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START HERE - Pick the Right Kodi Box (updated July 2020)
(2016-07-02, 07:11)nickr Wrote: For music only, any rpi and https://sites.google.com/site/picoreplayer/home
Interesting. However, I like my Yatse remote control and the display output (after customizing the music playback screen) in Kodi too much.

(2016-07-02, 14:30)noggin Wrote: For music the Pi is definitely the way to go - particularly if you have any multichannel FLAC (the C2 doesn't output multichannel PCM, unlike the Pi which does). You won't get SPDIF output without using either an I2S or USB solution if you go the SPDIF route though.
Okay, thanks for the reply. I have a few multichannel FLAC files though the particular system I'd be using is only 2.1, so it's not probably ultimately not that important right now.
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Hello!

First of all - thanks for the great thread and work you have done here. Smile

I have a few questions regarding scaling quality and methods.

I am currently using a RPi2 running LibreELEC 7.02 (Kodi 16.1) as my main device and I run Kodi on my Samsung Tab S 8.4 too.
In Android, I see the option "Enable HQ Scalers for scalings above 0...100%".
When playing a video the scaling methods to select are "bilinear" and "nearest neighbor", but changing does not seem to have an effect when HQ is enabled.
However all these options do not exist in any of the OpenELEC/LibreELEC RPi builds I used so far.

I am also considering buying an nVIDIA SHIELD box to replace the RPi2 once I buy a 4K TV. I want to be sure to get the best scaling on a 4K TV since the impact is so significant, especially when watching 720p or even SD sources.

Questions:
- Which scaling method is used on Raspberry Pis?
- Which scaling method is used on regular Android devices (e.g. my Tablet) with the HQ option?
- Which scaling method is used on the SHIELD with HQ enabled (if available)?


There is a big list of (apparently somehow manually selectable) scaling methods in the Kodi wiki:
http://kodi.wiki/view/video_playback

Quote:- Auto - If supported uses Lanczos3 Optimized when video resolution is lower than 720p (1280x720) and video FPS is lower than 30, otherwise it uses Bilinear.
- Bilinear - fairly simple and fast method (video resized with this method may appear slightly smoothed/blurred but with no edge halos also called ringing artifacts).
- Bicubic - more sophisticated method than Bilinear (more precise and slightly sharper video than Bilinear, but can introduce some ringing artifacts).
- Lanczos2 - 4-tap filter that uses a 2-lobe Lanczos windowed sinc function (sharper than Bicubic with less aliasing).
- Spline36 Optimized - 4-tap + 3-lobe filter, more precise than Lanczos2, which tries to produce the sharpest image with slightly less ringing artifacts then Lanczos3 Optimized (differences only noticeable with high resizing factors or when downsizing).
- Lanczos3 Optimized - 4-tap filter that uses a 3-lobe Lanczos windowed sinc function (comparable results to Spline36 Optimized, with less aliasing and more sharpness, but more ringing artifacts).
- Spline36, Lanczos3* - 6-tap filters that are more precise variants of above "Optimized" versions (they are sharper but might produce more ringing artifacts in some situations).

Characteristics of different methods:
- Sharpness - Bilinear < Bicubic < Lanczos2 < Spline36 Optim < Lanczos3 Optim < Spline36 < Lanczos3
- Aliasing artifacts - Lanczos3 < Spline36 < Lanczos3 Optim < Spline36 Optim < Lanczos2 < Bicubic < Bilinear
- Ringing artifacts - Bilinear (no ringing) - Bicubic < Lanczos2 < Spline36 Optim < Lanczos3 Optim < Spline36 < Lanczos3

*On GL builds these methods are slower than the optimized versions; this is the reason why they are not available by default but can be activated by advanced users in advancedsettings.xml
Are these somehow accessible on Pi, Tablet and SHIELD?

Thank you in advance!
Please tell me if this is not the right thread for these questions...
I just thought this might be of interest here since there is a big interest in best possible picture quality (proper 24p, good deinterlacing etc.)...
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The Pi series use a Mitchell-Netravali filter for upscaling - which offers a decent quality solution (and is, I believe, implemented in the GPU). You don't have other choices - unlike other platforms.

https://www.cs.utexas.edu/~fussell/cours...tchell.pdf

I know a lot of people like Lanczos3 as a scaling algorithm, but for me it appears to add too many ringing/aliasing artefacts, giving video an artificially sharpened look. (A bit like having the Sharpness control on your TV at anything other than 0 - and nobody should EVER have the sharpness control at anything above 0 (*) Always check a decent frequency grating and set your sharpness so that fine detail isn't masked by artificial edge enhancement...)

(*) Unless you have a sharpness control where 50% = no sharpening and 0% = artificial softening - but these are rare.
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Yes, I have noticed that scaling on the Pi is quite good - I was always satisfied with the results. Smile
I will look into the pdf - thank you!

I am mostly worried about future 2160p scaling.
Do you know about the other platforms?


Edit:
I know what you mean, my sharpness setting on the Kuro is -15, which is the only setting without artifacts.
But I also found sources upscaled to 2160p often quite soft, which might change my approach in the future.
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(2016-07-04, 10:05)jd17 Wrote: - Which scaling method is used on regular Android devices (e.g. my Tablet) with the HQ option?
- Which scaling method is used on the SHIELD with HQ enabled (if available)?

Is there someone who can answer these remaining questions? Smile
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(2016-07-04, 10:17)jd17 Wrote: But I also found sources upscaled to 2160p often quite soft, which might change my approach in the future.

I'd let your TV upscale at the moment - suspect most UHD sets do a better job than Kodi platforms in this regard. AIUI some Kodi builds currently output 1080p for 1080p content and lower resolutions, and only switch to 2160p when actually playing >1080p content. (Allowing the display to handle upscaling for <2160p stuff)
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(2016-07-04, 13:06)noggin Wrote: I'd let your TV upscale at the moment - suspect most UHD sets do a better job than Kodi platforms in this regard.
I don't have a UHD TV yet. I am planning to buy a 2016 LG OLED, but this is the very TV on which I found the 1080p->2160p scaling a bit soft looking (like bilinear).

Quote:AIUI some Kodi builds currently output 1080p for 1080p content and lower resolutions, and only switch to 2160p when actually playing >1080p content. (Allowing the display to handle upscaling for <2160p stuff)
I would like to see this in all Kodi builds and not only for 2160p. Basically a scaling on/off switch with the option to define a max scaling resolution.
So you'd always have a chance to compare TV scaling vs. Kodi scaling and choose what you prefer.


Still, I'd like to know what is currently used in Android / SHIELD. Do those belong to the "max 1080p scaling" builds you referred to?
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Hey,
just wondering if I can get some help. No big suprise, Im in for a new kodi mediaplayer.

My history up to now: Good old xbox & aTV1. The aTV1 does work up to now, but it needs an upgrade.


My needs are quite simple I think: A reliable fast box able to play my mp4 / mkv (720 and 1080p) from my NAS. I dont really need more than that. But it should be smooth (even with quite a large library of shows).

Im thinking about:

1. RPi3
"drawback" more hassle, I guess. Especially regarding a remote (want to use my Harmony)

2. Fire TV

3. Fire TV Stick

4. Vero 2 (but I guess those boxes wont be discussed here?!)

Which is the best solution? Does the Fire Stick has enough power (dont know if its a real contestant without ethernet port though)? If you guys recomment the pi3: Which IR solution should I take?

and sorry for my bad english, not my native tongue
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nVIDIA Shield = Android King, due to being the most powerful, running remote control friendly big screen TV friendly Android apps in a powerful Kodi device. You get what you pay for here.

WeTek Hub = Dual boot regular Android Apps (extra Air Mouse needed) + OpenELEC / LibreELEC Kodi. A lot more future proof than a RPi due to 1080p/2160p 8/10 bit HEVC video decoding and 2160p video output. Excellent Audio support as well. A WeTek Core is also a very similar device here.

RPi3 = a very proven platform. Pretty old 8bit Tech these days, but still very good for 1080p / 3D and external connected Hardware support.

Vero2 = AMLogic S805, relatively old tech as well. Still very capable. 1080p 8bit HEVC decoding platform. But you will get excellent personalized support from Sam.

Fire TV / Stick = remote friendly Android Apps as well. I would only use the Fire TV Stick for Android Apps. NOT Kodi, as there are better choices.
Be aware there is NO smooth 24p video sync on these 2 Android devices.

You need to decide if you want remote control big screen Android Apps, that are very easy to use with Android TV or want the flexibility of regular Android Lollipop 5.1.1 and use an Air mouse along with the option to dual boot and use OpenELEC / LibreELEC.

Dependable reliability = ditch Android and use Kodi exclusively running on an OpenELEC or LibreELEC Kodi platform.
I would actually choose either a WeTek Hub or grab a very reliable ASUS Chromebox and a FLIRC USB IR receiver and run OE or LE on both and program the Harmony as a MCE remote control.

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(2016-07-04, 17:22)wrxtasy Wrote: Dependable reliability = ditch Android and use Kodi exclusively running on an OpenELEC or LibreELEC Kodi platform.

Should we be that worried about the future of Kodi in Android? Sad
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I have 2 Armada Mach 8 Pure Linux S802 media player. Kodi works flawless. I now also have a Arnu (company name change) Mach 10 64 bit S905 Android. Box is very fast. Kodi is just as fast as my pure linux boxes. The new Mach 10 did take alot longer to setup than my pure kodi box, but is stable. There are a few android apps I've grown to really like. Arnu provide updates constantly and excellent support. Any day now they will release a S905 pure linux box which is very fast. The Android has the Code Red Launcher designed specifically for TV usage, very nice. Also the new mach 10 64 bit has gigabit ethernet connection. I tried a zidoo x6 pro. Very powerful processor, but didn't like it. Software isn't all that good. Sold it for what I paid (fully loaded by myself) and very happy with my Arnu. Does anyone else know of Arnu?
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(2016-07-05, 01:46)Paulo72 Wrote: I have 2 Armada Mach 8 Pure Linux S802 media player. Kodi works flawless. I now also have a Arnu (company name change) Mach 10 64 bit S905 Android. Box is very fast. Kodi is just as fast as my pure linux boxes. The new Mach 10 did take alot longer to setup than my pure kodi box, but is stable. There are a few android apps I've grown to really like. Arnu provide updates constantly and excellent support. Any day now they will release a S905 pure linux box which is very fast. The Android has the Code Red Launcher designed specifically for TV usage, very nice. Also the new mach 10 64 bit has gigabit ethernet connection. I tried a zidoo x6 pro. Very powerful processor, but didn't like it. Software isn't all that good. Sold it for what I paid (fully loaded by myself) and very happy with my Arnu. Does anyone else know of Arnu?

I'd never heard of Arnu. Just found their website. The Mach 10 64bit S905 has had no updates since its release based on their forum though so I'm not sure about your comment above?
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This is a bit of an odd question, but what box do you think is best that can be purchased through Amazon Prime (in the US)? I know the Fire TV has some issues and the Wetek Core is not available in the US on Amazon, so what would you suggest besides the $200 Nvidia Shield?

Thanks for any help!
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(2016-07-06, 03:50)jhight Wrote: This is a bit of an odd question, but what box do you think is best that can be purchased through Amazon Prime (in the US)? I know the Fire TV has some issues and the Wetek Core is not available in the US on Amazon, so what would you suggest besides the $200 Nvidia Shield?

Thanks for any help!

You need to read the thread, see what meets your needs, etc. There's the Pi 3, Chromebox, and so much more.
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Dear All,

Please don't throw stones at me - I did read the whole topic.

I am spending most of my time working in Asia and I am looking for a new Kodi box. I had the ouya but it seems that they won't upgrade it and I can't run the latest version of Kodi.

All I would be doing is watching streaming and live TV (no game at all). I read the whole topic and honestly... I have no idea what would be the best option for me.

Do you have any suggestion? As the others, I read that amazon tv seems to have some issue.

Sorry for the silly question !
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