluRays and getting better quality for audio/video compared to the verisons on Netflix/Amazon?

Br,
Johannes
 Someone here who could answer me this question?

Br,
Johannes
Reply
(2019-03-22, 09:48)ebnerjoh Wrote: Ok, very good explanations.

One last understanding question:

I have at home the one or the other BluRay. I was playing with HandBrake and other apps. But do they really deliver 4K/HDR Output or is it just a "copy of the screen"? In other words - makes it sense to backup my BluRays and getting better quality for audio/video compared to the verisons on Netflix/Amazon?

Br,
Johannes

If you rip your Blu-rays losslessly - using MakeMKV or AnyDVDHD - then you should get identical quality to playing the disc in a player (as the rip is a lossless copy).  If you decide to reduce the amount of data required to store a disk by re-encoding (using HandBrake) then you will be potentially reducing the picture quality, but whether the loss in quality is visible is a separate matter.  Lots of people find a re-encode to a lower bitrate still delivers the quality they want (and still higher quality than many OTT services) and prefer to have to store smaller files.
Reply
(2019-03-25, 09:38)noggin Wrote:
(2019-03-22, 09:48)ebnerjoh Wrote: Ok, very good explanations.

One last understanding question:

I have at home the one or the other BluRay. I was playing with HandBrake and other apps. But do they really deliver 4K/HDR Output or is it just a "copy of the screen"? In other words - makes it sense to backup my BluRays and getting better quality for audio/video compared to the verisons on Netflix/Amazon?

Br,
Johannes

If you rip your Blu-rays losslessly - using MakeMKV or AnyDVDHD - then you should get identical quality to playing the disc in a player (as the rip is a lossless copy).  If you decide to reduce the amount of data required to store a disk by re-encoding (using HandBrake) then you will be potentially reducing the picture quality, but whether the loss in quality is visible is a separate matter.  Lots of people find a re-encode to a lower bitrate still delivers the quality they want (and still higher quality than many OTT services) and prefer to have to store smaller files. 
Thanks, last question: What happens with HDR in this case (lossy vs. lossless)?
Reply
(2019-03-22, 15:15)wilsouk86 Wrote: Hi, bear with me – fairly new to this and looking for some advice. 

First, my “wants” are 4K and HDR playback over ethernet and a generally a snappy box. Netflix, amazon etc I’ve got other ways.

I’m trying to decide between OSMC (Vera 4k+) and Coreelec, and the pros/cons of each. Particularly regarding support going forwards ie. with metadata handshaking for HDR etc.

Follow the very first linked post over HERE (click) regarding passthrough of HDR Metadata

Quote:Also, if going down the coreelec route I am trying to get to grips with the various kernals, drivers and challenges you folks are facing for the future. Looks like the main AMLogic options are s905x, s912 and a droid n2 with the new s922x (or even s905x2??). 

Is development moving away from S912, and therefore best to avoid? Because of issues with libMali/using android. Is S922x seemingly the way forward? I don’t mind waiting till April to get a droid n2 if this is where the action will be going forward….I don't really know what people mean when "moving to mainline linux", good or bad thing?!

Any input much appreciated.

Currently for AMLogic it looks like the S905D, S905X and S912, and for Rockchip the RK33xx devices, along with HDR capable Intel/AMD will get mainline Linux 4K HDR support up and running properly sometime this year. Mainline Linux support will be need to be added before HDR capable Linux Kodi v19 M hits sometime next year.

There are open source Panfrost (click) GPU drivers being written for the ARM Bifrost and Midgard GPU's (click) that should get added to mainline Linux. This is being done to avoid previous issues with Linux Mali GPU driver licensing, like we have seen with Linux on the the AML S912's.

The next gen. ARM "G" series GPU's in the AML S922X and S905X2/Y2 are currently using the custom AMLogic v4.9 Linux Kernel.
Kernel HDR support is starting to be added for the S922X ODROID N2 for HDR use when using Kodi Leia. It's really early days tho, which means bugs.
Development versions of CoreELEC Kodi Leia on the N2 is not as stable vs the older AML S905D/X & S912 chipset platforms running HDR Kodi Leia at the moment.

It is unknown when these new AML chipsets will transition to a Mainline Linux Kernel. Enquire in 6 months.

Reply
(2019-03-26, 06:39)wrxtasy Wrote:
(2019-03-22, 15:15)wilsouk86 Wrote: Hi, bear with me – fairly new to this and looking for some advice. 

First, my “wants” are 4K and HDR playback over ethernet and a generally a snappy box. Netflix, amazon etc I’ve got other ways.

I’m trying to decide between OSMC (Vera 4k+) and Coreelec, and the pros/cons of each. Particularly regarding support going forwards ie. with metadata handshaking for HDR etc.

Follow the very first linked post over HERE (click) regarding passthrough of HDR Metadata
Quote:Also, if going down the coreelec route I am trying to get to grips with the various kernals, drivers and challenges you folks are facing for the future. Looks like the main AMLogic options are s905x, s912 and a droid n2 with the new s922x (or even s905x2??). 

Is development moving away from S912, and therefore best to avoid? Because of issues with libMali/using android. Is S922x seemingly the way forward? I don’t mind waiting till April to get a droid n2 if this is where the action will be going forward….I don't really know what people mean when "moving to mainline linux", good or bad thing?!

Any input much appreciated.

Currently for AMLogic it looks like the S905D, S905X and S912, and for Rockchip the RK33xx devices, along with HDR capable Intel/AMD will get mainline Linux 4K HDR support up and running properly sometime this year. Mainline Linux support will be need to be added before HDR capable Linux Kodi v19 M hits sometime next year.

There are open source Panfrost (click) GPU drivers being written for the ARM Bifrost and Midgard GPU's (click) that should get added to mainline Linux. This is being done to avoid previous issues with Linux Mali GPU driver licensing, like we have seen with Linux on the the AML S912's.

The next gen. ARM "G" series GPU's in the AML S922X and S905X2/Y2 are currently using the custom AMLogic v4.9 Linux Kernel.
Kernel HDR support is starting to be added for the S922X ODROID N2 for HDR use when using Kodi Leia. It's really early days tho, which means bugs.
Development versions of CoreELEC Kodi Leia on the N2 is not as stable vs the older AML S905D/X & S912 chipset platforms running HDR Kodi Leia at the moment.

It is unknown when these new AML chipsets will transition to a Mainline Linux Kernel. Enquire in 6 months.     

MaxFall/MaxCLL is now being passed through on Vero. It will be part of a future update.

Sam
Reply
(2019-03-25, 09:47)ebnerjoh Wrote:
(2019-03-25, 09:38)noggin Wrote:
(2019-03-22, 09:48)ebnerjoh Wrote: Ok, very good explanations.

One last understanding question:

I have at home the one or the other BluRay. I was playing with HandBrake and other apps. But do they really deliver 4K/HDR Output or is it just a "copy of the screen"? In other words - makes it sense to backup my BluRays and getting better quality for audio/video compared to the verisons on Netflix/Amazon?

Br,
Johannes

If you rip your Blu-rays losslessly - using MakeMKV or AnyDVDHD - then you should get identical quality to playing the disc in a player (as the rip is a lossless copy).  If you decide to reduce the amount of data required to store a disk by re-encoding (using HandBrake) then you will be potentially reducing the picture quality, but whether the loss in quality is visible is a separate matter.  Lots of people find a re-encode to a lower bitrate still delivers the quality they want (and still higher quality than many OTT services) and prefer to have to store smaller files.   
Thanks, last question: What happens with HDR in this case (lossy vs. lossless)?  

If your are ripping UHD Blu-rays then it will depend how you rip them. HDR10 should survive all lossless ripping solutions. Dolby Vision is more complex - and no current Kodi solution that will play the UHD BD flavour of DV (which is a dual-stream variant), however DV UHD BDs have an HDR10 basic stream, and a lossless rip of that should be fine as an HDR10 rip.

If you transcode to reduce your bitrate you will need a transcode solution that is HDR-aware and preserves metadata etc.
Reply
Hi! I just revived and update on my mi box 3 that says auto frame rate among other fixes. I have it connected to a 1080 projector, so I can't test if it works for FHD-4k switching.
Can anybody confirm this? I think it would be great news if it does...
Reply
(2019-03-28, 15:03)Matruchoti Wrote: Hi! I just revived and update on my mi box 3 that says auto frame rate among other fixes. I have it connected to a 1080 projector, so I can't test if it works for FHD-4k switching.
Can anybody confirm this? I think it would be great news if it does...

https://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid...3&page=181
Reply
For those interesed in the VIM 1 with the S905X for use in Kodi, Khadas Official Store has it on offer, when you combine it with Aliexpress offer, you can get a nice deal for it.

I was going to buy the Le Potato 2GB with the same S905X, but Khadas's VIM 1 Basic offers an enclosure and a USB - C cable for almost the same price($45), after you apply the $5 coupon of new user in Aliexpress and the $5 coupon for orders above $50 dollars: SAVE5

This is the link for the VIM 1 Basic, remember, coupon for first user of Aliexpress and coupon SAVE5. I used the mobile application to save a bit more:

https://es.aliexpress.com/store/product/...14160.html

Hurry up !
Reply
Hi everyone,
I'm reading the various posts on hardware and software but I can't draw a conclusion. I recently bought the LG 55c8 TV and would like to buy a mini PC to install kodi to watch 4k HDR videos. Can you give me some information about hardware and software?
Thank you so much!
Reply
@wrxtasy It's a shame I can't give you a thumbs up for each and every time you update this topic. You are a mediaplayer hero and everytime someone asks me about mediaplayers I refer to this topic. Keep up the good work. It is very much appreciated.

What do you think about the players from Zappiti? I've read that people are trying to get Kodi working on them. If Zappiti = Dune, then it's quality should be ok, but the price is very high compared to other mediaplayers.
Some time ago, I asked you about the Eminent 7680 in this topic. You then said it was just an ordinary player. I've used it for some time now and I am content with it, and see it also being advised for Kodi here and there. Has your opinion changed, or do you still think it is ordinary. And more to the point, what is "ordinary" in this case. Good? Good enough? Mediocre? Nothing special?
Reply
(2019-03-31, 19:45)framir Wrote: Hi everyone,
I'm reading the various posts on hardware and software but I can't draw a conclusion. I recently bought the LG 55c8 TV and would like to buy a mini PC to install kodi to watch 4k HDR videos. Can you give me some information about hardware and software?
Thank you so much!

Hi,

We do Not recommend a Mini PC for 4K HDR Kodi - that is definitely Not a Plug n Play solution.

What is Plug n Play is something like the Vero 4K+ running OSMC Kodi or the Apple TV 4K running MrMC (heavily modded Kodi Jarvis).

The very first Post of this thread has this link:

The Best Of - categorised - media players on the market (click)

Reply
(2019-04-02, 02:42)Sjors125 Wrote: @wrxtasy It's a shame I can't give you a thumbs up for each and every time you update this topic. You are a mediaplayer hero and everytime someone asks me about mediaplayers I refer to this topic. Keep up the good work. It is very much appreciated.

Cheers. Appreciated.

Quote:What do you think about the players from Zappiti? I've read that people are trying to get Kodi working on them. If Zappiti = Dune, then it's quality should be ok, but the price is very high compared to other mediaplayers.
Some time ago, I asked you about the Eminent 7680 in this topic. You then said it was just an ordinary player. I've used it for some time now and I am content with it, and see it also being advised for Kodi here and there. Has your opinion changed, or do you still think it is ordinary. And more to the point, what is "ordinary" in this case. Good? Good enough? Mediocre? Nothing special?

Over the years there is one thing that stands out - and that is buying something that is both mainstream & popular gives users a strong chance that a device will be supported for a pretty long time AND get all important, timely Firmware updates. That is really, really important, especially if you head down the Android road.

The other path to take are the Open Source solutions for Kodi - like LibreELEC, OSMC or CoreELEC. The more (passionate) developers the better, and very often these guys are ahead of the mainstream devices for Kodi features support.

I've no experience with Zappiti or Dune. @hdmkv or someone else may have some input.
But if a device is a really narrowly focussed, custom solution selling into a very limited market then I would be wary of any device long term.

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