START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated Dec 2020)
(2016-01-05, 07:57)Newbie_from_NJ Wrote:
(2015-12-21, 03:52)wrxtasy Wrote: Kodi 3D media players basically fall into 4 camps:
  1. [Linux] Decodes MVC in full and renders 3D in full, natively via Kodi: the one and only Raspberry Pi. Pi2 is recommended as 3D needs its extra horsepower.
  2. [Android] Decodes MVC in full and renders 3D in full, via an external player, with Kodi as just the front-end (HiMedia Q5/Q10, Zidoo X6, HiMedia H8, etc.). Just be aware that some external players are implemented very cleverly, using Kodi's videoplayer UI around them, so they almost appear like Kodi's player (but, skins, subs and other functions won't work properly).
  3. [Android] Decodes MVC in full, but renders 3D in half (so quality will be similar to HSBS and HTAB). This uses Koying's recently released MVC hack and is expected to make its way to AMLogic Sxxx boxes like WeTek Core, Minix U1, etc.
  4. [Android] VidOn solution (offered by Minix and Tronsmart). VidOn is a blatant GPL infringer, but they use a proprietary solution for MVC 3D. Makers of DVDFab are behind it, so they're well-versed in Blu-ray 3D. It has come to light however that VidOn's 3D output is really half-resolution, not full as they advertise, so similar to #3. My recommendation is to avoid VidOn, not only because of GPL, but because their solution exhibits several key issues (lack of 23.976, HDMI handshaking issues, etc.).

Confused as to why the Raspberry Pi is the only one in Linux that can do this, but not the Chromebox. Don't they both run OpenElec?

Yes - but OpenElec is an OS not the media player. OpenElec is a lightweight linux distribution that is optimised, and includes, Kodi. Think of OpenElec being an equivalent to Ubuntu, Android or Windows. It's the OS.

The Kodi in OpenElec is the same Kodi that runs on Windows, Android, OS X, iOS or Linux. It supports some functionality on hardware and OSs that support that functionality, but if the underlying hardware or OS/GPU driver doesn't support it then it doesn't. 3D MVC, like hardware 2D acceleration, HD Audio etc. is not universally supported on every platform by Kodi - it is dependent on the hardware AND driver/OS support to be there for that functionality too.

The Raspberry Pi / Pi 2 is the only current platform with Open Source-friendly drivers that supports 3D MVC decode. Kodi has been written to support this, and so Kodi on the Pi / Pi 2 supports 3D MVC decode.

Unfortunately there isn't an equivalent Open Source-friendly driver for 3D MVC decode on Intel (even though the GPU may support it in hardware, this is of no importance if you can't access the hardware via the required drivers), so Kodi (whether under OpenElec, Ubuntu etc.) can't support 3D MVC decoding on the Intel platform.

Usually if a platform doesn't support hardware acceleration of a certain codec, then if the CPU is strong enough, you can revert to software decoding (which is how HEVC decoding can be done on devices without HEVC hardware acceleration). However there isn't an Open Source software implementation of 3D MVC decoding (in other words, it isn't in ffmpeg, which is what Kodi's software decoding is based on), so without hardware acceleration support (which requires OS/driver support), you are out of luck.

At the moment, the Pi / Pi 2 platform really is the only platform that has native 3D MVC decode in Kodi's internal player (because it is the only platform where hardware 3D MVC decode has been implemented in a manner that allows for it). Windows can only support it with an external player (that isn't Open Source), Android can only support it via the same route (or potentially also via a GPL-busting fork of Kodi - though we can't say that anyone has done this AFAIK)

Put another way - the Pi / Pi 2 has been supported incredibly well by the guys and gals working on that platform (both at the Pi Foundation and outside of it) - and that level of Linux support has just simply not been matched by other manufacturers like Intel, nVidia, and countless ARM SoC teams (even AMLogic). It is helped massively by the developers on the Pi platform REALLY knowing the Broadcom chips and being free to develop GPU firmware and drivers for them.

Messages In This Thread
RE: Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated Dec. 2015) - by noggin - 2016-01-05, 11:27
The right box for me - by tyem - 2016-01-13, 15:29
Jesus Box - by kellyvb - 2016-03-04, 20:18
Thanks for the Help! - by jmc15john - 2016-11-09, 16:44
Jarvis crashes and wipes - by gotthis2000 - 2017-01-10, 22:14
RE: Jarvis crashes and wipes - by nickr - 2017-01-10, 22:58
T95Z Plus Android TV Box - by gooner1971 - 2017-03-17, 13:04