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START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated May 2020)
Hi

I am currently having an amlogic s912 t95z plus android box. Its working okay but lot of times mainly in live streaming it is freezing after 10 min. I've already tried changing the memory, readbufferfactor, curltime and everything in advancesettings but still same issues. I've speed around 60MBs connected to LAN. I saw this thread which says that amlogic s912 is not good. So I am planning to buy another one. My Main intention is watching videos in Kodi without any freeze. Can you please suggest which one to buy. I am in confusion between Mi Box or Amazon Fire TV 2. I like android interface and Mi Box because of its google casting feature (which is really not important as I've already chromecase 1st generation but would be a nice to have feature so that I dont need to switch source in the tv lot of time) but the benchmark shows amazon fire tv 2 is faster but I dont know how fast than Mi Box. My budget is under 100 dollars which should be reliable and strong. I dont have any problem side loading in amazon fire tv 2 either. Please advise. My real deal breaker is performance and reliability. If Mi box can handle that I would love that else Amazon Fire TV 2 or something which is good.
Reply
(2016-12-21, 07:48)news4naeem Wrote: Hi

I am currently having an amlogic s912 t95z plus android box. Its working okay but lot of times mainly in live streaming it is freezing after 10 min. I've already tried changing the memory, readbufferfactor, curltime and everything in advancesettings but still same issues. I've speed around 60MBs connected to LAN. I saw this thread which says that amlogic s912 is not good. So I am planning to buy another one. My Main intention is watching videos in Kodi without any freeze. Can you please suggest which one to buy. I am in confusion between Mi Box or Amazon Fire TV 2. I like android interface and Mi Box because of its google casting feature (which is really not important as I've already chromecase 1st generation but would be a nice to have feature so that I dont need to switch source in the tv lot of time) but the benchmark shows amazon fire tv 2 is faster but I dont know how fast than Mi Box. My budget is under 100 dollars which should be reliable and strong. I dont have any problem side loading in amazon fire tv 2 either. Please advise. My real deal breaker is performance and reliability. If Mi box can handle that I would love that else Amazon Fire TV 2 or something which is good.

You didn't say what file formats and other features you need.

"Performance and reliability" is important, I agree, but performance of what?

for example, performance could mean can it do HEVC 10-bit 4k? Can it do HDR? Netflix 4K? Dolby Atmos? etc...you didn't mention any of those features so it's difficult to recommend

Mi Box is listed above the Fire TV devices in almost all of the FAQ's in the First Post though, so I would think that would be the better device....
Reply
I dont have any 4K TV so just 1080p with stereo sound is enough for me. My current amlogic s912 is freezing for live streams in 1080p

(2016-12-21, 08:12)KoopaTroopa Wrote:
(2016-12-21, 07:48)news4naeem Wrote: Hi

I am currently having an amlogic s912 t95z plus android box. Its working okay but lot of times mainly in live streaming it is freezing after 10 min. I've already tried changing the memory, readbufferfactor, curltime and everything in advancesettings but still same issues. I've speed around 60MBs connected to LAN. I saw this thread which says that amlogic s912 is not good. So I am planning to buy another one. My Main intention is watching videos in Kodi without any freeze. Can you please suggest which one to buy. I am in confusion between Mi Box or Amazon Fire TV 2. I like android interface and Mi Box because of its google casting feature (which is really not important as I've already chromecase 1st generation but would be a nice to have feature so that I dont need to switch source in the tv lot of time) but the benchmark shows amazon fire tv 2 is faster but I dont know how fast than Mi Box. My budget is under 100 dollars which should be reliable and strong. I dont have any problem side loading in amazon fire tv 2 either. Please advise. My real deal breaker is performance and reliability. If Mi box can handle that I would love that else Amazon Fire TV 2 or something which is good.

You didn't say what file formats and other features you need.

"Performance and reliability" is important, I agree, but performance of what?

for example, performance could mean can it do HEVC 10-bit 4k? Can it do HDR? Netflix 4K? Dolby Atmos? etc...you didn't mention any of those features so it's difficult to recommend

Mi Box is listed above the Fire TV devices in almost all of the FAQ's in the First Post though, so I would think that would be the better device....
Reply
Hi all,

please help a newbie in getting the right box.
I have read a lot but I need help.
I have simple requirements:

1- Mainly for family/kids usage, no gaming
2- wireless (no wired)
3- Netflix HD and possibly 4k (I'm about to get a new 4k TV for that)
4- ability to install a VPN app for android (like expressvpn) to get Netflix and other streaming services in my native language and not only in english
5- ability to plug an hard disk to play movies from local storage, or to stream from nas
6- Kodi, although I'm a super newbie on that, seems a must-have
7- No audio special requirements, I'll listen from the TV or a wireless speaker.

What can I get that does not require DIY (or at most sideloading)?
I'd buy nvidia shield for peace of mind but it's out of stock.
I've read about wetek supporting netflix but not sure about the rest.
Does amazon FTV2 tick all my requirements?If so, it seems a good trade-off to start with and get some experience. Major limitations?

Thank you!
Reply
For a Newbie..

A device that meets all those needs runs the proper, easy to use Android TV OS Graphic User Interface.
Android TV OS devices come with a dead simple, responsive, wireless, remote controls that even have voice recognition.

https://www.android.com/intl/en_au/tv/

If you cannot get hold of a nVIDIA Shield the US$69 Mi Box will meet your requirements.
The FireTV devices need to have Kodi side loaded. With the Mi Box, you just install SPMC (special, Android TV optimised Kodi version) from the inbuilt Google Play Store and you are going to go.

Reply
(2016-12-23, 07:44)wrxtasy Wrote: A device that meets all those needs runs the proper, easy to use Android TV OS Graphic User Interface.
Android TV OS devices come with a dead simple, responsive, wireless, remote controls that even have voice recognition.

https://www.android.com/intl/en_au/tv/

If you cannot get hold of a nVIDIA Shield the US$69 Mi Box will meet your requirements.
The FireTV devices need to have Kodi side loaded. With the Mi Box, you just install SPMC (special, Android TV optimised Kodi version) from the inbuilt Google Play Store and you are going to go.

Thnx but I dont have any problem sideloading so which is better mi box or amazon fire tv 2 as per performance. i dont use amazon instant video... thnx in advance...
Reply
@newsfornaeem,

Performance and decent reliability for Kodi use only, under $100, these days = an AMLogic S905 box running LibreELEC Kodi Jarvis. Otherwise you will always be implementing some sort of workaround to stream a wide variety of Audio and Video codecs with Kodi on dirt cheap touchscreen Android OS devices.

Someone really needs to do a proper review of recent, much improved versions of SPMC or MrMC on the FireTV2. A review that includes performance of 24p, refresh switching, 10bit HEVC decoding and high quality deinterlacing of 25/29.97/50fps mpeg2 / H264 content.

This is the sort of stuff a AMLogic S905 running LibreELEC Kodi easily handles without missing a beat.
That is my recommendation for a cheap Kodi only device. Avoid Android all together.

Oh and get a Wireless remote control to go with the LibreELEC device. Like a MINIX A2 Lite. Smile

Reply
(2016-12-23, 07:44)wrxtasy Wrote: For a Newbie..

A device that meets all those needs runs the proper, easy to use Android TV OS Graphic User Interface.
Android TV OS devices come with a dead simple, responsive, wireless, remote controls that even have voice recognition.

https://www.android.com/intl/en_au/tv/

If you cannot get hold of a nVIDIA Shield the US$69 Mi Box will meet your requirements.
The FireTV devices need to have Kodi side loaded. With the Mi Box, you just install SPMC (special, Android TV optimised Kodi version) from the inbuilt Google Play Store and you are going to go.

thank you very much, it's good to know I have two to chose from.
MiBox seems great! Just to confirm, Mi Box does Netflix 4k right? or there are known issues?How difficult is to sideload android apps not made for android-tv (e.g., vpn)?
On the FireTv I could exploit my amazon prime subscription but not absolutely necessary. Also, I guess no google play store right?
Reply
hi all I am wanting to get rid of my Shield TV as its PQ its not very good I dont think.
I was thinking about getting a Kaby Lake i3 mini pc.
Would this be a good upgrade or would you guys recommended something else?

My main requirement is 4k and HDR.

Thanks
Reply
Wow This is a LOT to take in for a rather amateur Kodi user!
Holy crap

Ok here is my question:

How do I enjoy high quality 3d movies on Kodi?
And here is what my question stems from:

I've read a LOT of stuff on the web and just finished googling for almost 2 hours until I finally came across this thread.

My setup: I have an HTPC (with a decent graphics card and a decent CPU i5 I believe) attached to my home theater setup. I've setup my Marantz sr-5008 receiver/amp so it doesn't do any sound processing and leaves that to my HTPC or Blu ray player. My HTPC is connected via HDMI to the receiver which in turn feeds the Panasonic 3d tv.

Most of my 3d movies in the past have been watched in SBS or TAB (mkvs) and I did notice there's a lack of quality compared to when I play a 3d blu ray disc in my blu ray disc player. But I want to centralize all of my blu ray movies into my HTPC (for home streaming to devices and such) and to watch my movies on KODI. I do enjoy Kodi 100x times more than a stupid incapable blu ray disc player...

MY PROBLEM:

I'm using method #5 (3d ISOs) big 30-50gb files which Kodi is able to read but does not detect the 3d. It just goes ahead and plays the movie in 2d. From what I understand: I need to have an "kodi version that supports MVC" if I want to be able to play the 3d movies and see the blu ray disc menus.

So my question is: Can someone explain to me exactly what I'm to do in SIMPLE english if possible lol Smile If I want to play 3d iso movies so that Kodi detects the 3d in the movie and displays it in FULL HD for both eyes instead of cropping it or reducing it to some lower sbs quality?
Reply
(2016-12-23, 15:30)Nekromantik Wrote: I was thinking about getting a Kaby Lake i3 mini pc.
Would this be a good upgrade or would you guys recommended something else?
My main requirement is 4k and HDR.

Thanks
If you want HDR to work out of the box, then Intel is not an option. It is also not clear when Kodi will support HDR playback on Windows or Linux.

nVIDIA Shield, Zidoo X9S, Himedia Q5/Q10, the new RTD1295 boxes are your options for HDR playback as it is now.
Reply
(2016-12-23, 17:35)Dalkamyr Wrote: So my question is: Can someone explain to me exactly what I'm to do in SIMPLE english if possible lol Smile If I want to play 3d iso movies so that Kodi detects the 3d in the movie and displays it in FULL HD for both eyes instead of cropping it or reducing it to some lower sbs quality?
Everything you want to know about 3D MVC playback is in this thread: 266316 (thread)

Simply put, you need Intel Graphics and a special MVC build from @afedchin.
Reply
(2016-12-23, 18:45)wesk05 Wrote:
(2016-12-23, 15:30)Nekromantik Wrote: I was thinking about getting a Kaby Lake i3 mini pc.
Would this be a good upgrade or would you guys recommended something else?
My main requirement is 4k and HDR.

Thanks
If you want HDR to work out of the box, then Intel is not an option. It is also not clear when Kodi will support HDR playback on Windows or Linux.

nVIDIA Shield, Zidoo X9S, Himedia Q5/Q10, the new RTD1295 boxes are your options for HDR playback as it is now.

Already own the Shield, while yes HDR works out of the box its PQ is not worth having that.
Cyberlink has announced UltraHD bluray so as long as you have Windows on the mini PC thats sorted.
I guess it depends on how long I am willing to wait for Kodi to take advantage.

How much more better PQ can a Kodi Windows box have over Android is my main ask.
Reply
The major problem with HDR is sourcing properly encoded HDR content with all the correct metadata to go with it, unless you enjoy watching endless repititions of HDR test clips or home movies from smartphones / tablets. Re-rips of already existing content will not get you the correct HDR Metadata.

UHD HDR Blurays cannot even be ripped for home use due to uncracked copy protection, so really a lot of us shrug our shoulders and ask what is the point ?

Looks like marketing B.S. from where I sit unless you are streaming properly encoded UHD-4K HDR Netflix content on an Approved Netflix device.

Even using Windows with a UHD Bluray player looks like a throwback to ancient Kodi, being both expensive and not user friendly for Kodi day to day use.

Reply
(2016-12-23, 23:40)wrxtasy Wrote: The major problem with HDR is sourcing properly encoded HDR content with all the correct metadata to go with it, unless you enjoy watching endless repititions of HDR test clips or home movies from smartphones / tablets. Re-rips of already existing content will not get you the correct HDR Metadata.

UHD HDR Blurays cannot even be ripped for home use due to uncracked copy protection, so really a lot of us shrug our shoulders and ask what is the point ?

Looks like marketing B.S. from where I sit unless you are streaming properly encoded UHD-4K HDR Netflix content on an Approved Netflix device.

Even using Windows with a UHD Bluray player looks like a throwback to ancient Kodi, being both expensive and not user friendly for Kodi day to day use.

Im not so fussed on using PowerDVD for UHD blurays and Kodi for non disc media.
Its friendly enough for me.

I just dont like android based players.
Reply
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