$200 or less Kodi box?
#1
I am so confused even after looking at these forums on what to get. I would like a Box or Computer for $200 or less that will 1. run Kodi, 2. work as a local server for my portable hard drive to allow other devices to stream movies off of it, and 3. stream from Steam(not required).

I know the RPI2, and Odroid C1 can do the 1st two if i read right. I had a RPI 1 but it was a little slow on Raspbmc when I was using it and I sold it before. I like the C1 as it has better performance and I won't be doing a ton of coding on it, as I use free hosting site for my websites.

I have also looked at the U3, and XU3 lite, but seems like most the info on Odroid products were U2 or C1, and I don't know the positive or negatives of the two I listed.

I currently have a FireTV Stick, which I like, but It has not USB adaptor for my portable hard drive, and my Belkin router USB port doesn't perform well to use that. I don't know if it is worth it to spend the $99 on a FireTV with the other products out there with same performance at cheaper prices, just with different software, and not locked down.


Other things I have looked at were ECS Liva($99) and ECS Live X($159 after rebate), I believe the first liva had issues with heat distribution, and minimal USB, and have not seen many Liva X comparisions to other products. Acer Aspire AXC-603G-UW13 XC - Celeron J1900($139), and Acer Chromebox CXI-2GKM.

I am able to open up the chromebox and load other software, and have history of rooting devices as well.

Any opionons on which way I should go?

Edit: I will be using a slingbox reciever if possible, so low power 24/7. I could use the FireStick to recieve if needed, I'm not sure if it has enough power.
Reply
#2
You can put together a nice media center for a little over 200. Or you can use an android TV box such as an M8 and install openelec on it.
Image
Reply
#3
(2015-05-31, 05:15)jerrod22 Wrote: I am so confused even after looking at these forums on what to get. I would like a Box or Computer for $200 or less that will 1. run Kodi, 2. work as a local server for my portable hard drive to allow other devices to stream movies off of it, and 3. stream from Steam(not required).

I know the RPI2, and Odroid C1 can do the 1st two if i read right. I had a RPI 1 but it was a little slow on Raspbmc when I was using it and I sold it before. I like the C1 as it has better performance and I won't be doing a ton of coding on it, as I use free hosting site for my websites.
The Pi 2 is MUCH faster than the Pi 1. The move from a single to a quad core ARM and the doubling of RAM (quadrupling compared to first tgen Pis) really helps speed things up. It's a great performer with OpenElec - and does all the basic things really well - frame rate switching, 23.976/59.94Hz support, deinterlacing etc. and new builds support 3D MVC output too. Test builds include HD Audio decode - so you get lossless playback of DTS HD MA and Dolby True HD content as multichannel PCM (apart from >4.0 192kHz which will be down sampled) It's a brilliant Kodi platform - and probably the best supported and most actively developed ARM platform for Kodi.

The CEC support on the Pi 2 is also great (allowing both CEC TVs to control the Pi over HDMI - removing the need for a separate remote control and receiver, AND allowing the Pi 2 to control the volume of a connected amp)

The C1 is a good performer too, and on paper the processor and IO outperform the Pi 2 in some regards. However support is far from great.

Good example. There was a fault on the Pi 2 and the C1 - which it turns out was broadly similar. When both devices were launched it was discovered that they caused AV amps to flash to black. The Pi 2 got a solution rolled out in a matter of days. Odroid who developed the C1 took months, and months, and the final push to get it solved was actually from end users... It only really got solved this month. Until then the C1 was, for many of us, unusable in OpenElec. The C1 also had a couple of hardware design faults in the HDMI subsystem that rendered CEC unusable in many situations on first gen boards, and also some issues with the earthing of the HDMI connector meant that many HDMI cables don't work reliably with it.

That said, the C1 may be a better bet if NAS performance is important to you, as it has better IO bandwidth potentially.

The deinterlacing in the C1 is very good. But it is nowhere near as well supported as the Pi 2. (The OpeneElec builds are unofficial and still on Helix 14.2...)

The C1 can also run Android - which may be useful for you? (wrxtasy reports 1080p Netflix support in Android)

Quote:I have also looked at the U3, and XU3 lite, but seems like most the info on Odroid products were U2 or C1, and I don't know the positive or negatives of the two I listed.
The U series don't have the best support for Kodi. No deinterlacing for instance. The C1 is based on AMLogic, the U series is based on Samsung Exynos. Wouldn't recommend the Exynos ones for pure Kodi unless you are only watching progressive content.

Quote:Other things I have looked at were ECS Liva($99) and ECS Live X($159 after rebate), I believe the first liva had issues with heat distribution, and minimal USB, and have not seen many Liva X comparisions to other products. Acer Aspire AXC-603G-UW13 XC - Celeron J1900($139), and Acer Chromebox CXI-2GKM.

Of those the Chromebox is definitely the best performing solution. The Celeron 2955U in it is brilliant as a Kodi platform. OpenElec runs on it very well indeed. Great AV quality. I'd say it outperforms the Pi 2 and the C1 - apart from the Pi 2 supporting 3D MVC decode.

Personally I recommend the Pi 2 as a base-level box, and the Chromebox as a higher end solution, for OpenElec Kodi. They are both rock solid platforms with great support here.

I have Pi 2s, Chromeboxes and a C1 - and until recently I wouldn't recommend the C1. Now the HDMI flashing issues appear to have been solved, I'm revising my view, but the Pi 2 really does win in support and active development terms. Raw power isn't everything - support and development are really important to the quality of the platform.
Reply
#4
Like Noggin, I too have a RPi2 and a ODROID-C1.

Its my understanding the 10/100Mbps Ethernet and USB hub share a controller on the RPi2 and this can become a output bandwidth bottleneck on the RPi2 when used as a file server.

The ODROID-C1 has no such sharing restrictions with its 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet and USB2 plus it runs quite a bit faster when Overclocked reliably to 1.78 Ghz. It would make a cheap competant file server because of this.

As with all devices there are compromise with the C1 namely you are to limited to output refresh rates of 24, 50 and 60Hz.
EDIT 23.976fps, 29.97Hz, 59.94Hz H264 output now supported when using Ubuntu.
So nowhere near perfect 24p video playback at 24Hz with the H264 codec. You can play 24p at 60 Hz and put up with the resulting 3:2 puldown judder. It depends how sensitive you are or even care about this.

1080p / 24p / HEVC (H265) decoding when using Ubuntu / Kodi Isengard on the C1 results in virtually perfect playback at 24Hz. I've tested HEVC clips at 5Mbps so far with really great results.
The RPi2 and Chromebox will not be able to decode low to medium bitrate 1080p HEVC video.

As Noggin said de-interlacing is very good on the C1. I watch a lot of very fast action Aussie Rules Football (AFL) and mpeg2 video output at 50Hz is superior, particularily with TV broadcasts with lots of motion, compared to the RPi2.

I also get 1080p / Netflix with perfect 24p video sync on the C1 at 24Hz . No 3:2 pulldown judder such as the Netflix video output results I see on my Chromecast.

There are Dual or Triple boot Android / Ubuntu / OpenElec images available as well from the one micro SDHC card on the C1 that I'm using at the moment, and this works well by just selecting 1, 2 or 3 from my remote control upon reboot with a FLIRC usb receiver. All distros are stable now that HDMI issues have finally been fixed. The C1's IR receiver easily maps to my Sony TV's remote control IR - BD function buttons via Lirc as well.

3D MVC is currently under development by Koying for AMlogic SoC's also. Koying mainly develops in the Android Kodi space.

The RPi2 will always be ahead of any other pure Kodi playback platform period. Popcornmix's close association to the RPi developers will always give the RPi platform the leading development and support advantage for Kodi. I'm sure he falls asleep dreaming of Raspberries, he knows the device so well. Wink

If you want perfect 24p / H264 playback with Gigabit Ethernet and HD Audio output then get the Chromebox for a Kodi file server.
Need HEVC / Gigabit Ethernet / Netflix with triplebooting on a tight budget then get the ODROID-C1.
I only use my RPi2 now for perfect video synced playback of H264 / 24p movies.

Have a good look at the Intel Broadwell equipped MSI Cubi mini-desktop's as well for a Kodi file server as you will get Hybrid HEVC decoding with that device with all the previous advantages of the Chromebox.
These have been on sale at various times recently for as low as $109.
Mr Chromebox aka Matt Devo has already tested one and it works well as a Chromebox alternative.

Other options worth spending serious coin on will be Intel Skylake microarchitecture devices that should be released this month.

Smile

Reply
#5
Yep - the 24.000 vs 23.976Hz issues with the C1 in OpenElec is more annoying than I thought it would be. I guess I'm quite picky when it comes to video quality. The Pi 2 does a proper 23.976Hz output with no frame stutter. Still wins for me.

Think the C1 may well be a TV Headend/Live TV platform for me though. Be interesting to see how many DVB streams it can serve, record and play simultaneously.
Reply
#6
I have 8 U3s and 6 XU-lites, and they run kodi great. I have CM12 on app of them,and stream from a mysql db on a synology nas.

Couldn't be happier,but am interested in new nvidia shield TV.
Reply
#7
(2015-06-07, 19:43)spcano01 Wrote: I have 8 U3s and 6 XU-lites, and they run kodi great. I have CM12 on app of them,and stream from a mysql db on a synology nas.

How do they handle interlaced content? I've not managed to get my U2 to do anything half decent on SD or HD content that is natively interlaced. This isn't an issue if you only watch movies or drama that is shot 'film look' - but if you want to watch concert DVDs, old classic TV, concerts or Live/Recorded TV (particularly sport and entertainment) you need decent deinterlacing for the best results.
Reply
#8
Another satisfied RPi2 user here. Just make sure that you get a good power supply. The Pi2 can get a bit flaky with a cheap power supply that doesn't put out a high enough amperage.
Reply
#9
U2 is several generations older than XU. Give a a file and I'll post results with Kodi 15 and mx player or another player. I have 2300 movies and 450 TV shows including twilight zone and Alfred Hitchcock
Reply
#10
(2015-06-12, 02:35)spcano01 Wrote: U2 is several generations older than XU. Give a a file and I'll post results with Kodi 15 and mx player or another player. I have 2300 movies and 450 TV shows including twilight zone and Alfred Hitchcock

Any native interlaced content would be interesting to know the result of. That would be something like an off-air recording of an NBC, CBS or PBS sports show - which should be 59.97i deinterlaced to 59.94p with full motion not 29.97p, or if you are in Europe, something like BBC One HD showing an entertainment show at 50i deinterlaced to 50p not 25p.

My U2 didn't even attempt decent 2x deinterlacing on OpenElec when I tried it. Android is of less interest unless the implementations automatically frame rate switch between frame rates on a file by file basis - as I watch 25p, 23.976p, 50i, 50p content freqently.
Reply
#11
I picked up a i3 Chromebox with keyboard and mouse(Asus 4010U) on sale for $160. I even got a harmony smart control with simple remote for $68. It's a bit overkill for just openelec but the point is if you shop around you can find pretty spectacular deals.
Reply
#12
(2015-06-12, 04:41)dracozny Wrote: I picked up a i3 Chromebox with keyboard and mouse(Asus 4010U) on sale for $160. I even got a harmony smart control with simple remote for $68. It's a bit overkill for just openelec but the point is if you shop around you can find pretty spectacular deals.


Where did you get that deal on the i3 chromebox? I have never seen it go that low.
Reply



Logout Mark Read Team Forum Stats Members Help
$200 or less Kodi box?0
This forum uses Lukasz Tkacz MyBB addons.