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START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated May 2020)
Ok so I see lots of potential here and I see my needs are not as much of a demand of most of these devices.
Do not need HBO Go, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc...

just Plex / Kodi

so originally I was going to go with one of those.... cheap android boxes ($40)... for my use of total legal needs.

so let me explain...

I have a roku in my master bedroom.
It connects to my Plex server via the plex app in Roku
I then go to the HDHR View beta plugin
Then go to my channel I wish to watch.

Works great Live TV - didnt get to the kodi part yet...

however if I am on CBS I can hit the back button on Roku, scroll all the way down to ABC and go in. Ok still works.

for the techy I am it is fine. My son also has a Roku and does this and he is fine with it. It is that other person in the house call "Wife".
She is used to:
* Last Channel
* Channel up/down

so upon googling I found out that Kodi does live tv and also does nextpvr for dvr. I set this up in my garage and LOVE IT. Kodi is great. I know you can bend rules but in my house, we dont do that.

so now I am trying to see what device I need that could potentially allow me a few WAF points (wife acceptance factor)

1. Use Kodi to get to TV Guide - very nicely done and vs plex you scroll through just the channel stuff now and isnt as nice
2. Use a remote - Roku does but wondering if there is a box that does channel up/down and also last channel?



so my needs
Box where remote is main control
hit button tv guide?
channel up/down? - no biggie if you can hit button to tv guide
Last buttonHuh


as you see I do not need all the bells and whistles or features that most have like surround sound, 4k, storage connection, etc.


I have a youtube channel I created I would post if allowed too - want to make sure im not doing anything wrong.
but it is 7 separate videos showing each step of the full solution.
hardware / HDHomerun Prime / Plex / Plex Live TV / NextPVR / Kodi - Next PVR / MceBuddy

so if anyone is interested in seeing this and it is ok let me know and I will post it.

for me my needs are to stream dvr'd shows without commercials around the house to devices as there are no cable tv lines in that room.


so let me know which box would suit my needs and please the wife so I can return my cable box... last one in house I could return (keeping main in living room)
Reply
@TeleFragger,

I use NextPVR exclusively for a backend and the source is a single Cable Box. I capture the source signals via HDPVR connected to a Windows 10 machine. I use Component video and SPDIF optical (or RCA for 2 CH audio) from the Cable Box. I use a USBUIRT to change channels. My guide is Schedules Direct, uploaded nightly into NextPVR.

My current set up that works really well, either through LAN or WifI.

Minix X7 using SPMC's 14.2 version of Kodi. SMPC just seems to work well with this Minix box version.
Zotac Mini PC running Windows 10 and Kodi 16.0
Two laptops running Kodi 16.0. using HDMI output to televisions. The laptops work great when traveling and carrying an HDMI cable!

I have the Minix X 7 mounted on the back of a television. This television is moved from one of my house rooms to an outside deck. From the deck I can stream live TV or any of my local content through WiFi. I have NAS devices holding my content, music, video files pictures etc.

All the above work without issue.

What I have tried in the past, MXIII G, Pipo X7, Pipo X9. All have been terrible in watching live TV. They are Android boxes with inferior components (IMO). The Pipo's overheat, the Pipo X9 was sent back. The MXIII G worked ok, but not for live TV, I ended up putting OpenElec on it and giving it away!

The W10 machines work really well for running Kodi and watching live TV. For remotes (on W10 Machies) I use an FLIRC which integrates into my single remote. I also have a mini keyboard which works extremely well on the Zotac or any Android box.

I just recommended a friend buy a Minix 8H, he received it and it works great as well. The Shield, Core, Minix and any W10 machine with decent specs works well with Kodi and NextPVR. Just keep in mind the W10 machines need more hardware if you wish a remote control from sitting on the couch.

For what you are trying to accomplish, I would use a W10 devices, FLIRC and AutoHotKey. Although it won't be easy, but it's a way of achieving what you are looking for in a remote. Just my 2c.

cwh
Reply
thx I'll look into that more. It doesnt matter if I have to do more to get it working as long as once done wife can pickup a remote and just go. That is the deal. Currently I have no issues with any of the ways I am doing what I am doing...

xbox one / xbox 360/ 2 rokus / ipad / android / 2 smart tvs / laptops. i can do live tv in side house or away from the house over 3g/4g... love it...
Reply
Have Kodi set to launch directly to the "TV" instead of the "Home" screen and I think it will bring up the guide right from start up. The rest is just finding a remote and method to make it easy! Windows 10 box and any universal remote should accomplish this.

I have the same set of criteria at home :-)

cwh
Reply
Hello Everyone,
I am new to the forum and have spent some time drifting through a lot of the posts; this forum seems to have great contributors, however I am learning that everyone has different requirements / solutions which is great

For me could you please help me to
1. pick the right HW for an HTPC for the main TV room
2. pick something for the bedroom TV like a Android box or something

I have looked at the following HW for the HTPC
- Intel NUC
- Zotac
- AsRock Beebox
- ASUS Vivomini
- Gigabyte Brix

Req.
-> Full PC Experience
-> bluetooth keyboard and mouse (I can research this later)
-> Kodi (obviously)
-> Streaming video and music and internet radio
-> BlueRay external DVD (maybe)
-> HDMI compatible
-> Remote control compatible with Harmony Remotes (I can research this later)
-> Watch Streaming likeYouTube, NetFlix etc.
-> Movies / TV shows off of ext. USB drive
-> Display pictures etc.off network drive
-> Skype with USB camera (possibility)


Video:
- 1080p H264/AVC
- DVD ISO Rips - .vob files
- properly synced 23.976fps video output to a 24p "Cinema Mode" TV (I suppose)
No 3D (nah)
No 4K (I wish but not yet)

Audio:
- the standard 2.0 PCM Audio output
- just the standard AC3/DTS 5.1 Audio output
- HD Audio Passthrough to an AVR
- HD Audio decoding to Multichannel PCM Audio output
- ATMOS

Components:
TV
Sharp Aquos LC-456GD7U (may upgrade in future)
-> in the manual it lists UXGA 1600X1200 75kHz-Horizontal 60Hz-Vertical

Receiver
Onkyo TX-NR747

Remote Controller
Harmony Ultimate One with Hub

Hardware Config.
-> All my devices connect to the Onkyo with one HDMI cable connecting to the TV
-> Connect the HTPC to the Onkyo Receiver's HDMI port

For the Bedroom TV or point 2, I am wide open for suggestions
- Android box
- Roku

I would like it to be able to most of what the HTPC does minus the full PC experience.
-> Watch Streaming likeYouTube, NetFlix etc.
-> Movies / TV shows off of ext. USB drive
-> Display pictures etc.off network drive
-> Easy to use

Any Help?
Thanks
Reply
You have conflicting statements, namely under audio. Need HD audio bitstreaming or not? If not, need HD audio decoded to full multichannel or not? If not, is just standard DD/DTS or even 2.0 fine?
[H]i-[d]eft [M]edia [K]een [V]ideosaurus
My Family Room Theater
Reply
(2016-03-31, 22:54)frodamob Wrote: Audio:
- the standard 2.0 PCM Audio output
- just the standard AC3/DTS 5.1 Audio output
- HD Audio Passthrough to an AVR
- HD Audio decoding to Multichannel PCM Audio output
- ATMOS

For a single set-up - which is it? PCM 2.0 or PCM Multichannel? HD Audio decoded to PCM or HD Audio bitstreamed?

For Atmos do you need DD+ Atmos or just Dolby True HD Atmos?
Reply
(2016-04-01, 01:53)hdmkv Wrote: You have conflicting statements, namely under audio. Need HD audio bitstreaming or not? If not, need HD audio decoded to full multichannel or not? If not, is just standard DD/DTS or even 2.0 fine?

Sorry, as I mention I am fairly new to all this and as such it would appear I have no idea what I'm talking about Smile

I don't require anything special, I would like to connect the HTPC to my Onkyo TX-NR747 using a HDMI cable, then from selecting an input the video would be displayed on the TV and the Audio would be out the receiver.

Does this help?
Reply
Since you have Onkyo TX-NR747, you're HD audio capable (ATMOS & DTS:X included, up to 5.1.2). On the low-end, DN2820FYKH w/Windows 10 would give you what you want, with HD Netflix, Amazon VOD and YouTube. Or, something like Dell Inspiron 3050 (which I just got to try). On the higher-end, i3-3xxx and up. Others may be able to throw out other options.
[H]i-[d]eft [M]edia [K]een [V]ideosaurus
My Family Room Theater
Reply
Hi,

Since this last two weeks I read, read and read on this forum to get the best KODI Box with less compromise, but I am not sure which one to pick up.

- The box is only for KODI
- I want a good and stable hardware
- A fast navigation and and fast playback
- Good video decoder (H264 and maybe H265/HEVC)
- Good audio decoder (AAC 5.1to PCM 5.1) and also good Passthrough (AC3 / DTS, etc.)
- A fast wifi
- I will stream only my own library

My choices are:

- Nvedia Shield (I don't want to play game, but the box seems very well)
- ChromeBox
- WeTek Core

I would like to know which one is the best ?

Thanks for your comments and your help!
Willow
Reply
(2016-04-02, 06:49)willowgate Wrote: My choices are:

- Nvidia Shield (I don't want to play game, but the box seems very well)
- ChromeBox
- WeTek Core

Im my Opinion the Nvidia Shield is the best purchase..

Best performance
Best Hardware
Best future proof box
Excellent value for money
Excellent value for money in 4 to 5 years due the future proof hardware.

Even if someone doesnt take advantage of the HDMI 2.0, HDCP 2.2, (HDR soon to be release) does guys buying weteks and chromebox for 100$ today will likely have to invest again in the next 2 years.

Paying less or Half now for a outdated hardware players is just trying to avoid/delay the unavoidable future.
Anyone buying 1080p TVs this days ? the same principle can be applicable to media players.
Anthem MRX310 | XTZ 93.23 DIY 5.1 (Seas Jantzen Mundorf) | DXD808 | Oppo 103D | LG OLED 55EC930V | Nvidia Shield | ATV3





Reply
(2016-04-02, 11:16)couto27 Wrote:
(2016-04-02, 06:49)willowgate Wrote: My choices are:

- Nvidia Shield (I don't want to play game, but the box seems very well)
- ChromeBox
- WeTek Core

Im my Opinion the Nvidia Shield is the best purchase..

Best performance
Best Hardware
Best future proof box
Excellent value for money
Excellent value for money in 4 to 5 years due the future proof hardware.

Even if someone doesnt take advantage of the HDMI 2.0, HDCP 2.2, (HDR soon to be release) does guys buying weteks and chromebox for 100$ today will likely have to invest again in the next 2 years.

Paying less or Half now for a outdated hardware players is just trying to avoid/delay the unavoidable future.
Anyone buying 1080p TVs this days ? the same principle can be applicable to media players.

Thank I wii go with the Nvidia Shield!
Reply
Great thread, but I must admit I don't understand a lot of it. Thought I'd post what I was looking for and see what your thoughts are.

I've currently been using fire tv sticks and one fire box to run kodi and it's various video addons, as well as regular netflix, hulu, and youtube.

We have one 720 tv and one 1080, both lower end tv's.

No sound system setup but plan on getting something in the future. Nothing fancy.

We do have good internet here with a decent router.

That said, I want to ditch my amazon devices, because every time they update, something on Kodi breaks, as well as the annoying workarounds I must do. I also want something anyone can easily use kodi on and not need my family mailing their fire tv sticks to me to fix kodi when it breaks.

I do want something zippy and will last me at least 5 years. The amazon devices always felt a bit laggy to me.

Do you have any suggestions?
Reply
(2016-01-07, 06:39)wrxtasy Wrote: Ha ha, yes I forgot about the year changeover to 2016. Wink

Page #1 will be dynamically updated as more detailed reviews and confirmations of stable Firmware and Features come in during the year.

What will not be listed is devices that ship:

- containing Banned Kodi Addons or a device with an App to very easily install these Banned addons, like a bunch of cheap Android boxes do. This includes "Fully Loaded" boxes.
- with modified versions of XBMC / Kodi that do not meet GPL2 licence obligations
- from a Known manufacturer or seller that has deceived numerous XBMC / Kodi users in the past with outrageous Marketing lies.
- and finally devices that come with no support whatsoever from the device developers or sellers.

W.

What do you mean exactly by "an App to very easily install these Banned addons". This could mean anything with Kodi on it.
Reply
- 5 years with Kodi hardware is a very very long time. Nothing is future proofed. If you don't want to burn a bunch of money on Hardware that becomes quickly outdated, only buy Hardware:
a) You can afford to upgrade every two years in the $50-$200 price range.
b) Like a powerful Intel NUC machine that can Software decode anything if it does not have the required Hardware decode capabilities.

- If you want Kodi and Android Apps like Netflix, Hulu etc. on the one box you are going to have to stick with an Android device. And for zippy Kodi performance with that you are going to have to pay $$ for something like a Android market segment leader like the nVIDIA Shield.

- If you want an Appliance like Kodi device with very minimal maintenance then you go down the OpenELEC / OSMC / LibreELEC route. These are zippy fast minimal Linux OS's that run Kodi over the top.

In order of price running OpenELEC / OSMC / LibreELEC with good online support:
- RPi3
- WeTek Core
- Chromebox
- Intel Braswell box or Intel NUC's.

The RPi3 and the Core can also be controlled via the TV's remote control if it supports HDMI CEC. The Core already has a RF Wireless remote control.
The Chromebox and Intel Boxes do not have integrated HDMI CEC. But these Intel Boxes can be controlled via Bluetooth remotes like a PS3 one or you can use a FLIRC programmable usb dongle with any spare IR remote you have lying around in the house. Some Intel boxes have built in IR receivers as well.

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