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START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated Dec 2020)
Those devices that have a built in Infra Red receiver...if the Harmony is a Infra Red... and programmable ?
Plus you need Gigabit Ethernet for high bitrate 4K.

By 4K I'm assuming 4K HDR ?

Plug N Play:
- Vero 4K+
- Apple TV 4K running MrMC or Infuse Apps (most powerful media player on the market)

DIY: (pretty easy)
- something like a MINIX U9 running LibreELEC Kodi Krypton.

Personally I no longer use anything Infra Red and use Wireless, responsive remotes instead.

There is a hell of a lot of 4K HDR info in this thread:

4K HDR - State of Play thread (click)



Just as an update tvOS 12.x Beta Firmware looks very promising for Dolby Atmos passthrough Audio on the Apple TV 4K

Details HERE (click)

(2018-08-03, 18:17)wrxtasy Wrote: Just as an update tvOS 12.x Beta Firmware looks very promising for Dolby Atmos passthrough Audio on the Apple TV 4K
Details HERE (click) 
 If this holds through to the final tvOS 12 release & works with Kodi/MrMC, I'm re-buying an ATV 4K Smile.
Thanks for the reply, 

I like the look of the Minix and the DIY route as I like to tinker Smile

However the Vero appears to be a pretty good price
Hi guys, 
I read through the thread and the interweb and i'm still unsure what NUC would be the "golden one" for me. I hope you guys have a few pointers for me on hardware to check out.
I currently use two RPi3 as my media streaming boxes, they both connect to a database (SQL) on a synology nas which is being updated with a headless kodi (via docker image in the NAS).
On the RPi3 i have the latest Libreelec installed, using the Aeon MQ7 Skin. The RPi3s are for my taste way too slow, meaning browsing through the menus and movie list etc is just not satisfying. 
I don't know if that matters, but my database grew quiet a bit, currently 2k+ movies and over 10k tv episodes.
One is hooked up to a Samsung TV, directly via HDMI, the other one to a HDMI Switch (to a beamer) that has an optical out to the Receiver (and older one, but i didn't had any issues playing sound yet)
My files are 1080p, with a very few 3D movies. So let me try to sort my requirements:

- Fast Menu/Browsing with resource intense skins
- Audio in a way that i can watch everything hooked up on the tv with hdmi
- Wake on Lan / Powerbutton (RPi3 doesn't support WOL)
- No Android (Pre RPis i had android boxes, i'm a Nexus/Pixel person, i don't like to wait forever for Android Updates)
- No Apple, simply as i don't have any other Apple devices, would only make sense if i have an existing Apple Environment
- Intel, best if i can use something like Libreelec, as besides my gaming pc my network is *unix based, which i would prefer over a Window installation if avoidable. 
- Silent and small, a NUC Wink (I prefer passive cooling over a tiny annoying fan)
- Edit: Oh and i'm using my TV remote with CEC to control Kodi, not really sure if that is depending on which Kodi build or not

My price range is lets say 100-200$. I don't plan to upgrade to 4K soon,  i rather have a solid solution that always me to scroll through my movies stress free and not annoyingly lag-ish as i currently experience.
(In no means i think the RPi3 is a bad device, i love these little boxes, my needs just have grown) 

I would very much appreciate some pointers to Intel Nucs to check out, thanks very much for reading.
(2018-08-06, 14:41)quorn23 Wrote: Hi guys, 
I read through the thread and the interweb and i'm still unsure what NUC would be the "golden one" for me. I hope you guys have a few pointers for me on hardware to check out.
I currently use two RPi3 as my media streaming boxes, they both connect to a database (SQL) on a synology nas which is being updated with a headless kodi (via docker image in the NAS).
On the RPi3 i have the latest Libreelec installed, using the Aeon MQ7 Skin. The RPi3s are for my taste way too slow, meaning browsing through the menus and movie list etc is just not satisfying. 
I don't know if that matters, but my database grew quiet a bit, currently 2k+ movies and over 10k tv episodes.
One is hooked up to a Samsung TV, directly via HDMI, the other one to a HDMI Switch (to a beamer) that has an optical out to the Receiver (and older one, but i didn't had any issues playing sound yet)
My files are 1080p, with a very few 3D movies. So let me try to sort my requirements:

- Fast Menu/Browsing with resource intense skins
- Audio in a way that i can watch everything hooked up on the tv with hdmi
- Wake on Lan / Powerbutton (RPi3 doesn't support WOL)
- No Android (Pre RPis i had android boxes, i'm a Nexus/Pixel person, i don't like to wait forever for Android Updates)
- No Apple, simply as i don't have any other Apple devices, would only make sense if i have an existing Apple Environment
- Intel, best if i can use something like Libreelec, as besides my gaming pc my network is *unix based, which i would prefer over a Window installation if avoidable. 
- Silent and small, a NUC Wink (I prefer passive cooling over a tiny annoying fan)
- Edit: Oh and i'm using my TV remote with CEC to control Kodi, not really sure if that is depending on which Kodi build or not

My price range is lets say 100-200$. I don't plan to upgrade to 4K soon,  i rather have a solid solution that always me to scroll through my movies stress free and not annoyingly lag-ish as i currently experience.
(In no means i think the RPi3 is a bad device, i love these little boxes, my needs just have grown) 

I would very much appreciate some pointers to Intel Nucs to check out, thanks very much for reading.

Any nuc with libreelec, with 2-4 gb of ram an SSD, will do for your needs (not the latest ones with 4005 and 5005 because libreelec wont work with them) cant comment on hdmi cec since i dont use it

Nucs are silent and fast with libreelec dont worry if they are not passive, you wont hear them Smile (i am very sensitive on this subject).
What you will buy depends only on your budget
I don't think any NUCs have internal CEC support as standard.  However some have an internal header that connects to the CEC pins on their HDMI connector that will allow a Pulse Eight internal module to be used to add that functionality.  Otherwise you can use an external PulseEight adaptor that has HDMI passthrough and USB control.  However they aren't cheap, and Pulse Eight seem to have gone quite quiet about this aspect of their business for a while now?

In general x86/Intel solutions don't have integrated CEC - that's much more common on AMLogic, Raspberry Pi etc. ARM platforms.
(2018-08-06, 14:41)quorn23 Wrote: - No Apple, simply as i don't have any other Apple devices, would only make sense if i have an existing Apple
- Silent and small, a NUC Wink (I prefer passive cooling over a tiny annoying
You do not have to be an existing Apple user for the following to make sense....
Bang for the buck a $105 (USA - DirecTV deal) - Apple TV 4K IS the most powerful & capable media player on the market. It will easily chew thru a really large library without battering an eyelid.

But you can only use a limited number of inbuilt Skins (not Aeon MQ7) with the MrMC App on the ATV 4K. The new Ariana one about to be released is a ripper. I believe there is an inbuilt WOL Addon with MrMC. CEC control may or may not work, but there are many remote control options (like self programmable IR control) with the ATV 4K.

I suspect you are going to have to sacrifice something if you want speed, Intel only and CEC control to fit under the $200 price range.

CEC control is not guaranteed to work with anything. It's not any sort of standard that is strictly adhered to by TV manufacturers.
However, if Pulse8 CEC control works for you with the RPi currently it should work with the Pulse8 CEC adapter on Intel or LibreELEC / OSMC on AMLogic hardware as well.

In the AMLogic range, the S912 Gigabit equipped MINIX U9 would be the fastest, followed very closely by the Gigabit (S905D) Vero 4K+
Both running LibreELEC or OSMC Kodi from eMMC storage, and both using Wireless remotes which make a hell of a difference to Kodi responsiveness. (CEC control has too much lag by comparison)

The S912's will only be able to run a Linux based OS, like LibreELEC up to Kodi v18 Leia due to the GPU video driver used and major Kodi rendering changes occurring within Kodi v19 M.

SSD equipped Intel would still be faster vs anything AMLogic.
Ideally for 1080p only you want something that can hardware decode 1080p 10bit HEVC like Apollo Lake onwards architecture or an older i series Intel setup that could do CPU software decoding of HEVC like an i series Chromebox.

Mr Chromebox aka @ Matt Devo would know what is what for I series Chromeboxes. .

(2018-08-06, 17:26)solamnic Wrote: Any nuc with libreelec, with 2-4 gb of ram an SSD, will do for your needs (not the latest ones with 4005 and 5005 because libreelec wont work with them) cant comment on hdmi cec since i dont use it

Nucs are silent and fast with libreelec dont worry if they are not passive, you wont hear them Smile (i am very sensitive on this subject).
What you will buy depends only on your budget 
  
Thanks, it looks like i'm going with the Intel NUC7PJYH it has a 5005, as Libreelec 9 Alpha works with it and we're not too far away from a new Kodi release.
(2018-08-06, 17:45)noggin Wrote: I don't think any NUCs have internal CEC support as standard.  However some have an internal header that connects to the CEC pins on their HDMI connector that will allow a Pulse Eight internal module to be used to add that functionality.  Otherwise you can use an external PulseEight adaptor that has HDMI passthrough and USB control.  However they aren't cheap, and Pulse Eight seem to have gone quite quiet about this aspect of their business for a while now?

In general x86/Intel solutions don't have integrated CEC - that's much more common on AMLogic, Raspberry Pi etc. ARM platforms.
https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/...-kits.html
Looks like a few of the Intel Nuc have at least a power on/off via CEC support, but thanks for the PulseEight hint, might either get one of these or look into remote controls (I can control Kodi via Yatse, but in the evening in bed i prefer a single remote) i changed the keymappings for my remote to my needs, assuming that will work with Pulse Eight as well, need to read into it first. 
(2018-08-07, 03:00)wrxtasy Wrote: ...But you can only use a limited number of inbuilt Skins (not Aeon MQ7)....

In the AMLogic range, the S912 Gigabit equipped MINIX U9 would be the fastest, followed very closely by the Gigabit (S905D) Vero 4K+
Both running LibreELEC or OSMC Kodi from eMMC storage, and both using Wireless remotes which make a hell of a difference to Kodi responsiveness. (CEC control has too much lag by comparison)

The S912's will only be able to run a Linux based OS, like LibreELEC up to Kodi v18 Leia due to the GPU video driver used and major Kodi rendering changes occurring within Kodi v19 M.

No doubt the hardware itself is powerful, the mentioned limitations are a no go for me personally. I don't mind Apple devices, the restrictions i do.

Thanks for the detailed explanation for the pro/cons of these devices. The hint for the EOL of these devices is a good info, as i heard good things about the U9 for example, but as support for the 5005 is upcoming i feel like this is the direction i'm heading.


Thank you guys overall for the insight and the with info spiked tips and hints. Very appreciated
(2018-08-08, 16:43)zecagalo Wrote: just rubbish around here! wrxtasy is an idiot!
 What an insane post!
Are you kiddingHuh??'
(2018-08-08, 16:51)gpmc Wrote:
(2018-08-08, 16:43)zecagalo Wrote: just rubbish around here! wrxtasy is an idiot!
 What an insane post!
Are you kiddingHuh??' 
Like all of their four posts, an idiot haha
Just someone who forgot to takes his meds today... Don't feed the troll.
Got a Kodi problem? Provide us with a full Debug log (wiki) || Usefull pages: First time user (wiki) || Troubleshooting (wiki) || Free content (wiki) || Forum rules (wiki) || VPN policy (wiki)
I'm not sure if I'm exactly covered by any of the newbie categories in the first post of this thread; I wonder what people would recommend...?

What I need:


HIGH PRIORITY

1) Really pristine image quality - the signal fed to the TV has to be an accurate representation of the contents of the video file. (Can you tell I'm a disgruntled Nvidia Shield owner?)

2) Ability to decode DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD to multi-channel PCM and output via HDMI.

3) Ability to output video at native resolution and frame-rate.


VERY LOW PRIORITY

4) Able to handle 3D blu ray rips (frame-packed).

5) SD resolution output (e.g. 480i or 480p) for DVD rips.

Most source videos would be 4K/HDR10, with some 4K/SDR, some 1080p stuff, and a few DVD rips. I'm not concerned about having an ultra-responsive UI, so long as playback is flawless. Within all of the above constraints, I'd like to keep it cheap.

While I'm not actively looking for a "learning experience" I've no objection to getting my hands dirty if necessary. (I have LibreELEC running on a Raspberry Pi 3 at the moment - that's a perfectly acceptable level of complexity).
(2018-08-10, 14:02)Shasarak Wrote: I'm not sure if I'm exactly covered by any of the newbie categories in the first post of this thread; I wonder what people would recommend...?

What I need:


HIGH PRIORITY

1) Really pristine image quality - the signal fed to the TV has to be an accurate representation of the contents of the video file. (Can you tell I'm a disgruntled Nvidia Shield owner?)

2) Ability to decode DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD to multi-channel PCM and output via HDMI.

3) Ability to output video at native resolution and frame-rate.

Most source videos would be 4K/HDR10, with some 4K/SDR, some 1080p stuff, and a few DVD rips. I'm not concerned about having an ultra-responsive UI, so long as playback is flawless. Within all of the above constraints, I'd like to keep it cheap.

These will do what you want...all Gigabit Ethernet & AC WiFi equipped. You need Gigabit for trouble free high bitrate 4K HDR networked streaming.

Either an $105 DirecTV deal - Apple TV 4K running MrMC or take your pick from a Vero 4K+ running OSMC Krypton or a AML S912 running LibreELEC Kodi Krypton. (S912 - MINIX U9 preferred due to far superior chipset cooing). All should be used with Wireless remotes for a responsive setup.

The Apple TV 4K does not do auto resolution switching, and in reality it does not need it because it's 1080p > 4K picture upscaling is high quality. You leave it in 4K SDR and let it auto Frame Rate & Dynamic Range match.

You should also have a read here...

4K HDR - State of Play thread (click)

...and follow the Frame Rate Matching & Dynamic Range matching link in that thread.

"Flawless" is a very exact word, and nothing is 100% perfect. But the devices listed above are about the closest you will get to "set and forget", auto virtually everything, mixed SDR / 4K HDR setups with your particular audio requirements and great picture quality.

(2018-08-10, 19:56)wrxtasy Wrote: These will do what you want...all Gigabit Ethernet & AC WiFi equipped. You need Gigabit for trouble free high bitrate 4K HDR networked streaming.

(nod)

Just want to double-check a few things here....

(2018-08-10, 19:56)wrxtasy Wrote: Either an $105 DirecTV deal -
Something I didn't mention because I didn't realise it was relevant is that I'm in the UK, so I don't think DirecTV is an option. Smile

(2018-08-10, 19:56)wrxtasy Wrote: Apple TV 4K running MrMC
That's a tad more expensive than I was hoping for, but I'll check it out. Is it 100% confirmed that it can decode DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD losslessly to multi-channel PCM?

(2018-08-10, 19:56)wrxtasy Wrote: The Apple TV 4K does not do auto resolution switching, and in reality it does not need it because it's 1080p > 4K picture upscaling is high quality. You leave it in 4K SDR and let it auto Frame Rate & Dynamic Range match.
I don't necessarily mind manually changing output resolution if it doesn't require too many button presses; but I doubt that its upscaling is as good as my Lumagen RadiancePro video processor, so the ability to output 1080p at native resolution is important.

(It makes life easier if one can get native 480p/576p output as well, but hardly any device seems to do that!)

(2018-08-10, 19:56)wrxtasy Wrote: take your pick from a Vero 4K+ running OSMC Krypton or a AML S912 running LibreELEC Kodi Krypton. (S912 - MINIX U9 preferred due to far superior chipset cooing). All should be used with Wireless remotes for a responsive setup.
The Vero 4K (I think) uses an S905X chipset; does the 4K+ use the same chip? If so, does it have to dither 10-bit colour to 8 bits for HDR (as mentioned in the "4K HDR State of Play" thread)?

And am I right that it can handle 16-bit audio but not 24-bit, and downsamples higher audio bit-rates to 48kHz?

What would you say are the relative merits of Vero4K+ running OSMC vs Minix U9 running LibreELEC (in playback terms)?

(2018-08-10, 19:56)wrxtasy Wrote: You should also have a read here...

4K HDR - State of Play thread (click)

...and follow the Frame Rate Matching & Dynamic Range matching link in that thread.
Noted

(2018-08-10, 19:56)wrxtasy Wrote: "Flawless" is a very exact word, and nothing is 100% perfect
That's rather depressing. Sad Is decoding x264 and x265 video correctly really that complicated?

(2018-08-10, 19:56)wrxtasy Wrote: But the devices listed above are about the closest you will get to "set and forget", auto virtually everything, mixed SDR / 4K HDR setups with your particular audio requirements and great picture quality.
I don't necessarily need everything to be "set and forget", so long as there's *some* achievable combination of settings which produces correct output, and documentation somewhere which tells me what it is. Smile

As I said, this isn't a high priority, but is there any prospect of any of these devices handling frame-packed 3D? If the answer is no, I can live with that Smile but it might serve as a "tie-breaker" if there is.
(2018-08-11, 10:41)Shasarak Wrote: That's a tad more expensive than I was hoping for, but I'll check it out. Is it 100% confirmed that it can decode DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD losslessly to multi-channel PCM?
It's 100% confirmed because that is what I get with my Yamaha AVR using an ATV 4K and the MrMC App.

Quote:I don't necessarily mind manually changing output resolution if it doesn't require too many button presses; but I doubt that its upscaling is as good as my Lumagen RadiancePro video processor, so the ability to output 1080p at native resolution is important.
I doubt it as good either but this is a $100-$150 media player we are talking about here.

Quote:The Vero 4K (I think) uses an S905X chipset; does the 4K+ use the same chip?
Yes I believe it is (might be a S905D), but you need Gigabit ethernet that the Vero 4K+ has for reliable 4K HDR streaming.

Quote: If so, does it have to dither 10-bit colour to 8 bits for HDR (as mentioned in the "4K HDR State of Play" thread)?
That is currently up for debate I believe. @Sam Nazarko will have more info I believe.

Quote:And am I right that it can handle 16-bit audio but not 24-bit, and downsamples higher audio bit-rates to 48kHz?
See 24-bit LPCM confirmation in THIS thread (click)
AMLogic LE Kodi will also do the same due to the shared open source Kodi code and Kernel.

Quote:What would you say are the relative merits of Vero4K+ running OSMC vs Minix U9 running LibreELEC (in playback terms)?
Very little, the MINIX U9 - S912 chipset has a few more CPU ponies for CPU software decoding of stuff like Hi10P Anime.

Currently it's faster skipping about during video playback due to the Gigabit Ethernet port, which the Vero 4K+ is now getting.
The U9 Mini Keyboard remote I find handy for Kodi Keyboard shortcuts after long term Kodi usage.

I do like the Power OFF / ON remote control ability of the U9, which then turns OFF / ON my HDMI CEC connected AVR / TV. Pretty handy, day to day.

Vero 4K+ will get continual support, past Kodi v18 Leia. Unless there is a miracle the S912 chipset will not due to Hybrid GPU drivers currently used to draw the Kodi user interface.

(2018-08-10, 19:56)wrxtasy Wrote: "Flawless" is a very exact word, and nothing is 100% perfect
Quote: That's rather depressing. Sad Is decoding x264 and x265 video correctly really that complicated?
Realise everyone is still bug busting SDR / 4K HDR auto chroma, bit depth switching to try and make it near Flawless. There are No issues with H264 or H265 decoding I know of.

Quote:As I said, this isn't a high priority, but is there any prospect of any of these devices handling frame-packed 3D? If the answer is no, I can live with that Smile but it might serve as a "tie-breaker" if there is.
See the Zidoo X9S thread for working 1080p 3D and then have fun dealing with a tablet Android OS.

1080p 3D ISO support may come to the AMLogic OSMC / LE devices, but it's pretty low priority. Plus lack of developers having 3D TV's these days does not help.

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