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START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated June 2020)
(2020-05-28, 11:03)simrose Wrote: I love kodi but other people I chat to tell me kodi is dead and plex is so much better.
That sounds more in relation to third-party addons/pirated content than the actual software. Plex & Kodi are very different Media Centres, both have their advantages. You can of course view Plex content on Kodi anyway using Plex for Kodi or Composite addons. Kodi also has far more addons & better skins, where Plex just use their default skin. Plex lets you transcode your content on the fly & sync for offline viewing, Kodi as far as I know does not. But you can't really compare the two like for like as they are very different.
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(2020-05-28, 11:03)simrose Wrote: I love kodi but other people I chat to tell me kodi is dead and plex is so much better.

No and no.
Kodi is not dead. Plex is not much better.
For 1st Plex has payed subscription. So its obvious thats they want to take over Kodi users.
In Plex You get what an arbitrary decision conducive to earning money is. Kodi is much more flexible and has big creative community which can support You and give You addon You need.
Smile
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I have always been a fan of Kodi. I have on my intel nuc the 3d mvc build and omsc and coreelec now.

I never played with the addons but always wanted to find a way to stream some basic free channels from my home country Czech Republic with an addon.

I tried iptv simple addon but never managed to get it working user error.

I'm glad Kodi is still alive and kicking.
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For a long time I've been looking for an All-in-One box to watch TV (i.e. built-in tuners), to play back my media from an USB-HDD or my NAS and to use streaming apps (Netflix, DAZN). All this in combination with my Logitech Z906 surround system, which would be connected via the SPDIF port.

Because the only promising candidate, the long awaited Wetek Air, was dead before it even was released on the market, I gave up on this idea.

I've bought an Amazon FireTV Stick 4k for streaming. That works.
Also sideloaded Kodi on it. While it works in general, I feel it's not optimal:
- Couldn't play a few titles from my NAS (most were OK)
- Keep reading that CoreELEC or OSMC have many useful tweaks
- No SPDIF port
An HDMI audio extractor (was suggested some time ago) could help with the last point, but all in one it doesn't feel optimal somehow.

So I've been thinking about a dedicated media player running Kodi. Had considered AppleTV 4k in between, but skipped it.

I've been following some of the threads here and from all the boxes Vero 4k+ emerged as my no. 1 candidate at some point. Then ODROID N2 seemed to be taking the lead and becoming very popular. At the end of this thread also Ugoos AM6 was praised. This was a bit surprising as I've never heard anything about Ugoos, but well, looked like another candidate.

Then I saw this post https://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?pid...pid2870298 about the AML S905X3 shipset, which was expected to be the mass market AML chipset for years to come about one year ago. Also the S905X4 with potential AV1 video hardware decoding has been mentioned, but that's probably too far away still, so that I thought considering S905X3 makes more sense at the moment.

So in the end I have those 4 devices on my list and can't decide which one to choose:

Vero 4k+
  • Oldest chipset of these four, so least future proof
  • Weakest chipset of these four, so not an option for potential requirement to software decode something
  • Is said to be a bit slow when navigating through GUI
  • Amazing support
  • SPDIF bilt in

ORDROID N2 CE Edition
  • Not the newest chipset, but also not that oldest
  • Powerful enough to software decode something, if needed (1080p at least)
  • Good software support through CE team
  • Poor hardware terms from HK, may be better when buying elsewhere. Saw a link to pollin.de here on the forum, but it's sold out there, it seems: marked as "no longer available"
  • SPDIF not built in, but possible through some hardware DIY - hopefully easy enough (bookmarked some posts regarding this)

Ugoos AM6
  • Not the newest chipset, but also not that oldest
  • Powerful enough to software decode something, if needed (1080p at least)
  • Good software support through CE team
  • Quality hardware
  • SPDIF bilt in
  • Android in theory as a backup for my AFTV Stick 4k possible, but without DRM stuff

ORDROID C4
  • The newest shipset with Gigabit LAN (1000M) and USB3 out of the box, but a few less features than S922X (which are probably irrelevant)
  • Slightly cheaper than N2
  • Performance between Vero 4k+ and N2 / Ugoos AM6
  • Good software support through CE team
  • Poor hardware terms from HK, may be better when buying elsewhere
  • SPDIF not built in, but possible through some hardware DIY?

Any important differences (features, cooling, ...)?

My requirements aren't that special, I think:
  • 4k / HDR still not a thing, because of my old HD Ready TV, but for the future of course relevant
  • 3D is irrelevant for me
  • Most of my media are h.264 / h.265 with DTS or AC3 sound
  • Local network is currently a mix of 100Mbit and 1000Mbit components. AFTV Stick is being used via WLAN so far. Should be fine for now, because I don't have any 4k material so far, but this will surely change sooner or later.
  • Logitech Z906 surround system via the SPDIF
  • Budget: not sure. In current times better less than more, but in general I would say it's about a fair price-performance ratio.

What would your advice be?
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@shad For those requirements an Ugoos X3 Cube or Pro would work just fine. You can get the Pro for around £60 from Ali Express & the firmware is excellent, dual-boot Android/CoreELEC. The AM6 uses the S922X as opposed to the S905X3 used by the X3 Cube/Pro, but the latter should be more than adequate for your needs. Take a look and see what you think, I use the Ugoos X2 Pro and it works great with CoreELEC Smile

EDIT - I'm not sure if Ugoos would play Netflix at 1080p/4k, maybe someone else can advise there.

EDIT2 - According to the first post in this thread the Ugoos should do 5.1 DD+ > DD audio - 24p 1080p Netflix with auto refresh switching when using the Kodi Leia Netflix Addon.
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(2020-06-05, 18:33)shad Wrote: What would your advice be?

SPDIF needed then get the (S905X3) Ugoos X3 Cube or an (S922) Ugoos AM6.
Quality hardware properly designed with correctly engineered passive heatsinkS.

Add a Wireless Plug n Play WeChip G20S or G30S remote to control both of them. Such packages are found on AliExpress.

The "S" version of these remotes have Infra Red Learning capabilities.

Use the existing FireTV Stick 4K for paid, copy protected video streaming Apps.

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Just got a Ugoos X2 in the mail and having some issues. Trying to flash the dual boot rom from FT and I cannot get the amlogic burning tool to see my device. I verified over hdmi that I can boot into recovery, but the PC never detects any device.

Tried this on two PC's. So I gave up and flashed coreelec to an SD card, popped that in and I remember reading that after a reboot the device should boot from the SD card, that didn't work, also read holding reset would get the device to boot from SD
but after an upgrading popup that gave me a black screen.

Can anyone give me some advice? Trying to get coreelec running, ideally with the dual boot firmware. at this point Android pie works fine so the device looks good.
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CoreELEC support belong over on the CE forums.

AMLogic Firmware flashing problems —->> see the Freaktab forums S905X2 section.
PS this is the X2 Android Firmware you should be using for Dual Boot because it has a much bigger Sized Partition for CE dual boot. The official Ugoos one’s Has the CE partition too small:

https://forum.freaktab.com/forum/tv-play...roidtv-9-0

I personally hate that AML Firmware flashing tool, the SD Burn Card Maker is much easier if you can get it to work:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVixH6JmZwk

Also make sure you have a Ugoos X2 device tree, .dtb renamed to dtb.img for CE Kodi bootup.

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I currently have a Intel NUC that is working fine mostly.
But lately we are using Netflix alot next to Kodi so I am looking for a new device.
I am looking at an Odroid N2 or a Nvidia Shield TV 2019 (not pro).
I want the shield for Android and it's apps, especially the Netflix app.

My main needs are auto refresh switching, 4K + HDR, HD audio passthrough, casting from Android smartphone and Netflix in HD/24p.

Also I am very fond of my Logitech Harmony Hub so it needs to connect with that.

I find it very difficult to make a choice as it needs to work stable and also for the family.
Would you guys recommend the shield in favor of the N2 if you want the best Kodi and Netflix experiance?
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(2020-06-21, 12:31)Marcello1983 Wrote: I find it very difficult to make a choice as it needs to work stable and also for the family.
Would you guys recommend the shield in favor of the N2 if you want the best Kodi and Netflix experiance?

Just get a FireTV Stick 4K to stream Netflix using the actual App. It’s a bargain for what you want.
The Netflix Kodi Leia Addon should not be relied upon for stable family usage IMHO.

Edit: I see you need Casting and 4K HDR + HD Audio Kodi. Well then you are going to have to buy a Nvidia Shield.

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(2020-06-21, 07:43)wrxtasy Wrote: CoreELEC support belong over on the CE forums.

AMLogic Firmware flashing problems —->> see the Freaktab forums S905X2 section.
PS this is the X2 Android Firmware you should be using for Dual Boot because it has a much bigger Sized Partition for CE dual boot. The official Ugoos one’s Has the CE partition too small:

https://forum.freaktab.com/forum/tv-play...roidtv-9-0

I personally hate that AML Firmware flashing tool, the SD Burn Card Maker is much easier if you can get it to work:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVixH6JmZwk

Also make sure you have a Ugoos X2 device tree, .dtb renamed to dtb.img for CE Kodi bootup.
I understand, figured I might get lucky here, that is the rom I am trying to install.

Thanks for the pointer on the .dtb thing I got CE to boot. And thanks for the link for the SD Card method, going to try that later today.
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@wrxtasy thanks for the recommendation on the Ugoos X2. I have the dual boot firmware and I love it because I don't even know Android is there, once I boot into CE you can reboot all you want and it stays in CE.

Was going to get an Nvidia Shield for the bedroom, but this device with my Roku TV does all that I need. 

Only thing I hope to figure out, my Roku Tv controller can control the Odroid N2 via CEC, doesn't want to work with the Ugoos X2, hoping its a CEC setting that I can get that working.
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(2020-06-23, 00:20)lightsout Wrote: @wrxtasy thanks for the recommendation on the Ugoos X2. I have the dual boot firmware and I love it because I don't even know Android is there, once I boot into CE you can reboot all you want and it stays in CE.

You welcome. The good thing is you get really good support no matter what you want to use.

Quote:Was going to get an Nvidia Shield for the bedroom, but this device with my Roku TV does all that I need. 

I’ve come to the conclusion that unless you need really demanding Games Emulation...or Plex Server support...
The new, powerful, snappy MediaTek chipsets in 2019 Sony X85G & X95G and all 2020 Sony models would satisfy 98% of - New users - streaming Apps needs these days.

We are now at the point that those TV’s have Google Project Treble compatibility, a fairly modern v4.9 Linux Kernel and finally the MediaTek chipset power under the hood to enable devs. to provide much easier long term support.
You also do not have to deal with Colorspace issues and Sony have the best Motion Control support in the industry for variable Frame Rates Apps video Streaming.

Then get a comparatively cheap GigaE - AMLogic chipset device running CE Kodi for all your 4K HDR & HD Audio needs. Smile

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(2020-06-23, 04:35)wrxtasy Wrote:
(2020-06-23, 00:20)lightsout Wrote: @wrxtasy thanks for the recommendation on the Ugoos X2. I have the dual boot firmware and I love it because I don't even know Android is there, once I boot into CE you can reboot all you want and it stays in CE.

You welcome. The good thing is you get really good support no matter what you want to use.

Quote:Was going to get an Nvidia Shield for the bedroom, but this device with my Roku TV does all that I need. 

I’ve come to the conclusion that unless you need really demanding Games Emulation...or Plex Server support...
The new, powerful, snappy MediaTek chipsets in 2019 Sony X85G & X95G and all 2020 Sony models would satisfy 98% of - New users - streaming Apps needs these days.

We are now at the point that those TV’s have Google Project Treble compatibility, a fairly modern v4.9 Linux Kernel and finally the MediaTek chipset power under the hood to enable devs. to provide much easier long term support.
You also do not have to deal with Colorspace issues and Sony have the best Motion Control support in the industry for variable Frame Rates Apps video Streaming.

Then get a comparatively cheap GigaE - AMLogic chipset device running CE Kodi for all your 4K HDR & HD Audio needs. Smile


On the other side (Roku) I'm not in love with the OS but for streaming apps it's totally fine.

I am in love with TCL TV's though. Bang for the buck is just too good.
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Anyone know of a cheap remote that will control a TCL TV with Roku operating system and a Ugoos X2? I have an extra remote that is 2.4 GHz that controls the Ugoos. But unlike the Odroid N2 I can't control the Ugoos box over HDMI CEC with the TV's remote.

I have a Harmony hub setup in the living room, but don't want to spend that much. Anyone have any ideas. I have having to find the second remote when I switch over to the Kodi box.
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