START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated Dec 2020)
Settled on the Intel compute stick cherry trail model. Will do me fine for 1080p and below H264 and HEVC. No it doesn't appear to currently do bitstreaming of fancy audio and 4K might be iffy (hardware decode of the chip is 8 bit only) but looks like the perfect basic offline playback solution without fiddling with Android. Including a tiny keyboard and mouse comes to just under $250 local, compared to $360 for importing a shield. Decided to avoid the flood of sub $100 Android boxes as they seem like nightmares in disguise. Its amazing that no one has made the equivalent of an updated WD Media player 2016 edition (which is what I originally wanted). $100 more than I wanted to spend but eh. More info:

Messages In This Thread
The right box for me - by tyem - 2016-01-13, 15:29
Jesus Box - by kellyvb - 2016-03-04, 20:18
RE: Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated April 2016) - by winterfell44 - 2016-05-08, 08:35
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