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Kodi Media Player Options with 3D MVC & HD Audio
#1
Brick 
Updated February 25, 2018

This thread is dedicated to media players and home theater computers ideally capable of providing all of the following via Kodi:
  1. Full resolution 3D: MVC decoding with frame-packing rendering
  2. Full HD audio passthrough: DD+/TrueHD/ATMOS and DTS-HRA/MA/X, or at least decoding to lossless PCM multichannel (w/loss of ATMOS/X)
  3. 4K (60fps/10-bit/HDR): A secondary consideration, at least for this thread. For now, lack of 4K support won't affect player ratings
Disclaimer: The ratings below are both objective and subjective (but, ultimately subjective). Any media player will either pass or fail A/V tests, but for 3D quality and overall PQ, I rely on my eyeballs Smile. The opinions expressed in this post are solely mine, and I never let manufacturers influence what I write. The Kodi foundation or team have nothing to do with any content in this post.

Please use below as a starting guide, ask questions in this or other 3D threads, conduct additional research and make up your own mind.



Select from These Best Options: (and hopefully save yourself headaches w/the rest Smile)
Players with 'A' grades are not perfect. Nothing is. However, 'A' players get the key requirements of this thread right, with any shortcoming noted. In below, '+' denotes a positive, '-' a shortcoming, and '>' is neutral.


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#1 (tie) / Intel HTPC's or NUC's with Kodi MVC Build / A
=============================================
+ Simply gorgeous 3D PQ! Very detailed, amazing depth, spot-on saturation, and just crystal clear!
+ Support for both MVC MKV's and 3D ISO's
+ Integrated 3D MVC and HD audio playback via Kodi! No external player
+ Perfect 23.976 and other framerates
+ Auto flip-eyes of right-eye first 3D titles
+ Auto-switching to 3D mode for 3D HSBS and HTAB (HOU) videos, if named correctly
+ Full HD audio bitstreaming (inclusive of DD+/HRA and ATMOS/X) (check here as a few ATOM-based options can only decode to multichannel PCM)
+ Plenty of h/w choices; just see thread linked above!
> Requires Windows 8 or 10 (latter recommended), so may not be everyone's cup o' tea
> Not a plug-and-play solution; requires some set-up work (honestly not difficult w/all-inclusive micro PC's; see this spreadsheet)
> MVC solution will remain a Kodi fork and this won't be integrated into mainline (will require continued support by sole developer @afedchin as of now, so there's uncertainly about its future)
- Supports rests on a sole developer, @afedchin, but he has been keep the builds active, and provides limited support in the Intel MVC h/w thread

@hdmkv-recommended hardware options and costs:
(But, additionally seek others' advice in this thread)
  • Dell Inspiron Micro 3050 ($150 or less). Windows 10, 32GB SSD and 2GB RAM all included. Nothing to assemble, fairly plug-and-play. See my review here. For just Kodi use (and maybe web browsing), an excellent value, but obviously not as fast an i3 or i5.
  • Intel D34010WYK NUC (about $190 all in; read how below and in my review). Buy the NUC used off eBay, plus 32GB SSD (16GB is fine as well) and 4GB RAM. Must assemble these yourself, but not hard. Get Windows 10 free this way (it's legit).
  • Intel D54250WYK, NUC5i5RYK or NUC5i5RYH NUC's (over $400). With SSD and RAM added, pricey. And, not really necessary for mostly Kodi use. It's overkill, but if you want a powerful HTPC, may be worth considering.
  • Intel 'Kaby Lake'. Recommend getting dual HDMI 1.4 and 2.0a ports h/w (like this) so you can enjoy 3D MVC and full 10-bit 4K, with 1080p for former and 4K graphics setting for latter. Presently, due to an Intel driver issue, 3D MVC doesn't work when resolution is set to 4K

Image
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#1  (tie) / Zidoo X9S, X8 or X10 / A
============================
+ 3D ISO's + 3D MVC MKV's + full HD audio bitstreaming + full 4K!
+ 4K support includes 60fps, 10-bit, and HDR
+ All 4K, whether H.264 or HEVC, playback very smooth (w/only VP9 isn't perfectly smooth)
+ Excellent PQ with native player
+ Full HD audio bitstreaming (inclusive of DD+/HRA and ATMOS/X) (with both native player and ZDMC)
+ Plug-and-play (just make correct settings as detailed in review link above)
+ 23.976 and 29.970 supported well (FPS in/out) for all 2D (720p/1080p/4K) and 3D (1080p)
+ Blu-ray menu support, including for UHD discs, added

- Minor annoyance is that HDMI mode must be set to 3840x2160 so picture doesn't render at 1080p. However, with this, all content gets upscaled to 4K

Options and costs:
Image
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#3 / HiMedia Q5 Pro or Q10 Pro / B+
==============================
+ 3D ISO's + full HD audio bitstreaming + full 4K!
+ 4K support includes 60fps, 10-bit, and HDR
+ All 4K, whether H.264 or HEVC, playback very smooth
+ Excellent PQ
+ Full HD audio bitstreaming (inclusive of DD+/HRA and ATMOS/X)
+ Almost plug-and-play (just install wrapper, adjust settings)
+ 23.976 and 29.970 now supported well (FPS in/out) for all 2D (720p/1080p/4K)
+ Blu-ray menu support, including for UHD discs, added

- 23.976 3D ISO's still have minor, but definitely noticeable and bothersome microstutters (as output in 24.000) (This issue isn't expected to be resolved, if at all!)
- For hi-res audio, passes 96Khz & 192Khz with LPCM, but only at 16-bit (not 24-bit) (audio fanatics won't like this)
> Requires a 'wrapper' for Kodi to push actual video playback to native HiSilicon-based player, so an external playback solution (may be a negative to some)
> Supports MVC in ISO only, not MKV yet (a negative to those who've used MakeMKV to rip MVC MKV's for their 3D collection)

Options and costs:
  • Q10 Pro (with interbal 3.5" HDD option) is about $205 shipped. They were initially $200 shipped off eBay, so may be worth waiting for price to settle
  • Q5 Pro (w/o internal HDD option) is available for about $149
  • Zidoo X9S (similar in feel to HiMedia, even w/different SoC) is available for $149, and X8, cheaper yet (price TBA)
  • Egreat A5/A10 (same SoC) (former w/o internal HDD option; latter with), but with VidOn XBMC (vs. official Kodi w/wrapper)

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#4 / Raspberry Pi3 with LibreELEC Test Builds / B+
=========================================
+ Small footprint and fairly cheap!
+ LibreELEC provides that turn-on-and-just-use media player feel
+ Integrated 3D MVC playback via Kodi! No external player
+ Support for both MVC MKV's and 3D ISO's
+ Perfect 23.976 and other framerates
+ Excellent PQ
+ Awesome support by Kodi devs involved
- No HD audio bitstreaming, only multichannel. Metadata (describing how things like dynamic range compression and dialog normalization should be handled) will be lost. But, this may not matter to many users
- As no bitstreaming, ATMOS and DTS:X are completely lost
- Slow/sluggish, especially compared to above 3D media player options

Options and costs:
  • About $70-75 for complete kits off Amazon. Includes RPi3, case, mSD card and power supply
  • Add about $5 to above if MPEG2 and VC-1 are important to you, to buy h/w decoding licenses here. Poor, choppy playback without, w/just s/w decode
  • Not worth buying RPi2 to save a few bucks
 


Background on 3D and Formats:
Please see this post in wrxtasy's 'Pick the Right Kodi Box' thread to understand what kind of Kodi 3D boxes are available (and how 3D is implemented by manufacturers). Why can't all Kodi 3D players support full 3D as seamlessly as RPi2/3 (and now Intel h/w with Windows) do? See noggin's explanation here.

For naming your 3D videos so whatever skin you're using properly picks them up, see here for ISO's and this wiki.

Want Full-featured 3D with Windows?
Check out @brazen1's thorough guide! While the latest Intel drivers and Kodi MVC builds support 3D ISO and MVC MKV playback, only way to get menus and additional features remains via external players like PowerDVD and TotalMedia Theatre for Kodi to leverage.

3D ISO's vs. MKV's:
For widest compatibility with 3D Kodi media players, I recommend ripping 3D Blu-rays to ISO, either full disc via AnyDVD HD or movie-only ISO via AnyDVD HD & tsMuxeR (see guide to do this here, and rely on this to identify forced forced subs to mux in). MKV is a more efficient container and requires less CPU power to split/play vs. ISO, but only RPi2/3, Intel (HT)PC's under Windows 8/10, and couple of other players (like Himedia H8 & Zidoo X6) support it.

Another benefit of ripping to movie-only ISO's or MKV's is forced subtitles. A number of players don't support it, so if you separate the forced sub only, you can create a new ISO or MKV with just that subtitle track.

Why Those Weird Vertical Bands on Left/Right Edges of Some 3D Movies:
This appears to be intentional by studios. See this thread over at Blu-ray.com for details.

Right-eye First 3D Blu-ray's:
Most 3D Blu-ray's are left-eye first, but a few are authored right-eye first. This isn't an issue for actual Blu-ray players, but can often be for Kodi and media players. For these, unless the player/app can detect right-eye first and auto-invert, you'll need to do this manually via the player's flip-eyes or swap-left/right function. Otherwise, the 3D picture gets displayed improperly and looks garbled (sort of like looking into a mirror with multiple cracks).

- Bait
- The Boss Baby
- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Trader
- The Darkest Hour (reported by @ArieS)
- Dolphin Tale
- Drive Angry
- Edge of Tomorrow
- Ghostbusters (2016)
- Gulliver's Travels
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
- The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
- Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
- Journey to Space (reported by @ArieS)
- The Jungle Book (reported by @Charger Hellcat)
- Life of Pi (reported by @movie78)
- Pan (reported by @movie78)
- The Peanuts Movie (reported by @ArieS)
- Rio
- A Turtle's Tale: Sammy's Adventures


3D, HD audio & framerate test clips collection: Please see this wiki.

Analysis and Inventory of the Best Uses of 3D:
The Best A-list Uses of 3D:
Must-haves in green!
  • 300 Rise of an Empire (2014)
  • A Monster in Paris (2011)
  • Ant-Man (2015)
  • The Art of Flight (2011)
  • The Adventures of Tintin (2011)
  • Avatar (2009) Still an awesome experience as ever! Can't wait for sequels to hit!
  • David Attenborough's Conquest of the Skies (TV)
  • David Attenborough's Kingdom of Plants (TV)
  • David Attenborough's Natural History Museum Alive (TV)
  • Despicable Me 1 & 2 (2010/2013) Don't miss the made-for-3D end credits!
  • Doctor Strange (2016) Great movie, excellent 3D!
  • Dredd (2012)
  • Earthflight (2011)
  • Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
  • Enchanted Kingdom (2014) A must watch with ATMOS!
  • Everest (2015) Excellent 3D + ATMOS = total immersion!
  • Galapagos with David Attenborough (TV)
  • Ghostbusters (2016) Terrific fun, w/plenty of ghostly, in-your-face pop-outs!
  • Ghost in the Shell (2017) Well-done 3D, terrific depth and elements in 3D planes
  • Ghosts of the Abyss (2003) Terrific 3D; expect nothing less from James Cameron
  • G.I. Joe Retaliation (2013)
  • Godzilla (2014)
  • Gravity (2013) With ATMOS, it's one of the most immersive experiences to be had!
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) Well-done depth, dimensionality
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) Strong 3D, with beyond-the-screen pop-outs
  • Guns N' Roses Appetite for Democracy (2014)
  • The Hobbit trilogy (2012-2014)
  • Hugo (2011) Meant to be watched in 3D; beautiful film by Scorsese
  • How to Train Your Dragon 1 & 2 (2010/2014)
  • IMAX: Deep Sea (2006)
  • IMAX: Hubble (2010) Whoa!
  • IMAX: Journey to Space (2015) Excellent 3D and ATMOS!
  • IMAX Space Station (2010)
  • IMAX: The Ultimate Wave Tahiti (2010)
  • IMAX: Under the Sea (2009)
  • In the Heart of the Sea (2015) Underrated drama, w/solid use of 3D
  • James Cameron's Deepsea Challenge (2014)
  • Jaws 3 (1983) Great use of pop-outs!
  • Jurassic Park (1993) Terrific conversion to 3D
  • Jurassic World (2015)
  • Kong: Skull Island (2017) 3D makes the movie better!
  • Kung Fu Panda 1, 2 & 3 (2008/2011/2016) All 3 have excellent 3D!
  • Life of Pi (2012)
  • The Little Prince (2015)
  • Mad Max Fury Road (2015)
  • The Martian (2015) Ridley Scott directed this with 3D in mind
  • Metallica Through the Never (2013)
  • Micro Monsters with David Attenborough (TV)
  • Moana (2016)
  • Mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014)
  • Nitro Circus The Movie (2012)
  • Pacific Rim (2013)
  • Prometheus (2012)
  • Sammy's Adventures 1 & 2 (2010/2012)
  • San Andreas (2015) Another demo-worthy title with ATMOS!
  • Shrek 1, 2, 3 & 4 (2001/2004/2007/2010)
  • Sin City A Dame to Kill For (2014)
  • Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
  • Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)
  • Tangled (2010)
  • Terminator Genisys (2015)
  • Titanic (1997) Amazing conversion!
  • Thunder and the House of Magic (2013)
  • Top Gun (1986) Another well-done conversion
  • Toy Story 1, 2 & 3 (1995/1999/2010)
  • TRON Legacy (2010)
  • The Walk (2015)
  • Wreck-It Ralph (2012)
  • The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet (2013) Underrated gem conceived in/for 3D!
The Best B-list or Guilty Pleasures in 3D:
  • 3-D Rarities (2015)
  • Bait (2012)
  • Bigfoot Junior (2017) With Ben Stassen behind this, need I say more?!
  • Drive Angry (2011) Very definition of 'guilty pleasure'; terrific 3D!
  • Epic (2013)
  • Final Destination 5 (2011)
  • Free Birds (2013)
  • Gods of Egypt (2016)
  • Grand Canyon Adventure River at Risk (2008)
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth / Journey 2 The Mysterious Island (2008/2012) Great pop-outs!
  • Jupiter Ascending (2015)
  • 'Lichtmond' 1 / 2 / 3 / The Journey (2010/2012/2014/2016) Trippy, immersive 3D digital effects
  • Madagascar 3 Europe's Most Wanted (2012)
  • Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn (1983)
  • My Bloody Valentine (2009)
  • Pixels (2015) An okay flick made better, more fun thanks to 3D
  • Point Break (2015)
  • Pompeii (2014)
  • Resident Evil Afterlife / Retribution (2010/2012) 'Retribution' in particular makes great use of 3D; fun
  • Robinson Crusoe (aka 'The Wild Life') By Ben Stassen, filmmaker behind 'Sammy's Adventures' 1 & 2, and 'Thunder and the House of Magic'
  • Sanctum (2011)
  • Seventh Son (2014)
  • SpongeBob Movie Sponge Out of Water, The (2015)
  • Step Up 3D (2010)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016)
  • A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas (2011)
  • The Wild Life (aka Robinson Crusoe) (2016)
  • Yogi Bear (2010)
Terrific 3D Animated & Live Action Shorts:
  • Coyote and Road Runner Coyote Falls
  • Coyote and Road Runner Fur of Flying
  • Coyote and Road Runner Rabid Rider
  • Delicious Food Fight (Samsung demo) Use a YouTube downloader to get 1080p HSBS version
  • Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' sequence from 'This is It' 3D Blu-ray Pop-out scares galore! Fun!
  • Mickey Mouse Get a Horse!
  • Ruin (2011) Available on 'The Maze Runner (2014)' Blu-ray
  • Tweety & Sylvester I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat
  • Sanjay's Super Team
  • More terrific 3D animated shorts
More 3D Resources:
[H]i-[d]eft [M]edia [K]een [V]ideosaurus
My Family Room Theater
Reply
#2
My Current Testing Hardware

Image

Image
MY CURRENT MEDIA PLAYER | MY HOME THEATER
MINIX NEO U9-H LIBREELEC v18 Leia | EGREAT A5 | NVIDIA SHIELD
SAMSUNG QLED QN65Q7 | Sony 43 Android TV HDR
XBOX ONE X UHD BLU-RAY | PS4 PRO 4K w/PSVR
ONKYO SBT-A500 DTS X | ATMOS 3.2.1
Reply
#3
Is there any benefit of Zapitti 4k over other RTD1195 players? Just wondering if it deserves a separate column.
[H]i-[d]eft [M]edia [K]een [V]ideosaurus
My Family Room Theater
Reply
#4
(2015-03-16, 00:44)hdmkv Wrote: Thought having a chart like this would be helpful as we're getting more choices for Android-based players capable of Kodi, 3D ISO (frame-packed) playback, and HD audio passthrough. Ideally should have all these features to qualify as an all-in-one-box. What do you guys think?

Image

Please help me fill gaps, questions above. Thanks.

i think missing
- gamma: BT.907 ...
- Codec: h264/4k/8bit, h265/1080p/8bit
or Codec : H.265 [email protected], H.264 BP/MP/[email protected] MVC
- external subtitle: 2D/3D/Full 3D, only 2d ....
- net protocol support: SMB,NFS ecc internal(dvd player) end/or external
- share internal memory/HD folder procol support: samba, ftp ecc
- VXP/VPU: function/ menu / enhancement
- player IU function: many/classic/little (live without exit playback)
- player IU design: simple/ nice/ not easy
- frequency switch: 24/50/60, internal/external player
- power mode: on/off/suspend
- LPCM output: 44.1/48/96/192
- DAC quality: good/bad/...
- play store: yes/no/pre-installed(or present)/not all apps is compatible
- remote control WIFI/bluetooth: not work/ install from play store/ proprietary
- hd audio passthrough: DTS-HD/dolby True 7.1,DTS-HD/dolby True 5.1 , only DTS-HD
- thermal dissipation: good/bad..
- unlock root: yes/no
- share content support: DLNA/airplay/miracast/ app proprietary


i suppose is all... Big Grin
TV Panasonic plasma 3D 50GT30 - AMPI Onkyo TX-NR818 Speaker Magnat 5.1 + Front Hight (LH/RH)
AndroidPremiumPlayer blog - HI - Frequency Switcher
MeCool KI PRO - Egreat A5 - Himedia Q10 Pro - Zidoo X9S - Technicolor SKIPPER - Vivant U5PVR - HTPC j3455
Reply
#5
looun, thanks, I did ask, but wondering if all you listed is TMI (too much information) Wink. Let me see what I can add w/o making list too large. I've updated first post to include Rasberri Pi for now. Also, OpenELEC is now a contender, not just Android. I didn't include Windows (with PowerDVD/TMT) as it's too much work to get 3D and doesn't feel like a set-top device.
[H]i-[d]eft [M]edia [K]een [V]ideosaurus
My Family Room Theater
Reply
#6
(2015-03-16, 15:15)hdmkv Wrote: looun, thanks, I did ask, but wondering if all you listed is TMI (too much information) Wink. Let me see what I can add w/o making list too large. I've updated first post to include Rasberri Pi for now. Also, OpenELEC is now a contender, not just Android. I didn't include Windows (with PowerDVD/TMT) as it's too much work to get 3D and doesn't feel like a set-top device.

most important are:
- external subtitle: 2D/3D/Full 3D
- net protocol support: SMB,NFS ecc internal(dvd player) end/or external
- frequency switch: 24/50/60, internal/external player
- LPCM output: 44.1/48/96/192
- play store: yes/no/pre-installed(or present)/not all apps is compatible

PowerDVD/TMT on windows: not support external subtitle with FULL 3D and 5 minute (load app mount iso ecc) for see a film. ....inusable

i think useful have compare with a classic media player like PCH(Top quality) Vten or A-400
TV Panasonic plasma 3D 50GT30 - AMPI Onkyo TX-NR818 Speaker Magnat 5.1 + Front Hight (LH/RH)
AndroidPremiumPlayer blog - HI - Frequency Switcher
MeCool KI PRO - Egreat A5 - Himedia Q10 Pro - Zidoo X9S - Technicolor SKIPPER - Vivant U5PVR - HTPC j3455
Reply
#7
BD-Lite Menu: No.
Oh, but we have the full BD-J Menu.
Reply
#8
I think the so called BD-lite menu is that they cannot work out the full BD-J menu, so they made a lite menu instead.
Reply
#9
I like the support for Full BD J menu support on the VidOn,only one thing missing, 3D iso playback doesn't work in Full BD J Menu...
MY CURRENT MEDIA PLAYER | MY HOME THEATER
MINIX NEO U9-H LIBREELEC v18 Leia | EGREAT A5 | NVIDIA SHIELD
SAMSUNG QLED QN65Q7 | Sony 43 Android TV HDR
XBOX ONE X UHD BLU-RAY | PS4 PRO 4K w/PSVR
ONKYO SBT-A500 DTS X | ATMOS 3.2.1
Reply
#10
Does full menu work now with VidOn w/BD-J 2.0, via Kodi?
[H]i-[d]eft [M]edia [K]een [V]ideosaurus
My Family Room Theater
Reply
#11
RPi2:

- Bootup time of an RPi2 Overclocked on Turbo settings running Kodi 15.0 - Isengard including the 5 second splash screen is 18 seconds.

- GUI Speed in Kodi 15 on this platform is very snappy. Faster than my i5 iMac with Kodi on Yosemite.

- VC1 playback - Yes - enabled by purchasing a cheap as chips Licence.

- DeInterlacing quality beats any some Android platforms. AMlogic S805 deinterlacing superior.

(2015-01-31, 17:05)popcornmix Wrote: For DVD resolution the Pi will do a Motion Adaptive Deinterlace similar to YADIF.
For higher resolutions (e.g. 1080i) it will do Bob. Both will optionally double framerate.

http://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=...pid1910160

- H265 decoding at the moment limited to approx 1.2Mbps at 1280x720p resolution, likely to improve slightly with NEON multicore code optimisations.

Reply
#12
Quote:RPi2 Overclocked on Turbo settings
Not had a Pi before, but ordered a Pi 2. Is it fairly easy to overclock as you suggested? A guide somewhere? Thanks.
[H]i-[d]eft [M]edia [K]een [V]ideosaurus
My Family Room Theater
Reply
#13
Please could you add:

- SACD/DSDIFF, DST multi-channel playback
- ISO, folder playback
- Number of metadata reading
- Number of metadata sorting/selecting
Config, audio player only:
2T HDD <USB> RPi2/Kodi <HDMI> Denon AVR-2313 <HDMI> LG TV 55UF860V
Reply
#14
What do you mean by metadata reading & sorting/selecting? Speed while scraping & when loading/browsing libraries?
[H]i-[d]eft [M]edia [K]een [V]ideosaurus
My Family Room Theater
Reply
#15
Metadata = tags
How to select music with tags.

But sorry I did a mistake about that, this is a software feature and this table list hardware features.
(this is because at this time I am struggling to get better tags in Kodi)
Never mind about the tags.

Maybe ISO/folder playback is a software feature as well.
Config, audio player only:
2T HDD <USB> RPi2/Kodi <HDMI> Denon AVR-2313 <HDMI> LG TV 55UF860V
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