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START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated March 2020)
(2020-03-04, 17:46)evlo Wrote: Do you know if there is soon to be have N2 core elec sale for around 75 usd it was until about 3 days ago?

Maybe the price has slowly inched up with increased demand.

Looks like ameriDroid has the 2GB RAM - ODROID N2 - CE edition for $85 (click)

Then there are the HK Worldwide Distributors (click)

I've been running the current N2 CE Kodi 18.6 nightly for the last few days and if anything it's gotten faster and snappier than ever. Nod
It might be my new MINIX A2 lite - Backlit remote is a touch more responsive too.

I continue to be impressed Smile

Otherwise look at quality Gigabit LAN (1000M) - Ugoos products for CE Kodi like the cheaper S905X2 / S905X3 - Ugoos X2 / X3 Cube

Reply
Unfortunately it seem the N2 has crept up to around twice the price of a Pi4 setup, if you can find it in stock.

The N2 is fantastic as my primary box, but my alternate boxes are better served by the Pi4, particularly with the inbuilt BT and WiFi.

I need HD audio, but the kids don't. Smile
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Wait, what? I checked AmeriDroid site when they announced that N2 is back in stock. I must have missed the new increased price. Maybe the price has been raised to cover for the issues that some N2 have (CoreElec is full of topics about it and so are the HardKernel forums). I am glad mine is still working properly.
Gadget enthusiast
Kodi player on a Q10 Pro with Nougat
Reply
(2020-03-06, 14:21)tmihai20 Wrote: Wait, what? I checked AmeriDroid site when they announced that N2 is back in stock. I must have missed the new increased price. Maybe the price has been raised to cover for the issues that some N2 have (CoreElec is full of topics about it and so are the HardKernel forums). I am glad mine is still working properly.

What are the issues the N2 has? I just ordered one and hope the unit I receive is not affected by these issues.
Reply
(2020-03-06, 14:21)tmihai20 Wrote: Wait, what? I checked AmeriDroid site when they announced that N2 is back in stock. I must have missed the new increased price. Maybe the price has been raised to cover for the issues that some N2 have (CoreElec is full of topics about it and so are the HardKernel forums). I am glad mine is still working properly.

CE is not full of topics about major problems with the N2, talk about an over exaggeration !

It seems the minor number of users that have issues are also, definitely the most vocal no matter where you go.
It’s the same with every hardware platform. There will always be some users that get a dud device here and there.

They important consideration with any purchase if you are feeling uncomfortable is what is the device return policy from the seller ?

Personally I’ve not had any issues at all, my N2 CE setup has been really solid.

Reply
(2020-03-19, 16:31)wrxtasy Wrote: CE is not full of topics about major problems with the N2, talk about an over exaggeration !

It seems the minor number of users that have issues are also, definitely the most vocal no matter where you go.
It’s the same with every hardware platform. There will always be some users that get a dud device here and there.

They important consideration with any purchase if you are feeling uncomfortable is what is the device return policy from the seller ?

Personally I’ve not had any issues at all, my N2 CE setup has been really solid. 

There are a lot for a new platform. I am not exaggerating and I am sorry some people have issues. The price for an H2 has been increased a lot on AmeriDroid. I am just saying that there are a lot of issues for a new device, unfortunately. As I said, mine is working very well. People that have issues have seen that the return policy is 30 days. I do not want to talk badly about HardKernel, because compared to the number of sold devices, the percentage of one with issues is very small. As you said, the people with issues are very vocal.
Gadget enthusiast
Kodi player on a Q10 Pro with Nougat
Reply
@wrxtasy thanks for all the great info, I hope you can help me choose. I'm looking to order either the Vero 4+ or Odroid N2 CE just can't decide. My main need is HD Passthrough but I'd like to have some apps ie: netflix, amazon video. I need to play True HD Atmos and DTS-X audio with a 1080p projector but must have a future proof solution ie: awesome 4k playback. I'd prefer plug and play but don't mind tinkering. Both boxes seem to fill the bill to me. The two major differences to Me seems to be the Vero comes with a remote and Odroid ships from US so it's easier return shipping if necessary. As you can see, I need professional assistance Smile
Reply
(2020-03-24, 22:02)wpbpete Wrote: @wrxtasy thanks for all the great info, I hope you can help me choose. I'm looking to order either the Vero 4+ or Odroid N2 CE just can't decide. My main need is HD Passthrough but I'd like to have some apps ie: netflix, amazon video. I need to play True HD Atmos and DTS-X audio with a 1080p projector but must have a future proof solution ie: awesome 4k playback. I'd prefer plug and play but don't mind tinkering. Both boxes seem to fill the bill to me. The two major differences to Me seems to be the Vero comes with a remote and Odroid ships from US so it's easier return shipping if necessary. As you can see, I need professional assistance Smile

There is a US reseller for Vero 4K +: https://chicagodist.com/products/vero-4k
Reply
(2020-03-24, 23:16)Sam.Nazarko Wrote:
(2020-03-24, 22:02)wpbpete Wrote: @wrxtasy thanks for all the great info, I hope you can help me choose. I'm looking to order either the Vero 4+ or Odroid N2 CE just can't decide. My main need is HD Passthrough but I'd like to have some apps ie: netflix, amazon video. I need to play True HD Atmos and DTS-X audio with a 1080p projector but must have a future proof solution ie: awesome 4k playback. I'd prefer plug and play but don't mind tinkering. Both boxes seem to fill the bill to me. The two major differences to Me seems to be the Vero comes with a remote and Odroid ships from US so it's easier return shipping if necessary. As you can see, I need professional assistance Smile

There is a US reseller for Vero 4K +: https://chicagodist.com/products/vero-4k 

Thanks for the link, that takes care of one problem but creates another, extra $25 Smile
Reply
(2020-03-24, 22:02)wpbpete Wrote: @wrxtasy thanks for all the great info, I hope you can help me choose. I'm looking to order either the Vero 4+ or Odroid N2 CE just can't decide.
My main need is HD Passthrough but I'd like to have some apps ie: netflix, amazon video. I need to play True HD Atmos and DTS-X audio with a 1080p projector but must have a future proof solution ie: awesome 4k playback. I'd prefer plug and play but don't mind tinkering. Both boxes seem to fill the bill to me.
The two major differences to Me seems to be the Vero comes with a remote and Odroid ships from US so it's easier return shipping if necessary. As you can see, I need professional assistance Smile

The 2019 AMLogic chipsets like the powerful S922X in ODROID N2 and others are going to be the only AMLogic ones that will be able to give you Software decoding of 1080p Netflix content using the Kodi Kayo Netflix Addon. However those types of Kodi Addons are not 100% reliable vs using dedicated Apps. Not all Linux Kodi Netflix streaming will be 1080p either, especially non Netflix original content movies.

In reality if you also want easy to use and more reliable 1080p 4K HDR Apps support for Netflix, Amazon Video etc (which is preferable) you really should be looking at something like a Amazon FireTV, Nvidia Shield or an Apple TV 4K. If you also want Kodi True HD/Atmos support as well that narrows it even further to the 2019 Nvidia Shield for an “All in One” solution.

Otherwise look at a 2 box solution like an ODROID N2 or similar Gigabit LAN equipped device for 4K HDR Kodi Leia and also a cheap Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K for online streaming Apps support. As usual a Plug n Play MINIX A2 lite keyboard remote marries in really well with CoreELEC Kodi devices.

I prefer a 2 device solution (personally use an Apple TV 4K + ODROID N2) because you then have very few compromises when using online video streaming Apps or 4K HDR Kodi Leia. Linux based Kodi like a CoreELEC is superior IMHO vs anything Android Kodi.

With a decent 2 device setup you end up with a reliable “ Set and Forget” solution then also as well.

Smile

Reply
(2020-03-25, 02:54)wrxtasy Wrote:
(2020-03-24, 22:02)wpbpete Wrote: @wrxtasy thanks for all the great info, I hope you can help me choose. I'm looking to order either the Vero 4+ or Odroid N2 CE just can't decide.
My main need is HD Passthrough but I'd like to have some apps ie: netflix, amazon video. I need to play True HD Atmos and DTS-X audio with a 1080p projector but must have a future proof solution ie: awesome 4k playback. I'd prefer plug and play but don't mind tinkering. Both boxes seem to fill the bill to me.
The two major differences to Me seems to be the Vero comes with a remote and Odroid ships from US so it's easier return shipping if necessary. As you can see, I need professional assistance Smile

The 2019 AMLogic chipsets like the powerful S922X in ODROID N2 and others are going to be the only AMLogic ones that will be able to give you Software decoding of 1080p Netflix content using the Kodi Kayo Netflix Addon. However those types of Kodi Addons are not 100% reliable vs using dedicated Apps. Not all Linux Kodi Netflix streaming will be 1080p either, especially non Netflix original content movies.

In reality if you also want easy to use and more reliable 1080p 4K HDR Apps support for Netflix, Amazon Video etc (which is preferable) you really should be looking at something like a Amazon FireTV, Nvidia Shield or an Apple TV 4K. If you also want Kodi True HD/Atmos support as well that narrows it even further to the 2019 Nvidia Shield for an “All in One” solution.

Otherwise look at a 2 box solution like an ODROID N2 or similar Gigabit LAN equipped device for 4K HDR Kodi Leia and also a cheap Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K for online streaming Apps support. As usual a Plug n Play MINIX A2 lite keyboard remote marries in really well with CoreELEC Kodi devices.

I prefer a 2 device solution (personally use an Apple TV 4K + ODROID N2) because you then have very few compromises when using online video streaming Apps or 4K HDR Kodi Leia. Linux based Kodi like a CoreELEC is superior IMHO vs anything Android Kodi.

With a decent 2 device setup you end up with a reliable “ Set and Forget” solution then also as well.

Smile 
You nailed it with the 2 device setup bro Smile awesome! Just ordered the Odroid N2 to add to my FireTv 4k, looking forward to getting it setup, Thx
Reply
It's probably been asked before on this thread, but it is loooong and old, so I'm asking (maybe) again:

I currently have a dedicated HTPC for Kodi.  It's well equipped with a Pentium Gold G5500 and a GT 1030 and plenty of ram (this is the second HTPC I've built, I've been running Kodi HTPC's for about 6 years now).  I'm running Windows for HDR and easy audio passthrough support for Atmos.  My problem over the last couple of years is, on a seemingly quarterly basis, videos suddenly become very finicky in Kodi, as in suddenly a tv show I watch in simple 1080p/24 will start stuttering until I mess around with resolution settings, or suddenly giant 80gb 4k/HDR rips will start stuttering.  I spend a few hours updating drivers, tweaking settings, reading old forum posts, and I can get it to work again.  Meanwhile, if I open the same file giving me problems in VLC, it plays just fine. Also, because of HDMI handshaking issues, Windows freaks out everytime I turn the TV off because it thinks it lost a "monitor".

And I'm sick of it.

I want a solution, money be damned, that will just check the following boxes:
- Play whatever I throw at it - be it an old blu-ray rip or a giant 4k/10-bit HR/atmos file, without skipping frames
- Be powerful enough to let me use the Aeon Nox skin, which I've come to love over years.
- Handle the IPTV streaming needs that happen three or four times a year because my wife likes watching the Grammys/Oscars/etc live

From everything I've read here and there over the course of the last year, the Vero 4k+ seems right for me.  I don't mind tinkering with things though (to a certain degree, now that I have a 7 month old and a toddler, so I'm limited on how much time I can spend on this, hence why I'm done with the Windows HTPC experience), and it seems the N2 with CoreELEC might do these things slightly better.

So I guess I have two questions:
1. Does the Vero 4k+ check all my boxes?
2. And is the N2 worth the extra hassle?
Reply
(8 hours ago)therippa Wrote: It's probably been asked before on this thread, but it is loooong and old, so I'm asking (maybe) again:

I currently have a dedicated HTPC for Kodi.  It's well equipped with a Pentium Gold G5500 and a GT 1030 and plenty of ram (this is the second HTPC I've built, I've been running Kodi HTPC's for about 6 years now).  I'm running Windows for HDR and easy audio passthrough support for Atmos.  My problem over the last couple of years is, on a seemingly quarterly basis, videos suddenly become very finicky in Kodi, as in suddenly a tv show I watch in simple 1080p/24 will start stuttering until I mess around with resolution settings, or suddenly giant 80gb 4k/HDR rips will start stuttering.  I spend a few hours updating drivers, tweaking settings, reading old forum posts, and I can get it to work again.  Meanwhile, if I open the same file giving me problems in VLC, it plays just fine. Also, because of HDMI handshaking issues, Windows freaks out everytime I turn the TV off because it thinks it lost a "monitor".

And I'm sick of it.

I want a solution, money be damned, that will just check the following boxes:
- Play whatever I throw at it - be it an old blu-ray rip or a giant 4k/10-bit HR/atmos file, without skipping frames
- Be powerful enough to let me use the Aeon Nox skin, which I've come to love over years.
- Handle the IPTV streaming needs that happen three or four times a year because my wife likes watching the Grammys/Oscars/etc live

From everything I've read here and there over the course of the last year, the Vero 4k+ seems right for me.  I don't mind tinkering with things though (to a certain degree, now that I have a 7 month old and a toddler, so I'm limited on how much time I can spend on this, hence why I'm done with the Windows HTPC experience), and it seems the N2 with CoreELEC might do these things slightly better.

So I guess I have two questions:
1. Does the Vero 4k+ check all my boxes?
2. And is the N2 worth the extra hassle?

That would work for the 4K+, but it's worth being aware that BD-J menus won't work. You can still select the feature film though and other menus will work. That restriction applies for all ARM based platforms.
Reply
(8 hours ago)Sam.Nazarko Wrote:
(8 hours ago)therippa Wrote: It's probably been asked before on this thread, but it is loooong and old, so I'm asking (maybe) again:

I currently have a dedicated HTPC for Kodi.  It's well equipped with a Pentium Gold G5500 and a GT 1030 and plenty of ram (this is the second HTPC I've built, I've been running Kodi HTPC's for about 6 years now).  I'm running Windows for HDR and easy audio passthrough support for Atmos.  My problem over the last couple of years is, on a seemingly quarterly basis, videos suddenly become very finicky in Kodi, as in suddenly a tv show I watch in simple 1080p/24 will start stuttering until I mess around with resolution settings, or suddenly giant 80gb 4k/HDR rips will start stuttering.  I spend a few hours updating drivers, tweaking settings, reading old forum posts, and I can get it to work again.  Meanwhile, if I open the same file giving me problems in VLC, it plays just fine. Also, because of HDMI handshaking issues, Windows freaks out everytime I turn the TV off because it thinks it lost a "monitor".

And I'm sick of it.

I want a solution, money be damned, that will just check the following boxes:
- Play whatever I throw at it - be it an old blu-ray rip or a giant 4k/10-bit HR/atmos file, without skipping frames
- Be powerful enough to let me use the Aeon Nox skin, which I've come to love over years.
- Handle the IPTV streaming needs that happen three or four times a year because my wife likes watching the Grammys/Oscars/etc live

From everything I've read here and there over the course of the last year, the Vero 4k+ seems right for me.  I don't mind tinkering with things though (to a certain degree, now that I have a 7 month old and a toddler, so I'm limited on how much time I can spend on this, hence why I'm done with the Windows HTPC experience), and it seems the N2 with CoreELEC might do these things slightly better.

So I guess I have two questions:
1. Does the Vero 4k+ check all my boxes?
2. And is the N2 worth the extra hassle?

That would work for the 4K+, but it's worth being aware that BD-J menus won't work. You can still select the feature film though and other menus will work. That restriction applies for all ARM based platforms. 
Thanks.  I should have specified when I said rip I was just meaning an .mkv, not a BDRip.  Also, after an hour of messing around with things, I found the culprit - for some reason, even though nothing has changed, using Pixel Shaders as my render method (to support HDR in Kodi/Windows) now makes things stutter like hell.
Reply
(7 hours ago)therippa Wrote:
(8 hours ago)Sam.Nazarko Wrote:
(8 hours ago)therippa Wrote: It's probably been asked before on this thread, but it is loooong and old, so I'm asking (maybe) again:

I currently have a dedicated HTPC for Kodi.  It's well equipped with a Pentium Gold G5500 and a GT 1030 and plenty of ram (this is the second HTPC I've built, I've been running Kodi HTPC's for about 6 years now).  I'm running Windows for HDR and easy audio passthrough support for Atmos.  My problem over the last couple of years is, on a seemingly quarterly basis, videos suddenly become very finicky in Kodi, as in suddenly a tv show I watch in simple 1080p/24 will start stuttering until I mess around with resolution settings, or suddenly giant 80gb 4k/HDR rips will start stuttering.  I spend a few hours updating drivers, tweaking settings, reading old forum posts, and I can get it to work again.  Meanwhile, if I open the same file giving me problems in VLC, it plays just fine. Also, because of HDMI handshaking issues, Windows freaks out everytime I turn the TV off because it thinks it lost a "monitor".

And I'm sick of it.

I want a solution, money be damned, that will just check the following boxes:
- Play whatever I throw at it - be it an old blu-ray rip or a giant 4k/10-bit HR/atmos file, without skipping frames
- Be powerful enough to let me use the Aeon Nox skin, which I've come to love over years.
- Handle the IPTV streaming needs that happen three or four times a year because my wife likes watching the Grammys/Oscars/etc live

From everything I've read here and there over the course of the last year, the Vero 4k+ seems right for me.  I don't mind tinkering with things though (to a certain degree, now that I have a 7 month old and a toddler, so I'm limited on how much time I can spend on this, hence why I'm done with the Windows HTPC experience), and it seems the N2 with CoreELEC might do these things slightly better.

So I guess I have two questions:
1. Does the Vero 4k+ check all my boxes?
2. And is the N2 worth the extra hassle?

That would work for the 4K+, but it's worth being aware that BD-J menus won't work. You can still select the feature film though and other menus will work. That restriction applies for all ARM based platforms.  
Thanks.  I should have specified when I said rip I was just meaning an .mkv, not a BDRip.  Also, after an hour of messing around with things, I found the culprit - for some reason, even though nothing has changed, using Pixel Shaders as my render method (to support HDR in Kodi/Windows) now makes things stutter like hell. 
That will work.
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