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START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated May 2020)
(2016-03-29, 19:57)9800pro Wrote: ...I don't watch 3D or VOB DVD files, i have MKVs, MP4s and maybe some ISO remuxes. As i have HD capable AVR i would like to get HD audio.
Now, with all this said can i get Minix U1 without looking back or is Wetek that much better for my purposes?
Prices here for Minix U1 is some 140€ with VAT.
Wetec is 120€ online and Nvidia is 150 GBP on Amazon uk without remote (190 GBP with remote).

Thx
If you want 10-bit video decoding and 4K at 60Hz its the U1 or the Shield that are the only choices.
140€ for the U1 is reasonable value so long as the U1 comes with the much preferred, superior A2 Lite Wireless Keyboard Air Mouse Remote control. It also has the most immature Firmware, due to AML S905 time on the market.

WeTek Core has superior HD Audio and HD decode to lossless Multichannel PCM Audio decoding compared to the U1. (See both their respective threads)

Shield will have the superior Android Apps with 5.1 Audio, WeTek Core will be limited to 2.0 with DRM Video streaming Apps it seems. The Shield of course is the Android market leader, you get what you pay for.

All three will do the job well, it all depends what extra features you need and which are the most important.

Reply
(2016-03-30, 02:02)couto27 Wrote: Since sound is has much important has Image, it would be nice to add what type of media players support 1080p & 4K + dolby digital (Plus) & DTS with following APPS.

Netflix
Amazon Instant video
Hulu plus
Vudu
HBO Now
Sling TV
Google Play Movies
CinemaNow
Showtime
ultraflix 4k

Theres some media players in the Thread that are limited to stereo only with does APPS, but I've rarely seen mention anywhere.
Anyone that is paying a video-on-demand subscription might want to analyze the pros & cons with is future purchase.
Sounds like your volunteering to collect the data from the respective Hardware threads. Wink
I will Hyperlink to whatever individual collated posts you use to collect the data in.

If your looking at Android Apps such as those listed I would strongly suspect users would naturally migrate to the Android TV OS / Fire OS platforms first anyway. ie. nVIDIA Shield, Google Nexus and the FireTV's.

The other issue is this is a Kodi forum and those Apps are not the primary consideration for Kodi use.
Nice value added extras tho Smile

Reply
(2016-03-29, 22:36)adzyp Wrote: Hi,

Can somebody please recommend a box for me? I already have a Tronsmart MXIII Plus which is doing the job for me in the living room but im looking for another device for a different room.

I have the following requirements:

- box will be situated behind the TV out of line of sight so an air remote is a must
- i will generally be using it for Kodi, watching sports and movies
- i would also like apps such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 etc. For catchup TV
- ideally i would like to spend less than $100 if possible

Thanks

*EDIT* I think i may have inadvertently suggested the Fire TV 2 that matches all the above. Currently available for £65 ($93) in the UK. Is there anything out there better value for similar money?
The Apps should work, with the remote control nicely itegrated, but continue to research and ask questions.

The only thing to be a bit careful about is 25/50fps and mpeg2/H264 deinterlacing on the FireTV2. However if you set the Android GUI to 50Hz the 25fps catchup TV services should not have a video sync issue. See the current FireTV 1080i thread about deinterlacing discussions.

Also be aware there is no Automatic Refresh Rate switching and no 23.976fps video output on the FireTV's. If you are sensitive to 3:2 pulldown video panning judder then this is not the device for you.

Reply
(2016-03-30, 02:45)noggin Wrote: I don't think the Fire TV Stick will do PCM multichannel, so you'd probably have to transcode if the Kodi Android build on th Fire TV supports it.
Fire TV stick and box support 5.1 PCM and also 7.1 PCM (with a channel mapping error- surround and rear surround channels are switched).
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(2016-03-29, 18:36)hibby Wrote: Hi, wrxtasy.

I apologize if you've already mentioned this elsewhere, but in your original post, you reference a modified, remote-friendly Netflix app for the Wetek Core. Can you point me towards the .apk file for that? I just got my Core yesterday, and the regular Android Netflix isn't doing it for me. Thanks in advance.
All the info is over in the Netflix TV OS thread on the WeTek forums HERE

The regular Netflix App should be un-installed first i believe.
(Android Settings > Apps > Netflix > Force Stop, Clear Data, Un-install)

Reply
(2016-03-30, 03:58)wrxtasy Wrote:
(2016-03-29, 22:36)adzyp Wrote: Hi,

Can somebody please recommend a box for me? I already have a Tronsmart MXIII Plus which is doing the job for me in the living room but im looking for another device for a different room.

I have the following requirements:

- box will be situated behind the TV out of line of sight so an air remote is a must
- i will generally be using it for Kodi, watching sports and movies
- i would also like apps such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 etc. For catchup TV
- ideally i would like to spend less than $100 if possible

Thanks

*EDIT* I think i may have inadvertently suggested the Fire TV 2 that matches all the above. Currently available for £65 ($93) in the UK. Is there anything out there better value for similar money?
The Apps should work, with the remote control nicely itegrated, but continue to research and ask questions.

The only thing to be a bit careful about is 25/50fps and mpeg2/H264 deinterlacing on the FireTV2. However if you set the Android GUI to 50Hz the 25fps catchup TV services should not have a video sync issue. See the current FireTV 1080i thread about deinterlacing discussions.

Also be aware there is no Automatic Refresh Rate switching and no 23.976fps video output on the FireTV's. If you are sensitive to 3:2 pulldown video panning judder then this is not the device for you.

Thanks, can you recommend anything else based on what im looking for?

I suppose the air remote isnt absolutely neccasary as i could always use the remote app on my phone potentially

If not, how noticeable will these flaws be for the type of content i watch?

Thanks
Reply
I am not saying BBC iPlayer and those streaming Apps will not work properly, but that you should do your own detailed research before hand, such as the BBC / Amazon Help page here:
http://iplayerhelp.external.bbc.co.uk/tv...retv/help/

And ITV Hub here:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/ITV-Hub/dp/B00PH7XGQG

The deinterlacing issues are for Live TV, I'm not sure these problems will even crop up if using IPTV / Catchup TV Apps on the FireTV2. Its worth further pre-purchase research tho.

Noggin will probably know more about UK IPTV Apps.

Reply
(2016-03-30, 08:40)wrxtasy Wrote: I am not saying BBC iPlayer and those streaming Apps will not work properly, but that you should do your own detailed research before hand, such as the BBC / Amazon Help page here:
http://iplayerhelp.external.bbc.co.uk/tv...retv/help/

And ITV Hub here:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/ITV-Hub/dp/B00PH7XGQG

The deinterlacing issues are for Live TV, I'm not sure these problems will even crop up if using IPTV / Catchup TV Apps on the FireTV2. Its worth further pre-purchase research tho.

Noggin will probably know more about UK IPTV Apps.

Thanks for your help,appreciate it. I will take a look around and also see if Noggin has any input.

When you ay Live TV, does this include streaming sports through kodi?

80% of its usage will likely be sports and movies streamed through kodi.

Based on my budget im not sure what else there is available or would any S905. S812 box do?

Im half tempted to just bend my budget and go for the Wetek Core but will end up costing me ~£40 more than the FTV2 and pushes me out of budget
Reply
(2016-03-30, 03:18)wrxtasy Wrote:
(2016-03-29, 19:57)9800pro Wrote: ...I don't watch 3D or VOB DVD files, i have MKVs, MP4s and maybe some ISO remuxes. As i have HD capable AVR i would like to get HD audio.
Now, with all this said can i get Minix U1 without looking back or is Wetek that much better for my purposes?
Prices here for Minix U1 is some 140€ with VAT.
Wetec is 120€ online and Nvidia is 150 GBP on Amazon uk without remote (190 GBP with remote).

Thx
If you want 10-bit video decoding and 4K at 60Hz its the U1 or the Shield that are the only choices.
140€ for the U1 is reasonable value so long as the U1 comes with the much preferred, superior A2 Lite Wireless Keyboard Air Mouse Remote control. It also has the most immature Firmware, due to AML S905 time on the market.

WeTek Core has superior HD Audio and HD decode to lossless Multichannel PCM Audio decoding compared to the U1. (See both their respective threads)

Shield will have the superior Android Apps with 5.1 Audio, WeTek Core will be limited to 2.0 with DRM Video streaming Apps it seems. The Shield of course is the Android market leader, you get what you pay for.

All three will do the job well, it all depends what extra features you need and which are the most important.

Hey wrxtasy, thx for answering me.
I have a Panasonic plasma TV 3 years old now and im not planning to get a new one (this one still has better picture then most of new lcd-s).
That said i don't really care for 10bit and 4K at 60Hz. Maybe things change in a year or two but i seriously doubt that.
U1 with Air mouse is some 170€ but frankly i don't use keyboard or apps much within Kodi or Android.
So two most important things are PQ on 1080p screen and HD audio all from local storage, i don't plan on using Netflix or similar stuff.
I see also Wetek has a new device coming up, Hub which should replace Core model.
If what they say about only 1 GB of ram is enough for everyday use of Kodi it might be the best option.
Just when is it coming out is everyone's guess i guess Smile
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If 1080p PQ and 7.1 HD Audio passthrough is all you need then the WeTek Core would do the job well.
The WeTek Jarvis (Kodi) mediaplayer works nicely with the very responsive RF Wireless remote control, you don't even have to use the Air Mouse function to use Kodi.

The Hub will have a IR remote control, better WiFi and be a bit snappier than the Core. Not by much tho as Android Lollipop is pretty quick even on the S812-H equipped Core.

Reply
(2016-03-30, 10:44)9800pro Wrote: Hey wrxtasy, thx for answering me.
I have a Panasonic plasma TV 3 years old now and im not planning to get a new one (this one still has better picture then most of new lcd-s).
That said i don't really care for 10bit and 4K at 60Hz. Maybe things change in a year or two but i seriously doubt that.
U1 with Air mouse is some 170€ but frankly i don't use keyboard or apps much within Kodi or Android.
So two most important things are PQ on 1080p screen and HD audio all from local storage, i don't plan on using Netflix or similar stuff.
I see also Wetek has a new device coming up, Hub which should replace Core model.
If what they say about only 1 GB of ram is enough for everyday use of Kodi it might be the best option.
Just when is it coming out is everyone's guess i guess Smile

Options I'd suggest you consider are :

1. Chromebox or similar x86 box with a Haswell or Broadwell Celeron. Will make mincemeat of H264, MPEG2 and VC-1 (but not interlaced VC-1), deliver high quality video, excellent deinterlacing (if you watch interlaced content), and will bitstream HD. Will not hardware decode H265/HEVC - but recent updates mean software decoding of 720p and some 1080p is possibly with software decode. Some very simple and well documented hacking required to make it work.

2. Wetek Core. Similar to Chromebox, but with added HEVC/H265 8-bit hardware decode. There are some caveats. VOB (i.e. DVD ISO or VIDEO_TS folders) content will not hardware decode and deinterlace properly, meaning some DVD content will not play well. Personally I favour the Chromebox over the Core - but I don't watch HEVC/H265 content. HD Audio bitstreaming is new to the platform, but seems pretty robust. I would say that the Chromebox is probably more mature as a platform, and has more development grunt as it is a standard Intel box in most respects. Works out of the box with Android, and very simple to get OpenElec dual-boot working on it.

3. Raspberry Pi 2/3. No HD Audio bitstreaming BUT you can get lossless HD audio playback for all but 5.1/7.1 192kHz tracks, by using decoding to PCM 5.1/7.1 (48/96kHz) or PCM 4.0 (192kHz). Unless you need Atmos or DTS:x then the HD Audio lossless decoded to PCM that the Pi 2/3 offers is close to identical (actually identical in many situations). If you can cope with the lights on your amp not saying DTS HD Master Audio and Dolby True HD, and accept that lossless decode is audibly identical, this should be good enough. You get H264, VC-1 and MPEG2 - both interlaced and progressive in all cases (the irony that the Pi 2/3 out performs both the Core and the Chromebox in the basics is quite funny - as both the others have issues with some interlaced content) with a very good quality deinterlace (pretty close to identical to the Core though I think the Chromebox edges it). HEVC/H265 is limited to CPU decode and so 720p and some 1080p on a Pi3 (but you can't expect all 1080p to work). If you play HEVC on a Pi3 you probably want to fit a heatsink. You need to find a case and a PSU and source and flash your own uSD card. Very well documented. The Pi series have higher levels of support than the Wetek Core.

Not relevant to the OP but the Chromebox and Core will do 2160/30p and below 4K output, the Pi is limited to 1080p. The Pi 3 will do 3D MVC decode with 24p Frame Packed Full HD 3D output, the Chromebox is SBS only, the Core has experimental 3D MVC decode, but this is output at half-resolution as the AMLogic chips don't currently support Frame Packed Full HD 3D output.

If you want to do 'other' stuff then the Chromebox and Pi are more tinkering platforms than the Core. The Chromebox and Core have GigE (not relevant for core media playback duties with Blu-ray quality content and below) but relevant if you also want to transfer files from your Kodi box to a server over GigE. Pi 2 doesn't have WiFi or Bluetooth, Pi 3 does.

Pis have best in class CEC (allowing you to control Kodi from your TV remote, and allowing Kodi to control your amp volume remotely). Core has some CEC (think you get TV remote control but not remote Amp volume). Chromebox has no CEC (can be added with external USB HDMI passthrough device from Pulse8)
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Ok, so Core it is. I do like that it has RF remote with air mouse function as a bonus.
Also there isn't any Chromebox available here in Croatia and as i now have Kodi running on laptop i don't want another "PC".
Only real issue was choosing between U1 (available localy) an Wetek Core (cheaper but online only).
On Core i can switch between OE and Android and better wifi on Hub isn't a deal breaker as i don't use wifi for watching files from NAS (my router is crap for wifi).
Maybe Core will get some discounts when Hub gets out Smile
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(2016-03-30, 12:16)9800pro Wrote: Ok, so Core it is. I do like that it has RF remote with air mouse function as a bonus.
Also there isn't any Chromebox available here in Croatia and as i now have Kodi running on laptop i don't want another "PC".
To be fair the Chromebox isn't really a PC. It's similar in size to the Core and boots directly into OpenElec. No Windows, no Ubuntu. To me there is zero difference in 'experience' terms between a Chromebox running OpenElec and a Core running OpenElec, other than the Chromebox rendering the UI more fluidly.

Understand that they are trickier to get in Europe. The HP 260G1 is very similar (needs a DP->HDMI £5 adaptor) and was available for <£100 at one point in the UK, but I think that was to get rid of excess stock. There is a Zotac based around the 2957U too.

The Core is a great box - though there's probably a reason I always end up switching back to my Pi 3 or my Chromebox, and not using my Core. (It's probably the DVD MPEG2 issue - as I have a lot of concert DVDs that the Core won't play).
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(2016-03-30, 11:59)noggin Wrote: Pis have best in class CEC (allowing you to control Kodi from your TV remote, and allowing Kodi to control your amp volume remotely). Core has some CEC (think you get TV remote control but not remote Amp volume). Chromebox has no CEC (can be added with external USB HDMI passthrough device from Pulse8)
I remember being told you can control your Amp volume when using Android Lollipop and HDMI CEC on the Core. Not sure if it's only certain AVR's. I don't have an AVR to test with. OpenELEC on the Core now has libCEC functionality in Kodi like you see on the RPi's to control Amp volume.

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(2016-03-30, 13:12)noggin Wrote:
(2016-03-30, 12:16)9800pro Wrote: Ok, so Core it is. I do like that it has RF remote with air mouse function as a bonus.
Also there isn't any Chromebox available here in Croatia and as i now have Kodi running on laptop i don't want another "PC".
To be fair the Chromebox isn't really a PC. It's similar in size to the Core and boots directly into OpenElec. No Windows, no Ubuntu. To me there is zero difference in 'experience' terms between a Chromebox running OpenElec and a Core running OpenElec, other than the Chromebox rendering the UI more fluidly.

Understand that they are trickier to get in Europe. The HP 260G1 is very similar (needs a DP->HDMI £5 adaptor) and was available for <£100 at one point in the UK, but I think that was to get rid of excess stock. There is a Zotac based around the 2957U too.

The Core is a great box - though there's probably a reason I always end up switching back to my Pi 3 or my Chromebox, and not using my Core. (It's probably the DVD MPEG2 issue - as I have a lot of concert DVDs that the Core won't play).

Only thing available here is HP 260G1 and its around 300€, 3 times the Core. Is the GUI 3 times more fluid, i don't think so Smile
Market here isn't so oriented on that kind of solutions (Chromebox....etc). Most of the time people in shops look at me like im crazy for wanting something like that.
If your only grudge with Core is with mpeg2 playback and i don't have any mpeg2-s, would you recommend it then?
Also, did you try just ripping those DVDs to mkv and store them to NAS or whatever you have?
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