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START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated May 2020)
Any opinion on a NUC8I7BEH to run LibreELEC and likely MariaDB or MySQL onboard?  Will the Iris Plus 655 Graphics be outdone by any of the smaller/cheaper boxes?

What do the i3 models with Radeon 540 graphics like the NUC8I3CYSM do to this decision?  I need ultrafast UI performance and great support of current/future formats.  Hopefully a machine I can use for many years to come.
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You pay a lot for the intel Platform, though the i7 CPU is faster than any SoC system.  The Amlogic S922X SoC has excellent media performance as it's designed to perform well there.  In terms of cost, the NUC is about five times more expensive than an S922X solution (Odroid-N2), but is not five times faster.   I run an N2 with CoreELEC and I can say the interface is pretty much as snappy as anything I run on a PC.  There's no processing lag I notice for anything I do through the interface which is mainly just accessing and playing my network media.
Reply
(2019-05-26, 15:20)CraigHB Wrote: You pay a lot for the intel Platform, though the i7 CPU is faster than any SoC system.  The Amlogic S922X SoC has excellent media performance as it's designed to perform well there.  In terms of cost, the NUC is about five times more expensive than an S922X solution (Odroid-N2), but is not five times faster.   I run an N2 with CoreELEC and I can say the interface is pretty much as snappy as anything I run on a PC.  There's no processing lag I notice for anything I do through the interface which is mainly just accessing and playing my network media.

i think that there not any nuc models that support 4K HDR in libreelec
Reply
Could be, 4K HDR is a bit out of my league right now, primary TV is an older model.  Won't be until I replace it I'll be able to discover how well it's supported on the Odroid-N2 I'm using.

In any case that's a pretty high end NUC having an i7.  Those rate about the same as a regular PC in terms of benchmarks.  Media performance for an N2 is actually faster than an entry level NUC like the Celeron, but not the higher end i7 ones.
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Even though N2 is not as fast as a i7 NUC, that whole performance does not translate into better multimedia experience. The best bang for buck is still N2 or a device like it, NUCs are way over-priced, even the middle range ones. I too have a 3D 1080p TV from 2015, still working, although it has a few dead pixels that are barely noticeable. I will upgrade to a 4K Sony Android TV this year.
Gadget enthusiast
Kodi player on a Q10 Pro with Nougat
Reply
(2019-05-28, 08:50)tmihai20 Wrote: Even though N2 is not as fast as a i7 NUC, that whole performance does not translate into better multimedia experience. The best bang for buck is still N2 or a device like it, NUCs are way over-priced, even the middle range ones. I too have a 3D 1080p TV from 2015, still working, although it has a few dead pixels that are barely noticeable. I will upgrade to a 4K Sony Android TV this year.

What OSs can you run on the N2?

Does it come with Android, which version?
Reply
(2019-05-28, 08:54)Jeffers24 Wrote:
(2019-05-28, 08:50)tmihai20 Wrote: Even though N2 is not as fast as a i7 NUC, that whole performance does not translate into better multimedia experience. The best bang for buck is still N2 or a device like it, NUCs are way over-priced, even the middle range ones. I too have a 3D 1080p TV from 2015, still working, although it has a few dead pixels that are barely noticeable. I will upgrade to a 4K Sony Android TV this year.

What OSs can you run on the N2?

Android AOSP
Ubuntu 18.04
Debian Stretch
CoreELEC - Kodi Leia

Quote:Does it come with Android, which version?

Android 9.x Pie - the tablet/touchscreen version.

For the Android side of things, the N2 is NOT Google Certified.
So that means No Android TV OS, No DRM for copy protected video streaming in Android, No Chromecasting, and the device is definitely not Netflix Approved.

Having said that. I'm getting nice slick 1080p 5.1 DD+ streaming using the Kodi Leia Netflix Addon and CoreELEC Kodi Leia. Auto Frame Rate Matching as well.

That Kodi Netflix Addon video streaming functionality should be considered a Kodi bonus - it could fail and be unreliable tomorrow, depending if Netflix decide to really actively and effectively block such Kodi Leia copy protected video streaming.

The Kodi Leia - Inputstream.adaptive Addon by @peak3d is really great for paid for, copy protected IPTV video streaming as well.
In Australia / New Zealand we are lucky to have great IPTV Addon creators, the Freeview & Kayo/Foxtel ones are excellent. Smile

Reply
(2019-05-28, 09:51)wrxtasy Wrote:
(2019-05-28, 08:54)Jeffers24 Wrote:
(2019-05-28, 08:50)tmihai20 Wrote: Even though N2 is not as fast as a i7 NUC, that whole performance does not translate into better multimedia experience. The best bang for buck is still N2 or a device like it, NUCs are way over-priced, even the middle range ones. I too have a 3D 1080p TV from 2015, still working, although it has a few dead pixels that are barely noticeable. I will upgrade to a 4K Sony Android TV this year.

What OSs can you run on the N2? 

Android AOSP
Ubuntu 18.04
Debian Stretch
CoreELEC - Kodi Leia
Quote:Does it come with Android, which version?

Android 9.x Pie - the tablet/touchscreen version.

For the Android side of things, the N2 is NOT Google Certified.
So that means No Android TV OS, No DRM for copy protected video streaming in Android, No Chromecasting, and the device is definitely not Netflix Approved.

Having said that. I'm getting nice slick 1080p 5.1 DD+ streaming using the Kodi Leia Netflix Addon and CoreELEC Kodi Leia. Auto Frame Rate Matching as well.

That Kodi Netflix Addon video streaming functionality should be considered a Kodi bonus - it could fail and be unreliable tomorrow, depending if Netflix decide to really actively and effectively block such Kodi Leia copy protected video streaming.

The Kodi Leia - Inputstream.adaptive Addon by @peak3d is really great for paid for, copy protected IPTV video streaming as well.
In Australia / New Zealand we are lucky to have great IPTV Addon creators, the Freeview & Kayo/Foxtel ones are excellent. Smile 

What would be the config/price of an N2 to provide the equivalent of this Android TV BOX, T95Q Android 8.1 TV BOX 4GB RAM 32GB ROM Amlogic S905X2 Quad-core Cortex-A53 Bluetooth 4.1 HDMI 2.1 4K Resolution H.265 2.4GHz&5GHz Dual Band WiFi Smart Box, be?

What advantages would the N2 have over the T95Q?
Reply
The price for full Odroid N2 package (varies with your location) is somewhere between 120-180$
Hardware advantages are, apart from SoC,  4 USB 3.0 ports, 1Gb ethernet, ROM of your choice 8-120GB via removable eMMC module, perfect cooling...
It lacks onboard WiFi and OOTB SPDIF connector...

(The thing I like best is removable eMMC memory module which means that I cannot brick the box whatever I do with it Smile
Amlogic Odroid N2_S922_4G, Amlogic Box X92_S912_3/32G_Android.7.1.2,  X96Mini_S905W_2/16G_Android.7.1.2 and Mecool KM8_S905X_2/16
Reply
(2019-05-28, 10:13)Jeffers24 Wrote:
(2019-05-28, 09:51)wrxtasy Wrote:
(2019-05-28, 08:54)Jeffers24 Wrote: What OSs can you run on the N2? 

Android AOSP
Ubuntu 18.04
Debian Stretch
CoreELEC - Kodi Leia
Quote:Does it come with Android, which version?

Android 9.x Pie - the tablet/touchscreen version.

For the Android side of things, the N2 is NOT Google Certified.
So that means No Android TV OS, No DRM for copy protected video streaming in Android, No Chromecasting, and the device is definitely not Netflix Approved.

Having said that. I'm getting nice slick 1080p 5.1 DD+ streaming using the Kodi Leia Netflix Addon and CoreELEC Kodi Leia. Auto Frame Rate Matching as well.

That Kodi Netflix Addon video streaming functionality should be considered a Kodi bonus - it could fail and be unreliable tomorrow, depending if Netflix decide to really actively and effectively block such Kodi Leia copy protected video streaming.

The Kodi Leia - Inputstream.adaptive Addon by @peak3d is really great for paid for, copy protected IPTV video streaming as well.
In Australia / New Zealand we are lucky to have great IPTV Addon creators, the Freeview & Kayo/Foxtel ones are excellent. Smile 

What would be the config/price of an N2 to provide the equivalent of this Android TV BOX, T95Q Android 8.1 TV BOX 4GB RAM 32GB ROM Amlogic S905X2 Quad-core Cortex-A53 Bluetooth 4.1 HDMI 2.1 4K Resolution H.265 2.4GHz&5GHz Dual Band WiFi Smart Box, be?

What advantages would the N2 have over the T95Q?

If you want to compare raw tech specs on Android Boxes, then you would be better heading over here to ChigzTech Reviews (click) and follow the YouTube links.
The AML S922X is the most powerful of the new gen. ARM / AMLogic 2018 / 2019 Chipsets.
Be aware not all devices have Gigabit (1000M) Ethernet either.



You really need to specific what--> video - > 1080p/4K SDR/HDR you require along with what sort of...
audio --> 5.1 / 7.1 AC3, DTS, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD MA, Atmos ?
Also which Apps, and if any DRM copy protected video streaming Apps are required. Netflix, Prime Video, VUDU etc.

Android copy protected 720/1080/4K video streaming Apps needs devices from this list: (not all of them are even Netflix approved)

Android TV Guide - Streaming / Gaming (click)

I can tell you now CoreELEC Kodi Leia will run Kodi Leia a lot better vs Android Kodi on AMLogic devices. There simply is much more support for all sorts of audio and video along with developer optimisations and tweaks for everything.
Depends how demanding you are in the end.

There is no CoreELEC Kodi support for the new AML S905X2 / S905Y2 devices. No CE Kodi for the Android AML S922X devices either apart from the ODROID N2 board.

Also be aware HardKernel supply higher quality, faster DDR RAM and eMMC Flash storage with the ODROID N2 vs what you get with these Cheaper Android boxes from China.
They have even been known to cancel projects if the correct spec RAM chips cannot be sourced. You get what you pay for.

W.

Reply
I've been trying to find a suitable box for a few weeks now but it seems like the more I read, the more problems there are.
I had settled on a s912 box but I read that it doesn't support hardware decoding of H264 - MPEG-4 AVC (part 10) but I'm not sure if that's box specific or a problem with the chipset.

I'm looking for a box that can do:
720p, 1080p, 4K all with auto switching for the resolution and frame rates as well as HDR for the 4K.
Support for the most popular used codecs inc the above one.

Lossless audio formats and the compressed formats decoding or passthrough

Powerful enough to give a good experience with 1000+ movies in the library while displaying a skin that at least has the info for each movie right there without having to click into it like this one.

If it could use less than 4watts is it possible that this could be powered via usb 5v-12v without it taking up a plug socket.

I don't care about anything like android or anything that takes away from it being a kodi box, I just want to have it for movies and TV shows and have them all play properly from a NAS, I will not be using any DAS devices.
Reply
I'd say that's one of the strong points for CoreELEC (Linux packaged with Kodi), LibreELEC (same as CoreELEC), or just straight Linux.  That's the ability to share media on the network.  It supports just about every network storage type you can think of, and probably a few others.  The down side with those is they take a bit more effort to setup since they are not just plug and play like an over the counter Android TV box.  Though LibreELEC and CoreELEC are pretty darn close.

Personally I would not consider Android as an option.  I haven't tried Android myself, but from what I've read Kodi runs the best on Linux or Windows.  Linux has some great options in that you can run additional servers and software on top of Kodi like TVHeadend and all kinds of other useful programs.  And of course being open source it's all cost free.  Of course Windows has the advantage there's support for just about everything under the sun, albeit with a price.
Reply
(2019-05-28, 19:24)entity21 Wrote: I've been trying to find a suitable box for a few weeks now but it seems like the more I read, the more problems there are.
I had settled on a s912 box but I read that it doesn't support hardware decoding of H264 - MPEG-4 AVC (part 10) but I'm not sure if that's box specific or a problem with the chipset.

mpeg4, DivX, mpeg2 Hardware decoding & deinterlacing will be a problem if you run the Android OS on cheap Android devices.
If you run CoreELEC Kodi Leia on an AMLogic S9xx series device it will hardware decode everything properly.

Be aware 10bit h264 aka Hi10P Anime, is not a standard video compression format. You need a device like a Apple TV 4K, Intel i Series NUC, Shield or ODROID N2 to Software decode that non standard type of 1080p content. Some recent Rockchip devices can hardware decode Anime.

Quote:I'm looking for a box that can do:
720p, 1080p, 4K all with auto switching for the resolution and frame rates as well as HDR for the 4K.
Support for the most popular used codecs inc the above one.

Lossless audio formats and the compressed formats decoding or passthrough

Yes a AML S9xx devices running CE Kodi can do that.

For high bitrate 4K HDR Bluray Rips you need one with a Gigabit (1000M) Ethernet port (S905 only Chipset does not support HDR)

Quote:If it could use less than 4watts is it possible that this could be powered via usb 5v-12v without it taking up a plug socket.

I believe the new AML S922X ODROID N2 can be USB powered via a micro USB2.0 OTG port. I would have to check.

Reply
Thank you both for replying to me.
I was considering the odroid and I think that is now cemented.

I'm very much a noob with these formats but is this Hi10 format limited to anime? I've seen it described in many ways e.g on some other sites I've read it described as 10bit x264 HEVC.
I have some files (not anime) which are 10bit x264 HEVC with 4:2:0 chroma and these won't really play on my phone using Kodi or MXplayer, only VLC plays them with some stuttering.
Reply
(2019-05-28, 12:12)wrxtasy Wrote:
(2019-05-28, 10:13)Jeffers24 Wrote:
(2019-05-28, 09:51)wrxtasy Wrote: Android AOSP
Ubuntu 18.04
Debian Stretch
CoreELEC - Kodi Leia

Android 9.x Pie - the tablet/touchscreen version.

For the Android side of things, the N2 is NOT Google Certified.
So that means No Android TV OS, No DRM for copy protected video streaming in Android, No Chromecasting, and the device is definitely not Netflix Approved.

Having said that. I'm getting nice slick 1080p 5.1 DD+ streaming using the Kodi Leia Netflix Addon and CoreELEC Kodi Leia. Auto Frame Rate Matching as well.

That Kodi Netflix Addon video streaming functionality should be considered a Kodi bonus - it could fail and be unreliable tomorrow, depending if Netflix decide to really actively and effectively block such Kodi Leia copy protected video streaming.

The Kodi Leia - Inputstream.adaptive Addon by @peak3d is really great for paid for, copy protected IPTV video streaming as well.
In Australia / New Zealand we are lucky to have great IPTV Addon creators, the Freeview & Kayo/Foxtel ones are excellent. Smile 

What would be the config/price of an N2 to provide the equivalent of this Android TV BOX, T95Q Android 8.1 TV BOX 4GB RAM 32GB ROM Amlogic S905X2 Quad-core Cortex-A53 Bluetooth 4.1 HDMI 2.1 4K Resolution H.265 2.4GHz&5GHz Dual Band WiFi Smart Box, be?

What advantages would the N2 have over the T95Q? 

If you want to compare raw tech specs on Android Boxes, then you would be better heading over here to ChigzTech Reviews (click) and follow the YouTube links.
The AML S922X is the most powerful of the new gen. ARM / AMLogic 2018 / 2019 Chipsets.
Be aware not all devices have Gigabit (1000M) Ethernet either.


You really need to specific what--> video - > 1080p/4K SDR/HDR you require along with what sort of...
audio --> 5.1 / 7.1 AC3, DTS, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD MA, Atmos ?
Also which Apps, and if any DRM copy protected video streaming Apps are required. Netflix, Prime Video, VUDU etc.

Android copy protected 720/1080/4K video streaming Apps needs devices from this list: (not all of them are even Netflix approved)

Android TV Guide - Streaming / Gaming (click)

I can tell you now CoreELEC Kodi Leia will run Kodi Leia a lot better vs Android Kodi on AMLogic devices. There simply is much more support for all sorts of audio and video along with developer optimisations and tweaks for everything.
Depends how demanding you are in the end.

There is no CoreELEC Kodi support for the new AML S905X2 / S905Y2 devices. No CE Kodi for the Android AML S922X devices either apart from the ODROID N2 board.

Also be aware HardKernel supply higher quality, faster DDR RAM and eMMC Flash storage with the ODROID N2 vs what you get with these Cheaper Android boxes from China.
They have even been known to cancel projects if the correct spec RAM chips cannot be sourced. You get what you pay for.

W. 

Can the ODROID N2 be dual boot, between Android and CoreElec?
Reply
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