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START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated May 2020)
Until you find with these dirt cheap Asian boxes, Kodi dynamic refresh switching does not work properly with amcodec hardware acceleration enabled and you end up with black screens. DVD playback is broken, AC3 / DD Audio may or may not work, the IR remote has to be pointed directly at the device to work, Netflix and other DRM video streaming Apps is max 480p resolution, devices overheat and fail shortly after purchase, the list goes on and on...
Spend some time looking in the Android section of this forum or Freaktab and you will soon get an idea.

If you can put up with that and like some DIY then go for it. You will get no help from anyone that knows how to fix these problems on this forum.

I'm very familiar now with AML S905's and their deficiencies out of the box...I have even seen some AML boxes faking reported memory in the Kernel and only having half the physical memory chips onboard !

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(2016-05-11, 04:37)wrxtasy Wrote: Until you find with these dirt cheap Asian boxes, Kodi dynamic refresh switching does not work properly with amcodec hardware acceleration enabled and you end up with black screens. DVD playback is broken, AC3 / DD Audio may or may not work, the IR remote has to be pointed directly at the device to work, Netflix and other DRM video streaming Apps is max 480p resolution, devices overheat and fail shortly after purchase, the list goes on and on...
Spend some time looking in the Android section of this forum or Freaktab and you will soon get an idea.

If you can put up with that and like some DIY then go for it. You will get no help from anyone that knows how to fix these problems on this forum.

I'm very familiar now with AML S905's and their deficiencies out of the box...I have even seen some AML boxes faking reported memory in the Kernel and only having half the physical memory chips onboard !

In order:

- No black screen with switching here
- I have no DVD 1:1 iso's here for playback so can't comment on that
- AC3 and Dolby Digital both work fine
- Netflix couldn't care less and was aware of the restriction
- No crashing yesterday after a bit over 2hrs testing

The seller I purchased from is fairly established with a high score and good feedback, maybe if you purchased one from a random Aliexpress seller you'd experience issues. Yes they have limitations and yes you are likely on your own with no updates, but there isn't a decent alternative. The Odroid I'd have to fiddle with myself and it would cost an extra $20 at least, the Wetek Core would be near an extra $90 just for better firmware, the Shield would be an extra $300 and none of them would have arrived in within 24hrs. I'll be satisfied if this survives for a year and a bit, then I'll pick up an S912 or better device.
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(2016-05-11, 03:04)808? Wrote:
(2016-05-11, 00:50)winterfell44 Wrote: Got the MXQ Pro. Uninstalled most of the rubbish that came with including the preinstalled Kodi. Every one of the x265 and x264 720p/1080p files I have work perfectly including 10bit 1080p. Some judder in MX Player, none in Kodi. There is a HDMI Self Adaption option in the settings. Box is pre-rooted which is decent. Oddly no hardware on/off switch and the remote is lacking some media buttons. For the price, I'd buy another one.

I have one arriving today or tomorrow too, got mine for $29USD delivered, so at that price it is worth it just to play around.

What version of Kodi did you install on your MXQ Pro?

16.1. If you chose the default shipping don't hold your breath.
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Hi guys, I'm looking for a recommendation for a new MCE box, as I will be retiring the Zotac Zbox to a spare room.
It needs to be 4k capable and have audio passthrough. All my media is on a NAS and there's a gigabit ethernet connection for the MCE in the room.

I'm thinking of Asus Chromebox or NUC, something like Asus VivoMini UN45. Any preference which would be better? And is Celeron enough or do I need core i3?

Thanks!
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(2016-05-11, 08:09)winterfell44 Wrote:
(2016-05-11, 03:04)808? Wrote:
(2016-05-11, 00:50)winterfell44 Wrote: Got the MXQ Pro. Uninstalled most of the rubbish that came with including the preinstalled Kodi. Every one of the x265 and x264 720p/1080p files I have work perfectly including 10bit 1080p. Some judder in MX Player, none in Kodi. There is a HDMI Self Adaption option in the settings. Box is pre-rooted which is decent. Oddly no hardware on/off switch and the remote is lacking some media buttons. For the price, I'd buy another one.

I have one arriving today or tomorrow too, got mine for $29USD delivered, so at that price it is worth it just to play around.

What version of Kodi did you install on your MXQ Pro?

16.1. If you chose the default shipping don't hold your breath.

I removed all the preinstalled junk and installed a fresh version of Kodi 16.1, with no add ons at all for the moment.

So far so good.
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@crótach,

4K really needs to have 10bit HEVC hardware decoding and HDMI 2.0 going forward into the future, unless you want to upgrade from a HDMI 1.4 machine shortly after purchase. Read the first post for HDMI limitations. (Click the Blue links)

Options currently for the above:
- HiMedia Q10
- nVidia Shield
- AML S905 device with decent Firmware like the MINIX U1, ODROID C2 (running LibreELEC) or the soon to be released WeTek Hub / Play2S

Please read this recent thread as well regarding 4K Media Player hardware selection:
http://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=272740

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Hi guys,

I'm looking for the proper device to my living room. My goal is to have a all-in-one system to KODI( IPTV, music, films), downloading some stuff, internet, maybe also as little data server if it can handle. It could be "4k ready" for possible change of TV. I would like to use my old 3,5'' hard drive on sata 3gbps (I can buy an adapter).

Firstly I thought about odroid XU-4, but after studying this forum I'm confused. I'm thinking about HiMedia Q10 Pro now. Would it be the right choice for my requirements? Can it handle torrents and iptv/films at the same time? Or maybe take a look for something on Intel architecture?
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Looking for a new box to replace an openelec Revo 3610 (many years good service) Smile

It is going to be connected to a new 4K TV and because most of my content is locally streamed x264 720P I would like something capable of running Lanczos upscaling. I am also getting cable TV via a HDhomeRUN/Cablecard unit so the ability to run deinterlacing would be useful as well. It does not need to support NetFlix/Amazon or other services (an AFTV 1st gen handles that on a different input).

The Revo has lasted me a good 6 years (!) It seemed overkill at the time hardware wise but spending a little extra worked out well. Certainly compared to some of the other TV's in the house that I went 'cheap on' and started with Pivos, then went to Ouya, now on AFTV's. Smile

Any suggestions? As a left field idea I like emulation of older systems. Something running Windows/Linux that could also in the future support the ROM browser extension would be kinda cool. Horsepower helps there of course. Especially if you are looking at anything past PS1.

As a last point.... I'm lazy / err I mean I'm busy. An off the shelf unit or something that just needs a graphics card added would be neat. Installing an OS is fine but I prefer not to hardware build. Also the unit is in the living room center console so relatively quiet is a requirement.

If I could get away with less than $600 that would be good. If it is more then that is okay as well. Of course less works as well. Smile

Thanks

Tolax
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Great Thread! I've been going around in circles with this for a while. Orginally I was thining of RPi as a media client either for Kodi (TV's) or Squeezeplug (Ceiling speakers) or maybe even both...seemed like an interesting project to try get whole house audio as well...but that's goign off topic.

So I really just want something that can connect to my yet to be built NAS box. My requirements are:
- At least Full HD netflix, youtube, other streaming services that are available.
- Pass through Dolby Digital/DTS to my yet to be bought amp
- Kodi, for playing media/streaming/Live TV (will install a backend dual tuner on NAS box)
- Android, mainly for apps such as Australian Catchup TV, Netflix, Presto, Stan, Plex and games.
- Gigabit ethernet, I prefer a fixed cable to for streaming...
- Decent remote or something that would work instead.
- WAF, WAF, WAF...I can't afford to spend too much time tinkering :S
- not cost a fortune...and I'm in Australia, so that's a real tricky one!

i think that's all.

So basically, I looked at cheap android boxes on eBay (don't think they do the first two), Nexus (no ethernet), Nvidia (fortune), Wetek Core (probably fits the bill) and now I've seen Odroid C2 but I'm still not sure how much effort is involved or whether it ticks them all off. Obviously, I'm happy to research and tinker, but it'd be nice to have something that works OOTB Big Grin

Not sure if waiting for the Wetek Hub is worth it or not, but either that or the Core seem to be high on the list. I'd be happy with a stable cheap box, if I knew what it could or couldn't be customised to do (as winterfell44 indicated he got it working well)?

thanks for any feedback...
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(2016-05-12, 10:06)gabs247 Wrote: So basically, I looked at cheap android boxes on eBay (don't think they do the first two), Nexus (no ethernet), Nvidia (fortune), Wetek Core (probably fits the bill) and now I've seen Odroid C2 but I'm still not sure how much effort is involved or whether it ticks them all off. Obviously, I'm happy to research and tinker, but it'd be nice to have something that works OOTB Big Grin

Not sure if waiting for the Wetek Hub is worth it or not, but either that or the Core seem to be high on the list. I'd be happy with a stable cheap box, if I knew what it could or couldn't be customised to do (as winterfell44 indicated he got it working well)?

thanks for any feedback...
C2 won't do HD Netflix.
Core will only do PCM 2.0 audio with Netflix - and is better in Libre/OpenElec than Android for Media Player duties IMO (but you can reboot to Android)

For HD Netflix with 5.1 audio you're really limited to the Shield and Nexus Player (and the Fire TV range) unless you go Windows.

I think you can add 100Mbs Ethernet to the Nexus player with a $10 USB->Ethernet dongle - but I'd double check that.

If you didn't need Android then the small BayTrail/Cherry Trail MiniPCs running Windows 10 would be an option. (The Netflix Windows app supports HD and 5.1 DD+ bitstreamed - but you need a trackpad/mouse remote to control it)

I'd question the need for GigE on a player - 100Mbs is fine for all HD video up to Blu-ray un-recompressed rips. If you were running a NAS on the platform I'd understand - but my Raspberry Pi 3 plays everything I throw at it over 100Mbs with no problems. (And I throw 1080/50p 40Mbs - peaking at 60Mbs+ - stuff at it...) Heck even my Raspberry Pi Zero with a USB 100Mbs Ethernet adaptor will.
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The only thing I would add is be very careful trying to stream Live TV with quality deinterlacing on anything but a AMLogic S8xx/S9xx platform (Hardware deinterlacing) or an Intel Linux/Windows box. The Shield and Nexus players and FireTV's will not do the job properly, I've seen too many problems unfortunately.
You need a minimum of YADIF x2, full motion software deinterlacing, especially for fast action sports like Aussie Rules Footy ! Wink

For WAF you really need Android TV Apps for easy remote control use which means the Shield, Nexus or FireTV's. However I do use Android TV massaged Apps running on the Core all be it with 2.0 Audio. These have to be easily Sideload, I use a USB stick.
The massaged Apps list HERE.

You have to Spoof a WiFi connection if ethernet connected for some of the badly written Apps, like Stan which is easily done via the Android Settings on the Core. Not sure how you go if ethernet connected on other Android devices.

Those MiniPCs running Windows 10 will nearly do it all at a decent price but not be as remote control or WAF friendly.
Everything is a bit of a compromise.

Note: You need a Netflix and properly (Widevine Level 1) approved Android device to get 1080p protected video content streaming. None of the cheap Asian Android devices will work and limit you to a 480p max resolution video stream. That means you need Intel boxes running Windows, Nexus Player, FireTV's, WeTek Core or the Shield.

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Thanks for the replies noggin and wrxtasy! It doesn't appear there is one device to rule them all...

I'm still leaning towards the Core/Hub (depending when it gets released, I've seen hints but still nothing?). Is the 2.0 audio due to Netflix or the device (as in, could it be enabled in a firmware update in teh future?). The audio passthrough is pretty important, as I am setting up a Home Theatre room, so without surround sound it's just a plain old room with a TV :S

I don't want to get sucked back intot he Windows option. Although it's been useful, I've had a WMC on an old Dell machine that's getting very long in the tooth, and the WAF is very low at the moment; I went that way due to driver support and PnP.

I saw a review that indicated one fo the cheap devices streamed 720P Netflix/Youtube? I will have to look it up again to see which one.

I agree, gigabit isn't essential but ethernet is high on my list.
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(2016-05-13, 02:16)gabs247 Wrote: I'm still leaning towards the Core/Hub (depending when it gets released, I've seen hints but still nothing?). Is the 2.0 audio due to Netflix or the device (as in, could it be enabled in a firmware update in teh future?).
I was watching the Core like a hawk, and asked about the 2.0 myself. It's due to Netflix, so it seems will never get 5.1 audio playing via the Core.

I'm keen on the hub, and am watching the updates on that too.
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Hi I test at this time the new Rippl-TV V2, it has Google Widevine Level 1 and a special Kodi inside. I think it is one of the best Kodi/Android TV Box at this time. Youtube, Hulu, Netflix works with 1080p.
BR
guru11
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(2016-05-13, 11:03)guru11 Wrote: Hi I test at this time the new Rippl-TV V2, it has Google Widevine Level 1 and a special Kodi inside. I think it is one of the best Kodi/Android TV Box at this time. Youtube, Hulu, Netflix works with 1080p.
BR
guru11

Nice first post.. are you selling them? LOL
1: Nvidia Shield TV (2017) 16GB - 2: Beelink MinixMXIII II - 3: Beelink MinixMXIII II - 4: Beelink MinixMXIII II
NAS: unRAID 6.3 Pro • Case (NZXT H440) • MB (MBD-X7SBE with SIM1U+) • CPU (Xeon X3360) • RAM (4x2GB DDR2) • SATA (6 On MB, 8 AOC-SAT2-MV8) • PSU (EVGA SUPERNOVA 650 G2) • HDD (2 x Toshiba 3TB parity, 6 x WD Red 3TB xfs, 1 x 512GB SSD cache)  • UPS (APC BR1000G)
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