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START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated May 2020)
(2016-03-24, 01:02)Swifty Wrote: Thanks for the info.
Any idea what types are supported on Fire TV vs Amlogic?

AMLogic does a decent motion compensative level deinterlace in hardware (possibly with some edge processing) for all but MPEG2 VOB stuff (and then it's very limited) For some reason AMLogic has issues with MPEG2 video in a VOB-type programme stream.
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@Swifty,
You are between a rock and a Hard place with your requirements as you need the far superior FireTV Amazon Instant Video app for HD or 4K Amazon Prime video viewing. The normal Google Play Amazon Instant Video app is no longer supported by Amazon, it won't give you HD video. You have to buy a FireTV device.

Software deinterlacing in Android like you will get with the FireTV's will only use the inferior Bob or Software Blend. Which may be OK for 1080i content but if you are watching 480i or 576i it will look soft and blurry.

Software Bob deinterlacing actually results in slight vibrating mpeg2 576i video with Software decoding when tested on my WeTek Core. The Hardware deinterlacing is definately superior.

The FireTV1 does not have enough grunt to do both Software decoding of 1080i mpeg2 and Software deinterlacing. H264 1080i content will Hardware decode I believe. The FireTV2 has more CPU ponies and is definitely preferred unless you need S/PDIF.

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So, I usually prefer to do the research myself and just come to a conclusion but wrxtasy seems like a god when it comes to Kodi boxes and apparently specs are not always what they seem on face value so I will ask for some help here. This may seem like a TL;DR post but believe me I tried to keep it short.

I have an ODroid C1+ and run your OpenElec builds, they work great but it box often crashes, freezes, corrupts (not your fault, I know) or has other general issues like, when I try and skip forward 10 seconds, it literally takes 10 seconds waiting on the skip to catch up and things to buffer again. I am currently running OpenElec 16 from a Jump Drive, however I have had it installed on the eMMC as well, it was just more work to re-install when it breaks so I got lazy.

I play ALL my movies off a Gigabit NAS (my desktop) and my playback files are what you would expect, 5gb 720p's, 10gb 1080p's, 2gb norms, 300mb episodes and some 4K's from YouTube. Me and my brother are both extremely computer literate people, we are very proficient in Windows, Linux and as of late, Kodi. We have tried all the "Tweaks" and settings, replaced cords, reinstalled OE, switched skins, bought an eMMC, you name it we probably tried it. At this point, it really seems to be a hardware bottleneck.

We will be trying Windows Kodi on our desktops tomorrow to do some double checking with some desktop hardware (i7/GTX 980) but to get the ball rolling I figured I would ask if you have an suggestions for a reasonably priced NUC/MiniPC/Set-TopBox/PC/Something that you think would be ideal for someone like me? If possible, I would prefer something that I can install the OS from scratch instead of Android based, however you are the expert so let me know either way.
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Not sure whats going on the the C1+ never had any of these skipping or crash issues, as I run exclusively from a SD card, connected via Ethernet. Sounds like a Network, buffering cache issue. Troubleshoot over in the C1 thread please.

Best bang for the buck at the moment in the Windows 10 / Kodi world would be the $140 Tronsmart Ara X5 Plus.
You get 1080p DRM streaming for Netflix in the Windows 10 App.
Only thing it does not do is HD Audio passthrough, but HD Audio to Multichannel PCM output is possible I believe.
234385 (thread)

In the OpenELEC world you then have the proven Chromebox, Braswells, WeTek Core, RPi3.

fmpeg2 has had a bunch of optimisations for HEVC decoding packaged into it lately and you can now Software decode low/medium bitrate 8-bit 1080p HEVC on non Hardware decode HEVC capable hardware like the Chromebox and RPi3.

60Hz 4K YouTube needs a nVIDIA Shield or a HDMI 2.0 capable S905 like the Odroid C2 or the MINIX U1. You can run the remote friendly Android TV OS version of YouTube on any Android Lollipop platform.
I use the C2 exclusively for 10-bit HEVC decoding running the WeTek Jarvis Mediaplayer and 4K YouTube clips on Android Lollipop, its a quick snappy device even with Android Lollipop. Smile

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(2016-03-25, 04:17)wrxtasy Wrote: 60Hz 4K YouTube needs a nVIDIA Shield or a HDMI 2.0 capable S905 like the Odroid C2 or the MINIX U1.
No VP9 decoder in Minix U1. So, no YouTube 4K. Not sure of S905 rev.C that will be used in the new WeTek device.
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I knew someone would bring this up.
The HDMI 2.0 S905 C2 I have plays back 4K YouTube clips. All the GoPro stuff, any 4K I can find on YouTube, so I'm not sure what codec Google are actually using for 4K YouTube clips.

I've set the Android GUI to 2160p60Hz420 on the C2.

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(2016-03-25, 05:02)wrxtasy Wrote: I knew someone would bring this up.
The HDMI 2.0 S905 C2 I have plays back 4K YouTube clips. All the GoPro stuff, any 4K I can find on YouTube, so I'm not sure what codec Google are actually using for 4K YouTube clips.

I've set the Android GUI to 2160p60Hz420 on the C2.
Are you saying that you can select 2160p60/2160p50 for those 4K clips? Check these screenshots: one is for the SHIELD which has 2160p but no 50/60fps YouTube streaming for any resolution (shame on you Google!) and the other one is for the Minix U1 which does have 50/60fps streaming for 720/1080p. We just had a discussion about this on Minix forum.

nVIDIA SHIELD
Image

Minix U1
Image

Here is the link to a true 2160p50 clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuoYdGKIf7k
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Yes you're right.
Pulled up the YouTube Nerd stats OSD (in Settings) and it appears even though Vids are labelled 4K Ultra HD they still stream as 1920x1080p using a avc codec on the S905. And are then upscaled to 2160p on the C2.

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(2016-03-25, 04:17)wrxtasy Wrote: In the OpenELEC world you then have the proven Chromebox, Braswells, WeTek Core, RPi3.

fmpeg2 has had a bunch of optimisations for HEVC decoding packaged into it lately and you can now Software decode low/medium bitrate 8-bit 1080p HEVC on non Hardware decode HEVC capable hardware like the Chromebox and RPi3.

As I mentioned in the Hi-10p thread, my Celeron Chromebox had no issues with a sample of a certain recent release in 10-bit HEVC 1080p - - zero drops, zero skips, and CPU usage hovered around 50%. I'd be curious to know if the Braswell/Cherry Trail SoC's handle 10-bit HEVC as well.
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Your reply was exactly what I was looking for wrxtasy, loved all the suggestions, especially the NVidia Shield, however the price is a bit steep for how locked down it is, if I end up spending that much, I would rather something I can at least install my own firmware on. In comparison, for $300 someone has an i7 4790 desktop on my local craigslist. Honestly though, I would rather something less power hungry and more space-saving.

so I am curious then just for the heck of it, which of the boxes would you recommend? Chromebox, WeTek Core, RPi3, MINIX U1, Odroid C2?
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Tinkering = RPi3 or Odroid C2 both will be pretty snappy.
No OpenELEC currently on C2 and I would not use it for Interlaced TV viewing due to broken codec display modes when refresh switching is turned on. Works well for 8/10-bit HEVC decoding and general Kodi video playback using mediacodec in Android, just avoid Interlaced TV at the moment. Read the HardKernel forums for current issues.

WeTek Core and MINIX U1 have both been reviewed to death. I would not be mucking about with custom Firmware on the WeTek Core. I have seen 3 people now brick the device due to corrupting the DRM HDCP Keys with flashing Foreign Firmware which results in a black screen and video output is stuffed.

Chromebox is still the OpenELEC virtual Plug n Play King, can now even Software decode low/medium 8/10bit 1080p HEVC, HD Audio Passthough, the best deinterlacing, the list goes on.....

Workout what video codecs, audio requirements and/or and Android App requirements you have and go from there.

PS. Don't forget WeTek have a bunch of new AML S905 gear out in about a month that will shake up the budget end of the market.

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Well, the Chromebox has always topped my list of "Interest" so that's a plus. I think I will keep an eye out at WeTek's upcoming boxes too though, sounds awesome.

After a fresh rebuild on the C1+ box, it seems its my stereo thats causing the issue, something to do with the passthrough, not the C1+ or OpenElec. Might be time for a new stereo =/ Also the MAIN reason for all the crashes and other annoying sh*t was apparently the Titan skin. 3.6.x stable is terrible on 16, however 3.6.x beta works amazingly well, no more crashes. Might end up sticking with the C1+ for a while longer Wink
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(2016-03-26, 09:07)SuperMar1o Wrote: Well, the Chromebox has always topped my list of "Interest" so that's a plus. I think I will keep an eye out at WeTek's upcoming boxes too though, sounds awesome.
The Chromeboxes are great, and if you don't need hardware accelerated HEVC, they definitely deliver a very high quality experience with great GUI rendering, high quality video output and incredibly good deinterlacing (important if you watch Live/Recorded TV or Blu-ray/DVDs with native interlaced content like music concerts, sport etc.)

I'd still put my Chromebox ahead of my C1, C2 and Raspberry Pi 2 or 3 in general terms, and they bitstream HD Audio too. (Though the Pi 2/3 will losslessly decode to multichannel PCM so unless you need Atmos/DTS:x the issue is less than it is for the C1+/C2 which are still currently PCM 2.0/DD/DTS only)

The ARM boxes are silent though, and they have CEC support (which the Chromebox doesn't). I often use my Pi 3 as my main Kodi platform at the moment - purely because the CEC remote control of the AVR volume is so useful! (And the PCM multichannel lossless decode of HD Audio is 'good enough' for me)

Quote:After a fresh rebuild on the C1+ box, it seems its my stereo thats causing the issue, something to do with the passthrough, not the C1+ or OpenElec. Might be time for a new stereo =/ Also the MAIN reason for all the crashes and other annoying sh*t was apparently the Titan skin. 3.6.x stable is terrible on 16, however 3.6.x beta works amazingly well, no more crashes. Might end up sticking with the C1+ for a while longer Wink

Yep - the key thing when diagnosing crashes is to switch to the default skin (Confluence until Estuary arrived with the latest builds) and see if they still happen. Skins add so much other stuff in some cases, it can be very difficult to know if the problem is skin-related or an issue with the core Kodi code. If you run default then you can at least know you're in 'stock' mode.
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What is your opinion on the Ubox?
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(2016-03-27, 17:35)nyrrawone Wrote: What is your opinion on the Ubox?

Never heard of it. Which is probably not a good sign.
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