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START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated September 2017)
#1
Exclamation 
September 2017 update

Time to really simplify the Hardware section for Newbies, this time I'm trying to not get bogged down in heavy technical details.

NOTE: There are will be limitations and bugs with ALL the boxes listed below, nothing is perfect, particularly in the Android Kodi media player world. If you want bugs sorted out in the useful shelf life of any media player you need after sales Android Firmware support. Without this support you are in trouble.

I'm only going to list well Supported Kodi Hardware here.
Dirt Cheap, Firmware unsupported, buggy Android Kodi Boxes from China (usually AMLogic). Really are a waste of time as you will constantly be upgrading trying to find something that works reliably with Android Kodi Krypton. Those are Strictly DIY devices.

The Kodi forum will NOT help you at all with device Firmware support. Nor Banned Kodi Addon support.

With such cheap Android boxes, users get suckered in by fancy tech specs and flashy advertising - promising that everything will just work - when that is usually far from the truth. You have been warned !


Links to individual Hardware threads for the devices discussed below >>> Click HERE


Questions and Answers - Recommended Kodi devices.

BIG TIP for Newbies - pick what Kodi media player features are most important to you first, make a list.

Nearly all Kodi devices in this Q&A post will come with Kodi community, and proper seller and manufacturer after sales support.

$$$$ - Show me the Money !

Q. I'm a Newbie on a tight budget using a 1080p TV, I do not need HD Audio and have no audio/video receiver (AVR).
I just want to plug in and power up, and run Kodi with minimal fuss. I don't care about anything else ?
  • Xiaomi Mi Box, mini review HERE
  • WeTek Hub

Q. Best 1080p/4K Bang for the Buck - Kodi only, HD Audio (bitstreaming) device ?
(All running LibreELEC Kodi Krypton, unless noted. Easiest to hardest to setup, Wireless remote purchase recommended)
  • Vero 4K (OSMC)
  • ODROID C2 / WeTek Hub & Play2
  • MINIX U1
  • Various cheap AMLogic S905(X) devices.
  • Lots of Extra info in this POST

Q. What are the recommended best Bang for the Buck microSDHC cards ?
Do not base you decision on sequential speeds, Its Random 4K Read / Write performance that are most important for Kodi and LibreELEC speed.
The Best microSD Cards (click)


Q. Those AMLogic S905 boxes look grossly underpowered for 4K HEVC(H265), should I be looking at Intel NUC's. ?
Only the very recent Intel Apollo/Kaby Lake series NUCs will match the cheap AMLogic S905's for video playback (excluding 3D MVC).
The NUCs are more powerful for CPU software video decoding , but that's not really that relevant when Hardware decoding all video content using Kodi Krypton on a S905.




Speed - Red boxes run faster !

Q. Fastest - Appliance like - pure - Kodi only boxes booting straight into [/url]LibreELEC Kodi or OSMC Kodi
(Highly recommended for those needing Kodi only - Vero 4K and C2 include TV / AVR - HDMI-CEC control)
  • Intel / AMD x86-64.
  • Chromeboxes, the ASUS being the most popular.
  • ODROID C2 (using eMMC Flash storage, can be CPU/RAM overclocked)
  • Vero 4K running OSMC Kodi

Q. Fastest, most powerful Android TV - Kodi streaming box ?
  • NVIDIA Shield

Q. Fastest, most powerful regular Android tablet OS - Kodi streaming box ?
  • MINIX U9-H

Q. What simply upgrade can I do to increase Kodi media player responsiveness ?
  • Buy a Wireless remote, like the highly compatible MINIX A2 Lite or Wireless Harmony Remotes.
  • There is also a OSMC Wireless remote available that works out of the box with LibreELEC.




What about DIY ?

Q. I like to do a bit of DIY and don't mind getting my hands a little bit dirty and learning something in the process ?
(all devices running LibreELEC Kodi, unless noted)
  • RPi3 (LibreELEC or OSMC)
  • ODROID C2
  • Vero 4K (OSMC)
  • WeTek Hub - dual boot LE / unofficial Android TV ROM
  • WeTek Play2 - dual boot LE / unofficial Android OS ROM and SPMC
  • Intel / AMD x86-64 computer
  • ASUS Chromebox
  • Various cheap AMLogic S905(x) / S912 devices.

Q. Which devices are reference hardware used by LibreELEC developers themselves to run Kodi on ?
NOTE: RPI2 = RPi3 ; Generic = Intel / AMD x86_64
These devices run stable LibreELEC and can autoupdate themselves as well.
Q. I need the most stable, proven, bullet proof, 1080p Kodi use only,  boxes going around ?
NOTE: No 8/10bit HEVC Hardware decoding with these devices so there will be limitations Software decoding and playing back 10bit content.
  • ASUS Chromebox running LibreELEC
  • RPi3

Q. Most versatile Kodi boxes, that very easily dual boot Android / unofficial Android TV to LibreELEC Kodi:
(Also includes proper DRM & HDCP 2.2 for 4K Android TV Netflix and if using a Play2, a  TV Tuner + SPDIF(Optical))
  • WeTek Hub
  • WeTek Play2




AAA - Android TV, Apple and Amazon ?

Q. Kodi boxes that are the most family friendly, with Apps specifically designed for use on TV's, virtually Plug n Play ?
SPMC (Kodi fork aka modded Kodi version) allows SPMC media library, Android TV voice searching.
  • Xiaomi Mi Box
  • NVIDIA Shield
  • Amazon devices, using MrMC (Kodi fork)
  • Apple TV4 running MrMC or Kodi itself via some DIY and the iPA.....

Q. I need proper 1080p/4K Amazon Prime Video streaming, with a DIY sideload of the Kodi App for Amazon Hardware ?
Note: The FireTV2 can App Resolution switch from 1080p <--> 2160p(4K). The Shield cannot but it is HDR capable.
(Click) Playing 4K Ultra HD Videos on Fire TV
This is important for 1080p Android Apps. 1080p > 2160p video upscaling is usually superior when a 4K TV handles all upscaling. Compare Android Streaming Media Players HERE


Q. What about buying one of those Android TV's from Sony or Sharp/Philips for Kodi use ?
  • May be OK so long as you are not a demanding Kodi user expecting everything to just "work"
  • Firmware is generally poor for Kodi Audio compatibility. Forget about HD Audio and even basic 5.1 DTS Audio will cause issues.
  • A very informative Review from @CiNcH is worth reading - The Sony Android TV Experience (2017)

Q. Best devices that have an option to purchase a Top quality wireless remote control with a Integrated Mini Keyboard
  • Various MINIX AMLogic Boxes, using the A2/A3 Lite Remote
  • The Wirless MINIX A2 Lite remote is a quality remote that works with a LOT of media players - Plug n Play




What exactly is Android TV (click) ?
  • Android TV has a different Google Playstore vs the regular tablet Google Playstore. Android TV specific Apps cannot be installed from the regular tablet Google Playstore and there is a more limited Android TV Apps selection.  But those ATV Apps are much easier to use, especially when used with included Wireless Voice remotes.
  • Regular tablet Android Apps usually do not work properly on Android TV devices.
  • Android TV boxes (think Shield, Mi Box, unofficial ATV Hub / Play2 ROM) use a simple remote and simple Apps designed for use on the TV screen. Amazon FireTV hardware uses a simple Interface and Wireless remotes as well. All devices can use Voice searching with a compatible Wireless remote.
  • All other regular tablet/touchscreen based - Android OS boxes need a Wireless Air Mouse or touchpad Keyboard to use touchscreen Apps.  Those Apps are much harder to use on a TV screen. A lot of people hate using tablet Apps on a TV screen with any sort of mouse.
  • Included Infra Red only remotes will not work properly with touchscreen Apps. All versions of Kodi do not need an Air Mouse or touchpad Keyboard to use properly.
  • Android TV Apps usually do not work on tablet Android devices.




4K HEVC & HDR devices

Q. What about devices for up to 4K HEVC (H265) video playback over HDMI 2.0 to my non HDR capable 4K TV ?
  • All AMLogic S9xx devices including WeTek's, MINIX U1, ODROID C2 + others
  • MINIX U9
  • Vero 4K (OSMC)
  • Xiaomi Mi Box
  • NVIDIA Shield
  • Amazon FireTV2 (limited to [email protected])
  • HiMedia Q5/Q10 Pro
  • Zidoo X9S
  • Intel / AMD x86-64 computer with a GeForce GTX 960 or later Nvidia graphics card, preferably
    GeForce GT 1030 or better. (Windows 7/10 only)
  • Intel x86-64 computer with Apollo Lake or Kaby Lake CPU (users still need to check for Displayport > HDMI 2.0 adapter issues)

NOTE: 99% of devices running the Android OS cannot Automatically Resolution Switch from 1080p to 4K like you will get with other non-Android Kodi devices. 4K LibreELEC devices have no such auto resolution switching issues.

Demanding potential NVIDIA Shield owners would be advised to read this upscaling thread
Sharper video is usually displayed when upscaling SD/HD video to 4K using a 4K TV's upscaling Hardware, instead of the media players.


Q. I need HDR10 and 4K video playback support ?
Have you got all your HDR10 hardware ducks in a row ?  
Cut through the Marketing B.S. and read what is required and where to get properly encoded HDR content in [url=http://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=220297&pid=2471234#pid2471234]this post.
  • MINIX U9
  • NVIDIA Shield (HDR Netflix & HDR Amazon Video)
  • Xiaomi Mi Box
  • HiMedia Q5/Q10 Pro
  • Zidoo X9S
  • The DIY Intel + GeForce GTX 960 or later Nvidia graphics card, preferably GeForce GT 1030 or better (Windows 7/10 only)
  • AMLogic S905X / S905D running the preferred LibreELEC / OSMC Kodi Krypton or Android (bit buggy)




Scare the pants off me in 1080p 3D !

Also see the dedicated 3D post below

Q. I need to playback my 1080p 3D ISO Bluray Rips in Full HD ?
(extra research before purchase needs to be done for Android 3D ISO media players)
  • RPi3
  • Various Intel Machines running Windows, and a special Fork of Kodi.
  • The DIY Intel - with Windows 10 and GeForce GTX 960 or later Nvidia graphics card solution, preferably GeForce GT 1030 or better.
  • HiMedia Q5/10 Pro - using an external (non Kodi) software solution.
  • Zidoo X9S - using an external (non Kodi) software solution. Has full Bluray Menu support.




Gimme the best Audio !

Q. I need full HD Audio passthrough support including Multichannel (>2.0) PCM output of 16/24bit/192kHz FLAC ?
NOTE: all devices using an Android OS have 16bit Multichannel 48/96kHz PCM Audio output limitations (click)
Read NVIDIA Shield - Multichannel Hi-Res audio limitations for extra information.
** Be aware HDMI only supports 24bit audio NOT 32bit **
  • WeTek Hub / Play2 (LibreELEC - 16bit/192kHz)
  • ODROID C2 (LibreELEC - 16bit/192kHz)
  • Vero 4K (OSMC- 16bit/192kHz)
  • Various cheap AMLogic S905 devices running LibreELEC Kodi (16bit/192kHz)
  • Chromeboxes (24bit/192kHz)
  • Intel / AMD x86-64 computers, inc. Macs running Windows.(24bit/192kHz except Sky/Apollo/Kaby Lake)

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
(make sure "Expert" mode is enabled in Kodi Krypton settings - bottom left)
  • WeTek Play2
  • 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)
  • AMLogic S9xx devices running Android Nougat Firmware




Live OTA TV & High Quality deinterlacing

Q. I need a device with proper video deinterlacing for Over the Air (OTA) TV streaming from my HD Homerun or PVR server ?
NOTE: Major Deinterlacing issues with some Krypton PVR Clients have been widely reported on ALL Android devices (click)
Ordered from best deinterlacing picture output quality to the worst. In reality the Intel, AMLogic and RPi's will be the most reliable.
  • Intel / AMD x86-64 computers
  • All AMLogic chipset based boxes, eg the WeTek, MINIX, ODROID, Vero 4K devices plus others.
    (You have to use Android Kodi/SPMC Jarvis or LibreELEC/OSMC Kodi Jarvis/Krypton)
  • RPi's.
  • NVIDIA Shield - OTA TV users need to use the Live Channels App, or the HDHomeRun App. See HERE for detailed info.
  • MrMC v3.0.2 on the FireTV 1/2 - however read that linked thread very carefully for any issues.
  • Apple TV4 using the superb Channels App or the slick TvHeadend Client App - there have been reported problems with both.
  • Do NOT get suckered into paying for the privilege of being a Plex DVR Alpha Software tester. Bugs galore.
  • Avoid Amazon FireTV hardware for anything to do with Kodi Krypton deinterlacing.

Q. I need a Android device with a built in TV Tuner that has basic PVR functionality ?



1080p/4K Netflix and Amazon Video streaming

Q. I need a Kodi box that can play 1080p or 4K DRM copy protected video streams such as Netflix, HBO etc. ?
NOTE: Unless you have a HDMI connected Dolby Digital Plus Audio receiver, expect 2.0 Audio only from DD+ DRM streaming Apps running on Android TV platforms. Only very specific devices, noted below can run the Amazon Video App properly.

1080p/4K Android Netflix / Amazon Video is only possible on media players boxes that include Widevine L1 & HDCP 1.x/2.2 support in device Firmware.
  • NVIDIA Shield (4K HDR Netflix / 4K HDR Amazon Video)
  • Xiaomi Mi Box (4K Netflix - no HDR)
  • Amazon Stick/FTV1 + FTV2 (4K) (Amazon Video)
  • Intel / AMD x86-64 computers with GeForce GT 1030 or later Nvidia graphics card solution running Win10, using either dedicated Apps or a Web Browser.
  • WeTek's Core (1080p touchscreen Netflix, audio is 2.0 only)
  • WeTek Hub & Play2** (4K Netflix with ATV ROM)
  • ** ATV Netflix on Play2 also allows 5.1 Audio via SPDIF, joining the Amazon FireTV1 that can also do this.
  • Apple TV4 & 4K TV5
  • MECOOL M8S Pro +** (S905X) (1080p Netflix with 3rd party Android TV Firmware)
    **BEWARE there has been hardware reliability issues with the MECOOL box.




The Buyer Beware List ! No

Users who think I'm being particularly hard on dirt cheap AMLogic Android Hardware platforms need to have a good read of this post first:

Welcome to Android MediaCodec standards


Buggiest Android Marshmallow - Kodi Krypton Boxes getting about are: Sad
  • 99% of cheap AMLogic S905/S905X/S912 boxes running Android Marshmallow 6.0, like the Beelink GT1 as an example, even worse than that is the Android S912 - H96 Pro Plus box. They all run virtually the same crap MM Firmware.
  • Avoid ALL Rockchip & Allwinner Android boxes for Kodi.
Broken features with the really bad cheap AML S905/S905X/S912 Marshmallow 6.0 only boxes include:
  • No DTS or HD Kodi Krypton Audio Audio Passthrough. 5.1 DD/AC3 OK.
  • Darker than normal video output. (S905X / S912)
  • Broken Kodi Krypton Dynamic Refresh switching, needed for ultra smooth video playback.
  • The Google Playstore may have App install issues or simply crash.
  • The included Infra Red only remotes cannot control Android Apps properly. Kodi OK.
  • Lack of proper thermal management can lead to overheating and WiFi problems and boxes crashing and randomly resetting.
  • Various other annoying Firmware quirks & bugs that never get fixed.
Before powering up these sort of devices - lower to your knees, clasp your hands and then Plug n Pray !

Don't get hoodwinked by clever marketing and Tech specs people.
These Ship and Forget, seller unsupported, cheap Android devices are strictly DIY only - and users Will be spending their time over on the Freaktab website installing alternate Android Firmware.

Newer AML Android Nougat 7.1.1 Boxes have some bug fixes in Android Firmware.
AML S905/S905X boxes however, do make excellent 4K LibreELEC Kodi Krypton devices. Smile




The Gotchas - I was unaware of that ! ..... Eek

Known issues across various platforms:



Finally -  the Good News... Nod
September:
  • Apple announce the Apple TV 4K with HDR10 and Dolbyvision support, which will definitely cause a disturbance in the 4K home streamer media player market. Hopefully the Kodi fork - MrMC is updated to support Apple's new hardware.
  • The AMLogic Kernel wizard @kszaq fixes long standing LibreELEC Kodi - S912 GPU graphic driver problems. The S912 is AMLogic's flagship chipset and when running LE results in one fast Kodi media player combo.
July:
  • HiMedia release a half decent (from all reports) Android Nougat 7.0 Firmware update for the Q5/10. Kodi Krypton still needs a Wrapper. Kodi is used only as a graphic front end for external media player software.
June:
  • NVIDIA Shield Experience 5.2 OS update released.
  • Pre-release LibreELEC/OSMC AML S905X/S912 10bit / HDR / Dithering testing has commenced with a Nougat Linux Kernel.
  • WeTek release WeOS 3.1 - a pretty decent Android Marshmallow OS upgrade for the Hub & Play2 that enables 4K Netflix EDIT: 4K Netflix currently broken. Makes a good Firmware base for 3rd party unofficial Android TV ROM's.
  • Kodi Pirate Addon crackdown commences - involving courts and Website operators being sued. These 3rd party illegal Addons have nothing to do with official Kodi. Clueless Android Kodi users still complain. Kodi moderators don't give a sh1t ! Wink
Moral of the story with this whole post. It pays to buy something popular -  that gets (a) Kodi & device seller forum support and (b) seller and Chipset Manufacturer support for Android Firmware bug busting updates and upgrades.

W. Smile
Reply
#2
All about - > 3D

Excellent 3D rundown by hdmkv, the man who dreams in 3D Eek
(V4)

3D video and formats come in several flavors:
  1. Anaglyph, viewable via red-cyan glasses (now a dated technology)
  2. Side-by-side (SBS), also known as HSBS (half-SBS), commonly found in Blu-ray re-encoded MKV's
  3. Top-and-bottom (TAB), also known as HTAB (half-TAB) or HOU (half over-under), commonly found in Blu-ray re-encoded MKV's
  4. Full MVC MKV, usually Blu-ray rips via MakeMKV (retains main movie only)
  5. Full 3D ISO, usually full disc rips (or, can also be movie-only extractions via tsMuxeR)
  6. Full SBS or TAB, which retains the same full resolution as #4 and 5, but not via the more efficient MVC method. Full SBS/TAB is uncommon, are usually much larger filesize of MVC, and only certain HTPC's will be able to play properly
For all intents and purposes, we really only care about #2 to #5 above.

3D HSBS and HTAB videos can be played by almost any media player, even those not advertised to. Almost all 3D-capable displays will be able to join the two halves and render a complete 3D picture. But, it's half resolution of what's found in Blu-rays as you're just getting a total resolution of 960x1080 (with HSBS) or 1920×540 (with HTAB).

However, a full 3D Blu-ray is encoded using a technology called MVC (Multiview Video Coding). It has 2x full 1920x1080 frames for each eye. When decoded, then rendered as "frame packing," you will have a total resolution of 1920x2205, with an effective display resolution of 1920x1080 for each eye. 3D Blu-ray players can obviously handle this, but home theater enthusiasts here obviously want Kodi-capable media players that can play MVC MKV's and/or 3D ISO's with full MVC decoding and full frame-packed output, bitstreaming of full HD audio, and flawless playback. Demanding bunch aren't we?! Smile

Kodi 3D media players fall into 5 camps:
  1. [Linux] Decodes MVC in full and renders 3D in full, natively via Kodi: the one and only Raspberry Pi. Pi3 is recommended as 3D performs better with its extra horsepower.
  2. [Windows] Decodes MVC in full and renders 3D in full, natively via Kodi MVC builds for Intel hardware. This has now become the ultimate 3D solution for many as it's native Kodi, with full HD audio bitstreaming, all framerates output perfectly, and with added benefit of Netflix/Amazon HD streaming via Windows app or web browser.
  3. [Android] Decodes MVC in full and renders 3D in full, via an external player, with Kodi as just the front-end. HiMedia Q5/Q10 Pro works this way, as does previous-gen Q5/Q10 4K3D. There also are custom Kodi-integrated 3D players like Zidoo X6, HiMedia H8 Octa, but they suffer from key issues (like macroblocking, no 23.976) to really be taken seriously.
  4. [Android] Decodes MVC in full, but renders 3D in half (so resulting quality will be similar to HSBS and HTAB). This uses Koying's MVC hack and works to varying degrees on AMLogic Sxxx boxes like WeTek Core, Minix U1, etc. and nVidia Shield TV.
  5. [Android] VidOn solution (offered by Minix and Tronsmart). VidOn is a GPL and trademark infringer, and they rely on a proprietary solution for MVC 3D. Their 'Pro' payware Kodi fork provides Blu-ray menus, 3D and HD audio... however, 3D is similar to #4 (half-rez). My recommendation is to avoid VidOn altogether, not only because of GPL/trademark violations, but because their solution exhibits several key issues (no 23.976, and in fact all videos output at same resolution as UI, unstable, and basically unreliable).
Thanks to all talented Kodi developers (@popcornmix, @Koying, @afedchin, et al) for their work on MVC 3D.

Questions? Need recommendations?
What are the best full resolution 1080p 3D Kodi media players?

Please see this dedicated 3D thread (click).
Reply
#3
Outdated Info - Post reserved.
Reply
#4
What about this : http://www.geekbuying.com/item/GeekBox-O...GwodPbMD9A. Huh
Reply
#5
(2015-12-21, 05:50)tiho Wrote: What about this : http://www.geekbuying.com/item/GeekBox-O...GwodPbMD9A. Huh

The first post specifically stated devices based on Rockchip SoCs weren't going to be listed.
Reply
#6
Don't make mistake of buying a cheap Kodi Android device based on fancy tech specs alone. Nor slick marketing that comes with the usual deceptive Newbie reviews. Its a Very very common mistake.

The reason Rockchip are not included on the list is because according to Koying, the lead Android Kodi developer here. Rockchip does not use the standard Android API (Application Programming Interface) and use custom Kodi code to even play A/V content.
This is not the way forward for the Open Source Kodi project, Android branch. Kodi is gradually being coded to operate primarily using the standard Android Media Codec (amc) interface. Libstagefright has already been given the chop in Kodi Jarvis.

Then there is the little matter of Rockchip being unwilling to work with the Kodi developers, even tho they have been given the opportunity to do so. No 24p video sync, and so it goes on.

AMLogic are the complete opposite with their open-ness and willingness to help.
Reply
#7
hardly able to consider the minix and wetek "cost effective" amlogic devices considering they sell for 3 times the price of most amlogic devices.

Quote:AMLogic devices to keep an eye on would be the very recently released AMLogic S905 series like the new Lollipop equipped MINIX U1. Other S905's will be coming in 2016, from well known reputable manufacturers. Devices that are not rushed to market, like dirt cheap stuff from Asia with lots of Firmware bugs and NO support.


isnt that kind of a contradictory statement, the MINIX U1 was one of the first rushed to market s905 boxes and it was borky as can be when if came from the asian factory full of bugs.
Main System - HTPC - Intel I3 6300 - Asrock z170 - 16 GB DDR4 - 128gb SSD - 65" UHD HDR Sony Android TV - Pioneer VSX 1130-K - 7.2.2 speakers
Other devices currently in use - 55" 3D UHD LG TV - 2 Fire TV's - Nexus Player - MiniMX s905 - Voyo Vmac Mini
Ubuntu Server - 12 TB NAS - MYSQL - Torrent Box
Reply
#8
@wrxtasy, thanks for taking on responsibility for this thread. Glad to see it get a reboot. Happy to help w/3D; maybe just a short summary w/link to the stickied thread on 3D I maintain would suffice.
[H]i-[d]eft [M]edia [K]een [V]ideosaurus
Kodi 3D MVC Hardware Options
Kodi A/V Samples wiki
3D: Zidoo X9S | Intel D34010WYK w/Kodi MVC build
4K: nVidia Shield TV (2nd gen)
Reply
#9
Cheers, maybe PMail me a draft short Summary listing the Ultimate in 3D down to the bog standard. I only really want 24p devices that work or show possible potential like the MVC ones coming in 2016.

I'm not looking for massive detail as that is what your thread is for and Hyperlinking is better anyway.
Reply
#10
(2015-12-21, 14:51)dukester Wrote: hardly able to consider the minix and wetek "cost effective" amlogic devices considering they sell for 3 times the price of most amlogic devices.
Show me a detailed comprehensive review, the likes of what hdmkv produces, testing ALL the features of these cheap S905's from a Knowledgable Kodi user first. I have yet to see any review with the detail required for Kodi users to make an intelligent informed choice. Even basic core Kodi feature testing is usually missing in very lightweight reviews.

Then also show me this for any device under consideration:
Quote:...the best Kodi devices have a decent, active, knowledgable, respected manufacturer device support forums. Manufacturer experience with previous successful, similarly specced Hardware devices also is very important
And I have not even started yet on C++ coders contributing to the Kodi and OpenELEC projects you don't even know about behind the scenes on GitHub.

Koying most of the time when coding for Kodi Android is like a one man band and needs all the help he can get.
Now please show me how these dirt cheap Asian AMLogic device manufacturers are contributing to the Kodi project ?

A bunch of them are actually parasitic leaches, that contribute sweet FA and distribute Banned Kodi add-ons.

Quote: the MINIX U1 was one of the first rushed to market s905 boxes and it was borky as can be when if came from the asian factory full of bugs.
Look its the same with any Android device, the big thing was they did not advertise shit that did not work and guess what, excellent support and one Firmware update a week since the device was released is very quickly squashing any problems.

WeTek had an annoying a 24p bug recently too. It took them 3 days to fix, and then they published that code, which will benefit other S812 AMLogic platforms. This is how you earn respect from the Kodi Open Source community. Such an example is found HERE

Sure you can by cheap Android gear that may work more or less the same as more expensive products if you like a bit of DIY.
BUT for Newbies you cannot base your judgement on price alone because you will run into Firmware problems, then who are you gonna call ?
Any device will not be cost effective at any price unless you can get serious bugs fixed promptly.
You can bet the talented guys that could actually help will look the other way as they frankly don't have the time or are employed by some other manufacturer. The Kodi devs. too will rarely get involved with Firmware issues.
Reply
#11
Bump as 3D devices rundown added.

Thanks to hdmkv Smile
Reply
#12
Thanks again for giving this topic/thread new life.
[H]i-[d]eft [M]edia [K]een [V]ideosaurus
Kodi 3D MVC Hardware Options
Kodi A/V Samples wiki
3D: Zidoo X9S | Intel D34010WYK w/Kodi MVC build
4K: nVidia Shield TV (2nd gen)
Reply
#13
Thank you for the good write up.

I would add a line in HD-Audio about Atmos and the soon to be released DTS:X.
For me this is one of the more exciting things that happened lately for home cinemas.

I have been using Atmos and it works well under Openelec with a Braswell Chip.

Sadly Atmos will not be possible with the Pi since it does not send the Metadata if it is decoded into PCM streams.
Reply
#14
(2015-12-27, 03:46)psysfaction Wrote: Sadly Atmos will not be possible with the Pi since it does not send the Metadata if it is decoded into PCM streams.

Yes - and I'm not sure there are :

a) Open Source Atmos decoders (so the Pi will treat it as 5.1 True HD?)
b) A standard to carry decoded 7.1.2 (and 7.1.4?) content over HDMI in PCM format

If you have Dolby Atmos and DTS:x content you must use HD Audio bitstreaming. AIUI Intel solutions that support HD Audio bitstreaming work OK with Dolby Atmos, but getting a 3D MVC capable box with HD Audio bitstreaming (without resorting to Windows/Android and external players) is not straightforward. You can get 3D MVC from a Pi 2 with HD Audio decoded (but not Atmos/DTS:x) and you can get 2D from an Intel solution (with HD Audio bitstreamed). Getting 3D with DTS:x or Dolby Atmos is currently tricky. You're probably best off with a Blu-ray player for this at the moment...
Reply
#15
(2015-12-27, 03:46)psysfaction Wrote: Thank you for the good write up.

I would add a line in HD-Audio about Atmos and the soon to be released DTS:X.
For me this is one of the more exciting things that happened lately for home cinemas.

I have been using Atmos and it works well under Openelec with a Braswell Chip.

Sadly Atmos will not be possible with the Pi since it does not send the Metadata if it is decoded into PCM streams.
Added Psy. Cheers.

Also added $100 Android DRM Kodi media players section as Android Lollipop / Marshmallow has made quite a difference to Kodi usability on Android media player platforms lately. These Google Android ART OS runtime optimisations, combined with the Lollipop OS have made a big difference to what has come before.

I'm an 5.1 Audio / OpenELEC Kodi guy and I never thought I would end up using an Android Lollipop device as my daily media player. Even I'm surprised that I'm saying that. Smile
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